01 May 2014

Cartoon: Cooking the Books

Taken from: http://www.politicalcartoons.com/cartoon/ad1cec46-55e5-4ee4-bdd0-ba1ea3b1ab1c.html

To cook the books is an idiomatic buzzword used to describe the practice of lying and cheating in any record bookkeeping, in order to substantially increase your own personal profit and earnings, or knowingly providing incorrect information in a companies financial statements. 

Sour grapes in this cartoon refers to the idiomatic expression to eat sour grapes. The origin of this expression can be found in the Biblical books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel but it more famously comes from one of Aesop's tales about the fox who saw a bunch of delicious-looking grapes hanging on a vine high above its head. The fox tried everything it could to reach those grapes, but in the end failed. So, unable to reach and eat any of the grapes, the fox left disappointed and declared that they were probably sour and not worth eating. So, to eat sour grapes is to say something negative about anything that you want, but just can't have. 

Reflux (or acid reflux) is the regurgitation of stomach acid into the oesophagus which is often commonly called heartburn

So, what does all this have to do with the above cartoon?

Senator Barrasso is a Republican and the junior senator from the state of Wyoming, who also happens to be a medical doctor. He, along with a majority of Americans according to recent polls, is an opponent to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly know as "Obamacare." The Obama administration recently announced that 7 million Americans have  so far signed-up for this new healthcare program. The senator believes however that the Obama administration is not being entirely truthful and is probably manipulating the numbers to arrive at 7 million.

The political cartoonist, whom we can assume is left-leaning, is stating that Senator Barrasso is simply bitter because the program he would like to get rid of is more successful than he wants to believe. The image of the reflux is probably referring to how his critics see him looking like a fool, because he offered no proof to back up his accusation of the administration cooking the books. 

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