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The World of Obama — A Glossary



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ACORN: Never heard of it

Arizona: Resembles 1930s Italy

beer summit: Where investigating an apparent break-in is defined as acting “stupidly”

bipartisan: A senator with a 97 percent partisan voting record 

Boehner, John: Is to be blamed

bow: Correct greeting for sheiks; for the Queen, an iPod is appropriate

BP: Company requiring a boot on its neck to make it fork over $10 billion, or $15 billion — or why not $20 billion? 

campaign finance reform: Applies to “them”

capital-gains taxes: Increase them even if that brings in less revenue (it’s the punishment, stupid)

Chamber of Commerce: Is really to be blamed 

Chicago community organizer: Best preparation for the Oval Office

Chrysler creditor: To the back of the line

Churchill: Eccentric 19th-century colonialist

civility: Requires demonizing George W. Bush, while deifying Barack Obama

comprehensive health-care reform: Entails astronomical rises in private health-insurance premiums

comprehensive immigration reform: Blanket amnesty

corpsman: One who carries corpses

Costa del Sol: A cut-rate getaway spot for recession vacationing

cowards: Won’t talk nonstop about race

czar: Agency director subject neither to confirmation hearings nor to audit

divisive: Opposing Barack Obama

doctors: Medical professionals liable to cut off your limbs and rip out your tonsils needlessly for profit

elections: Only sometimes have consequences

enemy: An American who opposes illegal immigration; sometimes mistakenly used of combatants fighting Americans

energy: To be capped and traded rather than produced

exceptional: Old, inaccurate description of the United States

faces: As in “get in their”

filibuster: Archaic and obstructionist parliamentary maneuver except when used to stop reactionary appointments

Fox News: Is really, really to be blamed  

George W. Bush: Is really, really, really  to be blamed

get out the vote: Dangerous except when applied to minority blocs

golf: Sign of aristocratic disdain that can nevertheless be appropriately used to recharge exhausted liberal batteries

green jobs: Massive subsidies to friendly progressive enterprises

Ground Zero Mosque: No such thing

Guantanamo Bay: Virtually closed

guns: You cling to them, we bring them to a knife fight

“hope and change”: An inspiring slogan that is better than the facts or the truth

ice cream: Eating it will get your children deported

inheritance taxes: Reason to die before 2011

Iraq: Now the good bad war

jobs: Always potentially saved, never actually lost

KSM: Virtually tried and convicted in a New York federal court

Las Vegas: Where enemies of the people go to spend their ill-gotten gains

Latinos: Group of Americans who must punish enemies of the people at the polls

laws: Suggestions that may be followed in cases of social utility

Limbaugh, Rush: Is really, really, really, really to be blamed

“make no mistake about it”: As enlightening as “let me be perfectly clear”

Martha’s Vineyard: Another populist recession-era getaway place

minorities: “They’re counting on your silence. They’re counting on your amnesia. They’re counting on your apathy.”

money: “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough”

NASA: A social bureau dedicated to Islamic outreach 

“never waste a crisis”: Recessions are not so bad after all

outliers: Formerly known as rogue nations

polarization: Rising opposition to liberalism

Predators: Bush started them

progressive: Alternative to liberal, used when the latter polls badly

prolonged detention: Acceptable, as opposed to indeterminate detention

radical Islam: A construct of the paranoid Right

redistributive change: What the Supreme Court needs to work toward

renditions: Ongoing Bush felonies now impossible to stop

Republicans: Cannot sit in the front seat

reset button: Treating our friends as neutrals and our enemies as friends

SEIU: A social-services organization

shovel-ready: Neither ready nor involving shovels

smoking: Does not occur if it occurs in the Rose Garden

stimulus: Borrowing another trillion dollars with no plan for paying it back

tax: Reclaiming public money that was taken by greedy and selfish private citizens

Tea Party: Extremist anti-government types in the incendiary tradition of Jefferson; preferably called “tea-baggers” 

terrorism: A man-caused disaster addressed by overseas contingency operations

“they”: Wealthy evil manipulators who use their obscene profits to vacation in places like Las Vegas

times of economic uncertainty: A signal that you are about to be called a racist

tribunals: Bush started those too

$250,000: Above that bad, below good

undisclosed: Description of anonymous opposition campaign contributors

unemployed: Those whose jobs were lost under Bush

Van Jones: Even the name was made up

wealth: To be spread rather than created

white person: Often “typical” and “bitter” with “untrained ears,” and likely to “cling” to religion and guns; in short, full of “antipathy”

working across the aisle: Offering huge earmarks or presidential appointments in return for a single Republican legislative vote

“yes, we can”: Inspiring slogan that went out of use during the summer of 2009



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