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“It’s been 18 months since Robert Mueller took over the Russia investigation, and still nobody really knows what he’ll do next. The Daily Beast reported on Thursday morning that the special counsel’s inquiry is entering a new phase focused on influence from Middle Eastern countries. Later that evening, The Washington Post reported that final sentencing for some of Mueller’s cooperating witnesses could indicate his investigation is nearing the end. Some have even speculated that the lack of charges against the Trump campaign itself may mean he hasn’t found anything worth charging.
“Investigators certainly know more than they’re saying—they often repeat as much in court appearances and documents in their various cases,” NPR’s Philip Ewing wrote on Saturday. “But an ostensible conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and the Russians who attacked the election is nowhere near close to being proven.” I’ve argued previously that what’s publicly available so far points toward soft collusion at a minimum: a mutually acknowledged confluence of interests between Trump and Moscow. At the same time, federal investigators have yet to formally allege hard collusion—an explicit quid pro quo between the two sides.
This tension is a staple of the Russia investigation coverage. According to press reports in recent months, Mueller’s inquiry has been at once expanding and narrowing, gaining steam and losing momentum, intensifying and “wrapping up.” Mueller himself has kept virtually silent about where his investigation is headed next or what form its conclusion will take, making him the most mysterious man in Washington. Unless he’s prematurely ousted by the president, the American people won’t find out what the special counsel is truly up to until it’s all over.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"China’s Hydrogen economy Is coming: The world’s electric-vehicle king is seeking leadership in fuel cells, too. Investors are probably right to be excited."
"It would be the height of naivete to believe the book is closed. Democrats on Capitol Hill are not just going to take the attorney general's conclusions and move on to new things."
"Netanyahu has brazenly allied himself with Trump’s Administration and his family (including the cryptic peace negotiator, Jared Kushner, whose family he has known for years), as well as with the Republican Party and Republican funders..."
"Us is stranger than Get Out, with deeper philosophical undercurrents flowing through it. The rabbit that greets you at the movie’s start is an invitation. Will you follow, like Alice in her Wonderland?"
"Democrats and Republicans seem to have irreconcilable views on economics, but on one point they agree: Small business is better than big."
"Sanctuary, a digital astrology start-up backed by $1.5 million in venture capital, made the considered decision to launch its service on Wednesday — the dawn of the new astrological year, when Pisces gives way to Aries in the astral cycle."
"It is a Vessel for the depths of architectural cynicism, of form without ideology and without substance: an architectural practice that puts the commodifiable image above all else, including the social good..."
"Apartment Therapy posted a photo to Instagram of a bookshelf with the spines facing inward, and the dramatic response — dozens of users denouncing the trend as anti-intellectual, even comparing it to book-burning ..."
"Perhaps it is time to add parenting to the growing list of “replacement religions” competing for our attention and currency these days, a list that already includes workism and politics."
"Only a fraction of the world’s yeast species have been discovered. The ones still out there could revolutionize health care, green energy, and beer."
"We’ve recently fixated on expunging “fake news” but the medical world also has its charlatans. The snake-oil salespeople, masquerading as health professionals, are naturopaths."
"...should we continue to teach thinkers like Kant, Voltaire and Hume without mention of the harmful prejudices they helped legitimize?"