I’d been looking for an excuse to post Leonard Cohen’s “Dress Rehearsal Rag” for a good while, since it was implanted in my memory from late-night college radio in the early 70s. But woulda never thought Rick Perry would provide the excuse. No, I don’t think or hope ol’ Rick is having any desperate or even existential thoughts–I’m sure he’s fixed for life and is certain he’s saved. But it has been “a long way down” for him, hasn’t it?

Here are some lighter midday news/views treats:

* Flurry of Russian-US-Saudi diplomacy indicates possible Syrian settlement.

* Administration puts out data showing number of uninsured Americans has dropped by one-third since 2013.

* Turns out Larry Lessig was advising Bernie Sanders before he decided he could do better as a candidate himself.

* Club for Growth bundling money for five favored presidential candidates: Bush, Cruz, Paul, Rubio and Walker.

* Head of bipartisan Americans Against Nuclear Iran quits because he’s decided to support nuke deal. He’s replaced by Joe Lieberman, who is more reliable opponent.

And in non-political news:

* Illiinois’ Beckman, Miami’s Golden, and Virginia’s London top SI “hot seat” list for CFB coaches.

As we break for lunch, here’s Roy Gaines with “Once I Was a Gambler,” and some of the brightist, tightist guitar licks this side of B.B. King.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.