144 results for author: Phil Anderson


Fixing Deficits With Better Priorities

“Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” Ambrose BierceConservatives supposedly are for fiscal responsibility. We should live within our means. The government should not, according to them, spend more than it takes in taxes. As a corollary, taxes hurt the economy and must always be cut. These pious platitudes superficially sound good but are misleading and destructive in many ways.Actions speak louder than words. The historical record shows that since 1980 federal deficits and increases in the national debt occurred most often under Republican leadership. ...

When is Enough Enough?

The proposed federal budget for FY 2020 has been released. The big winner, again, is the Pentagon and the weapons industry. Endless wars produce endless military spending.Most Americans know we spend a lot of money on the military and wars. Many of them blindly believe this is necessary to protect the country. But the more we spend the less safe we are. In addition we are not winning the wars. As William J. Astore. USAF LT COL (Ret.), has written,“When it comes to the “world’s greatest military,” the news has been shocking... as the U.S. military spans the globe, it’s regularly experiencing the agony of defeat rather than the thrill of ...

Action Alert

Stopping Trump #39’s assumption of emergency powers will require massive citizenaction. The House and Republican controlled Senate have voted to overturn the declaration.But Trump vetoed the resolutions. Overriding a veto will be very difficult and will only happenwith extraordinary public pressure.Lawsuits have been filed to end the declaration. But these may take years to resolve and theoutcome is not assured. Most federal judges have been appointed by Republican presidents.Historically the courts, especially the U.S. Supreme Court, have been very conservative. We cannot rely on the courts to prevent abuse of power by Trump.Trump ...

ORIGINAL INTENT, SUPREME COURT ELECTIONS, AND THE 2ND AMENDMENT

Wisconsin has a Supreme Court election on April 2nd. If you have been following this race, or paying attention to any of the U.S Supreme Court nomination hearings, you have heard a lot of noise about judicial philosophy and “original intent.” What does this mean? Is it important?Original intent is the idea that the Constitution and other laws must be interpreted based on the original intent or meaning of the authors. This view sees the Constitution as a static document frozen in time. It can only be changed by the formal amendment process. This is in contrast to a “living constitution” in which meanings and application of law evolve over ...

WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT

“Get involved. The world is run by those who show up” - Bumper stickerWisconsin has another important Supreme Court election on April 2nd. This is an election that people need to take seriously. Who gets elected can make a difference to people's lives. People need to show up!This year's election is similar to the Supreme Court race in 2018. The choice is between two sitting judges and the qualifications of the two candidates varies significantly. Judge Lisa Neubauer is an experienced, qualified, non-partisan, candidate. Judge Brian Hagedorn has limited experience, less impressive qualifications, and obvious partisan connections. Hagedorn has ...

The Year of Clean Drinking Water

It is a remarkable question to have to ask: Why do people oppose protecting our air and water? One would think protecting these vital resources would not be a controversial or a political issue. Everyone's heath and the health of the economy depend on clean water and air. Tourism, agriculture and many other industries must have clean water. You aren't going to have many tourists coming north to see smog and enjoy “dead zone” rivers and lakes.Governor Tony Evers is trying to move the state forward on these issues. Will the Republican controlled legislature cooperate? Will the people of Wisconsin support the Governor and push their legislative ...

Fixing Market Madness

“The focus by elites on making money out of money rather than making real goods and services has led to wealth for the few, and overall national economic decline. In a financialized economy, the financial tail is wagging the economic dog.” Steve Denning, (Forbes magazine, May 31, 2015)America used to make things, but now we make financial deals. Leveraged buy-outs, mergers, hostile takeovers, and similar stock manipulation games don't actually grow the real economy. None of this increases sales or production. None of it improves the financial security of the majority of us. But it makes money for the deal makers and it accumulates wealth at the ...

Latin American Deja Vu

Deja vu is French for the feeling that something is strangely familiar. You feel like you are experiencing something that you have already experienced. For anyone even vaguely familiar with the history of U.S. interventions in Latin America, the news about Venezuela should spawn Deja vu. In the words of a song by Vietnam veteran Pat Scanlon,“I've got a feeling I've been here beforeIn a jungle in a dirty little war Young men can die so fastMy God let's not repeat the pastI've got a feeling I've been here before.” *The U.S. has frequently intervened in other countries, usually with disastrous results for us and the victim country. We ...

‘IF YOU ARE NOT OUTRAGED YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION” Action Alert

Trump's declaration of emergency is a blatant attempt to bypass congressional control over federal spending. Having failed to get the money he wanted to build the wall, both from the prior Republican controlled House and the latest budget compromise, he is illegally trying to bypass Congress. This is illegal because no actual emergency exists on the border.This is dangerous because a declaration of emergency gives Trump essentially dictatorial powers that can be used to do much more than build a border wall. Given Trump's known impulsive, racist, authoritarian behavior, and his demonstrated ignorance on almost every topic, this is a very dangerous ...

ACTION ALERT

I believe Trump’s declaration is a serious threat to democratic rule of law. It must be defeated and citizens must immediately take action.We cannot wait for the law suits or the Democrats in the House to dither and compromise. The declaration is the real emergency and requires a no-compromise, all-hands-on-deck, public response.“IF YOU ARE NOT OUTRAGED YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION” Action Alert.Trump's declaration of emergency is a blatant attempt to bypass congressional control over federal spending. Having failed to get the money he wanted to build the wall, both from the prior Republican controlled House and the latest budget ...