For those who believe Washington will definitely make good on its promise to pay for 90 percent of Medicaid expansion in perpetuity, we have a bridge to nowhere to sell you.
Uncle Sam gives and he takes away. Promising to cover 100 percent of Medicaid expansion for three years and 90 percent thereafter could be like so much pie crust — flaky.
The U.S. Forest Service is asking a dozen states to return federal revenue-sharing funds used to fight wildfires. Because of sequestration, it “has no alternative” but to ask for a refund, an agency manager said. Before the Federal Aviation Administration got a sequestration reprieve, the University of Oklahoma was poised to assume air traffic controller duties at a Norman airport.
Governors resisting Medicaid expansion are worried that Washington won’t keep its funding promise. They should be worried that Washington will ask for states to pay for more of existing Medicaid expenses.
We again wonder if the states will eventually be asked to bail out the federal government as it continues its Greece-like march toward insolvency.
Another day, another pointless protest along the route of the Keystone XL pipeline’s southern leg. Meantime, Americans remain supportive of the more controversial northern leg.
Protesters in Oklahoma (but not necessarily from Oklahoma) this week continued their childish antics of fastening themselves to construction equipment, getting arrested for it and — no doubt — tweeting about their heroics. Monday’s protest came on the final day of the U.S. State Department’s formal comment period for the project.
Also this week, the Environmental Protection Agency weighed in with the dog-bites-man news that it has major concerns about Keystone’s link between Cushing and Canada’s vast oil sands reserves. And a survey was released showing that nearly 75 percent of Americans support the project. This exceeds the 68 percent support registered in Canada.
While the Obama administration continues to dawdle on the northern leg, the route from Cushing to the Gulf Coast has the blessing of Barack Obama himself. He made a campaign stop near Cushing last year to announce his approval of the project. Yet the protesters keep showing up in southern Oklahoma to take a stand.
This week marked the fifth such effort. One protester said he came from Ames, Iowa, to defend the Red River. Really? Defend it from what? A Texas invasion?
The remark illustrates the mindlessness of this effort. Irrelevant comparisons to a pipeline break in Arkansas are about the only thing the protesters have going for them. We suggest that the Iowan head home and help defend Mississippi River towns from an extant flooding threat.
That would be productive and heroic.
Two dead but famous Oklahomans are headed home, one literally and the other artistically.
The body of athlete Jim Thorpe will be moved from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma if a son prevails in a legal challenge to the removal. In Tulsa, a daughter of Woody Guthrie is among those on hand for this weekend’s opening of a center that will house Guthrie’s archives.
Thorpe and Guthrie were born in Oklahoma but achieved their fame after leaving the state. Unlike Thorpe, Guthrie was underappreciated in his home state because of his political leanings. This has changed.
Thorpe has always been an examplar of athletic prowess, but his widow nixed plans for his burial here in 1953. Sixty years later, he’s coming “home” unless the legal challenge stops it.
Thorpe should rest on Indian lands. Guthrie fans should plan a visit to the center in downtown Tulsa.
The Keystone XL pipeline protesters who’ve been idiotically chaining themselves to construction equipment should perhaps consider chaining themselves to railroad tanker cars. But that would be dangerous. Instead, they take the safe and easy method outlined in the protest manuals supplied them by environmental groups.
Two Oklahomans were arrested this week on the Keystone route, the latest in a line of protester arrests. The new chant for anti-pipeline activists is “Remember the Mayflower!” This is a reference to the rupture of an aging pipeline in Arkansas in recent days. Keystone is a state-of-the-art pipeline being built between Cushing and the Gulf Coast.
Nary a peep was heard from the greenies when a train derailed last month, spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil in western Minnesota.
Here’s the truth that protesters need to chain themselves to: If oil isn’t piped underground, it will be transported over land in trucks and trains. This is a much riskier proposition for the environment. For the protesters, though, Keystone has the cachet they need to get attention for their pointless behavior.
Come Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council will have two new faces around the horseshoe. We welcome John A. Pettis Jr. and James Greiner to what is a usually harmonious but occasionally cacophonous process of governing a growing, increasingly diversified city.
Pettis and Greiner ousted incumbents to claim seats for Ward 7 and Ward 1. Gone are veteran councilmen Skip Kelly and Gary Marrs. Kelly’s personal problems no doubt played a role in his defeat. Allegations of driving under the influence have dogged him; even had he won, Kelly might have had to leave office if a pending court ruling goes against him.
In Ward 1, the situation was different. Marrs is an outstanding councilman but was outworked by Greiner. At 32, the challenger has boundless enthusiasm for retail politics — knocking on doors, connecting with voters, projecting a positive attitude. This boundless enthusiasm will serve him well on the council and in representing the sprawling northwest Oklahoma City ward for the princely sum of $12,000 a year.
Overall it wasn’t a bad day for incumbents here and in other parts of the state. Two Oklahoma City Council incumbents didn’t draw opponents and automatically got another four-year term. Tuesday’s results set the stage for an interesting mayoral race next year if incumbent Mick Cornett seeks another term and faces council maverick Ed Shadid, who appears set to make a run.
Tuesday’s results are no indicator for what could happen in 2014. Shadid’s appeal in Ward 2 is unlikely to translate to a citywide mandate. Then again, anyone who counted out Pettis and Greiner because they faced “popular” incumbents now knows that holding an office isn’t a ticket to keeping it.
Restoration of the 2 percent payroll tax cut on Jan. 1 was a type of sequestration, says a blog posting by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, the conservative counterpart to OK Policy.
In response to Barack Obama’s Chicken Littleism about effects of that other sequestration, the OCPA says average folks took a pay cut when the payroll tax went back to its previous rate. OCPA says the headlines today should be on the order of “Family Eliminates One Movie Outing Per Month” or “Billy Settles for Regular Shoes, Not Air Jordans!” instead of “Sequestration Will Destroy Nation As We Know It!” — or some such.
Families react to having less money by making “simple, minor adjustments in their spending practices, with little or no pain and cost, to reflect the 2 percent taxpayer sequester,” the blog says.
Obama? The Great Divider reacts with partisan fear-mongering.
Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. People eat oats and bucks and little lambs, but most of us don’t want to eat old Stewball.
Suddenly, horses are in the food section news. IKEA stores in Europe pulled their famous meatballs from cafeteria menus because traces of horseflesh were found in them. In Oklahoma, legislation to allow slaughterhouses for horses has gotten surprisingly strong support.
One bill’s author is accused of an ethical conflict because of financial ties to livestock auctions, but supporters say this isn’t about making hay so much as it is about dealing with abandoned, neglected and unwanted horses.
Despite the IKEA development, some Europeans do eat oats, lambs and mares. Whether the slaughterhouse legislation is baled into law or lawmakers bail on the concept remains to be seen, but the jokes are already in full gallop.
Does “red pony” refer to the doneness of the meat? Saddle up the No. 2 Combo! Want fries, tots or spurs with that?
One of the low points of the Oklahoma City Board of Education chairmanship election was the incumbent’s default to class envy and race-baiting strategies. This didn’t result in another term for Angela Monson, but it does add to the sorry history of Democratic politicians taking this approach.
Monson criticized her opponent for being so successful that “she does not have to work” and thus “spends much of her time volunteering.” She let voters know that students in the district are predominantly non-white and low-income. Imagine a campaign in a suburban district waged on the basis of a candidate being non-white or making too little money to understand the students’ needs.
Monson also blasted her opponent for sending a child to a private school. Bill and Hillary Clinton did that. So do the Obamas. So what?
Monson was ousted by Lynne Hardin, a product of public schools who wants to see them brought closer to the standard of excellence they once enjoyed. Monson? As the Black Chronicle put it, she “neither has the ability nor the ideas required” to improve the district. Hardin narrowly won the election.