Open Thread: Austerity!


It’s the little “warning” label that makes the joke.






65 replies
  1. 1
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Heh indeedy. I’ve asked a number of Republicans why the rich shouldn’t participate in our “austerity” kick by letting go of some tax cuts. After some foot-shuffling and stuttering, the response tends to be “they’ve suffered enough.” Would that I could suffer like they do.

  2. 2
    Wordsmith says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: And here I would’ve said they hadn’t suffered at all.

    Totally unrelated. …. Has anyone read the book ‘A game of thrones?’

    Saw an ad for a series that’s to start in January 2011 on HBO that’s based on the book(s) by George R.R.Martin. It’s starring Sean Bean, who I think is just sexy.

  3. 3
    J sub D says:

    Asking the GOP to act fiscally responsible is like asking the Dems to respect civil liberties. They’ll agree 100% until they hold the reins.

    FTR, Bush the Lesser held the honor of running up the biggest deficits as a percentage of GDP since WWII. Until the Obama administration. It’s irresponsibility all across the board.

  4. 4
    Badtux says:

    Isn’t it curious that those who are calling for austerity always suggest it for other people, not for themselves? It is curious, is it not, that these IMF “economists” with their six-figure salaries and 80% retirement pay at age 50 are calling for austerity for older Americans, for example, by cutting the meagre retirement benefits paid by Social Security (which could be as little as 20% of your current income), while not offering to give up one red cent of their own pay — of which we, the American taxpayer, are paying a huge percentage.

    But I forget, austerity is for the little people, not for the Lords of the Universe. Alrighty, then!

    – Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  5. 5
    Randy P says:

    @Wordsmith: Read it and never got around to the sequel(s). I’ve been meaning to go back and re-read it.

    Now I’m blanking on another one which I recall as similar in the sort of “frozen north” setting, which I was going to recommend to you. I thought it was called “Across the Top of the World” but that search is drawing a blank. The author’s name begins with a K and I thought he was Australian, but that search is drawing a blank too.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Wordsmith:

    And here I would’ve said they hadn’t suffered at all.

    Fee-fees were hurt.

  7. 7
    bemused says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:
    Funny…..unless you’re not joking.

  8. 8
    Dan says:

    Where is this comic from? Its hilarious. How about a link the cartoonists site if possible. I’m sure whoever they are would appreciate the link juice…..

  9. 9
    zattarra says:

    @Wordsmith: Good book. He might never get out the final books at this pace. If you haven’t read it or the sequels they are worth the read but you might die (or the author might) before the series ever ends.

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    Hey, if it was good enough for us to advise Latin America and Africa throughout the 1980s to cut school and health and industry and agricultural funding so as to continue to pay off international bank loans with such interest that they had long been paid off in principle, it’s good enough for us, right?

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Pangloss says:

    I remember attending Jerry Brown’s 1978 California gubernatorial election night victory party speech at the Century Plaza Hotel, in which he used the word “austerity” at least 15 times.

  13. 13
    Cris says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I’ve asked a number of Republicans why the rich shouldn’t participate in our “austerity” kick by letting go of some tax cuts.

    The foot-shuffling you receive just shows they’re not informed enough on their talking points. The correct answer is “The rich are the true drivers of the economy. If we repeal their tax cuts, they will have less money to start new businesses and create new jobs.”

    I’ve got my Ayn on!

  14. 14
    sven says:

    And in other news, jailed congressman Duke Cunningham has become a prison-reform advocate…

    I don’t even know what to mock first…

  15. 15
    Zifnab says:

    @Wordsmith: The first two books are good. That’s as far as I’ve read. I’d recommend the series.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    @Cris: You don’t want to kill the geese which lay golden eggs. That no one seems to be getting any of these eggs is irrelevant.

    You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. We’re pretty sure there must be an omelet somewhere. There has to be.

  17. 17
    Zifnab says:

    @sven:

    “Maybe that’s why God put me here, to bring about much needed prison reform,” Cunningham wrote in a letter to San Diego City Beat.

    Cause it couldn’t have been that $2 million bribe. Somehow, God always has a purpose for egocentric assholes.

  18. 18
    El Cid says:

    @sven: The old ‘a conservative is a liberal who gets mugged,’ followed by ‘a liberal is a conservative who gets arrested.’ I think I got that right.

  19. 19
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Wordsmith: A Game of Thrones is a brilliant book as are its followups. Others are right that we all might be dead before a Feast of Crows is done.

  20. 20
    LanceThruster says:

    Ted Rall is one hoopy frood!

  21. 21
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Rall is comes across as an ass but this is pretty spot on.

  22. 22
    joe from Lowell says:

    @J sub D:

    FTR, Bush the Lesser held the honor of running up the biggest deficits as a percentage of GDP since WWII. Until the Obama administration.

    Gee, why’d Obama do that? Hmmmmmmm…let’s see if I can remember why there were large deficits in 2009 and 2010. What was it that ran up the deficits in those years?

    Oh, right. Cuz he just loooooooooooves spending money. Yup. No other reason. That nasty Obama!

  23. 23
    joe from Lowell says:

    Why, that mean, terrible Obama.

    It’s irresponsible across the board!

  24. 24
    sven says:

    @Wordsmith: The Song of Ice and Fire series is excellent; I don’t really like fantasy but I loved this series. It was nice to see more adult themes and nice deep characters in the genre.

    @Comrade Javamanphil: Actually I think the next novel is Dance with Dragons or some such. I think Feast for Crows is out…

    yup, who am I to argue with Wikipedia

  25. 25
    Cris says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: I’ve always had an uneasy relation with Rall, because I agree with a lot of what he has to say and he’s willing to stake out ultra-liberal but unpopular positions, but he really does come off as a major-league asshole. He won’t admit when he’s wrong or walk back his over-the-top shit (see Tillman, Pat).

  26. 26
    sven says:

    @sven: Why am I in Moderation Purgatory?

  27. 27
    Cris says:

    @sven: Did you refer to an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources? (To use Wikipedia’s definition.)

  28. 28
    Zifnab says:

    @J sub D:

    It’s irresponsibility all across the board.

    I agree. Let’s all move to the government-free paradise of Somalia, where we can finally throw off the shackles of the political elites and embrace true liberty, hurray!

    http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

    If you want to go totally crazy, name all the bills that haven’t been deficit neutral. Then tell me how many of those bills are war funding bills.

    Damn you Democrats, and your endless Middle Eastern Wars!

  29. 29
    sven says:

    @Zifnab: War Spending supplemental! Do I get a cookie if I’m right?

  30. 30
    J sub D says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Gee, why’d Obama do that? Hmmmmmmm…let’s see if I can remember why there were large deficits in 2009 and 2010. What was it that ran up the deficits in those years?
    Oh, right. Cuz he just loooooooooooves spending money. Yup. No other reason. That nasty Obama!

    I pointed out simple facts that are not in dispute by intelligent people. Obama’s and the dem congress’ motives for the spending was supposedly to prime the economic recovery. It’s not exactly working out as planned, but you knew that, didn’t you?

    I know the argument so I’ll save you the keystrokes “It would have been the worserest ever without the stimulus package. People would be foraging for roadkill if we hadn’t borrowed a trillion ot two from our grandchildren”.

  31. 31
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @sven: Crap. Yes, Dance with Dragons is next. I’ve been putting off re-reading the series until he actually announces he has sent this one to the publisher. It’s been so long I have forgotten most of it.

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    @sven:
    Three links in your post puts you in moderation. There can only be two. And don’t mention footwear.

  33. 33
    gnomedad says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I’ve asked a number of Republicans why the rich shouldn’t participate in our “austerity” kick by letting go of some tax cuts. After some foot-shuffling and stuttering, the response tends to be “they’ve suffered enough.”

    That would make a good bumper sticker:
    The Wealthy Have Suffered Enough
    Vote Republican

  34. 34
    sven says:

    @J sub D: How did we arrive at ‘borrowing from our grandchildren!’ as the standard trope? Once in a while it’s ‘borrowing from our children!’ and for a while ‘borrowing from the Chinese!’ was hot, but seems to have fallen out of favor recently… Wait, are you on Journolist?

  35. 35
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Cris: Yep. His feuds with online comic artists like Scott Kurtz are pretty brutal too. He’s a bit of a useful idiot for pushing the narrative leftward and his style is certainly unique. Props when he’s right.

  36. 36
    sven says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: Have you read any of his other stuff? I keep meaning to give it a try but am worried I’d be disappointed.

  37. 37
    El Cid says:

    @sven: When we borrowed from our grandchildren in the New Deal and WWII it ended up in the 1950s and 1960s with children starving all over the place, and millions of angry teens revolting in urban centers against their grandparents’ cruel and lavish deficits. I’m sure this must have happened.

  38. 38
    sven says:

    @Violet: Ahhh, thanks, it seems random sometimes….

    @Cris:

    Do you mean…

    Socialism!
    Socialism!
    Socialism!

  39. 39
    sven says:

    @sven: Seriously, that did it huh? I’m learning a lot this evening.

  40. 40
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Violet: Negatory. Three (3) is the magic number, but remember reply links are, well, links, too.

  41. 41
    J sub D says:

    @Zifnab:

    Damn you Democrats, and your endless Middle Eastern Wars!

    If you haven’t been noticing the passage of time, let me remind you that Obama has been in office for over a year and a half, there are (or will be at the end of this month) still 50,000 troops in Iraq and ~100,000 in Afghanistan. It’s time to stop blaming the idiots in the Bush administration and start taking responsibility for governing. That includes wasting lives and treasure continuing two dumbass wars we are not going to win. Iraq will not become a flourishing democracy (strongman government right after we leave) and Afghanistan will not become anything other than what it is, an ungovernable third world nation mired in a middle ages (at best) mindset and government.

    I’ve been arguing this with red teamers for a long fucking time, the only intelligent policy in Iraq and Afghanistan is declare victory and GTFO. I am not going to give Obama 4 fucking years to do the obvious without pointing out that continuing to pour good moiney and lives after bad every bit as expensive and almost as immoral as starting the goddam conflicts to begin with.

  42. 42
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @sven: No, I haven’t although his Wild Cards series (which isn’t just him) does seem to have it’s supporters. I’ve held off for exactly the same reason you have.

  43. 43
    AhabTRuler says:

    @sven:

    I’m learning a lot this evening.

    Hey, that’s great for you. Personally, I have to find Joseph Nobles and beat his ass like a red-headed stepchild. I mean, of all the nerve, duct tape!

    Also, also, wik: Note the three (3) links.

  44. 44
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Dan:

    Where is this comic from? Its hilarious. How about a link the cartoonists site if possible.

    Durr! — You’re right. Cartoonist Ted Rall has a website, http://www.rall.com . I get my cartoon fixes from a paid subscription site , http://www.gocomics.com , which I have recommended before as the most consistently satisfying $12 a year I spend on politics. (P.S. Gocomics provides plenty of non-political strips too!)

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    @AhabTRuler:
    You’re right. It’s three links in total, but two if you are using a reply link. I think that’s why I have in my head it’s two because I’m often replying.

    I got caught out by the footwear mention the other day when someone asked about running s h o e s. I think you can mention the plural but not the singular. Singular sends you to mod. Go figure. S h o e s and soshulism need not apply.

  46. 46
    morzer says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil:

    I’ve read Fevre Dream, and thought that it was a pretty indifferent performance. If GRRM ever got off his ass, stopped writing/editing anthologies and parading around talking about the number of calendars he has left if you order $100 worth of his books… well, hell, he might even get the damn book written. There is a reason why his “Ice and Fire Update” includes the immortal line:

    My last formal update on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS was dated February 15, 2007.

    Anyway, he’s a Jets fan, and that always says something bad about character and work-ethic!

  47. 47
    sven says:

    @AhabTRuler: So three links, a word that starts with S and describes collective ownership; anything else I should avoid?

    Also, does BJ set the filter rules or is it the host?

  48. 48
    MikeBoyScout says:

    In the pacific northwest there’s an austerity story which really has not been seen yet.

    Boeing Nonunion Workers Face Health Increases…

    Boeing Co.’s 100,000 nonunion workers will pay more for their health care starting next year as the world’s largest aerospace company tries to find savings that were rejected by labor groups.

    Employees’ share of medical costs will rise from 11 percent, according to briefing documents reviewed by Bloomberg of a presentation to managers.

    “We’re definitely asking employees to step up and pitch in a little more,” Forte said yesterday in an interview. “We’re still working through what those changes look like, but it’s not in Boeing culture to make such a huge change overnight.”

    Get that? They are asking.

    Funny thing. The difference in the response to the question they are asking is a whole lot different when they need to accept the answer.

    Austerity for thee,
    Big payday for me!

    Eat 5hit and like it!

  49. 49
    kdaug says:

    @Badtux: Like your work… I get my weekly dose in the AusChron. Keep up the good fight.

  50. 50
    AhabTRuler says:

    @sven: As noted, a word that starts with s and that describes something you put on your feet (and no, not sandals).

    And a place where one engages in games of chance. And a slang term for female genitalia (and not ‘bacon & play-dough’)
    And something that would be used to stir a fire.
    &c. &c. &c.

  51. 51
    Bill Murray says:

    @Anne Laurie: such as Pooch Cafe and Brewster Rockit Space Guy. and you don’t actually have to subscribe to get the comic goodness

  52. 52
    Anne Laurie says:

    @sven:

    Also, does BJ set the filter rules or is it the host?

    WordPress, aka FYWP, sets the rules. There’s a link in the Lexicon, under Moderation, to the Official Spam Codex , but that won’t warn people away from the common triggers like so – cialis – t and spe – cialis – t. Nor that three links (two, if you’ve hit the Reply button) will automatically send you to moderation.

    WordPress, as Churchill said of democracy, is the worst possible blogging system, except for all the other ones.

  53. 53
    sven says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    Spe – cia – list?

    Ser – ious – ly?

    Ridi – cu – lous!

    I’ll peruse the spam list, thanks!

  54. 54
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Anne Laurie: And yet it so easy to spoof (So&#099ialist, &#099redit-&#099ard-de&#098t, Pu&#115&#115y) as to be useless&#033&#033&#033&#049&#033-eleventy-&#033&#033&#033

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @AhabTRuler:
    It is easy to spoof, but also easy to forget. The plural of footwear is allowed but not the singular? So complicated.

  56. 56
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Violet: Yep. And it has nothing to do with hoes, which wouldn’t even be the proper way to pluralize the slang word.

    Even better is when one of the FPers uses a verboten word in the title without bothering to spoof it! Tee-hee.

    ETA, also, wik:

    easy to forget.

    Yeah, I got busted in the theater tech thread because of copying someone else’s use of ‘&#115ociali&#115m.

  57. 57
    GR says:

    Looking at the latest batch of banner ads, I realize that I kind of miss the “one weird trick to a tiny belly” snake oil ads from months back. This is the only site I exclude from AdBlock Plus, so I can’t speak to how prevalent those ads were across the internet. Based on my experience here, the company behind the snake oil basically leased the internet for several months.

  58. 58
    AhabTRuler says:

    @GR: The problems loading the page forced me to finally ditch out and install AdBlocker. Tired of putting up with crap ads, much less crap ads that break the browser.

  59. 59
    demo woman says:

    I ordered two coaster from the Balloon Juice Store and I’m so pleased. Originally I ordered one of Lily and one of original logo. The one with the logo was cracked and Cafe Press immediately replaced it but I had them replace it with the Lily one.
    Special thanks to John, Laura and crew for the nice selection of items.

  60. 60
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @J sub D: Then why don’t you just stay home in November along with Big Ed Schultz. That’ll show ’em!

  61. 61
    LanceThruster says:

    As a confirmed space guy, I know for a fact that “Brewster Rockit” blows.

    Sorry, but it’s true.

  62. 62
    cs says:

    Stand up and be counted, show the world you’re a man,
    Stand up and be counted, go with the Ku Klux Klan!

    Sing along here.

    Think this is the perfect campfire song for anyone headed to a tea party rally with a flammable Confederate flag in tow.

    (Probably an old song to many of you, but I just found it for the first time in this mash up mixing the song with Michael Jackson and ‘Born in the USA”. Was kinda beautiful.)

  63. 63
    Thanks DC! says:

    […] This comic succinctly captures the essence of our national experience since the summer of 2007 when all this kicked into gear. (ht balloon-juice) […]

  64. 64

    Shoe is now not moderated. That is all.

  65. 65
    Triassic Sands says:

    Austerity is always better when observed rather than experienced.

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  1. Thanks DC! says:

    […] This comic succinctly captures the essence of our national experience since the summer of 2007 when all this kicked into gear. (ht balloon-juice) […]

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