Paul Volcker administered the tough medicine when the American economy badly needed it. It was 1980, and the inflation rate had passed 14 percent. OPEC, a cartel of foreign oil producers, had launched an oil embargo against the United States a few years before, causing prices to soar. Older Americans remember long lines of cars snaking to gas ...Read more
A fixture of family Christmas movies is worldly-wise children recovering some of their innocence. "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947) provides an early example.
The new animated film "Klaus" (on Netflix) does not stray from this theme. Children living on an icy island seek a workaround to their toyless Christmas, the work of mean, greedy adults. ...Read more
Elizabeth Warren had great momentum for a while. Then her poll numbers leveled and fell. The standard explanation is that the Democrat's "Medicare for All" plan comes across as too radical -- both the price and the part that would force over 150 million Americans off their employers' private coverage.
But other negatives subtract from Warren's ...Read more
The focus here isn't President Donald Trump. He is a creature unto himself. Rather, this is about his spineless political party, which stands mute, or even supportive, as he breaks U.S. military discipline, morale and leadership.
The GOP used to be the party of superpatriots, always saluting our men and women in uniform. It still playacts. Some...Read more
Editor's Note: The following is a revised version of a column first published in November 2002.
Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays. But there is something almost un-American about it. It is a day opposed to striving, to getting more. We stop adding up the numbers on the scorecard of life. We freeze in place and give thanks ...Read more
Ask not why the Trump administration must dismantle America's environmental laws with such gusto. By now, that's a given. Instead, let's ask why some automakers, businesses that must plan years in advance, are siding with a president intent on sowing chaos in their own industry.
The issue at hand is President Donald Trump's pointless crusade to...Read more
I think Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards meant it when he partly credited his reelection to LSU's and the Saints' winning season. That would be the football teams -- Louisiana State University and the New Orleans Saints.
"People are just in a better mood," the Democrat said. And he did have LSU coach Ed Orgeron vouching for him.
Edwards pulled ...Read more
I'd like to personally bop over the head the next Democrat who says that Michael Bloomberg shouldn't be running for president because he's a billionaire. Let's give thanks that a simple-minded dismissal of rich candidates didn't sink FDR's chances.
Billionaires are not the enemy. If you believe that those raking in astronomical incomes should ...Read more
The (mostly) charming family movie "Mr. Popper's Penguins" is about a divorced father living alone in his posh Manhattan digs. Unexpectedly, he receives two boxes of penguins, and chaos ensues. But the 2011 film has a not-very-subtle subtheme: the prominence of future President Donald Trump as the quintessential rich and heroic New Yorker.
Moderation along with good manners delivered impressive victories to Democrats this week. Case in point was Andy Beshear's win over Republican incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin in the Kentucky governor's race.
Beshear's margin was slim, it is true, but Kentucky is a state that backed Donald Trump in 2016 by 30 points. The president was so alarmed at ...Read more
Are you worried that the economy grew by only 1.9% in the recent quarter? That's a pretty weak performance. But it would seem downright dismal if you believed Donald Trump's assertion during the 2016 campaign that 1.9% growth during one of Barack Obama's quarters signaled an economy "in deep trouble."
Economists are now forecasting 1.8% gross ...Read more
What can you say about "sophisticated" investors who would pile billions into a startup whose 40-year-old founder walks the streets of Manhattan barefooted and says his company's mission is to "elevate the world's consciousness"? Did I mention that his enterprise has yet to turn a penny of profit?
We speak of Japan-based SoftBank and other ...Read more
Beats me why heartland Democrats running for president haven't gained more traction. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan just left the race despite his success in part of the industrial Midwest that delivered the presidency to Donald Trump. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock continues to just hang on, arguing that he's the only Democrat who won statewide office in a ...Read more
What can you say about a political party that argues endlessly about how much they'd have to raise middle-class taxes to pay for a leading candidate's proposal? Elizabeth Warren has run herself -- and much of the Democratic Party -- into this political ditch.
Early on, the Massachusetts senator said, "I'm with Bernie on Medicare." Bernie ...Read more
In her post-mortem on Hillary Clinton's failed candidacy, Donna Brazile noted that her students at Georgetown University truly disliked identity politics.
"They thought that Hillary spent too much time trying to appeal to people based on their race, or their gender, or their sexual orientation," the Democratic strategist wrote in "Hacks," "and ...Read more
There is economic life after coal, and the sooner America's coal country concedes that coal as a power source is about dead, the sooner it can move on to better days. This is the reality of coal. It's on the way out whether President Donald Trump "digs" it or not.
Major U.S. coal companies are falling one by one. They've filed over half a dozen...Read more
On a recent "Saturday Night Live," Bernie Sanders (played by Larry David) exclaimed, "l'm so excited to be back and to ruin things a second time." The audience emitted a nervous laugh.
The Vermont senator's fan base takes great offense at the notion that Sanders was a spoiler in the 2016 election who helped elect Donald Trump. But many ...Read more
My supermarket has a giant "international" food aisle dominated by Asian and Latino products. Which items end up in a section dedicated to a particular foreign culture's cuisine and not mixed in with the so-called American staples -- Heinz, Campbell's, etc. -- fascinates me. Why, for example, is Cafe Santo Domingo on a Dominican Republic shelf...Read more
President Trump's path to reelection goes through the Democratic Party. Goal No. 1 is to get Democrats to eliminate his greatest threat: Joe Biden.
It's not the Iowa and New Hampshire polls that freak out Trump. These contests are dominated by the white liberal gentry, not Biden's huge base of moderates and African Americans. The general ...Read more
Celebrating 70 years of Communist Party rule, Chinese leader Xi Jinping stood in the open sunroof of a Red Flag limousine and shouted, "Greetings, comrades," to the masses below. Xi wore a Mao-style suit to his giant military parade, which featured a missile that could carry 10 nuclear warheads and strike anywhere in the United States.