Newsom issues evening curfew ahead of Thanksgiving week

Barbara Feder Ostrov
Contributing Writer for CalMatters, has reported on medicine and health policy for more than 15 years.

Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced a month-long curfew covering nearly all Californians to start Saturday, the latest in a series of tough new restrictions aimed at stopping the state’s alarming spike in COVID-19 cases. 

The curfew starting right before Thanksgiving week will shut down non-essential work and gatherings from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and applies to all counties in the most restrictive purple tier of California’s reopening plan. The order will remain in effect until Dec. 21. 

Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, will be exempted. However, restaurants may offer takeout only after 10 p.m. and people can walk their dogs during curfew hours, California’s top health official said during an update today. 

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American Diversity–Impacting Elections from Georgia to Orange County

Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Bill Boyarsky is a former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, is a retired Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California

We look at Korean American congressional victories in Orange County and at the Georgia Senate election where the Democrats are represented  by a prominent African American minister and a Jewish documentarian.

Produced and directed by Nancy Boyarsky


Inside Golden State Politics podcast.

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Exclusive! Revised French Laundry Menu for Privileged Guests

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

I imagined a revised special menu for The French Laundry restaurant after the brouhaha involving Gov. Gavin Newsom’s multi-homeowner gathering to celebrate the birthday of lobbyist and Newsom advisor Jason Kinney. 

The French Laundry 

Chef’s Tasting Menu (REVISED)

November 2020 



“Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Regiis Ova Caviar 

REVISED: Pearls of Wisdom–Practice what you preach


ROASTED CAULIFLOWER “VELOUTÉ” with Garden Greens “Pesto”

REVISED: Roasted Governor with all the trimmings including mockery, anger, derision, scorn, and topped with a healthy scoop of sarcasm. 

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Forgive, But Don’t Forget, L’Affaire French Laundry

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

The pandemic has made us so crazy that the governor of California is now apologizing for patronizing a California business. 

Of course, there is more to le scandalette involving Gov. Newsom’s decision to attend a 50th birthday party (Jason Kinney, you’re old!) at the French Laundry, a famous restaurant in Yountville, in Napa County. But not much more. 

The scandal has quite a lot to do with the intense feeling that Northern Californians have about the restaurant, a once-in-a-lifetime sort of place where it’s nearly impossible to get a reservation. As a columnist, I’ve been inside the French Laundry, but have never had the interest, or the four free hours necessary to eat there. As a teetotaler, a cheapskate, and Southern Californian, it’s hard to understand the appeal of paying $350, plus extra for wine, for food you don’t pick yourself. I was also shocked to discover that for that $350 prix fixe, the French Laundry doesn’t offer fluff-and-fold. What a rip-off! 

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LAO Budget Projection Good News But Problems Persist

Rob Lapsley
President, California Business Roundtable

The Legislative Analyst reports that the state budget is currently projected to have a $26 billion surplus, with the potential to grow as large as $40 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

While the strength of the budget is welcome news, the LAO’s projections do not expect employment to fully recover until 2025 or later. That is a bleak prospect for the many lower-wage workers and small businesses that have been sidelined by the governor’s actions in the current crisis.

It is a looming threat to the social fabric of our state, cementing in place a two-tiered economic structure that denies opportunity to those at the lower tier of the economic scale.

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The Grand New Party

Joel Kotkin
Editor of and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

Given the likely defeat of President Donald Trump, a functionally headless Republican Party is destined for a period of reflection. Trump himself, for all his rudeness and often unnecessary, divisive rhetoric, has transformed the Republican Party from being a bastion of the establishment to a voice for America’s working and middle class.

In the aftermath of Trump’s narrow defeat, the media will likely push “respectable” anti-Trump front groups, like the Democratic funded AstroTurf Lincoln Project and others who backed President-elect Joe Biden. But given Trump’s extraordinary support among Republicans, these onetime GOP media and political operatives have a stronger affinity with today’s Democrats who, increasingly, resemble the old Republicans, with lockstep support from the upper class, notably on Wall Street and Silicon Valley, as well as law and professional service firms.

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Will Legislature Move to Curb Initiatives and Referendums?

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Elections returns show that Democrats have strengthened their position in the California legislature while voters expressed disillusion with Democratic leadership by rejecting a number of statewide ballot measures put on the ballot by the legislature, or endorsed by many legislative majority members, or rejected laws passed by the legislature. So, what’s the new legislative majority to do? Be on the alert—expect legislative proposals to curb the voters’ power of initiative and referendum. The lawmakers under the dome just might want to curtail the competition in lawmaking.

I wrote of the voters rebuke of the legislature on affirmative action (Proposition 16), young voters (Proposition 18), rules for the gig economy (Proposition 22) and cancelling the legislative bill to end cash bail (Proposition 25.) You can add Proposition 15, the commercial property tax increase, that was endorsed by a number of majority Democrats including Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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Two Costly New Laws to Open the New Year for Small Businesses; A Podcast

John Kabateck
President, Kabateck Strategies

I wish we could tell small businesses that fewer regulations and lower taxes were coming their way starting January 1 but not even a pandemic could throw our State Legislature off course from their mad drive to create more burdens.

Three current and soon-to-take effect laws are discussed in detail in a half-hour podcast featuring renowned labor and employment law attorney Ben Ebbink, a partner in the Sacramento firm of Fisher & Phillips, LLP. The current and coming new laws under review are:

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California’s COVID-Resistant Tax Revenues

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

October General Fund tax revenues came in 37 percent above the 2020-21 Budget Act forecast, according to the latest Finance Bulletin from the California Department of Finance. Revenues through the first four months of the current fiscal year now exceed forecast revenues by $11 billion:

Revenue collections from March, when the state’s COVID-19 state of emergency was declared, are just 1.3 percent below the same period in 2019, which was a record year. That’s despite an 11 percent unemployment rate, which exceeds the national 6.9 percent unemployment rate by >50 percent.

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Emergency Brake Pulled for Business Re-openings and Also for Government Revenue

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he is pulling the “emergency brake” in his plan to confront the coronavirus sending many California counties to the lowest tier for reopening the economy. This effort to stall the spread of the Covid-19 virus will also serve as an anchor on job and economic growth as well as revenue collection by state and local governments.

Newsom made the call after data across the state showed a surge in virus victims, which will once again pressure the health providers efforts to deal with patients and threaten hospital capacity. Over a seven-day period beginning Nov. 1, the state saw a 51.3% increase in cases.

Twenty-eight counties will have to flop back to the lowest tier of the most restrictive rules on business openings including some of the large population centers of the state.

The restrictive rules in the lower tier include closing indoor restaurant spaces; indoor worship services; indoor gyms and fitness centers; and indoor museums, and family entertainment centers, among other restrictions.

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