Monday, March 25, 2019

Gone Fishin!

Maybe like this. But without the purple bikini.

Actually, today is the travel day; tomorrow is fishing.

Luiza Barros.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Proving Her Point . . .

An Egyptian singer has been banned from performing in her home country after suggesting that it does not respect free speech.

A video clip circulated online shows Sherine Abdel-Wahab, during a performance in Bahrain, saying: "Here I can say whatever I want. In Egypt, anyone who talks gets imprisoned."

Egypt's Musicians Union responded late Friday by barring the singer, popularly known by her first name, from performing. It also summoned her for questioning.

Samir Sabry, a pro-government lawyer with a reputation for moral vigilantism and suing celebrities, filed a complaint against the singer accusing her of "insulting Egypt and inviting suspicious rights groups to interfere in Egypt's affairs."

Last year, Sherine was sentenced to six months in prison over a similar clip from a concert in which she joked that the Nile is polluted. The sentence was suspended upon appeal. She apologized for the remark, calling it a "bad joke."

The singer, who hosts the Arabic version of "The Voice," apologized again after the latest remarks in a TV interview aired late Friday, saying she was joking.

"I am very tired. I made a mistake. I am sorry. I appeal the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, who is our father. I feel that I was persecuted. I did nothing. I love Egypt," she said.

Egyptian authorities have waged an unprecedented crackdown on dissent since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi led the military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013. The local media is dominated by pro-government outlets that attack anyone seen as criticizing the country or its leaders, and several people have been jailed or fined for violating vaguely written laws outlawing such criticism.
The Egyptians are such lovely allies. 

Mueller: No Collusion! Barr: No Obstruction!

Attorney General William Barr's letter to Congress summarizing the major findings of the Mueller investigation has been submitted. You can read it here. Very briefly, the probe found no evidence for collusion with the Russians to  affect the election, by Trump campaign or any other American, despite multiple contacts by Russians. On the matter of whether President Trump committed obstruction of justice in a variety of well publicized acts, Mueller did not find obstruction, but left the determination whether the acts met the legal definition of obstruction to the Attorney General. Barr and DAG Rosenstein made the decision that the acts did not rise to the level of obstruction, in part, because the underlying collusion was not found.

This will, of course, not satisfy the Democrats, but it certainly takes a lot of wind out of their sails. It's going to make their investigations look like double jeopardy and sour grapes. I expect we'll see some new weepy videos from Rachel Maddow.

Ancient Weight Loss Secret Continues to Work

Back in November I  mentioned how Georgia and I had gone on the mystical "ancient diet" program. Don't' each so damn much.

It's still working, albeit slowly. When I stepped on the scale this morning I hit a new low, 203.5 lbs, marking the loss of 30 lbs. I don't expect it to stay there, at least initially, history suggests bouncing up and down a pound or two is nothing to get worked up over. In fact, given the fact we'll be on vacation a week, a little backsliding is not out of the question.

I still plan to see the underside of 200 at some point in the reasonable future.

Russiagate: The Final Exam

I hate to do this, but, this going to be one of the DIY Russiagates, mainly because, due to the conclusion of the Mueller investigation, there are just shitloads of articles. I've tried to order them by subjects, but my criteria are a bit subjective. Feel free to indulge yourself in the gluttony of excess political awareness. You might recall that the FBI/DOJ crew investigating former SecState Clinton's email scandal called their investigation the Mid Year Exam. I think that makes it fair to call the Mueller investigation much of the same crew started the Final Exam. How did they do.

End of the Mueller affair | Power Line

JustOneMinute: Let The Games Begin!

MOTUS A.D.: The Mueller Report, What Does It Mean…Anyone?

Now That Mueller Report Is Done, Hot Takes Abound » Pirate's Cove

Matt Zapotosky on Twitter: "Attorney General William P. Barr will not submit the principal conclusions to Congress today, according to a senior Justice Department official."

The Great Gnashing of Teeth: The Left Reacts to the Mueller Report, Schiff Threatens To Call 'Bob Mueller,' Possibly 'Bill Barr" Before His Committee

Democrat freak-out: Reaction to Mueller report brings tears and jeers

Meltdown: MSNBC Threw The Biggest Tantrum Since Hillary’s Loss After Mueller Report Shows No Trump-Russia Collusion

Adam Schiff rejects reports that Mueller indictments are over, says special counsel could be called to testify | Fox News

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews livid over Mueller report: ‘How could they let Trump off the hook?’ | Fox News

READ: Dems' Collective Letter To Barr Is A Sign Of What's To Come

Showdown looms over Mueller report | TheHill

Four Arguments About the Mueller Report You Should Ignore - The Bulwark

The Mueller Investigation Was A Distraction, The Bigger Story Is Coming | Bustednuckles

The American Media Destroyed Themselves over the Mueller Investigation | Roger L. SimonFLASHBACK: John Brennan Predicted Additional Mueller Indictments Just Two Weeks Ago | The Daily Caller

FBI clashed with DOJ over potential 'bias' of source for surveillance warrant: McCabe-Page texts | Fox News

The politics of "collusion delusion" - Axios

Dershowitz: Comey and Others Committed Fraud on FISA Court - Should Be Held in Contempt (VIDEO)

Episode 462 Scott Adams: The Mueller Witch Hunt is Evolving Into an “IF” Hunt - Dilbert Blog

How much of Mueller’s report will see daylight? - Hot Air
CAUTION: Fast-moving goal posts ahead! Ex Hillary spox Brian Fallon & journo Ryan Lizza pivot FAST from Mueller report –

The Week in Pictures: Mueller Time at Last! | Power Line

Memo From the National Affairs Desk: Who’s Heading to the Cornbread Festival? : The Other McCain

Important Report: McCabe and Page Text Messages Withheld From Congress by Corrupt DOJ Officials… | The Last Refuge

Fox News Publishes Set of Andrew McCabe Texts With Lisa Page – Notes Main Justice Concerns With FBI FISA Source/Motive… | The Last Refuge

The never-ending Mueller investigation ends, but once the needle goes in… – The New NeoPelosi Holds Emergency Call With Democratic Caucus Over Mueller Report. Here's What Transpired.

Nancy Pelosi rejects Mueller report classified briefing - Washington Times

BAM: Tucker Runs Down a List of Democratic Party Shills Who 'Lied' When They Pushed Collusion Theory

Mark Penn on Twitter: "Two plus years, thirty million dollars, our fbi and doj compromised, thousands of fake news stories, millions of people all entranced in a false story of Russia collusion based on oppo research that was always unsubstantiated and preposterous"

Mueller Orders Trump To Sit On Scale To See If He Weighs The Same As A Duck | The Babylon Bee

We are leaving on a week long fishing/sun bathing "vacation" to Belize this week. And while I will have the IPad, and maybe able to post intermittently, I won't be doing regular Russiagate updates. We'll have to see what kind on nonsense is going on when we get back.

Sarah Hoyt:
OUR COCKTAIL THIS WEEKEND IS THE MUELLER REPORT: It costs millions to make, takes two years to be served. Rumors and expectations about it are stoked to fever pitch. Arrives as an empty glass. Every news source claims it’s the finest Russian Vodka. Rachel Maddow most affected.

You Don't Have to Be a Genius to Wear Clothes

Wildwood model with Down syndrome breaks down stereotypes
Doctors whisked Grace from her parents the minute she was born to run tests on her. About four hours later a genetic counselor came to their hospital room to give them the news: Grace had Down syndrome, a genetic condition that impairs cognitive development and can cause a range of health issues. She would face a lifetime of challenges, the counselor warned them.Linda and Jeff Strobel, who had not yet even held their baby girl, listened in shock while she told them their daughter would never read or write.

There is no shame in this at all,” Jeff remembers her saying, “there are still institutions that will take her. Just take your time to think about it.”

They each remember that day 22 years ago in California vividly. It lighted a fire in Linda. They would show this counselor and anyone else who thought their child wasn’t capable.

They named her Grace Elizabeth.

Linda started working with her the minute they got home. She put her on her belly to help her build muscle tone in her neck. She read everything she could on how to stimulate brain development in babies. They embarked on a lifelong journey in which she became her daughter’s teacher, coach and cheerleader.

“When I look at Grace, I see courage and beauty."

Jeff, a Navy veteran, appreciated the intensity of his wife’s training and joined in however he could. They set up an incline board, covered it with carpet and used her sippy cup as motivation to get Grace to crawl up it. They built obstacle courses in their living room to help her crawl, then walk. Linda focused on more than her baby’s gross motor skills; she researched ways to boost her nervous system and neurodevelopment.

Anything is possible, her mom said.

Last summer, she hired a photographer to take modeling photos. Grace comes alive in front of the camera. When Linda posted the images of Grace on Facebook, the photos went viral. People from around the world sent encouraging messages. Her sister, Laine, was so blown away by how the pictures from one of Grace’s photo shoots turned out, she kept them on her phone, posted them on her Instagram and showed anyone who walked by her at college.

“Look at my sister,” she said.

A friend gave Linda the contact information for Ola Hawatmeh, a St. Louis fashion designer.

“My daughter has a dream to become a model,” Linda wrote to her, explaining her circumstances.

“I’m going to make her dream come true,” Hawatmeh said. She gave her some runway lessons on how to walk. She gave her homework to practice. She designed a dress to fit Grace’s 4-foot-11, petite frame. Designers are not allowed to bring their own models for Fashion Week shows in Atlantic City, so she reached out to the organizers to get special permission.

Grace strutted out as the finale in the show in a long, white dress. The audience erupted in the loudest applause of the show.

Hawatmeh has invited her to walk in her fall show during New York City’s Fashion Week.

“When I look at Grace, I see courage and beauty,” she said.

Grace has been featured on the cover of Chesterfield Lifestyle Magazine. Other magazines have run inside editorial spreads about her. The local high school newspaper did a story on her. She’s been interviewed by several local TV stations. She continues to work with her occupational therapist to learn how to shop for groceries and cook for herself with the dream of living independently one day.

Her father says he wishes he could buy the genetic counselor they met when she was born a plane ticket to New York to watch Grace walk the runway.

When she’s not practicing her walk or her talk, Grace still volunteers in a preschool and kindergarten classroom.
Good for her!