Probably like many in my sub-generation, King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King was among my first experiences in Progressive Rock back when it was a primary alternative to Top 40 rather than some nerdy sub-genre. Yes, it was all pretty noisy and pretentious, but that’s what we wanted.

Here are some midday news/views snacks:

* Big Politico piece on Paul Ryan as the behind-the-scenes champ of fast-track push in House.

* Marco Rubio’s personal financial issues drawing attention again after report he cashed in a retirement account to meet current expenses.

* Jon Chait cites fresh research evidence that 1960s riots fed conservative backlash.

* Another straw in the wind: Huck joins Jeb in announcing he’ll skip Iowa Straw Poll.

* New survey shows people obtaining individual insurance polices via Obamacare exchanges pretty happy with them.

And in non-political news:

* Letterman hangs it up.

As we break for lunch, here’s the title track from In the Court of the Crimson King as performed at the BBC on May 6, 1969.

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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.