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This caught my eye…

I’m a bit busy in Philly today.  Will probably be here for another hour.  Eyes are burning but in spite of the pain, this weird New York Times article caught one of them.  Take a look and see if it looks “off” to you too.  It’s about a hair braider in Utah who can’t practice because she doesn’t have a license in cosmetology and doesn’t want to spend $16,000 to get one.  Here’s the money quote:

This isn’t just a random Utah law. There are more than 1,000 licensed professions in the United States, partly a result of more than a century of legal work. As the country industrialized, state governments wanted to protect their citizens and create standards not just for lawyers and doctors but also for basic services. It didn’t take long for professional groups to find that they also stood to benefit from the regulations. Over the years, more and more started to lobby for licensing rules, often grand­fathering in existing professionals while putting up high barriers to new competitors. In fact, businesses contorting regulation to their own benefit is so common that economists have a special name for it: regulatory capture. “Everyone assumes that private interests fight like crazy not to be regulated,” says Charles Wheelan, who teaches public policy at the University of Chicago. “But often, for businesses, regulation is your friend.”

What?  Do you ever get the feeling that our feudal overlords will just not be satisfied until there are no labor or professional protections standing between them and us??

Up until now, we political junkies have always thought of regulatory capture as something really big an powerful financial institutions do to the agencies that regulate them, like making sure someone friendly to you gets to run one or making sure that YOU can pick the agency that regulates you or throwing out a potential offer of employment down the road (kinda sorta).  We really haven’t seen it apply to little people.  And, I’m sorry, I understand that all this woman does is braid hair but all that some manicurists do is paint nails and they have to get a license so that we know they are trained in safety and hygiene standards.  It’s not too much to ask.  If you don’t want to go through all of the training and licensing, don’t advertise to the world.

When I read this this morning, I immediately flashed back to a couple of years ago when the NYTimes was featuring long term unemployed people but only the brassy blonde, grossly overweight women asleep at their monitors or living in a seedy motel rooms were ever pictured.  It’s almost like the Times *wanted* us to be unsympathetic.  This article feels like a sleight of hand, making the generall public feel like they are the potential victims of regulatory capture if they want to start their own businesses.  Oh, sure, it seems like an unfair inconvenience now until someone gets hurt because they stuck their hands in a warm tubful of infectious cuticle softener or have their kitchens ruined by a plumber who didn’t know how to compress a fitting.  There is a reason for regulation.  Maybe we need to evaluate, update and streamline them but small business people shouldn’t be put on the same level as big financials.  It sounds like another death tax meme.

I don’t like it when the media starts making the news, or making news up, instead of just reporting it.  The NYTimes has been guilty of so much misdirection in the past couple of decades and never held accountable. Who are they taking orders from?  It’s getting to be embarrassing.

I only read if for the Krugman.


Poll of the day:

Brooke asked me this last night.  According to her logic, I got it wrong.

55 Responses

  1. I see you’ve bought the hype of “safety, protection” for the licensing rationalization. How about all the mushroom appearing tech training places springing up in malls for this licensing, and the student loans that will pay your tuition, training and supplies. $16,000 is cheap. My neighbor spent $40,000 to stick needles and draw blood in a doctor’s office. I learned how doing cats in an experimental lab in the mid 60’s. (You must pull the skin tight first so you don’t hurt the cat.) Most aren’t any good at this, as Cetero in St. Louis has ruined the veins of volunteers for medical studies. Biokinetics in Springfield MO is the best for vampire needles.

    As for your eyes. Altenative cure: eyebright – been around for about 1000 years. the easy way is to buy Dr. Christopher’s capsules in a health food store, boil about a cup of water and dissolve the powder in the capsule (you have opened the capsule first OK) and make eyebright tea. There are purists who buy the herbs and steep it etc but I like easy fast food eyebright so this is how I make a week’s supply of eyewash.

    Oh and it lessens your allergies too if used regularly. You can google all the health purists to read about it. Pretty simple so your doctor will probably lobby to try to ban it as you won’t need eye operations and prescriptions to get the relief you need.

    The licensing and certification surveillance and is a form of Deterrence. It is to make you feel safe, falsely safe. And to tighten the Foucauldian Grid of power/knowledge/capital to further restrict you. If you can’t tell all by yourself who is clean when they do your nails, then probably a nice infection will allow you to learn how. Like getting water in your gas tank from a cheap gas station. I have boycotted Casey’s for almost 20 years for that.

    Dr. Christopher’s eyebright capsules. The first time it will feel as if you set your eyes on fire. It has a minute part of cayenne in it. Trust me, it gets easier every time you wash your eyes, and yo will be able to roll your eyes in it without screaming in pain, in time. After the first time your eyes will feel like NEW!

  2. I had an exterminator recently tell me that it was illegal for me to have a handyman set a mousetrap on my rental property here in Iowa. When nobody’s paying attention, these associations can get a lot of self-serving, crap local laws pushed through.

    • I understand they are a pain in the ass and I don’t have a problem with revisiting the regulations and getting rid of ones that are stupid or out of date.
      But the article is deliberately confusing the issue of “regulatory capture” and equating it with these niggling irritations that piss people off. Up until now, I have only ever heard of regulatory capture when referring to the banks. This article looks like it is priming the public for a redefinition of regulatory capture so that when it starts popping up in the news, you’re going to think it applies to regular people, where it’s a minor irritant, when regulatory capture really refers to the nasty machinations of the banking industry to make sure they get away with murder and no one can hold them accountable, which can be a catastrophe.
      Do you see where I’m going with this? Regulatory capture is being redefined so that the public will not react to it properly.

      • IMO your objections aren’t well thought out. Clearly the NYT is a mouthpiece for the people who want to destroy the US as it once was, and so is the NPR (Nice Polite Republicans) author who penned the piece.

        “The Institute for Justice, a libertarian legal group, has filed lawsuits in several states arguing that certain licensing rules are “arbitrarily interfering with citizens’ ability to earn an honest living.” The group, which represents Jestina Clayton in Utah, has filed cases on behalf of African-style hair braiders in several other states. Dean Baker, the well-known liberal economist, argues that if we have free trade for goods, we should also have it for high-end services.”

        What the propagandists are doing here is to take an extreme example to discredit all licensing. And Utah’s stupid regulations are quite helpful.

        “Utah Board of Cosmetology Licensing Requirements
        Cosmetology: 2000 hours
        Esthetics: 600 hours
        Electrology: 600 hours
        Nail Technology: 300 hours”

        The Libertarians are the cat’s paw of the top 1%, but as a general rule the foot-soldiers are too dumb to know it. For the most part they’re fanatics who hold to their loopy doctrines with religious fervor.

        By the way, the True Believers want to demolish ALL regulations, even medical licensure.


        Yes, if I wanted to hang out my shingle as a heart doctor or a brain surgeon, it’s the job of my potential customers to find out about my competence. NOT the job of the damned government.

        • Are you sure we’re disagreeing with each other? Because I think we are seeing this the same way.
          I have a particular problem with labeling it regulatory capture because up til now, that term has been applied to the finance industry. It is inappropriate to use it in this context because it is confusing.
          I agree with you that there is an effort to dismantle regulation and professional licensing and this is not a good thing. It just sounds good on the surface. Yes, you could hang your shingle out there. But let’s say that someone is in search of a good midwife and they get someone who thinks they have a talent for delivering babies. Without proper training and licensing, a couple high profile mistakes are going to ruin the reputation of midwives all over the country. In fact, this has already happened in some states, forcing lay midwives to go underground. In don’t think this is a good thing. I’d much prefer that we train them rigorously, test them thoroughly and license them professionally. Otherwise, how will we be able to tell the good ones from the bad amateurs?
          For the readers who are sympathizing with the hair braider, I don’t think they’re thinking this one through.
          And, yes, chemists should have professionalized themselves. Many of us are kicking ourselves now for not doing it. In Europe, chemists are covered by unions. I’m not sure that is the right direction to go for scientists but professional certification and fee standards and stuff like that? Hell, yes. We really missed the boat on that one. Some of us have had more education and research than physicians. To treat us like day laborers is appalling. (not that there’s anything wrong with day laborers but in general, they haven’t geeked out in the lab for decades)

          • I believe we disagree on the strategy of displaying the pernicious effects of this new attack on the US social structure.

            I looked up some definitions of “regulatiory capture” and found this one.

            “Investopedia explains ‘Regulatory Capture ‘
            Public interest agencies that come to be controlled by the industry they were charged with regulating are known as captured agencies. Regulatory capture is an example of gamekeeper turns poacher; in other words, the interests the agency set out to protect are ignored in favor of the regulated industry’s interests.”

            Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/regulatory-capture.asp#ixzz1xj2saPTa

            You’re more comfortable with restricting the term to “large scale” types, but the “small scale” sorts of ‘capture’ certainly exist too. Making the main focus a complaint about a definition isn’t what I see as an effective way of combatting the latest Libertarian crapola.

          • What complicates the issue is that the tools needed in this particular instance are rather inexpensive. In most fields, one either has to spend a lot of money getting a college education, or if their field is more vocation oriented, they spend a bit of money on getting the proper equipment.

            But in this instance, I assume all of the proper grooming tools can be purchased for probably two grand or less? Most professions, vocations, or fields of expertise usually require ten thousand dollars or more on business infrastructure, or a super expensive college degree in lieu of spending a ton of money on gear of some type.

            But the grooming business being profiled here doesn’t really fall into any category, and that can attract a lot of people, qualified and less qualified.

      • Ftm, hasn’t ‘entitlements’ been being redefined for a while now, as something bad?

  3. I forget: are Obots robots or zombies?

  4. Ooooo! I see that Charles Pierce has another installment of Moral Hazard, David Brooks’ ball licking wunder dog. I must save this tasty morsel for when I get home tonight where I can savor it over my two buck Chuck.

  5. I voted for robots because robots really exist and are therefor potentially more scary. Drones are a kind of robot.

  6. Facebook valued itself at over 100 billion dollars, yet doesn’t have a phone number for the public to call with a question or two. Neither does Google. When does the media ask why that is an ethical business model to follow?

  7. I agree with the woman. I don’t think you should have to go in to debt to set up a business braiding hair. Everything you need to know about safety standards you can learn in a day long class costing a couple hundred dollars. But that is not happening. Because some one figured out it was profitable to set up a year long or whatever it is now where they teach you lots of stuff you are going to go lean all over again on the job anyway. It’s a racket. Much of higher education has become a racket.
    I could list a dozen jobs you should not have to go to college to do, jobs that should be learned on the job as they used to be. I am not saying people should not learn safety and get licensed. They should, but that in itself doesn’t seem to stop the public from getting fungus infections etc…
    I just don’t think it should cost so damn much or take so long.
    After that, if you aren’t any good at what you do (oh God, I am about to sound like a republican), the marketplace will spit you out.

    • Is she really just braiding hair? Is she brushing and combing it? Is she clipping a little off the bangs?

      I just wonder because these things involve tools and if those tools aren’t handled correctly then things can get messy pretty fast.

      Maybe those standards COULD be taught in a day — I don’t do it so I don’t know.

      But, right now, the standards and techniques for a bunch of “beauty” related tasks are taught together. And the people who take those classes come out with an actual profession. They can work in a big salon or set up a shop in a corner of their own house.

      It is far from the worst investments I can imagine for both the money and the time.

    • I think I did write that these regulations could stand to be streamlined but probably not for every profession. It doesn’t mean you need to go to college for cosmetology but should you be required to attend classes of some sort or pass a test to get a license? Absolutely yes.
      No question about it.
      There’s a very good reason for this: there need to be standards of quality and safety. Otherwise, you could be seen as just an amateur and if professions start to see their standards deteriorating because anyone can do it, then customers will become dissatisfied and won’t know who they can trust. You might think the market will just spit people out but I think it makes it harder for the people who actually do good jobs. It will make it easier to short these people on fees and payment, especially if there are fewer people paying into a professional organization that is supposed to advocate for them.
      We have seen something like this happen with the American Chemical Society. That’s a professional organization that most chemists join after they graduate. But we don’t have licensing or fee structures or anything like that. And now that corporations are laying us off in large numbers, we are very, very vulnerable to contract research organizations (CRO’s) that treat us as little different than low level ununionized factory workers. It’s a bad situation. The ACS seems to have developed a life of its own, not as a professional advocacy group but as a publisher of scientific journals and a seller of gap insurance policies. It’s a bad thing.
      Yep, it’s unfortunate that this woman only wants to braid hair and doesn’t want to get a license. But this is another form of solidarity and the other hair stylists in her state are right to want to protect their profession and make sure that everyone is properly trained and adheres to professional safety and business standards.

    • Forgot to add that this has nothing to do with regulatory capture which means something completely different.

  8. Thanks in part to the NYT in 2000 the election was close enough that the republicans were able to steal it.

    In 2003 “news” articles in the NYT made it seem we had no choice but to invade Iraq.

    In 2004 Maureen Dowd help sink the Kerry campaign by making up phoney NASCAR quotes.

    In 2008 the NYT joined in with the CDS to sabotage the Clinton primary campaign.

    I don’t know of any thinking American that subscribes or reads the NYT.

    Bob Somerby of Dailyhowler fame has chronicled the NYT’s journalistic malfeasance read his blog archives if you can.

    • I would boycott the NyTimes if I could, but since I never bought it to begin with, I can’t suddenly start “not buying it” now. The only copies I read are the copies I can find in peoples’ recycling bins.

      So I suggest people boycott the NyTimes into roach motel liquidation anyway, even though that means there will be no more NyTimes in peoples’ recycling bins for me to find. It is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

      Now . . . if the NyTimes goes extinct as it deserves, what happens to all the legitimate reporters doing legitimate reporting there? If there is no already-established newspaper for them to jump to, what do they do? I really wish the Rolling Stone Magazine would experiment with a newspaper which they could call The Rolling Stone Times. It would be straight news. People like Matt Taibbi could get it going with good strong fact-and-truth standards of journalism. If enough people bought it, it could stay in bussiness long and strong enough to provide a living to legitimate reporters who would then no longer have to depend on propaganda outlets like the NyTimes and the WaPoo for work.

      • Since most high school newspaper clubs do a better job of journalism than the major metro papers, those reporters would be a better fit in a job were the question,”Do you want fries with that?” is asked on a regular basis.

  9. Have you guys seen this article on HuffPost about the Obama Trade Doc that have just leaked?

    Here is a link to the full article:


    The Obama administration has included a way for foreign countries operating in the US to avoid abiding by US regulations:

    “…foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings.”

    This quote sums it up:

    “Bush was better than Obama on this,” said Judit Rius, U.S. manager of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign, referring to the medication rules. “It’s pathetic, but it is what it is. The world’s upside-down.”

    It is beyond pathetic! It boggles my mind that the “powers that be” within the Democratic Party think another term with Obama is a good idea.

    • When it comes to regulatory stuff, particularly wrt pharmaceuticals, I don’t believe in cutting corners or allowing international companies to do it either. No, non, nyet. There’s a lot to be said about updating the FDA and reviewing regulation that needs to be updated and streamlined but once it’s in place, everyone needs to abide by it.
      HOWEVER, I think Americans need to realize that as members of an international community, we are not special. We can be sanctioned.
      Yes, Obama is a failure. The last thing we need is for foreign companies to be able to get away with shit that no American could get away with. OTOH, if the regulations don’t get them, the class action lawyers will.

    • With the exception of China I would think that most of our trading partners have tougher regulations in place. Most of the EU governments haven’t been having a fire sale on morals like our very own Senators and Representatives.

    • The “powers that be” within the Democratic Party support Free Trade, and this is just more Free Trade. Either Fair Trade Patriots can reconquer the DemParty and purge out all the Free Trade Traitors, or they can quit the DemParty and start a Fair Trade Patriot party of their own in hopes of exterminating the Free Trade Traitor Democratic Party, or they can just submit to the will of the Free Trade Traitors. Of course mere DemParty voters don’t have that choice as long as DemParty operatives refuse to offer that choice to begin with.
      The only choice which Disgruntled DemVoters have is to exterminate the Free Trade Traitor Democratic Party by withholding their votes from it until it can be put to death and exterminated, as it deserves.

    • After the NAFTA gaff with Canada are you surprised? Is anybody now that the only reason to re-elect Obama is his SCOTUS nominees?

      Think about this, Obie and Michelle have gotten used to the good life do you really think they are going to settle for a life of laps on the rubber chicken circuit speaking to tree huggers for peanuts?

      Back stab, hang out to dry, throw under the bus, whatever euphemism you use to describe Obama’s treatment of those who can no longer help him advance has been his MO. What would nominating the right kind of judge be worth to Wall Street?

      • One more reason to vote for Romney if the election is close. But vote for Democrats downticket as a political experiment. See what those Democrats do with a President Romney. We already know what they’ll do with a Term Two Obama. They will co-conspire with McConnell and Boehner to destroy the last shreds of New Deal decency. I believe Baucus just recently said that the 2 Party Conspirators against America will try passing as much of the Grand Catfood Bargain as they can beTWEEN the election and the uptaking of new terms by the newly elected officeholders.

  10. You make an excellent point about moving the goalposts on “regulatory capture.” Shifting the meanings of words is a super-insidious political weapon, and the money side is really good at jumping right on it these days.

    In the specific hair-braiding case, I think the problem we all have is the $16,000 entrance fee. That’s totally unnecessary to learn the kind of safety issues you’d have in that business. $500 for a two week class, perhaps. So, yeah, NYT conflating the BS of modern guild protectionism charging idiotic entrance fees, real regulatory capture where BigBiz owns their own regulators, and feisty micro-entrepreneurs trying to make a living.

    • In our State we have the training tax only employers pay, which should be used to provide this training. I get ticked off that I pay the payroll tax and yet people have to go out and pay big dollars to be trained. In over 22 years I have only one had one employee use this training and it was for less than 40 hours of training. ARGHHH!

  11. Holy hemiola! The deck looks brand new. The second coat of stain was definitely the trick. Amazing.

    • Wow! That is awesome!!! Take pictures. Post them. Please!

      • So, the kid threw another medal in my lap tonight. She came in second in the national German exam out of 23,000 students. That gives her a silver medal behind the first place winner and a gold award overall for scoring >90%, not bad for a kid who has been studying for less than a year. .
        She’s very casual about all of it.

        • Yeah, they can make it look easy.
          this generation has real brilliance.
          Thank dog, they are the future and it has to improve or else!

          Congrats to the brookster.

          • In the future, Brooke will promise free chocolate for every american and all of the Doctor Who episodes to be downloadable on demand. Ditto for Sherlock Holmes. No one will be required to clean their rooms and public transportation will be provided by all of the unemployed mothers who will become a new group of public servants. Well, we have nothing better to do, right? {{rolling eyes}}
            Hopes, changeyness! Let’s kill hitler!

          • This sounds more like a severely gifted person not realizing how difficult learning things can be for the normal-brained majority.

  12. Oh, this is a sweet deal for someone.

    Someone not us.

    • Several things struck me as I read this. First, who was in charge of working out this deal? Second, sure international pharmas could appeal to an international tribunal to overturn an FDA ruling. The class action jackals are waiting in the other side. Third, if the government had its own biotechs and scientists working for them, they wouldn’t have to worry about this.
      I don’t like it, Katiebird. But this is Obama’s administration and he must have been on lard with it or it wouldn’t have gotten this far.

      • But, how did it get this far without more talk? And buried at the bottom of the Huffington Post?

        It’s a poorly written article. Maybe that’s why it didn’t get more attention?

        • Someone else mentioned it earlier in this thread. As to it not getting more attention, the Obama campaign is in full panic mode. The Democrats are starting to beg donors to give them money or it’s curtains in the fall. They’re probably hoping no one notices. Besides, there’s not a lot of detail. And if you are a party loyalist voter, it’s probably left you with mixed emotions. You can’t condone it but if you condemn it, you just end up weakening Obama even more.
          They’re fucked either way.
          Unless, they start considering alternatives…

          • And the answer is so simple. Switch out the players…..

          • Yes, but the activists want howard dean and the voters want Hillary. This is a vast divide that rivals the one between the parties.
            Anyway, Yves Smith is on this trade story and she sounds a bit shell shocked, as in, “can we impeach Obama? No, seriously, can we impeach his ass? Because this is going to get really ugly, really fast if it goes through.”
            I think she has a point, but oddly enough, I don’t think Congress is in the mood for impeachment on this issue. It’s not sexy and they might actually kids like it.
            There, there Katiebird, we did what we could in the past 4 years. We kept going and warning and tried to head it off. Don’t get too depressed. Maybe we can emigrate to New Zealand before the indentured service programs, liveried uniforms and famines. And ther are always a bunch of teensy islands in the pacific that might take us. I hear that they have wifi these days. Did you know we’ve had readers from Niue? I didn’t even know that was a country but surprise, surprise, it is. It’s the size of a mustard seed in the ocean but by golly, it’s there and maybe we can go there and stay.

          • The traditional non-politicalness of the Secretary of State office makes me think that Hillary really isn’t in it this year — I’d be thrilled if she would resign!!!

            I haven’t heard anyone suggest Howard Dean as a possibility.

            My latest idea is ANYONE is better than Obama. But, that’s probably optimistic.

            It’s just that the revelations that we’re getting this month are so horrible. I have a hard time believing that we could do any worse. (I know, it sounds crazy to even type it)

            This summer is as important as the summer of PUMA. It’s not to late. It’s not too late. It’s not too late.

          • I hate to say it but I’m coming to the conclusion that only a global economic catastrophe will “fix” things. That is, we need to have a financial meltdown so severe that the financial masters of the universe are afraid for their lives and even their mercenarty armies turn on them.
            I’m finding it really puzzling that billions of people are enthralled by a tiny number of exceedingly rich bastards. The only explanation I can come to is that these demigods effectively hold the world’s economies hostage and are threatening Armageddon if they don’t get what they want. So, maybe we need to do surgery on ourselves and yank out the rotting, gangrenous organ to save ourselves. It will be painful. Many people will suffer but the financial gurus will be powerless. They can’t jerk us around if they can’t hold catastrophe over our heads anymore.
            I’m not kidding. That is what it took in the great depression to reset the world economy and level the playing field. We need to do it again. Let it happen already.

          • Yes, it’s bad enough for Hillary to resign. But then, who would Obama appoint to take her place? I’m convinced that the reason gas prices haven’t gone through the roof is because she has deescalated any possible conflict with Iran and nuked the speculators. Now, there’s the humanitarian disaster in Syria. I don’t know who you follow on twitter but I get a lot of state department tweets and Hillary is quite possibly the busiest person in the Obama administration. If I had to keep up her pace, I’d be dead. Unfortunately, I think she absolutely needs to stay where she is until the end of Obama’s term. Unless something better comes up.
            I’m smelling chaos in the party apparatus. If they win this year, it will be a squeaker. Can they afford to keep this strategy? Because I don’t think it’s going to work. I could be wrong but when people are struggling and mad, they tend to exercise power in the only way they can, by voting the bums out. It doesn’t help that this year, they deserve it.

          • I’m glad-ish that she’s still there. It’s just that she can’t possible give any thought to other possibilities while she’s there.

          • Parallel Foreclosure issue caused over a million homeowners to lose their homes. Parallel Foreclosure is a constitutional violation, yet the Obama administration has embraced it and called it legal.

            I wrote about it here… http://www.parallelforeclosure.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-barack-obama-has-violated.html

          • The point being that the parallel foreclosure issue is an impeachable issue.

          • “An” answer might be to limit one’s contributions to those legacy Democratic officeholders who were in office during the Free Trade Agreements passage, and who voted against some of them or all of them. Under that screening device, people like Dingell and Kaptur might deserve donations. I beLIEVE they opposed the various FTAs, though I don’t KNOW that for sure for a fact.

          • To Alessandro Machi actually,

            Yes, but whom would one get to begin such impeachment proceedings? Pelosi took impeachment “off the table” for CheneyBush’s multiple crimes and violations . . . preCISEly in ORder to KEEP it OFF the table for things like this. Scum like Pelosi and filth like Boehner are exactly in step with eachother on protecting upper class looter privilege and that means protecting the mechanisms by which the upper class loots such as this mechanism.

            A “peoples impeachment campaign” on this issue would at least radicalize some more people about the Class Enemy Occupation nature of the Officeholder Elite. It might also give a lonely few officeholders like Kaptur a chance to join it if they dared.

          • rureddy, I agree with your assessment. I could see Issa doing an investigation, but it would probably have to wait until after the fall election to avoid the appearance of doing it to influence this fall election. Kaptur would be an excellent choice, but does she go against her own party?

            The problem also is for every home owner who has been unconstitutionally affected by parallel foreclosure activities by the banks, there are a few professions that are profiting from parallel foreclosure and their minions would be out in force saying parallel foreclosure is no big thing.

  13. In many ways, I think of Hillary as our ‘foreign president’ and Obama as our ‘domestic one’. Which makes it all the more perplexing why Obama can’t seem to get a handle on the domestic issues. His inexperience shows.

    I expect some version of campaign rhetoric will emerge that acknowledges Obama has not meet expectations in the first term, but has gained ‘some valuable knowledge’ that will payoff in a second term. I’m not buying that line of thought. The Obama administration has not earned a second term in my opinion. I wish they would switch players, but I really don’t see the powers-that-be acknowledging their folly in pushing Obama to the top spot 4 years ago. If anything, they might try to swap Biden and Hillary, but I don’t believe she would agree to that at all.

    • The concept of “experience” is irrelevant at this point in the game. I would use “corruption” and “willful tool” instead. Nothing that went wrong was a mistake. It was all planned.

      • I fully agree. This is all completely deliberate and should make us think about what Obama Unbound will attempt in a second term. Destroying Social Security and Medicare and privatising all the money in them are probably his highest priority.

        It is worth electing Romney in order to prevent Obama getting re-elected. If the election seem close in Michigan I will vote for Romney to try and save my future from Obama’s Simpson-Bowles Catfood Conspiracy. (I will also vote Democratic downticket to give the Dems a chance to show what they support. It would be their chance to lock Romney’s grid. Lock it down good. Lock it up tight.) If the election seems like a landslide for either one, I will vote for one of the socialists as a show of my dreamy dreams.

  14. Didn’t mean to disappear today. I woke up with a fierce headache and had a fairly unpleasant day from then on. The headaches gone so I hope to be functional tomorrow.

  15. Riverdaughter,

    Regarding your comment upthread that we may require a Big Reset to recover from the current downtrend in our survival prospects . . . John Robb of Global Guerillas and now Resilient Communities as well has a gloomier view of what The Big Reset is going to be about. In my words (not his), it will be about the carefully engineered Yeltsinization and then Haitianization of our societies and personal futures. He offers some advice about how to think about this and how some of us may dodge our way around it. He calls this entry: How To Avoid The Fate of the Soon to be Extinct Middle Class. It is worth a read even if not full agreement.http://www.resilientcommunities.com/the-middle-class-is-vanishing-will-you-join-them/
    I suspect people like John Robb, Dmitri Orlov, John Michael Greer,
    Ran Prieur, Kurt Saxon, Sharon Astyk, The Contrary Goddess, and other such . . . have more genuine hope and knowledge to offer than any combination of officeseekers and/or political figures. Though of course I will continue to lift a finger (my “political citizenship tithe”) towards mainstream-system political effort.

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