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WATER COOLER

The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

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The majority of Americans agree: everybody spies on the US - including our allies

Do allies and enemies alike "spy" on U.S. leaders? Voters themselves appear to agree that clandestine activities are a reality of life these days for those at the highest echelons of power, according to a wide ranging new survey. And it's complicated: some say the anger of those leaders whose cell phones were monitored by the National Security Agency was simply "posturing for the media."

**FILE** Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (Associated Press)

Romney calls ObamaCare a 'frustrating embarrassment'

The man who could be considered a founding father of tenable public healthcare programs is still shaking his head. "In the years since the Massachusetts health care law went into effect nothing has changed my view that a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country," Mitt Romney says of ObamaCare.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is surrounded by reporters after leaving the office of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., on Capitol Hill on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 in Washington. Reid reported progress Monday towards a deal to avoid a threatened default and end a two-week partial government shutdown as President Barack Obama called congressional leaders to the White House to press for an end to the impasse. "We're getting closer," he told reporters. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Are politicians addicted to spectacle?

The agreement on the shutdown and the debt ceiling is no guarantee that lawmakers and the White House will behave. They seem addicted to spectacle and the kind of hand-wringing political theater that garners press coverage, while masking inactivity or indecision.