Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo describes "Why the Trump/Russia Skeptics Are Wrong." By "skeptics," of course, he doesn't mean those of us who are skeptical that obsessing about Russia will really result in a more perfect union; he means analysts skeptical that "we’ll ever find a proven and explicit agreement between President Trump and Vladimir Putin or some other similarly high-level Russian official to collaborate in subverting the 2016 election." Mr. Marshall makes good points: we can't claim the current Administration is "too disorganized" to collaborate with Russia, because "(s)pies...look precisely for chaotic and disorganized contexts" in which to operate, and we also can't simply say there's either a "smoking gun" or "nothing at all," because the current Administration knew it was going on and not only kept meeting with Russians, but went to precisely zero law enforcement officials about what they knew, which all sure smells like smoke regardless of whether we find the actual gun that actually fired.
Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who famously warned a year ago that our President might concoct a "Reichstag fire"-style event to consolidate his power, now fears that he may try to cancel the 2018 mid-term elections out of fear of "Russian interference." To be honest, I feared that Mr. Bush would cancel the 2004 election, too, out of fear of the "war on terror," so I'm at least accustomed to thinking this way. We have to get the rest of America accustomed to thinking this way, not to cause panic, but to (in Mr. Snyder's own words) "get that idea out there in order to make it less likely" (italics mine, perhaps not surprisingly).
Houston school superintendent threatens three-day suspensions for students walking out to participate in gun-control protests. Schools can certainly discipline students for walking out, but I have to wonder if Houston schools routinely hand out three-day suspensions to students when they walk out for other reasons, since they can't dish out larger punishments for taking part in political protests. (Also, too, I bet a suspension isn't exactly a deterrent for a significant number of schoolkids.)
Dear Leader has announced that his coveted military parade -- you know, the kind that dictators all over the world really like! -- will take place on Veterans Day, November 11. That's some smarts, there, as the coming parade will no doubt dominate news coverage the weeks before, which means the kind of voter who's easily impressed by our President and his parade will more likely turn out on Election Day, which takes place on November 6. I mean, if he did it on July 4, that'd be four months before Election Day, and thus mostly forgotten before Election Day -- though I'm sure they'll say "logistics" is the reason they're not doing it then.
Finally, in the wake of completely laughable accusations from right-wingers that today's teenage gun-control protestors are "coached" or "paid actors," Niraj Chokshi at the New York Times reminds us that similar charges dogged those who fought racism after the Civil War, including the civil rights protestors of the '50s and '60s. One of the reasons these charges are so ridiculous, of course, is that they too often come from folks who are coached by their big donors, and paid-in-all-but-name by those same big donors. And these folks also live in abject fear that they have lost the argument -- which should give us hope, except that desperate folks are usually the most dangerous.