Read Educators from C. Wayne Collier enjoy reunion by an author (The Fayetteville Observer)

Each time the door to the banquet room at Sammio’s Italian Restaurant opened last Thursday, a swell of laughter would follow. Every entrance was greeted by genuine warmth and appreciation — like a long-gone family member had come home.

This is so cool. C. Wayne Collier Elementary School is the school my mom taught at/drove a bus at/ basically lived at for a huge chunk of her career, and I’m glad they all got to get together and have some fun for old times’ sake.
Read Quillette Duped by Left-Wing Hoaxer Posing as Communist Construction Worker by Will Sommer (The Daily Beast)

“Archie Carter,” who pretended to be a blue-collar member of the Democratic Socialists of America, says he set out to humiliate the conservative site with his error-riddled story.

Something something glass houses and stones. There should probably be a discusion on the right about how all that media criticism could just as easily apply to conservative outlets, or about how conservative outlets need to be careful that they don’t do the things they accuse so-called mainstream publications of doing, or about how maybe the same “view-them-in-the-best-light” policy that’s applied to conservative publications when they fuck up maybe should also be applied to mainstream ones, but none of those discussions are going to happen.
Read Reform coming to Chemawa Indian School in Salem, say Reps. Schrader and Bonamici by Natalie Pate (Statesman Journal)

Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici visited Chemawa Indian School Thursday after almost two years of being stonewalled by school, federal officials.

Yes, residential Indian boarding schools still exist in this country, but (and I type this with the utmost sarcasm) yeah state-sponsored racism against Native Americans is totally not a thing and they should just quit focusing on the past or get over it or something.
Read Yes, Virginia, You (Probably) Got a “Tax Cut” by Michael Siegel

People have been demanding a simpler tax system for a long time. We’ve had various presidential candidates promise that the IRS could do your taxes or the code could be simplified down to a postcard or whatever. But what people say they want and what they actually want are sometimes two different things. People want a simpler tax code … except for the mortgage interest deduction. And the charity deduction. And state/local taxes, definitely. And daycare, obviously. And healthcare expenses. And retirement contributions. And is it really fair to tax capital gains like income?
Therein lies the rub: the tax code didn’t get complex because of a ancient Egyptian curse. It got that way because we wanted it that way. We want our special deductions and social-engineering credits and alternative systems and all the other jazz. We will never simplify the tax code until a majority of Americans decide that it’s worth giving up their favorite deduction for. Or worth giving up a refund for. And this outcry is a reminder that we’re not there yet, if we ever will be. I suspect, after a year or two, most people will get used to the new system and this hubbub will die down. But this portends a tax system that will mostly go on as the shambling drunken mess that it is.
Of course, in the long run, nobody’s taxes have been cut. As Harry Browne argued in the 2000 election, a tax cut without a spending cut is not really a tax cut; it’s a shell game. Eventually, things have to be paid for. The deficit is surging right now and we are on a completely unsustainable fiscal path. Trump’s tax cut has not reduced the tax burden, Laffer Curve misrepresentations not withstanding; it’s re-arranged it so that the burden falls on the future rather than the present.
So if you’re upset that your refund is smaller or non-existent this year, better hold on to something. Because it’s only going to get worse.

The united States tax situation is, I think, worthy of having a well-known user experience design truism applied to it. To paraphrase the truism: Don’t listen to what people tell you, watch what they show you, and then proceed accordingly. Everyone wants to pay less taxes, until it comes to their favorite, (for the lack of a better term), handout: Medicare or the military or supposed border security for the red, and supposed social programs for the blue. The only people who seem to be completely honest about their positions are the libertarians and the socialists. I personally disagree for the most part with both, but I respect their consistency. I’m thinking that, for the most part, Americans treat politics like religion, and the two are almost indistinguishable at this point. Maybe we should ease up on the holy wars, because there are enough logs for all of our eyes.
Read Trump tells US Jews that Netanyahu is ‘your prime minister’ by TOI STAFF and AP (timesofisrael.com)

President also says Democrats would leave Israel ‘out there by yourselves’ in comments to Republican Jewish group; asks how they could back Obama, apparently referring to all Jews

The president of the United States manages to accuse American Jews of being foreigners and of dual loyalty at the same time. This brings to mind a certain verse:

And Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and separate among the peoples throughout all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws differ from [those of] every people, and they do not keep the king’s laws; it is [therefore] of no use for the king to let them be. (Esther 3:8).

Unfortunately, we know where this all too often ends. But don’t worry Mr. President, when the bigotry is inevitably stirred up, (as it always is after you drag out anti-semitic tropes when they suit your agenda), you’ll have plenty of supporters who will be all too willing to sweep this under the rug, as they always have. And if the stirred-up bigotry results in enough deaths, you’ll find an opportunity for another political photo opp, and probably a token to serve to cover your ass.

Read They Had It Coming by Caitlin Flanagan (The Atlantic)

The parents indicted in the college-admissions scandal were responding to a changing America, with rage at being robbed of what they believed was rightfully theirs.

This was an incredibly good read.