DOVER AFB, DE – The casualties of war turned into casualties of politics for several heartbreaking hours.
For a time, the partial government closure became a shameful shutdown when the families of four servicemen killed in Afghanistan learned they would not get the $100,000 reimbursement for travel and funeral expenses.
For a change, Democrats and Republicans found common ground.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, (D) Texas: “I want immediately for the $100,000 death benefit and the flight to Dover to be immediately given to these families.”
Rep. Renee Ellmers, (R) North Carolina: “Mr. Speaker despite the government shutdown our service members are still expected to go to war knowing full well that they may pay the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation and we should be expected to keep our promises to their family members.”
President Obama told the Pentagon and the White House Office of Management and Budget to come up with a solution. In other words: Git ‘er done.
The House members didn’t wait to be told what to do, voting unanimously to restore those death benefits. The Senate is expected to do the same.
But don’t expect the leaders of the House and Senate to use this brief bromance to end the partial government shutdown.
“Our message in the House has been pretty clear. We want to reopen our government and provide fairness to all Americans under the president’s healthcare law,” said Speaker of the House John Boeher.
To which, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded: “We have simple, simple requests — open the government, let us pay our bills.”
If that’s not enough to make you sick, how about some nice, juicy chicken?
About 300 people in 18 states, mostly out west are sick with salmonella from Foster Farms chicken.
Place some of the blame on the Centers for Disease Control, which furloughed people who track these things.
The good news is they’re going back to work. The bad news is that this is just another ‘fowl up’, with Washington giving all of us the bird.