Patterico's Pontifications

12/9/2020

Sheila Kuehl, Called Out for Her Hypocrisy, Gets Snippy; Meanwhile a Judge Strikes Down County Ban on Outdoor Dining

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:08 pm



[guest post by JVW]

A bad day indeed for the (mono)Party of Science.

Fox News 11, the local Los Angeles affiliate, has been following-up on the story reported last week about Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl choosing to partake in allegedly highly dangerous outdoor dining shortly after casting the deciding vote to place a moratorium on the practice and just hours before a countywide ban was set to go into place. Two Fox 11 reporters, Bill Melugin and Elex Michaelson, have done excellent work in hounding Supervisor Kuehl to provide an explanation as to why outdoor dining is so dangerous that it needs to be suspended, yet not so dangerous that she herself thought nothing of engaging in the practice just before the order went into effect.

The Supervisor, an elected official who receives an annual taxpayer-funded salary of $214,601 while overseeing an office with a budget of approximately $85 million and a staff of 40*, has declared this a “non-story” and refuses to make herself available to answer these sorts of questions. Whereas it would appear that most other news outlets here in the Southland have been content to file an initial report on the story and then accept Supervisor Kuehl’s lame explanation that she dines at the restaurant Il Forno in Santa Monica “virtually every night,” (seriously? every single night at the same restaurant?), the Fox 11 team has begun questioning the Supervisor on her rationale for voting to shut-down outdoor dining, specifically what scientific studies have indicated that outdoor dining is causing the spike in COVID cases throughout the county. Ms. Kuehl initially tried to weasel her way out by claiming that she and her colleagues have been privy to six studies proving that outdoor dining was hazardous, but for several days she refused to share the details. Meanwhile, a judge ordered Los Angeles County to justify the shutdowns, and the evidence the County cited in defense of its orders didn’t seem to comport to what Supervisor Kuehl’s office was telling Mr. Melugin:

Well darn. So having been called out and exposed, Supervisor Kuehl’s office went into overdrive to make the case for their boss’s vote. Naturally, they used the snide language of the self-declared Party of Science, even while serving up a steaming heap of failure:

Yesterday afternoon, Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled that “[b]y failing to weigh the benefits of an outdoor dining restriction against its costs, the county acted arbitrarily and its decision lacks a rational relationship to a legitimate end.” The ban on outdoor dining here will remain in effect thanks to a similar decree over the weekend from Governor Hair-Gel (D – French Laundry), but once that order (which is also being challenged in court) expires on December 27 the county could theoretically reimpose its own ban, according to the judge, provided that they first undertake an adequate risk-benefit analysis and make it available to the general public.

Meanwhile, the National Restaurant Association claims that 110,000 dining establishments across the nation have closed since the pandemic hit. I have noticed since Thanksgiving that two more places in my neighborhood are boarded up, apparently for good, bringing the total by my count to at least six since March. Yes, we need an effective vaccine, but we also need the people who continue to be employed throughout this pandemic to spare a thought as to how their actions and decisions affect those whose livelihoods have been grossly curtailed. Sometimes the shouts of “Don’t just stand there; do something!” are better left ignored than acted upon.

– JVW

—–
* Just try to find the break-out of the actual spending for each of the five Supervisors. The county buries those numbers in an overall $817 million “General Government” budget category, but then shows a chart where the Board of Supervisors allegedly accounts for $433 million (by the way: that final figure is up from the suggested allocation of $418 million, because of course it is). I reached the $85 million per Supervisor estimate by dividing the $433 million roughly by five.

31 Responses to “Sheila Kuehl, Called Out for Her Hypocrisy, Gets Snippy; Meanwhile a Judge Strikes Down County Ban on Outdoor Dining”

  1. Sheila Kuehl is Exhibit One as to what is wrong with our political culture out here. Twenty-six years ago she gets herself elected to the State Assembly, then after six years moves up to the State Senate for two terms. After being term-limited out of that august legislative body (permit me to chuckle fo ra moment), she gets herself a nice position on a state waste management board (and she didn’t have to sleep with Willie Brown to earn it!), then when that board was put out of its misery she started a “consulting” firm, which is a nice way of saying she went into the lobbyist business.

    At long last, when a highly-sought seat on the County Board of Supervisors opened up (they are so prized that Janice Hahn left Congress for one), she got herself elected thanks to her name recognition from previous offices held. And she’s not unusual in that regard. Lots of people active in Los Angeles politics — the aforementioned Janice Hahn, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Hilda Solis, Gil Cedilo, Kevin de Leon, and others — just move from position to position among municipal, county, and state, and even federal offices, secure in the fact that their name recognition will get them elected each and every time. Once you’re elected to one office, you’re forever elected to all of them. We don’t do participatory democracy too well in Los Angeles County.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. She obviously does not believe that outdoor dining is particularly dangerous, but this is justfied on the Swiss cheese principle.

    https://online.umich.edu/collections/covid-19/short/swiss-cheese-metaphor-covid

    When it comes to COVID-19, no single protection — like wearing masks, washing your hands, or social distancing — is 100% effective at preventing infection. The ‘Swiss cheese’ metaphor helps explain how stacking these practices together can help us protect ourselves and others, and reduce the spread of the virus, as states reopen and we return to public spaces, family, and friends.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/05/health/coronavirus-swiss-cheese-infection-mackay.html

    Multiple layers of protection, imagined as cheese slices, block the spread of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. No one layer is perfect; each has holes, and when the holes align, the risk of infection increases. But several layers combined — social distancing, plus masks, plus hand-washing, plus testing and tracing, plus ventilation, plus government messaging — significantly reduce the overall risk.

    This was originally “Swiss cheese model of accidents.”

    Sammy Finkelman (63d78b)

  3. she got herself elected thanks to her name recognition from previous offices held.

    Ahhhh, Zelda. Following the Reagan path outta Hollywood and into politics!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUtSZynLyO0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUpRgb7q8B0

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  4. But Ronnie went straight to the governor’s office of the largest state in the nation. He didn’t fool around with piddly Assembly districts and hack (though well-paid) county jobs.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  5. By the way, washing your hands or cleaning is not important. This is not staph. Average masks, worn correctly, and dry I guess. can cut the risk of transmission by 40% of what they would otherwise be, if one party wears it and 70% if two do, but they are not much in the scheme of things and actually seems to be associated with more spread of Covid because maybe people wear masks more when they perceive a danger. And they stop wearing them, or never start, when some level of herd immunity or isolation exists.

    Physical separation, sunlight and ventilation (dilution) is probably important but most valuable of all would be giving everybody who is willing to take it ivermectin or small amounts of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies like those developed by Regeneron.

    And don’t forget Vitamin D and zinc.

    Sammy Finkelman (63d78b)

  6. O/T, but I miss seeing Stashiu3’s posts. I hope he is well and happy.

    Ditto JD.

    Simon Jester (58ffc9)

  7. Chicken and rice, Sammy. Chicken and rice. Any way — soup, pilaf, baked/fried/ roasted chicken with rice as a side dish — any way at all. And a buttered bagel to clinch it. I’ll sign an affidavit attesting to it.

    nk (1d9030)

  8. Stashiu explicitly stated that he was not going to comment here anymore as long as this site was anti-Trump and happyfeet and I were here. happyfeet is gone but that’s only one down with two to go. 😉

    JD had his own reasons, predating the orange. I miss him, too, and wish him all the best wherever he is. And Stashiu, too.

    nk (1d9030)

  9. “I have here in my hand the names of SIX Communists in governm… oh, wait, I mean SIX studies showing that what I do every night is dangerous … wait, I mean…”

    Ms Kuhn is among the very small set of people who I would choose Trump over. To start off, she hates men and, when it was pointed out that some men are saddled with child support for children born to women they had never met she said, TFB, the kids need support.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. Once you’re elected to one office, you’re forever elected to all of them.

    And the kids can inherit, witness Autumn Burke.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. Ahhhh, Zelda. Following the Reagan path outta Hollywood and into politics!

    Ms Kuhn would never have chased Dobie herself.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. JD had his own reasons, predating the orange. I miss him, too, and wish him all the best wherever he is. And Stashiu, too.

    nk (1d9030) — 12/9/2020 @ 8:27 pm

    Yeah they were great. Really hope they are doing well in these times at least.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  13. I didn’t read this site regularly until the last year or two, but I remember happyfeet. He was hilarious. Did he get banned? If so, what got him banned?

    norcal (7a31c4)

  14. Great post, JVW! Thanks for doing all the work so we don’t have to do it. I also have a smile on my face from all the good comments in this section. And still, I miss Elissa, Daleyrocks, and MD in Philly. Their absence left a void, yet to be filled.

    felipe (630e0b)

  15. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/9/2020 @ 10:59 pm

    Ha! I’m laughing out loud, Kevin.

    felipe (630e0b)

  16. When Democrats say one thing, it usually means another. For example, when they say they are the Party of Science, it usually means they are not.

    Hoi Polloi (139bf6)

  17. 16. Hoi Polloi (139bf6) — 12/10/2020 @ 4:40 am

    For example, when they say they are the Party of Science, it usually means they are not.

    No, it means the “science” isn’t right. Saying “science means it is right.

    Sammy Finkelman (63d78b)

  18. Fantastic post JVW. I really wish more people would look at what is actually happening on the ground instead of just proclaiming the need to do something without considering the harm of their actions.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  19. I have been considering the restaurant issue, and I have to say that in my town my observation is that my local restaurants didn’t really do much adapting to the circumstances. As soon as the first stay at home order went into effect the local pizza and local Chinese places put out fliers with delivery menus (and they send out fliers at least once a month) and they seem to be doing fine. The other restaurants aren’t advertising delivery anywhere on their restaurants and haven’t sent out anything that indicates they are available for delivery or pickup (I certainly haven’t gotten any delivery menus from them) and don’t really seem to have increased their outdoor seating much. Maybe they have joined online services, but that doesn’t help increase their profile at all. How do they expect to survive if they don’t do anything to help themselves?

    Nic (896fdf)

  20. Speaking as someone who *supports* the ban on outdoor dining — the inability of our political leadership to lead by example is both baffling and appalling.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  21. Politicians hypocrites who knew? Do as I say not as I do and besides the press likes lock downs.

    asset (9328f7)

  22. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that people who got Covid-19 (after the initial wave) did so because they didn’t fracking listen, or thought they were somehow special or immune. The only people I know who got sick both died right off the bat. Others did like me — avoided situations that seemed TO US to be risky.

    But I guess that not everyone is there. Some insist on behaving as if Covid wasn’t real. The way to get people to listen is to talk about how gruesome a death it is, and what the even the survivors can face.

    Graphically.

    Show people dying, alone, tubes down their throat, with their families not even allowed to be near.

    Show survivors dealing with new lifelong problems; heart, kidney, liver and above all damaged lungs. Piles of drugs, limitations on activities, months to recover a semblance of a normal life.

    Trump did a lousy job, but Fauci, the CDC and the media did a mediocre one getting the message out.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. What’s amazing is that people who buy lottery tickets also think Covid-19 will pass them by.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. He was hilarious. Did he get banned? If so, what got him banned?

    The “joke” was old and tired by then. He got himself banned for an accumulation of things, not the least of which was an unwillingness to engage in debate. I suppose there was an official reason, something “over the line” but for the life of me I would have been hard pressed to say what it was; he attacked that “line” with a vengeance. To the point where many of us had put him on our filter.

    AIUI, he also got himself banned at Insty, which takes some doing.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. @4. Hooray for Hollywood! 😉

    “It was the TeeVee.” – Nurse Diesel [Cloris Leachman] ‘High Anxiety’ 1977

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. @24 Thanks for answering my question, Kevin.

    norcal (7a31c4)

  27. Danville Christian Academy made an emergency appeal last Thursday, to Justice Brett Kavanaugh after the Sixth Circuit stayed the injunction against the state in Danville Christian Academy v Beshear. Hopes were high when Justice Kavanaugh gave Governor Andy Beshear (D-LY) until 10 AM last Saturday to respond.

    However, the Court has taken no action so far, meaning that it has allowed one week to elapse with the private religious schools forcibly closed by the Reich Governor’s order.

    The case is facially different from Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v Cuomo because the Reich Governor’s order treats all K-12 schools identically, but it allows high school sports to continue, along with leaving colleges and preschools and day care centers open.

    The executive order expires on January 4th, so if the Court does not take action soon, the case will wind up being dismissed as moot, unless Mr Beshear extends the order.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  28. Mr M wrote:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that people who got Covid-19 (after the initial wave) did so because they didn’t fracking listen, or thought they were somehow special or immune. The only people I know who got sick both died right off the bat. Others did like me — avoided situations that seemed TO US to be risky.

    The left mocked President Trump for contracting the virus because he was openly skeptical and didn’t wear a mask. But the latest news is that Governor Tom Wolf (D-PA), who put in immediate restrictions, closed businesses, mandated face masks, has also contracted the virus.

    Mr Wolf always wears a mask in public. His staff are always required to wear a mask, engage in social distancing, and all of the other stuff. If there have been any stories about him flouting his own rules, I’ve missed them. But he still got it.

    The question has to be: if the rules which have thrown twenty million people out of work and driven hundreds of thousands of businesses out of business are only partially effective, can they really be justified at all?

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  29. The question has to be: if the rules which have thrown twenty million people out of work and driven hundreds of thousands of businesses out of business are only partially effective, can they really be justified at all?

    If only the coronavirus read Hayek and Friedman.

    nk (1d9030)

  30. 28. The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c) — 12/10/2020 @ 7:42 pm

    The question has to be: if the rules which have thrown twenty million people out of work and driven hundreds of thousands of businesses out of business are only partially effective, can they really be justified at all?

    By studying the record, which you can by looking at situations where the number of cases was small enough so you could actually trace cases, and from that tell what matters most, you could come up with a set of better rules.

    They could also give neutralizing antibodies as a prophylactic. And train dogs to detect Covid.

    Sammy Finkelman (26a080)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2514 secs.