State Of Emergency

As much as state and Oklahoma City leaders either want to disguise it or simply don’t want to believe it, all signs point to the fact that the state and local economy continues to disintegrate in a manner that constitutes a real emergency.

Don’t expect action soon, though. Some GOP leaders probably enjoy watching the tax revenue crunch put the squeeze on education funding and state agencies, and Oklahoma City leaders can’t do much about it. Oil prices continue to slump—this is EVEN during the driving season—and nothing is going to stop that in the short-term. The state’s frackers enjoyed their heyday, got their unbelievable tax breaks, and now have put everyone—except for the rich, of course—at risk of living in a place that will increasingly become non-viable and even more mediocre.

But wait, well, we have Bricktown, sir, a.k.a., La Renaissance. Yet businesses are leaving in droves from this puny, minor league, entertainment district with its polluted, trash-filled canal. We even have an area minor league baseball team to remind us we’re minor league.

Maybe “minor league” is too nice of a term to describe the tyranny of awful leadership in this place, from Gov. Mary Fallin to Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett to Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger, all Republicans. Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller, another Republican, doesn’t hide the gnarly truth, but he won’t or can’t do anything about it. Miller could leave the Republican Party in response to the financial malfeasance, but I bet he won’t, and he’s supposedly an academic.

(Click "Read more" to continue reading.)


Logical Move: End The Death Penalty In Oklahoma

The fact that Oklahoma’s temporary moratorium on the death penalty will hold up at least through the end of the year is good news for those of us here who want to abolish capital punishment.

What this means, of course, is that if Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins the election she perhaps can have time to appoint a new U.S. Supreme Court Justice who can act as the swing vote in finally ending the barbaric practice throughout the country and before another botched execution in Oklahoma.

That’s the good news, and yet another reason why Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump must be defeated. The only way he can be defeated is if Clinton is elected. The stakes on this and other issues are high, and they will impact Oklahoma. The overall popular vote does matter in terms of mandates even if it’s unlikely Clinton will win Oklahoma.

The bad news is the Oklahoma voters will get to vote on State Question 776, which would make the state’s judicial and corrections system—at least on paper—double down on its use and potential use of the death penalty.

Here’s the text that will be added to the Oklahoma Constitution as an amendment, according to Ballotpedia, if the question is approved in the Nov. 8 election:

(Click "Read more" to continue reading.)


No Relief From The Heat

Scientists throughout the world have issued another report about the growing threat of global warming on the planet, but here in Oklahoma at least some of our conservative leaders, such as U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, deny it or simply just don’t care.

The “State of the Climate 2015” report used the contributions of more than 450 scientists. It was published as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. It notes that greenhouse gases, global surface temperature and sea surface temperatures were the highest ever recorded in 2015. Meanwhile, global sea levels rose to a record high and the arctic continues to warm as well. The report was led by the National Centers for Environmental Information at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations.

You can find the report here and in the above tweet. According to the report, “The year’s exceptional warmth was fueled in part by a nearly year-round mature El Niño event . . .”.

The report goes on to note, “The year 2015 also marked the first time the global average surface temperature reached more than 1°C above the average of the mid- to late-19th century, a period in which temperatures are commonly taken to be representative of pre industrial conditions.”

(Click "Read more" to continue reading.)