President Obama must be relieved that the government partially shut down last week. It was the only thing that could distract attention from the disastrous rollout of Obamacare.

As near as I can tell, this is how insurance companies are going to be able to afford the new rules under Obamacare: Sure, the law will require them to accept all applicants without regard to pre-existing conditions or risk, and to allow children to be covered by their parents’ plan until age 26. But in return, the government will ensure that the web sites on which people can enroll will be completely non-functional.

Actually, it’s all an elaborate plot. The idea is that anyone trying to access Obamacare will stare at the revolving wheel of their computer’s cursor until they are in a trance and open to hypnotic suggestions to always vote Democrat.

So, how is it exactly that the government can’t afford to keep any of its web sites operating except the ones extolling how great President Obama and his health care law are?

When Washington shut down last week, so did all the national parks and monuments. But that didn’t have to happen. This would be a good opportunity to partner with private businesses and finally make some money off these national treasures. Think of the possibilities. And just in case you can’t, I have:

“Welcome to the Rio Tinto Grand Canyon. Now deeper than ever!”

“Please stand back until folks have exited the Lincoln Memorial Tilt-a-Whirl, then have your tickets ready at the gate. Feel the butterflies the 16th president must have felt as he faced a crumbling union!”

“We hope you enjoyed Disney’s ‘The hills are alive’ program at Mt. Rushmore. Come back at 3 and we’ll make the four presidents sing again!”

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“Welcome to the ‘Secret deodorant’ Statue of Liberty. Strong enough for a man, yet made for a statue who has to keep her arm up all day.”

“Now that Smuckers is our sponsor, we’re changing the name to Jellystone. Remember, don’t feed Yogi and Boo-boo!”

And of course, “Welcome to McDonald’s Golden Arches National Park. May I take your order?”

Meanwhile, this thing could be over soon. Vladimir Putin is reportedly working on a way to get Republicans to agree to back down in exchange for only using more conventional political weapons from now on.

Jay Evensen is associate editor of the Deseret News editorial page. E-mail him at For more content, visit his web site,