By Hal Brownsee Sunday blog here) I added the bottom image.
Clarence and Ginni have two besties. They happen to be fairly rich. To quote what Clarence said:
“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over 25 years. As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter-century we have known them.”
People, with the exception of hermits and totally anti-social curmudgeons, have friends. Most have a range of friends some of whom are closer than others.
On occasion they may exchange gifts, say for birthdays, and how expensive, or lavish, these gifts are varies. Some people visit each other so often that they rarely if ever bring presents. On special occasions people of modest means may bring a bottle of supermarket wine when they eat over at a friend's house.
It may look tawdry, or worse, for Clarence and Ginni Thomas to have considered travel on a private jet and being entertained on a big boat not to be things they need to have reported as gifts, but rich people consider their planes and yachts to be homes away from home. What's the difference, really, between having meal prepared by a chef and having your pal flip burgers on a backyard grill? Food is food, right?
People may be served hamburgers or they may serve filet mignon on special occasions. Wealthy people may treat their houseguests to Dom Perignon champagne and expensive cheese. The super rich may serve astronomically expensive vintage wine, Croatian truffles, and "Strottarga Bianco" caviar .
Headlines like the following included terms that are relative:
What are the ethical boundaries for people who have political power and influence?
I once invited a local lawmaker to lunch for an interview. Lunch would be on me. He wouldn’t allow it. “I wouldn’t even let you buy me a cup of coffee at Starbucks,” he told me.
At least that was a good thing, since I’m not exactly a fan of Starbucks.
"The left is furious it lost control of the Supreme Court, and it wants it back by whatever means possible. The latest effort is a smear on Justice Thomas."
Is it illegal for Thomas to receive gifts?
Generally speaking, Supreme Court justices are required to disclose any perks that they receive if they are valued at more than $415 and they aren't reimbursed, according to public filings for judicial officers and employees. Those perks may include travel, food or lodging.
But some exceptions can include situations when a person hosts a justice on their own property, in which case food and lodging would not have to be disclosed. But this exception does not apply to travel expenses such as costs for a private plane, however.
Additionally, it appears Thomas should have reported vacations at Crow's Camp Topridge resort in New York because the developer technically owns the resort through a company, as opposed to owning it personally, according to ProPublica.