Yesterday's Election: A Challenge for Democrats—and a Crisis for Politics

Matt Bevin's big surprise win the Kentucky governor's hints at trouble for both Democrats and the larger political system.


Matt Bevin

Businessman Matt Bevin's surprise win in last night's Kentucky governor's election—polls had put him two points behind Democrat Jack Conway, but he won by nine points—has a number of obvious implications for Kentucky policy: Among other things, Bevin has promised to shut down the state's Obamacare exchange and transition to the federal system, and has stated his opposition to the state's participation in the health law's Medicaid expansion, indicating that he'll push the federal government for a waiver to alter the state's implementation of the program.

But it's also suggestive of some deeper changes occurring in American politics during the Obama era, especially at the local level: Democrats have so far been quite successful as a national party, but Republicans are dominating in local races.  

As GOP strategist and former GOP leadership aide Rory Cooper tweeted out this morning, Democrats have lost 12 governorships, 69 House seats, 13 Senate spots, and more than 900 state legislature seats under the Obama administration.

Part of what that means is that Republicans are increasingly in control of important state policy levers. With Bevin in Kentucky, we'll get to see a test of how powerful those levers are against Obama's signature initiative, the health care law.

But the Republican party's dominance at the local level also presents serious trouble for Democrats in the medium term. Basically, Democrats have lost a lot of local farm teams, which makes it harder to build the organization back up.

credit: Gage Skidmore / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Bevin wasn't the only GOP winner in Kentucky yesterday. As David Weigel and Paul Kane of The Washington Post note, "Republicans nearly swept the other down-ballot races, including knocking off the incumbent state auditor who national Democrats had hoped would challenge [Sen. Rand] Paul in next year's Senate race."

The ongoing political impact of these victories is pretty obvious to state politicians. As Sen. Paul told the Post:

"What this election shows is that people who've been promoting Democrats on the rise in Kentucky have been completely wrong," Paul said in an interview after Tuesday's resounding Republican win. "Not only has President Obama destroyed the party in Kentucky, he's destroyed the bench. The bench that was supposed to rise up and run for office—that's gone."

This isn't limited to Kentucky. As The Washington Post's Greg Sargent wrote recently, "the deep, deep hole the party has dug for itself in on the level of the states" is a medium-to-long-term problem that at least some Democratic strategists are aware of and have begun trying to address.

There are growing signs that Democrats may have national problems as well.

Polls show that a generic Republican presidential candidate currently bests a generic Democratic candidate by a little more than two points. President Obama's 45 percent approval rating is below the 48 mark, the point at which a president usually gives the rest of his party a boost. As FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten wrote yesterday, both of those numbers suggest a small but real Republican advantage.

credit: marcn / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

A Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday found that in head-to-head matchups, Republican candidates Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Chris Christie all beat likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by several points, though Clinton still bests Donald Trump by three points.

So part of what yesterday's election results reveal is that, for all the talk about the GOP's tarnished brand and internal chaos—much of which is accurate—the Democratic party isn't in great shape either.

Republicans perform worse on overall favorability measures, but neither party is exactly beloved right now. Indeed, the overall political environment isn't great for either party's established centers of power and influence.

There's a generalized mood of distrust in government and disaffection with conventional politics across the political spectrum right now. While the parties have diverged in many ways, recent polling suggests that "if there is a unifying theme, it is anger at the political system," The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

That broad anger with the larger system is at least part of the reason why a candidate like Matt Bevin, a businessman and Tea Party favorite who unsuccessfully attempted to primary GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell less than two years ago, can win, and why unconventional presidential candidates like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and, in a different way, Bernie Sanders are turning out to be more successful than most observers expected even a few months ago.

The core problem runs much deeper than any individual politician or party. It is not just the Democrats or the Republicans each have troubles, although they do. It is that politics itself is in a kind of crisis, as people on both sides of the aisle have lost faith in its ability to deliver, and are looking for alternatives outside the usual options. There is a growing sense that politics no longer works, or at least not the way it should, and is need of a broader shakeup. The party that figures this out, or the outsiders who come up with a way to productively overhaul the system, will be the first to dig a path out the hole.

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  1. Unfortunately Bevin said he won’t completely roll back the Medicaid expansion just make it harder to qualify for. Also, Kansans, being stupid, support keeping the Medicaid expansion.

    1. What does Kansas have to do with Kentucky?

      1. He’s from Canadia. You can’t expect him to know every little african state.

        1. I wouldn’t expect him to know all 57, but really, I mean we’re going to have to start giving the Canucks a little geography quiz at the border. Not knowing Kentucky from Kansas is like not knowing Quebec from British Columbia.

          1. British Columbia isn’t even in Canada, you moran. It’s in The British Islands.

            1. No it isn’t.

            2. Are you telling me the floating city in Bioshock: Infinite was *Canadian*??…. I ……I’m……. I’m so confused….

            3. So, you’re telling me that BC is not a province of Canada? Do you have some link to support this?

              1. BC is definitely a Canadian province.

                1. Well, I thought maybe it broke off and floated over to the British Isles, but oops, wrong ocean. Maybe it was captured by Japan?

                  1. Parts of Vancouver are provinces of China. I’ve seen for-sale signs on Vancouver houses written only in Chinese.

                2. Everyone knows that British Columbia is a Carribbean island off the coast of Colombia. Most people think it is part of Canada, because Vancouver is sometimes given that nickname, because it is also an island. But it is actually part of the British Commonwealth, and is famous for its 700 hoboes and the furry lobster (kiwa hirsuta).

              2. It’s got BRITISH right in the name you moran. Where else could it be?

                1. Either you are trolling us…or you are currently taking your bib off post-applesauce ready to fire off another pearl of wisdom.

            4. It’s actually in South America.

            5. Get a brian, moran.

      2. Kentucky has beaten Kansas in 22 of 28 meetings, although they’ve split the last 6 games.

      3. OOPS. Replace ‘Kansas’ with ‘Kentucky’. Sorry but Canada has too much going on the be too concerned about every backwater south of the border.

        1. We realize that Canada is too poor to afford real states and you only have a few provinces to remember, but you’re going to have to step it up there, weedhopper, you’re not in your igloo any longer.


            1. What about protectorates? Got any of those, smart guy?

              1. *Sob*….no.

              2. Not to mention possessions.

            2. Yeah, but no one can live there, it’s too fucking cold!

            3. No it aint, no it aint, but you gotta know the territory.

            4. I didn’t know Nathaniel Branden was Canadian.


              Are they Huuugggggghhhhh?

        2. Which is why your pudgy midget ass clogs up these message boards.

          1. Someone sounds angry.

          2. umad, bro?

        3. Sorry but Canada has too much going on the be too concerned about every backwater south of the border.

          You know which states are the racist ones, that’s the important thing. The rest is details.

          1. Exactly.

        4. ” Canada has too much going on the be too concerned about every backwater south of the border.”

          Pop. Kentucky: 4.4m
          Population British Columbia: 4.6m

          Backwaters, indeed

          to be fair, the entire population of BC appears huddled as close to the US border as they can, perhaps warming themselves in the Glow of Freedom… (looks closer at map, sees Seattle, thinks again)…. or maybe they’re scared of being eaten by bears.

          1. There’s actually more and more activity in the central/northern areas because of gas and oil exploration. Also: great wine country in the Okanogan.

            1. great wine country in the Okanogan.


              1. I’ve had New York State, California and Washington wines.

                Canada’s Okanagan Valley has nothing to be ashamed of. (Nor the Niagara Peninsula, for that matter…)

            2. It is indeed a beacon of civilization to the world.

            3. There is certainly some interesting activity in Nelson.

            4. The Okanagan valley extends into Washington state as well.

          2. The last time Canadian demographics were an important part of my life, one of the data analysts pointed out that:

            1) Canada had about the same population as CA but spread from Atlantic to Pacific and,
            2) 90% of the population in Canada lived within 50 miles of the U.S. border.

            I’ve felt sorry for Canadians everywhere ever since. ;-(

        5. So much going on there that you need to comment here and be insulting. Where is the libertarian or conservative blog regarding backwaters north of the border?

      4. Letter K.

        next question.

  2. I wish this guy would have beaten Turtlehead.

    The really funny thing about this to me, is that Bevin supports medical MJ, while his supposedly ‘liberal’ opponent strongly opposed it. Also, the lt Gov is a black female tea party member.

    Democrats, the party of old white puritans, this is like real life satire at it’s finest.

    1. “I wish this guy would have beaten Turtlehead.”

      NO. Bevin is a religious nutbar who can do a lot more damage to The Enemy as a governor than a senator. Turtleneck, alas, is not bad. Pro-freedom lawmakers are probably going to have to co-opt the establishment as much as fight it, and he’s going to be the point man for that effort.

      1. Hating God isn’t going to make you grow. Id say try HGH but honestly honestly what’s the difference between 4’11 and 5’2.

        1. Can’t hate what I know doesn’t exist.

          I’m just over 6 feet tall. Unlike you, my brain is also big.

          1. Doesn’t being over 6′ make you eligible to join the Royal Canadian Mounties? Dude, you could be up there rescuing Rocky and Bullwinkle and you blew that for the USA?

            BTW, what did you do to this Haysom guy? Did you fuck him mom or something?

            1. It’s possible….

    2. And not only does Bevin want to legalize medical MJ he supports religious freedom, too:

      “”I congratulate Matt Bevin on his win. I am ecstatic. He is such a genuine and caring person,” Kim Davis said. “I will be forever thankful that he came to visit me while I was in jail. At a clerks’ meeting he hugged me and said he was praying for me.”

      “Davis said that she’s looking forward to Bevin’s leadership as the state’s new governor….

      “…Bevin accused Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, his opponent in the gubernatorial race, of “cowardly silence” on the issue and said that Conway had violated his oath of office by not defending the state’s stance on same-sex nuptials.

      “”The double standard applied in this case is reprehensible. Jack Conway refused to defend our state constitution and now he is refusing to stand up for the religious liberties of our county clerks,” Bevin continued. “This is unconscionable and, as governor, I will stand up for all Kentuckians, not just the ones who agree with me.””

      1. Kim Davis has nothing to do with religious freedom, your misplaced persecution complex notwithstanding.

        1. And you’d know what with your well-placed Napoleonic Complex. The platform shoes aren’t fooling people.

          1. Whatever.

        2. Freedom of conscious is a pretty big deal, actually. She performed an act of relatively harmless civil disobedience and was thrown in jail for it, to the loud cheers of at least half the country and the entire media/pop culture establishment. You don’t think that’s a problem?

          There were dozens of non-fascist ways to deal with Kim Davis (censure, impeachment, recall election, etc.), but the social justice mobs required blood, so that’s what they got.

          1. “Fascist” doesn’t mean what you think it means and her actions weren’t harmless to the people who needed her to do her job to get married.

            1. Bullshit, the homosexuals that were seeking marriage licenses were not from Rowan county. These weren’t two happy-go-lucky men in love who just wanted to get married. These two assholes went to Rowan county knowing they would be denied, reinforcing the #Lovewins meme and starting a media firestorm. Progs aren’t content on winning, they intend to kill all the survivors too, metaphorically speaking.

              1. currently metaphorically. Eventually not.

                1. Except progs are unarmed by choice and I seriously doubt the military will just follow orders and attack those who are, if it comes down to it.

              2. Doesn’t matter. She had no right to deny them licenses. Jail is harsh but not outrageous.

            2. Civil disobedience is always inconvenient to SOMEBODY. That’s the fucking point. But there’s a difference between inconvenience and harm. She didn’t harm anyone. She didn’t do any permanent damage to public property. Nobody died. And the law was carried out eventually anyway.

              Throwing a minor elected official in prison for an act of conscious — to the cheers of a mob — is not the action of a healthy and free society.

              1. “She didn’t harm anyone. ”

                Obama hasn’t ‘harmed’ anyone by blocking the KXL pipeline and he shouldn’t be allowed to do that either.

          2. Isn’t a coercive jail stay the usual penalty in a contempt of court finding? I don’t see the problem.

          3. Civil disobedience is over rated. Most acts carried out as being civil disobedience are in fact, just people knowingly breaking many laws in an act of protest and then crying about it when they are forced to pay the piper. They think the ends justifies the means.

            Thoreau, who is often credited with inspiring many in my generation to commit acts of civil disobedience would not have approved of what they did. Part of his tenants of such acts was that one would accept the punishment with grace and without fanfare.

          4. She was an agent of the state imposing her personal beliefs on others. That’s not freedom of conscience.

          5. I cheered when that religious nutcase was thrown in jail, though really they should have just fired her fat ugly ass.

            1. They can’t fire Kim Davis. She is an elected official. They can impeach or recall her. Both of which would be difficult.

            2. Kim Davis refuses to hand out marriage licenses to gay for religious reasons and is jailed.

              Christian baker refuses bake a cake for a gay wedding because religious belief. Baker is fined $135,000 by the government http://nypost.com/2015/04/26/c…..y-wedding/

              Mulsim truckers refuse to haul alcohol because of religious belief. Government (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) sues on their behalf and gets them $240,000 from the trucking company. http://www.overdriveonline.com…..l-alcohol/

              “Libertarians” and other Leftists love it.

  3. Man, you can really tell that Rand is Ron’s kid in that side profile picture.

    1. Ron would have never supported Turtlehead.

      1. “Ron would have never supported Turtlehead”

        Hence, Ron appears as a crank and Rand may someday be Prez. Pragmatism can be useful.

        1. Rand is not doing too well in the ‘may someday be prez’ scenario. I mean, he has my vote, but Ron did better than Rand is doing when he ran for prez.

          1. Rand has already achieved for more than his Dad, even if you count the barrels of pork Ron brought to his district. His principles sure shut down for the pogey on that issue.

            1. We aren’t talking about what Rand has achieved. The topic is how he’s doing in the POTUS race. Stay focused, weedhopper.

              1. I hope he’s doing better than he appears.

            2. Totally disagree. Libertarians are not gonna win any elections. Not for a long time. First, the population has to accept our ideals. We are not gonna somehow trick them by saying the right thing. With that said, when a libertarian runs, he should not run to win, but to educate and inspire. Ron was excellent at this and introduced many people to libertarian ideas. The movement grew because of him. Rand is terrible at this. He inspires no one and waters down libertarian ideas to appeal to evangelicals and warmongering neocons. He is actually hurting the movement. He has not put forth any principles. His statements are terrible and delivered without passion.

              1. “Ron was excellent at this”

                Oh puh-leaze. He was excellent at riling up college students and attracting a lot of weirdos. He was an ignition plug at best.

                “He is actually hurting the movement.”

                Wrong again. He’s actually achieving something other than getting The Faithful hot and bothered. Again: he’s already done more good than his Dad ever did.

              2. As an evangelical, I don’t need Libertarian ideals watered down…feel free to do whatever you want with your life, just give me the same courtesy.

          2. Well, Ron did better the third time he ran than Rand is doing on his first run.

          3. Rand has long-term potential; Ron achieved some lofty single-digit heights, but plateaued permanently.

            1. Rand’s long term potential, IMHO, is to make a real difference in the Senate, which he has already started doing. I mean he really hasn’t been able to get any bad laws repealed or anything, but at least he has made a very valiant effort to bring attention to issues that no one else has the guts to talk about.

              I think his biggest achievement thus far, is shaming the Obama admin into making a half ass attempt at doing something about mandatory minimums. Make no mistake, if not for Rand, nothing would have happened.

              Rand may never be president. That would take a huge jump in the average intellect of the electorate. I don’t see it happening. The POTUS race will continue to be some kind of fucked up popularity contest / team sport hybrid contest for the foreseeable future.

              1. Barach “what’s in it for me?” Obama, executive at large.

              2. Sorry, Rand lost a lot of cred when he joined with the demoncraps on Vitter’s committee to halt the investigation into how the Senate managed to be classified as a “small business”, so that the entire body, and all the staffs. could escape being under Oblamocare.
                Just another pol thinking he shouldn’t have to abide by the same rules as the plebes.

          4. Not when he ran the first time as a Libertarian.

  4. Slate manages to praise Obamacare in Kentucky while failing to mention the state’s largest health co-op is closing.

    It was an amazingly policy-free election. Conway and Bevins spent all their ad budgets trying to gut each other.

    1. I may return to not voting after this election. At least back when I didn’t vote, I didn’t feel like I was getting creamed on the battlefield. Now I just won’t engage.

      Fun local media bias:

      Of all the North Korea-style issues on the ballot, one reasonable issue is leading- and only because it’s state-wide. It’s an anti-tax initiative that requires 2/3rds blah blah. The local media keeps calling it “Tim Eyeman’s” initiative.

      Tim Eyeman is a longtime local anti-tax gadfly that makes progressives shit themselves.

      What’s funny, is I122 is just an initiative about fair and honest elections. It’s not [insert shadowy organization’s name] initiative. It’s just I122. But no, the anti-tax initiative? Not even called out by it’s Legal name, nope, it’s just “Tim Eyeman’s Initiative *spits*”

      1. My girlfriend keeps telling me I should move out eastside, I’m starting to think she’s right.

        Oh well, if I’m still here for the next election maybe I’ll try to scalp my democracy vouchers, just for the irony.

        1. I’m looking into what it takes to receive them. I’d like to register for some local election and be able to get my voucher back. Even if I lose money, it might be worth it.

        2. You will have to turn in your bicycle for a car, but I like the East Side.

      2. “At least back when I didn’t vote, I didn’t feel like I was getting creamed on the battlefield. ”

        But you still were. There is no ‘non-engagement’ option.

        1. You may not be interested in….

  5. So I’m looking through HnR this morning, and zero mention of a disturbance of the force so great, a backwater like Alderon is a comparatively minor event.

    Seattle now has publicly funded elections. That’s right, you’re gonna contribute whether you want to or not.

    1. Oh and it passed with crushing popular support.

      Not to mention the $1 Billion (yes, that’s Billion with a ‘B’) transit initiative, allowing Seattle to narrow streets further and build more “underutilized” bike lanes.

      1. Utopia is just around the corner!

        1. Seattle will be a nice place once everyone moves out.

      2. Out of curiosity = do publicly funded elections bar candidates from separate fundraising?

        I get that the Progs think that some kind of equal funds for each candidate ensures a base-level-ability to pay for ads and reach the public with whatever message they’ve got…

        …but i fail to see how if one candidate is wildly popular, they’re supposed to turn down people running to them with buckets of money. I can only presume that the next step for progs in Fairness-Enforcement is to control the airwaves themselves and police people’s speech.

        1. Out of curiosity = do publicly funded elections bar candidates from separate fundraising?

          If enacted, the measure would limit election campaign contributions from entities receiving City contracts totaling $250,000 or more, or from persons spending $5,000 or more for lobbying; require 24-hour reporting of electronic contributions; require paid signature gatherer identification; limit lobbying by former City officials; create a voluntary program for public campaign financing through $100 vouchers issued to registered voters funded by ten years of additional property taxes, with $3,000,000 (approximately $0.0194/$1000 assessed value) collected in 2016.

          All this does from my perception is try to limit businesses who are getting contracts from the city from contributing. I don’t see anything here which limits what a candidate can receive– beyond any other contribution laws that may already be on the books.

          1. Voters will assign the vouchers by signing and mailing them to candidates or to the SEEC, or by submitting them online.

            The SEEC will release money to the candidates that agree to follow I-122’s rules, which include participating in three debates and accepting lower contribution and spending limits.

            The carrot and the stick. It looks like you can forgo the money and still raise money the old-fashioned way. Of course, you also have to face an opponent getting “free” money and who can complain that you “must have something to hide.”

            1. I thought NYC already had this – minus the “voucher” silliness. Pretty sure that machine candidates get a chest of taxpayer cash, or they forgo it as Bloomberg did.

          2. “voluntary”


            1. “Well, you don’t have to use your voucher.”

              /City official

              1. “Unreturned vouchers will be credited by default to the incumbent.”

          3. From what’s there, it seems like more of a jobs-program for the elections-oversight people rather than any kind of functional-limiting of ‘spending’.

            IOW, just heaps of red-tape. Which, unsurprisingly, large donors are far better at navigating than grassroots orgs, which probably means that it will do little/nothing to affect the influence of Super-PACs or organizations like Tom Steyer’s, which spent tens of millions on local races around the country in 2014.

            The voucher thing seems even crazier. I’d imagine most people will never spend them, so its just ‘higher taxes’ in exchange for symbolic ‘public participation’.

            1. Exactly. it’s heaps of red tape, more employment programs for oversight agencies, and it takes money out of my pocket as a forced contribution to the local progressive douchbag which already has a 100% vice lock on local politics.

              I guess maybe they’re looking for 110%? Is 110% possible?

              Probably possible, but not recommended.

              1. Maybe they think permanent progressive politics is ready to sweep the nation and they’re happy to lead by example.

              2. I thought he only went to 105% on the reactor. Or are we talking about different things?

                1. I thought he only went to 105% on the reactor. Or are we talking about different things?

                  That was the communists. We’re talking about progressives here.

                  1. …and the difference is?

        2. The next step?

          Where have you been. They took that step some time ago.

    2. ‘Democracy vouchers’ win in Seattle; first in country

      Seattle will become the first place in the U.S. to try taxpayer-funded “democracy vouchers.”

      The way candidates’ campaigns are financed in Seattle dramatically changed Tuesday night.

      Initiative 122 took a 20?percentage-point lead in first-day returns, which makes Seattle the nation’s first jurisdiction to try taxpayer-funded “democracy vouchers.”

      “Seattle leads the nation, first on $15 an hour and now on campaign-finance reform. We look forward to seeing more cities and states implementing their own local solutions to the problem of big money in politics,” said Heather Weiner, I-122 spokeswoman.

      By the way, this was an expensively funded initiative receiving a large number of out-of-state and wealthy donors, something the 27 flyers I received in the mail claimed i122 would stop.

      When questioned on why there was virtually no ‘NO’ campaign, and why the YES campaign was so heavily funded by wealthy, out of state interests, the spokesbitch shamelessly said that they’re “fighting fire with fire”.

      Wealthy campaign donors for me, but not for thee.


    3. In all seriousness, get out of Seattle.

      Can’t the publically funded elections law be challenged in court?

      1. I suppose that anything can be challenged in court… I have no idea what that challenge would look like and whether it would win.

        Seems like a clear-cut first amendment case to me, but no one cares about the first amendment anymore, so who knows on what technical legal grounds someone could mount a challenge.

        1. 1A got FEC vs CU won for freedom. Maybe it can as well here.

          1. What’s depressing? I’m not joking about the number of flyers for Yes on i122 I received. I think I stopped counting at around 25.

            I received ZERO anti-flyers. Not one. Never saw an anti-ad. Not even sure if there was a ‘no’ campaign. Disgusting.

        2. Good luck getting “standing” on that. The courts have been avoiding ruling on contentious issues by denying people the standing to sue.

      2. Can’t the publically funded elections law be challenged in court?

        Yes? what’d have to happen is for a candidate applies for funding and get denied.

        That’d be grounds for a lawsuit against the city.

        1. Racism!

    4. Oh, and by the way, the reason i122 was heavily funded by wealthy out-of-state donors? This was considered a test by the group that started it as they have national ambitions with publicly funded elections.

      That’s right, to you, it might just be a local anomaly… but it’s coming to a town near you. So pay close attention to the mongoloid shit happening here.

      1. National public funding of elections breathed its last when McCain called Obama’s bluff in 2007.

    5. They’re going to keep praising it until it implodes. They don’t care about facts, they just make up their own.

  6. Obama’s signature initiative

    The one that’s completely falling apart and, hilariously, pissing off a significant amount of previous supporters?

    1. Wait until the childins turn 27 and realize that they aren’t getting that new iThingy, but instead are going to pay for a very expensive and mostly worthless healthcare policy that they don’t want, or pay a huge fine.

      1. The best reaction I’ve seen so far is a “friend” of mine who just a couple of months ago was praising Obama for giving her “healthcare” even though she was unemployed is now incredibly pissed off because now she doesn’t qualify for as much of a subsidy and her premium almost tripled.

        1. You can tell her that it’s not going to be better, because you have no chance of being wrong about that.

          1. This is also a person who think that just because she really, really wants to do something for a living someone else is obligated to pay her to do it.

            1. Sounds like she’s a good proggie.

              1. Oh no, she’s totally “independent.”

            2. What does she want to do?

              1. Does she have a decent chance of making it happen? Is she entrepreneurial?

            3. Oh good. I thought I was beginning to think I was the only person with a “friend” who is concerned that there’s something wrong with society when a woman with two kids, a master’s in history, who has no interest in teaching, can’t make it to CEO with 7 figures in two years while working 25 hours a week.

              I mean she spends all that time in personal development, like, Microsoft or someone should literally be beating a path to her door, right?

  7. Boy, it’s just a morning CHOCK full of Libertarian Moments:

    In a letter to Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes wrote that her office will not seek an indictment against Officer Adley Shepherd, who has been on paid leave since the June 22, 2014, incident.

    The decision opens the door for the department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) and its newly formed Force Investigation Team to review the incident to determine whether Shepherd should be disciplined.

    King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg last year determined his office would not seek state felony charges against Shepherd, 39, a 10-year department veteran, for punching Miyekko Durden-Bosley while she was in the back of his police cruiser.


    1. This paid leave shit?????

      How do I get me some of that?

      And hey, I work in local government. But my boss refuses to put me off on “paid leave” no matter what I do.

      What the hell is the secret?

  8. Last night was the first time Democrats seemed to notice they are getting their brains beat in in these state races.

    1. Who is the totally brainless moron who decided that now is the time to run on more gun control? Bloomberg clearly has way more dollars than brain cells.

      1. I am starting to think the Democrats may be in an ideological death spiral where the radicals kick the less radical out of the party making the dogma even more radical which in turn gives the radicals another excuse to kick more people out starting the process anew.

        It used to be there were pro gun Democrats. Now they are no longer welcome. There used to be Democrats who objected to gay marriage, now Germaine Greer is being othered for daring to question whether Bruce Jenner is actually a woman. The whole party looks like a circular firing squad.

        1. If you want to see what the Democrat party will look like in a decade, just take a look at what your average university is churning out. IOW, they’re going to go full on batshit crazy. I’ve been saying this for a while now and I don’t see any signs that I’m wrong.

          The GOP on the other hand, will probably turn into something a little more libertarian than it is now. Not a fast change, but slowly it’s happening.

          1. When you get so crazy that Germaine Greer, one of the original leftist feminists, is no longer welcome because she is seen as retrograde and conservative, you have lost your fucking mind. The thing about the SJW culture on college campuses is that it is utterly unappealing and loathsome to anyone other than someone who is a completely broken and sick person regardless of their politics. Every single one of them in some kind of social freak. I don’t care how liberal or conservative you are, no normal person is going to want to associate themselves with those people.

            1. *breaks down in tears and runs from the room*

              They are sad, infantile little creatures.

            2. Today a thing crossed my Twitter feed, about how 31 states limit abortion and grant parental rights to rapists. If abortion laws were repealed, women would have to share custody with their rapist.

              I didn’t research to see if the claim was true, but I replied that the idea of parental rights for rapists was disgusting to me, but it was an issue that can and should be dealt with separate from abortion.

              When asked what’s the difference between a fetus and a baby, I said one’s inside the mother, while both have beating hearts and waving brains.

              That was the last part of civility. It was a mob, congratulating themselves on how much they could call me a stoopid hick.

              “I didn’t miss shit, reprobate. Did you learn that BS from your Uncle Daddy?”

              That they react so virulently affirms my belief that one can only justify abortion by denying any humanity to the unborn. They are going off the deep end.

              Do you know who else claimed to conduct excellent life-saving medical research on not quite humans?

              1. Do you know who else claimed to conduct excellent life-saving medical research on not quite humans?

                Doctor Moreau?

              2. ” If abortion laws were repealed, women would have to share custody with their rapist.”

                So make rape a capital offense, and kill the guilty rather than the innocent.

            3. John,

              Shouldn’t there be a trigger warning at the beginning of your comment?

        2. When they won the House in 2006, it was partly because of Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy where they recruited candidates that could actually win in conservative districts. Wasserman-Schulz seems to recruit precisely no one, has no strategy, and spends most of her time shilling for Hillary Clinton.

          1. I think one of the big turning points is when they didn’t replace Pelosi as minority leader after they lost so badly in 2010. Never before to my knowledge had a party kept its Congressional leadership in tact after losing control of Congress. When you lose an election, you want a new face on things so you can win the next one. The Democrats after being left with their smallest minority in the House since the 1920s, still thought it was a good idea to have Pelosi be the face of the House Democrats. That is a sign of real bat shit crazy.

            1. It’s beginning to look like the Democrats have no new faces, just the same old faces.

              1. Oh, there are a lot of fresh new faces – just look at the NYC council!

            2. They kept Reid in the Senate this past year too. Of course when your alternatives are Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin…

        3. I blame Bush…

          seriously it was his presidency that made them go bat-shit insane. Once they won it all – house, senate, presidency – they though their moment had finally come. The thinning of their ranks in 2010 and the loss of the senate in 2014 only seemed to remove their more moderate members, strengthening their worst instincts instead of serving as the warning sign it should have been.

          It’s been an interesting ride. But hey, now that we have an Imperial Presidency, who needs the stinkin’ other chambers? This is how a Republic (or what remains of one) dies.

          1. “This is how a Republic (or what remains of one) dies.”

            Indeed. Not with a bang, nor even a whimper, but with a snivel. A long, teary snivel from the SJWs.

        4. Maybe. But you’re never as good as you look when you win or as bad as you look when you lose. The Democrats and Republicans, like any large group of people, is amorphous, and most of the population counts themselves as part of neither. Moderates could and probably will regain control once the extremists have caused enough pain to act as motivation.

        5. Not as bad as the r’s for the last ten or fifteen years.

          1. I haven’t noticed any difference. Statists all and a pox on both houses.

      2. And the other funny thing is that the Democrats’ state level problem is so obvious Matt Yglesias noticed it. When your problems run so deep and are so obvious that the resident retard can see them and is in fact the only one to see them, you have got real problems.

  9. the dems had a 50 year house majority until socializing medicine lost it for them. they got it back 14 years later and immediately lost it again socializing medicine. but they won’t back down and stop holding their hand against the hot stove.

    1. Clearly the top men gave us the crappy ocare thus they should fix it by delivering singlepayer!

    2. Obamacare is the law and a flat tax isn’t. You tell me who’s losing.

      1. Given that more and more states are dumping their income tax entirely, it’s less than clear.

        1. Really? Is that based on your personal assessment of all 57 states? 43 collect individual income tax. Two are currently and slowly migrating towards zero. And multiple states have increased rates in the last few years along with the increased federal rates.

          Try again.

          1. It’s more states than that. Forbes has been all over it. Others are cutting.

              1. Nor CA. We’re going to bring you HSR, whether you like it or not!

        2. A state dumping their income tax just means they are giving their cut back to the Feds.

          (You did know that state income taxes are a Federal deduction, right?)

          1. Or are you starting from the premise that “it’s all the government’s money anyway?”

  10. There is a growing sense that politics no longer works, or at least not the way it should, and is need of a broader shakeup. The party that figures this out, or the outsiders who come up with a way to productively overhaul the system, will be the first to dig a path out the hole.

    Unfortunately, “productively” is a subjective term e.g.

    “We should abolish the senate because it stops legislation getting through.”
    “We should abolish the electoral college because it sometimes stops the people getting their way.”
    “We should give more power to the president because Congress sometimes can’t act fast enough.”
    “We should give more power to bureaucrats because they don’t have to worry about being accountable to dumb voters.”

    1. I honestly think that this author is looking in the wrong place.

      If you look at elections the last 20 or so years, the public has been going back and forth between R and D pretty consistently. The people aren’t tired of the “political system” so much as the “political actors.” 20 years ago, it wasn’t as pronounced, but it’s been a growing and steady loss of D and R party adherents.

      In 2000, roughly 20% of the voter base was “independent/unaffiliated.” In 2015, it’s 40% of the voter base. People want a democracy that responds to them, not a democracy that responds to vested interests. Everyone (except hardline supporters) recognizes that the ACA didn’t do anything but guarantee income for the insurance companies at a detriment to the average person.

      While most Americans would have been fine with some reform of how the medical system worked, this bureaucratic nightmare of a take over wasn’t what the majority wanted in any way, shape, or form.

  11. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania continues its transition into a reliable BLUE state as the Democrat swept all three Supreme Court races to secure a 5-2 majority even with a low turnout that usually favors Republicans. The GOP can continue to use its minority status to win gerrymandered seats in the state House and Senate but will be in serious trouble after the 2020 census when the Dem. Supreme Court gets to review and revise the district maps.
    Sen. Toomey may be the last of the statewide Republican victors for a long long time.

    1. Clearly compulsory voting is needed since team red didnt win…oh wait

    2. And despite all the emigration from NJ sparking that trend, this state remains as blue as can be.

  12. The core problem runs much deeper than any individual politician or party. It is not just the Democrats or the Republicans each have troubles, although they do. It is that politics itself is in a kind of crisis, as people on both sides of the aisle have lost faith in its ability to deliver, and are looking for alternatives outside the usual options. There is a growing sense that politics no longer works, or at least not the way it should, and is need of a broader shakeup. The party that figures this out, or the outsiders who come up with a way to productively overhaul the system, will be the first to dig a path out the hole

    The fact that Suderman sees any of this as some kind of a crisis and not a healthy and needed clensing of a horrible and completely dysfunctional political class illustrates why I have so little faith in both he and his wife’s views. The voters collectively realize the country is going down the tubes and our political class is at best useless in stopping it and more often the cause of it. Given the sorry state of our government, I can’t for the life of me see why anyone, let alone a self professed Libertarian like Suderman, would be worried by the public looking to outsiders over established politicians. Just exactly what does Suderman think these dreaded outsiders are going to do? Create a multi trillion dollar monster government that threatens to bankrupt the country?

    1. I didn’t get out of the article that he thinks it’s a bad thing that Bevin won, or that people are losing faith in party establishments.

      1. If it is not a bad thing, then why does Suderman call it a “crisis”? Isn’t crisis a pajoritive term? I don’t see how Suderman would call something he thought was a good a crisis. Maybe he sees at as a good thing but that is an awfully odd choice of words if he does.

        1. I thought he meant a crisis for the big tent establishments. Maybe I’m wrong.

          1. That would be a “crisis for the parties” or a “crisis for the establishment” not a “crisis for politics”, which is what Suderman called it. If Suderman views the rise of these outsiders as a good thing, he totally misused the word crisis and or politics.

      2. It’s more of John’s mind reading.

        1. See my comment below on the meaning of “reading”. The entire point of reading the article is to deduce and understand the thoughts of the author. The article calls this a “crisis for politics” and I conclude from that that the author views this as a bad thing because crisis are never good things. That is not “reading his mind”. It is reading his words and making the rational conclusion that his words are meant to convey his opinion on the matter.

          If anyone is claiming to read his mind, it is the people who are claiming that Suderman somehow didn’t mean what the words obviously say. The assumption is he means the words he writes. To overcome that assumption, you would have to read Suderman’s mind and know he really doesn’t mean it. Since I can’t do that, I have to assume he thinks what his words say.

    2. They are not Experts, John. Suderman always struck me as a technocrat, who strongly believes that Right-Thinking Smart People in Right Places Doing The Clearly Right Thing is the only way to run The Government, something that outsiders are just going to mess up because they are Know-Nothing Wrong-Thinkers.

      1. Me too, though his wife is much more obvious about it. It is funny how she will think nothing of questioning the motives and intentions of people outside of the technocratic class but those inside always are good people who mean well no matter how badly they fuck up. McArdle actually said Jonathan Gruber was a good, smart, and well meaning person who didn’t deserve the social approbation he was receiving.

        1. Oh, she is, it’s just that she at least is always most libertarian voice on any site she writes for, at least. Plus, her regular commenters are excellent at calling her bullshit when she overdoes it, as they did in Gruber story, or when she was trying to thread the needle of “Obamacare is kinda bad, but maybe…”
          I do wonder how much of it is just a class thing – no matter how vile, say, Bohner or Obama get, they are Our Kind Of People, and thus should be treated more charitably than Those Other People. Or maybe it’s just that my formative view of English-speaking countries came from UK, rather than US, where that sort of thing is always present, intentional or not.

          1. I think it is a class thing. I concluded that a few years ago when she was all about the free market and the need to avoid moral hazards when talking about the GM bailout but then suddenly discovered the need for government intervention when it came to TARP. If it was the government bailing out a bunch of blue collar auto workers, Megan was all about avoiding moral hazards and letting the market work its will. When it came to her friends and various top men on Wall Street going broke, that was a crisis of capitalism that the taxpayers had to fix. She actually wrote that people shouldn’t be angry about bailing out the banks because the people who worked at those banks already had suffered terribly and it was pointless to make them suffer more. That was when I realized it was all about class for her.

            1. I think you’re overly hard on McCardle, but I’m willing to be convinced. Based on what I’ve read from her she’s a lot less equivocating than Peter, and in the right way.

              1. Did a cursory glance at her blog, which I haven’t visited in a while, and here’s the sort of thing that bothers me:

                Article headline: How healthcare.gov Went So Very, Very Wrong

                You can take this report as a searing indictment of the agency and its contracting personnel. I took something rather different away from reading it:

                1. The architects of the law were incredibly na?ve.
                2. Federal contracting rules are crazy.

                Why do I say the architects were na?ve? First of all, because it seems clear that no one — neither legislators nor administrators — had any idea that the exchange they wanted was a very hard technical problem.

                The correct word to use is “incompetent.” Perhaps “overpromoted”. “Stupid” might be appropriate, given the epic scale of the disaster. Everything she describes for paragraphs on is either incompetence (“That was a very tall order, and no one seems to have given it much thought”, “they went ahead and passed a draft law anyway, on the assumption that they could fix any problems later”) or outright corruption (“That meant they had only a handful of contractors bidding, and the worst sort of management structure to manage them”, “Deliverables were not delivered, or were delivered after deadline, and the contractors don’t even seem to have known who to update about all of this until well after the work had started.”).

                1. (thanks, character limit)
                  But, because we are talking University Educated, Correctly Speaking People Who Live And Work In DC, they are naive. And I don’t think it’s partisanship – I think she would write the same article on Iraq invasion if asked (maybe – Bush W is a fine example of someone deemed Not Our People).
                  Now, this is still better than anything else you are likely to get at Bloomberg, or The Atlantic, or Daily Beast.

    3. Just exactly what does Suderman think these dreaded outsiders are going to do?

      Not provide information off the record to journos like him and not invite journos to cool parties.

    4. Once again, you wantonly misread the article.

      1. So Suderman called it a “crisis for politics” because he sees it as a good thing? Perhaps. If so, he has a very unique definition of the word “crisis”. I don’t write the dictionaries. I just read them. And everyone I have ever seen defines “crisis” as something bad and to be avoided.

        1. It’s unfortunate that you see the word “crisis” then immediately stop reading and start freaking out. If you had actually taken a moment to grasp the totality of what he quoted, you might have come to a different conclusion.

          1. *what he you quoted

          2. How is that? Where does Suderman ever say that he thinks the crisis is a good thing? He never does that I can see. Moreover, he never writes a single sentence explaining the positives of this “crisis”. He just calls it a crisis and leaves it at that. Crisis is a pejorative term. I can’t read Suderman’s mind. I can only read the words he wrote. And the words he wrote are negative. I don’t see how you could conclude he sees this as a positive thing based on the article.

            1. Let me give this a go:

              -Politics is in a kind of crisis-

              The state of American politics is in a sort of crisis (crisis: turning point or decisive moment).

              -people on both sides of the aisle have lost faith in its ability to deliver-

              People on both sides of the aisle are losing faith in the ability of politicians to get things done.

              -and are looking for outside alternatives-

              People are turning to political outsiders.

              -there is a sense that politics is in need of a shakeup-

              Incumbents shouldn’t get to comfortable in their offices.

              -the first party to realize this may be able to get people to come around-

              The first party to realize this is gonna win ‘uuuuuuuge.

              1. Those are all just statements of facts. Every one of them is value neutral. I don’t see how you could on the basis of those phrases alone make any conclusions regarding Suderman’s opinion of them.

                If you go back to his concluding paragraph,

                On a second reading it is not as pejorative as I originally thought. It is really hard to tell what he thinks other than he doesn’t like the current outsiders and he thinks people losing faith in the current political system is a “problem”. Just exactly whose problem that is, the politicians or the country’s in general is unclear.

                I take back my original post. It is not so much that he views it as a bad thing, though his language implies that. It is that he doesn’t view it as a really positive thing either or at least doesn’t say as much. And honestly, I can’t see how what he describes is anything but positive. It might not end in days of wine and roses but however it ends, it can’t end worse than it will if things don’t change.

                1. Those are all just statements of facts. Every one of them is value neutral. I don’t see how you could on the basis of those phrases alone make any conclusions regarding Suderman’s opinion of them.

                  Perhaps Suderman is focused on statements of fact and not opinion because this article is fundamentally not meant to convey his opinion on this particular issue.

                2. Those are all just statements of facts. Every one of them is value neutral.

                  Which is how, I think, most people were reading the article. Sometimes it’s possible for these guys to just put out an objective analysis of current events.

                  1. You know, in a kind of funny way, the way you went off the deep end over his use of the word crisis illustrates the overall point. I’m not trying to pick on you (this time) but you need to make better use of the principle of charity.

                    1. The hell are you talking about? Can’t you read? It’s clear that you actually went off the deep end.

          3. Normandy 1944 was a crisis for Germany.

        2. My dictionary gives one definition as “a turning point in the course of anything; decisive or crucial time, stage or event”.

    5. Just what exactly does Suderman think…

      You’re the mind reader here, you tell us.

      1. Perhaps no one ever explained to you what it means to read something. When you read something, the point is to understand the message the author is conveying. The author has thoughts on an issue and writes them down and you read that writing so you can understand his thinking.

        So what you call “mind reading” is what the rest of the world calls “reading”. Suderman has an opinion about what these elections mean. And he wrote this article to tell us what those opinions are. So we read the article to understand what his thoughts are.

        I guess no one ever explained that to you when they taught you how to read. That is of course the amazing thing about the written word. You get to effectively read the mind of the author. So I guess I can see why you would call the process mind reading, but that is not really what is going on.

        1. Your problem doesn’t seem to be with reading, your problem is clearly with understanding what you read.

          1. Okay, then explain why I am wrong. You say Suderman views this positively. I say he doesn’t and point to how he calls it a “crisis of politics”. No a crisis for politicians or the establishment but a crisis for politics in general. So, if that is really positive explain how and show me where in the article he ever says it is a good thing. Moreover, how could a crisis for politics in general ever be a good thing? Name one time the term “political crisis” has been used to describe a positive event. I can’t think of one and therefore see no reason to conclude that Suderman meant the term to be positive here.

            1. First, point to where I said anything about Suderman’s view. Once we clear that up, we can go on.

              1. If you agree with me that Suderman views this as a bad thing, why are you accusing me of reading his mind? You agree with me that the article means what it says. Great. So what is your point? Why are you down here throwing out insults and claiming I can’t understand language when you agree with my interpretation.

                If you don’t agree with it, then as I say above, explain why. I am not saying you are necessarily wrong. I am saying I don’t see it and would like to hear why you think otherwise.

                1. You have failed to point out exactly where I agree with either of you. I’ll give you another shot.

            2. Are you kidding me? The notion of that ephemeral “libertarian moment” is born of political crisis: mistrust for political institutions supposedly breeds a libertarian penchant for devolution. I don’t buy it, I think most voters are soft on the issues but line up behind their representatives in the screw you, gimme mine grab for pork, but that’s the line Reason has been toeing for a few years. Political crisis = libertarian opportunity. What else would it mean, rooting for retrenchment by the political franchises?

              1. Okay Spitoon. Maybe I just don’t speak Libertarian well enough. I understand that a good number of Libertarians think that some kind of existential crisis in the current political system is the only thing that will produce a Libertarian moment. But I don’t think every Libertarian thinks that or that Suderman is one of those who do.

                You are giving an awful lot to infer from the single word crisis. Moreover, if that is what Suderman meant, why doesn’t he explicitly say so? If he means what you say he means, than the entire significance of the crisis is that it will bring on a libertarian moment. Yet, Suderman never tells that sunny story or even mentions it. Is it really the case that he just expects all of his readers to understand the implications of it? Maybe I guess.

                This article much like Shackleford’s article on the Houston Tranny ordinance strongly implies without explicitly stating the author’s opinion on the ultimate issue it is addressing. Here like there, I take the implications at their face value and conclude one thing. You guys come back and say “no he really means the other”. Maybe they do but if they do, both articles are poorly written. How many times does that excuse work before you are forced to suspect that no the author means exactly what the article implies?

                1. Moreover, if that is what Suderman meant, why doesn’t he explicitly say so?

                  Because that’s The Jacket’s schtick. Gillespie’s the one with the unreasonable overtures to optimism.

                  The party that figures this out, or the outsiders who come up with a way to productively overhaul the system, will be the first to dig a path out the hole.

                  Who does this mean to you? The party Suderman just spent the past several paragraphs noting has been shellacked for their failure to innovate, or the party taking over state assemblies but largely isn’t appealing for most voters, or the party of the magazine Suderman works for?

                  1. I can’t be bothered to read this thread, but i never ceased to be amazed at the way people over-react to Peter’s stuff, which i think tends to be among the *least* objectionable of anyone at the magazine.

                    its like other people are reading some code-language i don’t understand.

                    1. During WW2 they were going to use Suderman instead of the Navajos… true story.

                      Only reason they didn’t? The price of the cocktails would have bankrupted the country.

                    2. Stupid phone. U was going to do a gourmet thing above and decided not to. Anyway, I was going to say “dog whistles”.

                    3. Omg I give up. Stupid stupid phone. Free advice to the comentariat: DO NOT GET A WINDOWS PHONE

    6. This is why we need a “none of the above” check box on all ballots. If that one carries the majority, the position is eliminated.

  13. Money pouring into Clinton Foundation. Does anyone really believe Hillary won’t sell America out to the highest bidder.

    1. won’t continue to sell out America to the highest bidder.

  14. “Part of what that means is that Republicans are increasingly in control of important state policy levers.”

    Can you imagine what this would have meant if senators were still represented the states?

  15. Wild guess as to why Democrats lost in local elections: Traditionally you win local elections by promising to tax other people to provide for local funding. Both sides do this in equal measures. But at the national level Democrats have branded themselves as those who will take from the middle class to give to special interests. It’s not that local voters see a “D” next to a candidate and then run the other way, it’s that those candidates with a “D” next to their name don’t have any talking points other than stealing from the voters to give to others.

    1. All the young people I meet here in CA, don’t see it like that at all. The most common summation I hear from them is “The D’s are for the little guy and the R’s are for the 1%ers”.

      Even from both of my 30 something step children who were indoctrinated with that philosophy from a young age by public schooling.

  16. Why focus on this–

    A Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday found that in head-to-head matchups, Republican candidates Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Chris Christie all beat likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by several points, though Clinton still bests Donald Trump by three points.

    and leave this out–

    Carson tops former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 50 – 40 percent in the final face-off, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today.

    or this–

    Sanders doesn’t do much better against Republicans:

    Losing to Carson 51 – 39 percent;

    10 and 12 points are significant. Why leave that out?

    1. Because it doesn’t fit the narrative? 😉

  17. MadCow likes Christie for his compassion to drug addicts



  18. Hillary voters support sharia law – no shit!


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  20. The basic problem is that the parties are increasingly becoming ideological monoliths. Indeed, this process is nearly complete in the Democratic Party, which is why they’re so weak in the South (other than the racial minority communities).

    1. cue up “we shall overcome”

    2. No, they are not becoming ideological monoliths – plural. At the top levels they have already become an ideological monolith – singular.

      That is the real crisis of American politics. Not some people at lower levels taking note and expressing their dissatisfaction by voting for the relative outsiders (ie. what Suderman calls a ‘crisis.’)

  21. “But the Republican party’s dominance at the local level also presents serious trouble for Democrats in the medium term…”

    Why the ‘but?’ Seriously, please explain why anyone here reading this article should have a problem with Democrats losing? It is not like they have demonstrated any fidelity to ‘free markets and free minds’ over the last seven years.

    ” as people on both sides of the aisle have lost faith in its ability to deliver,”

    Oooh, you were so close. The people have lost faith in the ability of both top-down national parties ability to deliver. Which is why Democrats are floundering at every level, and Republican party anointed top-men are likewise floundering in the primaries.

    Meanwhile, in places where there are real grass-roots efforts, the Republicans – at least those who do actually speak directly to the grass-roots – are winning, and winning in ways that both surprise and confuse (that means you Suderman) the chattering class.

    1. Oh, and before anyone rushes in to say I too am misreading Suderman please consider

      “Two three–letter words: “but” and “and.” In grammatical terms, they are called conjunctions. They bridge two clauses of a single sentence together. In communication (and negotiation), these words are subtle manipulators of exclusion or inclusion. Generally speaking, “but” excludes, denies, discounts or in some way rejects the previous clause. For example, the statement “she is a very productive employee but she can be a bit demanding” is subtly different than “she is a very productive employee and she can be a bit demanding.” In the first example, the “but” tends to convey a negation of the first clause of the sentence in favor of the second clause of the sentence. In the next example, the “and” tends to convey an inclusion of the first clause along with the second clause.”

      Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/441222

      Sudeman could have started the first sentence with ‘and’, but instead he chose ‘but.’ Whether he did so consciously or unconsciously makes no difference as to his intent.

      1. There, but for the grace of Strunk & White, go I.

        1. I’m not so sure it is a matter of style holding you back. Maybe it’s the excessive dopaminergic activity in your frontal cortex?

  22. Live Free[er]?

    Dear Reason reader,

    One of the most freedom- damaging beliefs you can have is the belief in the necessity, and the effectiveness, of political involvement – to supposedly “improve” your own life and the lives of others .

    Fact: as an individual you will _never_ enjoy a freer life for yourself until you completely see through/ reject the “drug”, “religion” [ or whatever else you want to call it] known as “political activism” or “involvement”, in its entirety.
    I can help with that.

    Regards, onebornfree.
    Personal Freedom Consulting:

    1. Everyone who ever faced a firing squad or carbon monoxide shower was relieved of reasons for lifting a finger with regard to the direction coercive force was taking. I’m sure they earned your approval be pretending it would go away.

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  24. Yawn… with a tan prez of course the ku-kluxers are swarming from national into local politics–successfully, judging from the videos of police berserkers shooting firing multiple warning shots into the backs of young unarmed and nonviolent thought criminals.
    The disturbing part is that the elections are unverifiable and controlled by parties absolutely committed to taking from others by force. Consider: “polls had put him two points behind Democrat Jack Conway, but he won by nine points.” That is a chasm of eleven percentage points between calculated and reported outcomes. This cognitive dissonance, like the Al Franken recount, is proof that each voter needs a password to verify his or her individual ballot was counted as cast. The Civil War is over with, and Reconstruction unverifiable ballots are as superfluous as death squads in a democratic society. At the very least bookies should be invited to make book on elections as a public service and hedge against wholesale fraud in choosing who will next order us around at gunpoint.

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