Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

You bought the turkey, the potatoes and the green beans in anticipation of Thanksgiving 2014. It’s the day before Thanksgiving and you’ve got everything ready.  There is one thing, however, that has your anxiety building.  It’s not if you will be able to get the right ratio of green beans to crunchy onions or if your gravy will turn out lumpy.  What has your anxiety off the charts is how you are going to navigate the uncomfortable political discussions that come up everything Thanksgiving.imperial

With Ferguson and Obama’s immigration plan on most American’s minds right now, I guarantee that you won’t make it to pumpkin pie before one of your drunk relatives says, “how about that decision?”

It doesn’t matter where you fall on the political spectrum, if you are like most families, you have all views represented around your table from your Christian Conservative Uncle Jim and Aunt Betty to your Liberal hipster cousin Owen who recently moved to Seattle.  One thing is for sure everyone has an opinion and everyone will want to be heard.

That is why the #1 most important thing is how to appropriately deal with the conversation to keep the peace this Thanksgiving.  Here are my top 5 ways to survive the political conversation at your Thanksgiving.

#1  Your Uncle Bob starts yelling about Obama’s imperial presidency.  We all have this uncle.  He’s not in the door 5 minutes before he starts ranting about Obama’s imperial presidency and the immigration plan.  You know exactly what he’s going to say, because  it’s posted all over his Facebook wall and he tags you every time he posts something new, which is every hour on the hour.  You can’t help, but chuckle in every post where he uses the hashtag #Obummer.

Tip – don’t waste your time on the irony of this immigration rant and the journey of the pilgrims.  It will be lost on him.

What to do – buy some Imperial Margarine and have it on the table.  Every time you hear Uncle Bob say “imperial presidency” say, “did you say pass the Imperial Margarine?”  It will be funny the first 20 times and then he will eventually stop.

#2  Discussions about ISIS – the most entertaining way to deal with these discussions is to make a game with your brother Mike.  You get a point for every time you change the consonant at the end.  You get double points if you are able to change the vowel at the beginning without anyone noticing.   You have to start slow from ISIS to ISIL and then move slowly into other consonants at the end – ISIK and then ISIF. Double points for OSIS and ESIS.  You win the whole game if you say ASSES and nobody notices.

#3 Should pot be legal discussion with your hipster cousins – just let them rant. Odds are they showed up to your dinner already high.

#4 Drinking Game – this one is easy-every time your grandparents say, “in my day” drink.  Everything was better in their day.  It just was.  Deal with it.

#5. Ferguson – it is likely that every Thanksgiving table in America will be discussing the decision.  I hope that everyone can take a moment to pray for peace and closure for the family of Michael Brown and the community of Ferguson.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for reading my blog.  I am so thankful to have this outlet and I really appreciate your support!

Warmly,

Aimee

About these ads

imagesI know it’s been a few days since the controversial immigration speech by President Obama. I owe you fellow political nerds an apology, because I’ve been meaning to write about this, but I’ve been super busy managing the insanity which is my life right now. I’ve got 13 coming for an awesome Patton Friendsgiving, I’ve been traveling for work, all my favorite stores are having killer sales right now, I’m swamped with my daughter’s homework (seriously Mrs. Baker a 100+ page book report for an 8-year-old? I don’t read that much in a week) and guess who is in charge of the 2nd grade “winter party” this year?
 
I’m accepting activity suggestions for the winter party in my comments section. All you crafty moms out there please feel free to help a non-crafty mom out. The only thing I’ve come up with is a throw down of Crimes Against Humanity and virgin Martini Bar, but I’m thinking that might prompt some angry letters from the PTA.
 
Focus…focus….Obama’s immigration speech. The only time 15 minutes of television was this controversial was when Teresa Guidice flipped a table on Bravo yelling, “whore” and “prostitute” at a family dinner.
I’ll admit I listened to the speech on the radio on my drive back from the airport so I can’t offer any color commentary about his wardrobe selection. I’m sure he killed it with a nicely tailored suit and a tie in one of three colors – red, blue or (gasp) the fashion risk….purple.
 
He’s offering the “a” word…amnesty to illegals. Wait, the political correct police just rang me up and I’ve been cited. It’s undocumented. He’s offering amnesty for undocumented immigrants who have been here for 5 plus years.
 
Alex, I’ll take things that make you go hmmm for $100.
How are they going to know who has been here for 5 years if the immigrants are undocumented?
 
I thought that was the whole point. They are undocumented meaning there is no documentation as to when they arrived. What’s stopping anyone from showing up and saying, “yep I’ve been here for 5 years,” as they just arrived via snow tunnel from Canada yesterday?
 
Before I get too picky on Obama’s plan, let’s turn to the Republicans who are already ripping it to shreds when they’ve got…..wait for it…..NOTHING! In Spanish it’s also known as nada.
 
Obama at least has something, while the Republicans have nothing as in crickets as in echo…echo!
Ok. I think you get my point.
 
I could continue to analyze the nuts and bolts of Obama’s plan, but there are people way smarter than me who are doing it all over the place and getting paid for it. I’m going to focus on the part of the speech that I found really fascinating.
 
From this week in God, President Obama quoted Scripture in his speech.
Not only do the Republicans lack an immigration plan, but then Obama quotes from the big guy upstairs.
 
BOOM! There’s nothing like stealing right from the Republican playbook.
As he quoted from Scripture, I waited for the ceiling to open up and a huge lightning bolt from God to strike him down.
 
Nothing happened.
 
The world kept spinning. If anything it was a gentle reminder that Republicans haven’t cornered the market on Christianity and it was brilliant. The political climate in this country tells us that right or wrong people want their religion mixed in with their politics. It’s about time that the Democrats realized this and started to play the same game. When it comes to programs like immigrations, helping the poor, raising the minimum wage, respecting the environment, there is nothing more Christian. It’s time the Democrats start reminding people of that.
 
All of this coming from a nice Jewish girl who is in charge of the 2nd grade winter party. Heck we might as well call it what it really is….the Christmas party.

Dear Rep. Merrick,

Wow.centersign

That was the first word that came into my mind after I read your interview regarding budget cuts in the state of Kansas.  Here is what you said that prompted my response:

“Government employees produce nothing. They’re a net consumer. And you got that cost forever and ever and ever because they’re on the KPERS (pension) plan, they’re on all the government insurance and everything.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/yael-t-abouhalkah/article3979541.html#storylink=cpy

The second thing that came to mind involved two words and they were screw you.

I say that enthusiastically on behalf of all of the hard-working teachers, fire fighters, police officers, people who run our prisons, judges, and all those working in social services who help our vulnerable populations.  Your insult to them really took my breath away.

Yes we find ourselves in a budget crisis in Kansas.  Yes there are government workers who are on the KPERS plan, but you and I don’t agree on who is taking advantage of the KPERS plan.

See I did a little Google research before writing this blog post and it turns out that the one group that is fleecing the state on KPERS and costing taxpayers in this state is actually……drum roll please……

The State Reps!

Although Kansas legislators work part-time and are paid only during the 90 legislative session and days their committees meet outside that window, lawmakers who choose to join the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) pay their contributions into the system as if they worked every single calendar day of the year plus one more week.

http://watchdog.org/36979/ks-kansas-legislator-pensions-inflated-more-than-ten-fold/

 

So this is kinda awkward.

Now, I’m no math wiz, but you work 90 days, but calculate it as if you are actually working 372 days per year.  Kinda weird given there are only 365 days in a year.  Tell me again who the drain on our resources are Mr. Merrick?  You work 90 days, but get benefits for over a year plus and you are saying the government employees produce NOTHING?  One thing I will say is you have some giant cojones.

I’m sure there will be a lot of people who read and share this blog post who agree with me that you are an embarrassment to this state.

Yours for getting paid 372 days per year and only working 90,

Aimee

 

 

Aimee and DarlaThis is the story about two people and something that is almost unheard of these days.  This is the story about a politically opposite friendship-one conservative and one liberal who don’t agree on anything, but still manage to have an amazing friendship.

Our friendship start years ago when Obama was elected to his second term.  I was writing for the KC Star and I met Darla on election night when KMBZ was doing a live feed at a local restaurant.  Darla Jaye is a talk radio host in Kansas City on KMBZ 98.1 FM and I was a long time listener.  She sat down next to me and told me that she was a fan of my columns.

“You are a fan of MY columns?” I asked stunned.

How could a right leaning radio talk show host like my writing?  Maybe she wasn’t reading them right?  Does she understand that I’m a snarky, liberal blogger?  Sure enough she said she didn’t agree with my columns, but they made her laugh.  That struck up a great conversation that night about politics, our love of Barbra Streisand and all things Broadway.  I had been a long time listener and even called in to her show.  I couldn’t believe I was having such a fun time talking to this person who I didn’t agree with politically, but had so much in common with personally.  Almost all of my friends to that point were liberal so it was unusual that I was having such a great time with someone who I didn’t agree with politically.

From there we met for dinner and an amazing friendship started.

We talk about politics and current events a lot – when we are on the air and when we are off the air.   What you hear on the air is the same thing you would hear off the air if you were sitting with us at dinner.  We traveled together to Ireland a few years ago and had a great time touring a beautiful country and over there we argued about social issues impacting America, the economy and President Obama.  The only difference was we were surrounded by the beautiful Irish countryside and drank Irish beer.

Last weekend we went out with friends and guess what?  We argued about the Ebola crisis and how Obama was handling it-all while enjoying spinach and artichoke dip and cocktails.  It got heated and if you asked either of us which one was right we would both say, “me!”  After we left dinner we hugged, said goodbye and thought nothing of the argument.  Why?  Because we are friends.  She isn’t a terrible person, I am not a terrible person.  We just don’t agree on politics.

When Obama won re-election I gave her shit and when the GOP won the Midterms she got to give me shit.  Neither one of us gets our feelings hurt, because in politics we both know that I will win some and she will win some.  That’s how it works.  I respect her right to gloat and she respects my right to gloat.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Because I feel that America needs more friendships like this.  Politics are so polarizing right now.  It seems that you don’t just disagree with someone politically, but people have to HATE each other for it.  Political discussions turn into a verbal bloodbath with take-no-prisoner attitudes that end only when the other person is found weeping in the fetal position begging for mercy.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We are an example of that.

We both laugh when people react to us being friends.  She hears about it all the time that people can’t believe she is friends with “that liberal.”  People are shocked that I’m friends with a conservative.  When you both have a love for politics it’s really easy.

Listen to her show and catch me when I’m on: http://www.kmbz.com/

We have a great time debating all the issues and in the end she knows…..I’m always right :)

 

1458

Dear people of Kansas,

 

We all know that the election is over and Brownback is set to govern for another term. Now that it’s over, we’ve got ourselves a little problem.  It’s no biggie really – just a teeny, tiny  problem.  In case you haven’t heard, we are broke.  I’m not just talking a little broke, I’m talking broke with a capital “B” as in there ain’t no mo’ money.  We all know that Brownback implemented some pretty extreme tax cuts (that’s the understatement of the century) and now our budget is in what I like to call “danger, danger Will Robinson” crisis mode.1458

 

Since I picture Brownback in my head as Dana Carvey doing a SNL George Bush Sr. impression saying, “read my lips, no new taxes”, we find ourselves in quite a bind.
 
 

For his part, House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, has been unwilling to budge on the income tax cuts.

“The new revenue estimates only highlight the continuing need to protect core services while streamlining state government,” Merrick said in a statement. “We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.”

I like this tactic of just ignoring that taxes are now too low to support our budget.  We will just blame everything on our “spending problem.”  Like my issue with buying too many cute shoes every time it’s payday, the state of Kansas has a spending problem. How big of a spending problem?  We have to cut our budget by…..insert drum roll….$279 million dollars!

 
 

I’m attaching the budget memo that outlines everything.  I’m not a numbers girl so feel free to geek yourselves out over this attachment and join me again when you are done.  2014_CRE_ShortMemo-11-10-14

 
 

Holy shit batman that’s a lot of dough!

 
 

Grab your red pens, get comfy and let’s offer suggestions to Governor Brownback on where he can come up with $279 MILLION dollars in budget savings for the state of Kansas.  When your state budget goes from resembling filet mignon to Hamburger Helper, I think all suggestion should be on the table.  I’m not exactly sure what Ray Merrick thinks are “core services” versus take ‘em or leave ‘em services so I’ll just have to do my best to guess on that.

 
 

1.  Education – I understand that 50% of the Kansas state budget comes from education.  I heard that parents of Kansas students, like me, have nothing to worry about when it comes to further cuts to education.  Wink. Wink.  Sure I believe that.  We all know that Kansas has pretty much cut  the hell out of education in the past few years.  How about we just cut to the chase and do away with education altogether?   That’s right grab your red pen and just mark out education.  It’s not really a “core service” anyway.  Just the other day I noticed my daughter can read at a 2nd grade level, because she’s in 2nd grade and I thought to myself….she’s good.  No need to go any proceed with any more education.

 
 

See how easy this is. I’m saving money left and right.

 
 

2.  Prisons and law enforcement – In case you haven’t noticed, Kansas put’s the PRO in the pro-gun movement.  That said, we can do away with prisons and law enforcement.  Every citizen will be issued a firearm and there you go! We will bring back the Old West mentality when it comes to law enforcement.  I don’t know about you, but I trust my bat-shit crazy neighbor to enforce the law on my block and keep me safe from any shenanigans that might erupt.

 
 

3.  Senior and disability services – Grandma and Grandpa, I think you have just about had enough when it comes to senior services.  Kansas needs to cut funds and this is when it’s time to call your ungrateful kids and tell them it’s time to pony up.  No more senior meals, transportation and prescription drug assistance.  Hey peeps – guess what?  Because Kansas can’t balance their budget, mom and dad are going to have to move in with you!

 
 

4.  Cutting the WIC programs for women, infants and children – nothing says being a good Christian like cutting out the WIC program.  Think about all the money it could save the state!  Instead of providing nutritional assistance to women and their families who qualify, the state of Kansas can just give them a cardboard sign and a marker and show them which street corner is appropriate to beg on.  What’s the saying?  It helps build character.

 
 

These are just some of my suggestions.  I’m sure you can offer more.

 
 

Hopefully you realize that my suggestions are a joke.  I’m afraid that the Kansas legislature and Sam Brownback won’t realize this and will actually take steps to cut these valuable programs.  They have already cut millions of dollars in funding to valuable programs like education and taken extreme measures like privatizing Medicaid which has ended up with disastrous results.  Coming up with $279 million dollars in budget cuts can only mean that more important programs will be on the chopping block.  When will they realize that keeping taxes at this unrealistic level is hurting Kansas, Kansas families and our Kansas children?

 
 

Now excuse me.  It’s payday and that can only mean one thing – it’s time to buy some cute shoes!
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