Wait, what? Why? Why was this done, why was it considered good policy? Even if you want the FDA to have regulatory control of food safety, why would you require in those regulations that food be processed in a large central facility instead of in a distributed (and thus resilient) system?
Let's let the free market and competition solve this problem.
Barr says he does not expect criminal probe of Obama or Biden
Bill Quick finds this disappointing. I do too, but I think there's a bit of a different perspective. I've commented before that a lot of what happened in 2019 (and really, in 2017 and 2018 too) was a negotiation between the Deep State and Trump. The Mueller investigation threatened impeachment to paralyze the President while the House Intel Committee investigated the Deep State. The negotiation was simple: mutually assured destruction, or drop the investigations. In 2018 the roles swapped; the Dems took the House and threatened impeachment, but Trump and Barr shut down Mueller and begin seriously investigating the Deep State. This made impeachment inevitable, but the details were to-be-determined and essentially irrelevant. It was always going to be some pretext, and so it was. But Trump did not blink, and beat the impeachment. Given the Senate, impeachment was always more of a public relations and reputational threat, and Trump proved stronger than those who sought to intimidate him.
Now Trump, through Barr, is setting the terms. He's saying to the Deep State: I won't go after Obama or Biden criminally. I'll expose them, but not prosecute. I'll beat Biden to a bloody pulp (politically, in the election) but I won't prosecute him and I won't prosecute Obama. Everyone else who participated is fair game.
That's the last peace offer the Deep State gets. They can stop the BS and have a fair 2020 election for all the marbles (and likely lose because Biden is both pathetic and compromised in Obamagate), but have their two major leadership figures left with freedom if not reputations intact... OR, the Deep State can fight dirty, tooth and nail, bring another impeachment right before the election or whatever else they plan to do. And if they choose to fight dirty, Trump withdraws the offer of protection, leaving Obama and Biden to face the legal consequences of their actions if (when) he wins in 2020.
It would be very disappointing for Obama and Biden to escape consequences. But remember that Barr is speaking hypothetically here. He doesn't "expect" either of them to face a criminal investigation or charges. That can change.
Researcher close to Covid-19 breakthrough killed in murder-suicide?
The murder part is pretty solid. The suicide part is based on assuming a dead man they found was responsible for the murder. Who knows whether he was actually close to a breakthrough. But the whole situation is weird
Weak-sauce FISA reform bill to hit Senate floor before the storm
It seems the Senate Intelligence Committee thinks the present is better than the future, which is saying quite a lot. The FISA renewal and (minimal) reform bill has been scheduled for the Senate floor. It's not a great bill as far as reform goes, but for the Intel community, the alternative is no renewal at all, which is worse from their perspective and a lot better from ours.
It's not necessarily improper to unmask someone, constitutional issues about the collection itself aside, if appropriate procedures are followed for an appropriate purpose. It is exceedingly improper (and, yes, illegal) to leak the unmasking as was done to Flynn. Logically, what should have happened in this case would be simple:
1) Obama kicks out Russian diplomats, creating an incident 2) Flynn, as incoming National Security Advisor, talks to the Russians and requests they do not escalate. 3) For whatever reason the conversation with the Russian ambassador gets intercepted and people ask who is this guy asking them not to escalate? 4) Flynn is unmasked to those individuals and they say "Oh, he's the incoming National Security Advisor. That makes sense." The issue gets dropped.
Instead, someone leaked the information to the press to create a scandal, which the FBI used to conduct an ambush interview and get Flynn fired.
So the question is: who leaked the call? That leak was illegal -- and likely it was one of the people on the unmasking list who did it.
This judge shook things up with respect to prosecutorial abuse in the past, but my feeling since then is that he has been compromised somehow by the Deep State. The ruling is getting a lot of criticism, including planned ethics charges (not from Flynn or his lawyer, to be clear), in addition to the formal opposition brief from Flynn. If he actually refuses to allow DOJ to dismiss the charges, I can't see that decision surviving appeal.
Grenell declassified the Obama admin officials involved in unmasking
It seems likely this list will be a bombshell when it finally gets out, and possibly expand Durham's investigation. It's worth noting that unmasking by itself isn't necessarily improper, but leaking the results definitely is, and that appears to have happened several times. The real question is whether those unmaskings can be provably linked to leaks, and whether the information reveals more activity than Barr was previously aware of.
In his call with former officials, Obama says that the result of justice here puts the rule of law at risk. That is obviously bullshit; just look at the many Obama officials who lied to Congress and never even got charged with perjury for it. The actual threat to the rule of law comes from the Obama administration using the FBI and intelligence agencies to try to swing the outcome of an election, and then remove the duly-elected President in a political coup. The plot to frame Michael Flynn was only one of many actions taken by Obama that are better suited to a third world dictator than a US president.
I consider this the last straw regarding Dr Fauci. He has positioned himself in alignment with Democrat plans to use mail-in voting and ballot harvesting to steal the 2020 election. The coronavirus from China may be real, but I now believe Fauci deliberately engineered the panic response by exaggerating the actual dangers in service of his goal to destroy the economy and help the Democrats defeat Trump.
I was willing to extend the benefit of the doubt due to the unknown factors involved, but this is a pretty clear position statement.
Sultan Knish has a length article up saying the Russians had compromised Steele. This may well be true; Steele was friendly with Russians who had intel and government ties, and they may well have been feeding him information. Or more accurately, disinformation. But remember those same sources disclaimed the information, saying either Steele made it up or it was rumors and "bar talk".
"The Russians fooled us" is the FBI's fallback position to get out of trouble for deliberately abusing their counterintelligence powers to influence an election. We shouldn't let them evade responsibility that way.
And the proof of this is that the FBI interviewed Steele's sources and obtained those sources' disclaimer of the information even before the Mueller investigation began.