Aries: Kekkai Sensen - 12 Episodes (2nd season of same length coming out Oct 2017)
Supersonic monkeys, vampires, talking fishmen, and all sorts of different supernatural monsters living alongside humans—this has been part of daily life in Hellsalem’s Lot, formerly known as New York City, for some time now. When a gateway between Earth and the Beyond opened three years ago, New Yorkers and creatures from the other dimension alike were trapped in an impenetrable bubble and were forced to live together. Libra is a secret organization composed of eccentrics and superhumans, tasked with keeping order in the city and making sure that chaos doesn’t spread to the rest of the world.
Pursuing photography as a hobby, Leonardo Watch is living a normal life with his parents and sister. But when he obtains the “All-seeing Eyes of the Gods” at the expense of his sister’s eyesight, he goes to Hellsalem’s Lot in order to help her by finding answers about the mysterious powers he received. He soon runs into Libra, and when Leo unexpectedly joins their ranks, he gets more than what he bargained for. Kekkai Sensen follows Leo’s misadventures in the strangest place on Earth with his equally strange comrades—as the ordinary boy unwittingly sees his life take a turn for the extraordinary.
Taurus: Mushishi - 46 Episodes (2 seasons)
“Mushi”: the most basic forms of life in the world. They exist without any goals or purposes aside from simply “being.” They are beyond the shackles of the words “good” and “evil.” Mushi can exist in countless forms and are capable of mimicking things from the natural world such as plants, diseases, and even phenomena like rainbows.
This is, however, just a vague definition of these entities that inhabit the vibrant world of Mushishi, as to even call them a form of life would be an oversimplification. Detailed information on Mushi is scarce because the majority of humans are unaware of their existence.
So what are Mushi and why do they exist? This is the question that a “Mushishi,” Ginko, ponders constantly. Mushishi are those who research Mushi in hopes of understanding their place in the world’s hierarchy of life.
Ginko chases rumors of occurrences that could be tied to Mushi, all for the sake of finding an answer.
It could, after all, lead to the meaning of life itself.
Gemini: Psychic Detective Yakumo - 11 Episodes
Haruka Ozawa’s sophomore year is getting seriously scary. One of her friends is possessed, another has committed suicide and Haruka could be the next one to flunk the still-breathing test. Her only way out of this potentially lethal dead end? Yakumo Saito, an enigmatic student born with a mysterious red eye that allows him to see and communicate with the dead. But the deceased don’t always desist and some killers are more than ready to kill again to keep dead men from telling any more tales. That doesn’t stop Haruka’s knack for digging up buried secrets, and there’s even more evidence of bodies being exhumed by both Yakumo’s police contact and an investigative journalist with a newly made corpse in her closet! Can this pair of anything but normal paranormal detectives solve the ultimate dead case files or will they end up in cold storage themselves?
Cancer: Is this a Zombie? - 22 Total Episodes (2 Seasons)
Not every zombie is the monstrous, brain-eating type.
One night while walking home from the convenience store, regular high school boy Ayumu Aikawa is killed by a serial killer, and is just as suddenly brought back to life by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe. One small caveat: he’s now a zombie. Things get even weirder for him when he accidentally steals a magical girl’s uniform, and thus her powers! Haruna, the ex-magical girl, orders him to fight evil creatures known as Megalo in her place until they can figure out a way to get her powers back to her.
Leo: Parasyte - 24 Episodes
All of a sudden, they arrived: parasitic aliens that descended upon Earth and quickly infiltrated humanity by burrowing into the brains of vulnerable targets. These insatiable beings acquire full control of their host and are able to morph into a variety of forms in order to feed on unsuspecting prey.
Sixteen-year-old high school student Shinichi Izumi falls victim to one of these parasites, but it fails to take over his brain, ending up in his right hand instead. Unable to relocate, the parasite, now named Migi, has no choice but to rely on Shinichi in order to stay alive. Thus, the pair is forced into an uneasy coexistence and must defend themselves from hostile parasites that hope to eradicate this new threat to their species.
Virgo: Terror in Resonance - 11 Episodes
Painted in red, the word “VON” is all that is left behind after a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility in Japan. The government is shattered by their inability to act, and the police are left frantically searching for ways to crack down the perpetrators. The public are clueless—until, six months later, a strange video makes its way onto the internet. In it, two teenage boys who identify themselves only as “Sphinx” directly challenge the police, threatening to cause destruction and mayhem across Tokyo. Unable to stop the mass panic quickly spreading through the city and desperate for any leads in their investigation, the police struggle to act effectively against these terrorists, with Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki caught in the middle of it all.
Zankyou no Terror tells the story of Nine and Twelve, the two boys behind the masked figures of Sphinx. They should not exist, yet they stand strong in a world of deception and secrets while they make the city fall around them, all in the hopes of burying their own tragic truth.
Libra: No Game No Life - 12 Episodes
No Game No Life is a surreal comedy that follows Sora and Shiro, shut-in NEET siblings and the online gamer duo behind the legendary username “Kuuhaku.” They view the real world as just another lousy game; however, a strange e-mail challenging them to a chess match changes everything—the brother and sister are plunged into an otherworldly realm where they meet Tet, the God of Games.
The mysterious god welcomes Sora and Shiro to Disboard, a world where all forms of conflict—from petty squabbles to the fate of whole countries—are settled not through war, but by way of high-stake games. This system works thanks to a fundamental rule wherein each party must wager something they deem to be of equal value to the other party’s wager. In this strange land where the very idea of humanity is reduced to child’s play, the indifferent genius gamer duo of Sora and Shiro have finally found a real reason to keep playing games: to unite the sixteen races of Disboard, defeat Tet, and become the gods of this new, gaming-is-everything world.
Scorpio: Rurouni Kenshin - 95 Episodes
In the final years of the Bakumatsu era lived a legendary assassin known as Hitokiri Battousai. Feared as a merciless killer, he was unmatched throughout the country, but mysteriously disappeared at the peak of the Japanese Revolution. It has been ten peaceful years since then, but the very mention of Battousai still strikes terror into the hearts of war veterans.
Unbeknownst to them, Battousai has abandoned his bloodstained lifestyle in an effort to repent for his sins, now living as Kenshin Himura, a wandering swordsman with a cheerful attitude and a strong will. Vowing never to kill again, Kenshin dedicates himself to protecting the weak. One day, he stumbles across Kaoru Kamiya at her kendo dojo, which is being threatened by an impostor claiming to be Battousai. After receiving help from Kenshin, Kaoru allows him to stay at the dojo, and so the former assassin temporarily ceases his travels.
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan tells the story of Kenshin as he strives to save those in need of saving. However, as enemies from both past and present begin to emerge, will the reformed killer be able to uphold his new ideals?
+ 3 of the most badass live action movie adaptations
Sagittarius: Nurarihyon no Mago - 48 Total Episodes (2 Seasons)
Rikuo Nura doesn’t want anything to do with evil youkai, and just wants a normal life. Too bad he’s a quarter youkai, and Nurarihyon, his grandfather, is insistent that he takes over as head of the Nura Clan. He’s able to keep his supernatural secret life hidden from his classmates, as he can only transform into a youkai at night, for six hours at a time.
Unfortunately for him, various youkai factions are out to target both his youkai and human friends, and like it or not, he needs to embrace his youkai side. Life is not easy when you’re Nurarihyon’s grandson
Capricorn: Hamatora - 24 Total Episodes (2 Seasons)
The ability to create miracles is not just a supernatural phenomenon; it is a gift which manifests in a limited number of human beings. “Minimum,” or small miracles, are special powers that only selected people called “Minimum Holders” possess. The detective agency Yokohama Troubleshooting, or Hamatora for short, is composed of the “Minimum Holder PI Duo,” Nice and Murasaki. Their office is a lone table at Cafe Nowhere, where the pair and their coworkers await new clients.
Suddenly, the jobs that they begin to receive seem to have strange connections to the serial killer whom their friend Art, a police officer, is searching for. The murder victims share a single similarity: they are all Minimum Holders. Nice and Murasaki, as holders themselves, are drawn to the case—but what exactly is the link between Nice and the one who orchestrates it all?
Aquarius: Trigun - 26 Episodes
Vash the Stampede is the man with a $$60,000,000,000 bounty on his head. The reason: he’s a merciless villain who lays waste to all those that oppose him and flattens entire cities for fun, garnering him the title “The Humanoid Typhoon.” He leaves a trail of death and destruction wherever he goes, and anyone can count themselves dead if they so much as make eye contact—or so the rumors say. In actuality, Vash is a huge softie who claims to have never taken a life and avoids violence at all costs.
With his crazy doughnut obsession and buffoonish attitude in tow, Vash traverses the wasteland of the planet Gunsmoke, all the while followed by two insurance agents, Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, who attempt to minimize his impact on the public. But soon, their misadventures evolve into life-or-death situations as a group of legendary assassins are summoned to bring about suffering to the trio. Vash’s agonizing past will be unraveled and his morality and principles pushed to the breaking point.
Pisces: Gangsta. - 12 Episodes
Nicholas Brown and Worick Arcangelo, known in the city of Ergastalum as the “Handymen,” are mercenaries for hire who take on jobs no one else can handle. Contracted by powerful mob syndicates and police alike, the Handymen have to be ready and willing for anything. After completing the order of killing a local pimp, the Handymen add Alex Benedetto—a prostitute also designated for elimination—to their ranks to protect her from forces that want her gone from the decrepit hellhole of a city she has come to call home. However, this criminal’s paradise is undergoing a profound period of change that threatens to corrode the delicate balance of power.
Ergastalum was once a safe haven for “Twilights,” super-human beings born as the result of a special drug but are now being hunted down by a fierce underground organization. This new threat is rising up to challenge everything the city stands for, and the Handymen will not be able to avoid this coming war.
Ah yes, La Toma del Palacio de Justicia, on the 6th of November 1985, the moment where Colombia finally realized it had become a failed state.
The Palace of Justice was basically the main hub of the Supreme Court, where all the cases from around the country got archived, and the big cases were tackled, and for this reason, Pablo Escobar, using the guerrilla group M-19, ordered its destruction, as he knew the government wanted to extradite him to the US, something he deeply feared throughout his terror drug campaign.
The M-19, a group far more powerful than the FARC cunts in its heyday, but that was much more benign (they didn’t use landmines, for example) and actually willing to help the people (mom admires them as they made her hometown, forgotten by the government, safe), was more than happy to help, as they wanted to humiliate the government of Colombia in the most grandiose way possible: By using the supreme court judges, which would be taken hostage, to judge the president of Colombia of the time, Belisario Betancur, for crimes against his people.
The plan initially went wonderfully, as an assault team consisting of 35 guerrillas broke into the building, after taking advantage of a recent change in its security, in which specially-selected policemen were replaced by private security guards, and with help from inside in the form of the building’s cafeteria workers, whom stored and hid weapons and ammo for weeks before the attack, where they secured the palace’s only entry and underground garage.
But the Colombian government, tired of the M-19 pulling this crap every time they felt like it (a few years before they had taken the entire Dominican Republic embassy, and successfully negotiated a ceasefire and escape to Cuba, leaving the government completely ridiculed), decided to reject all negotiations attempts, and just launched an all-out, hasty, completely disorganized counterattack, where every armed member of the government available, from the Presidential Guard, taken directly from the presidential palace itself just a few yards away, to normal policemen, used to dealing with petty thugs, which lead to a lot of initial chaos, casualties among the government forces, and a complete breakdown in communications between the entrenched M-19 members and the president.
Among many crazy stories, a couple of patrolmen later recounted that they had been given a single Uzi SMG for both, and told to recon the entrance to the underground garage, where they were welcomed by a hail of machine gun fire coming from a well-entrenched guerrilla female commando manning an M60.
It got so desperate, policemen were literally thrown from helicopters onto the rooftop of the Palace, in a pointless attempt at breaking into the building from there.
Most of them didn’t survive, and notice how the first policeman broke his leg in the fall.
It was an entire clusterfuck, and then it got worse when the Army send in armor, the baptism of fire in Colombia of the recently acquired Engesa EE-9Cascabel and EE-11 Urutu Brazilian-made armored vehicles, basically relieving the surviving police units, and turning the operation completely to the Army’s control.
The “tanks” broke in, supported by infantry, and floor by floor they took back the palace, killing every M-19 member that engaged them while rescuing hostages, but at the same time ensuring the survivors, among them the commander of the operation, wouldn’t surrender, where they hid in the 4th floor’s bathroom, with all 11 supreme court judges they had taken hostage, fighting until the last man.
As night fell, the tanks retreated, and while the army reorganized, the Palace caught fire, something that to this day remains a mystery, but since sniper fire kept coming from the brazing inferno, firefighters were unable to approach it, so the army vehicles opened fire directly onto it, where shortly thereafter the siege ended with the dead of the remaining defenders and all 11 judges.
The Palace was completely destroyed, all 35 guerrilla commandos were killed, alongside many policemen, soldiers, all 11 supreme court judges and a few more hostages, and the hellfire that consumed it all ensure Pablo’s extradition would never happen.
And just a week later, the Nevado del Ruíz volcano erupted, completely destroying the mountain town of Armero, and killing 25,000 people in an instant, sending the country into a spiral of chaos, leading to the rise of Pablo Escobar’s terror campaign, an all-out war against the state, and specially the police, that left thousands dead and the country in shambles, its core completely broken.
1985 marked the time in which Colombia sunk the lowest since the 1000 Day War and the subsequent loss of Panama, and only until the presidency of Alvaro Uribe Velez in 2002 it would begin to recover.
The kumato is a human developed tomato which ranges in colour from green to reddish brown to black. It also ranges in flavour. It is grown by specially selected growers and the seeds are not available to the general public
If I Should Fall From Grace With God: a Rick Sanchez inspired playlist
||Godless - The Dandy Warhols || My Medicine - The Pretty Reckless || Your Own Worst Enemy - They Might Be Giants || Cry Tough - Alton Ellis || Dumb Things - Paul Kelly || I’m Not The Man - Ben Folds || Old Number 7 - The Devil Makes Three || Forever Young - Madness || Novocaine For The Soul - Eels || If I Should Fall From Grace With God - The Pogues || Sometimes A Lonely Way - They Might Be Giants || Kamikaze - PJ Harvey || I’m Getting Pissed For Christmas - Peter and the Test Tube Babies || Still I Rise - The Selecter || God Help Me - The Jesus and Mary Chain (feat. Shane MacGowan) || You’re Wondering Now - The Specials ||
Cover art by the amazing @softbutchmccree! Pls check her out, she’s totally bomb.
Someone please tell me why [DeVos] is the right choice to lead the public school system of the United States of America.
Her BA degree in political science and business administration isn’t enough to place her in a classroom, but suddenly, she occupies the top job.
Ms. DeVos doesn’t love public education and clearly doesn’t know the first thing about public education in the United States. Our teachers had to take a class on the history of education just to be considered for admission to the teacher education program.
To be certified as a high school teacher in Missouri, she must take classes on how to write a test, how to incorporate multicultural education, classroom management, assessment, the integration of school and society, educational psychology, alternatives for exceptional students, working with foundation-level learning, analysis and correction of difficulties in literacy, understanding how to teach her subject matter, and more. She’d spend less money if she dropped the education requirements, and probably graduate sooner, but let’s ignore these facts for a moment.
She must observe real teachers in action, be mentored by a successful classroom teacher, and spend a semester supervised by a teacher as she makes the classroom her own. She likely won’t be able to work during that semester, so she’ll have to figure out how to do things like pay for food and shelter, but hey, she’s rich. Presumably, that wouldn’t have been an issue for her, right?
She must pass the MOGEA test and the Praxis II.
Once hired, the mentoring doesn’t stop. More, teachers are encouraged to seek a masters in teaching to further their development. She’ll pay for that masters herself, carving time out of her busy week to take a class or two a semester. As consolation, her school district might boost her pay a few hundred dollars a year. In thirty or so years, she just might be able to justify the cost.
While on the job, she must learn how to balance long hours to educate students with her personal life lest she lose sight as to why she does the job in the first place. She must endure politicians both national and local lamenting how teachers don’t do enough, yet claim our school systems are “flush with cash,” while perhaps working part time at Barnes & Noble to make ends meet. She must accept less pay than other graduates because she is on the public payroll. She must learn to have a politically acceptable answer to, “You must love teaching because you have the summer off!” despite the research, planning, and reading - oh, God, the reading - she’ll need to do to keep her classes fresh.
She needs to experience the elation of developing an idea regarding how to teach a lesson, only to discover that the money to buy the materials she’ll need must come from her own pocket. She has to learn to smile through parent/teacher conferences where unknowing but well-meaning parents demand she raise a grade despite hours of planning, countless extensions of the deadline, and a lost weekend of grading. That smile must continue when the district tells her that they’re increasing the size of her classes because they can’t afford to hire another teacher. The public just didn’t go for that bond issue again this year. Tough luck.
To support her school, she will have to carve out the time to advise an organization or tutor students in need after the teaching hours end as the school can never really close. She will have to balance special plans for select students so she doesn’t inadvertently leave anyone behind, but be flexible and open to minute changes in graduation requirements, serve on countless committees, sit in frequent department meetings, and much more.
To work in public education, one must love public education. Teachers do it because, sometimes, one student suddenly smiles and says, ‘Because of you, I was accepted to college/got this job. Because of you, I learned something.’
They do it because they love it.
Ms. DeVos, I challenge you to serve one year in front of a classroom at a public school - a length of time shorter than would grant you tenure, a position as chair, or to become a principal - and then maybe can tell us how to run a school.
Oh, that’s right, you’re not qualified and are afraid of grizzly bear attacks. My bad.
I guess I’ll ask you, Senator Roy Blunt and those who voted to confirm this unqualified person to lead our beleaguered but honorable teachers:
Why was she the right choice?
My boss after hearing that Betty DeVos was confirmed as the Secretary of Education
I have a lot of neurodivergent headcanons so here’s a few of mine for Link:
-special interest in weapons (mainly swords) and horses
-sticks close to Zelda as a comfort person/someone he trusts
-heavy armor is a good pressure stim
-all his swords have intricate hilts so he can rub his fingers over them
-has trouble understanding sarcasm/doesn’t often ask for clarification due to anxiety
-He runs around in his boxers because sometimes wearing armor for so long makes him feel overstimulated
-After Zelda finds out Link is Autistic she not only finds new ways to bond with him, but also better ways to give him support when he needs it (ex: letting him sit in quiet rooms in the castle alone when he needs it, custom orders swords, ect…)
-Vocal stimming! He hums and/or whistles a lot, especially while getting lost in work
-after waking up he quickly grows close to the Sheikah slate as a comfort item and really doesn’t like being away from it
-when he was a kid and still played with Mipha and the other Zoras they understood that Link is good at playing alone, but still together with them
Ok that’s all for now before this post gets too long. I might do more/other characters if this gets a positive response
taureans are not naive, so their trust can be difficult to gain. they are very soft hearted, and they will never turn away somebody in despair. but they typically remain devotedly open to a select, special few
So, if you’re exposed in any way to US news media, you’ve heard that Trump has a problem with Russia. You may have heard that his National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned/was fired due to this scandal. But if you haven’t been following this story all along, you may be unsure exactly what the scandal is.
What do we know?
This scandal involves a handful of solid facts, and oceans of speculation about what those facts mean. Here are some of the key facts:
Russia interfered in the US elections by hacking the Democratic National Committee and releasing materials damaging to the Clinton campaign,
and by releasing completely baseless rumors (”fake news”). One example of the latter is the rumor that Clinton was tied to a child sex trafficking ring that operated out of a pizza joint. The pizza joint exists, but sex trafficking ring does not.
After the election but before Trump’s inauguration, President Obama imposed sanctions against Russia in response to these actions. He threw 35 Russian “diplomats” (aka intelligence operatives) out of the US and imposed economic sanctions barring US entities from selling certain products and services to the Russian intelligence agencies.
Russia did not respond with counter-sanctions, which is unusual.
Michael Flynn, who was at that time a private citizen, spoke with a Russian ambassador about the sanctions.
What questions still exist?
Beyond these facts, there’s a lot of speculation. Here are some of the main questions and theories:
Why did Russia want Trump to be president? One possibility is that they simply thought he’d be more friendly to Russia and/or easier to manipulate than Clinton. If this is the explanation, the Trump campaign may not have known anything more about Russia’s interference than the American public did. This explanation would be embarrassing to Trump–but not incriminating.
Did Trump and/or his campaign know more about Russia’s interference than the public did? We now know, thanks to leaks from US and other intelligence agencies, that Trump campaign officials were in what CNN calls “constant contact” with Russian intelligence during the campaign. We don’t know what they talked about or how much Trump, personally, knew about this contact.
Does Russia have incriminating information about Trump, which can be used to blackmail him? This is another possible explanation of why Russia wanted Trump to be president, and it’s where the infamous “dossier” comes in. The dossier includes the infamous pee-pee story, along with many other less eye-catching allegations about shady business deals and suspicious contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Some aspects of the dossier have recently been corroborated by US intelligence, but all they will say about which ones is that it isn’t the pee thing. If this explanation is the correct one, it would be both embarrassing and incriminating for Trump, but would not necessarily implicate him in treason, depending on exactly what the blackmail material was and what concessions he made to Russia as a result.
Did the Trump campaign actually collaborate with Russia to interfere in the election, either by assisting with the interference or by promising favorable treatment in exchange for their help? This is the most explosive of the possible explanations for why Russia favored Trump: if true, it would be highly incriminating and treasonous; removal from office would be pretty much the only appropriate remedy. Right now, there is no hard evidence that any collusion occurred, just speculation and the suggestion that it accounts for many things about Trump’s stance toward Russia that are otherwise hard to explain. The new information about “constant contact” bolsters this theory, but that contact could also be explained by other theories, including blackmail or even run-of-the-mill economic corruption (many members of Team Trump have business ties with state-run corporations in Russia, so they could have been talking about that).
Whatever was happening between Russian intelligence and Trump campaign staff, did Trump, personally, know about it, or even order it? This is a very important question, and right now, we have no idea. The intelligence officials who confirmed contact between Russian intelligence and the campaign have said that he was not personally on the phone during any of the calls they’re speaking about, and declined to say whether or not his name was even mentioned.
What’s the deal with Michael Flynn?
So that brings us to the matter of Michael Flynn. It was known during the transition that Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador around the time the sanctions were imposed, and when Russia didn’t respond, it was widely speculated that he’d told the Russian ambassador not to worry about them. He denied this, right up until the day the Washington Post broke the story that he had, in fact, talked about the sanctions during those calls. Afterwards, his claim was that he didn’t remember, and that if he did mention the sanctions, whatever he said must have been so brief and noncommittal that he forgot the topic even came up. Several other people in the transition team/administration, including the Vice-President, repeated his claim that he hadn’t talked about the sanctions, and the official story is that they had no idea it was a lie.
However, about three weeks ago–shortly after the inauguration–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates told the Trump administration’s lawyer that Flynn was lying, and that, since the Russians presumably knew he was lying, this left him open to blackmail. The Trump administration took no observable action based on this information until it hit the papers, two and a half weeks later. After the information hit the papers, three more days passed before Flynn resigned.
Now that Flynn’s out, there are two ways of looking at the situation. One is that Trump’s Russia Problem has “taken care of itself”: it began and ends with Flynn, and now that he’s gone, there’s nothing more to see. This is the position taken by the (Republican) chair of the House Oversight Committee, among others.
The other position is, “are you fucking kidding me?” Unanswered questions, which are not resolved by Flynn’s resignation, include:
What else did Flynn talk to the Russians about, during the campaign and the transition?
Who in the administration knew he was lying about not discussing the sanctions, and when did they know it? Did anyone repeat this lie after knowing it was a lie?
Why did the administration wait so long to do anything about it?
Did Flynn also lie to the FBI about this, when he was questioned last week? If he did, that would be a felony.
Literally every question from the second bulleted list above.
Who is investigating this whole mess, and what’s so important about a Special Prosecutor or Independent Commission?
This matter is being investigated, by a lot of different entities. None of the investigations are free from concerns about accountability/transparency, political bias, and/or interference with other ongoing investigations.
Various US Intelligence Agencies, including the FBI, are carrying out their own investigations. Most of what we know about the scandal comes from people in these agencies leaking information to the media. These agencies typically carry out much of their activities in secret, so we, the public, only know what they want us to know. The Trump administration considers many of the intelligence agencies to be hostile to them; by contrast, FBI director Comey is believed to be squarely in Trump’s pocket.
Congressional Committees, including the House Oversight Committee and the Intelligence Committees in both the House and the Senate, have authority to investigate. All committees include both Republican and Democratic members; however, since Congress is controlled by the Republicans, every committee is chaired by a Republican. Members and leaders of these committees are doing a lot of talking about investigations, but it’s not completely clear what’s actually happening. Some committee proceedings are televised and/or transcribed for the public, but others are not; so far, the action has been confined to closed-door sessions.
Intelligence committees in particular operate mostly out of public view. Republicans (with very few exceptions) maintain that these committees should be responsible for investigating. Many Democrats have suggested that this preference belies an intention to limit the scope of the investigations and to shield Trump from blame.
The Justice Department is another possible investigator. In the Clinton era, the Whitewater investigation, which culminated in the Starr report, began under the auspices of the Justice Department. Starr was an Independent Counsel appointed by a panel of federal judges; he replaced a Special Prosecutor appointed by the Attorney General. The Justice Department is part of the Executive Branch; its head, the Attorney General, is appointed by the President, as are many other high-level posts in the department. It’s likely that Clinton instructed his AG to appoint a Special Prosecutor in the first place because he knew he hadn’t done what he was accused of doing and believed an independent investigation would clear him–which it did, of the original charges, but then took an unexpected detour into his sex life and revealed his affair with Monica Lewinsky. You’ll have to draw your own conclusions about the likelihood of Trump authorizing AG Jeff Sessions to appoint someone to paw through everything he’s ever done.
Democrats, and many commentators in the media, have called for an independent commission (also called a select commission, special commission, or “9/11 style commission”) to investigate. What makes an independent commission “independent” is that the members are not current officeholders or employees of any government agency (though they may be former ones–see, for instance, the members of the 9/11 commission). Therefore, they are less likely to be swayed by concerns about electability, the reputation of their agencies, or maintaining cordial relations with other officials or agencies in order to carry out other priorities. The investigation is their whole job.
Such a commission would be set up by Congress, and the members would be chosen by Congress, but once they got started, Congress would not have control over the direction of the investigation. The example of the Whitewater investigation is useful again here: the Special Prosecutor-or-Independent-Counsel setup is the executive branch equivalent, and even though Bill Clinton authorized the investigation in the fist place, he was not able to stop it from going in a direction he (presumably) did not want it to go.
An independent commission can also be set up with an expectation of transparency. Since it would be created specifically for this investigation, it wouldn’t have a history of secrecy, like the Intelligence Committees do. The 9/11 commission’s final report was available to the public, and much of the testimony before the commission was transcribed for eventual release (although certain officials, such as then-President Bush, were allowed to testify privately). The Starr Report, from the Whitewater investigation, was likewise available to the public, and most of the hearings upon which it was based were televised and/or transcribed for the public.
Finally, an independent commission would serve as a central hub for all information that emerges about connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. Intelligence agencies do not typically share everything they know with each other. An independent commission operates outside of the rivalries that exist between agencies, and can call on them to testify. This is a puzzle with a lot of pieces, and the full picture won’t emerge until those pieces are all collected in one place.