Well, I’m trying to cheer up, anyway. It’s raining, I’m behind in several projects, including several posts, I’ve been exhausted without good cause this weekend, and I’m depressed. I even broke out my anti-depression play list (21 pieces in all), with artists noted:
- “One Fine Day” by the Chiffons
- “The Man on the Flying Trapeze” by Spike Jones and His City Slickers, Doodles Weaver, soloist.
- “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody” and “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart” (Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall)
- “Only You” by the Platters
- “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
- The First Act Finale of “Iolanthe” and the Overture to “The Pirates of Penzance” by Gilbert and Sullivan
- “I’m a Fool,” by Elvis.
- “Neverland,” sung by Mary Martin.
- “The Star Spangled Banner” by Whitney Houston
- “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “When I Saw Her Standing There” by the Beatles.
- “Where the Boys Are” by Connie Francis
- “La Mer”by Charles Trenet
- “The Carousel Waltz” by Richard Rodgers.
- “Runaround Sue” by Dion
- “Tessie” by the Dropkick Murphys
- “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
- “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash.
- “A Christmas Festival” by the Boston Pops
If that group doesn’t restore my spirits, it’s time to head for the bridge.
1. I know Ethics Alarms has assigned Joe Biden’s now routine gaffes and misstatements to the Julie Principle category, but you have to admit, “We have the most extensive voter fraud organization in history” is special.
2. If anyone can explain Senator Murkowski’s concept of integrity, please explain it to me. She said she opposed passing the nomination of Judge Barrett to the Senate for a vote because she felt the GOP should be bound by the precedent it set by refusing to vote on Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. Then she announced that since the nomination had passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, she would vote for Barrett because the judge had proved herself qualified for the Supreme Court, and it would be unfair to penalize her for Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy. Then, today, she voted against cloture, as the Democrats attempted to keep debate going in the full Senate to stall until the election. Now, she says she will vote for Barrett in the final showdown.
To me, she appears to be doing what was commonly called “playing both sides against the middle,” which is the opposite of integrity. It’s also called wanting to “have your cake and eat it too.”
3. October 25 marks the anniversary of a military fiasco that teaches a crucial but oft forgotten ethics lesson. In 1854 Lord James Cardigan led a charge of the Light Brigade cavalry against Russian artillery during a battle in the Crimean War. The British appeared to be winning the Battle of Balaclava when Cardigan received the order to mount a frontal attack on the well-defended Russian position. Good soldier he, Cardigan led his cavalry down the valley, where it was cut to pieces by Russian guns, and suffered 40% casualties. It was later determined that the order was not given intentionally. Lord Cardigan, who survived the battle, was hailed as a national hero in Britain.
He was not a hero. He knew the order to be insane, and the heroic conduct would have been to refuse to follow it. This is the syndrome described in historian Barbara Tuchman’s classic, “The March of Folly.”
4. A reality check from, of all places, “Mother Jones.” True blue progressive Kevin Drum writes that the Democratic fearmongering about the threat to democracy posed by a Republican Senate, the Electoral College, and the Supreme Court is, shall we say, over-wrought.
Democrats controlled Congress for nearly 50 straight years after World War II and liberals didn’t think it was a threat to democracy. The Warren Court upended constitutional law in the ’60s and liberals didn’t think it was a threat to democracy…Democrats passed Obamacare even though it was unanimously opposed by Republicans and only barely eked out majority support from the public. Liberals didn’t consider this a threat to democracy. And in 2015, when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage? No threat to democracy there.…
Neither of the two major parties has recently exercised total control over our national agenda, but it’s safe to say that over the past 50 years or so, Democrats have mostly won the culture war while Republicans have won the economic war. The reason, like it or not, is that this is basically what the American public wants…. To put it simply, democracy is alive and well in the United States, and the institutional exceptions are relatively mild and of long standing…
Old school liberal pols like Sam Rayburn or Tip O’Neill would laugh at present day progressives who complain that the system is rigged against them just because we’ve lost control of the Senate for a few years and now face a potentially hostile Supreme Court. In no uncertain terms they would tell us to stop whining and instead do the hard work of winning more votes in more places. The Senate is what it is and everyone knows it. The rules are simple and well known, so go out and say things that will appeal to enough people in enough places to win 51 senators. We don’t need a couple of new states or a packed Supreme Court or any of that. We need to convince the American public that our agenda is the right one, and just running up the vote in California won’t do it–and isn’t perhaps the most democratic approach anyway.”
Drum is debunking a core tenet of Big Lie #5, “Everything is terrible.”