In a better world

Dahlia Lithwick shared this on FB.  Love it.

Empathy. Listening. Changing one’s mind. Humility. Personal Relationships. Rinse Repeat.

Aug 14, 2016- Colin Kaepernick sits for the national anthem…..and no one noticed.
Aug 20th, 2016- Colin again sits, and again, no one noticed.
Aug 26th, 2016- Colin sits and this time he is met with a level of vitriol unseen against an athlete. Even the future President of the United States took shots at him while on the campaign trail. Colin went on to explain his protest had NOTHING to with the military, but he felt it hard to stand for a flag that didn’t treat people of color fairly.
Then on on Aug 30th, 2016 Nate Boyer, a former Army Green Beret turned NFL long snapper, penned an open letter to Colin in the Army Times. In it he expressed how Colin’s sitting affected him.
Then a strange thing happened. Colin was able to do what most Americans to date have not…
He listened.
In his letter Mr. Boyer writes:
“I’m not judging you for standing up for what you believe in. It’s your inalienable right. What you are doing takes a lot of courage, and I’d be lying if I said I knew what it was like to walk around in your shoes. I’ve never had to deal with prejudice because of the color of my skin, and for me to say I can relate to what you’ve gone through is as ignorant as someone who’s never been in a combat zone telling me they understand what it’s like to go to war.
Even though my initial reaction to your protest was one of anger, I’m trying to listen to what you’re saying and why you’re doing it.”
Mr. Boyer goes on to write “There are already plenty people fighting fire with fire, and it’s just not helping anyone or anything. So I’m just going to keep listening, with an open mind.
I look forward to the day you’re inspired to once again stand during our national anthem. I’ll be standing right there next to you.”
Empathy and understanding was shown by Mr. Boyer………and Mr. Kaepernick reciprocated.
Colin invited Nate to San Diego where the two had a 90 minute discussion and Nate proposed Colin kneel instead of sit.
But why kneel? In a military funeral, after the flag is taken off the casket of the fallen military member, it is smartly folded 13 times and then presented to the parents, spouse or child of the fallen member by a fellow service member while KNEELING.
The two decided that kneeling for the flag would symbolize his reverence for those that paid the ultimate sacrifice while still allowing Colin to peacefully protest the injustices he saw.
Empathy, not zealotry under the guise of patriotism, is the only way meaningful discussion can be had. Mr. Kaepernick listened to all of you that say he disrespects the military and extended an olive branch to find peace.

Thanks @Claire Kaplan.

Surprise: tax “reform” = tax cuts for rich people

The NYT Editorial sums it up nicely:

This much is clear: The tax “framework” published by Republican leaderson Wednesday would greatly increase the federal deficit, would not turbocharge economic growth and could leave many middle-class families worse off by ending deductions they rely on. It would do little or nothing to improve the lot of the working class, a group President Trump says he is fighting for. It would instead provide a windfall to hedge fund managers, corporate executives, real estate developers and other members of the 1 percent. And can it be just a happy coincidence that Mr. Trump and his family would benefit “bigly” from this plan? …

Under the guise of helping small businesses thrive and thereby creating jobs, the Republicans propose to lower the tax rates paid by people who earn money through private equity firms, partnerships, limited liability companies and other businesses — the very entities that Mr. Trump earns much of his income from. The framework would tax such so-called pass-through income at 25 percent, rather than at ordinary income tax rates. But here’s a depressing truth: The administration’s claims to the contrary, the plan would not help most small businesses, since they already pay less than 25 percent because their incomes put them in lower tax brackets. It would help millionaires, with the 400 richest households saving an average of $5.5 million, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

It’s hard to predict the economic impact of these skeletal proposals. But most experts agree that they could raise the federal budget deficit by trillions of dollars. As they have so many times in the past, Republicans will surely argue that the cuts would spur growth, and, in some measure, pay for themselves. This is the old supply-side hooey. In fact, over time the increased borrowing for unproductive tax cuts could depress growth by driving up interest rates.

It should also be noted that none of this is real reform.  This is just tax cuts for rich people with a few tweaks.  We could use real reform, bu this sure as hell ain’t it.

Meanwhile, a NYT news article actually pretty boldly points out that Republicans only care about deficits when Democrats are in charge

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