Is Putin Blackmailing Trump?

Donald Trump’s escalating hissy fits over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation coincides with signals that his company’s past business dealings with Russia are under scrutiny.

Apparently this strikes a nerve. If, as Trump asserts, the Russia-connection allegations are a hoax, why is he so obviously afraid of this investigation? If there is nothing to hide why not ignore Mueller?

Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and his lawyers seem to think Mueller is probing pre-Administration ties between Russia and Trump businesses. He went out of his way after testifying to Senate staffers this week to say he did not “rely” on Russian money in his business. That’s not saying he took no money from Russia.

It doesn’t take a lot of tea leaves to figure out where Mueller might be going — that Putin is blackmailing our president. Prove that Trump is trying to hide dirty business deals with Russia that Putin knows all about, connect that to Trump Administration accommodations for Putin, and you’re almost there. Surely a president subject to blackmail by a hostile foreign government is impeachment worthy.

[Cross-posted via HuffPost]


When Do Publishers Draw a Line?

By CajunJoe, a Trail Mix Contributor

The most shared story over the weekend is from the Washington Post about the failure of ISIS terrorists to recover and use radioactive cobalt 60 to fabricate a ‘dirty bomb.’

The key elements of the story are that in Mosul’s university hospital there was a sizable cache of cobalt 60 that ISIS left untouched, either by design or through ignorance as to how to recover and utilize it. “They are not that smart,” opined one health ministry official.

The article goes on to say and imply how hospital waste, along with other nuclear waste, is a dangerous and potentially ‘soft’ target for potential terrorists, both in the United States and abroad.

While the Washington Post stated that it had learned about this cache in Mosul last year, but deferred publishing the story at the U. S. Government’s request, the question remains: Why now? Why at all?

It might be argued that organized terrorist groups are well aware of how to acquire and build dirty bombs, perhaps even ‘regular’ nuclear bombs, if they could procure the fuel. But there are, as is frequently demonstrated, a large number of ‘dumb’ terrorists, for whom articles, such as this one, might serve as inspiration.

I’m a big “First Amendment” guy. I abhor censorship of any kind, including self-censorship. But I also am sensitive to the notion that there is ‘dangerous’ information that, in the wrong hands could do us, could do all of humanity great harm.

What’s a publisher to do?

P.S. This might be a great question for the Washington Post’s Ombudsman/Public Editor. Alas, it has none.

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The Art of the Distraction

By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor

What with White house surprises springing forth daily, even two and three times daily, it’s hard to focus on what we should be focusing on — but, confusingly, which distractions are supposed to be distracting us from whatever it is that’s distractedly going on?

There is an art to doing distraction, a well-settled art at that. It has a lot to do with perception. Listen to a pro, distraction artist Apollo Robbins, explain in his presentation at TED the art of misdirection and learn how easy we can be misled and never know it.

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