Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: A new week, and more Trump Chaos to come

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LeClyde / Flickr donald trump 300x300...
LeClyde / Flickr

Donald Trump’s proposal for a Betsy DeVos led commission to handle school gun violence is a bad joke. Trump is a coward and is running away from the issue, as he so often does. Here are some folks who didn’t have that option:

Niran Al-Agba/Health Care Blog:

I am a Pediatrician. I Treated the Columbine Kids. I Have Not Spoken Out Before.

Why has so little changed in almost 20 years since Columbine?

I don’t know. Why has so little changed since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook where 20 children and 6 adults were gunned down in cold blood? I cannot understand. Why has the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida galvanized the nation? Because now, it is our innocent children leading the fight for meaningful change.

I do know the brave teenagers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas have inspired me. And left me feeling a little ashamed. Could I or somebody like me have done something?

I am a pediatrician from Newtown and I have spoken outOthers have, too, this from the Atlantic:

As a doctor, I feel I have a duty to inform the public of what I have learned as I have observed these wounds and cared for these patients. It’s clear to me that AR-15 and other high-velocity weapons, especially when outfitted with a high-capacity magazine, have no place in a civilian’s gun cabinet. I have friends who own AR-15 rifles; they enjoy shooting them at target practice for sport and fervently defend their right to own them. But I cannot accept that their right to enjoy their hobby supersedes my right to send my own children to school, a movie theater, or a concert and to know that they are safe. Can the answer really be to subject our school children to active-shooter drills—to learn to hide under desks, turn off the lights, lock the door, and be silent—instead of addressing the root cause of the problem and passing legislation to take AR-15-style weapons out of the hands of civilians?

But, you know, the doctors are not to blame. Privacy laws (like HIPPA) and professional confidentiality inhibit docs from discussing their own patients. See these two articles for a flavor of that difficulty.

On another much discussed topic, Louis Farrakhan, some interesting thoughts:

Here is that thread.

Adam Serwer/Atlantic:

Why Tamika Mallory Won’t Condemn Farrakhan

To those outside the black community, the Nation of Islam’s persistent appeal, despite its bigotry, can seem incomprehensible.

Most people outside the black community come into contact with the Nation of Islam this way—Farrakhan makes anti-Semitic remarks, which generate press coverage, and then demands for condemnation. But many black people come into contact with the Nation of Islam as a force in impoverished black communities—not simply as a champion of the black poor or working class, but of the black underclass: black people, especially men, who have been written off or abandoned by white society. They’ve seen the Fruit of Islam patrol rough neighborhoods and run off drug dealers, or they have a family member who went to prison and came out reformed, preaching a kind of pride, self-sufficiency, and entrepreneurship that, with a few adjustments, wouldn’t sound out of place coming from a conservative Republican. The self-respect, inner strength, and self-reliance reflected in the polished image of the men in suits and bow ties can be a powerful sight.

Did you remember to change the clocks?

Tired of stories about Trump voters still supporting Trump? Here….

Lara Putnam and Theda Skocpol/Democracy Journal:

Middle America Reboots Democracy

We spent months talking with anti-Trump forces—and they’re not who pundits say they are.

The protagonists of the trends we report on are mainly college-educated suburban white women. We tell their stories not because college-educated white women are the most Democratic slice of the electorate (they aren’t) or because they are the most progressive voices within the Democratic Party (they aren’t) or because they have a special claim to lead the left moving forward (they don’t: nor do they pretend to). Rather, what we report here is that it is among these college-educated, middle-aged women in the suburbs that political practices have most changed under Trump. If your question is how the panorama of political possibility has shifted since November 2016, your story needs to begin here.

WaPo:

The GOP’s messages don’t seem to be working in Pennsylvania. Is that a warning sign?

Republicans and their outside allies have thrown almost everything at Conor Lamb, the 33-year-old Democrat who’s running against Rick Saccone, a Republican veteran of Pennsylvania’s state legislature. They tried to tar Lamb as a clone of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as a liberal who would raise their taxes and, lately, as a former federal prosecutor who was soft on illegal immigration.

But those messages have not done the damage Republicans had been hoping for — Lamb and Saccone are running neck and neck. It should have been a cakewalk in a House district President Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016.

Sean McElwee, Jesse H. Rhodes, Brian F. Schaffner and Bernard L. Fraga/NY Times:

The Missing Obama Millions

Frustratingly, however, these perspectives play down the importance of a crucial group of disaffected voters: those who voted for Mr. Obama in 2012 but then failed to go to the polls in 2016. Because this group is disproportionately young and black, this erasure is racially tinged.

Our analysis shows that while 9 percent of Obama 2012 voters went for Mr. Trump in 2016, 7 percent — that’s more than four million missing voters — stayed home. Three percent voted for a third-party candidate.

Dan Balz/WaPo:

Trump promised this kind of presidency — unpredictable, ad hoc and impulsive

Every week of the Trump presidency brings drama on a grand scale, but few weeks captured the essence of this president — how he operates, what he thrives on and all the noise and controversy that surrounds him — more than the one just completed. For Donald Trump, it’s always about the show. For everyone else, it will be about the consequences of what he set off this past week.

And we promised you he would be like this.

CNN:

How Stormy Daniels could impact the Russia investigation

  • STEP 1: MUELLER INVESTIGATES COHEN’S TIES TO RUSSIA
  • STEP 2: MUELLER BROADENS HIS COHEN INQUIRY
  • STEP 3: MUELLER FINDS WRONGDOING BY COHEN
  • STEP 4: MUELLER TRIES TO SQUEEZE COHEN

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WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?