40th Anniversary Ethics, 11/23/2020…

That was the recording the lovely and brilliant Grace Bowen Marshall and I danced to at our wedding reception. An old fashioned tune, you say? Hell, it was old-fashioned then. After an uproarious party featuring the combined talents of my two performing groups, The Showstoppers and The Music Lobby, seasoned by my cherished friend Jay Silva’s saxophone rendition of “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.” I performed “Let a Woman in Your Life” (from “My Fair Lady”), and it was off to the historic Hay-Adams hotel (across from the White House) and from there to a cozy Civil War era inn near Charlottesville, where the charming host brought us breakfast in bed, and his cat and dog slept with us. As I said: cozy.

And thus began a great adventure that still has some twists and turns, battles, defeats and triumphs to reveal.

What a wonderful day.

1. Stay classy, Jenna!


You know, once upon a time a public utterance like this would be viewed as a breach of legal professionalism, if not an outright ethics violation. By the standards of past Trump lawyers like Michael Cohen, however, it seems positively quaint.

This kind of thing is why I caution lawyers to avoid Twitter.

I should also mention that a male lawyer who made the equivalent slur about a woman’s anatomy—especially if the woman were a Democrat, which Frank Luntz is not, would have the social media cancel posses after him with a rope.

2. Res Ipsa Loquitur?


Unfortunate slogan that, in light of the current controversy.

3. Alan Dershowitz is still trying to maintain objectivity among the madness. None of the mainstream media sources will talk to him any more (Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!) , but nonetheless, he says that the Trump campaign has legitimate claims to make, and some small but valid routes to victory. Dershowitz told Fox Business yesterday,

For example, in Pennsylvania, they have two very strong legal arguments. One, that the courts changed what the legislature did about counting ballots after the end of Election Day. That’s a winning issue in the Supreme Court. I don’t necessarily support it, but it’s a winning issue in the Supreme Court,” . The team, meanwhile, has “a winning issue in the Supreme Court on equal protection, that some counties flawed ballots to be cured while others didn’t. Bush v. Gore suggests that an Equal Protection argument can prevail…The other legal theory they have, which is a potentially strong one, is that the computers, either fraudulently or by glitches, changed hundreds of thousands of votes. There, there are enough votes to make a difference, but I haven’t seen the evidence to support that…So, in one case, they don’t have the numbers. In another case, they don’t seem yet to have the evidence, maybe they do. I haven’t seen it. But the legal theory is there to support them if they have the numbers and they have the evidence [but] you need to have witnesses, experts subject to cross-examination, and findings by a court…Their strongest case, if they have the evidence, is that computers may have turned hundreds of thousands of votes.

Good for Dershowitz. It is completely legitimate and ethical for the President to explore and pursue these options…if the evidence is there. It is also important for a credible, non-Trumpist commentator to put the AUC’s rush to end the election in proper perspective.

4. Then there is Jonah Goldberg, the NeverTrump conservative blogger who appears to have a Jennifer Rubin-level Trump Hate virus. In this bias-tainted screed, he claims that “The president of the United States is trying to steal an election he clearly and unequivocally lost.” Goldberg forfeits all credibility with this “Orange Man Bad” nonsense. Never mind that he’s supposed to be a conservative; this is irresponsible no matter who spouts it

And look! The President has just authorized the GSA transition process to commence, though he says, “I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”

Boy, what kind of way is that to steal an election? He can’t do anything right!

33 thoughts on “40th Anniversary Ethics, 11/23/2020…

  1. Congrats! Always nice to see a couple make it that far. (hitting 50 in mid 2022)

    #2: Wow, even the graphic is “unfortunate”, seemingly converting a red slip to a blue one.

  2. Happy Anniversary, Jack and Grace! That’s a lovely song, my father played it often, but I had forgotten what it was called and had never been able to find it again. I really enjoyed that. I wish you both all the best!

    • I have always had a problem remembering the title, and did this time. So I looked for “Top 100 instrumentals of the Fifties and Sixties” on Google, and there it was, at, I think, #13, right after Acker Bilk’s “Strangers on the Shore,” another favorite from the same period.

      • So I looked for “Top 100 instrumentals of the Fifties and Sixties” on Google”

        Excellent! I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me, I know now what I’m doing this morning. Who knows what other treasures I may find!

  3. Congratulations.

    1. What’s the matter, Trump’s critics can’t handle when their own tactics are used against them? I’m sorry, but I have found the best way to handle bullies is to give them a dose of their own medicine. NJ governor Phil Murphy just had two citizens chew him out and call him a dick while he was out to dinner with his family. I say good for them, if Maxine Waters wants to encourage abuse of GOP officials, then Dem officials should come in for the same treatment. You can bet for the next four years I will be all over Pedo Joe/Sleepy Joe and Heels Up Harris/the Harridan.

    2. A coincidence? Nah, couldn’t be…

    3. Alan Dershowitz is 82 years old. He’s past the point where he needs to worry about his speaking engagements or invitations to all the right cocktail parties drying up. He also won’t have to live, in all probability, in the world that Pedo Joe and his idiot hangers-on create. Still, I think the theories he floats are grasping at straws.

    4. The Never Trumpers and bitter enemies of Trump smell the blood in the water and are getting their cheap shots in before he goes back into what should be a very comfortable retirement, but they will see is as uncomfortable as they can make it. I think it’s going to be this way when every future GOP president leaves office. Not too many people sneered and jeered when Bush the Elder assumed room temperature two years ago next month, maybe because he’d been out of office almost 30 years but there were enough, and I’m sure there will be plenty of abuse when now 74-year-old GWB and Trump kick the bucket. In the meantime I’ve already prepared a shocker for when Jimmuh Cahtuh finally takes the dirt nap, and I’m sure I can come up with one for 74yo (will 1946 be the year of the presidents?) Clinton’s cheating heart finally gives out and sends him on a one-way ticket to Hell.

  4. RE #2 – Have you double, no, triple checked that?
    Come on, a red ballot going in at the top and coming out as a blue ballot at the bottom, with that slogan? It MUST be a fake right?
    The logo on their site (assuming they haven’t changed it of course) doesn’t have the subtitle or the blue ballot.
    They do say “Dominion is ready to make a difference in your next election” in the body, which is close though.

    • Tineye.com reverse search has a “first seen” feature… It looks like the blue ballot and tagline appeared first to the site from a Twitter post in late November. (The post is now “unavailable”…) The logo without those elements goes all the way back to 2014, some with the tagline “our customers come first”.

      This is the 21st century equivalent of a political cartoon. The artist’s tools today are much better than pens and pulp paper presses, but don’t worry, those who got too creative for their own good have already been punished. The online censors just haven’t yet realized there are thousands of more presses inside each computer that are still printing his cartoon.

  5. Happy anniversary.

    #1. But one more example of the decline in social decorum. It is also an exemplar of women’s thinking about males. Using genital size as proxy for what they consider a man is in stark contrast to their complaints about sexual objectification.

    4. I was not a supporter of Trump’s initial campaign. As his antagonists exposed themselves I began to equate Trump with those who fight against overwhelming forces for something bigger than themselves.
    I have no love for his vocal cadence or his tweets but no one else wanted to protect our borders and otherwise get out of the lives of Americans.
    As time went by I have learned to trust nothing offered by media – mainstream and other less mainstream craps like Axios and Business Insider.

    Trump has exposed just about everyone who economic wellbeing is nourished by government as bottomfeeders.

    • Chris, your final sentence of 9:41 AM above is on point, and I agree with you.

      But what is most difficult, most painful for me, is the fact that my economic well-being of today would almost certainly not be nearly as “well” as it is, if virtually my entire life’s work had not been nourished by government. I am feeling “beneficiary’s guilt” – more precisely (and fairly), “parasite’s guilt.”

      Seriously. I am now the superannuated version of a frightened little kid who knew he was good at math, fascinated by science, who had enough vision-for-his-life to realize that, with the race to the moon being all but won (hence likely, an imminent Great Depression among people good at math and science) – and despite not knowing when or how U.S. involvement in Vietnam would end (if ever), my employment prospects – my “job security,” and yes, that was a used phrase back then, were not promising.

      So, before I got drafted, I strove to enter the military on my terms – those including an elite scholarship, complete with room and board – translation: appointment to one of the service academies. I belonged there about as much as a spring chicken belongs in a pack of wolves. (I later updated that, at a future class reunion, to admitting anew that I was “an Ewok among Jedi.”) But I got in.

      All I had to do from there was to get with the program enough to graduate. And then, not only would I have a guaranteed job afterward – I would have a service obligation, to which I said, without reluctance or reservation, “Fair deal.” I expected nuclear Armageddon at any moment. I expected being assigned to some combat role that would make sure I didn’t live a day past age…(in my twenties).

      But things military went more “safely” than that. I enjoyed a “federal employee’s” career, doing some work that I never would have had the opportunity, let alone the excitement and challenge and pride, to do anywhere else. And let alone the quality of people and network of contacts that I somehow landed in, despite my often dense (talk about “differently abled!“) brain.

      Since then, my every job (except for selling life insurance and consulting, but, even those) would not have existed without the existence of some Government contract or another.

      Today, I consider myself the luckiest bottom-feeder on the face of the earth.

      Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful, if sad. GOLLY! How I admire and envy “ownwayists!”

  6. Happy anniversary and condolences to Grace. Maureen and I just passed 50. We arranged a family weekend at Salamander (appropriate COVID precautions, of course) with zip-lining, archery, bicycling, etc. Based on the cost of this little outing, Maureen and I agreed to only give each other cards. I put together a 90-page “card” with photos dating back to when we were first dating 52 years ago. She is a treasure; I am not.

      • Sweet. Happy Anniversary!
        I was in a hospital bed on our anniversary this year. It was also our 40th.

        What I really wanted to say is, the FIRST time (if you can believe it!) I heard your and Grace’s song was in 2003, on a music CD of Leo Kottke guitar music. Just as I was settling down in bed for the night – with the love of my life next to me. It just sounded so…Texan, to me. Loved it ever since. (I forgive Minnesotan Kottke for introducing it.)

  7. And look! The President has just authorized the GSA transition process to commence..

    So what legal basis does he have to be responsible for that decision?

    In my naivety, I had assumed that it wasn’t his call, but that of the administrator of the GSA , a supposedly independant body.

    Apparently they are now a Presidential sockpuppet, according to the incumbent anyway.

  8. #4 I actually used to read Jonah Goldberg articles regularly until he lost his mind in 2016 and allowed his bias to make him stupid. This sentence in his article, “The man is literally trying to steal an election.”, says absolutely everything you need to know about his anti-Trump bias and how that bias has made him stupid. “Literally”?

      • Knowing how consumed Goldberg has become with his anti-Trump bias, I’m absolutely sure that’s exactly what he means but there’s literally no evidence to support the claim that the election is literally being stolen, all they have is twisted anti-Trump innuendo and unsupported accusations.

        Literal: taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory, free from exaggeration or distortion.

        Using the word literally in the context Goldberg used it is literally hyperbolic bull shit. Goldberg is a smart guy and knows this to be literally true; therefore, it is a lie.

        It seems to me that the ones that are literally trying to steal the election are the ones that have committed voter fraud of any kind and those that have allowed illegal ballots to enter the counts with legal ballots.

        • Simple as this: file lawsuits alleging fraud beyond repair, lose in lower courts, get them to SCOTUS where Trump has “packed” the Court, have the Court with Trump’s henchjudges declare the election inconclusive as a matter of law (much like 1876), thus sending it to the House, where even though Democrats have the majority, the majority of STATE delegations are GOP, hence Trump wins despite losing in the popular vote, the electoral college, and by any HOuse system based on the will of the people. Stolen election. Literally.

          • Time to be the devil’s advocate.

            “Simple as this: file lawsuits alleging fraud beyond repair, lose in lower courts, get them to SCOTUS where Trump has “packed” the Court, have the Court with Trump’s henchjudges declare the election inconclusive as a matter of law (much like 1876), thus sending it to the House, where even though Democrats have the majority, the majority of STATE delegations are GOP, hence Trump wins despite losing in the popular vote, the electoral college, and by any House system based on the will of the people. Stolen election. Literally.”

            I know that that is how those consumed by hate driven anti-Trump bias might think, but…

            First: a case would actually have to get to SCOTUS.
            Second: the court is not “packed” it’s constitutionally filled with qualified justices.
            Third: there is no evidence to support that any justice is a henchjudge.
            Fourth: there is no evidence to support how the justices would rule on an unknown case.
            Fifth: there is no evidence to predict how all the members of the House would vote.
            Sixth: there is no evidence that Trump would win.

            “Stolen election. Literally.” I don’t think so. Just because they don’t like the process, the Constitution, or the outcome doesn’t mean that it was literally stolen. Every time the Democrats or anti-Trumpers don’t get their way they claim the Republicans stole it, the Republicans are illegitimate, the Republicans cheated, etc…

            The guiding factor is the United States Constitution and if all those theocraticals were to happen as you listed and the results are Constitutional then nothing was stolen and sore ass Democrats.

            P.S. I’m convinced that the far left in the Democratic Party want to fundamentally change the Constitution in a very big way because it won’t allow them to get their way, but before they can get away with major changes to the Constitution they must get rid of all the guns in the United States. They have to change that which is legal into that which is illegal before they can get their ram their way down everyone throat.

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