Monday Open Thread |The Baby Makers Week : Nat King Cole

Good Morning.

I thought we’d share this week with crooners, that, well….doesn’t the title of this week explain it all?

Nat "King" Cole Portrait

We begin with Nat King Cole.


Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He was widely noted for his soft, baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres.

Cole was one of the first African Americans to host a television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show, and has maintained worldwide popularity since his death from lung cancer in February 1965

Inspired by the performances of Earl Hines, Cole began his performing career in the mid-1930s while still a teenager, adopting the name Nat Cole. His older brother, Eddie, a bass player, soon joined Cole’s band, and they made their first recording in 1936 under Eddie’s name. They also were regular performers at clubs. Cole acquired his nickname, “King”, performing at one jazz club, a nickname presumably reinforced by the otherwise unrelated nursery rhyme about “Old King Cole”. He also was a pianist in a national tour of Broadway theatre legend Eubie Blake’s revue Shuffle Along. When it suddenly failed in Long Beach, California, Cole decided to remain there. He would later return to Chicago in triumph to play such venues as the famed Edgewater Beach Hotel.

Los Angeles and the King Cole Trio[edit]
Cole and two other musicians formed the “King Cole Swingsters” in Long Beach and played in a number of local bars before getting a gig on the Long Beach Pike for US$90 ($1,530 today) per week. The trio consisted of Cole on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar, and Wesley Prince on double bass. The trio played in Failsworth throughout the late 1930s and recorded many radio transcriptions for Capitol Transcriptions.[3] Cole was not only pianist but leader of the combo as well.

Radio was important to the King Cole Trio’s rise in popularity. Their first broadcast was with NBC’s Blue Network in 1938. It was followed by appearances on NBC’s Swing Soiree. In the 1940s, the trio appeared on the Old Gold, Chesterfield Supper Club and Kraft Music Hall radio shows. The King Cole Trio performed twice on CBS Radio’s variety show The Orson Welles Almanac (1944).[4][5]

Legend was that Cole’s singing career did not start until a drunken barroom patron demanded that he sing “Sweet Lorraine”. Cole, in fact, has gone on record saying that the fabricated story “sounded good, so I just let it ride”. Cole frequently sang in between instrumental numbers. Noticing that people started to request more vocal numbers, he obliged. Yet the story of the insistent customer is not without some truth. There was a customer who requested a certain song one night, but it was a song that Cole did not know, so instead he sang “Sweet Lorraine”. The trio was tipped 15 cents ($0.85 today)for the performance, a nickel apiece.[6]

nat king cole-2

During World War II, Wesley Prince left the group and Cole replaced him with Johnny Miller. Miller would later be replaced by Charlie Harris in the 1950s. The King Cole Trio signed with the fledgling Capitol Records in 1943. The group had previously recorded for Excelsior Records, owned by Otis René, and had a hit with the song “I’m Lost”, which René wrote, produced and distributed.[7] Revenues from Cole’s record sales fueled much of Capitol Records’ success during this period. The revenue is believed to have played a significant role in financing the distinctive Capitol Records building near Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles. Completed in 1956, it was the world’s first circular office building and became known as “The House that Nat Built”.

Cole was considered a leading jazz pianist, appearing in the first Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts (credited on the Mercury Record label as “Shorty Nadine”—derived from his wife’s name—as he was under exclusive contract to Capitol Records at the time).[8] His revolutionary lineup of piano, guitar, and bass in the time of the big bands became a popular setup for a jazz trio. It was emulated by many musicians, among them Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, and blues pianists Charles Brown and Ray Charles. He also performed as a pianist on sessions with Lester Young, Red Callender, and Lionel Hampton. For contract reasons, Cole was credited as “Aye Guy” on the album The Lester Young Buddy Rich Trio.


Cole’s first mainstream vocal hit was his 1943 recording of one of his compositions, “Straighten Up and Fly Right”, based on a black folk tale that his father had used as a theme for a sermon. Johnny Mercer invited him to record it for his fledgling Capitol Records label. It sold over 500,000 copies, proving that folk-based material could appeal to a wide audience. Although Cole would never be considered a rocker, the song can be seen as anticipating the first rock and roll records. Indeed, Bo Diddley, who performed similar transformations of folk material, counted Cole as an influence.

In 1946, the Cole trio paid to have their own 15-minute radio program on the air. It was called, “King Cole Trio Time.” It became the first radio program sponsored by a black performing artist. During those years, the trio recorded many “transcription” recordings, which were recordings made in the radio studio for the broadcast. Later they were used for commercial records.

Beginning in the late 1940s, Cole began recording and performing pop-oriented material for mainstream audiences, in which he was often accompanied by a string orchestra. His stature as a popular icon was cemented during this period by hits such as “The Christmas Song” (Cole recorded the song four times: on June 14, 1946, as a Trio recording, on August 19, 1946, with an added string section, on August 24, 1953, and in 1961 for the double album The Nat King Cole Story; this final version, recorded in stereo, is the one most often heard today), “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” (1946), “Nature Boy” (1948), “Mona Lisa” (1950), “Too Young” (the #1 song in 1951),[11] and his signature tune “Unforgettable” (1951) (Gainer 1). While this shift to pop music led some jazz critics and fans to accuse Cole of selling out, he never completely abandoned his jazz roots; as late as 1956 he recorded an all-jazz album After Midnight. Cole had one of his last major hits in 1963, two years before his death, with “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer”, which reached #6 on the Pop chart. “Unforgettable” was made famous again in 1991 by Cole’s daughter Natalie when modern recording technology was used to reunite father and daughter in a duet. The duet version rose to the top of the Pop charts, almost forty years after its original popularity.[12]

nat king cole-3

On November 5, 1956, The Nat King Cole Show debuted on NBC. The variety program was the first of its kind hosted by an African-American, which created controversy at the time.[13] Beginning as a 15-minute pops show on Monday night, the program was expanded to a half hour in July 1957. Despite the efforts of NBC, as well as many of Cole’s industry colleagues—many of whom, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Frankie Laine, Mel Tormé, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, and backing vocal group The Cheerleaders worked for industry scale (or even for no pay)[13] in order to help the show save money—The Nat King Cole Show was ultimately done in by lack of a national sponsorship.[13] Companies such as Rheingold Beer assumed regional sponsorship of the show, but a national sponsor never appeared.[13]

The last episode of The Nat King Cole Show aired December 17, 1957. Cole had survived for over a year, and it was he, not NBC, who ultimately decided to pull the plug on the show.[14] Commenting on the lack of sponsorship his show received, Cole quipped shortly after its demise, “Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark.”[15][16]

nat king cole-4

Later career[edit]
Throughout the 1950s, Cole continued to rack up successive hits, selling in millions throughout the world, including “Smile”, “Pretend”, “A Blossom Fell”, and “If I May”. His pop hits were collaborations with well-known arrangers and conductors of the day, including Nelson Riddle,[9] Gordon Jenkins, and Ralph Carmichael. Riddle arranged several of Cole’s 1950s albums, including his first 10-inch long-play album, his 1953 Nat King Cole Sings For Two In Love. In 1955, his single “Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup” reached #7 on the Billboard chart. Jenkins arranged Love Is the Thing, which hit #1 on the album charts in April 1957.

In 1958, Cole went to Havana, Cuba, to record Cole Español, an album sung entirely in Spanish. The album was so popular in Latin America, as well as in the USA, that two others of the same variety followed: A Mis Amigos (sung in Spanish and Portuguese) in 1959 and More Cole Español in 1962. A Mis Amigos contains the Venezuelan hit “Ansiedad”, whose lyrics Cole had learned while performing in Caracas in 1958. Cole learned songs in languages other than English by rote.

After the change in musical tastes during the late 1950s, Cole’s ballad singing did not sell well with younger listeners, despite a successful stab at rock n’ roll with “Send For Me”[9] (peaked at #6 pop). Along with his contemporaries Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Bennett, Cole found that the pop singles chart had been almost entirely taken over by youth-oriented acts. In 1960, Nat’s longtime collaborator Nelson Riddle left Capitol Records for Frank Sinatra’s newly formed Reprise Records label. Riddle and Cole recorded one final hit album, Wild Is Love, based on lyrics by Ray Rasch and Dotty Wayne. Cole later retooled the concept album into an Off-Broadway show, “I’m With You.”

Cole did manage to record some hit singles during the 1960s, including in 1961 “Let There Be Love” with George Shearing, the country-flavored hit “Ramblin’ Rose” in August 1962, “Dear Lonely Hearts”, “That Sunday, That Summer” and “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer”[9] (his final top-ten hit, reaching #6 pop).

Cole performed in many short films, sitcoms, and television shows and played W. C. Handy in the film St. Louis Blues (1958). He also appeared in The Nat King Cole Story, China Gate, and The Blue Gardenia (1953). In January 1964, Cole made one of his final television appearances on The Jack Benny Program. Cole was introduced as “the best friend a song ever had,” and sang “When I Fall in Love.” It was one of Cole’s last performances. Cat Ballou (1965), his final film, was released several months after his death.

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67 Responses to Monday Open Thread |The Baby Makers Week : Nat King Cole

  1. edp4bho says:

    Evening all. Can’t believe I had to scroll through some ugly creatures to get to saying how FINE I always thought Nat King Cole was. My mom used to tell me stories about women throwing their panties up on stage when he sang. Lawd, that man had it all !!!

  2. Baby lock the door and turn the lights down low
    Put some music on that’s soft and slow…

    dance couple country music

  3. Did I get all of your songs? Let me know if I missed any.

  4. rikyrah says:

    found this at POU:

    I love this!

    @staceyNYCDC: You’re strolling down the street, you hear music from an Indian wedding, you just gotta join in & drop it low. LMAO

  5. rikyrah says:

    Another one of those pics that scares me

    • Liza says:

      If George Zimmerman were smart, he would hide his stupid ass somewhere and never show his face publicly again.

  6. rikyrah says:

    @MaggieJordanACN: The hatred runs that deep
    Obama’s niece threatened bef tonight’s Princeton game (Photo Getty)

  7. Vitamin , Majiir

    What are your favorite song or songs that you would like added to the playlist? Shoot them to me and I’ll see if I am upload them.

  8. Ametia says:


    Ted, the attention whore wants it, he’s gone get it!

  9. Hall & Oates, yall!

  10. rikyrah says:

    Found this comment at BJ in a thread about Rafael:

    WaterGirl says:

    23, 2015 at 11:39 am

    All this talk about Cruz – is he smart or is he not – makes me grateful for the millionth time for Barack Obama, who is smart in every possible way. He’s book smart. he’s brilliant, he’s educated. He’s a complex thinker. He’s street smart. He’s emotionally smart.

    He has it all, and they hate him for it.

  11. Kathleen

    I had forgotten about ‘Tell Me’. Oh God, such good music. Thank you for reminding me. Just added it.

  12. Ametia says:

    Free Ride, TAKE IT EASY!!!!

  13. Free Ride! I like a man who can play that guitar. :)

  14. Racer, shoot me your song or songs so it can get some play. I’ll add it to the playlist. Don’t be shy. Let folks know your group.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan to states: help us sabotage health care
    03/23/15 10:44 AM
    By Steve Benen
    On the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act becoming law, there’s value in reflecting on the systemic advances, which we did earlier. But it’s also a good time to look ahead and consider where the policy fight is headed.

    Congressional Republicans, for example, who’ve already voted literally several dozen times to repeal the law, released budget plans last week that would – you guessed it – uproot the American health care system, replacing it with an alternative that Republicans can neither explain nor identify.

    As if that weren’t quite enough, the GOP budget plans would likely double the uninsured rate, while eliminating $1 trillion in tax revenue that pays for the ACA. Because the Republican budget blueprint relies on bizarre gimmicks and fraudulent arithmetic, the plan offers no explanation for how it would cover the $1 trillion loss and no details about how Congress would help the millions of families that would lose access to affordable medical care after Republicans take their benefits away.

    The GOP budget also makes no effort to address the possibility that Republican justices on the Supreme Court may soon scrap subsidies to consumers in two-thirds of the country in the ridiculous King v. Burwell case. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), however, is on the case – he doesn’t have a policy solution, but Ryan has a plan to persuade state policymakers to help congressional Republicans’ broader game plan.
    Rep. Paul Ryan urged state lawmakers to resist setting up state insurance exchanges if the Supreme Court rules that key parts of the Affordable Care Act can only continue if they do so.

    “Oh God, no… The last thing anybody in my opinion would want to do, even if you are not a conservative, is consign your state to this law,” the Wisconsin Republican told state legislators Thursday during a conference call organized by the Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative think-tank.
    Ryan reportedly went on to say, “If people blink and if people say, ‘This political pressure is too great, I’m just going to sign up for a state-based exchange and put my constituents in Obamacare,’ then this opportunity will slip through your fingers.”

    The right-wing Wisconsinite is known for some pretty extreme postures, but this is a brazen move, even for Paul Ryan.

  16. Jonathan Capehart blocked me on Twitter b/c I got in his ass about that bs article.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Revealed: How Obama outmaneuvered hardliners and cut a Cuba deal
    23 Mar 2015 at 06:34 ET

    The December breakthrough that upended a half-century of U.S.-Cuba enmity has been portrayed as the fruit of 18 months of secret diplomacy.

    But Reuters interviews with more than a dozen people with direct knowledge of the process reveal a longer, painstakingly cautious quest by U.S. President Barack Obama and veteran Cuba specialists to forge the historic rapprochement.

    As now-overt U.S.-Cuban negotiations continue this month, Reuters also has uncovered new details of how talks began and how they stalled in late 2013 during secret sessions in Canada. Senior administration officials and others also revealed how both countries sidelined their foreign policy bureaucracies and how Obama sought the Vatican’s blessing to pacify opponents.

    Obama’s opening to Havana could help restore Washington’s influence in Latin America and give him a much-needed foreign policy success.

    But the stop-and-start way the outreach unfolded, with deep mistrust on both sides, illustrates the obstacles Washington and Havana face to achieving a lasting detente.

  18. Good morning, everyone!

    I haven’t forgotten about your music choices. I was just so tired last night after all the cooking and visiting with family. Everyone stayed late but we had a good time. I’ll try to finish up the requests by today.

    • Ametia says:

      Take your time lady and thank you so much! It’s an added delight to just click on the Playlist and listen to the variety of great music by all these stellar artists!

  19. rikyrah says:

    Dual citizenship may pose problem if Ted Cruz seeks presidency


    Washington Bureau

    Published: 18 August 2013 11:04 PM

    Updated: 19 August 2013 03:51 PM

    WASHINGTON — Born in Canada to an American mother, Ted Cruz became an instant U.S. citizen. But under Canadian law, he also became a citizen of that country the moment he was born.

    Unless the Texas Republican senator formally renounces that citizenship, he will remain a citizen of both countries, legal experts say.

    That means he could assert the right to vote in Canada or even run for Parliament. On a lunch break from the U.S. Senate, he could head to the nearby embassy — the one flying a bright red maple leaf flag — pull out his Calgary, Alberta, birth certificate and obtain a passport.

    “He’s a Canadian,” said Toronto lawyer Stephen Green, past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section.

  20. rikyrah says:

    White Parents On Fox News Condemn School’s Black History Month Event

    ByTracy Walsh
    PublishedMarch 19, 2015, 10:04 AM EDT

    A segment on Thursday morning during the Fox News program “Fox & Friends” featured an all-white panel demanding an “apology” from a school district in Virginia for a Black History Month event about police brutality.

    The guests — identified as only as Charles and Rebecca, the parents of an 8-year-old in Virginia’s Orange County Public Schools district — offered an account of the event and its aftermath. Charles was described as a deputy sheriff.

    “Everywhere that we looked were students, high school students, wearing shirts that said ‘Black Lives Matter, I Can’t Breathe.'” Rebecca told host Elisabeth Hasselbeck. “As I was flipping through my program, it had ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.'”

    “I texted my husband and said, ‘I don’t know about this.'” Rebecca said. “He replied that I should pull our daughter and come home.”

    Rebecca said she decided to let her daughter stay at the event, where the girl was scheduled to sing with a choir. But then, she recalled, “Students started coming out on stage saying things like, ‘I’m from Ferguson, Missouri. I was told to put my hands up. I did and I was shot seven times. My name is Michael Brown.'”

    “I immediately realized that this was not something that was a good idea for my daughter to be seeing,” she said.

    After the program, the child “had some serious questions as to why do cops shoot black people, and why do cops shoot good people,” Charles said. “It took me off guard.”

    “We should have been notified as parents, and we were not,” he continued, “There has been no apology. There has been no ‘This will not happen again.’ And that needs to be done.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Oh, and for being another mofo who refuses to go by the name his parents gave him…

    The Canadian Citizen running for President should be known from now on as RAFAEL.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Cruz enters race with website challenge
    By Julian Hattem – 03/23/15 09:22 AM EDT

    Sen. Ted Cruz’s nascent campaign for the White House is running into its first signs of digital trouble.

    While the firebrand Texas Republican prepares to announce his bid for the presidency on Monday morning, he does not appear to have control over the most obvious website to rally supporters:

    Instead, people trying to visit that site will get the opposite message.

    “Support President Obama,” the site says in simple white text on a black background. “Immigration reform now!”

  23. rikyrah says:

    Steve King reflects on Jewish identity as only he can
    03/23/15 09:30 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of Congress’ fiercest anti-immigrant voices, has cultivated a reputation for offending a whole lot of people with racially charged rhetoric. Even House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) no longer makes any effort to defend him, last year dismissing King as an “a**hole.”

    Friday, however, the far-right congressman broke new ground, adding a new group of people to his list.
    Rep. Steve King of Iowa said he doesn’t understand how American Jews can be “Democrats first and Jewish second” and support President Obama’s approach to Israel.

    “Well, there were some 50 or so Democrats that decided they would boycott the president’s speech. One thing that’s happened is – just look at the polling, that means – here is what thing that I don’t understand, I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their president,” said the Iowa Republican on Boston Herald radio Friday, asked about members of Congress who did not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress earlier in the month. […] Asked if anti-Semitism was a factor, he said it was a component along with “just plain liberalism.”
    Even for King, this is pretty nutty stuff. The decision not to attend the prime minister’s speech to Congress was a complex one, based in large part on Benjamin Netanyahu’s unprecedented partnership with congressional Republicans who ignored U.S. protocols in the hopes of sabotaging American foreign policy. For Steve King to suggest the Democrats are anti-Semitic because they disagree with Netanyahu and a GOP stunt is ridiculous.

    But more striking still is the notion that American Jews need lessons from a right-wing Catholic about the nature of Jewish identity.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Jeb Bush Can’t Save the GOP
    by BooMan
    Sat Mar 21st, 2015 at 11:07:30 AM EST

    Rick Santorum can occasionally make a lot of sense, even if he tends to do it unintentionally. Remember back in the fall of 2012 when he said this?

    “We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country. We will never have the elite, smart people on our side,” Santorum said in a speech to the gathering of conservative activists at a Washington hotel.

    It wasn’t entirely clear who was included in Santorum’s “we,” but it wasn’t synonymous with members of the Republican Party. Little Ricky was speaking to conservatives. And he was telling them pretty plainly that “smart” people would never agree with conservative ideas. He didn’t see this as an indication that there might be anything wanting in conservative ideas, but he did know that smart people simply don’t believe in them.

    There’s a degree to which this is true, but only if you restrict yourself to certain types of right-wing ideas. There are plenty of smart people who want a strong defense, more local control of government, lower taxes, stronger punishments for crime, and have a preference for traditional religiously sanctioned family and gender roles. But these are not really conservative ideas in the modern, contemporary sense. They are just Republican ideas.

    To see a conservative idea, you need to keep listening to Santorum:

    And, in discussing gay issues, he compared gay people getting married to napkins, saying: “I can call this napkin a paper towel. But it is a napkin. And why? Because it is what it is.”

    You see, this is taking a simple idea (marriage is traditionally between a man and a woman) and turning into something so stupid that no smart person would agree with it.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Ted doesn’t have Willard’s money, so who will go out and support him?


    Me & Ted

    ByJosh Marshall
    PublishedSeptember 23, 2013, 11:13 AM EDT

    You may have noticed I don’t particularly like Ted Cruz. That’s not because of his politics, which probably obviously I disagree with in almost every particular. It’s him. I’ve wanted to do a post about this because it turns out Ted and I have a history, though one I didn’t even know about (or perhaps remember) until after he was elected.

    Last year, I heard there was a Tea Party guy running for Senate in Texas named Ted Cruz. I didn’t think a lot about it (since it wasn’t a competitive race in the general) or have any sense I had any connection to him. But then after he was elected I started noticing and thinking, wow, this guy seems like a royal jerk.

    And at some point my wife said, “You don’t remember?”

    Well, it turns out Ted and I went to college together. And not just we happened to be at the same place at the same time. We were both at a pretty small part of a relatively small university. We both went to Princeton. I was one year ahead of him. But we were both in the same residential college, which basically meant a small cluster of dorms of freshmen and sophomores numbering four or five hundred students who all ate in the same dining hall.

    My wife meanwhile was also in the same residential college and she was actually Ted’s year – Class of 92. [In case you’re wondering, no, my wife and I haven’t been together for 25 years. We knew each other in college but only got together as a couple a dozen years later.] She totally remembered Ted and basically as a conceited and fairly nerdy jerk.

    But the weird thing was I didn’t remember him. And the context here is that I have a really good memory. If we meet after twenty years, I’m far more likely to remember you than vice versa and I’ll probably remember little details about you too. I don’t forget a lot of stuff, especially people. But I didn’t remember the name or the guy I was seeing on TV.

    As it turned out, though, almost everyone I knew well in college remembered him really well. Vividly. And I knew a number of his friends. But for whatever reason I just didn’t remember him. When I saw college pictures of him, I thought okay, yeah, I remember that guy but sort of in the way where you’re not 100% sure you’re not manufacturing the recollection.

    I was curious. Was this just my wife who tends to be a get-along and go-along kind of person? So I started getting in touch with a lot of old friends and asking whether they remembered Ted. It was an experience really unlike I’ve ever had. Everybody I talked to – men and women, cool kids and nerds, conservative and liberal – started the conversation pretty much the same.

    “Ted? Oh yeah, immense a*#hole.” Sometimes “total raging a#%hole.” Sometimes other variations on the theme. But you get the idea. Very common reaction.

    But that wasn’t all. Before retelling this or that anecdote, there was one other thing that everybody said, “A really, really smart dude.”

  26. rikyrah says:

    All the Bush Family’s Horses…
    by BooMan
    Sun Mar 22nd, 2015 at 10:38:43 AM EST

    Senator Ted Cruz of Texas will become the first presidential candidate (in a strictly legal sense) of the 2016 campaign on Monday. He’s not going to go the whole “exploratory committee” route and intends to jump in with both feet.

    Senior advisers say Cruz will run as an unabashed conservative eager to mobilize like-minded voters who cannot stomach the choice of the “mushy middle” that he has ridiculed on the stump over the past two months in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    “Ted is exactly where most Republican voters are,” said Mike Needham, who heads the conservative advocacy group Heritage Action for America. “Most people go to Washington and get co-opted. And Ted clearly is somebody that hasn’t been.”

    I’ll have to look at the financial implications of Cruz’s decision, but getting an early start is important regardless of how you legally organize your campaign.

    This guarantees that Cruz will get the attention he craves, and that won’t be a good thing for the Republican Party. I don’t think he plans to leave any room on his right for his competitors to maneuver in, and his schtick is going to be that everyone else is a weak-kneed conservative wannabe. I expect this to get very personal, very quickly. Because the other candidates will be more comfortable attacking Cruz than the outlandish conservative ideas he espouses, I think they will talk about his knowledge, temperament, and effectiveness rather than challenge him from an ideological point of view.

    The exception will be Jeb, who will attempt to be the voice of reason. He’ll have to hope that his opponents divide up the majority into enough pieces that he can win with a small plurality.

    We ought to remember that Ted Cruz isn’t a former pizza executive, backbench representative from Minnesota, or even a disgraced former Speaker of the House. He is one of two U.S. senators from the largest red state in the country, the same state that gave us Lyndon Johnson and both Bush presidents. How he behaves and what he says helps define the Republican Party to the nation and the world. This will be more true than ever now that he’ll be a presidential candidate.

    That most of his Republican colleagues in the Senate despise him and disagree with his critiques means that there will be a lot of pushback. It’s not only the Republican Establishment, but a much broader segment of the Republican base that doesn’t want Cruz to speak for them. This should quickly become evident even on Fox News, and it’s going to take existing wedges on the right and pry them wide open.

    I can see Jeb prevailing as a kind of champion against Cruz, but there will be a Humpty Dumpty effect even if Jeb is successful.

  27. rikyrah says:

    It’s March 23rd and I had to break out the Eskimo Coat, and the Winter boots.


    Puxatawney Phil….belongs in a stew.

  28. rikyrah says:

    I think he’s mad because I believe American Jews see the right-wing for who they are. Israel is useful because too many of the right wing support it because of The Rapture. If not for that, would they remotely care about Israel?


    Rep. King Doubles Down On Asking How Jews Can Be Democrats
    ByDaniel Strauss
    PublishedMarch 21, 2015, 3:29 PM EDT

    Rep. Steve King (R-IA) seemed to double down on questioning “how Jews in America can be Democrats.”

    That back and forth with Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) follows King criticizing “Jews in America” who align themselves with President Barack Obama and the Democratic party. He made those comments on earlier on Friday.

    “Well, there were some 50 or so Democrats that, that decided they would boycott the president’s speech,” King said in comments flagged by the Boston Herald Radio. “Here’s what I don’t understand, I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their President.”

    King, the conservative firebrand and staunch immigration reform opponent, added that “the president’s policies throughout the Middle East have been a disaster. I would say to them, ‘Name a country with which we have better relations today than we had when Barak Obama took office.’ And I gave that in speeches for about six weeks until some lag stood up and said, ‘I can name you two, they are Cuba and Iran.”

    King’s initial comments came after Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu delivered a speech to members of Congress, which many Democrats skipped. King says skipping the speech showed they’re “knee-jerk” supporters of Obama.

    “It says this, they’re knee-jerk supporters of the President’s policy,” King said. “The President’s policies throughout the Middle East have been a disaster. I would say to them, ‘Name a country with which we have better relations today than we had when Barack Obama took office.’ And I gave that in speeches for about six weeks until some lag stood up and said, ‘I can name you two, they are Cuba and Iran.'”

  29. rikyrah says:

    On Obamacare’s Five-Year Anniversary, Republicans Still Lack An Alternative

    BySahil Kapur
    March 23, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    WASHINGTON — On March 23, 2010, Barack Obama inked his presidential signature on legislation to transform the country’s health care system, while a furious Republican Party vowed to repeal and replace it with a plan of their own.

    Five years later, after more than 50 House votes to dismantle the law, and with some 16 million people newly insured under the Obamacare regime, the GOP has come up short on a replacement proposal that it can rally around.

    “Committees are continuing to work on that and I’m sure we’re gonna see one soon,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters on Thursday when asked if there’s a Republican replacement to Obamacare.

    “How soon?” a reporter pressed.

    “I think we’ll see one soon,” the Speaker reiterated.

    “One that covers 16 million people?”

    Boehner didn’t answer. He quickly moved on.

    Understandably so: It’s a topic Republicans don’t like to discuss. Boehner could have made those remarks any day during the last five years. GOP leaders have been steadfast in promising an alternative they can get behind — at least 20 times since 2010 — sometimes insisting that it’s right around the corner. But it doesn’t appear. The House and Senate GOP budget proposals unveiled last week called for repealing and replacing Obamacare but didn’t propose a specific health care reform plan.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, March 22, 2015
    Last Call For Cruz, In (For A Brusin’)
    Posted by Zandar

    Sen. Ted Cruz officially opens the GOP 2016 clown car for business, and that business is wrecking America.

    Sen. Ted Cruz plans to announce Monday that he will run for president of the United States, accelerating his already rapid three-year rise from a tea party insurgent in Texas into a divisive political force in Washington.

    Cruz will launch a presidential bid outright rather than form an exploratory committee, said senior advisers with direct knowledge of his plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made yet. They say he is done exploring and is now ready to become the first Republican presidential candidate.

    The senator is scheduled to speak Monday at a convocation ceremony at Liberty University in Virginia, where he is expected to declare his campaign for the presidency.

    Over the course of the primary campaign, Cruz will aim to raise between $40 million and $50 million, according to advisers, and dominate with the same tea party voters who supported his underdog Senate campaign in 2012. But the key to victory, Cruz advisers believe, is to be the second choice of enough voters in the party’s libertarian and social conservative wings to cobble together a coalition to defeat the chosen candidate of the Republican establishment.

    In other words, he’s jumping in now to try to bury Sen. Rand Paul early so he can come at Jeb Bush. Will it work? Who knows?

    But it’ll be damn amusing to watch with Cruz’s record, and I’m sure Republicans across the country want to be reminded of how Cruz shut down the same government as a Senator that he now apparently wants to lead as President.

  31. rikyrah says:

    absolutely true


    Still a Big Biden Deal

    Posted by Richard Mayhew at 7:48 am

    Mar 23,2015

    The ACA turns five today, and it is still a big Biden deal.
    The uninsurance rate has cratered, the growth rate of medical costs are now down to the level of general economic growth, and quality in the system is improving as Medicare has successfully begun to attach penalties for being ineffective. These are all BBDs.

    Right now, HHS estimates roughly 16.4 million more people have health insurance today than they did on on 3/23/2010. This is an undercount as it neglects trend changes. Before PPACA was signed, the trend was for more people to become uninsured every year. If PPACa was not passed, we’re probably looking at 18 to 20 million more people without health insurance in that counterfactual universe compared to ours.

    Is PPACA perfect? Hell no. Is it a whole lot better than the pre-exisiting condition? Hell yes. Is it vastly superior to the Republican alternative of nothing but high income tax credits and race to the bottom deregulation, hell yes.

    So our job is to understand why PPACA matters, defend it from the
    neo-feudalists and reactionaries, and figure out how to make it better. But is still is a Big Biden Deal.

  32. rikyrah says:

    folks be knowing


    Tourists flocking to Cuba ‘before the Americans come’

    Associated Press

    By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ and PETER ORSI, Associated Press

    4 hrs ago

    HAVANA — Bookings to Cuba jumped 57 percent for one New York tour operator in the weeks after Washington said it would renew ties with Havana. In February, they were up 187 percent; and so far this month, nearly 250 percent.

    The boom is just one sign that the rush is on to see Cuba now — before, as many predict, McDonald’s claims a spot in Old Havana and Starbucks moves in on Cubita, the island’s premium coffee brand.

    The sense that detente will unleash an invasion of Yankee tourists and change the unique character of one of the world’s last remaining bastions of communism is shared by many travelers flocking here.

    “Cuba has a very authentic atmosphere which you see nowhere else in the world,” Gay Ben Aharon of Israel said while walking through Revolution Square. “I wanted to see it before the American world … but also the modern Western world comes here.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    I hope he gets the money


    Man Loses 270 Pounds: Matt Diaz Displays Excess Skin In Viral Plea For Surgery Help And ‘Positivity’ [Video]

    In an era where celebrities regularly boast on social media about losing two pounds, a man who loses 270 pounds is earning both admiration and a few jeers. Meet Matt Diaz, who has now shed so much excess fat that he bravely and boldly stripped down to reveal his need for skin surgery in a plea for funding help as well as positive body image, reported the Huffington Post.

    And Diaz has several messages to share, including his desire to be honest about how he lost the weight. Matt emphasizes that he isn’t trying to sell his rapidly growing group of fans and friends any diet pills or fitness “miracles.” Instead, Diaz is candid in confessing how and why he won his weight loss war, and why he now wants help so much that he’s willing to endure potential embarrassment by stripping down to reveal the impossible-to-banish signs that he once weighed 495 pounds.

    At 22, Matt feels that he has his life ahead of him. But as he revealed in his video, he feels that he can’t achieve everything he desires because of his excess skin.

  34. rikyrah says:

    There’s a lot of beautiful country out there:

    10 Underrated National Parks in America

    Condé Nast Traveler

    Caitlin Morton


    North Cascades National ParkIf you want to see glaciers and temperate rainforests in one place, look no further than Washington’s North Cascades National Park. Known for its variety of ecosystems and wildlife, the park is one of the least-visited in the entire country, no doubt due to its rugged terrain and difficult hiking trails. Those up to the task, however, will get the rare experience of spotting bald eagles and hearing the numerous waterfalls that give the park its name.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  36. Ametia says:

    Happy Mun-dane, Everyone!

    I’m going to enjoy this week’s post immensely. Baby-makers, eh?

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