Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

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Dear Congressman Huelskamp,

I read an article today about you and I thought I should reach out.  You and I have so much in common that it’s almost like we are one in the same.

You like to tweet and I like to tweet.

You are from Kansas and I am from Kansas.

You HATE everything Obama stands for and I…..well….um…

I’m from Kansas!

I have a guilty admission – sometimes when I’m bored and I want to check out what a creepy anti-Obama/anti-Liberal twitter feed looks like I read yours.  You’ve introduced me to such effective and constructive hashtags as #KingObama, #LiberalSicko and my favorite #ObamaScare.  I can only imagine that among lawmakers, your twitter feed is held up as an example to all lawmakers of how to elevate our national dialog and solve America’s problems effectively through social media.

I’m not faulting you for hating Obamacare- no Republicans are fans of ACA and have tried to do EVERYTHING to repeal the law.   I think the number of times Obamacare has been voted to be repealed matches my age and trust me I’m no spring chicken.  Here is one of my favorite tweets to your 11,000+ followers regarding Obamacare.

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It’s hard for me to admit this, but the drama meter in your tweets has surpassed me and I’m know around town as the reigning drama queen.  Well done Congressman!

I, like everyone,  have things I hate.  For example, I hate apple pie. People are shocked when I admit I hate apple pie, but I hate hot apples.  I’m never going to get over it.  Trust me –  I’ve tried apple pie hot, I’ve tried it cold, I’ve tried it with ice cream.  Nothing is going to get me to start liking apple pie.

It’s like you and Obamacare – nothing is going to change your mind about the law. Nothing is going to get you to start liking Obamacare.

However, an article today by the Kansas City Star points out that you, Mr. I hate #Obamascare, is signed up for the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, the chairman of the Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, admits he, too, has enrolled for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, despite repeatedly voting to repeal it.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/government-politics/article16394978.html#storylink=cpy

Now you contend that you were FORCED to sign up for Obamacare.

 

Asked whether he sees any contradiction between his outspoken opposition to Obamacare and his family’s enrollment, Huelskamp said in a written statement that the law forces members of Congress to sign up.

Like millions of other American families, he said, “we object to this expensive, liberty-attacking mandate.”

 

Liberty-attacking mandate!  I get it.  Once when I was a kid I was forced to eat apple pie.  I hated every bite, but I finished the pie.  That was liberty-attacking.  I didn’t have the liberty to say no, because my mom made me.  I can sympathize with you for being forced to participate in something you hate so much.

But…..here’s the truth, you weren’t really forced to sign up for Obamacare.  There is nothing stopping you from signing up for private coverage for you and your family.

Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, decided to go without health insurance rather than sign up for Obamacare. Some other lawmakers have said they would go through the private market to avoid the exchanges, including Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey and Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee, both Republicans.

Based on this admission, it would be like me eating an apple pie while screaming, “this is terrible!” and then quietly asking for another piece.

If you are so passionately against Obamacare like I am against apple pie, we’ll make a deal.  I promise not to eat any apple pie in the future and you need to stop being a member of Obamacare and sign up for private insurance.

Yours for staying away from things we hate,

Aimee

 

 

 

It’s been a while since I wrote about the Kansas education funding crisis, because I’ve been suffering from a rare chocolate-heart-cocktailcondition known as KEFCF  (Kansas Education Funding Crisis Fatigue.)  It’s a very serious condition that I’m treating with massage, chocolate and cocktails.

Great news! The Kansas Legislature solved the Kansas funding crisis and my condition is cured!  Strike up the gospel choir and can I get a “hallelujah!”  The Senate passed the block grant bill to override the old school formula that the Legislature ruled was too hard to understand, because we all know — math is hard.

We are FINALLY done with this debate.  Lets put this whole thing to rest and move on to more important things facing this state like Rep. Bret Hildabrand’s Fantasy Football Bill.

Hang on a second and pass me some chocolate –  this block grant is only good until 2017.  There is a word for something like this….it start with a b….No batshit crazy isn’t the word.  The word is band-aid. It’s only good until 2017 so the lawmakers can work out a new formula.  I’m sssuuurrreee there won’t be any problems creating this new formula since it’s gone so smooth to this point. (wink wink)

This leads to the best part of the story.  The courts have suggested that there might be a challenge the new block grant the way that they found that the legislature was funding the schools to unconstitutional levels in the first place.

Now follow me here, because this is where it gets Bravo good.  Because of Brownback’s genius tax plan, the courts are also going to take a hit with our budget crisis.

HB 2365 would give the judicial branch $6.7 million from the state’s general fund for fiscal year 2016 and $11 million for fiscal year 2017. That’s significantly less than the $23 million and $30 million – for 2016 and 2017, respectively – the courts are seeking.

Judge Daniel Creitz, chief judge of the 31st Judicial District in southeast Kansas, testified it could be detrimental to public safety if lawmakers do not add more funding. He spoke during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee.

Rep. Jerry Lunn, R-Overland Park, asked Creitz about a three-judge panel that ruled the state was unconstitutionally underfunding schools and recommended the state spend more than $500 million more. Lunn asked Creitz how he thought the judicial branch should be affected if lawmakers chose to spend that amount on schools.
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/prairie-politics/article14580998.html#storylink=cpy

I wasn’t there, but I’m sure Lunn added a head shake and a snap when he said this.  Makes me wonder how that anti-bullying initiative is going in Kansas?

Here’s a little secret – instead of band-aids and bullying judges how about if we all agree that our state isn’t bringing in enough taxes to fund out budget?  Let’s look to the main source of the problem.  Again, it begins with a b… this time it’s not band-aid.  It’s Brownback!

 

Hi everyone. I’ve missed you!  I’m so sorry I’m behind on writing.  I’ll admit, life is a bit c-r-a-z-y right now with parenting, work and binge watching House of Cards and the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt that I can’t keep up with everything. I have so much to write about that I thought I would take this blog post to cover two important topics.  Hit pause on Netflix and I promise I won’t keep you too long.  I know you want to get back to House of Cards and find out what happens next between Frank and Claire.

1. The real DC is even better this week than the House of Cards – how about the balls on those Republicans writing the letter to Iran explaining that a deal with the President won’t hold any weight?  If you missed it, jump on Twitter and type in the hashtag #47traitors.  Senator Tom Cotton spearheaded this ballsy initiative and got 46 other GOP Senators to sign this bad boy explaining to Iran how our Constitution works.  I’ll admit I didn’t even know who Tom Cotton was before this week.  Way to get on the map Tom.

KS Senator Pat Roberts signed the letter. I can just picture in my head how this went down.

Roberts gets handing the letter.

In my grumpy, old man voice, “who the hell is Senator Tom Cotton and why would I sign this damn letter from a junior Senator?”

“Well sir, the Senator is explaining to Iran that a deal with the President won’t hold any weight without Congressional approval and could be reversed by the next President,” said Roberts staffer.

“So what you are saying is this letter will stick it to President Obama?”

“Yes sir,” said the nervous staffer.

“Hand me a pen,” said Roberts.

The end.

You can apply this scenario to all of the other senior Senators who signed the letter.

The juicy part is the Iranians pointed out to the 47 Senators that they were incorrect the letter regarding how the US Constitution works.  I wish the Iranians would have sent back one of those Hallmark cards when you open it the music just goes “AWWWW SNAP!” with the reply on the inside.

Here’s the deal-I didn’t catch the Constitutional error in the letter to Iran, but here’s a little secret……come closer so I can whisper it to you.

I’M NOT A FREAKING UNITED STATES SENATOR!  I’M JUST A BLOGGER!  WHO DIDN’T PROOF THIS BAD BOY BEFORE THEY SENT IT OUT.  LAST TIME I CHECKED THERE ARE CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYERS IN DC AND NO ONE THOUGHT TO SEND THIS OVER FOR A LITTLE LOOK OVER BEFORE SENDING IT TO IRAN? IT’S IRAN FOR FUCKSAKE.

This may get the dumb ass award for 2015.  But hey – the year is still young and so am I.  We will have to wait and see else what happens.

On to the next headline of the week – the University of Oklahoma frat boys who sang the racist song along with others on a bus.  The two boys who were in the video singing the song have apologized and have been expelled.  I read the lyrics to the song,  but based on the vile nature of the lyrics, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video.

The first thing I thought of when I heard this – this song has been chanted by this fraternity for many, many years.  These boys didn’t suddenly sit down with a notepad and make it up on the bus that night.  Outstanding question –  is the song only chanted by this fraternity chapter on this college campus or are other SAE chapters around the country singing the same vile song?

Alex, I’ll take other SAE chapters singing racist songs for $100 please.  Answer – SAE is going to have a huge problem on their hands.  Alex, what is other chapters are likely singing the same racist song?

Ding! Ding!

One of the students issued an apology – Parker Rice.  That leads me to my second thought.  The boy’s name is Parker.  That is about as white as you can get when naming your son.  His name might as well have been Whitey McWhiterson.  He was probably born with an argyle sweater vest holding a 9 iron.  That going to be some tough PR to overcome…no I don’t mean PR as in Parker Rice’s name, but PR as in bad publicity.

Here is what he said in his apology,

“I know everyone wants to know why or how this happened. I admit it likely was fueled by alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip, but that’s not an excuse. Yes, the song was taught to us, but that too doesn’t work as an explanation. It’s more important to acknowledge what I did and what I didn’t do. I didn’t say no, and I clearly dismissed an important value I learned at my beloved high school, Dallas Jesuit. We were taught to be ‘Men for Others.’ I failed in that regard, and in those moments, I also completely ignored the core values and ethics I learned from my parents and others.”

Alcohol fueled the racist chant?  I drank a lot of alcohol in college and I was in full disclosure I was in a sorority.  I did some dumb thing and I mean some really dumb things, but at no time did I ever sing anything like this. We sang sappy songs about sisterhood and other songs filled with swear words (I know- really ladylike)

However, when I was in college there was a fraternity on campus who was proud of their southern roots.  I went to a small college and the fraternity on campus had a party called Old South.  Some of the members would dress up in Confederate uniforms.  This was in the early 90s – not the 1890s, but the 1990s.  If I remember right, the administration finally stopped the party and made the fraternity change the party name.  I remember the fraternity being outraged at this decision.  I can only imagine how the African-American students felt all those years the party was held.

I have a feeling that if those guys were stone cold sober and their brothers were singing the same song they would have still chimed in.  None of them would have stopped the song sober or drunk.  It is only stopping because of the video.   Peer pressure is a powerful force.  That same fraternity I wrote about above would also stand on their fraternity steps and sing the lyrics to Dixie.  If you were at their house everyone would join in.  I remember singing the song a few times.  I remember thinking to myself that it wasn’t right, but I never did anything about it, because I thought it was the fraternity’s tradition and I was just a guest.   I’m not saying this song is the same as the SAE song, but they both wrong – just different degrees of wrong.  I really regret singing that song.  Racism in the Greek system is nothing new.  I’m glad that University of Oklahoma is taking such a hard stance against it.  Maybe other universities will do the same.

Turn back on Netflix and let me know what you think of Season 3 of House of Cards!

Cheers,

Aimee

Dear Future Teachers,education_just_ahead_resized

 

Springtime is here and soon you will be graduating and starting your new career as a teacher.  I’m sure you have already started thinking about where you will go this fall  to put down roots.  I realize the whole country is an option –  each state having great schools and lovely communities to choose from.  Kansas also has great schools and beautiful communities, however, here is what sets Kansas apart from other states and why you should consider Kansas when making your decision on where to start teaching this fall.

1.  In Kansas you will get to enjoy a school funding fight that will rival most reality television shows.  Remember Real Housewives of New York when there was the epic fight that resulted in t-shirts that said Team Bethany or Team Jill? Here in Kansas, we have a school funding formula fight that has its own Twitter hashtag – #FundTheFormula.  Love a challenge? As a teacher, you will be on the front lines of the battle where you will get to figure out how to do more with less – much less when the lawmakers continue to reduce funding to the schools to unconstitutional levels.

2.  Are you generally lazy and not a big fan of advanced placement courses?  No problem – so is Kansas!  Kansas introduced HB 2292

House Bill 2292 would compel Kansas school districts to return to reading, math, science and other standards that were in place in 2010, before the state adopted its Common Core-inspired Kansas College and Career Ready Standards.

Instead of being progressive with curriculum, why not rollback the clock by getting rid of those AP classes?  If you are like me and think being “career ready” is really overrated, then Kansas is for you!  Think about it – as an AP teacher you have to be on top of your game.  If Kansas gets rid of AP classes, less work for you!  It’s a perfect fit!
3.  Finally, I saved the best for last.  Are you a teacher who likes to live on the edge?  Are you an English teacher who teaches Toni Morrison, but likes a little risk in her life?  Well Kansas is the place for you!  Kansas just passed in the Senate SB 56 – a bill that can prosecute teachers for teaching “obscenity” to students.  You read that right – prosecute, not discipline or reprimand, but prosecute.

Teachers question who would make the determination about what’s pornography. Earlier in the week, Rep. Joseph Scapa, R-Wichita, called a book by Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize-winning author, pornographic.

Somebody might want to clue in Oprah that her movie Beloved is considered pornography here in Kansas. In other states,   issues with required reading can be worked out between the teachers, the parents and the school district – but that’s just crazy talk here in Kansas!   We love d-r-a-m-a (see point #1).  This bill was introduced back in 2007, and everyone thought it was cray-cray back then.  Leave it to Kansas to dust it off and bring it back from the past!
As you make your decision consider a few things – the children are wonderful and ready to learn.  The parents are engaged and a trusted partner in their children’s education.  The districts are doing everything they can with what they have. The lawmakers….well just log on Twitter and follow the hashtag.
Good luck with your new career and we hope to see you in Kansas this fall.
Sincerely,
Aimee

 

 

 

 

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You might have heard me this morning.  I dusted off my old pom poms and started my old cheers from back when I was a junior high cheerleader – “We’re #1, we can’t be #2, we’re going to kick the snot out of you! Gooooooo Kansas!”

Why am I so excited about being #1?

Kansas beat out the 49 other states at something.  It’s not often that happens, but when it does I want to grab my pom poms and cheer about it!

Was it for being #1 at education?  Ding.  Try again.dTreE6rXc

Was it for being #1 at job growth?  Ding. Try again.

Was it for being the healthiest state in the nation?  Ding. You are out!

It was because (cue up the marching band) all states showed falling uninsured rates but one -Kansas.

Who says when we put our minds to something we don’t succeed?

Kansas, of course, is one of more than 30 states that opted not to set up its own state exchange, or marketplace, under Obamacare. And it’s one of 22 states that have declined to expand Medicaid.

Gallup

And now we are #1 in a rise of uninsured people in the country! Woohoo!!!  Tell me again why opting out of setting up our own exchange was a good idea and why not expanding Medicaid helps Kansas?

Staying in cheerleading mode, I’m moving on to Senate Bill 123 or as I like to call it – Gimme a M, Gimme an O, Gimme a N, Gimme an E, Gimme a Y – what’s that spell?  Money!  Money! Money! This bill would allow KanCare to decide what anti-psychotic medications could be prescribed to mentally ill patients.  Forget the doctor.  Forget what the patient needs.  It’s now between KanCare and….well KanCare.

I found this little nugget from the hearing,

The committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Republican from Shawnee, set aside 20 minutes for the bill’s proponents, 20 minutes for its opponents and 20 minutes for questions. The 15 opponents’ comments were each limited to about 90 seconds, while the five proponents were limited to four minutes. “I’m sorry, but we have so many people who’ve signed up to testify that’s all the time we have,” said Pilcher-Cook, addressing a packed hearing room. – See more at: http://www.khi.org/news/article/mental-health-advocates-share-concerns-about-proposed-kancare-drug-change#sthash.sLBkvcBw.dpuf

That seems about right.  The opponents get less time than the proponents, but she is sooooo sorry (wink wink).

I thought that lawmakers in Kansas were only in the role of playing doctor when it came to women’s lady parts, but turns out they also play doctor when it comes to knowing the what the right types of drugs are for the mentally ill in our state.

Since 2002, state law has guaranteed Medicaid patients access to whatever behavioral health drugs their physician or psychiatrist sees fit to prescribe. Senate Bill 123 would change that, allowing the state to develop policies for deciding how, after July 1, mental health drugs would be prescribed. The three managed care organizations in KanCare would implement the policies. According to Kansas Department of Health and Environment Acting Secretary Susan Mosier, tightening the prescription processes would improve beneficiaries’ health and likely save the state $8.3 million. – See more at: http://www.khi.org/news/article/mental-health-advocates-share-concerns-about-proposed-kancare-drug-change#sthash.sLBkvcBw.dpuf

The state wants to get involved in prescribing drugs to the mentally ill so they can save a buck?  Gimme a B!  Gimme a R…..Oh hell Gimme a freaking break.  This is beyond outrageous.  It’s just plain wrong.

Welcome to Kansas – we’re #1 in uninsured and #1 in not treating our mentally ill with respect! Goooooo Kansas!

 

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