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 ...
Brian Williams' six-month suspension has fallen flat. His critics aren't mollified. His supporters are clearly dispirited. Everyone knows this one is not over - though his tenure at NBC may very well be done.
The president's request for the authorization to use military force against the Islamic State has landed in a Congress as divided as the country.
Old songs occasionally need to be refreshed with updated verses.
"A steady patriot of the world alone,
President Barack Obama inserted a jarring note in his speech to the annual Prayer Breakfast by insulting Christians with an inappropriate reference to the Crusades and charging that people "committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ."
How about this year's Super Bowl, huh?
What happened to California's death penalty? There has not been an execution since 2006, when a federal judge ruled against the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld three-drug executions. It didn't matter. Though as candidates Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris - who both personally oppose capital punishment - promised to uphold the law, in real life they've let things slide. Fed up, two men related to murder victims have filed suit to push the state to carry out the law.
Kim Gunoo is a 15-year-old South Korean boy who has lived with perpetual diarrhea since birth.
If the most frequently dialed federal agency in America can't even answer two-thirds of the millions of phone calls it gets, should the government cut its budget?
Seeing clips of that 22-minute video of the immolation of the Jordanian pilot, one wonders: Who would be drawn to the cause of these barbarians who perpetrated such an atrocity?
This year marks the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie, and in these hard times of tinkle-down economics, we sure could use some of his hard-hitting musical stories and inspired lyrical populism.
Life is short, so don't spend it beating yourself up.
I believe that parents should vaccinate their children. Because children are vulnerable, the media have a responsibility to inform parents about the risks involved when they don't vaccinate their children.
"Many people were inconvenienced by the Montgomery bus boycotts. Do you think Rosa Parks should pay restitution for that?" Mollie Costello hectored the Bay Area Rapid Transit board at a recent hearing. Costello is one of the Black Friday 14 - 14 protesters arrested Nov. 28 for shutting down the West Oakland BART station and four of five transit lines for three hours to protest the killing of unarmed black men by police officers.
Old songs occasionally need to be refreshed with updated verses.