That Bearded Mofo

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Ways and Meanings

Published Sun Mar 8, 2015 6:30pm PST

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"Gentlemen, I read to you my Time Warner Cable bill."

Politics. Am I right?

Okay, so that statement says more about my ignorance than my intelligence. But we all could benefit from a little more understanding. That's why I've put together the following little study guide to improve your political vocabulary. Here are 10 definitions of political terminology.

For those of you familiar with my football season reports, you may recognize this as a blatant ripoff. For those of you who haven't checked out any of the football stuff, this is a 100% totally original idea I just came up with.

Cause célèbre
Definition: A controversial issue that attracts a great deal of public attention, such as the Roe v Wade Supreme Court case. French for "famous case".
In a sentence: Bill Murray and Rick Ross got together for a boys night out cause célèbre makes for strange companions.
Report: "Bill Murray and Rick Ross get in the studio together"

Definition: An action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically breaching laws or required procedures.
In a sentence: We didn't have enough attendees for us to charter a jet, but we could easily filibuster Albuquerque.

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This guy gets it.

Definition: A closed meeting of members of a political party or faction. Also the term for a group of people within an establishment with a common political leaning.
In a sentence: The congressman was reprimanded for showing the aide his caucus.

Definition: Appropriations, appointments, etc., made by the government for political reasons rather than for public benefit, as for public buildings or river improvements.
In a sentence: Senator Harry Reid might have healthier vision if he cut out all the pork.
Report: "Capitol Hill Buzz: Pelosi teases Reid with dark glasses"
Combo: You know politics is dirty when they use words like pork and caucus.

Definition: The belief that government should intervene as little as possible in the direction of economic affairs. French for "allow to do".
In a sentence: I knew she wasn't into guys because she dresses like she just came from laissez-faire.

Definition: A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism.
In a sentence: I asked Snoop if he wanted to join us for breakfast and he said, "Fascism, my nism."

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If you recognize the guy on the right, you're old enough to be dead.

Grass roots
Definition: The common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc. The rank and file.
In a sentence: Your mama so dumb, she thought grass roots was a band started by Qwest Field.
Or: I know I have to eat grass roots and drink beet shakes to live a long healthy life, but I rather live a short, happy one with bacon-wrapped pizza.
Report: "This Is The Most Surprising Thing About Bacon-Wrapped Pizza"

Straw man
Definition: Addressing and refuting an argument your opponent didn't actually make, even though at first glance it might appear they could have made it.
In a sentence: Americans are sick and tired of police getting away with racial injustice and the DOJ says Ferguson is the last straw, man.
Report: "Holder says would break up Ferguson police if necessary"

Tea Party
Definition: A grass roots American political movement advocating adherence to the Constitution as well as reining in alleged excessive taxing and spending by the government. Term derived by advocates sending tea bags--a reference to the Boston Tea Party--to congresspersons who supported large spending bills.
In a sentence: That is not what the Tea Party is.

Definition: The intellectual fashion or prevalent school of thought that typifies and influences the culture of any particular period. German for "spirit of the time".
In a sentence: Zeitgeist, Tower Heist, Poltergeist, what a fright! Shite my tights, ugly sight. Gonna need a night light! We didn't start the fire... It was always burning...

That's ten. Sure, this lesson didn't turn you into Frank Underwood or Olivia Pope. But don't you feel like you could hold your own on Meet The Press now? At the very least Fox & Friends.

Session adjourned.

~That Bearded Politicofo~

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