Ken Collins: Democracy headed for CPR

Advertisement

Before our eyes, we are watching a democracy/republic dissolve. After winning the White House and both branches of Congress and soon the Court, the GOP is dismantling everything they can

Trump, according to just one of Putin's buddies in the administration (Bannon), has selected only Cabinet candidates who want to "deconstruct the government.”

It does not matter if it is safety issues in labor, health issues, survival issues for the poor/elderly, financial burdens for college students, environmental issues, voting rights, civil rights, banking rules, they are out to gut any progress that has been made. The Constitution be damned.

For the party of Lincoln, they are a bunch of hypocrites. Investigate Hillary — don't investigate Trump and his Russian minions working for him. Let the whites vote but stop the blacks and browns from voting.

Destroy the earth while letting the fossile fuel industry get richer. Defund Planned Parenthood while restricting women’s choice of health care and family planning. Delegitimize any efforts to hold fair discussions on anything that hurts the bottom 95 percent.

They are doing this while adding trillions to the federal deficit. Cut Meals on Wheels while adding $58 billion to defense? Cut after-school programs, sending kids to be unsupervised at an empty home or forcing a working parent to quit a job to be there?

Do this as POTUS goes off on a golfing vacation every weekend to the tune of $3 million per whack?

This isn't just insanity, it's cruel. The GOP has become the Party of Cruel, not Lincoln.

And far too few Republican congresspeople have the cajones to stand up to this. If impeachment or the 25th Amendment don't end Trump's presidency, hopefully the midterms in 2018 will take the wind out of his sails.

The democracy/republic is headed for CPR. Hopefully, it can be saved.

Ken Collins

Oak Creek

Comments

Scott Wedel 1 month ago

Or that public has acted as if receiving a kick in the butt and is responding as if democracy matters again. Republican leadership in Congress have been unable to shut down investigations.

Voter turnout in the various special elections will be interesting. If below average for a special election then it would appear that voters have given up. If turnout is high then the voters would be responding to the disease.

1

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 month ago

I see our local paper has published Ken C. again. I guess I will ask the same question I asked Ken C. after his last diatribe in our local paper. What are you doing to try to make this country better. Are you meeting with folks? If so, hopefully with people from both sides of the aisle to talk about what locally could be done to fix what you opine are the problems with what you refer to as our "democracy". Last I checked the republicans have control of the presidency, the senate, the house, 33 governorships and 32 state legislatures. They must be doing something that the voters approve. Oh and by the way, I am not a big fan of either party having that kind of control. As Scott has mentioned upcoming elections are important. What are you doing to promote ideas/policies that could win back the voters the Democrats have lost over the last 8 years when the President was a Democrat. Funny how I don't see any condemnation from you of the riots at UC Berkeley and Middlebury to shut down free speech. Now if you ask me, that is a problem for our "democracy". You can keep sending your rants to our local paper and odds are they will continue to publish them but you are preaching to the choir here in Steamboat. I like this quote from Monty Python The Life of Brian. Actually it is a catchy little song. "always look on the bright side of life." The good news is we have neither a Bush nor a Clinton for president.

1

Lock McShane 1 month ago

Right now, I can think of three goals to pursue in order to regain the democracy we have lost.

First, we need to overturn the Citizens United decision and limit the money in politics to donations from registered voters only, no groups or bundling, with individual limits on the amount anyone can donate. Groups and PACs are allowed to solicit donations for candidates, but donors can't disclose that influence. Politicians will get the money to run, but won't know who the influences are.

Second, the constitutional responsibility to vote must be universal and not difficult to perform. This will involve a concerted government effort to ensure all eligible voters are registered and may have to involve a National ID Card, whose database is made hack-proof. Voting must be easy, with lots of time to vote in person and by mail.

Finally, voting districts must be determined in 2020 by an impartial computer program with number of occupants of the district, compactness of the district (no skinny, wandering districts), and cohesiveness of communities being the only criteria considered.

1

Fred Duckels 1 month ago

Lock, Folks on the left always seem curious about where funds come from. Once a donor is identified the retaliations, boycotts and intimidation can begin. Now if that was not SOP for the left I think it fair to identify donors. Remember how Obama's IRS gave him the TEA parties donor lists and then the fun began. Class act!!

0

Brian Kotowski 1 month ago

Ah, springtime. When the Chicken Littles do their dance of doom.

1

Ken Mauldin 1 month ago

Why do liberals always seem to begin their "goals" with the demand to limit the free expression of others and then suggest a force model to compel a desired behavior as a close second?

On a side note, I agree that voting districts should be impartially created.

0

Dan Shores 1 month ago

What Ken C. is doing to try and make this country better is to express his opinion in the form of letters to the editor and point out the erosion of our democracy and the movement toward authoritarianism at the hands our new president. Hopefully he will inspire others to act and speak out against the disaster that is the Trump presidency. It should be apparent to all that Trump and his administration is a complete, incompetent, disorganized mess. The constant pathological lying, the ridiculous ACA replacement that the GOP had eight years to come up with, a disaster.

The presidency was won by flat out lying to vulnerable rural and blue collar voters. They are now seeing the results and instead of the health care for all they were told they would get, they are getting the shaft. Those jobs they were promised aren't coming back. They were lied to, they were conned, and yes the midterms should be very interesting.

As for the phony free speech argument Dan K, the so called "riots" were not about denying free speech, they were about protesting against a bigoted pedophile. Like all our rights, free speech is not without limits and people have the right to peacefully assemble and protest. No one in condoning the "riots" as you call them, or violence. If you are a alleging that our silence in the matter is somehow assent, then what have you to say about the silence of conservatives at the take over and destruction of federal property in Oregon, or pointing loaded assault rifles at federal agents in Nevada. Or the blatant racism and bigotry exhibited by Trump supporters, all wrapped up in the stars and bars at his rallies. Or Trump himself inciting violence and offering to pay supporters legal bills if they "punch 'em in the face". Not a word....nothin. Not surprising at all.

1

Ken Mauldin 1 month ago

Here's Rolling Stone's report: "Berkeley Riots: How Free Speech Debate Launched Violent Campus Showdown":
http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/berkeley-riots-inside-the-campus-showdown-over-free-speech-w465151

"I had a faculty member of the campus call me and say, 'You must ban him,'" he recalls. "I said, 'We're not allowed to do that, he is protected by the first amendment.' They say 'No, he's not.' So I say, 'Why do you believe that?' and they said, 'Because he's wrong.'"

Once again, liberals resort to rioting when they don't get their way in an effort to restrict free expression. To top it off, a member of the UC Berkeley faculty idiotically demanded that free expression should be denied because they disagreed with the speaker.

As this specific example in Berkeley demonstrates, liberal's tired penchant for a) having temper tantrums like children and b) having very little understanding of basic civics, are a couple of the reasons we have President Donald Trump.

1

Scott Wedel 1 month ago

The alternative to Citizens United would be far worse. It is stupid dogma of the Democratic Party that Citizens United is bad. The facts are that the decision was an essential defense of free speech.

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 had FEC complaint that it was a campaign ad against Bush and so was an illegal campaign contribution. FEC ruled against that. So then Citizen United made "Hillary The Movie" and the FEC ruled that was a campaign contribution. Thus, FEC was now in the business of deciding what was or was not political speech having to be reported as a campaign contribution. That caused huge First Amendment issues.

I think the real problem is that the IRS tax code allows nonprofit 501c4 organizations to operate with no financial transparency. There is no constitutional principle requiring that. They could just change the tax code so that gaining the favorable tax treatment of a nonprofit requires financial transparency.

0

Larry Desjardin 1 month ago

Scott, you are absolutely correct about Citizen's United. It was a terrible intrusion of freedom of speech. The government, during oral arguments, claimed that they had the right to ban an entire book even if only one sentence was political advocacy. They claimed a right to shut down movies if they considered them advocating a political position. I think advocates of this position should re-think their position, would you really be OK with Trump's FEC banning anti-Trump books? After all, that would be the outcome of Citizens United reversal.

The interesting thing is that the evidence is strong that money flows to winners more than it influences the outcome. Levitt, author of Freakonmics, calculated that the causal connection from campaign financing to vote totals was approximately 1%/octave. (An octave is a doubling of funding). If funding really did determine the election outcomes, we would be talking about President Hillary Clinton.

0

Lou Coggia 1 month ago

While as the last 24 hours has demonstrated, the Liar in Chief can't close the deal - despite his boasting time and time again that negotiating and making deals is what he does best. That says a lot right there. We also saw what we already knew, that the repugs have again shown that they can not govern.

What makes all of this even more mind boggling is that Trump time and time again called Obamacare the worst piece of legislation ever - a disaster and complete mess that was ready to implode. The Congress agreed with that assessment. Yet they were unable to come up with something better. Think about that. And they had 7 years to plan for this day. Total incompetence.

So how does Trump show leadership after this debacle. Well he says he will wait to see Obamacare explode and then the Democrats will come to him. So his plan is to see pain and suffering inflicted on the American people - because that is what Obamacare will do according to him. That stance is heartless and mean. This from the president of all the people.

Let's face it this failed bill was not a health care bill. It was a $330 Billion dollars tax brake to the wealthy.

It would all be very funny it if wasn't for the fact that it is my country that Trump and the congress is screwing with.

1

Dan Shores 1 month ago

Yes and we were all told over and over again by our local right wing commenters here that the republicans had a great plan, many plans, that they could fix the health insurance dilemma. Elect a republican president and we'll all see how easy it is. Just sell across state lines, tort reform, let the free market loose and prices and accessibility will take care of itself. Ha! Now we know they never had any plan, that it was all a lie, a scam, all part of the long con. True to form, a giant tax break for the wealthiest Americans while cutting access for those most in need. No surprise here.

1

Ken Mauldin 1 month ago

As a conservative voter I'm happy the proposed replacement Bill was withdrawn, as it was only slightly less terrible than the ACA and not what voters were promised. Every single Republican in the House majority was elected on a campaign promise to repeal the disastrous ACA. I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that a one-sentence, complete repeal wasn't introduced.

Now, we're all stuck experiencing the intentional, horrific, slow-motion-train-wreck of Obamacare that was designed to be parlayed into single-payer by President Hillary and a Dem Congress. Whoops. It will be interesting to see how the Dems try to defend the unimaginable harm that Obabmacare is causing the country.

Hopefully, the GOP can step-up and fulfill the complete repeal promise to voters that got them elected to a House majority.

0

Scott Wedel 1 month ago

The Republican AHCA was polling at 17% support and 56% opposed which demonstrates it was doomed. No one liked it.

As for tax reform, if Trump were to propose a populist tax reform that punished corporations for moving job overseas, rewarded companies investing in the US and so on then soon enough he could regain his populist grove of bashing Washington lobbyists and so on. But that would be against the traditional Republican tax proposals of reducing taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

1

Larry Desjardin 1 month ago

An easy tax win would be to eliminate the tax on repatriated earnings by US corporations. This is the law for the rest of the developed world, and is how we already treat earnings from foreign companies. Not much revenue lost, as most companies merely invest overseas rather than bring earnings back to the US. With $2T parked overseas, this is a free stimulus program.

0

Scott Wedel 1 month ago

Larry,

And could add in a populist touch by restricting the tax break to repatriated earnings that is used to create jobs in economically distressed portions of the US. That would make it a stimulus program and not just a gift to corporations. And the country needs that sort of money spread about and not something like Apple's spaceship $6+B new headquarters in Cupertino.

0

Larry Desjardin 1 month ago

It would be a populist touch, but I don't think it's practical once you think across sectors, company size, and the enforcement issues. I don't consider it a gift- the company has already paid taxes on the profit in the country where the profit was made. It costs the company an incremental 0% to invest those funds into any other country in the world, except the US. Only the US taxes the funds again, and only for companies that have HQ in the US, which is an arbitrary decision. That's why we're the only country to have inversion issues.

0

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 month ago

Does anybody else recall that "we were told over and over again by our local right wing commentators that the republicans had a great plan, many plans, that they could fix the health insurance dilemma." Was said by anybody in this forum. I don't. (Actually now that first attempt - way too forced - failed, let's hope they get it right. Would be good for all of us.) That is just Dan S. bloviating. My recollection is that this is the same Dan S who continually insults those who disagree with his ideology, the same Dan S. who confidently predicted in this forum that after Nov. 8 the Dems would own the presidency, the senate and probably the house. I can hardly wait for your next predictions. Most people on this forum are interested in reasonable dialogue. Dan S. just wants to post his ideology and his hate for any one that disagrees with him. When one considers who has been kicked off this forum and what they said it is surprising that he is still allowed to post. Sad

1

rhys jones 1 month ago

Danny K -- Blame it on the press. "Polls" had Hillary so far out on front, we all just stayed home, took another toke, and waited for George to do it. Little did we know George was doing the same thing. Wait 'til next time. If there's still a country left.

How do you oust a perpetual liar if it falls below criminal level? A question for history to answer...

Dan S doesn't mention names, or insult individuals -- I've seen worse, am guilty of such. Does he just make too much sense? It's the forums; don't let it get to you.

1

Scott Wedel 1 month ago

Actually, Hillary won the popular vote by a similar number as predicted in national polls. Hillary made the same mistake as Gore of not winning the states needed to win the Electoral College. If Gore had won his home state of Tennessee then he still wins without Florida.

0

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 month ago

Hey Rhys, Don't you worry. I rather enjoy the forum. Dan S. wants to make blanket statements like "Conservatives do not care about prioritizing health care services for all and saving lives, they care about personal greed and preserving profits.", which is at best a spiteful exaggeration and at worst an outright lie then he should be called out on it. And no he does not "just make too much sense". That's funny.

1

Dan Shores 1 month ago

Yes Dan K., let's pretend for a moment that you actually had the cojones to admit that you stated over and over again that the GOP had a plan, selling across state lines and tort reform, and that would do the trick. Let's pretend you didn't actually say that, so what is the GOP plan for health insurance reform? You've said over and over that the GOP had a plan, the ACA was forced down our throats, so go ahead, here's your opportunity.

And obviously conservatives could care less about prioritizing health care services for all and saving lives or they would have worked for the last seven years to try and improve the ACA and build on the legislation, instead of voting 40 or 50 times to repeal it, while having NO PLAN. If they had a plan, then why after all these years haven't we seen one, unless you call the abomination that was just proposed and pulled before it could be voted on, a plan? The individual mandate IS the conservative plan as was demonstrated successfully by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. Everybody pays, everybody contributes, no free rides. The ACA was doing OK in it's original form where the federal government was to make insurance companies whole in the first ten years, I believe it was, by reimbursing them for their legitimate loses due to having to insure sick people and people with pre-existing conditions. That was before the republicans got enough seats in congress and votes to renege on the reimbursements, that's when insurance companies started to raise premiums to cover their loses and CEO bonuses. But the subsidies have gone up as well so most people have not had to pay a lot more and the actual rate of increase is lower than it was before the ACA.

So go ahead and tell us your fabulous, terrific plans, so many plans. I can't wait.

It is also obvious that the for profit model has never worked and will never work for health insurance. It is a CEO's job to do one thing, maximize profits. That's his job! It isn't to do good, to contribute to society, to make the world a better place, no it's to maximize profits and that means to squeeze as many coins out of their customers pockets as possible. It's a CEO's duty to his or her shareholders. It's how their performance is judged! If they don't maximize profits, they're fired!

The only answer is some form of single payer, medicare for all system. Every other advanced nation in the world provides health care for their citizens and it's time we did the same!

1

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 month ago

It is amazing the out right lies that this paper allows Dan S. to post.

Dan S. posted this. "Yes Dan K., let's pretend for a moment that you actually had the cojones to admit that you stated over and over again that the GOP had a plan, selling across state lines and tort reform, and that would do the trick. Let's pretend you didn't actually say that, so what is the GOP plan for health insurance reform? You've said over and over that the GOP had a plan, the ACA was forced down our throats, so go ahead, here's your opportunity."

There is absolutely no proof that I "stated over and over again that the GOP had a plan" etc. The only thing that Dan S. said that might even remotely approaches the truth is that I have stated that the final vote on the ACA had not a single Republican vote in favor of the bill. If Dan S wants to interpret that as saying something was forced down throats - so be it. Does seem like a stretch to me.

The problem is that for some people ideology trumps (pun intended LOL) truth.

Glenn Kessler gives the above comment by Dan S 4 pinocchios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8rCy173y7Y enjoy the dancing by the Gilligan Island girls.

1

Lock McShane 1 month ago

Dans, Please comment on the issues, and leave out the comments about each other. Shooting at the messenger does nothing for evaluating the issues and wastes time.

0

Ken Collins 1 month ago

Hey everybody, I have an idea. Forget taxes and health care. Those things and several others might just blow around the ground the way our government now works. How about the 400 lb gorilla & the elephant in the room? The possible (probable) illegitimacy of this administration. Dan K, you want me to suggest some constructive idea? How about getting rid of Paul the Coward Ryan and several other GOP players and find some with backbones. How about trying to find some people in this administration who haven't talked/colluded/invested/kissed/beholden to a Russian oligarch/banker/spy/KGB/mobster not associated with Putin. Trump loves Putin. Maybe because when you cross or oppose him, you find yourself poisoned or covered in acid or maybe just shot dead in the street. And DT can't do that. Sessions, Flint, Banner, Mannafort and now Kushner all have been "in bed" with some of the most evil people on earth. How many more? I'm sure we'll find more because every day or so new leaks come out.
Are none of you worried about what is being uncovered? Do you think this is some Natl Enquirer story? People are lying (what's new with this group?) and then admitting or having to admit they did talk with Russians. Dan, Fred et al, you shouted about Benghazi. That's a scratch on the knee compared to the possibility of how compromised our country is. Nothing in our history since WWII has the danger to democracy and freedom that this unfolding story has. Nunes has to step down. An independant investigation has to occur. The GOP has to stop lying to itself and the country. They are in power! They won't lose that power even if Rump gets impeached. So why not cowboy up, no...why not Patriot up, and find out how deep this s### river runs? Can you be that unconcerned? Can your heads be any ndeeper in the sand? Taxes and health care may be incedental if this unfolding story is even half right.

1

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 month ago

Ken C., I fully support a thorough and non partisan investigation. Would you agree it is necessary to investigate the democrats as well as the hated republicans whom you so much like to mock and ridicule. Not sure why you do that as it adds nothing to the discussion.

1

Dan Shores 1 month ago

Well said Ken C. Thank you for having the courage to speak out! It continues to amaze me that conservatives continue to support Trump, even with all the blatant pathological lying, complete and total incompetence and scandal, and we're only a couple months in. Remember the attacks on Obama for playing golf? And as you pointed out, Benghazi, how many investigations were their? And emails, please compared to communication and possible collusion with our enemies to influence the election? Now trying to stymie the investigation. Not a peep from the right. The constant assertion that the GOP had a health insurance replacement plan. And yes, selling across state lines and tort reform was the answer, we were told.

Lock, you are preaching to the choir. I believe you are relatively new to this forum and perhaps don't remember what went on a while back with personal attacks and name calling by right wing extremists. Fortunately, the Pilot cut off the head of the snake and I am proud that I may have played a role in that decision. We are now able, for the most part, to have civil debate on the issues. I've even earned the nickname, "hall monitor" for trying to reign in the personal attacks. You'll notice in the thread I purposely didn't mention names and was speaking in general terms, until I was attacked that is. Make no mistake, if I am personally attacked or mentioned in this forum, I will respond! When bullied, one must respond forcefully or it will only get worse.

0

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 month ago

sorry Lock I can't just let it go and I definitely happen to agree with you on sticking to the issues, but for Dan S to say anything about a civil debate is hilarious.

0

Chris Hadlock 1 month ago

"Nunes’s account cannot be verified because the documents he reviewed have not been disclosed, nor reviewed by anyone else who is talking. Meanwhile, rather than first sharing what he learned with members of the important committee he chairs, Nunes went to the White House to brief President Trump."

Until Rep. Nunes can come clean with both his source and the information his actions and opinions remain firmly in the universe of "Alternative Facts"

If the info is really that juicy why won't he come clean?
If there was no Russian collusion, why do they keep lying about their meetings?

Sure, investigate Obama all you want, but let us also look deeply into the smoke that is pouring out of what we already know.

I for one would like the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

0

Ken Collins 1 month ago

Dan s., relatively "new" to the tune of 10 years or so. Who can ever forget Sledneck? Investigate the Dems all you want folks. But they aren't in power and don't hold much danger by acquiescing to Putin. Virtually every DT pick that carries international decisions also has a Russian buddy or two. And Putin has a long memory and a short fuse. It's possible that if investigations start uncovering some very dangerous stuff, a few of these Trumpers might have accidents. Dead men tell no tales. And besides the total lack of governing talent, obvious by the AHCA failure and immigration fiasco and the gutting of the State and EPA depts. we now find out that Interior Sec. has said "the wall", maybe the stupidest promise, won't be built on US soil!! Don't want to give up the Rio to Mexico. So Mex is paying for it to be built on their side to close the Rio to them. (And who will be the laborers? Nobody builds a better wall than our amigos.). I go to Mexico quite often and they sure don't seem to be that stupid.

0

Dan Kuechenmeister 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Hey Ken C., I have had the opportunity as well to spend time in Mexico on an annual basis. The last few years for extended periods of time and in the same location. As a result we have gotten to know some wonderful Hispanics. Workers in restaurants and shops. They could not care less about who is President of the USA. They could not care less about any kind of wall. If they are asked about Trump they laugh and say they are more concerned with Mexico politics then USA. Their main concern is their family and community. Regards the wall. I am a fan of securing our borders. If it takes a wall so be it. Then there is this.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/presidential/These-Hispanic-contractors-offered-to-build-Trumps-border-wall-Then-the-death-threats-began.html.

At first I thought it was a piece from The Onion. But nope, even WAPO has reported it. You just can't make this stuff up.

0

Ken Collins 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Dan K, exactly the same for me as far as visits. Extended time, same area and getting to know many locals. They do laugh about DT. They don't like him opr his politics. You can find Trump pinatas in a lot of places.
The question still begs: whewre is it going to be built? And the lies continue in the administration. And the GOP doesn't seem to care. Is there a magic number when they finally do care? And Flynn is asking for immunity. Is the wall that really matters starting to crack?

0

Dan Kuechenmeister 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Ken C. If only you had ever criticized the Obama administration. Then you would have my attention. I have criticized pols on either side of the aisle. To the best of my knowledge you never did. So sorry you come across as a partisan. For fun you should google Victor Davis Hanson Nunes. If we don't soon do away with the partisanship and have the two political parties work together then we can say good bye to our constitutional republic. Fun facts Ginsburg approved 96-3, Kagan approved 63-37, Sotomayor approved 68-31 and the Dems are threatening to filibuster Gorsuch who gets a "best" rating by the ABA.

0

Don Thayer 3 weeks ago

Do a little research into the history of the Democrat party. They have fought to destroy America since the end of World War 2. Democrats today believe in rule by government, which is little different than rule by a king or dictator. They despise individual freedom, they hate capitalism, they hold the US Constitution in contempt. Democrat policies are no different than those of the former Soviet Union. Republicans may be wrong too, but they don't hate America, they don't fight against our interests.

Think about it.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.