Sorry Daft Punk helmets. We have a new winner for best WSJ stipple-print of the week.
For this week’s Brookline TAB Town Meeting coverage. And possibly because I dig the word ‘trolley’ too.
For this week’s Brookline TAB: It’s been 200 days since President Obama resoundingly won re-election against an opponent who was seen as amazingly out-of-touch with Americans and, well, reality.
Now we’re asking Obama to compare himself to Richard Nixon.
Obama’s always had his critics, and it’s easy to dismiss some of the bloviating heads who have taken cracks at him over the years — that he’s not American, hates the rich, hates the poor, hates your guns (but still wants them), hates you enough to provide adequate health care for all Americans, is actually a sentient lizard-man from the center of the earth, etc.
But now this is scary stuff: Obama’s Justice Department raised the specter of charging a Fox News reporter with being a “co-conspirator” with a government official in breaking the federal Espionage Act, all for reporting on North Korea’s interest in nuclear weapons.
You might have heard about North Korea’s interest in nuclear weapons. It’s a meme:
Congratulations! You now know enough to potentially face charges under the Espionage Act, too!
Despite a reputation on the right for being cuddly with the press, Obama isn’t exactly in line to win an award from the ACLU. He’s been criticized for allowing the human rights clusterfuck that is Guantamamo Bay continue; he has prosecuted more government whistleblowers (six so far) under the Espionage Act than any other president in history; used armed drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists - killing hundreds of civilians in the process; and aside from digging through a reporter’s emails, his Justice Department pulled the phone records of Associated Press and Fox News reporters covering the government as part of an ongoing witch hunt for government leaks.
On Thursday, he reportedly announced he’d scale back the drone strikes and move to close Gitmo (again); this, in conjunction with recent statements confirming that his administration ordered four Americans executed (which the Constitution says isn’t supposed to happen), seems more like he’s acknowledging facts that everyone seemed to already know, with nothing more than lipservice about where the limits of his administration’s authority actually lies:
(All this twists other problems and builds them into controversies they really aren’t. The IRS spat with conservative groups is essentially about lots of paperwork, but has gotten conflated into a New York-Boston-style partisan turf war, in which one side didn’t realize there was a turf war until the news said so. And Benghazi — where four Americans died in an attack on the American mission there — debate has focused on talking points rather than addressing security for diplomats.)
Obama did, however, roll out support for legislation for a federal reporter’s shield law. As a candidate, Obama supported such a law, but the legislation has been gathering dust since he took office.
But anyway— It’s back now. With an exception for national security reporting, which represents the main reason you need a shield law in the first place.
So basically: I miss the simple days of last year, when we still had this guy:
“I Built This AK-47. It’s Legal and Totally Untraceable.”
In which our reporter attends a “build party” where anyone can make a rifle that no cop will ever know about.
Foreign Words We Could Use in English -
- Kummerspeck (German)
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
- Shemomedjamo (Georgian)
You know when you’re really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can’t stop eating it?
- Tartle (Scots)
The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember.
- Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego)
This word captures that special look shared between two people, when both are wishing that the other would do something that they both want, but neither want to do.
- Backpfeifengesicht (German)
A face badly in need of a fist.
- Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet?
- Pelinti (Buli, Ghana)
Your friend bites into a piece of piping hot pizza, then opens his mouth and sort of tilts his head around while making an “aaaarrrahh” noise. The Ghanaians have a word for that. More specifically, it means “to move hot food around in your mouth.”
- Greng-jai (Thai)
That feeling you get when you don’t want someone to do something for you because it would be a pain for them.
- Mencolek (Indonesian)
You know that old trick where you tap someone lightly on the opposite shoulder from behind to fool them? The Indonesians have a word for it.
- Faamiti (Samoan)
To make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or child.
- Gigil (Filipino)
The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is irresistibly cute.
- Yuputka (Ulwa)
A word made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.
- Zhaghzhagh (Persian)
The chattering of teeth from the cold or from rage.
- Vybafnout (Czech)
A word tailor-made for annoying older brothers—it means to jump out and say boo.
- Fremdschämen (German)
; Myötähäpeä (Finnish)
The kindler, gentler cousins of Schadenfreude, both these words mean something akin to “vicarious embarrassment.”
- Lagom (Swedish)
Maybe Goldilocks was Swedish? This slippery little word is hard to define, but means something like, “Not too much, and not too little, but juuuuust right.”
- Pålegg (Norweigian)
Sandwich Artists unite! The Norwegians have a non-specific descriptor for anything – ham, cheese, jam, Nutella, mustard, herring, pickles, Doritos, you name it – you might consider putting into a sandwich.
- Layogenic (Tagalog)
Remember in Clueless when Cher describes someone as “a full-on Monet…from far away, it’s OK, but up close it’s a big old mess”? That’s exactly what this word means.
- Bakku-shan (Japanese)
Or there this Japanese slang term, which describes the experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.
- Seigneur-terraces (French)
Coffee shop dwellers who sit at tables a long time but spend little money.
- Ya’arburnee (Arabic)
This word is the hopeful declaration that you will die before someone you love deeply, because you cannot stand to live without them. Literally, may you bury me.
- Pana Po’o (Hawaiian)
“Hmm, now where did I leave those keys?” he said, pana po’oing. It means to scratch your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten.
- Slampadato (Italian)
Addicted to the UV glow of tanning salons? This word describes you.
- Zeg (Georgian)
It means “the day after tomorrow.” OK, we do have “overmorrow” in English, but when was the last time someone used that?
- Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese)
Leave it to the Brazilians to come up with a word for “tenderly running your fingers through your lover’s hair.”
- Koi No Yokan (Japanese)
The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love.
- Kaelling (Danish)
You know that woman who stands on her doorstep (or in line at the supermarket, or at the park, or in a restaurant)
cursing at her children? The Danes know her, too.
- Boketto (Japanese)
It’s nice to know that the Japanese think enough of the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking to give it a name.
- L’esprit de l’escalier (French)
Literally, stairwell wit—a too-late retort thought of only after departure.
- Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish)
A word that would aptly describe the prevailing fashion trend among American men under 40, it means one who wears the shirt tail outside of his trousers.
- Packesel (German)
The packesel is the person who’s stuck carrying everyone else’s bags on a trip. Literally, a burro.
- Hygge (Danish)
Denmark’s mantra, hygge is the pleasant, genial, and intimate feeling associated with sitting around a fire in the winter with close friends.
- Cavoli Riscaldati (Italian)
The result of attempting to revive an unworkable relationship. Translates to “reheated cabbage.”
- Bilita Mpash (Bantu)
An amazing dream. Not just a “good” dream; the opposite of a nightmare.
- Litost (Czech)
Milan Kundera described the emotion as “a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.”
- Luftmensch (Yiddish)
There are several Yiddish words to describe social misfits. This one is for an impractical dreamer with no business sense.
And the highest paid public employee in your state is…
Just be you, Vermont.
We’re guessing that this map, when viewed by anyone with a negative, apathetic, or in-perspective attitude towards sports, is probably a good way to spike your blood pressure. Still, nice to see that as in so many ways, Vermont is an island unto itself.