October 24, 2012

"Axelrod said all the 'empty binder' talk from the GOP didn’t prompt creation of the new brochure..."

Talking Points Memo gives the glossy pamphlet a glossy presentation. (Though not glossy enough to spell "brochure" correctly every time they used it. I corrected a misspelling in the quote I used for my headline.)
On a conference call with reporters Tuesday, top Obama adviser David Axelrod said the brochure is a version of the plan Obama has been “running on and talking about for months in written form.”

Read the whole document here.
But you can't read the whole document there. You can only flip through the pages and see the pictures and headlines. There's no click-to-enlarge to let you get to the text — minimal as it is — explaining how Obama will do things like "BUILDING THE ECONOMY FROM THE MIDDLE CLASS OUT." There's blurry fine print, but okay, I will stare it into some semblance of focus.

On page 2, "BUILDING THE ECONOMY FROM THE MIDDLE CLASS OUT" is the big headline and there are 7 subheadings, some of which become headlines on their own page of the brochure. The one that caught my eye was "Cutting the deficit by more than $4 trillion." There are 9 more pages to the brochure, but there's no separate page for that one.

Maybe if they'd bother to tell us how they planned to cut the deficit, they would have noticed that when they referred to it on the page-2 bullet-point list, they used the wrong number. The deficit under Obama is only — only!something like $1.1 trillion. That's bad enough, and Obama had promised, at the beginning of his presidency to cut it in half. Cut it $4 trillion! I know it's just another dimwitted use of "deficit" for "debt," but — good lord — it's a bullet-point in your glossy brochure. Get it right! It looks like you don't care. It looks like you think trillions are absurdities that can be thrown around or cut in half magically.

Paging through the brochure, finding every other bullet point has its own page, I see there is a page, with a different headline that corresponds to "Cutting the deficit by more than $4 trillion." The redone headline is: "A TAX PLAN THAT CUTS THE DEFICIT AND CREATES JOBS."



It's possible to read that text. With effort, I did it. That was very annoying, and I didn't find a plan, so let's talk about that photograph.

First, if you suddenly feel like you need to buy Dockers, please use my Amazon link: here. When you put on your pants, one leg at a time, check the rear view mirror. Is your ass is as appealing to 3 generations of women as Obama's plan for the middle class?

Now, let's look at these women. There's a boy there too, carrying on the family's horizontal stripes theme, but the picture's framed to exclude him, because... well... women.

This election is about women. There's grandma in thick peppermint stripes, clapping her wizened, insufficiently health-cared hands together with delight. There's the little girl in thin peppermint stripes, curling her palms around an invisible ball of light that symbolizes her future, empty but all aglow. There's mom, in her red dress and and squinty, flinty rictus, her right-breast gently clasped for comfort by the one female who is not moved to ecstasy by our President.

Who is this American traitor, this devil child? Whence the expression of dubiety that clouds her young visage? A red flower — inserted in her tawny locks by her hopeful red-clad mother — casts a fateful shadow over the brooding child's brow. Petulant pessimist! How did you find your way into Obama's glossy brochure!

69 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Your description of that picture is poetic and hilarious. Well done.

Patrick said...

It would be fun to do a caption contest on what that little "petulant" girl is thinking or saying. She looks more skeptical to me. I guess I could go with "dubiety" but I'll have to trust you that it's a word.

Scott M said...

"Cutting the deficit by more than $4 trillion."

This may be a tad picayune, but isn't the deficit only 1.something trillion per year while the debt is 16 trillion?

Isn't that an important distinction, especially when you're playing ball at that level of the game?

Mogget said...

Yeah, the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the photo was that Obama's buns are not optimal.

deborah said...

Dubiety vs. piety. At first glance, before I knew that was Obama, the girl seemed to have her hands together, as in prayer.

deborah said...

Yes, buns not optimal.

Michael said...

More teachers! If we have two or three for every child, manufacturing jobs will soar and there will be no need to ship jobs overseas for a tax break. More, more more teachers who can make our kids feel better about themselves and stay the sagging of their self esteem. And solar panels for our stop lights and public restrooms. Solar! Wind! Teachers! Foward!

chickelit said...

Where's the real dad?

MadisonMan said...

Are 50-yo buns ever optimal?

I'm not a fan of Dockers, I've never owned a pair, and I have prejudicial feelings against those who own them.

Obama dress is too casual. Even as I type that I tell myself I'm turning into my Mother.

Henry said...

"A TAX PLAN THAT CUTS THE DEFICIT AND CREATES JOBS."

Yes, but will it create green jobs?

rehajm said...

The administration discovered a wonderful new invention during the first debate- bullet points! There was some back and forth over the 'civility', but they decided to run with it since it was working for the other guy.

Plus, we're behind, so we gotta do something..

theribbonguy said...

Apologies for hijacking your thread Prof...but you have been "featured" in PJTV's latest "Trifecta"...

http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=105&load=7610

...you come in around the 2:50 mark.

chickelit said...

deborah said...
Yes, buns not optimal.

Axlerod buns in Docker "not optimal" butt maximal.

traditionalguy said...

The clear eyed girl sees a slimey politician who plans for her to live in perpetual poverty. The deluded grown ups are stuck on a stupid fantasy like women all do in Obama Loves You land.

EDH said...

The deficit under Obama is only — only! — something like $1.1 trillion. That's bad enough, and Obama had promised, at the beginning of his presidency to cut it in half. Cut it $4 trillion! I know it's just another dimwitted use of "deficit" for "debt," but — good lord — it's a bullet-point in your glossy brochure.

I think this is typical government accountingspeak, where a slow-down in increase is a cut.

So, cutting the deficit $4 trillion refers to a cut in the annual deficit accumulated over several years (usually ten year) against a baseline from what it would've been otherwise.

Of course, it's still all bullshit and much less specific than "halving" the annual deficit.

Icepick said...

The Internet Editor Karma-is-a-Bitch God strikes again!

(Though not glossy enough to spell "brochure" correctly ever time they used it. I corrected a misspelling in the quote I used for my headline.")

That should be 'every' instead of 'ever' and the final " should be deleted.

And as a sacrifice to the Internet Editor Karma-is-a-Bitch God I offer thees tyops.

Mitchell said...

A man of the people would have a wallet.

Meade said...

MadisonMan said...
Obama dress is too casual. Even as I type that I tell myself I'm turning into my Mother.

They told me if I voted for Obama, there would be nothing to worry about and, no, silly, MadisonMan would not turn into his mother.

And they were WRONG!

Scott M said...

lol @ Icepick

Well played.

Hagar said...

Like with most bullet point things, you are not supposed to read the small print in the back-up text!

Sorun said...

The "devil child" reminds me of that Christmas photo you always put up: Althouse looking skeptically at Santa Claus.

Akiva said...

The adoration in the girl's face is almost frightening. "The president is more than just a man, he is... the great leader to be adorned when his presence graces you."

Love your descriptions Anne!

JHapp said...

That little girl with the frown is making a statement about abortion

Jane said...

Quite some years ago, my husband switched from Dockers to Slates or other "intermediate" styles. Dockers, he explained, had become too casual, but a suit was out of the question. Sure, men's "business casual" clothing is essentially a uniform, but the uniform had changed. Guess Obama didn't get the message.

Sorun said...

Obama's real plan for a second term: adoration and golf. Michelle's: adoration and lavish world travel.

If Obama wins again, he'll get a lot of golf in but I believe everyone will hate him. He'll be sorry.

Tim said...

If the last four years aren't enough to cause one to vote for change, one is as dumb as a bag of cement.

MayBee said...

I suspect that little girl is a robot with laser-eyes. She wants to laser Obama for his trash talk about her cousin, the ATMs.
But the headband is ruining her aim.

BrianE said...

As has been noted earlier, the $4 trillion cut refers to the 10 year budget.

There will still be budget deficits in 10 years, even if the budget is cut by a cumulative total of $4 trillion over some other imaginary budget.

As has been noted, until we get rid of baseline budgeting, almost every figure used by politicians is meaningless.

deborah said...

gluteus aximus

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Ann:Petulant pessimist! How did you find your way into Obama's glossy brochure!

+1

@Patrick:I guess I could go with "dubiety" but I'll have to trust you that it's a word.

It's a perfectly cromulent word.

Ann Althouse said...

"As has been noted earlier, the $4 trillion cut refers to the 10 year budget."

That makes no sense to me. The "deficit" is the shortfall within any given year. You can't claim to make a $4 trillion dollar cut in the deficit by making a $400 billion cut in the deficit and keeping going for 10 years. For one thing, you're not even going to be President for the next 10 years. But that's just not what "deficit" means.

Rustling Leaves said...

Good girl. A healthy sense of skepticism.

Gabriel Hanna said...

" You can't claim to make a $4 trillion dollar cut in the deficit by making a $400 billion cut in the deficit and keep going for 10 years. "

Of course this is right. Politicians have been phrasing it this way in recent years so they can inflate the numbers.

Today's Congress cannot bind a future Congress through legislation. It doesn't mean anything, even if these weren't all based on dubious forecasts of economic growth.

It's gone back at least to the Clinton years, when they were trying to figure out how to spend the next ten years of "surplus". The surplus never existed, it was projections.

Matthew Sablan said...

Are we sure it is a 10-year budget, or did they score it out differently like was done with the Affordable Care Act to make the numbers more electorally nice?

EMD said...

Which one of them is Julia?

Icepick said...

lol @ Icepick

Well played.


I've been bit on the ass doing that so many times.

In fact, I will tempt fate by pointing out that the extraneous " before the close parenthesis is still there.

Duh DUH duuuuuuuuuuh!

Peter said...

Mom has been completely hairless for years. Perhaps not among the first wave of women succumbing to this hideous trend, but a fairly early adopter nonetheless. Grandma held out for a while but more recently jumped on the bandwagon herself; age is no barrier, just look at some of the videos on You Porn's "mature" category.

Most disturbingly, Mom has started doing something for the older daughter that is so hideous I cannot even think of it without wanting to vomit :(

wyo sis said...

"And as a sacrifice to the Internet Editor Karma-is-a-Bitch God I offer thees tyops."

You should have capitalized Thees.

SteveR said...

What's becoming clear, Obama will be fine, and probably quite happy, playing golf and giving speeches, for the rest of his life. Axelrod, et al are working harder for his re-election than Obama is, they actually enjoy being full of shit.

Ann Althouse said...

"And as a sacrifice to the Internet Editor Karma-is-a-Bitch God I offer thees tyops."

I know and have experienced that karma every time I've pointed out typos.

Ann Althouse said...

The main reason I pointed out the typo is that I corrected it for the headline, so that meant my quote wasn't absolutely a quote. I felt I needed to justify the inaccurate quoting and I didn't what to put brackets or "(sic)" in the headline. I wasn't on an anti-typo or anti-misspelling rampage. I did try to make it funny though, just so I wouldn't waste your time.

BDNYC said...

That picture looks like a flag. Obama's blue shirt is the blue part with the stars. The red-and-white dresses are the stripes.

AprilApple said...

Obama made so many promises that all turned out to be bullshit --nobody believes him now. Obama promised to cut the deficit in half and all that. Instead he took our money and gave it to billionaire pat Stryker. Rachel maddow and Obama promised dams and bridges. Nothing. More schools and teachers is just demo code for more unions. Nobody takes Obama seriously anymore.

hawkeyedjb said...

What's a Good Middle Class Job these days? Teacher, certainly; let's create lots and lots of teachers. And firefighters, yes. They're good. And public administrators, of course, but not evil private healthcare insurance administrators. And assistant directors of sustainability, certainly. And probably diversity directors, and assistant student loan program development analysts.

What's not a Good Middle Class Job ? Jobs where people make things (other than windmills), or move things, or drill, or frack, or drive trucks, or refine, or cut wood, or produce fertilizer. In other words, doing all the un-glamorous crap that makes a modern wealthy society actually operate.

We're pissing away our wealth. Mr. Obama and his supporters are in favor of this. Because, hey, we can all work for the government or administer things or analyze things. Or be unemployed.

Icepick said...

I know and have experienced that karma every time I've pointed out typos.

It's almost as certain to happen as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Hmmm. I wonder if there's a connection....

Mitchell said...

Nice catch by BDNYC.

clint said...

Considering that Mitt Romney is basically running on economic competence... it's really egregious that President Obama still doesn't understand what the word bankruptcy means, why gasoline prices are so high, or, apparently, what the words "debt" and "deficit" mean.

Is he even trying to win this thing?

Original Mike said...

The one that caught my eye was "Cutting the deficit by more than $4 trillion."

Four years in, how dumb do you have to be to swallow this?

Original Mike said...

"Even as I type that I tell myself I'm turning into my Mother."

I think there are drugs for that.

MadisonMan said...

I do not want to turn into my Mom, God Rest her Soul. But sometimes her words spring forth from my fingertips.

edutcher said...

This wasn't occasioned by the binders remark.

It was occasioned by the fact the Romster made Zero look like a fool in the first debate because he (Romney) had a plan and Barry had none.

Ann Althouse said...

There's grandma in thick peppermint stripes, clapping her wizened, insufficiently health-cared hands together with delight.

Actually, I think it's the older girl's Mom.

While she's quite MILFy, she isn't that old.

PatCA said...

The message of the brochure is "I like white people too!!"

The stripes I think are meant to echo the flag...cuz Obama is so patriotic.

And the title page, OMG. I just finished Liberal Fascism by Goldberg, so "economic patriotism" and "middle class security" I now view as not accidental constructions.

Icepick said...

I do not want to turn into my Mom, God Rest her Soul. But sometimes her words spring forth from my fingertips.

Clearly it's a case of possession - but just of your fingers. You need to go FULL ASH from the Evil Dead movies. Get chainsaw hands.

MadisonMan said...

edutcher, the woman with the rictus grin does have her hand on the thin peppermint stripe dress girl's shoulder, I think that younger woman has two daughters. And that her Mom (or mother-in-law) is next to her, with a grandson in the green stripes.

bagoh20 said...

Something I've been thinking about lately is how quickly and accurately we can determine gender with very little information. You can see very little of the boy, yet virtually everyone would be 100% sure it is not a girl. We can tell gender in a person that is so far away that you can barely see them. The walk, the outline, the way they stand, the way they move. Very little is needed and we are rarely wrong. It's amazing, and we are far from being able to create a machine that could do it as well regardless of computing power. We can do it near perfectly even as children.

Peter said...

@bagoh20:

If you can hear a person walking without seeing the person, for example around the corner in an office building, you can almost always tell if it's a man or a woman.

Peter said...

@bagoh20:

If you can hear a person walking without seeing the person, for example around the corner in an office building, you can almost always tell if it's a man or a woman.

TaraBGoode said...

Maybe the two ladies are a couple.

Sorun said...

Looking at the photo again, I now think that Obama is promising the family free Obamashoes in his second term.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@bagoh20:Something I've been thinking about lately is how quickly and accurately we can determine gender with very little information.

This is not generally true. People from India or China have a very hard time and are easily fooled by dress and long hair. It was the same way in the West at one time, which is why we have so many accounts of women successfully passing as men for years.

Beldar said...

The little girl with the flower in her hair is still angry because her mother revoked her internet privileges for suggesting that Mitt Romney's dog might have preferred going along on the family vacation in the car-top but wind-sheltered pet carrier to spending much longer in an equivalently confined space amidst strange dogs and people at a kennel. Her mother chose the red flower as a mark of shame.

Beldar said...

She's also angry because her mother made her walk to a political rally with no shoes.

Beldar said...

And her hand position reminds me of the old joke about the man who, upon entering the dentist's chair, suddenly wraps his hand around the dentist's testicles and says with a smile, "We're not going to hurt each other, are we?"

yashu said...

Heh, love this post. The cherry on top is that Althouse is parodying Obama's "creative writing" style.

Amartel said...

Devil child hasn't started scrool yet.

She'll learn.

Kirk Parker said...

Gabriel @2:03 -- do you mean cross-culturally? For sure, that's totally different.

Palladian said...

I bet I know what the blurry body text is:

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Quisque purus justo, sagittis eu ultricies in, pulvinar eu diam. In hac ..."

Dummy text that a designer inserts into layouts as a placeholder for the "real" copy to follow.

Except, in this case, there is no "real" copy to follow. Obama's "plan" is all dummy text.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Kirk Parker:Gabriel @2:03 -- do you mean cross-culturally? For sure, that's totally different.

No, within culture. When the sexes distinguish themselves by dress and hair, then there is no need to look for subtle cues of gait and bone structure, and so you'll miss them. In the West, when women had long hair and wore skirts, women could successfully pass as men for, in some cases, decades. Even as soldiers and sailors, in extremely close proximity.

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