Rand Paul: Some government idiot sent goons to barricade the memorial; Update: Honor Flight Chicago still a go for today

posted at 8:41 am on October 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Is the Honor Flight endangered by the government shutdown? Even though TSA remains funded as an essential national-security function, the agency couldn’t answer questions from local media in Toledo as to whether the government would stop a flight of local WWII vets from going to Washington DC next week to meet at the memorial dedicated to their service and heroism.  Quite frankly, they don’t care, either:

TSA employees were still working at Toledo Express Airport, but when WNWO called the TSA to find out if they would be affected, there was a message that said the public relations representative did not have access to her voicemail or email due to the government shutdown.

In a letter from Marcy Kaptur’s office in the 9th District, it read, “…only services deemed essential for the safety of human life and protection of property will be continued.”

But for a group of World War II vets visiting the national memorial in Washington D.C., an all expense paid trip which is called an “Honor Flight,” the shutdown was not stopping them from seeing the tribute that was inspired by them.

“It just goes to show you why we won World War II,” says Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio President Lee Armstrong. …

Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio has a trip scheduled to depart from Toledo next Wednesday, October 9.

“We will make the call this Friday to determine if the flight is still a go, or if we will have to re-schedule,” Armstrong explains.

He says they are considering going ahead with the trip even if the government is still on shutdown, but when he called the parks service, he was told they would face arrest.

They tried that yesterday, too, but what police officer wanted to be the first to arrest a veteran from accessing a public memorial? I’ve been to the WWII Memorial in DC, and it’s open to the public for no charge. It doesn’t require any ticket-takers or turnstiles. Yet, someone in DC figured that it would make a point to block access to the memorial, and Rand Paul wants to know what “idiot” sent in the “goons” yesterday:

“If Harry Reid and the President want to keep the parks closed— I mean did you read the story today? Some idiot in government sent goons out there to set up barricades, so they couldn’t see the monument. People had to spend hours setting up barricades where there are never barricades to prevent people from seeing the World War II monument because they’re trying to play a charade,” Rand (R-Ky.) said Tuesday on Fox News’s “Hannity.”

Paul’s attack comes after reports that a group of World War II veterans had to break down barricades to access the National World War II Memorial, one of the sites that was closed due to the government shutdown.

Paul also said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama are “going to play a game” and that they “like the shutdown.”

“They’re going to play a game with us to say, ‘oh, you can’t see see the monuments’? That’s ridiculous, they’re doing it because they just aren’t serious about this, they like the shutdown,” Paul said.

The Daily Caller reported that the vets actually checked in with the National Parks Service first, but were denied access — and then denied it by the White House as well when Rep. Steve Palazzo tried to intercede:

“We got the heads up that they will be barricaded and specifically asked for an exception for these heroes,” Palazzo told TheDC. “We were denied and told, ‘It’s a government shutdown, what do you expect?’ when we contacted the liaison for the White House.”

Palazzo’s office was in touch with the heads of the National Park Service, the Department of the Interior and the Capitol Police. He says all these officials rejected his request to allow the veterans, many of whom are octogenarians and some of whom are in poor health, to attend.

Palazzo, a Gulf War Marine veteran who has participated in all five of the Honor Flights, blames the White House for making it harder on veterans and playing politics. “At first I thought it was a huge bureaucratic oversight,” Palazzo told The Daily Caller, “but having talked with the officials I can’t help but think this was politically motivated. Honor Flights, which bring WWII veterans to the nation’s memorials, are planned a year in advance and cost anywhere between $80,000 to $100,000. How low can you get with playing politics over our nation’s veterans?”

In a statement, Palazzo noted that he is introducing legislation to ensure that all Honor Flights are granted access this week. “This is an open-air memorial that the public has 24/7 access to under normal circumstances — even when Park Service personnel aren’t present,” Palazzo said in the statement. “It actually requires more effort and expense to shut out these veterans from their Memorial than it would to simply let them through. My office has been in touch with NPS officials and the Administration to try to resolve this issue.”

Jake Tapper reported that NPS barricaded the park because old people might need CPR. No, seriously:

“Park Service did not want to barricade these, but unfortunately we have been directed, because of the lack of appropriations, to close all facilities and grounds,” said National Mall and Memorial parks spokeswoman Carol Johnson.

“I know that this is an open-air memorial, but we have people on staff who are CPR trained, (and) we want to make sure that we have maintenance crew to take care of any problems. What we’re trying to do is protect this resource for future generations,” said Johnson.

They don’t seem terribly concerned about that in the absence of a shutdown:

In case readers doubt the determination of the Greatest Generation who defeated the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese, veterans are now planning “assaults” on other memorials in Washington:

On Wednesday, the scene could repeat itself when groups from the Honor Flight Network — a national charity that brings aging World War II veterans to visit the national monument to the conflict they fought in — are scheduled to arrive at the massive outdoor memorial. Meanwhile, veterans have pondered staging a similar protest at the Lincoln memorial, said Jamie Miller, a five-year veteran of the Marine Corps and another organizer of the Iowa group that stormed the World War II memorial Tuesday.

“We are thinking about jumping the Lincoln memorial too,” he said. “If Lincoln was a war memorial I would do it in a heart beat.”

Wednesday’s rally at the World War II is set to become a political sideshow to the larger shutdown debate, with RNC chair Reince Priebus urging Republicans to show up at the event with American flags to support the veterans and attack Democrats and Obama. Those RNC supporters that show up will find a lot of Republican lawmakers — and at least one Democrat, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill — at the memorial waiting for them.

Whoever came up with this strategy in the Obama administration should have his head examined. (via Allahpundit’s intrepid link-retrieval efforts this morning)

Update: My friends and Salem colleagues Big John and Amy at WIND say Honor Flight Chicago is undaunted by “goons” and barricades:

Honor Flight Chicago CEO Mary Pettinato told John and Amy that they will still visit the World War II Memorial later today, and are prepared to go as far as getting arrested if they are blocked from taking their group of veterans to the memorial[.]

Audio at the link.


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Allah’s all over this:

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/10/02/unreal-park-workers-installing-more-barricades-around-wwii-memorial-to-keep-vets-out/

It’s a brand new thread for verbaluce to be completely ignorant in.

gwelf on October 2, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Murphy9 on October 2, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Yeah, can’t stand that guy…

You hear what I heard about Boehner and Reid? The communications?

Scrumpy on October 2, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Has there ever been a thread where verbaluce was actually familiar with any of the relevant facts?

gwelf on October 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Has there ever been a thread about gay bathhouses?

Aviator on October 2, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Are we surprised? Democrats have always hated the veterans.

Next the Democrats will deny grandma and grandpa their Medicare and Social Security checks since compromise is such a dirty word on their side of the nutbar aisle.

TEAR DOWN THE BARRY-CADES! NEXT THE DEMOCRATS WILL CUT OFF YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS!

Punchenko on October 2, 2013 at 10:54 AM

You hear what I heard about Boehner and Reid? The communications?

Scrumpy on October 2, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Yes. I’m praying for a hastened second coming. This world needs judgment pronto.

Murphy9 on October 2, 2013 at 10:55 AM

verbaluce on October 2, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Abjectly moronic, 100% of the time.

Congratulations, that’s a hell of an accomplishment.

Midas on October 2, 2013 at 10:55 AM

If I lived in DC, I’d be there, but at least I can pass this around … http://t.co/9LEz4WrSg7

(h/t to someone here ;-)

pambi on October 2, 2013 at 10:56 AM

canopfor on October 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM

As I mentioned earlier, thank you for including the link.

Bishop on October 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Bishop:Anytime Bishop:-0

canopfor on October 2, 2013 at 10:56 AM

The barricades, like closing White House tours, are the work of a petulant child in the White House. He thinks that every stupid move that he makes will be seen as that of the Republicans. There’s never been a greater embarrassment to our country. Even Jimmy Carter was more respected than the Marxist.

cajunpatriot on October 2, 2013 at 10:57 AM

US government shutdown impact 2013

Official Park Police statement on WWII memorial: ‘The memorial is legally closed. We’re asking for cooperation. But we’re not seeking confrontation’ – @LeoShane

52 secs ago from twitter.com/LeoShane by editor

canopfor on October 2, 2013 at 10:57 AM

and at least one Democrat, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill

Looks like Air Claire is a little worried about her reelection.
Good.

Georgfelis on October 2, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Leo Shane III ‏@LeoShane 1m

WWII vet just told @jaketapper that he’s unsure if they’ll get in the memorial today. I think you’re ok, buddy. #shutdown

canopfor on October 2, 2013 at 11:01 AM

S government shutdown impact 2013

Photo: Honor Flights veterans arrive at WWII Memorial; supporters with flags lining the entrance applaud – @LeoShane

2 mins ago from twitter.com/LeoShane by editor
===================================================

https://twitter.com/LeoShane/status/385418060191916032/photo/1/large

canopfor on October 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

canopfor on October 2, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Show some actual respect and leave them out of it.
And take off that flag…it’s not a coat.

verbaluce on October 2, 2013 at 9:57 AM

You are an absolute a**. You haven’t the foggiest notion of what kind of hell they went through. The disrespect is being shown by you and your paramour. The the leader of the executive branch and the leader of the senate have engaged in an all or none policy of not negotiating. The leader of the executive branch has allowed underlings to barricade open air memorials that have been open to the public 24/7 since they were built. The leader of the executive branch is the one that brought the veterans into this.

BTW the leader of the executive branch is **** wait for it**** Barack Hussein Obama.

chemman on October 2, 2013 at 11:05 AM

I have a feeling that the WWII Memorial is going to be opened for ‘First Amendment activities’ whether the Feds like it or not.

Resist We Much on October 2, 2013 at 11:08 AM

I’d settle for first or second.

Murphy9 on October 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Looks like bikers are escorting them – yeah baby!

https://twitter.com/AndreaPlunkett/status/385414023149547520/photo/1

gophergirl on October 2, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I have no idea why the ‘barricades’ were put up. I’m not privy to how NPS operates and what decisions they make during a shutdown, when many of their employees are being furloughed. I would imagine evaluations are ongoing and this is a decision that could be amended.
I’m under no delusion that Obama ordered barricades to be put up to block veterans from visiting sites.

verbaluce on October 2, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Well you better hope Obama gets off butt and calls someone at the NPS and lets them know the vets better be allowed to enter. If he does not it will be a major Dem/Obama defeat no matter how you spin it.

Images of police beating up vets will not look good for the executive branch and is boss. You would have to be a complete tone deaf idiot and complete political hack not to get that. How did it work out for President Hoover.

William Eaton on October 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Obama will erect Barrycades on DC parks and memorials to keep out Americans, but won’t do put up any Barrycades on the border to keep out illegal aliens… Got it!

Petulant boy who would be king

Roy Rogers on October 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Last summer, my grandfather received 8 long overdue Navy medals for service in WWII and at Pearl Harbor. Our family will never forget the number of veterans groups, from all branches, (including one Harley-riding group!) that showed up to stand by and attend the ceremony and stand on line to speak with him. I can’t even explain how many incredible veterans we met that day. Wonderful and fascinating people, but the wrong group to p*ss off, I’d say.

An obvious point; but that this cowardly President would so dishonor and offend the most honorable and brave among us, and that his sheep in Congress would be his accomplices in denying keeping THEIR memorials and parks open – this is the most hateful and anti-American thing I’ve witnessed. I am hoping, praying that this will not be just another offense we stand by and tolerate.

girlscout on October 2, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Verbipinprick you still here?

John Noonan ‏@noonanjo 47m

Park Ranger confirms order to shut down #WWIImemorial came from the White House https://twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/385413993579687936

MontanaMmmm on October 2, 2013 at 11:32 AM

I think there’s something missing in the comments…

The memorials don’t belong to the Executive Branch. Only the people who work for the Park Service report to the Executive Branch. This is a very important distinction!

dominigan on October 2, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Obama is starting to lose the PR battle….

I wonder if he will remember the first rule of hole digging?

It’s pretty clear Dingy Harry doesn’t.

Athos on October 2, 2013 at 11:42 AM

More likely, Obama will seek to move the goalposts….

Athos on October 2, 2013 at 11:42 AM

That Carol Johnson sounds a lot like Lois Lerner.

Must take a certain kind of personality to be a female liberal federal boss.

PattyJ on October 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM

US government shutdown impact 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas: ‘President Obama is so fixated on forcing Obamacare on the American people that he’s even willing to deny World War II veterans the right to access the memorial they have earned through their heroic service’ – statement via @NBCNews

2 mins ago by editor

canopfor on October 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

I have no idea why the ‘barricades’ were put up.
verbaluce on October 2, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Feigned ignorance — the old standby.

Park Ranger confirms order to shut down #WWIImemorial came from the White House https://twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/385413993579687936

MontanaMmmm on October 2, 2013 at 11:32 AM

So now you know.

rrpjr on October 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I’m not sure what contingencies are in place the National Park Service during a government shutdown. I’d imagine they vary depending on the facility in question.
But for sure, things might be different than normal – right?
Again, there IS a government shutdown.

verbaluce on October 2, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Now they’re adding more barricades and there’s mounted police patrolling. I’m sure soon to be round-the-clock security due to the media frenzy.

Is this all free, verbaluce? Again, the IS a government shutdown.

Chuck Schick on October 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

100% Because the government is shutdown. The GOP is fracking hilarious. “Burn it down! Shut it down! LET IT COLLAPSE!!!…..Oh, old white guys want to go a memorial? WHAT HAVE WE DONE???”

Laughing stocks.

libfreeordie on October 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Unlike museums and such, this memorial is open air and open 24/7.

Why the need for the barricades?

Chuck Schick on October 2, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Obama channeling ‘The Simpsons’ C. Montgomery Burns, who once said, “I prefer the hands-on touch you only get with hired goons.”

CaptFlood on October 2, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Unlike museums and such, this memorial is open air and open 24/7.

Why the need for the barricades?

Chuck Schick on October 2, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Rhetorical, of course. There was no ‘need’ other than Obama and his miserable party wanting to cause Americans as much visible pain as possible in the hopes that the Republicans would receive the lion’s share of the public’s rage.

For the millionth time, if we had a main-stream media worth it’s salt, this would be drilled down to the nineteenth level to ascertain whether the White House played a roll in this.

CaptFlood on October 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Obama enforces a “Red Line” against the greatest generation of American veterans…No “Red Line” for his brothers and pals in the Muslim Brotherhood! Obama is despicable!! So are all of the mindless Democrats and media enablers that support his treachery!!

Marco on October 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Oh, DaVerb:

At the WWII Memorial, Carol Johnson w/the Park Service says they were told to close the site by White House’s Office of Management & Budget.

— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) October 02, 2013

There it is. The WH ordered the barriers erected and manned. Now, who lives and works in the WH? Not the Department of the Interior.

Resist We Much on October 2, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Laughing stocks.

libfreeordie on October 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

You lost so gobsmackingly on this memorial thing it’s beyond belief. And you know it. That’s why you’re so angry.

rrpjr on October 2, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Laughing stocks.

libfreeordie on October 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

They seemed to have found the money for barricades, drivers, forklifts, gas… which I’m sure is more than keeping an open air memorial, well, open.

Nice try, comrade.

mankai on October 2, 2013 at 12:23 PM

funny how they expend more resources barricading it then they do allowing it to be open and non staffed at night.
someone needs to IPAB these park people….

dmacleo on October 2, 2013 at 12:39 PM

100% Because the government is shutdown. The GOP is fracking hilarious. “Burn it down! Shut it down! LET IT COLLAPSE!!!…..Oh, old white guys want to go a memorial? WHAT HAVE WE DONE???”

Laughing stocks.

libfreeordie on October 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

You really are a sodding c#nt.
No. That’s all.

RovesChins on October 2, 2013 at 1:11 PM

libfreeordie on October 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

So the Federal government has erected barricades around every memorial? All over the country, too, I bet!

Snort.

Resist We Much on October 2, 2013 at 9:06 AM

The Troll is too stupid to understand that what is shut down is to some extent discretionary.

It’s not like the federal government has no money to spend. It is collecting income tax money, miscellaneous fees, FICA money, and Medicare money every day.

However, for now it can’t spend any more than what it is taking in, more or less. It cannot borrow additional money to spend.

So for now the politicians in charge, IOW Comrade O’s admin, and the bureaucrats have to decide what to spend money on and what not to spend money on. And being of the Chicago Way persuasion, these politicians and bureaucrats will choose to cut back on the services that people will most notice. It’s all a game to these people.

farsighted on October 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Maybe they only had to erect barricades against people who imagine they have some right to trespass in violation of the law. I know, I know. They’re Gods among men or something like that. These are the people who raised the boomers…how “Great” of a generation can they be?

libfreeordie on October 2, 2013 at 9:09 AM

This is possibly the most offensive thing I’ve ever read on HA.

gophergirl on October 2, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Doesn’t matter. That Marxist socialist race baiting bigotted troll seems to be a pet of the HA PTB. It is permitted to get away with a lot. Must be some kind of affirmative action program for trolls, or something.

farsighted on October 2, 2013 at 1:24 PM

I levy constant attacks on the Obama Administration, as any honest reader of my comments here would agree.
 
libfreeordie on June 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM

rogerb on October 2, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Pics of the Day: Then & Now

Your heads will explode.

Hypocrisy at its absolute finest.

Resist We Much on October 2, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Hannity had a guest on and said the Memorial Area will remain open for the WWII Vets, but not for the general public.

bluefox on October 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM

I levy constant attacks on the Obama Administration, as any honest libfreeordie on June 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM

rogerb on October 2, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Well I dunno about constant, but he has complained a couple of times that 0bama isn’t quite marxist enough, and not quite ‘gay’ enough to suit Mr. Chocolate Rainbow Libfleeorlie.

LegendHasIt on October 2, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Hannity had a guest on and said the Memorial Area will remain open for the WWII Vets, but not for the general public.
bluefox on October 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Once again proving that 0bama separates us peasants into two classes:
Those who can help or harm him, and the hoi polloi whom he cares nothing about.

LegendHasIt on October 2, 2013 at 5:14 PM

100% Because the government is shutdown. The GOP is fracking hilarious. “Burn it down! Shut it down! LET IT COLLAPSE!!!…..Oh, old white guys want to go a memorial? WHAT HAVE WE DONE???”

Laughing stocks.

libfreeordie on October 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

‘Cuz, like, um, ya know, there wasn’t a guy there today that is not blacker than you…

…and, who said: ‘We’re gonna fight like hell!’

Video to follow shortly.

Resist We Much on October 2, 2013 at 6:12 PM

If a group of Tuskegee Airman arrived at the WWII Memorial, would the barricades be removed?

lonestar1 on October 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

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