what's the matter with kansas?

Kansas Hero Emma Sullivan Refuses To Apologize To Sam Brownback

'I'm melting I'm melting because of that mean little girl, and her little dog Twitter.'High school senior Emma Sullivan made an honest joke about Kansas governor/wingnut Sam Brownback, on Twitter, and wound up in the principal’s office, where she was ordered to write an apology. This followed the governor’s office calling the schoolgirl’s principal to demand “respect” after seeing the tweet. Today was the deadline to turn in her letter, which would obviously be insincere, as she is an intelligent liberal young lady and Sam Brownback is a cretinous teabagger who is the spokesmodel for What’s the Matter With Kansas? And Sullivan now says she’s not writing any such apology. This means war. UPDATE: And now Brownback has apologized to Emma Sullivan, because he now blames his staff, who “over-reacted to this tweet,” ha ha ha.

The Associated Press reports this morning:

An American teenager who wrote a disparaging tweet about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said Sunday that she is rejecting her high school principal’s demand for a written apology.

Emma Sullivan, 18, said she isn’t sorry and doesn’t think such a letter would be sincere.

But the school district has already backed down, because who needs this kind of publicity, and now says Sullivan doesn’t have to apologize:

A northeast Kansas school district says a high school senior who wrote a disparaging tweet about Gov. Sam Brownback doesn’t have to write a letter of apology and won’t face any repercussions.

The Shawnee Mission School District says it “acknowledges a student’s right to freedom of speech and expression is constitutionally protected.”

We don’t look at the cable news or listen to the AM radio, obviously, because we don’t want to go on a tri-state killing spree every day, so we cannot confirm that Fox News has already called her a communist prostitute or that Rush Limbaugh called her “a monstrously obese old man addicted to stolen prescription drugs,” but this has surely happened already. Go Emma! Bring Kansas back to its radical anarchist roots! Smash the system!

Speaking of Kansas, did you know The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was actually a parable about economic injustice and populist wingnut William Jennings Bryan trying to use farmer unrest as a way to change the monetary system or something? The yellow brick road was the “gold standard,” and the wizard was probably Ron Paul, and the Emerald City and silver slippers stood in for Greenbacks and Bryan’s silver coinage scheme, and the monkeys were Native Americans crushed by the Wizard from their previously happy lives of socialist nature freedom, and Dorothy was a “regular American” because she was so dumb and naive, and the dog was a rat from space, and “Oz” is the abbreviation for “ounce” (as in “an ounce of gold is money”), and the witches of the East and West were the Wall Street and San Francisco banks, and the Tin Man was American industrial society because it was heartless, and the Scarecrow was Joe Biden, and who knows what else? Sam Brownback was a sack of jabbering poop in the original Broadway version, that’s what. [Christian Science Monitor]

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  1. Indiepalin

    Sam Brownback will also play a sack of jabbering poop in the upcoming MTV reality show, "Two and a Half Tons"

  2. freakishlywrong

    Brownshirt could also be the cowardly lion, if he only had courage. Or the Tin man for the lack of heart.

    1. Terry

      The cowardly lion and tin man were actually very nice people, despite lacking courage and a heart. Brownback is not.

  3. FNMA

    I could help her.

    Dear Gov. Shitforbrains,
    I'm sorry you were offended.
    Your friend,

  4. Mojopo

    Having seen the musical staged in Chicago recently, I can tell you that it was a stroke of genius to have Gov. Browneye play Miss Gulch. He gets on that nasty bicycle (da dadada dah dah…) and it's like, "Margaret Hamilton WHO?"

    1. WunkRocker

      Has Blownsack thrown his lacky under the bus yet for following orders to call the school and demand r.e.s.p.e.k.t yet? If not, reload, repeat as necessary. I suspect my twatters are blocked as I sent him a bunch of profound profanities.

  5. BaldarTFlagass

    Where does Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon fit in on that last paragraph of Wizard of Oz gibberish?

    1. Ken Layne

      She left out that the cyclone has a long history as a symbol of political upheaval, and that it smashes the gray misery of the foreclosed farmer on the baked plains to reveal a beautiful world of plenty for all, both large and small.

          1. Dashboard_Jesus

            thanks for the link, I always suspected the Wiz was a bit *subversive* for a fairy tale plus my favorite raging liberal talk show host Mike Malloy always uses the tagline "flying monkey right' when describing the antics of the Repugnant Party so it MUST be true…also :)

      1. James Michael Curley

        I always liked the description of "The Wizard of Oz" as. 'The ultimate chick flick; two women trying to kill each other over a pair of shoes.'

        1. DemmeFatale

          I had an old boyfriend (Comp. Lit. grad student), who swore that Dorothy's shoes were red to signify her emerging womanhood, and that the poppy field was all about drug use.

          1. James Michael Curley

            Dorothy’s shoes were originally silver in Baum’s book. I don’t remember why they were red in the movie. As for the poppies, here is Baum’s writing; “They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever. But Dorothy did not know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep.” There is no snow in the book, but as Hollywood interprets the revival of Dorothy and the Lion, ‘snow’ as a slang term for cocaine predates the movie by a decade at least.

    2. OneYieldRegular

      I'm fairly sure the common denominator is marijuana. Speaking of which, that anyone that stoned has ever managed to sync up Dark Side of the Moon to the precise specified point in Wizard of Oz is a miracle.

  6. Lascauxcaveman

    …she is rejecting her high school principal’s demand for a written apology.

    Emma Sullivan, 18, said she isn’t sorry and doesn’t think such a letter would be sincere.

    Maybe her English teacher will punish her by making her write an essay in the form of one of those insincere "I'm sorry if anyone was offended" apologies. Or a parody of such (is such a thing possible?) if her English teacher is a snarky libtard.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      Now that would set her on the path to a good career in politics. Or maybe a three-part essay. First, the denial, second the "Oh I seem to remember tweeting that," and third blaming the media.

    2. Master Janitor V572

      "Dear Governor 'Brownback',

      "It is with great regret that I find you to be so thin-skinned as to feel obligated to use the full weight of your office, that of Governor of the Great State of Kansas, to reproach me, a high school student in the Kansas City suburbs. Moreover, I also regret the fact that state employees — earning taxpayer-funded salaries and benefits — are apparently directed by you to "monitor" social media, an activity very hard to distinguish from masturbation.

      "I am truly and deeply sorry that you are such a petty and vindictive man, and hope that your successor in office, whether installed there in the next election or as a result of a much-to-be-desired recall event before that, is capable of conducting himself as a responsible adult, rather than a petulant child.

      Emma Sullivan
      Age 18"

      1. Dashboard_Jesus

        that is such a major fucking WIN! that Emma herself oughta just copy n' paste this in her FB post (too long for a tweet right?)

  7. RedneckMuslin

    Brownback sucks dicks and so does the governor of Indiana and all Red States. I ain't apologizin' either!

        1. tessiee

          "your permanent record"

          "Yes, well your resume is impressive, and we'd love to hire you… except for *that unfortunate incident* in second grade spelling" — Lynda Barry

  8. Maman

    Good for Emma! On the downside, I hope she has no illusions about her applications to K-State and KU. If Brownback is this thin-skinned and petty, he will have her blackballed from those universities.

    1. Eve8Apples

      Someone with Emma's keen political insight deserves better than a Kansas education. Being blackballed from a shitty Kansas school is a sign of superior intelligence.

    2. rickmaci

      If you looked closely at the red sweatshirt she was wearing in earlier pictures, it was a collegiate sweatshirt for Arkansas. That's how much Kansas blows. A smart kid from Kansas would rather go to college in Arkansas. Go Razorbacks.

    3. tessiee

      "her applications to K-State and KU. If Brownback is this thin-skinned and petty, he will have her blackballed from those universities."

      So, is that like being banished from McDonald's, or what?

    1. chicken_thief

      Dubya? The Muslin Pretender in Chief? Hitler? Oh, wait, those are (our? Where's Walker when you need the son of a bitch?!) all Hitler…

  9. freakishlywrong

    We really need to reach out to Emma and invite her to join the Merry Wanksters. She's a natural, that gal!

  10. BaldarTFlagass

    Perhaps she should issue a "Republipology", i.e. "I'm sorry that you're insulted that I pointed out that you are a tool."

  11. Ducksworthy

    William Jennings Bryan as the wizard? Makes sense? And Ron Paul would be his replacement today. Trying to use the economic crisis to bring the rubes back to Jeebus (aka Any Rand).

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      And the hot air balloon in the penultimate scene? Obvious foreshadowing of this, proving that L Frank Baum was even *more* of a visionary than we ever knew.

  12. KeepFnThatChicken

    Gov. Brownback,

    Tit for tat. You'll get your apology when you renounce your creationist beliefs. My state-wide humiliation for your beleaguered, offended soul.

    Still waiting,

    p.s. It's cyber Monday, why don't you see if there's a discount on thicker skin, pussy.

    1. freakishlywrong

      That picture is very disturbing. I wish you’d have chosen something else. I realize that it’s a shameful part of American history that we should never forget, but it’s too much.

  13. dijetlo

    Dear Governor Brownback,

    Just in case you were offended, I'm sorry you suck so much.
    I'm also sorry that you are such an insecure little drooler that you'd use your office to force my principal to make a complete douchenozzle of himself, also.
    In case that offends you.

  14. Baconzgood

    “acknowledges a student’s right to freedom of speech and expression is constitutionally protected. But only after it got into the papers."

  15. BaldarTFlagass

    "She won't write the apology? We should put her on probation."
    "But she's already on probation."
    "She is? Well, as of this moment, she's on DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!"

  16. Callyson

    Well, *I'll* make an apology or three…
    "I'm sorry the voters ever elected you"
    "I'm sorry you are even more thin – skinned than Michele Bachmann"
    "I'm sorry that a high school girl is smarter than you"

  17. Pragmatist2

    "The Shawnee Mission School District says it “acknowledges a student’s right to freedom of speech and expression is constitutionally protected.”"
    Well, now, isn't that special.
    Next they will agree that "the right not be enslaved is constitutionally protected." Of course, they will have to check with the mega-farms that employ migrant workers first.

  18. PeaceWithHonor

    Brownback disparages himself with every word he utters. He should apologize to himself and then apologize for the apology.

  19. edgydrifter

    I expect Brownback will send out the state patrol to burn down her house now, because that's obviously the only logical response to being publicly disrespected like this.

  20. DonnyKerabotsos

    Love that kid! Stand firm, Emma.

    Brownback's website is "currently undergoing redesign" which is the internet equivalent of leaving the phone off the hook when trying to dodge a call.

    The donate button is still there, naturally, along with a picture of Brownie holding hands with some dude. I kid you not.

    1. Blueb4sunrise

      I'm getting married in the morning
      Ding dong the bells are gonna chime
      Pull out the stopper!
      Let's have a whopper!
      But get me to the church on time

    2. Trannysurprise

      You can just tell from the photo that "some dude" is a raging Republican secret homo. I mean, look at the hair. Amirite or amirite?

  21. Mojopo

    How come Gov. Brownback's staff has so much time to follow a pretty teenager around Twitter?

    Emma, if anyone from his office tries to get to you to go for a ride with them in their van, I want you to run away and tell me immediately.

  22. Master Janitor V572

    We don’t look at the cable news or listen to the AM radio, obviously, because we don’t want to go on a tri-state killing spree every day, so we cannot confirm that…

    = "I don't have the facts to back this up, but…"


    "…not intended to be a factual statement."

      1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

        Tom Servo: Joel, what chance do we have in a world that keeps presenting us with vivid images of hell?

        Joel: Well, there's personal liberty, strength of conviction, those have been known to work. And then there's the time the country rallies together to beat back hell, like the time we as a nation said no to Yahoo Serious.

        Crow T. Robot: I remember that. All of us together, drawn inexplicably to the slobbering mouth of hell, and then suddenly, somehow, by some unknown force, rescued in the nick of time, like Moses and the Israelites.

        1. finallyhappy

          me too!!(saw boy from Oz twice and saw him and Daniel Craig outside the theater during their play in NYC) but I think I am too old to handle that much man. i nearly passed out when he came out of the stage door and was about a foot away from me.

  23. BlueStateLibel

    And the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz stood for every Chickenhawk Republican who weaseled out of Vietnam.

  24. ProgressiveInga

    Well, Oz never did give nothin' to the Tin Man that he didn't already have.

    Oh, and that Sam Brownback?

          1. jqheywood


            (Sorry, I went to see the Muppets movie, and now I have this ear worm, so it is the only tune I can answer with…)

  25. neiltheblaze

    Emma Sullivan is my hero. I love how they came out and said she doesn't have to apologize *after* she told them to pound sand. HA HA HA HA

    1. LowProfileinGA

      "Pound sand/salt" is so USW (United Steel Workers.) So said my father-in-law, a USW stalwart from Pittsburgh.

  26. chicken_thief

    Shit. If the school won't enforce his demand for an apology, Brownback is going to have to resort to the "I'LL HOLD MY BREATH UNTIL I TURN BLUE!!!" line of persuasion.

  27. KeepFnThatChicken

    FTA: Sherriene Jones-Sontag, the governor's spokeswoman, told The Star previously that Sullivan's message wasn't respectful and that it takes mutual respect to "really have a constructive dialogue."

    HAHAHAHA, "Sherry-enne", but the only dialog an old dick governor wants with an 18-year-old female is when he says, "Don't worry, lollipop… I only shoot blanks."

  28. MrFizzy

    Sam Brownback, hmmmmm….anagrams to Scab Rank Womb, and brings to mind a certain liquid called Santorum.

    1. tessiee

      "Do I have to be gay and/or black to use the phrase "You go, girl!"?"

      If you just say it, then no, but if you accompany it with the head-shaking and finger snaps, then yes.

    1. MozakiBlocks

      I want to have my way with whomever posted this gem

      "We didn't fight the Japs on the beaches of Normandy just to have you guys take away Brownies right to Suck… just sayin…"

  29. Mahousu

    Actually, Fox News is taking it quite well, They just reported "Sam Brownback (D) loses fight with high school girl."

  30. SayItWithWookies

    This bodes ill for Gov. Blowsalot's efforts to change the Kansas state song to "Sam Brownback is Moses, Jesus and Roger Staubach All Rolled into One."

  31. prommie

    True story, I once write a lengthy LTE (I was such a geek) criticizing the then-governor for appointing a hack to the State supreme court. The paper didn't just print it, they put it on the cover of the Sunday Opinion section, with a headline and everything. And my name.

    I went to work Monday morning expecting congratulations. I witnessed a bunch of grown up, adult lawyers scurrying around in a cowardly panic. They had lost their minds. The Firm had already written a letter apologizing for/distancing itself from my actions, and had it hand-delivered to the governor's office. I was summoned to a senior partner's office and threatened with firing, for having "endangered the jobs of hundreds of people."

    I quit the firm, and the law, a couple of months later.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Heh. If I were your attorney I would have advised you against telling the truth. Legally speaking, it's rarely a good choice.

    2. user-of-owls

      I quit the firm, and the law, a couple of months later.

      I'd like to say you're both better off, but really, it's only you.

  32. boobookitteh

    This kinda, almost, sorta, maybe gives me hope for the future. Maybe these kids will turn out all right after all. I mean if this young woman can see through this guy's bullshit, that's a ray of hope right there.

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        I would while away the hours/
        with my gub'natorial powers/
        and mostly without pain/

        I would not have shown imprudence/
        Losin' fights with teenage students/
        If I only had a brain.

          1. Lascauxcaveman

            I could spend a fruitful weekend
            Campaign funds to be seekin'
            From GE, Koch or Bain

            I could not be such an idjit,
            And just ignore that little gidget
            If I only had a brain

          2. not that Dewey

            Yeh, it's sad, believe me, Missy,
            When you're born to be a sissy
            Without the vim and verve.
            But I could show my prowess,
            be a lion not a mou-ess
            If I only had the nerve.

            I didn't even have to parody that one (and it wouldn't have been as good as yours, anyway).

    1. Generation[redacted]

      Tweet tweet here, tweet tweet there, and a couple of #hereallyblows
      That's how we make our voices heard in the Republican stateof Oz

  33. mereoblivion

    "Sam Brownback, for twenty-three years I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you–and now, well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!"

  34. prommie

    It would be so cool if Obama steps in and invites them both to talk about this over a couple of beers, on the White House patio.

  35. Oblios_Cap

    This followed the governor’s office calling the schoolgirl’s principal to demand “respect” after seeing the tweet.

    Respect must be earned, mothafucka.

    1. Steverino247

      Yeah, and it was an actual apology, too. (Well, that's the only thing he could do under the circumstances, but it's still surprising…)

    2. Mahousu

      I like this bit: "The issue has resulted in many teachable moments concerning the use of social media. The district does not intend to take any further action on this matter."

      In other words, "The issue has resulted in many teachable moments. However, since they would involve teaching how wrong we were, we won't."

  36. proudgrampa


    I hope that happiness always follows you. You deserve it, showing your bravery and standing up to bullies like Brownback.
    I will tell my granddaughter about you when she is old enough to understand…


  37. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Emma might have won this round, but just wait until Brownback dumps a bucket of pigs' blood on her at prom.

  38. Clancy_Pants

    Douchebag just posted this on Facebook (turns out it's his staff's fault):


    “My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize. Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms.
    I enjoyed speaking to the more than 100 students who participated in the Youth in Government Program at the Kansas Capitol. They are our future.

    I also want to thank the thousands of Kansas educators who remind us daily of our liberties, as well as the values of civility and decorum.

    Again, I apologize for our over-reaction.”

    1. Puffperney

      No actual personal apology to Emma in there. No "I'm sorry you got hauled up in front of your school principal." or anything like it. No acceptance of personal responsibility at all. I guess if you work for a politician like Brownback you can expect that being thrown under the bus comes with the territory.

  39. Mojopo

    I'm going to send little Emma a thank you card for taking this opportunity to bring attention to arts programs in schools.

  40. Lascauxcaveman

    Maybe Brownback is not as big an idiot as he seems:

    1. Pick fight with a teenage girl.
    2. Lose.
    3. …?
    4. Profit!

  41. coolhandnuke

    Dear Emma
    I'm sorry you must live/listen to Kansas. Your delightful Leftoverture to #Sirblowsalot was like a Miracle Out of Nowhere. Keep up the good work, Carry on My Wayward Chick and if this any reassurance, #Sirblowsalot will soon be Dust in the Wind.

    Respectfully yours,
    Tommy Shaw

    P.s: My band is available for your prom.

    1. FlownOver

      Kansas? Styx? Two rivers that run through Hades? Come Sail Away to the Point of Know Return?

      Or was that a ref to Damn Yankees, featuring Ted Nugent? Rock geeks want to know.

      Potato, potato.

  42. JackDempsey1

    Teenage girls are natural political operatives:
    1. they're totally catty
    2. they handle shifting alliances on a daily basis
    3. they can't remember what they said about a given person or thing last week
    4. they are delighted to blog their every waking thought, with a view toward selling it to the highest bidder when genius is recognized

  43. KeepFnThatChicken

    Why would a fiscally conservative public servant encourage his staff to search the entirety of twitter (and who knows what else) for negative comments?


  44. gurukalehuru

    Brownbutt is a jerk, but one expects that from Republican governors. The real disappointment in this is the principal. Way to stick up for your students, loser.

  45. rickmaci

    It's only a matter of time before Gov. Brownshirt's staff starts playing the victim card, blaming Emma for the whole media backdraft. Watch for it sometime today.

  46. MzNicky

    Classic non-apology apology.

    "I'm sorry if anyone misunderstood this whole thing just because my stupid staff person did as she was told and I ended up looking like a dick. Okay? Happy now?"

  47. Pat_Pending

    Not since Cicely Tyson drank out of the white people's fountain in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman… Oh wait, that was a TV movie we were forced to watch in grade school.

    Hey Emma, get a FOIA request for your FBI file asap!

  48. Antispandex

    This lovely and intelligent young woman is fortunate not to live in the United Kingdom, where the truth is NOT a defence against libel.

    1. user-of-owls

      That's because in addition to having a sense of dignity, cats have principles that cannot be compromised.

      In this way, they differ from shameless, slobbering dogs who'd debase themselves for nothing more than a wave from a passing car.

  49. user-of-owls

    Oh this is priceless. As DerrickWildcat noted above, America's Greatest Hero Ever was indeed on CNN…for something like 10 minutes!! I'm on the clawmill at the gym where it's closed captioned and lo and behold, the anchor who'd previously been having fainting spells over that language asks Emma whether she realized it would, "blow up like this?" I almost peed myself.

    You know what the only thing they obscured when they put up the tweet? That's right: blow.

  50. elfgoldsackring

    Silver slippers? RUBY slippers, dumbass.

    Why, yes, I am a gentleman of that persuasion. However did you guess?

  51. Rotundo_

    Well! Wasn't that fun campers! Fun things to look for in the near term in the Governor's staff in Kansas: If the PR folks did this on their own and made Sammy look like a schmuck, heads will roll in a short while. If not, one can be pretty sure that Sammy brought all this fun into play on his own. I'm thinking it was some over-zealous young republican type with a load of free floating rage and the little shit will be working county board seats in the hinterlands if he or she is lucky.

  52. Mrs. Bitch

    OT – wtf is that picture of? My obsessive-compulsive inner child really wants to know. It looks like a horseshoe crab with a spike sticking out of it.

  53. lulzmonger

    Apology … DENIED!

    The best laid plans of mice & malletheads aft gang agley.
    The apologizEE is now the apologizER.


  54. fuflans

    now, i thought the left were supposed to be the pussies and the right were supposed to be the assholes.


  55. iburl

    Kansas tax dollars pay for the "routine daily monitoring of comments on Twitter and Facebook mentioning the governor’s name".

    Brownback Blows.

  56. tessiee

    "she is rejecting her high school principal’s demand for a written apology.

    Emma Sullivan, 18, said she isn’t sorry and doesn’t think such a letter would be sincere."

    Sullivan to Brownback: Drop Dead

  57. tessiee

    "Speaking of Kansas, did you know The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was actually a parable about economic injustice"

    Slightly OT, but there's a wonderful Alison Lurie book about children's literature called "Don't tell the grownups", which includes mention of the Wizard of Oz book and movie, and says in part: "Oz [aka Hollywood] cannot really give the Scarecrow a brain and the Tin Woodman a heart or make the Cowardly Lion brave, since… intelligence, love, and courage are not available in Hollywood… Dorothy's friends already have the qualities they are seeking [but lack] faith in themselves, and Hollywood can give them that, so the magic is real after all… Thus the film is simultaneously an exposure, a defense, and a successful example of the role of Hollywood in American life…"

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