Commentary

Thu
02
May

Mullin It Over: Securing Our Borders and Our Future

Before President Trump took office, the U.S.’s southern border was only covered by man-made barriers along roughly a third of the border. These 654 miles of physical barriers are primarily located in California, Arizona, and New Mexico – leaving the vast majority of the Texas border wide open.

Of the 654 miles of barriers, 300 miles are what is called vehicle fencing, low to the ground and meant for stopping cars, but completely ineffective when it comes to stopping people. The remaining 354 miles are made up of pedestrian fencing, which is designed to specifically prevent people from crossing.

Thu
25
Apr

The Oklahoma Standard

This Easter, I found myself thinking more about the importance of serving one another.

My wife and I have always taught our kids to follow the Golden Rule of the Bible: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

As a Christian, I believe that it is our duty to take care of our friends, our neighbors, and those we do not know.

During this Easter week, we also remember the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing and the loved ones left behind on that horrible day 24 years ago.

As we mourn the worst act of homegrown terrorism in our country’s history, we also reflect on a term coined on April 19, 1995: the “Oklahoma Standard.”

 

 

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Thu
25
Apr

Remember to Always Give with a Sincere Heart

While He was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on His head.

Mark14:3

How do you show love to those closest to you? Is it through words, actions, gifts, time, or touch? Dr. Gary Chapman, in his book, The Five Love Languages, goes into detail about the way that people receive and give love.

Individuals tend to gravitate toward one or more of these love languages as the manner in which they best express or receive love.

In any relationship it can be very helpful that we understand that we each may fall in love differently. Such awareness can help take the guesswork out of each other’s expectations and needs. It can also help us to be more understanding and respectful of each other when their acts of love are different than what we expect.

 

 

Thu
25
Apr

Thank You

Okay, so here it is, my last column for The Madill Record. It is with sincerity and appreciation that I am letting you know that I have decided to leave my position as editor of the paper.

My wedding is this weekend, and at some point a couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to try something new after the wedding. I think I made the comment, “I’m changing my last name, so why not make some other changes?”

I have decided to pursue a career in elementary education, and while I am preparing to do that, I am going to work in preschool education. That desire has actually always been in the back of my mind ever since I started my college career.

I am the type of person that when I start something, I finish it. Usually, I do it all by myself because I know it will get done right (Yes, I do know that’s a ridiculous thought).

 

 

Thu
18
Apr

A Misused Majority

It’s now been more than 100 days since Democrats have held the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. And, from day one, House Democrats have misused that majority by playing political games, casting show votes, and embracing radical ideas—instead of working in a bipartisan manner to craft legislation that can realistically become law in a divided government.

While the current Congress started amid a partial government shutdown, that shutdown was needlessly extended due to political games initiatedby Democrats. Even though President Trump and Republicans in both chambers were ready and willing to negotiate in good faith and reopen the government, Democrats chose to waste time on nonstarter appropriations bills that ignored the sticking point issue of border security.

Thu
18
Apr

Priced Out of a Life-Saving Drug

More than 355,000 adults in Oklahoma are currently living with diabetes. For each of those people, access to affordable insulin is not just an ongoing concern, but a matter of life and death.

Diabetes is the most expensive chronic disease in the United States. From 2002 to 2013, the list price of insulin nearly tripled, causing patient out-of-pocket expenses to double. Instead of spending an average of $7.80 per day for an average amount of insulin, individuals can now expect to pay roughly $15 a day for insulin.

With more Oklahomans enrolling in high deductible health plans, more individuals are exposed to higher out-of-pocket costs for insulin. In 2018 alone, 39 percent of insulin users reported paying more for insulin than they did in 2017.

 

 

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Thu
18
Apr

Political, Policy Skills are Merging

Politicians running for office have a choice. They can appeal to their base and count on it pushing them over the top, or they can try to build a coalition of voters.

The former gives us more politicians who don’t show much interest in crafting broadly acceptable policy. But, if they choose instead to run their campaigns by reaching out to a broader swath of the electorate, and if we as voters reward them for this at the polls, then they come to Washington with exactly the skills needed to make our representative democracy work.

We live in a time of great polarization and declining trust: in politicians, in institutions, in one another. Our representative democracy is in stress, if not in peril.

We need to return to our traditional approach: coalition-building across diverse groups of people. We succeed in politics and in governing the country by building a broad base of support that appeals to a wide sector of American society.

 

 

Thu
18
Apr

Easter – Think about It ’

Easter is an exciting day for Christians around the world. Churches around the globe look forward to celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

Clergy persons look forward to a one-day larger attendance. Church choirs and music programs try to shine brighter and give their best effort. For one day the light and victory of new life and victory over death rings bright in a world filled with so much gloom and death.

Merchants will sell some clothes as some people still buy new outfits for Easter. Some people are like me in that I got over worrying about what clothes to wear to church a long time ago. I still dress up sometimes, of course, but I don’t mind wearing an old suit.

Attitudes are changing toward Easter in America. Many church crowds have dwindled, and Easter doesn t seem to resurrect some of the religious dead anymore. There was a day when people who never attended church all year would rise up and go. Today, that’s happening less.

 

 

Thu
11
Apr

Accountability Makes Good Government

As various House committees gear up for a season of investigations and hearings on President Trump and his administration, a lot of people worry that progress on the nation’s challenges will grind to a halt.

I would argue just the opposite: the wheels of government are turning in favor of accountability.

Our system rests squarely on the notion that government officials — whether elected or appointed — need to be accountable to the people they govern.

 

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Thu
11
Apr

Go to the Doctor. Fix it. Let it Heal.

I often joke that I’ve had surgery from my nose to my toes. When I broke my leg over Christmas last year, I went to the surgeon and got it set back in place and wore a boot for a few months. I knew the leg was broken. I knew I needed to go to the doctor to fix it. I knew it would heal.

Not all fixes in our healthcare system are as straightforward as a broken leg. Serving in Congress has put me right in the middle of one of our nation’s biggest debates: how to treat patients with mental health and substanceuse disorders.

 

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