Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

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Dear Governor Brownback and Republican Lawmakers,

Nothing says summertime bummertime like the Kansas Supreme Court handing down the big KS education decision on May 27th right before the kick off of the holiday weekend.

“This case requires us to determine whether the State has met its burden to show that recent legislation brings the State’s K-12 public school funding system into compliance with Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution,” the court wrote in an opinion not attributable to any individual judge. “We hold it has not.”

The ruling allows me to use my favorite hashtag #NotShocked.

Gov. Sam Brownback issued a more terse statement calling the decision “unfortunate” and that “The court is engaging in political brinksmanship with this ruling, and the cost will be borne by our students.”

http://kcur.org/post/kansas-supreme-court-rules-state-s-public-school-funding-formula-unconstitutional

That darn Supreme Court and their “political brinkmanship”. I’ll just leave this article about six school districts closing early due to lack of funds riiiiggghhht here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/22/kansas-schools-funding_n_7112702.html

Some people call it lack of snow days, others call it a $50 million dollar cut in funding.  Some say tomato….

Lets stay focused on what really matters here  – not our kids and funding their schools but political brinkmanship.  It’s kinda like when a group has an agenda, a radical one, and they go in and carry out that radical agenda with dire consequences to the state.  Where have I heard that before?

For some reason the phrases “tax cuts” and “revenue problems” keep popping up in my mind.   I must be light headed from too much sun time at the pool.

Anyhoo…now you have until June 30th to fix this mess.  I want to be viewed as a team player so I added this handy-dandy countdown clock to my blog.  It is counting down the days until June 30th when a new funding formula must be in place or Kansas schools run the risk of closing.

Naming this clock was a bear.  Some of the ideas I had were:

  • The KS Public Education Catastrophe Countdown
  • The Countdown to KS Public Education Total Annihilation
  • The Countdown to KS Public Education Dumpster Fire
  • The countdown to the end of your political careers

 

I settled on KS Public Education Implosion.  I can change it – so let me know if you have any ideas.  Always here to help.

Yours for detesting political brinkmanship,

Aimee

 

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Kansas is keeping my blood pressure up this week with a series of ridiculous stories from around the state.

Let’s start with the shooting at a graduation that started in an uncomfortable sock. I’ve watched a lot of action movies in my life and NEVER I mean NEVER have I ever seen the good guy reach for the gun inside of his sweaty sock.  Turns out there is a reason for this.  PSA ALERT! Guns and socks don’t mix.  If you have to mix your socks and guns – I suggest you get a nifty pair of socks WITH  guns, not guns IN socks. Anyway, here’s the story from 12 KWCH in Wichita, KS  (I took the liberty of highlighting the important parts)

AUGUSTA, Kan. (KWCH) UPDATE: 

Chief Tyler Brewer said he will recommend the charge of criminal use of a weapon/possession of a firearm on school grounds.

“Let’s just cut to the chase here,” said Brewer. “The gun should’ve stayed in the car. An ankle, in a sock, is not an adequate place to put your weapon.”

Chief Brewer said the concealed weapon was a Kel-tec semi-auto 380.

When it got uncomfortable in the man’s sock, he tried to re-adjust it. Instead, the gun triggered shooting the man in the foot. It then ricocheted off the ground, flying more than 50 feet, into a women’s calf.

The man drove himself to Kansas Medical Center for treatment. The woman was taken to Wesley Medical Center in serious condition.

“She was released from the hospital and is fine as can be. You know, she’s got a bullet that’s in her leg,” said Brewer.
He says the class B misdemeanor he’s recommending for the incident carries a fine of up to $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison. The man could also lose his license, but under Kansas law, he’d still be able to carry a gun legally because he has no felony.

“Unfortunately, sometimes people just don’t use common sense.” said Brewer.

No federal charges will be filed in this case.

FactFinder12 wanted to know: is it illegal to take a concealed gun, with a permit, into a high school football stadium?

It comes down to what the state means by two words – “grounds” and “building.”

According the Kansas attorney general’s website, concealed carry permit holders are allowed to carry on the “grounds of a K-12 school,” but district’s can post signs on school “buildings” prohibiting concealed carry inside.

No one FactFinder 12 spoke with is exactly sure what lawmakers meant by the terms grounds and buildings.

http://www.kwch.com/content/news/One-seriously-hurt-at-possible-shooting-at-Augusta-high-school-379583611.html

Lawmakers – what did you mean by grounds and buildings?  Now might be a great time to clue us in.

Sometimes people just don’t use common sense and in Kansas people without common sense aren’t required to take gun safety training.  Makes total sense.  #Sarcasm

 

 

Moving on – in other news KCUR broke an interesting story about how Bill Self is the highest paid Kansas employee who pays almost no income tax thanks to his handy-dandy LLC status.  http://kcur.org/post/thanks-tax-cuts-bill-self-highest-paid-state-employee-owes-little-kansas-income-taxes

People are pissed about the budget mess that Kansas is in right now.  Then we get to read about a millionaire not paying taxes in Kansas and it’s legal.   I guarantee the most googled search phrase in Kansas right now is “starting my own LLC”.

 

(psst…KS lawmakers – ya might want to tighten up that gigantic LLC tax exemption gap next session while the state is busy processing the thousands of new LLC applications.)

 

Moving on to a favorite KS GOP topic – poor shaming.  Poor Kansans can’t take cruises and now their time on TANF has been reduced from four to three years.  The only way around that is if families get a “hardship exemption” – at this point I think all of us enduring the Brownback years should qualify for a “hardship exemption”.

Here’s the pull yourself up by your bootstraps quote from Brownback,

“The longer you’re out of the work force, the harder it is to get back into it, and this is encouraging people to get back into the work force on a sooner basis so that the deterioration of those work skills doesn’t continue to happen,” Brownback said. “… You need people getting back in the game quicker.”

Inspiring isn’t it? Too bad “the game” sucks in Kansas from the lackluster job growth.  Good luck finding all of those new jobs that we were promised.  http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/yael-t-abouhalkah/article72012847.html

 

 

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This is me excited to ride the Kansas City streetcar today.

Can’t you tell by my nifty T-shirt?  I won that T-shirt last year in a twitter contest where I tweeted in 140 characters or less why I was so excited to ride the Kansas City streetcar.

Today I wore my special t-shirt downtown to ride the streetcar on the 2nd day of operation. I wanted everyone to know that I fully supported this new investment in downtown Kansas City.

I arrived with my family around 1:30 pm and the River Market was buzzing like I had never seen on a Saturday.  Parking was hard to find and since I work in the area, I was able to snag a company parking spot.

We walked three blocks over to where the action was, ate a great meal at Cascone’s Grill and jumped right on the new streetcar at the stop directly outside of the restaurant.

The plan was to take the streetcar to the Crossroads area – jump off to check out the new restaurants and shops and hop back on to Union Station where I heard there was a carnival taking place.

The cars were packed with people.  Even with the air conditioning blasting at full blast – the 90 degree air outside made it hard to keep cool inside with so many people.  At every stop, more people tried to jam themselves on the cars.  (Shout out to the annoying woman who decided it would be a great idea to bring a bike on board with 200 of her closest friends.)

By the time we made it to the Crossroads District, my daughter wasn’t feel well.  It was clear we we were going to have to abandon our plans and head back to our car and call it a day.  We quickly crossed the street and were able to jump on another streetcar headed back down towards the River Market.

The streetcar was humming along the route when we were right before the North Loop stop at 7th and Main.

Then we sat…

and waited…

and waited…

When you have a child who doesn’t feel well, it seemed like forever, but probably we sat for 10 minutes.  People started pushing the button to open the doors and left the cars.  The driver made an announcement,

“The streetcar in front of us has broken down.  We are waiting for the car to be removed so we can continue.”

All of the doors towards the right side of the car suddenly opened and then a police officer came jumped on board.  He told us that the car had a door problem and that we all needed to get off the car.  He mentioned something about buses coming, but no real details were given.

People left the streetcar.

Some took pictures with the broken down streetcar.

Some had the officer take their picture with the broken down streetcar.

 

I went up to the employee working on the platform and asked what we should do?  When were the buses coming?  When I realized he had no idea what we should do, I recorded this video.

 

We waited and no buses came.  I looked around to flag down a cab.  And then I snapped back into reality and remembered we lived in Kansas City.   No cabs were coming.

I looked across the highway at the River Market and realized I parked about as far on the other side of the River Market as you could get. My poor child wasn’t feeling well so I went back to look for the officer to see if he could provide some assistance.  In what seemed like an instant – the officers were all gone.  They left us all to figure it out on our own.

So we all started walking across the highway to the River Market.

My family made it back to the car – exhausted and with a story to tell.

Now here is the rant part starts so hold on and buckle in….

I get that there are going to be issues with the streetcar.  I don’t have it built up to be some sort of ride at Disneyland.  It’s public transportation – and public transportation can have serious problems (see recent Metro fire in DC) – but it’s DAY 2!  I don’t work for the streetcar, but at this point you can consider me a free consultant….

  1. Have a back up plan more complex than just WALKING!
  2. Communicate that back up plan to all employees! ALL EMPLOYEES! Even the guy standing on the platform!!!  That is why everyone has cell phones. No one should be unaware of what is happening in 2016!  The same message should be delivered by all employees to concerned passengers.
  3. See #1.
  4. This city and your route are NOT THAT BIG – activate your back up plan within 5-10 minutes and then communicate that to people!
  5. I love that the police were in on picture taking part of this mishap, but stick around long enough next time to see, if after the novelty wears off, if people actually need help.
  6. If I wasn’t clear enough – see #1.

Ultimately, time will tell if this streetcar will be a success in this town.  Day 2 has me wondering, but I will ride it again and give it another chance.  I will just be sure my Uber app is ready to go as my backup plan and not depend on the city to have my or my family’s back.

 

 

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Dear Kansas Democrats,

 

Here was the headline that jumped out on my twitter feed,

Spat between Democrats sees Hensley say to Francisco: ‘I’m done with you

You had me at spat.  Of course I’m going to click on it.  Goooo ooooonnnnnnn….

— An open rift among Kansas Senate Democrats was exposed recently after a vote on a school funding equity bill that is now being reviewed by the Kansas Supreme Court.

Lawrence Democrat Marci Francisco voted “pass” on the bill, igniting anger from Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka.

“Marci: I’m done with you,” Hensley wrote to Francisco in a text message obtained by the Journal-World. “You vote to undermine my leadership all the time. To vote ‘pass’ on a bill that is clearly unconstitutional is a travesty to the education community.”

The message was sent to Francisco and two other individuals. It has since been forwarded and copied to a number of others, and was later obtained by the Journal-World. Both Francisco and Hensley confirmed the content of the text message.” http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/apr/22/hensley-francisco-im-done-you/

This article was barely hot off the press and the KS GOP was capitalizing on it – and who can blame them?

Democrats are done, even with each other 

What in the fresh hell Democrats?

It’s like you can’t get out of your own way.  You’ve got a Governor who is about as popular as a STD and Republicans who are to blame for bankrupting our state.  You have people finally standing up who can’t wait to vote these guys out of office. You should be in a position of strength from this and INSTEAD you decide this is a great time to air TEXTGATE 2016.  It’s like losing 15 pounds and rewarding yourself with a giant hot fudge sundae.  Talk about self-sabotage.

Since I care about our state and I don’t want the same people in office during the next election – I’m going to offer you a little texting advice.  Here are Aimee’s top three rules for texting.

  1. Don’t text mad.
  2. Don’t forward texts.
  3. Don’t forward mad texts.

It’s as simple as that.  I get that you have issues.  What party doesn’t, but do your best to ACT like you get along so we can all work together to get this state on a better path come the next election.

Yours for a friendlier texting world,

Aimee

gay-marriage-rights

Dear MO lawmakers,

I am going to confess something just between you and me.  I have a superpower.  I have the ability to look into the future and predict what what will happen.  It’s not on all things or trust me, I would have already quit my day job, launched my highly successful reality television show on TLC and have a celebrity client list a mile long who would also be my BFFs.  My ability to predict the  future only applies to anti-gay bills.  I will use my superpower to predict what will happen if you pass SJR39.

SJR39 is a bill that (if passed) would grant protection for people who oppose gay marriage.  Goods and services could be denied if people oppose gay marriage.  Photographers, bakers and florists could deny services to gay people seeking those services for their wedding and SJR39 would provide protection to deny those services.

“A few of them (committee members) have asked for more time, because they’ve gotten legal memos just today and they’ve asked for more time to consider them,” state Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, said Wednesday night.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/missouri-house-panel-delays-vote-on-contentious-religious-liberty-measure/article_99262d0f-1de5-5ed0-bf1e-3ca9d665bc48.html

As you consider those legal memos, I will predict the future if you pass SJR39 and hopefully this will provide you with a little clarity on what you should do.

 

Enjoy a good rock concert?  I know I do.  You can kiss those goodbye.  Just look at other states that have passed similar bills and all of the rock stars that now refuse to play those states in protest.

http://time.com/4293460/north-carolina-springsteen-buffett-lauper-starr/

I have tickets to the Dixie Chicks concert in Kansas City this summer.  I think you and I both know this is a band that never misses a good protest.  They will cancel their concert.  The only thing KC fans will have to look forward to is me standing in the P&L district weeping and singing “Not Ready to Make Nice” at the top of my tone-deaf lungs.  Do you really want to be responsible for that hot mess?

 

I hear Republicans are pro-business.  Well, legislation like this is as anti-business as you can get.  Just look at the names that are against this legislation.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/business-backlash-against-same-sex-marriage-proposal-in-missouri-legislature/article_cd9a9418-0761-5723-9c9b-9e09dfb148f7.html

  • Warner L. Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Corporation
  • John R. Sondag, president of AT&T Missouri
  • Steven H. Lipstein, president and CEO of BJC HealthCare
  • Jerald L. Kent, chairman and CEO of Cequel III, LLC
  • David Kemper, chairman and CEO of Commerce Bank
  • Larry Ryan, president, energy and water solutions, The Dow Chemical Company
  • David P. Hatfield, president and CEO of Edgewell Personal Care Company
  • James D. Weddle, managing partner of Edward Jones
  • George Paz, chairman and CEO of Express Scripts
  • Sam Fox, founder of Harbor Group
  • Mark Trudeau, president and CEO of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
  • Rob reeg, president, MasterCard operations and technology
  • Hugh Grant, chairman and CEO of Monsanto Company
  • Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square
  • Joe Reagan, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber
  • James G. Powers, president of UniGroup
  • Mark S. Wrighton, chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis

You know something is seriously wrong when SJR39 has put me and Monsanto on the same side of an issue.  As a flaming liberal, I’m not really comfortable agreeing with Monsanto on anything.  Can we just wrap this up, kill this bill and I’ll go back to hating Monsanto?

 

Moving on to another area – sports!

And who doesn’t love sports?   Pass SJR39 and college sports will be heading elsewhere.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/prishe/2016/04/06/the-ncaa-missouri-and-sjr-39-the-sports-economics-of-adopting-religious-freedom-bill/#6631760c2267

Good news is that I have a weekly card game that I will live stream for your sports enjoyment.  Let’s see…college basketball vs. ladies playing cards  I think it’s a win-win.

 

How does that religious freedom look now?   Pass SJR39 and that’s what you have to look forward to.  How about if you do the state of Missouri a favor, stop considering this bill and move on?  You and I both know it’s the right thing to do.   If you need a quick reminder this week, I’ll sing you a few tunes of the Dixie Chicks – you will start hating life and quickly defeat this bill.  Trust me.

 

Yours for using superpowers for good,

Aimee

 

 

 

 

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