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Dinner News - 20 February 2020

Newly unearthed lawsuits against Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg that have either been settled or dismissed paint a disturbing picture of misogynistic behavior. The never-before-seen legal briefs were provided to the Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act and include complaints by a number of women that were followed up by attempts to keep them quiet.

In one high-profile complaint, saleswoman Sekiko Sakai Garrison alleges that, when told of a male colleague’s impending marriage, Bloomberg suggested to female salespeople, “All of you girls line up to give him [oral sex] as a wedding present.” That suit also alleges that, on a number of occasions, Bloomberg said, “I’d f--- that in a second” when he saw certain women.

The lawsuits, which were filed long before the era of #MeToo, work to undercut Bloomberg’s accusations against President Trump’s often vulgar behavior towards women. They also call into question his methods in attempting to keep the allegations quiet. A spokesman told the Post that Bloomberg would not release anyone from a confidentiality agreement, and that he did not intend to release his depositions in any of the newly revealed cases. Normal guy Mike Bloomberg likes to get his "busty" daughter laid on business trips, off the record:

Frustrated with Oregon's liberal government, a conservative group wants to transfer Oregon's rural areas to Idaho, according to the Washington Post. While Oregon leans Democratic, Idaho is a historically red state.

The group, called Move Oregon's Border for a Greater Idaho, is asking 18 Oregon counties to approve their petitions to open communications with state legislature. If approved, the group would then have to collect signatures of about 6 percent of the counties' populations to see the referendum show up on their ballots. After that, both Oregon's and Idaho's state legislatures as well as Congress would have to approve the changing of borders. The group, called Move Oregon's Border for a Greater Idaho, is asking 18 Oregon counties to approve their petitions to open communications with state legislature. If approved, the group would then have to collect signatures of about 6 percent of the counties' populations to see the referendum show up on their ballots. After that, both Oregon's and Idaho's state legislatures as well as Congress would have to approve the changing of borders.

Despite the difficulty of this task, the group has its supporters, even among lawmakers: Oregon state Rep. Gary Leif (R) apparently has put up a map of the "Greater Idaho" in his office.

“Rural people and rural counties no longer have a voice,” one of the movement’s leaders, Mark Baird, told the Washington Post. “I, as an individual, recognize that a rising tide floats all boats. If this turns out to be the shortest route to liberty and representation, I’ll give it a go.” If their plan succeeds, next up would be recruiting California's northern counties into "Greater Idaho" as well. This redrawing of borders would be another approach to the State of Jefferson, a proposition to form a new state out of the mostly rural area of southern Oregon and northern California. Petitioners want Josephine County to be part of Idaho By Jeff Duewel of the Daily Courier "Famous Potatoes" on our license plates in Josephine County?A group of rural Oregonians has proposed adding a large swath of Oregon outside the Willamette Valley to the state of Idaho, and Josephine County is part of the movement.Locally, a ballot initiative has been approved by Josephine County Legal Counsel Wally Hicks. Similar initiatives have been filed in Douglas and Umatilla counties.Once the wording of the title is decided in Josephine County Circuit Court, petitioners are free to seek the 2,429 signatures needed to put it on the Nov. 3 ballot.

District Attorney Josh Eastman assigned the title "Ordinance requiring cooperation with efforts to join Idaho." Petitioners wanted "Support moving Oregon's border to the north of Josephine County."Co-petitioner Valerie Gottschalk of Selma said today that she got wind of the movement in December and jumped on board. The movement calls itself Greater Idaho."I'm involved because I'm really unhappy with the way this state is being run,"

Gottschalk said. "This sounded like a godsend to me, changing the border. Everybody always says if you don't like it here, move, but this was a lot simpler."Another co-petitioner, Mike McCarter of La Pine, said in a press release the movement is being driven by outrage over "laws coming out of the Oregon Legislature that threaten our livelihoods, our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values."We tried voting those legislators out, but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored. This is our last resort.

"The local initiative would create an ordinance requiring anyone within the jurisdiction of Josephine County to cooperate with efforts to make Josephine County part of Idaho, according to the summary provided by the county clerk's office.Hicks said whether or not a ballot initiative has any merit is not part of his evaluation.He said constitutional requirements say the ballot initiative must pertain to a single subject, contain the full text of the measure, and must be legislative rather than administrative in nature.

"The government isn't allowed to vet citizen initiatives for substantive legality," he said.The movement roughly mirrors Oregon's 2nd Congressional District, plus Curry, Coos and Douglas counties, Republican-leaning counties that lie outside the district.That's the better part of three-fourths of Oregon, and if that area was subtracted, Oregon would be left with 14 counties out of 36 and about 20,000 square miles, down from 98,466.Gottschalk said it's not so odd that the movement wants to grab most of Oregon and align with Idaho.

"If you look at voting trends, these counties vote more Trump than left," she said. "People are frustrated beyond belief. Their voices are not being heard. The left runs the whole state."The petitioners say they will be filing in the other targeted counties, one by one. Any change in state borders would require approval from both states and from Congress, but the petitioners say they envision a scenario where that could happen.

They say lawmakers in the Willamette Valley would welcome the improvement in the state budget because rural Oregon counties pay less income taxes than their counties do, per person. They also note the difference in the economies of rural and urban areas, and that a large majority of rural voters support Republican party candidates over Democrats.Said McCarter: "We really don't fit with Portland."———Reach reporter Jeff Duewel at 541-474-3720 or You’ve got Oregonians seeking to cascade into Idaho, Virginians who identify as West Virginians, Illinoians fighting to escape Chicago, Californians dreaming of starting a 51st state, and New Yorkers who think three states are better than one. Separation fever is sweeping the nation as quixotic but tenacious bands of frustrated rural dwellers, suburbanites and conservatives seek to break free from states with legislatures increasingly controlled by liberal big cities and metropolitan strongholds.

“Oregon is controlled by the northwest portion of the state, Portland to Eugene. That’s urban land, and their decisions are not really representing rural Oregon,” said Mike McCarter, president of Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho. “They have their agenda and they’re moving forward with it, and they’re not listening to us.” Hot Air reports:

Study: Most journalists are to the left of Bernie Sanders (but don’t worry they’re totally fair)— (@hotairblog) February 19, 2020

Those findings certainly comport with the experience of a lot of people on Twitter, a place where support for Sanders often seems overwhelming. But the study goes on to argue that despite this overwhelming personal bias, reporters don’t show any evidence of bias in their work.How did they determine this? Well, that was a separate part of the study which directed emails at hundreds of journalists offering to let them sit down with a new candidate for office (one who didn’t exist but the journalists didn’t know that). In both cases the letter was identical except that in some cases the candidate was described as left-wing and in others as right wing.

This is from the study:

Journalists are dominantly liberal and often fall far to the left of Americans.A full 78.1% of journalists are more liberal than the average Twitter user. Moreover, 66% are even more liberal than former President Obama, 62.3% are to the left of the median Senate Democrat (in the 114th Congress), and a full 14.5% are more liberal than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (one of the most liberal members of the House).In short, journalists are overwhelmingly liberal/Democrats and many journalists appear to be far to the left of the average American. Intelligence Test: (This explains a lot...)

According to the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS), Trump supporters scored higher on verbal ability tests and science knowledge. As Jim Lindgren at Reason notes, the GSS "is usually regarded as the leading omnibus academic survey in the US; it usually achieves response rates about 10 to 20 times higher than the typical public opinion poll."

On the verbal ability test (WORDSUM), not surprisingly the median number of vocabulary questions correct was the same for both Clinton and Trump supporters: 6 out of 10 words correct.   The mean verbal ability score for Trump supporters was 6.15 words correct, while the mean verbal ability score for Clinton supporters was 5.69 correct, a difference of nearly a half a question on a 10-question test.  This moderate difference is statistically significant at p<.0005.

Further, Trump supporters score significantly higher on verbal ability (6.15 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.70 correct), whereas Clinton supporters score significantly lower on verbal ability (5.69 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.98 correct).

Trump supporters also have greater science knowledge than voters who supported Clinton in 2016. According to the survey, "on six questions Trump supporters offer the correct answer significantly more often than Clinton supporters."

But here's where things get interesting:Indeed,  less than half of 2016 Clinton supporters (49.6%) are able to answer correctly both of two related questions: whether the earth goes around the sun or the sun goes around the earth (EARTHSUN) and whether that takes a day, a month, or a year (SOLARREV).  Remember these two questions are multiple choice! You would have a 50-50 chance of guessing correctly on the first part: whether the earth goes around the sun or vice versa. Sadly, the general public didn't do hugely better than Clinton supporters, with only 57.1% (compared to 49.6%) knowing that the earth goes around the sun and that it takes a year to do so. should not be too surprising. On the 22 General Social Surveys using the verbal ability scale since 1974, for every single one, conservative Republicans score significantly higher than the rest of the public combined. As for Republicans overall, they score significantly higher in verbal ability than Democrats in all five decades, including for the 2010s combined. Thanks to President Trump’s policies the life expectancy in the United States increased for the first time since 2014.

Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway, ONDCP Director Jim Carroll, and Assistant Secretary of Public Health ADM Brett Giroir announced this wonderful news on Thursday.Opioid deaths were down 13% in 2018 and that contributed to the overall national life expectancy.

Kellyanne Conway along with Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Jim Carroll, and Assistant HHS Sec of Public Health Adm. Brett Giroir say that Pres Trump’s drug policies have resulted in US life expectancy increasing for first time since 2014.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) January 30, 2020CBS News reported:

The latest calculation is for 2018 and factors in current death trends and other issues. On average, an infant born that year is expected to live about 78 years and 8 months, the CDC said.For males, it’s about 76 years and 2 months; for females 81 years and 1 month.For decades, U.S. life expectancy was on the upswing, rising a few months nearly every year. But from 2014 to 2017, it fell slightly or held steady. That was blamed largely on surges in overdose deaths and suicides.

Suicides continued to increase in 2018, as did deaths from the flu and pneumonia during what turned out to be an unusually bad flu year. But declines in some other causes of death – most notably cancer and drug overdoses – were enough to overcome all that, according to the report. (One wonders if the increase in suicides might be due to folks on the left living in Trumpland. )

China said Thursday it has again changed the method of counting patients with the novel coronavirus and will now include only those diagnosed by sophisticated laboratory testing.

It is the second time in just eight days that the country has revised its criteria—a move that could muddle statistics and complicate efforts to track the spread of the illness.Chinese health officials last week said patients from Hubei province and its capital Wuhan—the epicentre of the outbreak—who had been diagnosed via clinical methods including lung imaging would be added to the count in addition to those confirmed by lab studies.This led to a huge one-day increase in the number of confirmed cases—14,840—on February 13.The change was made due to a backlog of patients awaiting nucleic acid tests whose condition was deteriorating, said Wang Guiqiang, chief physician at Peking University First Hospital in Beijing."Patients needed active treatment," he said.

"Now the situation in Hubei has changed... There is no backlog of patients who need nucleic acid testing, and we can now quickly test all suspected or undiagnosed cases.

Washington State authorities... They have only tested 26 people. They let in 779 people from China since Wuhan led to some control over who enters from China, and people who had been in “close contact” with infected people. "A close contact is a person who has been within about 6 feet of a person with confirmed novel coronavirus infection for a prolonged period of time or has had direct contact with secretions from a person with confirmed novel coronavirus infection." They did not quarantine - instead setting them loose and relying on them to speak up if they feel sick. Reminder:  People can be infectious long before symptoms and the incubation period is up to 14 days. This is as of 18 February.  It is updated daily.

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