Ken Collins: The ‘other’ party


There have been some very anti-Obama and anti-Democratic letters in the paper lately. Fine. It’s called free speech. Maybe not fair, but free.

But maybe we should take a look at the “other” party and its ideas. The GOP has done its very best to stop the law of the land in the Affordable Care Act. No, it’s not perfect but it can be fixed. It’s amazing at how the GOP is trying to keep young people from getting health insurance just to justify their lack of ability to pass something of their own when they had the power.

The GOP is against the raising of the minimum wage to an amount that is a livable level. They are against taxing multi-millionaires even 3 percent more with the ridiculous argument that it will cost jobs. They are against helping public education but are for private institutions. They are against any increase in the background checks of gun purchases. They are against any restrictions on assault weaponry. They want to restrict as much as possible the ability of Americans to vote. They are against giving people who believe differently from them the ability to get married on the grounds that it belittles their marriage. They are against women having control of their own bodies and health and reproduction choices. They are against the Environmental Protection Agency even though it was Nixon who got it started.

And maybe worst of all, they cut

$5 billion from the food stamp program that benefits children, the elderly, veterans and in general, the disadvantaged. But cutting the oil industry’s $4 billion subsidy? No way.

Just how cruel does one have to be to be in that party? This is not the GOP of a generation ago. It seems to have changed from the Grand Old Party to the Gouge Other People.

Ken Collins



john bailey 2 years, 12 months ago

somebody has got to stop the left from giving the country away. and the kids get free insurance till they're 26 , what a deal......~;0)


Dan Kuechenmeister 2 years, 12 months ago

" The GOP has done its very best to stop the law of the land in the Affordable Care Act." At least according to Ken Collins. Really! So it is the GOP's fault that the website is a disaster. So it is the the GOP's fault that untold millions are being kicked off the health plans that they chose and were happy with. So it is the GOP's fault that the youngsters that are desperately needed to sign up to keep costs down are not signing up. So it is the GOP's fault that Obama said over and over that if you liked your plan you could keep it, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, period. It looks to me the only thing trying to stop the Affordable Care Act is the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Maybe some of those nasty GOPers, the "Gouge Other People" party actually read the bill before it was passed and concluded that it was not going to work very well. And for those who say that the GOP or conservatives have no plan of their own I have attached a link that might suggest other wise. The Democrats chose to pass the ACA with no Republican support. If it works, hey good for them, if not, oh well it's the old bummerooski.


Joe Meglen 2 years, 12 months ago


You are trapped in the Left/Right – Liberal/Conservative – Democrat/Republican Paradigm, which is exactly what both political parties want. In reality both parties are simply two wings of the Big Government Party which has granted itself a political monopoly. The only difference between the two is who they distribute the loot to. Under the Republicrat party the purpose of government is to allow those that control it to plunder those that don't.

This is not a Left/Right – Liberal/Conservative – Democrat/Republican issue. It is Authoritarianism Collectivism Statism versus individual liberty and freedom. The Republicrat Party is a criminal organization that has destroyed the Constitution and the principles upon which the United States were founded. Today, if a person lives to be 90 years old they will have 90% of their earnings confiscated through direct taxation and the secret tax of inflation created by the unconstitutional Federal Reserve System. If we live to be 90 we will have had 90% of our lives stolen from us by government. If a person is not among the ruling elite or political class that lives off of the productive class, you are an indentured servant. A slave to be plundered by our rulers. The real fight is not Democrat versus Republican, it is freedom versus slavery.


john bailey 2 years, 12 months ago

to wit : "we must pass it to see whats in it". this is the definition of a stool sample....god how I love that line.....~;0)


Fred Duckels 2 years, 12 months ago

I can remember way back when the left's mantra was that "elections have consequences" and hope and change will dwell amongst us. That phrase seems to have evaporated and turned to finger pointing lately. Detroit, Illinois, New York, and California are working on back door bailouts from states that are not steeped in this religion of the left. I think that our local lefties should go back to the states of their origin and change things there.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 12 months ago


New York and California pay more in taxes to the federal than the feds spent in their states. The southern Republican states have the greatest, per capita, gain in federal spending over what they pay in taxes. So the party of transferring federal money to the states of their supporters is the Republicans, not the Democrats.

And California has addressed their budget deficits and unsustainable budget tricks now that both houses of the legislature have super majorities and the Republican obstructionists are powerless.


Fred Duckels 2 years, 12 months ago

California for one has not scratched the surface on their pension and health care giveaways to the unions in return for keeping The Dems in power. Figures don't lie but liars figure.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 12 months ago

Funny how the Republicans switch from saying California is an ungovernable mess to now saying that the Democratically controlled state government hasn't fixed everything.

Pension shortages (and surpluses) are greatly amplified numbers because they extend the current trend for 30 years and then applying compounding interest as if nothing will change in the meantime. So a $100 billion pension shortfall can be fixed by a allocating a couple billion a year and some pension reforms.

At the very least, it should be clear to any worker that an underfunded pension is a pension that isn't going to be paid. So it makes no sense to suggest that government unions are supporting giveaways that will cost them their pensions.


mark hartless 2 years, 12 months ago

There is a "magical" place where everything Ken wants has been happening under complete Democrat party control for 50 years. It's called Detroit... and it's bankrupt.

Before Democrats took over Detroit it was home to the highest paid workforce in the world. But the Democrat dream of de-industrialization and socialization "fixed" all that!

78,000 blighted buildings; some of which have 30+ year-old trees growing in the middle of them.

It has 30,000+ non-functioning streetlights.

The police department recieves 700,000 calls /yr and averages a response time of almostr an hour. I'm sure that's utopia for those who, like Ken don't have or want any guns.

When and IF the cops DO come and investigate a crime they close less than 8.8% of it's cases.

It's violent crime rate is 5 times the nat. average.

Emergency medical and fire response times are more than DOUBLE the average for similar sized cities.

Two thirds of it's parks are closed (I can just imagine how that would go over here in Steamboat).

It's city-owned power plant has been idle for at least 2 years.

A judge just agreed to allow the city to reneg on it's pensions fund (I'm laughing my A** of at that one)

Detroit is Ken Collins' canary in his Democrat utopian coal mine. So, keep champoining the ideals espoused in your letter, Ken. I'm sure your nation will soon realize the same fate.

I wonder why anyone who believes in this kind of hope and change isn't persaonally living in the utopian cities such policies create.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 12 months ago

Wow. All that based on the bizarre opinion that Detroit is some sort of Democratic Party utopia. Detroit has been a deeply troubled city for 50 years largely due to the loss of auto manufacturing including auto parts jobs. Not sure how Detroit city government was supposed to stop offshore manufacturing.

If a political party being in power is responsible for a city's economy then the Democrats can claim Silicon Valley and SF. Thus, apparently, Democratic policies are responsible for Google, Intel, Apple, Oracle and so on. And Republicans are responsible for the poor states of Arkansas and Mississippi and can claim Walmart as an example of the result of their policies.


mark hartless 2 years, 12 months ago

The belief that Detroit is "some sort of Democrat Party utopia" is NOT bizarre. It is FACT. Detroit IS Democrat, ALL THE WAY. Although the word utopia must be used VERY losely. Detroit has been FIRMLY in the hands of people espousing Ken Collins' ideals for 50 years.

Where Detroit municipal gvoernment failed was in refusing to even acknowledge revenue loss, much less PREDICT it. Further, refusing to curb government entitlement spending based on those easily predictable losses, and creating and sustaining an economic environment that, in cooperation with unions like UAW, was hostile to any replacement industry.

Furthemmore, it continued expanding it's bureaucracy and adding to municipal employees numbers and sweetening their pension deals.

Like many Americans today, Detroit entitlement voters thought they could plug an infinite number of ticks onto the dog with impunity. "More anything? More EVERYTHING!!" They found out differently, didn't they?

Make no mistake, it was Democrats and unions that led the way to todays Detroit.

Corruption also played a large part. One of the city's recent Democrat mayors (Killpatrick I believe) was convicted of corruption in a case which cost Detroit taxpayers over $9mil. But, like the Ken Collins' of elsewhere, the people of Detroit STILL did not learn their lesson and hired yet another Democrat mayor.

AS far as Silicone Valley is concerned, the industry which drives that region is much newer and has grown much larger. And how much power does the union have at Google, Apple, Oracle and so on??? The ticks don't usually show up till the dog gets good and fat, but just give it time.


mark hartless 2 years, 12 months ago

And I'd wager most every person in Arkansas and Mississippi, Democrat OR Republican, is damned glad they're not in Detroit.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 11 months ago

And most every person in SF and Silicon Valley are damned glad they are not in Arkansas or Mississippi.

The politics of the current Democratic Party is far more aimed at accepting diverse people, education and skilled jobs than protecting private sector unions. So Silicon Valley is far more in line with a Democratic Party utopia than a city like Detroit that local politics never rose to the severe challenges of massive local job losses.


mark hartless 2 years, 11 months ago

Detroit IS the result of 50 years of Democrat rule. Period.

Democrats and unions made Detroit what it is today. So what if the Democrat party has moved on out to California to be more educated, diverse, inclusive, skilled. They still made the mess that IS Detroit.

Locusts and termites "move on" after they do their best work too, Scott.


john bailey 2 years, 11 months ago

Skilled jobs , your kidding , right? you want fries with that , freeking loser. a union broom pusher hey that's a skilled job.....get a grip OZ or go back to your home state.


mark hartless 2 years, 11 months ago


I welcome the opportunity to explain.

Absolutely, the two parties have become intertwined in their grip on power. However, there are still differences. I liken them to two different wings of the same dirty bird.

Detroit was ruled by a Democrat party which espoused a certain pollitical philosophy. This philosophy, practiced rigidly for 6 decades, failed miserably. I speak of it as a Democrat failure because I want people to see the result of completely sweeping away libertarian ideals such as freedom and personal responsibility.

This does not mean that the two parties do not have an incestious relationship; they most certainly do. This does not mean Republicans do not have "blood on their hands" in other areas; they most certainly do.

But when it comes to Detroit, the train-wreck lies SQUARELY at the feet of what are predominantly Democrat party and Ken Collins' ideals.

Now, your keen insight that "Detroit failed and went bankrupt because corporate America left" is a bit like saying "the house burned down because it caught fire". That explination is incomplete and elementary at best.

If, in life, we truly seek full understanding then we must learn to always ask THE NEXT LOGICAL QUESTION.

In this case that question is WHY did industry leave. The answer you give, while accurate, seems to indict corporate management for doing what is essentially their job; namely, maximizing profit. Although you clearly hold the fat cats at the top in low esteem, you apparently hold unions such as UAW harmless for their role in the upheaval.

I wonder what YOU would do personally if the grocery store which you frequented raised their prices incessantly; and not just a little bit, but to the point that they were 200%, 300%, 400% higher that the "other" store. You might not like the "other" store. Your family members and friends might be employed by your favorite store. But at 500%, 600%, 700% cost for your groceries you WOULD go to the "other" store. And, when confronted, you'd say something like "Well, they priced themselves right out of business..." And you'd be 100% correct.

THAT is what happened to the Auto industry in Detroit and a lot of other industries across the nation. When a guy screwing lug-nuts on a caddillac indoors on padded floors makines $120,000 but still walks off the job you'd fire his ass too if it was your company. And if you wouldn't the market would fire YOU and your entire company.


mark hartless 2 years, 11 months ago

Detroits municipal government's job was to sustain an environment where business would WANT to locate there and fill those voids. It did not.

Their policies made it unlikely that any sane business person would locate there.

The city's population was cut in half. That did not happen overnight. There was plenty of time to turn that city around before it got anywhere near this level of disaster.

But the ruling party continued to cling to their ideals.

Today's Detroit is the result of insisting that "yes we can" trumps the fact that the checkbook says NO YOU CAN'T.


David Ihde 2 years, 11 months ago

Ken, just who do you think you're fooling? The Democrats lost the 2010 election in a large way because of Obamacare ( ACA ). The Republicans were not sent there to fix a law that the "other" party shoved down the American peoples throat. They were sent there to repeal it! Short of that, they were sent there to try and keep the effects of the law from harming as many people as they could, including implementing the law fairly. In other words, requiring the law to square with the 14th amendment's Equal Protection Clause, by giving the people the same delay of the law's mandates that President Obama gave his Big Business Cronies. And based on the law's rollout and subsequent loss of millions of insurance policies (with millions more to come) because of this law, their aim is well founded. And how can it be the Republicans who are keeping young people from having insurance when this same group of people were not buying health insurance when it was far cheaper under the old system than it is now under the ACA? And they are still not buying it!

Minimum wage laws are not intended to be livable wages. They are intended to be entry level positions for our youth to cling onto a rung of the economic ladder. And while the overall unemployment numbers are not moved much by a modest increase, every time they raise the minimum wage, inner city (African Americans) unemployment increases dramatically. Are you and the Republican’s "other" party against African American Youths being employed and ascertaining necessary skill sets for their future? Are you and that "Other" Party that cruel? Raising it to a so-called livable wage would have even more disastrous consequences for them as well as all of our youth. And just what do you think the response of business to a legislative increase in the cost of doing business would be? Raise prices? Lay off some workers? Both? Then ultimately, what did you do for the minimum wage worker? Nothing! But who is laughing all the way to the bank with increased payroll taxes? The government and the politicians who just snowed you! And it has been proven over and over again that millionaires pay more in taxes when the rates are low not when they are high. When they are high, they hire high priced lawyers and accountants to get around it, placing a drag on the economy and resulting in the government getting less, not more revenue. JFK, the Republicans "other" party's icon of a President said this better than anyone! And isn't higher revenue the objective? Or is it just the party line that is important?


David Ihde 2 years, 11 months ago


Against helping public education? Based on the results of the most recent election in Colorado concerning funding of education, the Republican's "other" party is against it too! Same with guns! The Senate could not pass any legislation on that front either. Even when they had full control of both Houses of Congress, including a filibuster proof Senate. And the ones who did it in Colorado got recalled! So maybe the Republicans listen to their constituents better than Democrats do. We know this as fact concerning Obamacare, don't we? It has never enjoyed a popular opinion in any poll, spawning many heated town hall meetings, but shoved down our throats anyway. Never before in our history has such a large and important piece of legislation been done in such a partisan way.

Voter ID laws do not in any way restrict the rights of citizens to vote. It protects them! You have to show ID in Colorado to vote. How does this hurt elections n other states? How do these same people drive? Board a plane? Open a bank account? Buy beer? Get their SS, Food Stamps or any other benefits? BTW, it was President Obama's idea, not Republicans who created the "sequestered cuts" that the Food Stamp program got caught in. Your claim here of Republicans cutting 5 billion out of the program is nothing more than a Red Herring. In fact, all of your claims are Red Herrings. They could not have done this because the Senate is controlled by the Democrats! Again, reference the President for your Huckleberry.

Republicans on balance are not against Women controlling their own bodies, but they are against having to pay for other peoples choices. Like Federal funded abortions. Or birth control against their religious beliefs. Huge difference! And pretty ironic, coming from your so-called party of choice. And trying to rein in the out of control EPA (carbon dioxide is not a pollutant by definition) does not mean they are against it. If they were, the EPA would have been eliminated already.

Cutting the oil businesses subsidy? What subsidies do the oil companies enjoy that other companies do not also enjoy? Exxon alone paid over 25 billion dollars to the government in taxes last year. That dwarfs the paltry 4 billion dollars that the entire industry supposedly are getting away with in subsidies. And that does not count the gasoline taxes the government also gets. Pretty good return if you ask me!

And the party that calls for ever higher taxes has the temerity to say the Republicans are the ones who are gouging other people? You are confused as to whom that money belongs to!


Ken Collins 2 years, 11 months ago

I guess we'll have to wait for the 2016 elections to see what Americans think. Assuming the gerrymandering (done by both parties but taken to a whole new level by the GOP, esp. in the South) doesn't skew the true breakdown, and that the 30 or so states with a GOP governor and/or state legislature doesn't accomplish what they seem to be trying, that is bring back the forefathers' requirement of voters to be free, white and land-owning males, let's see how well the Republican party and its divided parts do in 2016. If you are a moderate or compromise-willing GOP'er, you stand a very good chance to be primaried out of existence. Can a minority of the minority party have enough power?


mark hartless 2 years, 11 months ago

All voters today are free, Ken. Your insinuation there is frivilous.

More whites vote for blacks than blacks vote for whites, so that racist insinuation too is sort of frivilous.

If voting required land ownership, or some other sort of "vested interest" that would be a darn good thing. Way too many people with little or no investment in this nation are setting the agenda. You can't vote at an IBM shareholder meeting unless you OWN shares, and those with many shares get more vote than those with few shares. The same should be true for running the government.

The fact is we (America) are at the confluence of the majority 1) having discovered they can vote themselves largess from the public coffers and 2) that same majority having no moral compunction against doing so. While this might mean Ken's favored party prevails in a "might makes right" sense, it most certainly does not make them morally superior to those who believe in limited government.

It is unfortunate that Ken uses these references to slavery in an accusatory manner while seemingly not recognizing how his pollitical agenda enslaves our children. Who, again I ask, is really "cruel", those who want us to ALL cut back on the goodies now, or those who want to keep the party going and send the bill to another generation??


Fred Duckels 2 years, 11 months ago

Wisdom dictates that "tough love" is sometimes necessary and the left achieves it's being by promising to delay or eliminate this bitter pill. In business one must be ready to accept the need to take the good as well as the bad in order to survive. In Detroit the auto companies chose to acquiesce to union demands and they reaped the results.


mark hartless 2 years, 11 months ago

I was actually day-dreaming earlier today about what makes an eagle fly.

Then I thought about the old saying about the Red Robin that comes bobin' along in the spring.

Then I thought about the magpies that tough it out through our tough winters.

One thing makes them and all God's other creatures function. They are hungry.

When one sees these creatures soaring, hoping through the yard, scrounging in the trash or stealing your dog's food out of the bowl they are all doing the same thing... EARNING A LIVING.

Man (progressive man, so-called) is the only creature that enables it's laziest, dumbest and least conforming by subsidizing behavior that doesn't help the "flock" or the individual.


mark hartless 2 years, 11 months ago

And these creatures, with a brain the size of a marble, can provide for themselves and their offspring; yet man, with a brain many hundreds of times that size, somehow just can't seem to hack it.

Go figure...


mark hartless 2 years, 11 months ago

Very interesting book I read about a year ago.

" Gifts of the Crow."

Talks about how this bird family (called Corvids if I remember correctly) uses it's intelligence.

One story from a similar book told about how a group or ravens learned to pick up walnuts and drop them on the pavement to crack them open. (an observer was supplying the walnuts as part of the expiriment). Not satisfied, the birds quickly learned to drop the nuts in traffic so the cars would break them. Within a few days they had learned to drop them at stoplights, let the traffic crush them, wait for the cars to be stopped by the signal, and swoop in and take their prize in complete safety! I am not kidding!!.

Brain the size of a marble.

Humans should be embarrassed in their need for so much assistance. There was a time that most were; now they consider "gettin' over" on their fellow man to be "clever". Sad...


Dan Kuechenmeister 2 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Collins, You are not going to be happy about this. PPP is a Democratic company, no doubt. We do private polling for Democratic candidates and we were rooting hard for Obama. Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling's annual survey of the American public's most and least trusted news outlets found that NBC and MSNBC have sunk to the very bottom this year. Only 3% choose either as the networks they trust above all others. Fox News is the most trusted, with 35% choosing the "Fair and Balanced Network."

PBS came on second with 14%, ABC News third with 11%. CNN and CBS won 9% and 6%, respectively. Tying NBC and MSNBC for last place with 3% was Comedy Central.


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