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Opinion: State of the Union bingo!

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Having just made fun of the State of the Union ritual, I now realize that I’ve unwittingly encouraged people to disengage themselves from the policy debates that I write about for a living. And, umm, that’s probably not helping my page views. And it doesn’t help matters that other journalists are pooh-poohing the big speech too.

So it’s time for me to reverse course. Here’s a reason for you all to tune in to the speech tonight (at 6 p.m. Pacific): You and your friends can play State of the Union bingo! Take two dozen words from the list below, arrange them in a five-by-five grid, then mark off each one as it’s uttered by President Obama. The first to get five in a row wins.

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To get you started, here’s a blank grid, with a gimme in the middle:

Here’s a list of words to scatter around the your card -- pick any 24:

Economy Innovation Growth Engine Competition
Sacrifice Deficit Debt Earmarks Waste
Investment Infrastructure Timetable Benchmark Insolvent
Green Technology Small business Regulation Relief
Reform Wall Street Transparent Healthcare Repeal
Faith Hope Indomitable Together Unity

I left out some sure things (“Medicare,” “Social Security,” “bipartisan”) in the hope of making the game last longer. And remember, don’t get lost in the rhetoric (or in righteous indignation) -- you’ll lose focus and miss some words.

-- Jon Healey


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