Ok, so here's the deal.
The Pentagon let the Congress know that the shutdown would cause certain things to effect the defense department. They let them know this *before* the shutdown. The Pentagon cited many items, but they specifically said "death benefits"
And a bipartisan Congress approved the money. They thought, as did most, that the matter was settled.
Then the shutdown comes and we descend into this macabre theater where WWII Vets are barry-caded from outside monuments and hotel guests are escorted out of national parks by armed park rangers.
Now the sad reality of war, which is never too far, returns. We lose servicemen and women who were fighting on our behalf. Some stop and turn and reflect as they always do. Their hearts big and wide and grieving.
But this time, something is different. And the national grumble turns to a roar as we realize that the Pentagon is saying there will be no death benefit because of the Shutdown. There is bewilderment. Congress funded this. Both parties agreed. For once the right thing was done.
Fisher House, a marvelous and worthy charity steps into the breech and takes care of those grieving families. Thank God, for Fisher House. That's not just an expression of relief. That's me saying to you that if you believe in God, please thank Him for good people like Arnold Fisher and his family and everyone who works for, fundraises for and helps Fisher House.
Congress, both sides, springs into action. They are going to immediately fix this oversight. According to Jay Carney, the President wants a solution immediately.
OK, so everyone is scrambling. They thought this was settled, it wasn't, we'll look into it.
First problem - Reporters ask when the President was first aware of this problem. Fair question, no answer.
Second problem - White House spokesman says POTUS isn't going to sign the law that Congress threw together because now the problem is being handled by Fisher House, so no need. Plus it's just a gimmick. Yeah buddy it's just a gimmick that was signed unanimously. It's hard to call something a Republican trick if the Democrats are hustling too.
Arnold Fisher blasted the President at some event last night "It's the worst thing this country has ever done: Allowing these families to come to Dover Air force Base on their own money....Stop the nonsense."
Then the President signs it saying he meant to all along.
Third problem - Robert Hale, Comptroller of the Pentagon, before the Armed Services Committee saying the problem was the law was vague. So he consulted with lawyers.
Vague? Did it not occur to you to call someone? Like that steaming pile of shit Chuck Hagel? How about the Commander in Chief? How about the House Armed Services Committee? How about the author of the bill "Pay Our Military Act" Rep. Mike Coffman R-CO. That's the bill that Congress thought solved this problem back on the eve of the shutdown. No, Hale sent a memo to Justice. Well, we all know how useful Eric Holder is.
So yesterday Coffman reams Hale in a hearing.
Hale "resented Coffman's remarks". Too fucking bad.
If Robert Hale can't handle this he should resign. If Hale, as Coffman accuses, used it to further the "Make it hurt" White House political strategy, he should be tarred & feathered.
3 years ago