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Le Monde, France

Shutdown


By Corine Lesnes

You would think that entire country had just planned to visit the national parks this weekend. Since there was a question of a “government shutdown,” the has media showed nothing but voters departing for the Lincoln Memorial or the Statue of Liberty.

Translated By Drue Fergison

9 April 2011

Edited by Hois­han Chan

 

 


France - Le Monde - Original Article (French)

You would think that the entire country had just planned to visit the national parks this weekend. Since there has been the question of a “government shutdown,” the media has shown nothing but voters departing for the Lincoln Memorial or the Statue of Liberty. Not to mention Washington’s Cherry Blossom Festival! The parade that marks the full bloom of cherry trees given to the United States by Japan in 1912 was nearly canceled. The parade traditionally proceeds down Constitution Avenue — under the purview of the National Park Service, the first to be furloughed in case of government shutdown (after 48 agonizing hours, a creative spirit suggested that the parade should proceed on a parallel avenue).

But one hour before midnight, the genius of compromise passed. The stalemate was unblocked. Democrats accepted $39 billion in budget cuts. Republicans gave up wanting to prohibit funding for Planned Parenthood. Barack Obama appeared in the Blue Room of the White House, in front of the window that opens onto the Washington Monument. He announced that the 58 eighth-graders from Longmont, Colorado — who were to come on a school trip to visit the monuments of the founding fathers — would not be disappointed (too bad for the tea party).

The deal was reached after a spectacular day. The Democrats gained the upper hand after giving women, who are angry about Republican attempts to eliminate subsidies to Planned Parenthood, what they want. House Majority Leader John Boehner chose to drop his party’s fundamentalist wing, which is obsessed with abortion and the fact that Planned Parenthood receives public funding.

Arguments on both sides have been made in beautiful attempts of extremely bad faith. Planned Parenthood claims that it does not use public funds for abortions but only for other health care services provided to women. Suspicious, Senator Jon Kyl asked why women choose to go to Planned Parenthood to test their cholesterol levels.



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