Discussion of the governors expensive, indoor dinner party.

November 25, 2020, 7:00 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Details are leaking out every few days on the California governor’s dinner party he said was held outside when the rest of us have been told not to eat inside and not to have more than three households present for a meal and to make sure we wear our masks between bites of food.

There is a deeper issue than merely the flaming hypocrisy of leaders demanding we follow harsh rules while blatantly ignoring the rules themselves.

The real issue is the governor and his friends (including at least three lobbyists) made a self-assessment of the risks to themselves of going out to dinner with a group of at least five other couples. They concluded that was an acceptable risk to given their age and health.

Good for them. They have the ability to make decisions for themselves as to what is acceptable or what is too risky.

The serious, freedom-threatening issue is you and I should be able to do the same thing.

We should be able to decide for ourselves what is an acceptable risk and what is unacceptable.

 

Here is a listing of the coverage by your humble correspondent:

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About the governor’s dinner…it keeps getting worse.

November 24, 2020, 8:06 am

Bar tab at party is reportedly $15,000. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Hard to believe, but details get worse every few days about the governor’s “outside” inside dinner with more than 12 people and no masks in sight.

Looks like we need to increase the estimated cost for the meal.

A reporter for California Globe reports on 11/23/20: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Dinnergate” Apology Grows From Little White Lie to Whopper.

Last tidbit at the bottom of this post:  some of the people at the party are laughing at you and me.

New info on size of dinner party and bar tab

The article pulls together a variety of information from other reporters.

One reporter, who lives in the town where the French Laundry is located, did some digging. He is hearing stories that the bar tab was $15,000 for the party.

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Take the hot newsflash about the Sturgis motorcycle rally being a super-duper super spreader event with a humongous grain of salt.

November 23, 2020, 8:09 am

Suggested amount of salt to consume when reading some research reports. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

(Dark humor alert:  Sarcasm is not a healthy form of humor. Sometimes though, a healthy dose of ridicule accompanied by pointing and laughing is necessary to emphasize the ridiculousness of something. So, check out the following research…)

 

Breathtaking reports on social media claim there is scientific proof that the Sturgis motorcycle rally was a massive super spreader event.

Solid evidence.

Incontrovertible proof I tell you.

Study is described at Wall Street Journal on 11/21/20: CDC Study Links Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to Covid-19 Spread in Minnesota. Hosts of other news sites are doing their own re-write of the story.

Guesses are somewhere around 460,000 people attended the huge motorcycle rally held every year in Sturgis, South Dakota. This year it ran from August 7-16.

The lack of mask usage, the closeness of the event, and massive number of people was dangerous I tell you.

Coverage at the time and headlines now say this was obviously a super spreader event that would obviously cause 7 or 8 gazillion infections and just over half a bazillion deaths.

CDC research shows there, uh, weren’t, uh, quite that many infections.

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More data is emerging about coronavirus infections and it is getting fuzzier instead of more informative.

November 20, 2020, 9:42 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Our political leaders have led us to believe they have incredible knowledge about the coronavirus, including how we get sick, how many are sick, transmission vectors, spread rates, etc. etc. As time passes there is an increasing amount of data that suggests the understanding of the virus is fuzzier than we have been told.

Merely a few of the recent articles pointing out the uncertainty surrounding the virus:

  • Officials across Europe (and New York City) are not able to figure out how most people catch the bug.
  • Estimated 1/5th of New York City residents were infected by early March, at the very beginning of the pandemic.
  • Estimated 1/8th of Orange County, California residents were infected by the end of the summer, far higher than the reported positive test rate.

11/15/20 – Wall Street Journal – As Covid-19 Surges, the Big Unknown Is Where People Are Getting Infected – Health authorities are having difficulty figuring out where people are catching the coronavirus.

Statistics on the percentage of cases that can be traced to a source:

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Wow. News about that outdoor dinner served indoors to six households gets worse by the day.

November 19, 2020, 9:01 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Details keep emerging about the governor’s $500 a person dinner with six households present which was held inside even though the governor said it was outside.

Previously it was disclosed that a longtime friend who is a heavy hitter lobbyist was also at the meal. One article said what a deal for the lobbyist – the entire world knows he has the ear of the governor of the state of California. Superb advertising, huh?

New info is tumbling out. Photos of the meeting emerged Monday showing the meal was served inside.

News yesterday was names of two of the other diners.

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The governor’s $500+ per person outdoor dinner wasn’t all that much, um, outdoorsy.

November 18, 2020, 9:50 am

Previous post explained that while you and I are prohibited from having more than three households gather for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, and our gatherings must be in the backyard, and we must provide turkey, potatoes, and dressing in single serve containers, and we can only let guests use the bathroom if we sanitize the bathroom regularly, the governor of California attended a lavish private dinner party with at least 12 people present, meaning there were likely six or more households present. The governor, the lobbyist whose birthday was being celebrated, and the restaurant all say the meal was outdoors.

Well, turns out the “outdoor” dinner wasn’t quite so outdoor.

If your idea of outdoor dining consists of a room that’s enclosed on three sides with a ceiling and chandelier, along with sliding glass doors on the fourth side that can isolate your party from the rest of the dining room, then the meal was outdoors.

For us unwashed masses unable to rise above our lowly submissive serf status, that sounds like an indoor meal.

A more deadly issue than the hypocrisy

Before we explore the increasing depths of flaming hypocrisy in this story there is a severe side issue.

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Flagrant examples of hypocrisy just keep on rolling… This time $500 per person dinner with five other couples.

November 17, 2020, 9:34 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

It is corrosive to public trust when those in charge issue harsh rules for you and me but those making the rules can ignore them when they wish.

The corrosion will undercut our democracy, create more distrust of politicians than already exists, erode respect for public health officials, and eventually undermine compliance with all government rules not just the silly ones.

We do not want any of that to happen.

I sincerely hope governors, federal health officials, elected county officials, and everyone in the public health world will quickly realize the damage they are causing and change their ways fast.

Is it possible to shout my warning any louder?

Today’s illustration of flaming hypocrisy is from the governor of California.

As I was composing the previous post, this story broke, which is a postcard-perfect illustration of corrosive leadership.

11/13/20 – San Francisco Chronicle – Newsom attended French Laundry party with more households than California advises during pandemic – California guidelines prohibit private gatherings with more than three households.

Such gatherings may only be outside.

You may allow guests to use the bathroom if you sanitize it regularly.

In spite of these requirements, the governor of California and his wife attended a dinner on 11/6/20 with at least 12 people with more than three households present. Neither the people involved nor the restaurant will say how many people were present nor how many households were represented.

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Rising danger from leaders revealing their hypocrisy during the pandemic lockdown.

November 16, 2020, 10:02 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Politicians and public health experts are undercutting public trust in their leadership. While a certain level of distrust of politicians is a good thing, ongoing hypocrisy and poor leadership destroys credibility of the entire political class and appointed public health officials. Destruction of trust is dangerous.

Many incidents have been in the news over the last several months. A few articles of late have illustrated the problem. For your consideration:

11/12/20 – Commentary magazine – Pandemic Hypocrites Produce Pandemic Cynics – Author suggests the level of cynicism is growing. Distrust of political leaders is accelerating.

Why is this corrosion of trust taking place? I will mention merely four of the many illustrations in the article.

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Continued pressure on churches in California to restrict worship as strip clubs open their doors in San Diego under protection of First Amendment.

November 13, 2020, 8:59 am

Strip clubs in San Diego may resume indoor operations but churches may not. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A few updates on the craziness in California regarding free expression of religion:

  • Superior Court Judge in San Diego issues preliminary injunction which allows strip clubs to reopen – they may resume exercise of their free-speech rights under the First Amendment.
  • Another church stands up against prohibition on worshiping indoors.
  • One church files suit to stop city harassment for holding worship outdoors.

 

Judge finds stripping is protected speech under First Amendment

11/6/20 – San Diego Union-TribuneJudge overrules County, allows strip clubs to reopen

11/12/20 – Washington Free BeaconCalifornia Set to Reopen Strip Clubs Before Churches

Two strip clubs in San Diego hit with cease and desist orders filed suit to lift the orders. A San Diego Superior Court judge issued a temporary injunction against the cease and desist order. Full hearing will occur at the end of November. In the meantime both strip clubs are allowed to operate.

Argument made by the strip clubs is that stripping constitutes speech which is protected by the First Amendment. The judge concurred. Just to be clear, a woman taking her clothes off in front of paying male customers constitutes freedom of speech which is constitutionally protected.

That is the exact argument, apart from stripping naked, that churches have been making across the state.

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New claims for unemployment continue slow decline for week ending 11/7/20; continuing claims dropping quickly.

November 12, 2020, 1:24 pm

The number of new claims for unemployment for week ending 11/7/20 again declined. This is the fourth weekly decline, with drops in eight of the last fifteen weeks.  New claims are 709K, a 48K drop for the week.

Starting 8/29/20 the new claims have been in the mid- to high 800 thousands. Since 10/17/20 the new claims have been under 800K.

Remember that before the government induced shutdown of the economy the new claims averaged about 220K per week so we are still running more than three times the previous norm.

The number of continuing claims for unemployment is continuing to drop. Large part of the drop is people going back to work. Part of it is people dropping off the state-level unemployment rolls exhausting coverage.

On 11/12/20, the Wall Street Journal reported U.S. Unemployment Claims Slip but Hold at High Levels. Article asserts the declining new claims and drop in ongoing claims indicates the economy is in a good recovery. Consensus of economists spoken to for the article indicate economy is on a better tract recovery now then the expectations were a few months ago. Current expectation is the GDP will drop 2.7% for the year which is better than the 3.6% expected just last month.

Article suggests that recovery is better than expected.

Tally of people who are now in the extended 13 weeks covered at the federal level is rising rapidly. Here is a recap:

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On this Veterans Day, it is fitting and proper to honor the sacrifice of Sergeant Alwyn Cashe.

November 11, 2020, 11:34 am

Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army.

While his clothes were on fire after an improved explosive device blew up the vehicle he was riding in, Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe returned to the burning vehicle, pulling out a soldier, then another, then another.

Ultimately he pulled six Americans and one national translator from the burning vehicle. Did I mention that his clothing was on fire as he removed each of the soldiers?

Sgt. Cashe is credited with saving the lives of six American soldiers. The national translator, working to free his people, died from the attack. Ten American soldiers were injured, seven seriously.

With 2nd and 3rd burns spread over 72% of his body, Sgt. Cashe died from his wounds a few weeks later.

America is so blessed that we keep finding men like Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe.

 

He was awarded the Silver Star. It took a while for the chain of command to fully understand the depth of his heroism. He will now finally get an even more appropriate award.

UPI reports on 11/11/20 that the Senate approved awarding Medal of Honor for Sgt. Alwyn Cashe.

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News reports on early days of Lori Loughlin’s term give insight to confinement in federal prison.

November 5, 2020, 1:17 pm

Residence of Lori Loughlin for next two months – Federal Correctional Institution Dublin California Overhead View by Prison Insight is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Previous discussion of Lori Loughlin reporting to prison prompted one astute reader to point out I had made some mistakes in the post. I have corrected some items and clarified others. Many thanks to this perceptive reader!

His comments prompted me to read a few more articles and discuss them here. I dive into this detail because it provides insight on the federal prison system.

11/30/20 – Associated Press – Actor Lori Loughlin reports to prison in college scam– Article says the actress reported to the Dublin, California prison on 10/30. Statement from the prosecutor indicated “the parties” agreed she would report early on 10/30. This is about three weeks earlier than 11/19, which was the date the judge had previously ordered.

She is subject to a 14 day quarantine, which is standard protocol from the Bureau of Prisons. That means as of 11/5 she is in day seven of quarantine with another seven days to go.

11/30/20 – USA Today – Lori Loughlin reports to California prison for 2-month sentence in college admissions case – Reporter confirmed with spokesperson at the prison that Ms. Loughlin was in custody on 10/30.

11/4/20 – Us Weekly – Lori Loughlin is a “Wreck” While Serving Time in Prison

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Sentencing and current status for parents in college admissions scandal.

November 5, 2020, 8:43 am

Temporary housing for growing number of parents who scammed their children into elite universities. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Periodically I update the status of the parents who tried to cheat their children into colleges. Here is a recap of the players, their sentences, and current status.

Detention status is from the Bureau of Prison’s inmate locator database.

Why am I spending the time to track all this information? Several reasons.

  • First, it is interesting.
  • Second, this provides a superb object lesson in the consequences of cheating, especially when such ethical/moral failures move into the criminal realm.
  • Third, it provides you and me background information on how the federal judicial system works.
  • Fourth, this accumulates the players and status for those who want to find such information.

 

#29? – Mark Hauser – guilty plea entered; plea deal recommends six months prison time, one year supervised release, and $40K fine.  Sentencing expected in January 2021. (9/25/20)

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Devastating impact from shutdown visible in higher education, cancer treatment, pending evictions, and state government finances.

November 3, 2020, 9:35 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Every day there are fresh reports of the devastating impact from the shutdown of the economy. Damage is widespread. Impact is growing.

Just a few of the recent articles:

  • Early screening for cancer slowed down earlier, resulting in more serious cancers discovered now
  • People showing up for treatment have more advanced cancer
  • Wave of tenant evictions is on the horizon
  • State government budgets are collapsing
  • Freshman enrollment at colleges is down 16%

There is a severe cost to be paid from early mistakes and ongoing mistakes by a wide range of government officials.

 

Devastating impact from more serious cancers

10/15/20 – Wall Street Journal – Covid-19 Outbreaks Led to Dangerous Delay in Cancer Diagnoses – The closing of many health facilities meant regular screenings for cancer were not available for several months this past spring. Next, widespread panic kept people away from doctors’ offices. One insurance company reports the number of daily screenings for colorectal cancer dropped between 50% and 80% for about three months.

Only at the end of August was the number of screenings back to the normal amount compared to prior years.

The expected result?

A cancer care provider reports an increased number of patients are arriving with advanced stages of cancer.

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Seven parents who entered guilty plea in college admissions scandal.

November 2, 2020, 7:00 am

Large number of parents have learned this is not a good plan for getting their children into their dream college. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

While describing the status of Lori Loughlin and her husband in previous update of the college admissions fraud, I learned there have been a number of parents who entered a guilty plea, several of whom have already been sentenced, but I had not previously mentioned their participation.

Looking at the Department of Justice’s listing of defendants, charges, status, and sentencing information at their web site, Investigations of College Admissions and Testing Bribery Scheme identified seven parents who have already pleaded guilty.

 

Bruce and Davina Isackson

5/1/19 – USA Today – Couple who paid $600K to get kids into UCLA, USC pleads guilty in college admissions scandal – This is an old report, all the way back in May 2019.

Bruce and Divina Isackson signed a plea deal with the feds. They admitted paying $600,000 to the mastermind of the scheme in return for getting their older daughter into UCLA and younger daughter into USC. Feds also claim they were in conversations about getting the youngest son into school.

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