Feb. 22nd, 2016

drwex: (WWFD)
Not surprising - Jeb Bush is gone, after another dismal performance. Lackluster, desperate, and flailing are not attractive qualities in a date nor in a presidential candidate. Buh-bye, you won't be missed and please stop dragging your mom around.

Surprising - the scale of Trump's win. This should have been natural territory for Cruz and yet Trump appears to have won among self-identified evangelicals. Apparently being three times divorced and flip-flopping on abortion doesn't matter to them so much as having a racist, Pope-baiting bigot representing them. For giggles, here's the Washington Post guide to who Trump has most insulted.

Cruz tried playing up all of Trump's negatives and still came third, another surprise. Rubio came second and again I say that if Cruz had an ounce of sense or dedication to his party he'd drop out and throw his support to Rubio. But this is the guy who'd shut down the country if it gave him a bigger stage to stand on, so no that's not happening. Cruz - our 21st-century Nero - will be in this fight until the convention, which means at this point I don't see anything that can stop Trump, other than Trump himself. Since I've been waiting for essentially his entire campaign for that to happen I give it low odds right now. Trump's a loose cannon but he has a very good team around him that may be able to contain damage.

If there's a glimmer of light for Rubio in this voting it's that polls show him winning pretty strongly in late deciders. That is, Trump has his core of support and so does Cruz, but among those who are not in the core it seems Rubio is able to influence them and bring them in. I don't know what the polls look like for upcoming Super Tuesday states but if there is a large undecided block out there and Rubio can repeat this performance he may yet make headway against Trump. I think he wins that fight by being positive, continuing to tell his story and promote his message rather than going the Cruz route and attacking Trump directly.

Trump underperformed his polls in South Carolina by a few points, but probably close to margin of error. That's good for Rubio in that there might be some way to erode the edges of Trump's support but mostly it's bad news for Trump in that he doesn't seem able to build on his current leads. If he polls in the 35-40% area consistently nationwide, Hilary is going hand him his shiny ass in the general election. He has to show he can not just beat his rivals, but build a winning voting coalition. If Rubio has an upside then he's got to make it visible soon or Trump is going to have too big a lead in delegates.

Not surprising - over on the Democratic side, I think Sanders is in big trouble. He hasn't significantly pulled up his numbers among older voters and voters of color, both of which are going to be important factors in Super Tuesday contests. He's chipping away at Hilary's lead in broad polls but like Rubio he's facing a ticking delegate clock. Also like Rubio, he's making some inroads on core Clinton's support- particularly Latinos, it seems - but that isn't going to be enough to overcome her delegate advantage. Bernie math does not look good now and I predict it's going to look terrible after Super Tuesday.
drwex: (VNV)
Missed doing this on Friday (what else is new) so here's your latest set of beautiful tracks. This time we're going to keep things low and slow, saving the house bangers for next time.

https://soundcloud.com/illeniumofficial/illenium-fortress-ft-joni-fatora
Illenium is a DJ named Nick Miller and I've no idea why this track is tagged with #dubstep and #skrillex because I don't think it's either of those things. Instead it's a lovely melodic dance piece featuring some beautiful vocals from a singer Joni Fatora (http://www.jonifatora.net/) whose debut EP is just out now. I must take a moment to say this is the most unreadable Web site I've seen since Flash went out of style. It uses a dreadfully small poorly kerned font in white text on a light blue-gray background. If you can read it you have better eyes than I do. Fortunately her voice is a lot better than this design, but sheesh.

https://soundcloud.com/rac/tearing-me-up-rac-mix
Most of the things I link to have fairly high BPM, but I can still appreciate a good slow track, like this one. This is RAC's slinky melodic slow-mix of Bob Moses's "Tearing Me Up" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4oUeqOkb90). It's not hugely different from the original, but the remix adds some layers of sound, smooths some of the original's roughness, and just generally leaves me thinking this should be playing as part of foreplay. Also, am I the only one who hears echoes of Timbuk 3 here?

https://soundcloud.com/ho0ya/mako-smoke-filled-room-hooya-remix
A little farther up the BPM scale, but still in the sexy department, comes Hooya's remix of Mako's "Smoke Filled Room" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TutIVpWf4U). The remix is more house and less frenetic than the original but still very vocal-centric and wants to win you over with beauty rather than force.

https://soundcloud.com/loo-and-placido-mashups/major-lazer-x-gramatik-friends-loo-placido-mashup
Loo & Placido produce a slow-dance mash-up take on Major Lazer's "Lean On" using some of the best chill/funk/soul sounds from Gramatik. I can't place exactly which track(s) they're sampling but it's still very close to the slow-dance vibe of the previous track.

https://soundcloud.com/funkingham/wooly-bully1111pied-piper-paul-fabian-edit
This is a blast from deep in my childhood. The original "Wooly Bully" was something of a one-hit wonder back in the 60's and has showed up here and there in covers and references since then. This is an updated and funky take that is very true to the original. There's still the original blues rhythms that you heard in so many early rock hits but it's gently filtered. I bet I could still Twist to it, though.

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