Speaking of gallimaufry, “A Heavy Dragoon” is one of the best Gilbert and Sullivan “list” songs, but you seldom hear it. Erudite is the listener who can identify all the historical figured named! The song is from “Patience,” the firs show I ever directed, and still one of my favorites. The singer in the clip above, Darrell Fancourt, played the part of the Mikado more times than anyone, and even dropped dead while playing the role.
1. In baseball history, it’s Moral Luck Day. On July 17, 1941, New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio didn’t get a hit against the Cleveland Indians, in great part due to a pait of great plays by Cleveland third baseman Ken Keltner, finally ending his historic 56-game hitting streak, the longest in MLB history then and now. Largely on the basis of the streak, though it helped that the Yankees won the pennant, DiMaggio was awarded the American League MVP award, despite the fact that Boston’s Ted Williams hit .406 that season, nearly 50 points higher than DiMaggio. In fact, Williams outhit the Yankee during the same 56-game period.
The end of The Yankee Clipper’s amazing streak was luck, and the streak itself was luck. All hitting streaks are. Baseball is the sport most governed by random chance, especially hitting: a well-hit ball can become an out if it happens to be hit within a fielder’s reach, and a ball barely touched by the bat can dribble down the baseline for a cheap hit. DiMaggio was undeniably a great hitter, but many players in baseball history were better; he just was lucky—good, but lucky—for a longer stretch of games than anyone else. Yet of all his many achievements, the 56 game streak in 1941 is the first thing baseball fans cite when assessing the greatness of Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio.
2. It isn’t what it is! Yesterday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that releasing prisoners onto the city’s streets to avoid their infection by the Wuhan virus in jail had made New York City safer, saying, “We now have fewer people in our jails than any time since World War II and we are safer for it and better for it.” De Blasio’s office announced that more than 1,500 inmates had been released from city jails in three weeks, reducing the number of prisoners to its lowest level in 70 years.
The problem is that his assertion is ludicrous. De Blasio’s boast that the prisoner release made the city safer defied the evidence of the results of the prisoner release the NYC Bail reform law required in January 2020. Of those who committed felonies that were no longer eligible for bail, 19.5% were re-arrested at least once after an initial non-bail eligible felony arrest, 1,798 of 9,227 individuals were re-arrested. 2020 recidivism resulted in 1,452 major crime arrests (murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand larceny of a vehicle) vs. 681 in 2019. Meanwhile, shootings in the city were up 205% in June compared to a year earlier.
3. Gee, that means Supreme Court made Florida follow its own Constitution! I’m sorry for the sarcasm, but the criticism of this decision as driven by partisanship is intellectually dishonest, so the Trump Deranged on social media are binging on it.
Yesterday, the Court let stand a lower court ruling that up to 1 million Florida felons who completed their sentences but have yet to pay outstanding fines, restitution and other fees were not eligible to vote. In an unsigned 5-4 opinion with the conservative justices voting together, SCOTUS declined to revisit a federal appeals court ruling that permits Florida to stop felons with outstanding court-imposed debts from registering to vote as next week’s July 20 primary election registration deadline approaches.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan dissented.
The dispute concerns the 2018 amendment to Florida’s constitution that restored voting rights to those with felony convictions if they had completed “all terms” of their sentences.
The Florida’s legislature and highest court interpret the amendment as requiring payment of all court-imposed fines and costs before voting eligibility is restored. In May, a federal trial court invalidated the payment requirement, ruling that it was unlawful to prohibit voting access based on indigence. But on July 1, just over two weeks before the voter-registration deadline, the Atlanta-based Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit agreed to halt the lower court ruling pending a full appeal. The decision effectively makes it illegal for court-indebted felons to register to vote or cast ballots.
Progressives and Democrats are whining that the decision essentially imposes a poll tax, which would be unconstitutional. Garbage. A fine in connection with a felony conviction is not a tax by any definition of the word. Fines are imposed by judges, in sentencing, as part of the sentence. They aren’t taxes. If the authors of the Florida amendment wanted the law to allow convicted felons to vote after serving their prison terms with no other requirements, they should have, and would have, written it that way. The five conservatives made their ruling based on the law; it was the four liberals who were guided by partisanship.
The decision should have been 9-0. It’s too bad that all those convicts won’t have a chance to vote for Joe Biden, but the law is the law.
4. Uh, transparency? From the New York Times:
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the most prominent member of the Supreme Court’s liberal minority, said Friday that she has had a recurrence of cancer, causing a wave of anxiety among Democrats that was not completely assuaged by her assurance that she was undergoing chemotherapy, with “positive results,” and would remain on the Supreme Court….She said that the lesions on her liver had been detected in February and had been reduced by the chemotherapy. “Satisfied that my treatment course is now clear,” she said “I am providing this information.”
She said she planned to continue biweekly chemotherapy sessions and maintain an active daily routine. “Throughout, I have kept up with opinion writing and all other court work,” she said.”
Wait…so Justice Ginsburg’s pancreatic/liver/colon cancer returned in February, six months ago, and the 87-year-old justice has been secretly undergoing chemotherapy, all while letting the public think she was in relatively good health and fully able to complete the demanding duties of her job. Great.
Ginsburg has been unethical to remain on the bench in her advanced years and state of health. Her purely political, and unprofessional, determination to stay on the Court as long as a Republican is President is indefensible, a betrayal of the public, the law and the Court.