It was a moving scene at Dover Air Force Base this morning when the flag draped caskets of four fallen American service members arrived home. They were welcomed by tearful family members and also by a saluting Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. The relatives were there thanks to the benevolence of private donations by empathetic American groups. Taxpayers footed the cost of Hagel's chauffeured ride from the Pentagon to Dover, Delaware, which, by the way, was his first such trip to that base since becoming secretary of defense in February.
Save our returning heroes the mockery of a detached secretary of defense saluting. What he should do is resign. I hope a national chorus of outraged voices will force Hagel to do just that after lawyers at the DOD cited was they claimed was a "loop hole" in the special bill passed by Congress mandating active duty military continue to get their paychecks and family benefits during the government shutdown. Somehow, the benefit that pays grieving families to cover travel and burial expenses for their fallen loved ones was not "spelled out" for DOD attorneys and their boss.
If that was not outrage enough - there was this. Iowa congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, carped during a radio interview that there was no towel service in the congressional gym since the shutdown. And poor Congressman Braley said he was having to laundry his own towels.
Aaaahhhhh, poor baby!!!!
Braley, of course, blames Republicans. When asked why the House gym was even open during a government shutdown, Braley said it was not his fault. After all, it was the House Speaker's office which signed off on the gym staying open. Braley might have elicited at least a modicum of respect had he said having the gym open was wrong, even in hindsight, and not just throwing the blame back on the shoulders of Republican John Boehner. That gym should be closed tomorrow, Mr. Boehner, and remain closed for the duration of the shutdown.
Pray for those who are grieving their loss. And add a petition to the Almighty that this country can endure the dearth of leadership until the 2014 elections arrive.
Term Limits are beginning to have the ring of Nirvana.