Grains of Sand: TIME January 21 2013 words

Monolithic: Massive, formed by one single block of stone

-No dictatorship is as monolithically malevolent as it might seem from the outside.

Pachyderm: A large mammal with thick skin e.g. elephants, rhinos

-Some of the white pachyderms now reside in Naypyidaw.

Parlay: to turn a gain from a previous into a greater amount by gambling

-After the success Pom Wonderful has had juicing high-antioxidant pomegranates, a new generation of entrepreneurs is aiming to parlay the health benefits of other fringe crops into million dollar super fruit empire.

Capitulate: surrender

Either Iran will capitulate to US demands or the US will go to war with Iran.

Abjure: solemnly renounce

-Washington has chose to abjure military action and contain its regime.

Presage: forebode

-In this, they match the inept Democrats of the 1980s, who were convinced that the election of Ronald Reagan presaged the onset of American fascism.

Farcical: laughably inept

Mint (v.): make (a coin) by stamping metal

-The darkness was neon in the farcical but sort of serious suggestion, supported by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman among others, that the President mint a 1 trillion platinum coin and place it in the Treasury, thus eliminating the need to raise the debt ceiling.

Noxious: harmful

-Krugman said this was silly but benign as opposed to the Republicans’ silly but noxious efforts to hold the nation’s economy hostage.

Lassitude: lack of energy, weariness

-But there is smugness and lassitude to the party right now, an absence of creative policy thinking, a tendency to defend corroded industrial age welfare programs.

Lacuna: gap, missing space

-Coburn was close to Obama when they were both senators. Not so much lately- a lacuna I’ll lay on the president, who seems as antisocial when it comes to politicians post election as he was before.

Candour: open and honest, frank

-His chief asset may be a candour in the best Jersey tradition of say-what-you-mean bluntness.

Byzantine: complex, intricate or characterized by devious, surreptitious manner of operation

-Some countries that have restricted international adoption did so to try to fix an often byzantine process rife with mismanagement, fraud, and systemic corruption.

Moratorium: temporary prohibition of an activity

-They were hopeful: Kyrgyzstan had lifted the moratorium on adoptions and was beginning to the process of approving the long pending cases.

 

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