The Western Hemisphere, from Mexico on down, traditionally served as a happy hunting ground for American business. From the Rio Grande to Cape Horn, cheap labor, cheap oil, cheap copper, cheap gold, cheap bananas, cheap beef, cheap wheat, cheap palm oil, and cheap politicians made Latin American countries attractive places to extract profits.
They were called "checkers," volunteers who posed as potential apartment renters or home buyers during the 1960s, '70s and '80s, responding to possible cases of racial or religious discrimination in housing.
I, for one, am tired of hearing complaints that our giant, bailed-out banks have simply taken the money and run, giving nothing back to society.
They don't fear us, and they don't respect us. That's the only message you can take away from an Egyptian mob's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo during which rioters scaled embassy walls and tore down the American flag on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. President Barack Obama helped ease out Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak - a dictator, yes, but also an ally - to facilitate the Arab Spring, and this is the thanks America gets.
About 30 years ago, Paul Volcker launched a monumental monetary effort to bring down inflation. As Fed chairman, he sold bonds, removed cash from the economy and cared not one wit about rising interest rates. And it worked. Gold plunged, King Dollar soared, and the drop-off in bank reserves and money extinguished high inflation - and actually launched a multi-decade period of very low inflation.
Maybe comparing Republicans to Nazis started with the 1964 Goldwater/Johnson presidential race.
I will never forget the phone ringing on that sunny September morning and my friend Annie telling me to turn on the television because the world was going to hell. My children, then 8 and 11, woke up a few minutes later to see me staring at the images of the planes hitting the towers.
What a good day it is, for only five years after that ugly Wall Street collapse, the Dow Jones Average has soared back above 13,000 and top executive paychecks are at Zippididoodah levels. The only little cloud over this otherwise sunshiny recovery is… well, you. You people for whom Labor Day is named, that is.
The conventions have come and gone, but as always, the TV network "news" coverage of Tampa and Charlotte demonstrated once again that these people have no intention of trying to be equally positive or equally aggressive with the two major parties. Their obvious, but unstated, agenda is to drag Obama over the finish line to re-election.
You've heard of the "October surprise," where candidates hold onto something negative about their opponent, then spring it at the last moment so the opponent won't have time to respond much before Election Day?
While Rep. Todd Akin's pseudo-scientific tommyrot about "legitimate rape" has surged him into the lead for the title of Dottiest and Most Dangerous Political Nut of the Year – never count out us Texans in any hard-nut contest.
The authors of the Democratic platform have inadvertently revealed to the world the sea change that has taken place in that party we once knew.
Perhaps the reason for President Obama's flat and energy-less speech Thursday night - TV cameras panning the convention floor actually showed delegates falling asleep - was that he already knew Friday's jobs numbers were going to be a disaster. The August unemployment report completely punctured his argument that if you just give him four more years, his policies will solve the economy.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - "First shot, straight through, that's how you perform under pressure," Barack Obama said in 2008. They played the quote with a video clip of Obama making a basket at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.
Back in 1988, we had what we thought was a great new idea. There was only one slot for a keynote speech at the Democratic convention on Monday night, but we had two great candidates for the job. One was the late Ann Richards, then the treasurer of the state of Texas and a candidate for governor, famous for her wit and wisdom (remember: George Bush was born "with a silver foot in his mouth"). The other was the governor of Arkansas, a young star of the party, a charismatic speaker, a southern moderate and a good friend. We needed ...
If the Rev. Al Sharpton, the bigoted, anti-Semitic, non-tax paying race-hustling poverty pimp, had any credibility left, it just vanished.
Let's review the rap sheet of Wall Street banks: defrauding investors, cheating homeowners, money laundering, rigging markets, tax evasion, credit card ripoffs… and so sickeningly much more.
As I walked into the pharmacy, the technician who has kept track of all of my prescriptions for years was on an endless call trying to figure out who is going to deliver her baby and where.
Millions of Americans file their federal income tax returns by April 15 each year with no idea what the government actually does with all that money.
Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and his well-armed supporters forced the well-armed federal government to back down and return Bundy's seized cows - which were seized because Bundy, 67, stopped paying grazing fees in 1993. How does anyone get the government to back down?
On our TV talk shows and op-ed pages, and in our think tanks here, there is rising alarm over events abroad. And President Obama is widely blamed for the perceived decline in worldwide respect for the United States.
On April 1, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray was denied a second term, defeated in the primary by upstart city councilwoman Muriel Bowser. The beginning of the end came on March 10, when U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen struck a plea bargain with a wealthy businessman who confessed he'd spent $668,000 on an illegal "shadow campaign" to fund get-out-the-vote efforts that helped Gray win the mayoral office in 2010.
The Social Security Disability Insurance program is in big trouble. In 2016, the program's trust fund is expected to run out of money. When that happens, there will be "large across-the-board cuts for all beneficiaries," warn James Lankford, the Republican chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees entitlements, and Jackie Speier, the subcommittee's ranking Democrat. Those cuts will be painful for the "truly disabled," whom the system originally was designed to serve.
I know I shouldn't be, but I am shocked by Americans' laziness.
"There is a gay mafia," said Bill Maher, "if you cross them you do get whacked."
On a recent morning, after checking news reports, I thought: What a freaky news day.
Billionaires are exploiting a tax break to pass their fortunes along to their heirs and laying the groundwork for dynasties.
It has been more than 40 years since the United States Supreme Court held in Roe v. Wade that a woman, in consultation with her physician, has the right to decide whether to have a child in the early months of pregnancy.
Just before the bankruptcy of the Mt. Gox bitcoin digital-money (or virtual-currency) exchange, Japanese finance minister Taro Aso predicted the inevitable failure. "No one recognizes them as a real currency," he told reporters. "I expected such a thing to collapse."
"While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the (Web). So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better." That moment of fantasy came courtesy of Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker as she announced last week that Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, had caved in to calls that he resign for the Silicon Valley sin of having donated $1,000 to Proposition 8, the California ballot measure to limit marriage to one man and one woman - six years ago.