Thom Shanker's story on the front page of today's New York Times reveals that "tucked away in fine print in the military spending bill for this past year was a lump sum of $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation's capital "for commemoration of success" in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Now Congressional Republicans are saying, in effect, maybe next year. A paragraph written into spending legislation and approved by the Senate and House allows the $20 million to be rolled over into 2007.
The original legislation empowered the president to designate "a day of celebration" to commemorate the success of the armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to "issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities."
Following the gaffe that was President Bush's flight-suit clad appearance on an aircraft carrier to celebrate "Mission Accomplished," one would think that lawmakers would have been more circumspect than to let such a provision stand. It's not as if I'm against celebrating the successes (or honoring the sacrifices) of the military, but we are so far away from anything resembling success that authorizing the celebration funds is like booking the DJ for your embryo's Sweet Sixteen party.