Occupational Licensing

Job Training Ideas in Obama's Budget: Fewer Occupational Licenses but More Credentials. Huh?

Proposals call for $15 million to eliminate unneeded state occupational licenses, but $500 million to develop new credentials and training program.


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Buried deep within (pdf) the "key issue fact sheets" of President Barack Obama's proposed budget is a tiny little possible gem not given any attention, because it is extremely small potatoes in federal budget terms (potatoes visible only through an electron microscope). Reason Magazine columnist Veronique de Rugy unearthed the item and made note of it over at National Review. The president has his eye on unnecessary occupational licensing:

Reducing Unnecessary Occupational Licensing Requirements. The Budget seeks to reduce occupational licensing barriers that keep people from doing the jobs they have the skills to do by putting in place unnecessary training and high fees. The Budget proposes a $15 million increase for grants to States and partnerships of States for the purpose of identifying, exploring, and addressing areas where occupational licensing requirements create an unnecessary barrier to labor market entry or labor mobility and where interstate portability of licenses can support economic growth and improve economic opportunity, particularly for dislocated workers, transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses.

From de Rugy's perspective, she sees this as a potential good, pointing out the charts from the Institute for Justice (IJ) that illustrate the growth and burdens of occupational licensing. She concludes, "Whether the president's $15 million will move us closer to states getting rid of these laws, I don't know. Certainly, it's up to states to repeal their own licensing laws, which will require people taking on special interests. But I do welcome the attention it will draw to the issue."

Looking at the summary, I feel skepticism. It's not as though the people who arranged to put such licensing requirements into place didn't know they were unnecessary. If they did, it wouldn't be such a constant legal battle for IJ to beat down unneeded licensing requirements for everything from building caskets to braiding hair. Licensing processes help feed money to government via fees and to training providers who have captured the process to profit off the licensing mandates (and also protect existing businesses from new competition). These barriers didn't just come about by accident. As such, the grants feel like more like bribes to try to convince some states to take federal dollars in exchange for backing off here and there. And the list of priority beneficiaries at the end makes me worry about a licensing system where favored classes are exempted from licensing, while potential competitors who aren't "dislocated workers" or connected to the military are still required to pay with money and time to get permission from the government to work.

Feeding my cynicism is another proposal one page before the occupational license incentives:

Spreading the Development and Adoption of Industry-Validated Credentials. The Budget provides $500 million for Industry Credentialing and Career Pathways Grants, including $300 million specifically targeted at information technology jobs. These grants would be competitively awarded to create employer-validated credentials where they do not yet exist, drive additional employer uptake of credentials that do exist, and develop curricula and assessments that lead to the credential. Grants would be awarded to employer collaboratives in partnership with the workforce system, post-secondary institutions such as community colleges, and other innovative education and training providers.

So $15 million would go to eliminating unnecessary occupational licenses, but $500 million would go to creating new credential processes where credentials do not currently yet exist. And then grants would go to instructional facilities to teach students the training necessary to receive these new credentials.

Employer-supported credentials are not inherently bad things, particularly in the complicated world of information technology, but all sorts of certifications exist in that field, have for a long time, and are constantly being updated as innovations in technology require. It's very easy to imagine the incentives here to manipulate this program to favor grants for certain types of training over others wanted by competing tech firms or the inability of the government or college to accurately predict what credentials are really needed down the line. Furthermore, obviously with $500 million being tossed out, positive outcomes will be demanded. Will this lead, in fact, to the creation of new occupational licensing programs to make sure people who want to work in these fields get the necessary credentials promoted by the government?

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  1. Is all this analysis worth the trouble? Surely Congress isn’t passing a single one of these bullshit items.

    1. When was the last time Congress passed a budget?

      1. Excellent riposte, though I suspect that this Congress will pass budgets. Not sure they’ll all get signed, but there’s really no reason to keep playing this game now.

        1. I think you have too much faith in the republicans. They now have a precedent that they needn’t pass a budget.

          An object at rest tends to stay at rest.

          1. Perhaps. I don’t have any faith in the Republicans, in any event. However, I think it’s in their best interests to antagonize the president and to demonstrate that they heard all of those voters who kicked out so many Democrats.

            1. but memories are short and math is hard.

              1. Look, we’re much freer now than we were.

            2. Exactly, I don’t have any faith in the GOP and one big reason is the thankfully now dead Arlen Specter. I wonder if he is now an actual specter…

              There is no difference between the two major parties and I can prove it: Arlen Specter.

              Since the only good politician is a dead politician, Arlen Specter became a good politician in October of 2012.

              1. You Know Which Other Politician from area filled with Germans who was disliked by both parties and is now dead?

          2. They now have a precedent that they needn’t pass a budget.

            And precedents are rarely halted by party lines. That’s why both parties are what they are, we’ve been lowering the bar for a long time.

    2. “Is all this analysis worth the trouble?”


  2. The lack of a budget is an overlooked disaster as it makes it easier for Congress to be dismissed/rendered a rubber stamp and allow POTUS to rule as a dictator. The French Monarchs were able to engage in absolutism because they didn’t need the Estates-General for taxes. At least until 1789 that is. In Britain they did which is why they became a constitutional monarchy. And Bismarck was able to rule without a budget in order to consolidate his rule.

      1. why do countries still operate in a parliamentary system vs. an american style federal system?

        1. That’s an interesting question that I don’t know really has an easy answer. The libertarian in me suspects that it’s because a parliamentary system has fewer checks on government power, but maybe the reality isn’t that simple.

          1. even when we nation build we use it. it drives me CRAZY.

            1. The new governments are being set up by career government bureaucrats. Do you think they’re going to pick the most limiting government type (constitutional republic/federal system) that they know of?

              I mean they didn’t even do that when setting up Japan after WWII and that was 70 years ago.

              1. Well they did with West Germany…

            2. I really don’t get it and have asked this question many times over the years. Some places have it because of some prior tradition or because they were once part of the British Empire. But not every country.

              I have wondered whether it’s a conscious effort when it involves countries the U.S. has occupied not to appear to be imposing our system on them in some imperialistic manner. Which is a little odd, because we’re forcing them to adopt a new system, anyway.

              1. Latin America has largely adopted the American model.

                1. Winston|2.3.15 @ 6:03PM|#
                  “Latin America has largely adopted the American model.”

                  Including ignoring the Constitution?

                  1. Including ignoring the Constitution?

                    Judging by all the coups and caudillos, yes?

              2. Well you would think that if they thought the American system was a good one, they’d copy the constitution as well. Note that they don’t do that, and they also never give other countries things like the 2nd Amendment. I seriously doubt that’s just by accident.

                1. Nobody wants limited government. It was a fucking miracle that we got it, at least on paper and early on, at all.

                  That said, we’re much freer now than ever before. Can’t you feel the freedom flowing through you?

                  1. i thought that was cholesterol…

                    1. Nope, pure, unadulterated liberty, unhindered by the massive, unlimited government watching, regulating, and taxing your every move.

                2. The US Constitution was widely copied, in part or nearly whole, by many countries. Even the country’s name was copied by the United States of Mexico.

              3. A lot of people think parliamentary systems are superior because it avoids the possibility of a divided government.
                The whole point is to let the majority get their way. Not to let minority factions block legislation and force compromise.

                Democrats especially like it because they always assume that “The People” will vote for more socialism.

      2. “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

        1. …how to disband parliamant.

          1. “parliament”

  3. Will this lead, in fact, to the creation of new occupational licensing programs to make sure people who want to work in these fields get the necessary credentials promoted by the government?

    I’d bet on it.

    1. You’re one the good guys, Epi. I’ll bet you wouldn’t dream of carrying around a bootable Linux CD or memory stick that would allow you to change a machine’s admin password. Not without an occupational license, anyway.

      1. I don’t do anything without an occupational license.

        1. This is true. I was a reference when Episiarch got his commenting license. Just in time, too, as he was audited mere weeks later.

          1. You’re a terrible reference. They almost refused my commenting license because of you. Next time, please don’t tell them about my written Tourette Syndrome, ok?

            1. I got confused–I thought you wanted to go to law school.

              1. That was just you projecting! That’s the last time I use you for a reference for anything other than craigslist sex personals!

  4. So, one no longer has to be licensed to cut hair- but one must have a certificate to cut hair?

    1. Soon followed by a certificate to have your hair cut.

      1. so baldies like me will have to pay a tax if we choose not to be certified?

        1. Yes. The mandate is needed to subsidize long-haired people.

        2. But you could one day have hair up there, at which point you would need certification, so it’s all a wash, really.

    2. Will a mohel need a certificate to perform a circumcision? Or will he have to pay a penaltax?

      1. He’ll need to prove that he can perform in the back of a moving car.

      2. He just needs to be certified that his mouth is herpes free.

      3. it depends on of he’s immunized forcibly or not.

  5. Testing could wipe out 90% of H1B visas.

    Can’t find a citizen that fulfills your requirements? Prove it. Show that your applicant satisfies the test, and that there are no available citizens who do.

    1. That wouldn’t be hard in my field.

  6. Dear Obama : Wanna get rid of bullshit licensing requirements? Start appointing some judges who come down on the right side of Lochner. That doesn’t require any extra money.

  7. Instead of the carrot, the feds should be grabbing the stick. Withhold precious, precious federal funds from states who insist on onerous, protectionist licensing schemes.

    That is, if these fucks were serious about anything but their own interests.

    1. Literally, certificate is just a different spelling of investment.

      Why do you hate children?

  8. The Budget proposes a $15 million increase for grants to States and partnerships of States for the purpose of identifying, exploring, and addressing areas where occupational licensing requirements create an unnecessary barrier to labor market entry or labor mobility and where interstate portability of licenses can support economic growth and improve economic opportunity, particularly for dislocated workers, transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses.

    Yeah, that has “increased economic efficiency” written all over it.

    1. and does anyone doubt that state lawmakers whose campaign funds are seeded by lobbyists representing no small number of professions that require licenses will vigorously put that money to good use?


  9. Since Scott mentioned caskets…

    I’m amazed people still pay for fancy caskets and expensive funerals. Why does a corpse need to eternally rest inside an enclosed sleep number bed?

    When I die, cremate my ass or roll me into a dumpster, whatever method of disposal is the cheapest. Or, send my corpse to medical school so that I can be cremated for free. Then my kids and friends (friend?) use the money they save and throw a party in my name, or hell, go to the bar for an evening and have some fun.

    1. Viking longboat, with dirges and thrall women, um, thralling the mourners.

      1. There has to be a business idea here somewhere…

    2. I’d like to have my skeleton preserved as a Halloween decoration. I would also accept being mummified and placed in a respectably sized pyramid.

      The Body Worlds museum accepts donors:


      1. I’d like to have my skeleton preserved as a Halloween decoration.

        See, so many options that are better than being buried.

        1. I want to be blown up. Only people with front row seats are eligible to be in the will.

          1. Dress me up like a hooker and place my body in a senator’s bed.

    3. Turn me into chum and throw me into Derek Jeter’s face.

  10. The Budget proposes a $15 million increase for grants to States and partnerships of States for the purpose of identifying, exploring, and addressing areas where occupational licensing requirements create an unnecessary barrier to labor market entry or labor mobility and where interstate portability of licenses can support economic growth and improve economic opportunity, particularly for dislocated workers, transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses.

    So we’ve got to forfeit another $15 million before they’ll even bother to find one or two occupations to stop strangling. But I have a solution that solves this problem and it’s free. End all occupational licensing.

    1. Stop deinfantalizing me.

  11. “Industry validated credentials” sounds better than rank protectionism.

    1. as long as they aren’t mandatory, it’s simple branding.

    2. Industry credentials aren’t bad. That’s a self regulating industry feature. It’s when the state steps in when you that’s just a euphemism.

  12. “What this country needs is a broad based federalized means of erecting barriers to entry.”

  13. whatever method of disposal is the cheapest.

    A cardboard tube concrete form, with plywood end caps.

    Worms gotta eat.

  14. Do you think Obama sometimes feels like a plastic bag drifting through the wind?

  15. “We approve.”

    /Medieval Guilds

    1. were guilds mandatory? i always thought of them as a type of bonding or private brand.

      1. Fuck if I know. I was being sarcasmic.

      2. My understanding is that they were. A guild could forbid non-members from producing. That is, if they could get the law on their side.

  16. Spot the Not: Robert Reich

    1. What someone is paid has little or no relationship to what their work is worth to society.

    2. Every day is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

    3. You can’t create a political movement out of pabulum.

    1. Please say 2.

    2. I’ll go with 1.

      I’m being counter-intuitive. Because it *sounds* like him.

    3. 1

      1. 1 makes sense to Reich given where he works.

    4. 1, by process of elimination.

      No leftist would ever say something as positive as 2, and the left spews pabulum all day long which eliminates 3.

  17. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..046088.php

    S.F. public defender detained outside court; office outraged

    By Vivian Ho
    Updated 9:25 am, Friday, January 30, 2015


    A San Francisco deputy public defender was handcuffed and arrested at the Hall of Justice after she objected to city police officers questioning her client outside a courtroom, an incident that her office called outrageous and police officials defended as appropriate.

    The Tuesday afternoon arrest of attorney Jami Tillotson as she denied police officers’ attempts to take photos of her client without explanation raised questions about police intimidation and harassment, Public Defender Jeff Adachi said at a Wednesday news conference.”


    1. The revolution is going to be led by the po-lice. Do we really want that?

    2. “police officials defended as appropriate”

      Oooh, cops defended their behavior as appropriate. I am SO surprised.

  18. Go on, my American Beauty. My lefty boner explodes upon seeing a closet gay/nazi.

    1. that’s a very strange comment sitting out here all on it’s own…

      1. It stands alone, erect.

  19. Well, once Obo gets some new licensed gas pumpers or coffee-shop barristas, he can claim ‘jobs created!’.
    And the turds of the world will spread the word to every web-site on the innertoobze.

  20. The Budget proposes a $15 million increase for grants to States and partnerships of States for the purpose of identifying, exploring, and addressing areas where occupational licensing requirements create an unnecessary barrier

    How about this: stop spending money defending this shit in court? No federal grants necessary.

  21. You can’t create a political movement out of pabulum.

    This wold be a repudiation of everything Reich stands for.

    1. You think THAT would prevent him from saying it?

  22. The dumbest article I’ve read in a long time.

    Basically, leftists decide to confront the ‘myth’ that people are becoming less poor. They do this by conceding that people are becoming less poor, but saying it doesn’t matter because of income inequality.

    And then there’s climate change:

    Then, there’s climate change. No one with a level head disputes the basic science, which is predicting between a 3 and 5-degree Celsius rise in global mean temperatures by 2100. Left unchecked, this will decimate the planet’s biodiversity, unravel the fabric of economies, uproot whole societies and outright kill hundreds of millions, if not billions of people. And this doesn’t begin to talk about instability in the global financial system that could pull the rug out from under, well, everything.

    I have not seen a single reputable claim by any scientific paper claiming that millions or billions of people will die. They are just making things up.

    The best part is that they say ‘we totally have level heads about this!’ before shrieking, without any evidence that billions of people will die.

    Level heads, everybody!

    1. The entire argument really is idiotic. He argues that the global poverty line is too low, and that it should be raised to $10 instead of the $1.50 per day poverty line that currently exists. However, even if you raised the poverty line, that doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of people on Earth are making more money than they were 20 years ago.

      The point that people are overall much richer is therefore not changed by where you set the poverty line. The guy’s just nitpicking.

      1. It’s just wealth obsession and envy, as always with these idiots. It just drives them nuts that someone has more than they do. I don’t know where or what this insane envy shit comes from–not even close to everyone feels it–but for those who do, they just cannot get over someone being richer than them. They’d rather pull everyone down into the mud than have anyone have any more than them.

        Of course if they win the lottery or get rich some other way, I guarantee you they’ll be keeping that money.

        1. The reason they are so angry that others have more money than they do, is they think they are smarter and are also a better person than those richer than they are. It infuriates them because they feel they, not those others, are supposed to be at the top of the heap.

          Anything they can do to bring the others down brings them closer to the top, where they clearly believe they belong.

    2. “The alternative is not to abandon hope, but to use it to unlock the courage to stare deeply into our challenges

      Public. Education.

      I rest my case your honor.

      1. I think this guy is going to find an ocean of tomorrows, a sky of tomorrows.

        Incidentally, Obama was quoting Carl Sandburg in that asinine speech, thus proving that Carl Sandburg is the most overrated poet of the 20th century.

        I prefer Phillip Larkin:

        They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
        They may not mean to, but they do.
        They fill you with the faults they had
        And add some extra, just for you.

        But they were fucked up in their turn
        By fools in old-style hats and coats,
        Who half the time were soppy-stern
        And half at one another’s throats.

        Man hands on misery to man.
        It deepens like a coastal shelf.
        Get out as early as you can,
        And don’t have any kids yourself.

        I think this is a more accurate representation of the Obama presidency.

    3. Look! More people around the world live close to sea-level than anywhere else! They will all be swept out by this massive tide that’s going to flood in unchecked over the next century if we don’t stop Big Oil from raping Mother Gaea! The trans-global corporations are killing people! And they control the governments too! We need to give more power to the governments that they control so the governments will be strong enough to control the corporations that control them! Then We the People will control the corporations, and we can spread the wealth to the poor! Power to the people!

      1. A trans-global corporation is a multinational corporation that feels trapped in a small corporation’s body.

    4. The person who wrote that gibberish is also responsible for the following =

      Capitalism is Just a Story – We Can Tell a Better One

      These people endlessly recycle their same bullshit kumbaya message, but in the end its all just refried-communism.

      1. Collectivism didn’t start with Marx. He’s just the guy who got famous for promoting it.

        1. I got a few seconds in and they already have the bank depicted, literally, as a hungry monster. The animism is strong with these people.

      2. It is, at the end of the day, an incomprehensible denial of human nature. The people who endlessly hate on “capitalism” aren’t hating on an economic system; they are literally denying and hating human nature, including their own. It’s incredibly baffling to me that a person can hate their own basic nature; it’s what you are, why do you fight it so hard? You can’t win. But they do. And we’ve seen that there is a significant segment of humanity who just can’t give up this ghost.

        And they do everything they can to fuck it up for the rest of us.

        1. It’s incredibly baffling to me that a person can hate their own basic nature; it’s what you are, why do you fight it so hard?

          That’s the whole basis of Christianity, and so many other religions. It’s as if people need fear to make them recognize right from wrong, as opposed to just acting on their urges. ‘Scuze me, gotta go get a beer.

          1. “That’s the whole basis of Christianity”

            Well, some parts of it, yes, and I’ll defend that. ‘Human nature’ often involves some pretty heinous stuff that we should overcome.

            1. The entire premise of Christianity is overcoming original sin. So it’s not “some parts,” it’s the whole damn thing. I mean, that’s what premises mean, right? Everything else is built upon them, right? You do understand basic logic…

              1. Humans inevitably fall into sin but their nature is not entirely sinful. Christianity only urges us to strive to overcome the sinful parts.

                1. Oh, fuck. There you go, Bo, being Bo. For a moment I almost liked you.

                  Nobody ever claimed that all of human nature is evil. Your comment in no way refutes my point.

                  1. “It’s incredibly baffling to me that a person can hate their own basic nature; it’s what you are, why do you fight it so hard?

                    That’s the whole basis of Christianity”

                    Yes, you were so clear there that you were just talking about parts there!

                    1. Um. Uh. Dude. Yeah. I thought it was pretty clear. Good parts. Bad parts. Religion needed by some to overcome the bad parts, and not calling statism a religion doesn’t mean it’s not a religion.

                      I thought that was pretty clear.

                      I don’t really have a religion. I know right from wrong, and don’t need fear of consequence (in this life or some imaginary after) to stop me from doing things that offend my morals.

                      I guess I’m just weird.

        2. In my previous comment by “fear” I meant “fear or retribution in the afterlife” for religious people and “fear of retribution by government” for collectivist statists.

          Either way it’s fear of something they consider to be a god.

    5. ” invictus2 ? 13 hours ago

      “best-of-times”, the answer is no. WMDs(weapons of mass distraction) are coming at us at machine gun rates. The world oligarchy has a vice grip on the serfs. We are one big Dickensian world. TPP and fast track give the oligarchs absolute control of the U.S. Trade agreements are U.S. law. When the president can enter into and sign them without approval he is an emperor. Representative government has died the death of 1000 cuts. JFK murder, 2000 election coup. I know that’s only two. There have been many small acts along the way that have thrown dirt on the grave. When in the course of human events. It’s time again.”


      One part of me goes, ‘holy shit these people are so stupid its amazing they can change their socks’… and the other part goes…’..but apparently there’s a *fertile business* selling these people idiot-fodder.

      I mean, that’s what “Truth-Out” *is*

  23. Climate Studies: the only “science” where real world observations are ignored, and computer models lauded as the truth.

    Since 2000, the Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by 0.06? C; a fraction of what was predicted by the IPCC during the 1990s. This apparent plateau has been used as ammunition by climate deniers who accuse scientists of over-inflating results from climate models. Marotzke and Forster’s new paper analyzes the methodologies of climate models, revealing no inherent flaws in the models, even when they don’t match observations.

    They also argue that a whole 6/100 of a degree rise shows just how right the doomsayers are, while an AVERAGE .3 degree difference between models and reality shows just how correct the models are.

    And this slighting of hand is heralded as the smoking gun they need to shut “deniers” down for good.

    And what’s worse is that this turd of an article is from IFLS, an outlet that generally stays out of the fray.


    1. revealing no inherent flaws in the models, even when they don’t match observations.

      No one should ever type this sentence. There are no flaws with the models even though they don’t match observations? If they don’t match observations, BY DEFINITION they are flawed.

      ‘Look, Galileo, just because your observations contradict our model which says the sun rotates around the Earth doesn’t make our model wrong.’

      1. Look! Just like societies collectivized by government force have failed throughout history only because the wrong people were in charge, Galileo was said to be wrong only because the wrong people were in charge! We’re in charge now! “We are the people we’ve been waiting for.” We’re superior to those people who got it wrong because we have progressed! We’re right, and anyone who says otherwise is stagnating in the ideas of the past! Progress! Power to the people!

    2. It’s just *noise*. (Covers ears, “na, na, na, I can’t hear you)

    3. Seriously though, you got a link for the IPCC 2000 models that show exactly what temp increase was predicted? I keep getting those models which include *adjustments* after the fact which, of course, make them look spot on.

  24. Spot the Not: Eric Holder

    1. I am the attorney general of the United States, but I am also a black man.

    2. No one is more shocked and outraged at the Fast and Furious scandal than I.

    3. The inability to pass reasonable gun safety laws after the Newtown massacre is something that weighs heavily on my mind.

    1. No one is more shocked and outraged at the Fast and Furious scandal than I.

      He wouldn’t call it a scandal. I say this one.

    2. I cheated. Wow. That’s bad. And telling.

    3. 2

    4. yeah 2.

      i can’t see him saying the word “scandal”

    5. Yep, 2.

      I had trouble coming up with something that both plausible and absurd as the other quotes.

  25. In light of recent GOP House proposal, stories of women who had abortions after 20 weeks

    “O’Donnell was pregnant with her first child, and excited to start her family with her husband, when a routine ultrasound at 12 weeks showed their unborn child’s organs were outside of its body. At first, it was unclear how serious the issue was. The doctors said the baby’s lungs were underdeveloped, but a series of surgeries might be able to put its organs back in place. O’Donnell and her husband decided to wait to do more genetic testing and get a closer look at their unborn daughter’s heart.

    ‘We wanted to give our child every possible opportunity. If she was going to survive, we wanted to give her that opportunity,” O’Donnell said. “So we waited.’

    They had to wait until around the 20 week mark to do more testing on her heart. At that point, they found out it wasn’t strong enough, and their child probably wouldn’t survive the surgeries necessary to move her organs. They decided to end the pregnancy by inducing labor, a form of abortion that allowed O’Donnell to deliver her daughter, who never took a breath. She named her Naomi.”


    1. Would the ban actually ban instances where the babies organs are outside the body? Because most such bans I’ve heard of would ban non-necessary abortions, but still allow for medically necessary procedures. That’s how they do it in Europe, for example.

      If the Republican bill actually would have banned even this kind of abortion, that’s inexcusable. However, I suspect that this would have been allowed anyway and ThinkProgress is being disingenuous.

      1. I thought medical necessity would apply to the mother?

        1. Because I’m thinking the issue with the fetuses in these cases is not that aborting them is medically necessary for them (that doesn’t make sense), it’s that they have little chance of surviving birth.

          1. “it’s that they have little chance of surviving birth.”

            If we don’t kill this baby now, she might die!

        2. I don’t actually know, that’s why I’m asking. I’d just like to see what part of the bill would ban this sort of abortion before taking ThinkProgress’ word that this would not be allowed.

          1. Here’s the House bill, it doesn’t seem to exempt this sort of thing from my (admittedly cursory) reading.


  26. Jesse Myerson takes a swipe at our dear friend Scott Shackford:

    Also says that building a national bullet train network would be a better use of money than the Keystone pipeline. Hmm, I guess it’s possible a theater & human rights major could also know a lot about building a profitable rail network.

    1. Monorail?

    2. Here’s Myerson’s LinkedIn. He has one of the funniest resumes I’ve ever seen.


      1. “So… you have no experience?”

      2. Wow, and he barely has any endorsements, which are awfully easy to get in LinkedIn, even though he has 279 contacts. Guess 268 of them don’t think enough of him to click “yes” under a screen that says “Does Jesse know about Community Organizing?”

    3. You want to know what I really love about Salon? Half the time the picture accompanying the article has nothing to do with the article. For example, the picture on that page is Bill O’Reilly – but O’Reilly is not mentioned in the article. It’s fairly obvious they put him on the page to get liberals to click it assuming they’d have an opportunity to get their two minute hate on for O’Reilly.

      I’ve seen them do the same thing with Rand Paul where they’ll just put his picture at the top of an article that does not mention him.

      Also, Jesse Myerson is the dumbest man on Earth:

      2. A permanent job guarantee. Conventionally, stimulus is done trickle down-style, by employing the skilled, educated, and relatively highly-paid and hoping the boost they provide to aggregate demand will result in employment for everyone. This approach tends not to reach the long term unemployed, the formerly incarcerated, those born into poverty, &c. The bottom-up version is to offer guaranteed employment not in manufacturing and construction, but the service, care, education, and community development sectors. Among the stated merits of such a program are a built-in check on inflation, and the pairing of national funding with a decentralized, local planning structure.

      Hey, let’s give guaranteed government jobs to felons. I’m sure they wouldn’t abuse a system that provided them with free money. What have they done in the past to make us think they might be dishonest?

      1. Not just guaranteed govt jobs to felons, but guaranteed govt jobs for felons in education and healthcare!

      2. Sweet mother of God:

        Though this idea has yet to be put into practice anywhere, its proponents, among the most prolific public economists, have pointed to Argentina’s promising Jefes program as a model.

        When your argument is that we should take economic advice from Argentina, it’s safe to conclude you’re out of ideas.

        1. Oh, holy shit, I didn’t even notice that Jesse Myerson apparently believes SOLAR ROADWAYS are a legitimate technological possibility:

          1. A large ? temporary ? infrastructure program. There’s plenty of stuff worth building, like a national bullet train infrastructure, a smart grid with renewable energy sources, and fiber-optic telecommunications network ? hell, solar roadways (which, did you know a Republican senator is into?).

          Hey, Jesse: Solar roadways are pseudoscientific nonsense. The cost of such a thing would bankrupt the planet. Not only that, but the primary goal of a roadway is to, you know, drive on. The reason we use old-fashioned asphalt for roadways is because it provides tremendous grip. What happens to a solar roadway when the panels get worn down and, for example, it begins to snow?

          That’s a wonderful way to kill thousands of motorists.

          Thunderfoot kicked the shit out of these solar roadway idiots.

      3. “Community development ‘sectors’.”


    4. ” a national bullet train network would be a better use of money than the Keystone pipeline”

      If that were true, private capital would be right on top of it.

  27. Wow, maybe this little budget idea might give ‘portability of medical licenses from state-to-state’ some traction? Doctors would love this, and it would likely mean major cost-savings along with improved access to medical care.

    I did hear that some congressperson was proposing something along these lines. It is extremely common-sense.

    So, common sense, saves money, improves medical care.
    That should mean: Chance of Passing = Zero.

    1. “‘portability of medical licenses from state-to-state’ some traction?”

      Why do you hate federalism?

      1. Fuck state licensing and let private agencies endorse professionals if you really want it to be portable. Talk about missing the point. As usual.

        1. Yes, talk about missing the point, it was kind of a joke there sarc.

          1. I saw it. It wasn’t funny.

            1. So you realized it was a joke but felt it ‘missed the point?’

                1. -5 for using the word “felt.”

    2. When “portability” is defined by government, it will always be abused.

    3. Somewhat related.

      Gov Cuomo refused to allow out of state healthcare workers provide free healthcare to NYC residents over the Thanksgiving weekend in 2014 due out of state medical licensing

  28. Spot the Not: Bill O’Reilly

    1. It’s discipline that begets love.

    2. You don’t have free will when you have lung cancer.

    3. Americans will respect your beliefs if you just keep them private.

    1. Guessed. Cheated. Was right.

    2. You don’t have free will when you have lung cancer.

      This is hilarious and I hope it’s real.

    3. 1? 2 and 3 sound like him. Especially 3.

    4. 3

    5. “1” is the not.

    6. 1 is the not. It is a quote from George Liquor, American.

    7. 3. ( people also are good at keeping secrets if you don’t tell them)

      1. Derpologist, give us countdown. Make me look like dunce guessing after you post the answer. Then again I am a dunce.

  29. In 2009, I seem to remember Obama ordering a review of unnecessary and cumbersome federal regulations. He found exactly one regulation that was unecessary. I doubt this initiative will be any different.

    1. That many? I’m shocked! Seriously! Shocked!

      1. That doesn’t mean that it was actually repealed, though.

  30. The New Republic: Blame “pernicious” individualism for anti-vaxxers

    Of course, pernicious American individualism is as much an enemy of a trustworthy universal healthcare system as it is of voluntary mass vaccination. Rand Paul once excoriated the idea of universal healthcare by equating such systems with forced labor. “With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care,” Paul claimed in a 2011 meeting of the Senate Committee on Health, Labor, and Education, “you have [to] realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery.”

    In no universal healthcare model are doctors forced to perform labor for free, but the revealing fact of Paul’s statement is that it all comes down to him, personally, and his personal freedom. This is the recurring priority of American politics, and the one that makes high vaccination coverage in a non-mandatory scenario seem a distant proposition. Vaccines are, contrary to popular thought, ultimately a matter of collective action, and one that comes down mostly to thoroughgoing altruism.

    1. The New Republic has gotten vastly dumber since their entire staff quit. I don’t remember Julie Ioffe ever writing anything that stupid and she wrote some stupid shit. Especially her hysterical howling about Russian gun ‘nuts.’

      This summer, the group successfully defended a woman named Tatyana Kudryavtseva who fought off a rapist with a knife and accidentally killed him. She faced 15 years in jail for homicide; Right to Bear Arms got her exonerated. “If she had had a gun, it would have been enough just to show the gun, as American statistics show,” says Butina, who is a fan of statistics in general and American statistics in particular.

      Hahaha! That stupid hick bitch, making claims that Julie Ioffe disagrees with.

    2. It’s really telling about these groupthink assholes that they don’t even realize how insanely fucked all their hating on individualism sounds. They have turned “altruism” into one of their animist totems, which is why they HATE Ayn Rand and her slagging on altruism. And they don’t even use the fucking word correctly; in their parlance, they mean “collective action” with a side of “which will be forced if you don’t do it voluntarily”.

      Actual altruism can’t be forced. Yet they think that’s what altruism actually is. They are insanely fucked up people.

      1. Whether from stupidity or dishonesty, most authoritarians do not understand the meaning of “voluntary”


        1. Their definition of ‘voluntary’ is that you have some choice. In other words, if you have the choice to pay taxes or go to jail, paying taxes is voluntary.


          1. To quote a dialog from the Derponomicon:

            I asked him whether taxes were voluntary. He said:

            “Not obeying a law is a choice and therfore voluntary. ….you might get away with it, you might have to suffer the consequences. Pretty simple logic.”

            When I asked him whether a mugging is voluntary, he said:

            “You could also turn and run. Any choice we make is voluntary.”

        2. Honestly, it most often seems like stupidity. Someone who can believe a corporation can force you to buy their stuff but doesn’t think that universal health care is force is pretty much retarded. More than pretty much, they’re definitely retarded.

          1. And yet, they generally condemn theft and other actions of aggression. I think they mostly lie to themselves. If they admitted that aggression is bad, then they would have to work a lot harder to justify their philosophy. It’s a lot to pretend that people always have a choice, even if that “choice” is being harmed.

  31. Spot the Not: Lindsey Graham

    1. The American consumer is also the American worker, and if we don’t do something to protect our manufacturing base here at home, it is going to be hard to buy any retail goods.

    2. The sooner we get started with alternative energy sources and recognize that fossil fuels makes us less secure as a nation, and more dangerous as a planet, the better off we’ll be.

    3. I support sensible, common-sense gun and body armor regulations to help protect the police who patrol our nation. We need to be tough on crime for the children.

    1. I’ll say 3

    2. The answer will be revealed at 9:20.

      Place your bets, ladies and gents!

      1. Scratch that- the answer will be revealed in 10 minutes.

    3. No more takers?

      Well, Bo wins unopposed.

      1. Because Bo being happy is unacceptable round these parts, I am going with 2. 3 sounds law and order so cony enough to be true.

  32. Old Man with Candy called it

    Bonus points if Mango-Ward had written this article too.

    1. And no h/t.


  33. illustrate the growth and burdens of occupational licensing…[“]Certainly, it’s up to states to repeal their own licensing laws[“]

    As long as states are adding to the list, they aren’t likely to be interested in rolling back any current ones. Just last year, Idaho, a supposedly libertarian leaning state, put massage therapists under their licensing yoke.

    1. put massage therapists under their licensing yoke.

      How else are they going to learn how to do a happy ending right?

  34. Did anyone else hear Obama say, regarding the Jordanian pilot getting burned by ISIS, “whatever ideology they’re operating under is bankrupt?”

    Whatever ideology. It’s like the ‘I’ word has been stricken from the language.

  35. OK, peak derp has been reached for today- libertarians are naive because they use reason (drink!) instead of feelings. But the libertarian has a good rebuttal.


  36. This Daily Mail report suggests that ISIS threw a gay man off a building, but he didn’t die, so the mob stoned him to death.



    “…”You know, I voted for the measure as well, the minimum wage measure,” customer Edward Vallecillo said. “It’s not something that I thought would affect certain specific small businesses. I feel sad.””


    1. You know, that Edward Vallecillo seems like ideal H&R bait, maybe I’m losing my trolling abilities.

      1. Or because we talked about it yesterday?

        1. Eddie, you’re like my last girlfriend’s period- late!

        2. Wow, that was embarrassing, perhaps I should come up with some insults to distract attention from my mistake.

          Uh…you’re a poopy-head!

          1. Now you’re commenting like a Hit and Runner, Eddie!

            *Runs away sobbing from the thread*

  38. Kathy Young does her job, feminist reaction utterly predictable.

    Valente for the win:

    Looks like @thedailybeast is intent on making a name for themselves in the “attacking rape victims” game. Kudos, assholes.

    Yeah, that’s exactly what’s happening. Brilliant.

    1. Questioning rape claims and requesting evidence shows you have no idea how to talk about rape.

      The background: Sulkowicz received an email more than a week ago from Daily Beast reporter Cathy Young, who stated she was writing an article about Sulkowicz’s story and had talked to her alleged rapist, Paul Nungesser. Sulkowicz at first tried to ignore Young’s emails.

      “Normally I don’t respond to people who use my rapist as collateral in order to make me talk to them,” she told Mic. Then, last Tuesday night, Young emailed again, this time saying she had about six pages of Facebook conversations between Sulkowicz and Nungesser and wanted to confirm their accuracy before publishing.

      “It’s an awful feeling where this reporter is digging through my personal life. At this point I didn’t realize that she’s extremely anti-feminist and would do this in order to shame me,” Sulkowicz said, noting that she feels Young has “written other articles supporting the rapists and making survivors look unreliable.”

      Hilarious. “I made myself a public figure by appearing in multiple national magazines, but that bitch Cathy Young shouldn’t be ‘digging through my personal life.'”

      Claiming to be a victim means you should be allowed to make any claim you want without anyone fact checking you.

      1. Normally I don’t respond to people who use my rapist as collateral in order to make me talk to them,

        WTF does that mean? She pawned her rapist to Cathy Young?

        1. Cathy is holding this girl’s rapist hostage until her demands are met?

          Sid, I think we should just accept that she’s an art major, not an English major.

  39. Cosmo interviews Kennedy.

    (Cosmopolitan magazine, not Cosmotarian magazine)


  40. You’ve heard of Fantasy Football. MSNBC presents Fantasy Candidates:


    Warning: Stage 5 Derp

  41. Welp. Looks like Jordan wasn’t fucking around.

  42. Pron for reason ladies and gay men:


    Hafthor Bjornsson aka The Mountain from Game of Thrones. He just set an 1000 year old weight lifting record by carrying a tree weighing 1250 lbs. 5 steps.

  43. Rand Paul tweets picture of himself getting vaccine booster shot, Jezebel responds with snark but sets off hilarious comment thread about how shameful it is that some of them think Paul is attractive

    Kayleeyonc?JayneKelly Faircloth
    Today 6:26pm
    Yeah, but he looks strangely hot in this picture. Like, hate-fuck worthy. Why?! What’s wrong with me?! Or is it just that vaccination is attractive?

    Today 6:34pm
    I think it’s the sleeve + hair. Plus all of the memories I have of my boyfriend in t-shirts like that that are usually pretty sexual. I don’t know, only a combination of several factors could force me to think he’s hot. I am filled with self-loathing!

    Today 6:54pm
    He looks a little bit like William Shatner?

    Which actually doesn’t help explain anything, because I never found Kirk attractive.

    I think it’s the white shirt and vulnerability?

    I am going to stop thinking about this and pretend it never happened.

    Today 6:55pm
    He’s got a nice chest for an old guy.

    I’ll show myself out to my hermitage now.

    Today 7:08pm
    Much to my chagrin, I’ve had the same problem with Rand Paul for a while now. I keep reminding myself of his reprehensible positions to counteract the attraction. It’s the political version of imagining an inappropriate crush pooping.

    1. LMAO

    2. Awesome. Just awesome.

      I love how whether someone is sex worthy is based on their political views. Progs are totalitarian, news at 11, I know but still…

      Can you imagine how sad my life would be if I followed the same credo? Like I’m sure that Scarlett Johansen and Jennifer Lawrence are run of the mill brain dead liberals, but they are still stunningly gorgeous.

    3. As amusing as that is, it exposes another very odd tendency of progs/SJWs/the like: they will force, or at least pretend, to find people attractive for the things they say/do rather than their appearance or personality. People will cream over Obama because of what he says (yet never does), or here they’ll find Paul attractive because he’s…getting vaccinated?

      I mean, people find other people attractive for all kinds of reasons, and that’s normal, but you know that you can get the prog/SJW crowd to at least pretend to find you attractive–no matter how unattractive you might be–if you just say the right words.

      1. Example of this: The fact that even straight feminists will say they have girl crushes on Racehl Maddow.

        Like, if you want a hot androgynous chick, there are better options.

      2. I agree with what you say, but I think there’s a simpler explanation: a lot of women gravitate towards older men and are particularly drawn towards older men with money and power.

        Rand Paul has both and has the added refinement of looking pretty good for 53. I also suspect his shushing of the CNBC anchor turned them on.

        You can psychoanalyze that the way you like, but it would explain Dennis Kucinich’s wife.

        Not only does he look like an underpants knome, but they got engaged after only meeting twice.

        Newly in from England with no knowledge of who Dennis was other than being a Member of Congress, Elizabeth walked into Kucinich’s office on 4 May 2005. They had an eight-minute meeting on monetary policy. The second time they met was in New Mexico at another policy event later that month. While in New Mexico they decided to get married and three months later they did so, on 21 August 2005.

    4. Yeah, but he looks strangely hot in this picture. Like, hate-fuck worthy. Why?! What’s wrong with me?! Or is it just that vaccination is attractive?


      “I’m not sure if I’m attracted to that man, or if I’m just seriously aroused by the needle being inserted into his arm.”

      1. The needle is inherently phallic.

    5. No offense to Rand, but if he’s their idea of an Adonis, they are messed up.

      1. Come to think of it, I read a novel by a liberal whose protagonist struggles with lust for a Jesse Helms figure.

      2. No offense to Rand, but if he’s their idea of an Adonis, they are messed up.

        This is his wife.

        Clearly there’s just something about Rand that women can’t resist.

        By the way, this is my favorite picture of Rand and Ron Paul.

        Look at that goofy motherfucker Ron Paul in the background of that picture. Everyone else in the picture is pretty normal, but Ron felt the need to show off the jazz hands, like he’s trying out for Rent or something.

        1. She looks like a less plastic version of Kari Byron

    6. Excellent. Hopefully after another year of Paul exposure, they’ll be voting for the hunk who wants to take away their birth control.

  44. The King of Jordan seems like a pretty chill guy.

    “He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen,” said Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., a Marine Corps veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, who was in the meeting with the king. “He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.”


    1. Probably this part:

      All right, I’m coming out. Any man I see out there, I’m gonna shoot him. Any sumbitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only gonna kill him, but I’m gonna kill his wife, all his friends, and burn his damn house down.

      1. It would be hilarious if it was this part-

        English Bob: A plague on you. A plague on the whole stinking lot of ya, without morals or laws. And all you whores got no laws. You got no honor. It’s no wonder you all emigrated to America, because they wouldn’t have you in England. You’re a lot of savages, that’s what you all are. A bunch of bloody savages. A plague on you. I’ll be back.

    2. Our brains are on fire
      with the feeling to kill
      And it won’t go away
      until our dreams are fulfilled
      There is only one thing
      on our minds
      Don’t try running away
      `cause you’re the one we will find

    3. Eastwood threatened to keel Michael Moore if he showed up at as his house with a camera crew. I get the sentiment.

      But if the 60 Minutes crew showed up my front door I’d reach for a shovel, not a gun.

      /dark widget

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