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May 27, 2016

Donald Trump has locked up a majority of the delegates. He will be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.

Now what?

On this edition of the Watchdog Podcast, we explore that question with Nathan Benefield, research director of the Commonwealth Foundation in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  There's many lessons to take from Trump's victory, says Benefield on his personal blog, but one of the make take-aways is to notice that, at the national level, voters aren't deciding based on principle, but rather supporting candidates' personalities.

That true even when it comes to the anti-establishment fervor that is running high this year.  If that anti-establishment feeling was based on principle, the should have been other upsets outside presidential primaries this year, but there simply weren't -- for example, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, the son of a former congressman who was recently caught having an affair with a airline lobbyist while he was writing legislation for the airline industry, easily won his primary while Trump won in the same district.

So how should conservatives respond to this phenomenon? Benefield says a renewed focus on state government and local issues -- rather than putting all eggs in a presidential basket -- would be helpful.

Then, we take a look at Pennsylvania's confusing and outdated liquors laws, which will be suspended for four days while the Democrats hold their national convention in Philadelphia this summer.  The laws that residents of Pennsylvania have to live with every day won't apply to the super-delegates who come to town for a big party this summer -- and the hypocrisy of all that might, maybe, just be enough to get state lawmakers to change the system for everyone else, too.

Also, why are officials who covered up problems at the Veterans Administration getting promotions?  And Mississippi's top education official is the nation's highest paid, but is she worth all that?

All that, plus our Nanny State of the Week and our Picks of the Litter, on this edition of the Watchdog Podcast.

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