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Monday, September 30, 2019

Attorney General Hunter: OK's public nudity laws still valid despite 10th Circuit ruling


Attorney General Hunter Issues Statement on 10th Circuit Ruling on Fort Collins Case

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following statement on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding public nudity.

The ruling from the court addressed a Fort Collins, Colo. city ordinance that prohibited women from going topless in public, after two women sued the city in 2016, arguing that the rule violated their equal protection rights.

The 10th Circuit has jurisdiction over federal cases from Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas and Oklahoma.   

Attorney General Hunter advises that the ruling does not automatically invalidate local and state laws in Oklahoma.

"The Tenth Circuit’s preliminary decision in the Fort Collins case – a case that has now ended without a full adjudication – does not change local and state laws in Oklahoma on the subject,” Attorney General Hunter said. “The majority of courts around the country that have examined this issue have upheld traditional public decency and public nudity laws. These courts have recognized that states and political subdivisions have a legitimate interest in prohibiting public nudity as traditionally defined."

The 10th Circuit’s ruling conflicts with a May ruling by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld an ordinance in Springfield, MO that bans women from exposing their breasts in public. Also, a 2017 ruling in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld a topless ban on women in Chicago.

In that ruling, the 7th Circuit relied on a U.S. Supreme Court case upholding laws prohibiting nude dancing stating that “public indecency statutes were designed to protect morals and public order” and local communities may express “societal disapproval of nudity in public places and among strangers.”

The U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the 7th Circuit’s decision upholding Chicago’s public nudity laws.

Similar rulings upholding the constitutionality of public nudity laws have been issued by 2nd, 4th and 5th Circuits, as well as courts in New Hampshire, Tennessee,  Massachusetts, Alabama, Arizona, Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Mississippi, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Minnesota.

The 10th Circuit’s ruling made preliminary conclusions about the Fort Collins ordinance, but did not decide the law’s ultimate constitutionality. Because the Fort Collins ordinance was repealed, the 10th Circuit’s ruling likely cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In conclusion, the 10th Circuit’s ruling is not binding on Oklahoma state courts.

Music Monday: These Are My People (Johnny Cash)

This week's Music Monday is These Are My People, from Johnny Cash's 1972 album America: A 200-Year Salute in Story and Song. I've been on a bit of a genealogy kick lately, and when I heard a snippet of this song on a Volkswagen commercial, I just had to look it up.

Enjoy! 


See below for all previous Music Monday posts. Do you have a song you'd like to suggest for a future Music Monday? Email me at JamisonFaught@MuskogeePolitico.com.

September 23rd, 2019: Pictures at an Exhibition (Great Gate of Kiev)
September 16th, 2019: The Streets of Laredo (Piano Puzzler)
September 9th, 2019: I'm Ready To Go
August 26th, 2019: It Is Not Death To Die
August 5th, 2019: 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
July 29th, 2019: Let It Be Said Of Us
July 15th, 2019: Bach's "Little" Fugue in G Minor
July 8th, 2019: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
July 1st, 2019: Medley of Sousa Marches
June 24th, 2019: Seventy-Six Trombones
June 17th, 2019: I Want To Be That Man
June 3rd, 2019: "Les Toreadors" from 'Carmen'
May 20th, 2019: Lonesome Road
May 13th, 2019: Mr. Mom
April 29th, 2019: Have Faith in God (Muskogee's hymn)
April 15th, 2019: The Government Can
March 25th, 2019: Transcendental Étude No. 4, "Mazeppa"
March 18th, 2019: St. Patrick's Day in the Morning
March 11th, 2019: What Wondrous Love is This
March 4th, 2019: Scandinavian Waltz
February 18th, 2019: Adagio for Strings
February 11th, 2019: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 4th, 2019: Columbia, Gem of the Ocean
January 7th, 2019: Loch Lomond
December 31st, 2018: Auld Lang Syne
December 24th, 2018: Remember O, thou Man
December 17th, 2018: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 10th, 2018: Carol of the Bells (medley)
December 3rd, 2018: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 26th, 2018: Happy Birthday
November 19th, 2018: My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness
November 12th, 2018: Hymn to the Fallen
October 29th, 2018: A Mighty Fortress is Our God
October 22nd, 2018: Hymn to Red October
October 15th, 2018:  Indian Reservation ("Cherokee People")
October 8th, 2018: Wagner's 'Columbus Overture'
October 1st, 2018: Danny Boy
September 24th, 2018: Dvorak's 'From The New World' Symphony, 4th Movement
September 17th, 2018: Deep River
September 10th, 2018: Muleskinner Blues
September 3rd, 2018: Boomer Sooner
August 20th, 2018: Psalm 23
August 13th, 2018: Ashokan Farewell
August 6, 2018: How the West Was Won
July 23rd, 2018: I Just Can't Wait to Be King
July 16th, 2018: 'Jupiter' from 'The Planets'
July 9th, 2018: Hail to the Spirit of Liberty
July 2nd, 2018: Turn The Tide
June 25th, 2018: Good Guys Win
June 18th, 2018: Watching You
June 11th, 2018: Adoration
June 4th, 2018: March from 'A Moorside Suite'
May 28th, 2018: Taps
May 21st, 2018: Listz's La Campanella
May 14th, 2018: Handful of Weeds
May 7th, 2018: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
April 30th, 2018: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 ("Heroic")
April 23rd, 2018: Blow Ye The Trumpet
April 16th, 2018: Asturias (Leyenda)
April 9th, 2018: Old Mountain Dew
April 2nd, 2018: His Life For Mine
March 19th, 2018: See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!
March 12th, 2018: Choctaw Nation
March 5th, 2018: Hark, I Hear The Harps Eternal
February 19th, 2018: The Olympic Spirit
February 12th, 2018: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
January 29th, 2018: Hail to the Chief
January 23rd, 2018: Waltz in A-Flat Major, Op. 39 No. 15
January 15th, 2018: Bleed The Same
January 8th, 2018: Saint-Saëns' Symphony No.3 'Organ' (Maestoso)
December 25th, 2017: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 18th, 2017: I Saw Three Ships (The Piano Guys)
December 11th, 2017:Who Is He In Yonder Stall
December 4th, 2017: Carol of the Bells (Mannheim Steamroller)
November 27th, 2017: Joy to the World!
November 20th, 2017: We Gather Together
November 13th, 2017: Mansions of the Lord
November 6th, 2017: Träumerei
October 30th: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 23rd, 2017: In Christ Alone
October 16th, 2017: When I'm Knee Deep In Bluegrass
October 9th, 2017: I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb
October 2nd, 2017: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (Brahms)
September 25th, 2017: Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in C minor ('Pathétique')
September 11th, 2017: Have You Forgotten?
September 4th, 2017: Bach's Double Violin Concerto
August 28th, 2017: Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord
August 21st, 2017: The Heavens Are Telling The Glory of God
August 14th, 2017: Beethoven's 5th Symphony
August 7th, 2017: 'Lift High The Name Of Jesus' medley
July 31st, 2017: Fanfare for the Common Man
July 24th, 2017: Variations on 'Happy Birthday'
July 10th, 2017: Summer (Presto) from Vivaldi's Four Seasons
July 3rd, 2017: Freelance Fireworks Hall of Fame
June 26th, 2017: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
June 19th, 2017: A Christian Home
June 12th, 2017: Ol' Man River
June 5th, 2017: Choctaw Cowboy
May 29th, 2017: Armed Forces Salute
May 22nd, 2017: Double Bass Concerto No.2 in B minor
May 15th, 2017: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major
May 8th, 2017: The Army Goes Rolling Along
April 17th, 2017: He Is Alive
April 10th, 2017: Surely He Hath Borne/And With His Stripes/All We Like Sheep
April 3rd, 2017: Here Comes Carolina
March 27th, 2017: 'Spring' from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'
March 20th, 2017: Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation") Finale
March 13th, 2017: The Pigeon on the Gate
March 6th, 2017: Finlandia
February 27th, 2017: When I Can Read My Title Clear
February 20th, 2017: William Tell Overture - Finale
February 13th, 2017: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 6th, 2017: White Winter Hymnal
January 30th, 2017: Hail, Columbia
January 23rd, 2017: Hail to the Chief
January 16th, 2017: Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
January 2nd, 2017: Auld Lang Syne
December 26th, 2016: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
December 19th, 2016: I Wonder as I Wander
December 12th, 2016: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 5th, 2016: A Christmas Festival
November 28th, 2016: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 21st: Beethoven's 'Hymn of Thanksgiving'
November 14th: Hymn to the Fallen
November 7th: This World Is Not My Home
October 31st, 2016: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 24th, 2016: 'Mars', from 'The Planets'
October 17th, 2016: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
October 10th, 2016: Spain
October 3rd, 2016: International Harvester
September 26th, 2016: 'The Imperial March' from Star Wars
September 19th, 2016: Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound
September 12th, 2016: Before the Throne of God Above
September 5th, 2016: The Hunt
August 29th, 2016: Liberty
August 22nd, 2016: Summon the Heroes
August 15th, 2016: Bugler's Dream
August 8th, 2016: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
August 1st, 2016: 'Prelude' and 'Parade of the Charioteers' from Ben-Hur
July 25th, 2016: How The West Was Won
July 18th, 2016: Six Studies in English Folk Song
July 11th, 2016: From Everlasting To Everlasting
July 4th, 2016: The Stars and Stripes Forever
June 27th, 2016: Rule, Britannia!
June 20st, 2016: Bugler's Holiday
June 13th, 2016: Ride of the Valkyries
June 6th, 2016: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54, Allegro Vivace
May 30th, 2016: Armed Forces Salute
May 23rd, 2016: Paid in Full (Through Jesus, Amen)
May 16th, 2016: Overture from 'Carmen'
May 9th, 2016: L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1 - Prelude
May 2nd, 2016: My God Is a Rock
April 25th, 2016: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
April 18th, 2016: Paganini's Caprice No. 24 in A Minor
April 11th, 2016: Fantasia on a 17th Century Tune
April 4th, 2016: Hark The Sound/I'm a Tarheel Born
March 28th, 2016: Rustle of Spring
March 21st, 2016: 'Ode to Joy' sung by a 10,000-voice choir
March 14th, 2016: Hard Times Come Again No More
March 7th, 2016: 'The Suite' from Downton Abbey
February 29th, 2016: Moonlight Sonata
February 22nd, 2016: Liebestraum No. 3
February 15th, 2016: Help Is On The Way
February 8th, 2016: God of Grace and God of Glory
February 1st, 2016: 'My Story'
January 25th, 2016: Israeli Concertino
January 18th, 2016: What Grace is Mine
January 11th, 2016: "Meditation" from Thaïs
January 4th, 2016: Praeludium and Allegro
December 28th, 2015: Appalachian Carol
December 21st, 2015: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 14th, 2015: O Holy Night
December 7th, 2015: Christmas Fantasy
November 23rd, 2015: Simple Gifts
November 16th, 2015: Preacher Tell Me Like It Is
November 9th, 2015: Armed Forces Salute
November 2nd, 2015: Amazing Grace
October 26th, 2015: The Harmonious Blacksmith
October 19th, 2015: Liberty Fanfare
October 12th, 2015: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
October 5th, 2015: Elgar's 'Enigma' Finale
September 28th, 2015: Stayed on Jesus
September 21st, 2015: Great Gate of Kiev
September 14th, 2015: Nearer, My God, To Thee

Saturday, September 28, 2019

AG Hunter: Washington state's new crude oil transport law harms states like OK


Attorney General Hunter Supports Call to Overrule New Washington State Law Regarding Crude Oil Transport

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation in support of North Dakota and Montana’s position that Washington state’s new law regarding crude oil transport interferes with federal law and stands to cause major economic harm to energy-producing states.

Earlier this year, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that requires Bakken crude being shipped through the state by rail to have a lower vapor pressure limit. Attorneys general from North Dakota and Montana promptly petitioned the Trump administration, requesting the federal government overturn the law.

Attorney General Hunter said the new law violates federal laws and stands to harm states like Oklahoma.

“This law targets the energy industry and places significant burdens on energy-producing states, like Oklahoma,” Attorney General Hunter said. “By creating a new classification for crude oil below a certain vapor pressure, this law gradually implements a ban on facilities in the state that load or unload the oil and creates an economic burden on companies. Additionally, the law violates federal law. Regulating the rail transportation of hazardous materials is the job of the federal government, not the states.”

In the letter, the attorney general notes that shipping energy products by rail is inherently an interstate effort. “States that have access to port cities are uniquely situated to harm landlocked states,” the letter says. Allowing states to ban the transportation of products like Bakken crude oil would effectively transfer national and international energy policy to a few coastal states.

The letter also points to the federal preemption statute that says states may not create laws that make compliance with federal law impossible or are an obstacle to compliance with federal law. Aside from an express waiver from the Secretary of Transportation, a state cannot avoid this expansive preemption. The Hazardous Materials Regulations are national standards and must be uniformly applied across jurisdictional lines.

The letter further explains that if Washington’s law is upheld, it is likely other states will implement their own laws, rather than complying with a federal standard.

“If states can create new classifications of hazardous materials, a patchwork of laws will undermine the uniform federal law, and states with special geographic advantages will wield their newfound power to our disadvantage,” the letter concludes. “We urge you to prevent this law from becoming precedent before it affects states beyond Washington and hazardous materials beyond Bakken Shale oil.”

Federal Study Undercuts Washington Law

The logic behind the new law lowering the vapor limit for Bakken crude traveling through the state of Washington by rail was in response to several train derailments and explosions in recent years. Officials believe by removing the gases in each rail car, it would reduce the risk of derailment and explosions.

However, a recent federal study by Sandia National Laboratories found that vapor pressure is not a significant factor in the severity of train derailments and explosions.

To read the attorney general’s letter, click here.

Joining Oklahoma on the brief are the attorneys general of Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Stitt executive order focuses on contraband cellphones in Oklahoma prisons


GOVERNOR STITT ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER TO ADDRESS CONTRABAND CELLPHONES IN OKLAHOMA PRISONS

Oklahoma City, Okla. (Sept. 27, 2019)— Governor Kevin Stitt announced today a new executive order to address the crises of contraband cellphones in state prisons across Oklahoma. Executive Order (EO) 2019-41 directs the Secretary of Public Safety, the Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) to research and implement technology solutions in order to eliminate the public safety threat of contraband cellphones in Oklahoma prisons and correctional facilities.

“Contraband cellphones in our state prisons have become a serious public safety concern in Oklahoma,” said Governor Stitt. “This is a technology issue that must be answered with a technology solution in order to efficiently and effectively improve safety for our inmates, Department of Correction employees and citizens of Oklahoma. Through EO 2019-41, we are working to address the contraband cellphone crises in order to minimize criminal activity in and out of our prisons.”

“Contraband cellphones are our number-one security threat,” Interim ODOC Director Scott Crow said. “I applaud Governor Stitt, his administration and lawmakers for their leadership and understanding of this critical problem. While our staff seize thousands every year, contraband cellphones cry out for a technological solution. With this order, we will proceed with urgency, researching the most effective and efficient methods to fight this dangerous problem.”

“Working behind the wire is a dangerous job and contraband cellphones add even more to that threat for correctional officers,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R -Oklahoma City. “Contraband cellphones also threaten the safety and wellbeing of inmates by allowing the planning of dangerous activity within prison walls. I appreciate the Governor’s move to pursue ways that the state can crack down on the proliferation of contraband cellphones in state prisons.”

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, an estimated 150 to 200 inmates in an Oklahoma prison initiated acts of violence led by inmate gang leaders and gang members, which spread to five additional Oklahoma prisons during the afternoon of Sunday, September 15, 2019. The premeditated acts of violence were facilitated by communication between inmates using contraband cellphones and resulted in all prisons across the state being placed on lockdown.

The new Executive Order highlights that the increase in contraband cellphones in Oklahoma prisons has resulted in a serious and on-going public safety threat, as the smuggled devices are used to promote criminal activity in and out of prisons.

EO 2019-41 directs the secretaries and DOC to explore all possible technology solutions, including geo-location systems, cellphone jammers, micro cellphone jammers, controlled access systems and hybrid systems, in order to abate the safety concern. EO 2019-41 also directs the secretaries and DOC to work with Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation and Federal agencies to determine what actions are being taken by the Federal government in Federal correctional facilities to eliminate the contraband cellphone crises and research the liability of cellphone service companies that provide cellphone service to or for contraband cellphones and develop a plan to hold those companies accountable.

Once the most cost-effective solutions have been identified, the secretaries and DOC are asked to actively seek and obtain all legal authorizations required for the use of any technologies they plan to utilize and implement the solutions in the facilities that the DOC has identified as areas of concern.

A copy of EO 2019-41 is available by clicking here.

Friday, September 27, 2019

UKB writes Congress in opposition to Cherokee Nation congressional appointment

In an interesting turn of events, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians notified Congress in a letter dated September 16th of their opposition to the Cherokee Nation's appointment of Kimberly Teehee as the Cherokee Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.
RE: Cherokee Congressional Delegate; United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians

To whom it may concern:

I write in my capacity as the Attorney General of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, a federally recognized Cherokee tribal government—recognized by Congress in 1946. Act of August 10, 1946, 60 Stat. 976 (Aug. 10, 1946). Recently, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, another Cherokee tribal government—which was not organized until 1976—claimed to appoint Kimberly Teehee as a Cherokee delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The United Keetoowah Band opposes this appointment. The United Keetoowah Band further opposes any Cherokee delegate being seated in the House until such time as the United Keetoowah Band approves the delegate.

The Cherokees’ right to seat a Congressional delegate stems from Article XII of the Treaty with the Cherokee, 1785, which provides “[t]hat the Indians may have full confidence in the justice of the United States, respecting their interests, they shall have the right to send a deputy of their choice, whenever they think fit, to Congress.” Similarly, Article 7 of the Treaty with the Cherokee, 1835 (7 Stat. 438, 443) provides “they shall be entitled to a delegate in the House of Representatives of the United States whenever Congress shall make provision for the same.”

The United Keetoowah Band is the successor to the Cherokee Treaties of 1785 and 1835. If the House seats any Cherokee delegate, it should be only after consultation with and approval of the United Keetoowah Band. If you have any questions or would like to discuss, please contact myself, Chief Joe Bunch, or Assistant Chief Jamie Thompson.

Sincerely,

Klint A. Cowan
[UKB Attorney General]

(click to view larger)

With about 14,000-15,000 enrolled members, the UKB is one of three federally-recognized Cherokee tribes. The other two are the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (10,000-13,000 enrolled) in North Carolina, and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (about 300,000 enrolled members, although this figure varies by the source, with some as low as 280,000 and others as high as 320,000).

Of the Oklahoma branches of the Cherokee, the UKB gained federal recognition first, in 1946. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma followed in 1976, and there has been tension off and on ever since.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

OCPA column: Many Oklahomans "uninsured" only on paper


Many Oklahomans “uninsured” only on paper
By Jonathan Small

An often-overlooked aspect of the Medicaid-expansion debate is that lawmakers are being asked to expend hundreds of millions more in state spending to insure people who are, effectively, already insured.

Oklahoma’s topline uninsured rate of 14.2% gets headlines, particularly since that’s the second-highest uninsured rate in the country. What goes unnoticed is that many of those people can get coverage or treatment today for little cost, and often for free.

Members of the bicameral Healthcare Working Group were recently informed that an estimated 85,000 uninsured Oklahomans currently qualify for significant federal subsidies. Those individuals already have the ability to buy a policy off a federal exchange with little or no out-of-pocket expense.

Another 19,000 uninsured Oklahomans are already qualified for Medicaid.

Put together, those two groups represent more than 100,000 uninsured Oklahomans. But they are uninsured by choice, not as the result of any financial challenges.

Also, policymakers should not ignore the reality that many Oklahomans can also access treatment through Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities and tribal government programs. While access to those facilities is not counted as being insured, federal officials felt the IHS system was good enough that those who used it were not required to pay the federal Affordable Care Act’s penalty for being uninsured.

According to the Census, 9.3% of Oklahoma’s 3.9 million people are American Indian. Admittedly, many of those individuals have insurance, but that figure includes many who do not. The Self-Governance Communication and Education tribal consortium has estimated more than 129,000 uninsured Oklahomans may be American Indians who can access IHS facilities and care. A speaker at a recent legislative hearing estimated 10 percent of Oklahoma’s uninsured are American Indian

As a result, it is feasible that as many as 200,000 technically uninsured Oklahomans already have access to insurance and/or low-cost health treatment. And that doesn’t even account for all the people who obtain care through Federally Qualified Health Centers, free clinics, and similar facilities. So how does it make sense to spend hundreds of millions more in state tax dollars on Medicaid expansion to insure the (effectively) already-insured?

There are better ways to address Oklahoma’s challenges than Medicaid expansion, particularly in the area of rural infrastructure, such as directing Oklahoma’s tobacco settlement funds to rural hospitals and doctors. And it’s worth noting what is occurring in Texas, which has a higher uninsured rate than Oklahoma but also a higher rate of people with private insurance. An official from OU Medicine recently conceded to legislators that Texas’ booming economy has increased private coverage, which has resulted in better-funded hospitals in that state.

Oklahoma should follow Texas’ lead in this area, and focus on adopting policies that result in greater private-sector job growth, rather than follow the ever-bigger government model of failed states like Illinois and California.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Gold: Sen. Jim Inhofe announces 'Climate Hypocrite Awards'

Inhofe Announces Climate Hypocrite Awards
Awards Coincide with Global Climate Week

Monday, September 23, 2019 -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced the first of his Climate Hypocrite Awards [on Monday]. He plans to announce five in total for the week – one each day of Global Climate Week.

“It is easy to get swept up in the rhetoric of climate alarmists, but it’s important to remember the facts. Climate alarmists are eager to tell Americans that they need to take radical action, including going vegan, ending air travel,  not having children and eliminating fossil fuels and nuclear energy, but they aren’t willing to back up their data or take the actions they prescribe to everyone else.

“This week, while the rest of the world discusses how to use the climate agenda to turn over our economic system to the federal government and international organizations, I’m going to be serving up a dose of reality by recognizing some of the most notable climate hypocrites.”

#5: Michael Mann

“To kick off Global Climate Week, it seems most fitting to first recognize Michael Mann, the architect of the discredited ‘Hockey Stick’ graph who tells people to believe the science but was implicated in manipulating data in Climategate and refuses to provide the data to back up his graph.”

#4: Former President Obama

"Despite stating ‘[r]ising sea levels threaten every coastline,’ that didn’t stop former President Obama from reportedly acquiring a 29 acre, $15 million ocean front estate on Martha’s Vineyard. His actions clearly show he doesn’t believe his own rhetoric, but this is all too common for elite, liberal climate doomsdayers who say one thing but do another."

#3: Climate Conference Attendees 

“U.N. climate officials and Hollywood elites share some things in common – they both use fear to push their radical climate agenda while traveling the world on carbon-intensive transportation and telling everyone else to stay home. Make no mistake – their motivation isn’t about saving the environment – it’s about controlling our lives.”

#2: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

“Today’s award goes to proud socialist and Democrat standard-bearer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who is well known for bad ideas but also for climate hypocrisy. Despite claiming, ‘The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change’, she doesn’t seem to have any problem frequently utilizing rideshare apps or airfare over “eco-friendly” public transit and walking. Her radical Green New Deal would put countless Americans out of work – it would end America as we know it – but AOC doesn’t think twice about living lavishly in her luxury apartment building, taking a car one mile to work, and believing her $174,000 taxpayer-funded salary should be higher.”

#1: Al Gore

“Last, but certainly not least, Al Gore has earned the grand prize of America’s greatest climate hypocrite. Whether it’s Gore’s chartered jets around the country or the fact his home uses up to 34 times more energy than the average American household, he’s never wavered in his calls for everyone else to, ‘…make [environmental] changes in their own lives.’ The actual ‘Inconvenient Truth’ is his hypocrisy – it is beyond absurd but typical of Hollywood elites.”

Oklahoma's congressional delegation comments on Pelosi's impeachment announcement

Following the announcement made today by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that the House would launch a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, most of Oklahoma's congressional delegation made some sort of comment, including 5th District Democrat Congresswoman Kendra Horn. Sen. James Lankford and Rep. Frank Lucas (R, OK-03) are the only ones at this point to have not issued a statement.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following statement regarding Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry announcement: “Democrats have been conducting an impeachment investigation for months, and they’ve been investigating President Trump since he took office. Today’s announcement by Speaker Pelosi, while an escalation of Democrat smear tactics, is nothing new. It just proves, yet again, that they are desperate and singularly focused on discrediting and delegitimizing President Trump, no matter what, in spite of his successes with the economy, military and judges.”
Rep. Kevin Hern (R, OK-01)
Rep. Hern reacts to Pelosi’s impeachment announcement

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) released this statement following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement this afternoon to begin an impeachment inquiring into President Donald Trump.

“The left has proven that they can and will spin anything into an impeachment frenzy. Their MO is to call for impeachment first and sort through the facts later,” said Rep. Hern. “They wasted 2 years and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars investigating the President’s ties to Russia during the campaign, promising it would lead to incrimination and impeachment, but found nothing. President Trump has been a successful and effective President, our booming economy is proof that his policies work. But the Democrats will do anything to halt his progress. They’ve wasted their first 9 months in the majority – they have no legislative accomplishments to speak of!”

Rep. Hern continued, “Instead of showing leadership for the American people, they cannot take their focus away from impeachment and halting President Trump’s success. Today’s announcement is just another ring in their impeachment circus, further proving that their caucus is dysfunctional, chaotic, and blind to the desires of the American people.”

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R, OK-02)
Markwayne Mullin commented about the matter on Twitter:
Pelosi Democrats have been dead set on resisting President Trump since the day he was elected. They have wasted time and taxpayer dollars on investigation after investigation and now they’re taking it a step further with a baseless impeachment investigation. Will they ever stop this witch hunt? This is nothing more than a distraction from their failed socialist agenda. The American people deserve better than this ridiculous charade.
Rep. Tom Cole (R, OK-04)

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House will start an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

“Speaker Pelosi and her fellow Democrats are doing an enormous disservice to the country by recklessly pursuing a partisan impeachment inquiry that puts the priorities of their Caucus ahead of the needs of the American people," said Cole. "Whether right or wrong, it’s clear that House Democrats have already decided what they want to believe. This is an alarming disservice to the American people, who rely on their lawmakers to seek the truth – not politically motivated smear campaigns.

“As an elected body of members entrusted with defending the Constitution, the People’s House should be working to actually improve the lives of the American people. Unfortunately, Democrats are set on condemning the president at every turn and in the process damaging the House as an institution.”

Rep. Kendra Horn (D, OK-05)

Oklahoma's lone Democratic member of Congress, Kendra Horn, also posted on Twitter:
When I was sworn into office, I took a sacred oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I take that responsibility very seriously.

It is my job as a member of Congress to ensure our democracy stays strong. That means pursuing the truth and protecting ourselves from foreign adversaries. Our national security should never be partisan.

It is time we find a bipartisan path to bring people together and get to the truth in an honest and methodical manner. To do that, we need all of the facts. This should be a detailed and responsible investigation and not one conducted in a media circus. Americans are tired of finger pointing. We should do the job we were sent here to do.

I believe the testimony from the Director of National Intelligence on Thursday is essential to help us learn what happened and when. The rule of law also requires the administration to release the whistleblower report. Our nation has laws to protect whistleblowers and to protect the security of our elections, both of which are fundamental to our democracy.

In the meantime, I will continue to focus on key challenges facing Oklahomans every day like tackling rising health care costs and improving our education system.

Stitt issues executive order to create accountability with Federal dollars pursued by state agencies


GOVERNOR STITT ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER TO CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY WITH FEDERAL DOLLARS PURSUED BY STATE AGENCIES

Oklahoma City, Okla. (Sept. 24, 2019)  – Governor Kevin Stitt announced today a new executive order to create stronger oversight and accountability for state agencies’ pursuit of new federal funds and other grant resources. Executive Order (EO) 2019-40 requires state agencies, boards or commissions to first submit any grant application for review to the office of the Governor and for approval by the Secretary of Budget before the agency’s final submission to the funding source.

“For the first time in state history, our executive budget this year outlined total dollars spent by state agencies, to include roughly 30% of funding that comes from the federal government,” said Gov. Stitt. “In this administration, we are focused on delivering transparency, accountability and oversight of Oklahomans’ tax dollars, whether it’s generated through the feds, fees, or fines. With this executive order, we will work to avoid the pursuit of short-term money that often leaves taxpayers holding the bag when the funding dries up, while also making certain that the grants we do apply for match the vision and values of Oklahoma.”

“Federal dollars are a significant part of the State’s total $19 billion budget,” said Secretary of Budget Mike Mazzei. “We’ve collaborated with the entire cabinet in order to address federal grants in a thoughtful manner that will streamline the approval process and comply with federal requirements to maintain a centralized database.”

EO 2019-40 requires all state agencies, boards, and commissions (other than State higher education member institutions and local school district boards) that desire to apply for a grant of $50,000 or more, including but not limited to grants from state government, private or public foundations, individuals, and non-profit organizations, to obtain the written approval of the appropriate Cabinet Secretary prior to beginning the grant application process. 

If a grant application is approved, the Cabinet Secretary will communicate the details of the grant application to the Secretary of Budget.

EO 2019-40 also requires state agencies, boards, and commissions (other than State higher education member institutions and local school district boards) that desire to apply for a grant in excess of $100,000 of any kind from the Federal government to obtain the written approval of the appropriate Cabinet Secretary and the Secretary of Budget prior to beginning the grant application process.

The executive order does not apply to “emergency” grant funds from the Federal government where the time from application to distribution of funds is typically less than 10 days, as is often the case with grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and any “formula” grants from the Federal government that an agency, board, or commission has applied for in the past and received.

The Secretary of Budget is designated as the State of Oklahoma’s single point of contact (“SPOC”) under Presidential Executive Order 12372 to act as the State’s contact for the coordination and review of any proposed Federal assistance and/or direct Federal development.

A copy of EO 2019-40 is available by clicking here.

School choice supporters to celebrate 20 years of charter schools


Charter School Supporters to Celebrate on Oct. 17 in Oklahoma City

Charter school students, parents and advocates are gathering at the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City on October 17 at 10 AM to celebrate 20 years of public charter schools in Oklahoma.

The event celebrates the passage of HB 1759, the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act, which allowed charter schools to open in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties. Since then, legislation has passed allowing charter schools to open statewide. There are now 36,000 students in 66 charter schools operating in all 77 counties. Charter schools are free and are part of the public school system.

The October 17 event will feature remarks from elected officials, charter school educators and parents. The event is open to the public, but attendees are requested to RSVP at https://www.edchoicematters.org/charter-20th.

The event is being organized by ChoiceMatters and the Oklahoma Public Charter School Association.

ChoiceMatters Executive Director Robert Ruiz said the event is an opportunity for parents and students to voice support for their school and others like it.

“Public charter schools are drivers of innovation, creativity and best practices across the education field,” said Ruiz. “They are also one of the key ways families get to exercise choice in public education. No one is assigned a charter school; every student at every charter has chosen to be there. We think this is worth celebrating, and that’s what we’ll be doing on October 17.”

Oklahoma Public Charter School Association and Santa Fe South Public Schools Superintendent Chris Brewster said charter schools have a record of excellence that is worth celebrating.

“Oklahoma’s public charter schools offer a rich and rewarding learning experience for the students and families who choose a charter school,” said Brewster. “For 20 years, charter schools have been an important piece of our state’s educational system by providing an outstanding education to the students we serve.”

For more information, go to https://www.edchoicematters.org/charter-20th

Public Charter School 20th Anniversary:

  • What: A celebration of 20 years of Oklahoma public charter schools
  • Who: Charter school parents, students and supporters
  • When: 10 AM, Oct. 17
  • Where: Devon Lawn and Band Shell at the Myriad Gardens

Monday, September 23, 2019

Music Monday: Pictures at an Exhibition (Great Gate of Kiev)

This week's Music Monday is Pictures at an Exhibition (10. Great Gate of Kiev), by 19th-century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. Originally a ten-piece piano suite, French composer Maurice Ravel orchestrated this particular version in 1922.

Enjoy! 


See below for all previous Music Monday posts. Do you have a song you'd like to suggest for a future Music Monday? Email me at JamisonFaught@MuskogeePolitico.com.

September 16th, 2019: The Streets of Laredo (Piano Puzzler)
September 9th, 2019: I'm Ready To Go
August 26th, 2019: It Is Not Death To Die
August 5th, 2019: 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
July 29th, 2019: Let It Be Said Of Us
July 15th, 2019: Bach's "Little" Fugue in G Minor
July 8th, 2019: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
July 1st, 2019: Medley of Sousa Marches
June 24th, 2019: Seventy-Six Trombones
June 17th, 2019: I Want To Be That Man
June 3rd, 2019: "Les Toreadors" from 'Carmen'
May 20th, 2019: Lonesome Road
May 13th, 2019: Mr. Mom
April 29th, 2019: Have Faith in God (Muskogee's hymn)
April 15th, 2019: The Government Can
March 25th, 2019: Transcendental Étude No. 4, "Mazeppa"
March 18th, 2019: St. Patrick's Day in the Morning
March 11th, 2019: What Wondrous Love is This
March 4th, 2019: Scandinavian Waltz
February 18th, 2019: Adagio for Strings
February 11th, 2019: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 4th, 2019: Columbia, Gem of the Ocean
January 7th, 2019: Loch Lomond
December 31st, 2018: Auld Lang Syne
December 24th, 2018: Remember O, thou Man
December 17th, 2018: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 10th, 2018: Carol of the Bells (medley)
December 3rd, 2018: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 26th, 2018: Happy Birthday
November 19th, 2018: My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness
November 12th, 2018: Hymn to the Fallen
October 29th, 2018: A Mighty Fortress is Our God
October 22nd, 2018: Hymn to Red October
October 15th, 2018:  Indian Reservation ("Cherokee People")
October 8th, 2018: Wagner's 'Columbus Overture'
October 1st, 2018: Danny Boy
September 24th, 2018: Dvorak's 'From The New World' Symphony, 4th Movement
September 17th, 2018: Deep River
September 10th, 2018: Muleskinner Blues
September 3rd, 2018: Boomer Sooner
August 20th, 2018: Psalm 23
August 13th, 2018: Ashokan Farewell
August 6, 2018: How the West Was Won
July 23rd, 2018: I Just Can't Wait to Be King
July 16th, 2018: 'Jupiter' from 'The Planets'
July 9th, 2018: Hail to the Spirit of Liberty
July 2nd, 2018: Turn The Tide
June 25th, 2018: Good Guys Win
June 18th, 2018: Watching You
June 11th, 2018: Adoration
June 4th, 2018: March from 'A Moorside Suite'
May 28th, 2018: Taps
May 21st, 2018: Listz's La Campanella
May 14th, 2018: Handful of Weeds
May 7th, 2018: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
April 30th, 2018: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 ("Heroic")
April 23rd, 2018: Blow Ye The Trumpet
April 16th, 2018: Asturias (Leyenda)
April 9th, 2018: Old Mountain Dew
April 2nd, 2018: His Life For Mine
March 19th, 2018: See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!
March 12th, 2018: Choctaw Nation
March 5th, 2018: Hark, I Hear The Harps Eternal
February 19th, 2018: The Olympic Spirit
February 12th, 2018: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
January 29th, 2018: Hail to the Chief
January 23rd, 2018: Waltz in A-Flat Major, Op. 39 No. 15
January 15th, 2018: Bleed The Same
January 8th, 2018: Saint-Saëns' Symphony No.3 'Organ' (Maestoso)
December 25th, 2017: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 18th, 2017: I Saw Three Ships (The Piano Guys)
December 11th, 2017:Who Is He In Yonder Stall
December 4th, 2017: Carol of the Bells (Mannheim Steamroller)
November 27th, 2017: Joy to the World!
November 20th, 2017: We Gather Together
November 13th, 2017: Mansions of the Lord
November 6th, 2017: Träumerei
October 30th: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 23rd, 2017: In Christ Alone
October 16th, 2017: When I'm Knee Deep In Bluegrass
October 9th, 2017: I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb
October 2nd, 2017: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (Brahms)
September 25th, 2017: Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in C minor ('Pathétique')
September 11th, 2017: Have You Forgotten?
September 4th, 2017: Bach's Double Violin Concerto
August 28th, 2017: Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord
August 21st, 2017: The Heavens Are Telling The Glory of God
August 14th, 2017: Beethoven's 5th Symphony
August 7th, 2017: 'Lift High The Name Of Jesus' medley
July 31st, 2017: Fanfare for the Common Man
July 24th, 2017: Variations on 'Happy Birthday'
July 10th, 2017: Summer (Presto) from Vivaldi's Four Seasons
July 3rd, 2017: Freelance Fireworks Hall of Fame
June 26th, 2017: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
June 19th, 2017: A Christian Home
June 12th, 2017: Ol' Man River
June 5th, 2017: Choctaw Cowboy
May 29th, 2017: Armed Forces Salute
May 22nd, 2017: Double Bass Concerto No.2 in B minor
May 15th, 2017: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major
May 8th, 2017: The Army Goes Rolling Along
April 17th, 2017: He Is Alive
April 10th, 2017: Surely He Hath Borne/And With His Stripes/All We Like Sheep
April 3rd, 2017: Here Comes Carolina
March 27th, 2017: 'Spring' from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'
March 20th, 2017: Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation") Finale
March 13th, 2017: The Pigeon on the Gate
March 6th, 2017: Finlandia
February 27th, 2017: When I Can Read My Title Clear
February 20th, 2017: William Tell Overture - Finale
February 13th, 2017: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 6th, 2017: White Winter Hymnal
January 30th, 2017: Hail, Columbia
January 23rd, 2017: Hail to the Chief
January 16th, 2017: Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
January 2nd, 2017: Auld Lang Syne
December 26th, 2016: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
December 19th, 2016: I Wonder as I Wander
December 12th, 2016: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 5th, 2016: A Christmas Festival
November 28th, 2016: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 21st: Beethoven's 'Hymn of Thanksgiving'
November 14th: Hymn to the Fallen
November 7th: This World Is Not My Home
October 31st, 2016: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 24th, 2016: 'Mars', from 'The Planets'
October 17th, 2016: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
October 10th, 2016: Spain
October 3rd, 2016: International Harvester
September 26th, 2016: 'The Imperial March' from Star Wars
September 19th, 2016: Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound
September 12th, 2016: Before the Throne of God Above
September 5th, 2016: The Hunt
August 29th, 2016: Liberty
August 22nd, 2016: Summon the Heroes
August 15th, 2016: Bugler's Dream
August 8th, 2016: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
August 1st, 2016: 'Prelude' and 'Parade of the Charioteers' from Ben-Hur
July 25th, 2016: How The West Was Won
July 18th, 2016: Six Studies in English Folk Song
July 11th, 2016: From Everlasting To Everlasting
July 4th, 2016: The Stars and Stripes Forever
June 27th, 2016: Rule, Britannia!
June 20st, 2016: Bugler's Holiday
June 13th, 2016: Ride of the Valkyries
June 6th, 2016: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54, Allegro Vivace
May 30th, 2016: Armed Forces Salute
May 23rd, 2016: Paid in Full (Through Jesus, Amen)
May 16th, 2016: Overture from 'Carmen'
May 9th, 2016: L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1 - Prelude
May 2nd, 2016: My God Is a Rock
April 25th, 2016: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
April 18th, 2016: Paganini's Caprice No. 24 in A Minor
April 11th, 2016: Fantasia on a 17th Century Tune
April 4th, 2016: Hark The Sound/I'm a Tarheel Born
March 28th, 2016: Rustle of Spring
March 21st, 2016: 'Ode to Joy' sung by a 10,000-voice choir
March 14th, 2016: Hard Times Come Again No More
March 7th, 2016: 'The Suite' from Downton Abbey
February 29th, 2016: Moonlight Sonata
February 22nd, 2016: Liebestraum No. 3
February 15th, 2016: Help Is On The Way
February 8th, 2016: God of Grace and God of Glory
February 1st, 2016: 'My Story'
January 25th, 2016: Israeli Concertino
January 18th, 2016: What Grace is Mine
January 11th, 2016: "Meditation" from Thaïs
January 4th, 2016: Praeludium and Allegro
December 28th, 2015: Appalachian Carol
December 21st, 2015: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 14th, 2015: O Holy Night
December 7th, 2015: Christmas Fantasy
November 23rd, 2015: Simple Gifts
November 16th, 2015: Preacher Tell Me Like It Is
November 9th, 2015: Armed Forces Salute
November 2nd, 2015: Amazing Grace
October 26th, 2015: The Harmonious Blacksmith
October 19th, 2015: Liberty Fanfare
October 12th, 2015: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
October 5th, 2015: Elgar's 'Enigma' Finale
September 28th, 2015: Stayed on Jesus
September 21st, 2015: Great Gate of Kiev
September 14th, 2015: Nearer, My God, To Thee

Saturday, September 21, 2019

State Election Board Urges Citizens to Register on National Voter Registration Day


State Election Board Urges Citizens to Register on National Voter Registration Day

(Oklahoma City) – National Voter Registration Day is September 24 and the Oklahoma State Election Board is supporting the effort by encouraging citizens across the state to register to vote. State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax reminds Oklahomans that every individual plays a role in promoting the effort.

“It’s our civic duty to vote and registering is the first step. National Voter Registration Day is a great reminder that we all have a responsibility to register to vote in our representative democracy. If you’re already registered to vote, now is the perfect time to verify your registration information or confirm your polling place,” Ziriax said.

Voter Registration Applications are available at your County Election Board or can be downloaded from the State Election Board website at: elections.ok.gov.

To register to vote in Oklahoma:

  • You must be 18 years old on or before an election in which you are eligible to vote.
  • You must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of Oklahoma.
  • You must affirm that you have not been convicted of a felony or if you have been convicted, you have fully served your sentence of court-mandated calendar days, including any term of incarceration, parole or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court.
  • You must affirm that you are not under judgment as an incapacitated person.

The State Election Board says current voters are encouraged to take a minute on National Voter Registration Day to ensure their information is up-to-date using the Online Voter Tool at elections.ok.gov. Changes can be made online provided you have not moved to a new county. If you have moved to a new county, you will need to complete a new Voter Registration Application.

“While applications can be accepted at any time, National Voter Registration Day is a great time to make sure you are ready for the next election,” Ziriax said.

Voter registration events are being held around the country throughout the month of September. For a list of locations hosting voter registration drives or other voter events in Oklahoma, visit us at elections.ok.gov.

National Voter Registration Day was first celebrated in 2012 and is held the fourth Tuesday each September.