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.
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.
-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.
-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.