1. Marc Ambinder highlights the 10 most important lines from the President’s State of the Union address…and what they really mean.

    "After five years of grit and determined effort, the U.S. is better positioned for the 21st century that any nation on earth."

    All the muck of the past five years has led to job growth and an improving economy, and I’m determined to be optimistic even if the country is as pessimistic as ever, because I’m not going to follow the media’s trapping narrative.

    The 10 most important lines of the SOTU explained

     


  2. 19 regional words all Americans should adopt immediately

    Traveling around the United States, it sometimes can feel as if the locals are speaking a whole different language…

    whoopensocker (n.), Wisconsin — You know when something’s wonderfully unique, but the words “wonderful” and “unique” don’t quite cut it? That’s why Wisconsinites invented whoopensocker, which can refer to anything extraordinary of its kind — from a sweet dance move to a knee-melting kiss. 

    snoopy (adj.), Maryland, Pennsylvania — A more interesting way of saying someone’s picky, especially with regards to food. 

    chinchy (adj.), South, South Midlands — Not as direct as “cheap,” and less erudite than “parsimonious,” this useful word perfectly describes your stingy friend who never chips in for gas.

    More words… 

    (Source: theweek.com)

     


  3. 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent

    Koi No Yokan (Japanese) — The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love.

    Zeg (Georgian) — It means “the day after tomorrow.” Seriously, why don’t we have a word for that in English?

    Rhwe (Tsonga, South Africa) — College kids, relax. There’s actually a word for “to sleep on the floor without a mat, while drunk and naked.”

    More words…

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  4. 1. “GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took some factual shortcuts during the Republican convention when he attacked President Barack Obama.” (Cal Woodward and Jack Gillum at The Associated Press)

    2. “It was just one of several striking and demonstrably misleading elements of Ryan’s much-anticipated acceptance speech.” (Ryan Grim at The Huffington Post)

    3. “Ryan misleads on GM plant closing in hometown: Paul Ryan appeared to suggest that President Obama was responsible for the closing of a GM plant in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisc. That’s not true.” (Glenn Kessler at The Washington Post)

    4. “Ryan’s misleading speech… was part introduction of himself and his small-town origins, part testimonial to his running mate and — in largest part — a slashing and, in many elements, misleading indictment of President Obama as both a spent force and a threat to American freedom.” (The editorial board at The Washington Post)

    15 ways the media is calling Paul Ryan a liar, without actually using the L-word

     

  5. Scientists say an increasing number of women are exhibiting a growly, creaky, “annoying” speech pattern known as vocal fry.

    Pop stars like Britney Spears and Ke$ha sometimes deliberately use it to hit low notes or add intrigue to their singing. Kim Kardashian is also a notorious vocal frier. Once considered a speech disorder, vocal fry is the lowest of the three vocal registers, which also include modal and falsetto. “In other words, it is the sort of gritty, sexy voice that 85-year-old habitual smokers develop.”

    The rise of “growling speech”

     

  6. New research suggests that primitive man sounded a lot like Yoda. Very interesting, these findings are.

     


  7. In a much-hyped speech, President Obama said the U.S. would help Tunisia and Egypt enact democratic reforms by offering both countries new aid and investment. He also endorsed, more clearly than ever, the idea of establishing a Palestinian state along pre-1967 borders as a way to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As well, Obama denounced regimes in Libya, Syria, and Iran for using violence to silence demonstrators demanding greater freedom. Did the president spell out a brave new vision for U.S. policy in the Middle East, or merely make a lot of empty promises?

    Here’s what the political responders are saying

     


  8. On Monday evening, President Obama took to the stage at National Defense University to lay out his case for America’s bombing of Libya. In his half-hour, nationally televised speech, Obama said he felt compelled to attack because Moammar Gadhafi was on the verge of massacring his own people, because Libyan rebels were asking for support, and because there was an international consensus to do so. Here, some key takeaways:

    • Obama offered a rationale: A “moral imperative”
      President Obama’s “workmanlike effort” to explain the why and how of his decision to bomb Libya boils down to this: “Because we could and our interests and values demanded it,” says Marc Ambinder in National Journal. The president offered a “moral imperative” for U.S. action, placing America on the “right side of history” and Gadhafi on the wrong side, says Susan Brooks Thislethwaite in The Washington Post. The U.S. acted, he said, before the “mass graves” were dug. “I have heard far worse arguments for the use of force.”
    • But he didn’t exactly clarify the “Obama Doctrine”
      Anyone expecting the president to articulate an “Obama Doctrine” was disappointed, says Ben Smith at Politico. “The doctrine is there is no doctrine,” or maybe even an anti-doctrine that “makes sure above all that one size never fits all.” Nevertheless, Obama still laid out clear outlines for a “muscular and unapologetic” foreign policy, says Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. Broadly, his version of a doctrine “calls for humanitarian military intervention when it is both necessary and feasible.” In other words, says Jim Geraghty in National Review, it’s “look, just trust me on this.”
    • We’re handing over control to NATO… sort of
      Obama said the U.S. is handing all control of the mission over to NATO on Wednesday, says The Associated Press, but that just means “turning the reins over to an organization dominated by the U.S., both militarily and politically.” The commander of the operation will be a Canadian general, but his boss, and his boss’s boss will both be Americans. And the attack aircraft, refueling tankers and advanced military technology that “made the U.S. the inevitable leader out of the gate will continue to be in demand.”

    More key points here.

     


  9. In last night’s State of the Union address, the president spent more than an hour addressing hefty issues, from America’s failing education system to the deficit, and critics have zealously dissected his every syllable. But a number of less weighty issues received critical scrutiny, too — from Rep. Paul Ryan’s aggressively gleaming hair to Michelle Obama’s dress. Here are some non-policy points of discussion:

    Michele Bachmann’s “crazy eyes”
    Bachmann’s Tea Party rebuttal is being noted as much for her sideways stare as for its content. Not only was her rebuttal laced “with all sorts of nonsense about rising debt and Iwo Jima,” says Jeff Neumann at Gawker, the “Tea Party zombie” consistently stared off-camera with “crazy eyes.” Was she looking at a “tall statue of George Washington, or maybe of Darth Vader?” mused Ken Tucker in Entertainment Weekly. Keith Olbermann wondered if the issues were technical. “Did the Tea Party not spring either for a Camera Red Light or a combined camera-teleprompter?” he asks via Twitter. “It costs $3.”

    Salmon
    The president may have talked jobs and health care, but one thing really stuck with Americans: Salmon. According to an NPR survey, “salmon” — the government regulation of which was the subject of an Obama joke — was the most memorable word of a night the Reuters blog has called “salmon ‘chanted evening.”

    Paul Ryan’s “Eddie Munster hair”
    Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) response to Obama’s speech was “pretty good,” says Chris Rovzar in New York, despite his “uncanny Eddie Munster hair,” complete with widow’s peak, and “weirdly bloodshot eyes.” Yeah, it looked as though “we [had] just caught him smoking up in what he thought was an empty classroom,” jokes Alex Pareene at Salon.

    Here’s the full list

     

  10. All America heard last night was ‘Salmon’ - via New York Magazine

    Word clouds of what Obama said (jobs, people, new, America, work) vs. what America heard (inspiring, hopeful, salmon).

     


  11. If you’re like some of us and don’t have access to cable from your apartment, you can watch the State of the Union live here. Also, The Week will be live-blogging the address with updates from the best opinion makers out there. And if you’re on Twitter, you can follow the list we’ve created of reliable sources that we will likely be using to monitor reactions to the speech. Enjoy!

     

  12. Bruce Beatie, copyright 2011 Creators Syndicate

     


    • What to expect from the speech (straight talk on govt. spending, vague discussion of tax reform, cheerleading)
    • What probably won’t be in the speech (support for climate change science, acknowledgment of the recession’s impact on minorities)
    • What will happen after the speech (Rebuttals!)

    Here’s a guide to help you get ready