Inside the Beltway: Obamacare lost in translation

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“How likely is it that there will be another government shutdown in January when the current federal budget deal expires?” asks an Economist/YouGov survey released Wednesday.

Americans, apparently, are expecting more: 73 percent reported that another shutdown was likely. A mere 13 percent said it was unlikely, while 15 percent just were not sure.

THE DEMOCRATS’ SHUTDOWN HABIT

“This nation has gone through 18 government shutdowns in the last 37 years. Fifteen of those 18 shutdowns occurred when Democrats controlled the House. In those 15 shutdowns, the Democrats demanded increased abortion services and labor and environmental policy concessions,” Rep. Tom McClintock advised his colleagues in a speech on the House floor Wednesday.

“Perhaps the reason we don’t remember those shutdowns as vividly is because in those days, presidents negotiated around the clock to resolve the disputes that caused them and did everything they could to minimize the public’s inconvenience and suffering,” the California Republican said. “This time was different. This time, the president refused to negotiate and took unprecedented steps to amplify the pain and suffering that the public endured.”

Mr. McClintock pointed out that the White House has flirted with the idea of delaying the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate by dropping the penalty for noncompliance — something Republicans previously had begged for. Their requests were ignored.

“These facts speak for themselves and need no embellishment from me,” Mr. McClintock said. “John Adams once observed that ‘Facts are stubborn things.’ As passions cool and reason resumes its rightful place in the nation’s discourse, these facts will speak eloquently and stubbornly of what happens when politics trumps policy and propaganda trumps reality.”

RICK PERRY’S PEACE PLACE

He’s famous for pushing the glories of Lone Star business sense anywhere he can. Now Texas Gov. Rick Perry is going for diplomacy. Flanked by Israel President Shimon Peres, Mr. Perry announced on Wednesday that he had founded an international branch of Texas A&M University in Israel, specifically in Nazareth. The governor calls the new branch the “Peace Campus,” to be funded by private donations.

“Texas A&M and Israel make a good fit, as communities built upon the values of family, commitment and tradition. That’s reflected in the goals we’ve established for this university. We want to see the Nazareth branch as a means to preserve peace and build understanding between cultures,” Mr. Perry proclaimed from the home of Mr. Peres.

“The founding of such a renowned institution in an Arab city in the State of Israel sends an important message to Israeli society and the Arab public in Israel. I am certain that this splendid institution will have the power to enhance the vision of peace and equality,” observed Shai Piron, Israel’s minister of education.

POLL DU JOUR

50 percent of Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act; 86 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent of those 18 to 29 and 54 percent of those over 65 also disapprove.

45 percent overall approve of the health care law; 11 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 83 percent of Democrats agree.

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