"Several of the Republicans planning to run in 2016 were hoping the midterms would have a winnowing effect—maybe some potential competitors would lose, or look weak. Instead, the GOP’s romp encouraged just about all of the prospects to make the leap, leaving the likely field bigger than ever. Not only were several of the candidates bolstered by their own wins, Republican strength in the purple states of Colorado, Iowa, Virginia and North Carolina made the party’s presidential nomination look very much like a prize worth having – a big change from past GOP fretting that Hillary Clinton seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut. As Republican governors gather in Florida for the first cattle call of the cycle, here’s our assessment of who is most likely to run – and who might take a pass: 1. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky … has done well in the invisible primary – fundraising, hiring, message, travel, buzz and media. Insiders tell us he has a 95 percent chance of running, with an announcement likely in April. His biggest hurdle is the pro-Israel leanings of many top GOP donors, who will have trouble accepting the recent course correction to his past skepticism of U.S. engagement abroad. 2. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas … is prime rib for the GOP base, with a brash fearlessness that gives him a good shot in the primaries and little chance in the general. Rivals admit that he could win the Iowa caucuses, though they contend he’ll burn hot but fast. Cruz has built his own mini-think tank of policy experts, and takes his Senate colleagues’ disdain for his antics as a badge of honor ... "(Politico)
"In 1969, when I was still living in London, I had gone with some friends to see Easy Rider in a movie theater in Piccadilly Circus and had returned alone some days later to see it again. It was Jack (Nicholson's) combination of ease and exuberance that had captured me from the moment he had come on-screen. I think it was probably upon seeing the film that, like many others, I first fell in love with Jack. The second time was when he opened the door to his house that early evening in April, with the late sun still golden in the sky. 'Good evening, ladies,' he said, beaming, and added in a slow drawl, 'I’m Jack, and I’m glad you could make it.' He motioned for us to enter. The front room was low-ceilinged, candlelit, and filled with strangers. There was Greek food, and music was playing. I danced with Jack for hours. And when he invited me to stay the night, I asked Cici what she thought.
'Are you kidding?' she said. 'Of course!' In the morning, when I woke up and put on my evening dress from the night before, Jack was already downstairs. Someone whom I came to recognize later as the screenwriter Robert Towne walked through the front door into the house and looked at me appraisingly as I stood on the upper landing. Then Jack appeared and said, 'I’m gonna send you home in a taxi, if that’s O.K., because I’m going to a ball game.' It was a half-hour ride back to the Palisades. When I got out of the cab, in the backless evening dress, Cici was at the door. She looked at me and just shook her head. 'I can’t believe you didn’t insist that he drive you home,' she said. 'What are you thinking? If he’s going to take you out again, he must come and pick you up and take you home.' Jack called a few days later to ask me out. I said, 'Yes. But you have to pick me up, and you have to drive me home.' And he said, “O.K. All right. How about Saturday?' And I said, 'O.K. But you have to come and pick me up.' Then I got a follow-up call, Jack saying that he was sorry; he had to cancel our date because he had a previous obligation. 'Does that make me a secondary one?' I asked. 'Don’t say that,' he said. 'It’s not witty enough, and derogatory to both of us.' That evening, I decided to go out with the set designer Jeremy Railton, a friend from London, and the comedy writers Kenny Solms and Gail Parent. We were dining at the Old World café, on Sunset, when they started to whisper and giggle. When I asked what was going on, Gail said, 'You were supposed to see Jack tonight, right?' And I replied, “Yes, but he had a previous obligation.' Kenny said, 'Well, his previous obligation is a very pretty blonde, and he just went upstairs with her.' I took my wineglass in hand and with my heart racing climbed the stairs to the upper section of the restaurant. Jack was sitting in a booth with a beautiful young woman whom I immediately recognized—I had seen photographs of them together in magazines—as his ex-girlfriend Michelle Phillips. She was in the group the Mamas and the Papas. As I reached the table a shadow passed quickly over Jack’s face, like a cloud crossing the sun. I lifted my glass airily and said, 'I’m downstairs, and I just thought I’d come up to say hi.' He introduced Michelle, not missing a beat. She was charming. I guess they were at the end of their relationship at that point. One morning, some weeks later, she drove to his house on Mulholland Drive to collect something she had stored there. Discovering that I was with Jack, she came upstairs to his bedroom with two glasses of orange juice. From that moment, we became friends." (Angelica Houston/VF)
"Also on Monday night was the New York Public Radio’s 9th annual benefit gala at 583 Park. This is the first time I’ve attended. It happened because a few months ago I was seated at a luncheon at the American Museum of Natural History next to Susan Solomon who is on the board of trustees of New York Public Radio. When I learned that she was involved with New York Public Radio, I happened to tell her that I listened to WQXR all the time, streaming it on my computer. I also told her how the best cab rides in town usually have WQXR on all the time. She invited me then to attend this benefit to see what they were doing. I tune in when I turn on my computer in the morning and at many other times when I am at my desk and not required to focus. I didn’t know until Monday night that QXR is part of New York Public Radio which includes WNYC 93.9 FM and WNYC AM 8320, as well as an All Bach Channel and the Jonathan (Schwartz) Channel ... Deborah Voigt was emcee with TV, stage and film actor Oliver Pratt. They were followed by Cynthia Vance, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, and then Laura Walker, President and CEO of New York Public Radio. Both women talked about the progress and the dazzling future of Public Radio ... Meanwhile, same night, same time, over at the Metropolitan Club, the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children held a Gala Wine Dinner, as its annual Fall benefit. Deborah Norville, glamorous in white silk, was the sublime emcee. They honored Bob and Ann Arns. The dinner featured a menu designed by renowned chef Anita Loo of Annisa (and author of 'Cooking Without Borders'. Author and wine critic Jay McInerney served -- to everyone’s pleasure -- as 'Sommelier of the Evening.' This was the second annual Gala Wine dinner and it featured excellent wines from Napa Valley’s Tournesol which is owned by the honorees who have also been very supportive of the NYSPCC." (NYSD)