Saturday, June 15, 2013

Think the IRS Is Bad Now? Just Wait (Till Obamacare kicks in)

Wall Street Journal ^ | 06/15/2013 | Sen. Orrin Hatch

The Internal Revenue Service has never been an agency much loved by the American people. With the IRS's targeting of conservative groups, its already bad reputation has now sunk to a new low.
But the scandal raises a critical question: If the IRS can't manage an increase of 1,700 applications for tax-exempt status that the agency said spurred its targeting of conservative groups, how will the IRS handle its massive new role in implementing ObamaCare?
Under the Affordable Care Act, premium subsidies—tax credits in ObamaCare designed to defray the cost of purchasing health insurance—will go to some seven million tax filers and flow to households earning as much as $94,000 a year. The credits are both advanceable and refundable, meaning the IRS will pay them first and verify the claims for them later, what some call "pay and chase."
Refundable tax credits are essentially a form of spending through the tax code, something the IRS has struggled to administer for years with other programs. That's why it's not far-fetched to say that these premium credits will go to a lot of people inappropriately, and that we can expect to see a lot of erroneous and fraudulent payments.
Look at the Earned Income Tax Credit. Whether you like this refundable credit or not, the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration reported in April that improper payments account for 21% to 25% of total EITC payments in 2012. Take the percentage of improper EITC payments and apply it to the approximate $1 trillion we'll spend on ObamaCare premium credits in the decade beginning 2014. The math shows that we could see between $210 billion and $250 billion distributed to those who shouldn't get it—because the IRS has no system in place to verify reported household income.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...

Zimmerman's Dad: Blacks Are the Racists

The Root ^ | June 14, 2013 | Corey Dade

In his new e-book, Robert Zimmerman Sr. blames black leaders for fanning racial flames.
With his son on trial for murder in the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the father of George Zimmerman has published an e-book criticizing the case and calling some African-American leaders who called for his son's arrest racists. Robert Zimmerman Sr.'s book, Florida v. Zimmerman: Uncovering the Malicious Prosecution of My Son, George, was released on Friday at Amazon.com for $3.99.
Zimmerman writes at length about his background and his family's multiracial identity, seemingly to counter accusations that his son, a 29-year-old neighborhood-watch volunteer, was racially motivated to shoot the unarmed black 17-year-old last year. Zimmerman is white, and his wife is Hispanic.
"In the Zimmerman household, relatives, friends, neighbors and classmates were certainly a diverse, wholly accepted mix." He describes his son's prom date as "a lovely young lady ... They were an attractive couple. No one ever even considered the fact that George was Hispanic and the young lady happened to be black."
Zimmerman devotes a chapter to the racial overtones of the case that promise to further inflame the issue. In the chapter "Who Are the True Racists?" he accuses a number of black leaders and organizations of being racist. He also criticizes the attorneys representing the Martin family as being race-baiting schemers.
He writes that before the shooting, he believed that "generally racism was a thing of the past." But after the national outcry against his son, he says he realized that racism is "flourishing at the insistence of some in the African American Community."
(Excerpt) Read more at theroot.com ...

'Gang of Eight' Members Angry with Rubio Over Border Security Amendments?

Townhall ^ | 06/15/2013 | Guy Benson

What to make of this?  I'll raise a few theories below, but here's the Washington Post's Greg Sargent on supposed internal conflict within the 'Gang of Eight:'


Republican and Democratic senators in the “gang of eight” immigration reform group gave Marco Rubio an earful at a private meeting this week, telling him they were frustrated with his public embrace of overly conservative border security measures and his failure to adequately communicate with them over strategy, which they said was putting reform at risk, I’m told. The details of the private meeting on Wednesday – which were shared with me by a source familiar with the episode — shed new light on the delicate behind the scenes strategic calculations the gang of eight is making as it seeks to navigate its proposal past conservative opposition through the Senate. The meeting hints at the true nature of the collective kabuki that the gang of eight is engaged in as it seeks to create just enough space to the right for Republicans to embrace the bill — without moving it so far to the right that it alienates Democrats. Publicly, Senators have mostly remained mum as Rubio has flirted with conservative demands for more border security. But in the private meeting, Republican and Democratic senators in the gang of eight expressed “frustration” with Rubio over the manner in which he publicly embraced the John Cornyn amendment, which mandates hard border security “triggers” as a precondition for citizenship in a manner Dems find unacceptable, the source tells me...As feared, uncommitted Republican Senators are beginning to clamber aboard the Cornyn “hard trigger” express.


Like Allahpundit, I'm deeply skeptical that Rubio has actually run afoul of fellow 'gang' members by endorsing John Cornyn's stricter border enforcement provisions, which Rubio reportedly helped draft in private -- though Cornyn's office disputes that claim.  Sargent is right to confine "hard trigger" to quotation marks because although that amendment is an improvement over the bill's status quo, the notion that it's a draconian non-starter for Democrats is absurd.  I heard initial buzz from sources close to the gang of eight's inner workings that Chuck Schumer was prepared to accept Cornyn's plan.  I openly wondered why on earth the New York Senator wouldn't at least feign initial opposition to the proposal, only to "cave" later and give conservatives a "win."  That's how this sort of kabuki works.  Sure enough, within a day or two, Harry Reid was tearing into the Cornyn amendment as a "poison pill," or whatever.  John McCain and Lindsey Graham have used similar language, surprising nobody.  (Again, go back and read what Cornyn has proposed.  It's not even remotely "harsh" or unreasonable).  I presumed this was all pure theater, but then Rubio pivoted to co-authoring yet another amendment with Tom Coburn, which will almost certainly water down the already watered-down Cornyn enforcement package.  Remember, the only plan that would have required genuine security triggers before the government grants provisional legalization to millions died on the Senate floor last week. 

The Rubio/Coburn development has me rethinking some previous assumptions.  Maybe the Left flank really doesn't intend to eventually relent on the Cornyn amendment.  Maybe the kabuki is actually happening on the Right, where conservatives are offering up stronger enforcement paradigms to assuage the base, knowing full well that the Senate will never adopt anything that even approaches a serious improvement.  And perhaps the Left is getting a little greedy.  They might have concluded that (a) Republicans like McCain and Graham are giving them sufficient political cover to reject any idea that treads beyond illusory baby steps, and (b) Rubio's become too invested in the outcome to walk away now.  They might be right on both counts.  In any case, all of this maneuvering on behalf of "amnesty" must be corroding Rubio's standing among Republicans nationally, right?  Wrong:






Rubio clocks in at a whopping +47 favorable rating among Republicans, second only to Mitt Romney's running mate and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan -- who also happens to support a big bipartisan compromise on immigration reform.  Be sure to note Chris Christie's numbers; he's at the bottom of that pile, but still registers a healthy +28 favorability mark among Republicans.  Among all adults, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents, guess who sails to the front of the class?  That's why I suspect AP is right when it comes to Rubio's potential for rehabilitation among those who are currently livid at him for basically spearheading the Gang of Eight effort:


If he hangs in there and the bill passes, he’ll get all sorts of media love as the “new leader of the GOP,” a man who “makes things happen in Washington,” blah blah. You and I will pound the table and swear that we’ll never, ever vote for him in 2016, and that might be true — for awhile. But strange things happen. What if Christie emerges as a real threat to take the nomination with moderate support? Suddenly Rubio becomes the lesser of two evils, a guy who’s much more conservative than Christie on balance, who has a pretty good record if you exclude the whole “terrible immigration bill” thing, who’s darned electable against Hillary and isn’t that what’s really important? We’ll talk ourselves into it and Rubio knows it. And then, once he’s the nominee, any righty who threatens to stay home in protest of his embarrassing betrayal of border security (and betrayal of the voters who elected him in 2010 as an anti-amnesty candidate) will be considered an utmost traitor to the conservative cause. Again, Rubio knows all this.


Any conservative who's already confidently pronouncing Rubio DOA in 2016 because of his immigration work is forgetting very recent history.

National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day

NTYDTTRD ^ | June 15, 2013 | NTYDTTRD

NTYDTTRD was founded in Jan 2012 to promote firearms safety and education, as well as family bonding through participation in an exciting and fun sport. Our inaugural event was held Jun 9, 2012, with 37 ranges in 15 states participating. It took thousands of volunteers, sponsors and supporters but it was worth it to see the smiles on the faces of the kids and the parents.
We started with a focus on Daughters and an opportunity for Dad’s to take their girls to the range and quickly evolved into Sons and Moms, too! The name hasn’t changed, but we encourage the whole family to shoot together. It is a great opportunity to teach the kids safe handling skills, expose them to shooting sports which they may enjoy for the rest of their lives, and do something together!
The annual event will be held the 3rd Sat in June. We hope you will consider hosting or participating in an event near you.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationaltakeyourdaughtertotherangeday.com ...

Palin slams military intervention in Syria: 'Let Allah sort it out'

The Hill ^ | Saturday June 15, 2013

Former GOP vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin told a Washington audience Saturday that the U.S. should not get involved in the Syrian civil war.
Palin argued that the U.S. should not intervene in any Middle East conflict as long as President Obama remains in office. “Until we have a commander in chief who knows what he is doing....let Allah sort it out!” she told the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
The statement shows how far Palin has drifted from former running mate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is the chief Senate proponent of U.S. military action to help the Syrian rebels.
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...

Gohmert: Holder’s credibility is 'shot’!

The Hill ^ | June 15, 2013 | Ben Goad

A GOP member of the House Judiciary Committee said Saturday that Attorney General Eric Holder had lost the trust of the American people, arguing the Justice Department has been turned “into a criminal defense firm” over an ongoing government leaks scandal.

“Eric Holder’s credibility has been shot," Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said during an appearance on Fox News.
Gohmert lambasted Holder for refusing to publicly explain his role in the agency’s probes into media leaks, which involved the monitoring of reporters’ phone records.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) announced late Friday that Holder had agreed to meet privately to discuss testimony he gave the panel last month.

Gohmert said the concession would not satisfy the public – or members of the press.

“How are you going to feel when you know we’re meeting behind doors to talk about how he may be invading your rights and getting your e-mail and checking your phone calls?" Gohmert questioned Fox News’s Uma Pemmaraju. “It’s not enough."

The panel is looking into whether Holder misled lawmakers on May 15, when he testified that Justice has never sought to prosecute a journalist on his watch.

The testimony doesn’t jive with a warrant application, approved by Holder, that named Fox News reporter James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator in the alleged leak of classified State Department information, Republicans assert.

Holder’s agreement to meet with lawmakers follows a heated back-and-forth between the agency and Republicans on the committee. 

“He made the DOJ into a criminal defense firm and now they will help him prepare answers that they keep vague,” Gohmert said.

While the meeting will be closed, Gohmert said he would discuss whatever transpires to the extent possible without divulging classified or sensitive information.

“I want the public to know what’s going on,” he said.

Admission: Special Forces were only hours from Benghazi

WND ^ | 18 hours ago | Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – In a bombshell admission that has until now gone unreported, Martin Dempsey, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, conceded that highly trained Special Forces were stationed just a few hours away from Benghazi on the night of the attacks but were not told to deploy to Libya.
In comments that may warrant further investigation, Dempsey stated at a Senate hearing Wednesday that on the night of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, command of the Special Forces – known as C-110, or the EUCOM CIF – was transferred from the military’s European command to AFRICOM, or the United States Africa Command.
Dempsey did not state any reason for the strange transfer of command nor could he provide a timeline for the transfer the night of the attack.
Also, Dempsey’s comments on the travel time between Croatia and Benghazi were incorrect.
His remarks for the first time confirm an exclusive Fox News interview aired April 30 in which a special government operator, speaking on condition of anonymity, contradicted claims by the Obama administration and a State Department review that there wasn’t enough time for military forces to deploy the night of the attack.
“I know for a fact that C-110, the EUCOM CIF, was doing a training exercise in … not in the region of North Africa, but in Europe,” the special operator told Fox News’ Adam Housley. “And they had the ability to act and to respond.”
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...

Obama will end the war on terror as soon as he helps al Qaeda win it!

Coach is Right ^ | 6/15/13 | Jim Emerson,

The Obama Administration has finally come to the conclusion that Syrian dictator Assad has chemical weapons which he will use against al Qaeda aligned, Muslim Brotherhood backed insurgents and rebels. So after calling for an end to the war on terror, the White House resident has now ordered the U.S. military to develop a plan to assist Syrian rebels in an overthrow of the Assad regime. Once accomplished, Assad will be replaced with a Muslim Brotherhood puppet as seen in Egypt and Libya.
Obama’s military planners are developing plans for arming Syrian rebels and insurgents (al Qaeda terrorists) to fight the forces loyal to Assad. Current plans call for establishing...
(Excerpt) Read more at coachisright.com ...

Confirmed: Obama IRS Targeted, Infiltrated and Harassed Christian Churches!

Gateway ^ | June 15, 2013 | Jim Hoft

The Obama Internal Revenue Service targeted several Christian groups including a 180 year-old Baptist paper.
The Obama IRS targeted Christian groups including Franklin Graham and the 180 year-old Biblical Recorder.
The Obama IRS implemented a program to infiltrate and target conservative, evangelical Christian churches.
...
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization, were both targeted by the Obama IRS.
(Excerpt) Read more at thegatewaypundit.com ...

IRS scandals threaten funding for health care law

AP(Adminstration Propaganda) ^ | 6-15-13 | STEPHEN OHLEMACHER

WASHINGTON—Mounting scandals at the Internal Revenue Service are jeopardizing critical funding for the agency as it gears up to play a big role in President Barack Obama's health care law. Obama sought a significant budget increase for the IRS for next year, when the agency will start doling out subsidies to help people buy health insurance on state-based exchanges. Congressional Republicans, however, see management problems at the IRS as an opportunity to limit the agency's funding just as it is trying to put in place the massive new law.
Republicans have been fighting the health care law ever since Democrats enacted it in 2010 without a single GOP vote. Unable to repeal the law, some Republicans hope to starve it by refusing to fund its implementation.
The IRS scandals are giving them a timely excuse.
"I think it's safe to say they're not going to get the kind of increase they're asking for," said Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee that funds the IRS.
"The question is, based on their bad behavior, are they going to end up with less money?" Crenshaw said.
(Excerpt) Read more at twincities.com ...

GOP’s Quin Hillyer Slams Farrakhan’s Involvement with Alabama Democrats

PJ Media ^ | June 14, 2013 | J. Christian Adams

PJ Media first reported on the anti-Semite, anti-white bigot Louis Farrakhan ‘s participation in a series of Democrat-sponsored rallies across Alabama in support of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The case of Shelby v. Holder will be decided by the Supreme Court this month and may strike down the requirement that 15 states submit all election-law changes to the federal government for approval. This requirement has been used to block a variety of state laws designed to protect election integrity, including Texas voter ID and Georgia citizenship-verification requirements to vote.
In support of this “preclearance” requirement, a group of Democrat senators, Democrat local officials, and Democrat Party officials have enlisted the help of the bigot Louis Farrakhan. The group toured Alabama on Friday with stops in Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery.
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In Selma, they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. In 1965, the racists were on the far side of the bridge awaiting the marchers. In 2013, the racist marched across the bridge in support of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
It’s unclear why a black bigot is considered a credible spokesman for support of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Obviously Alabama Democrat Party leader Joe Reed and Alabama Senators Hank Sanders and Bobby Singleton think Farrakhan is a suitable spokesman to defend Section 5. (Click here to see a video of Farrakhan saying “death” is the only answer for whites, and that whites should be “boiled in oil.” See also, “ Yes Justice Scalia, Section 5 Really is a Racial Entitlement “ at PJ Media.)
Quin Hillyer is running for Congress in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. His press release on the Democrats teaming up with the bigot Farrakhan reads:
Congressional candidate Quin Hillyer today denounced the chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party and two state senators for including the viciously anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan as one of the featured leaders in their political rally today.
Hillyer said, “Farrakhan is a horribly destructive interloper in the discussions about equal rights for all Americans. The Alabama Democratic Party and elected officials should not bring this kind of racial hate speech to a political rally here in Alabama. Activists like Farrakhan pollute the conversation and obstruct genuine progress on civil rights.”
The rallies featuring Farrakhan involve Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. A brief explanation of Section 5 is located at the end of this release.
Reasonable people can disagree about the continuing wisdom and constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act,” Hillyer said. “I have great respect for those who are motivated by sincere desire to counter the effects of racism and believe otherwise about Section 5. However, I refuse to respect anyone who associates with an open anti-Semite and racist like Louis Farrakhan.
As for me, I strongly support most of the Voting Rights Act but oppose Section 5 as an unconstitutional, costly, and discriminatory provision that puts unfair burdens on Alabama and treats us as if we are guilty until proven innocent.”
Hillyer was a founding board member 24 years ago of an organization that led the fight to stop the political career of the racist and anti-Semitic Louisianan David Duke. Hillyer, an award winning columnist, is running in a special election for Congress in Alabama’s First Congressional District. He has a long history of passionate advocacy for equal rights and opportunity under the law, including a series of ground-breaking Mobile Register columns touting a financial recovery plan for Prichard, AL – a town populated predominantly by African Americans.
Farrakhan’s history is well known. Bill Nigut, southeast regional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), noted that the ADL has “repeatedly demonstrated that Minister Farrakhan is a promoter of hatred and bigotry who routinely peppers his speeches with virulently anti-Semitic remarks and more generalized condemnations of all white people.” As recently as three weeks ago Farrakhan was spewing anti-Semitic rants about what Farrakhan called “The Synagogue of Satan.”
And not a whisper from any of the usual “journalists” quick to accuse Republicans of racism. Not one whisper.
Update:
Coming to see ‘the Jesus’: Racist Farrakhan Embraced by Alabama Democrats 

Obama snoops part 2: infiltrate, target, harass churches

http://www.examiner.com ^ | june 14, 2013 | Anthony Martin

On Thursday the Examiner provided an exclusive report indicating that the Obama administration had implemented a covert program beginning in 2009 that was intended to spy on conservative, evangelical Christian churches.
That program involved infiltration -- sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.
But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.
The Obama administration, according to the report, considered any public criticism of administration policies to be political in nature and should therefore impact whether or not these congregations were allowed to gain or keep their tax exempt status.
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...

'ONE NATION UNDER ALLAH': COLORADO HIGH SCHOOL CLUB RECITES PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE IN ARABIC

Breitbart ^ | 02/13/2013 | AWR Hawkins

A "multicultural student group" at Rocky Mountain High School recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic on Monday, replacing "one nation under God" with "one nation under Allah."
School principal Tom Lopez supported the decision to have the pledge recited in this manner, and even after an outraged public contacted the school to complain Lopez stood his ground.
Lopez claims the kids weren't trying to be "un-American," but to "[accentuate] the meaning of the words as regularly spoken in English."
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

The left turns compliant on violating civil liberties!

The Washington Post ^ | Fri June 14, 2013 | Dana Milbank

Where have all the liberals gone?

President Obama, who as a Democratic senator accused the Bush administration of violating civil liberties in the name of security, now vigorously defends his own administration’s collection of Americans’ phone records and Internet activities.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said he thinks Congress has done sufficient intelligence oversight. His evidence? Opinion polls.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi defended the programs’ legality and said she wants Edward Snowden prosecuted for leaking details of the secret operations.
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, accused Snowden of treason and defended false testimony given to her committee by the director of national intelligence, who in March had denied the programs’ existence.
With some exceptions, progressive lawmakers and the liberal commentariat have been passive and acquiescent toward the secret spying programs, which would have infuriated the left had they been the work of a Republican administration.
When libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation last week to curb the surveillance powers, he had no co-sponsors. When he held a news conference this week to unveil a lawsuit claiming the surveillance is unconstitutional, five members of Congress joined him — all Republicans.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...

Democratic Congressman: 'Not Fair' To Subject Congress To Obamacare Just Like Everyone Else

Forbes ^ | June 13, 2013 | Robert Book

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) was being debated, proponents were accused of saddling Americans with inferior and expensive health care while keeping generous coverage for themselves at taxpayer expense. To rebut that allegation and build confidence in the bill, a provision was added mandating that members of Congress – and their staff members – get there coverage through the new exchange system the bill set up. Now that the time to sign up for exchange coverage is nearing, a Democratic member, Rep. John Larson (D., Conn.), is saying that “this is simply not fair” – as key staff members head for the exits to avoid Obamacare.
Politico reports that “many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain” and notes that “[t]he problem is far more acute in the House, where lawmakers and aides are generally younger and less wealthy.”
What? Obamacare disproportionally hurts those with lower incomes? It may come as a surprise, but it shouldn’t....
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...

Blue Dogs to Obama: ‘Time to Approve Keystone Has Come’

PJ Tatler ^ | June 14, 2013 - 7:50 am | Bridget Johnson

Blue Dog Democrats are asking President Obama to quit stalling and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Members of the fiscally conservative coalition sent a letter to Obama on Wednesday saying “the time to approve the Keystone XL project has come.”
“Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline will provide a positive impact to a broad spectrum of the American economy,” wrote coalition co-chair Reps. John Barrow (D-Ga.) and Kurt Schraeder (D-Ore.). “An estimated 13,000 direct jobs will be created, with an additional 7,000 direct jobs needed to keep it operational. If the recent jobs report shows us anything, it’s that Americans are still in need of the highly-skilled, good-paying jobs that are created by a project of this magnitude.” …
(Excerpt) Read more at pjmedia.com ...

The Military....Well Said

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanLegionPost175 ^ | May 4, 2012 | Colonel Stu McIntosh

Well said!
Occasionally, I venture back to one or another military post, where I'm greeted by an imposing security guard who looks carefully at my identification card, hands it back and says, "Have a good day, Sir!"
Every time I go back to any Military Base it feels good to be called by my previous rank, but odd to be in civilian clothes, walking among the servicemen and servicewomen going about their duties as I once did, many years ago.
The military is a comfort zone for anyone who has ever worn the uniform. It's a place where you know the rules and know they are enforced -- a place where everybody is busy, but not too busy to take care of business.
Because there exists behind the gates of every military facility an institutional understanding of respect, order, uniformity, accountability and dedication that becomes part of your marrow and never, ever leaves you.
Personally, I miss the fact that you always knew where you stood in the military, and who you were dealing with. That's because you could read somebody's uniform from 20 feet away and know the score.
Service personnel wear their careers on their uniforms, so to speak. When you approach each other, you can read their name tag, examine their rank and, if they are in dress uniform, read their ribbons and know where they've served.
I miss all those little things you take for granted when you're in the ranks, like breaking starch on a set of fatigues fresh from the laundry and standing in a perfectly straight line military formation that looks like a mirror as it stretches to the endless horizon.
I miss the sight of troops marching in the early morning mist, the sound of boot heels thumping in unison on the tarmac, the bark of drill instructors and the sing-song answers from the squads as they pass by in review.
To romanticize military service is to be far removed from its reality, because it's very serious business -- especially in times of war. But, I miss the salutes I'd throw at senior officers and the crisp returns as we crisscrossed with a "by-your-leave" sir.
I miss the smell of jet fuel hanging heavily on the night air and the sound of engines roaring down runways and disappearing into the clouds.
I even miss the hurry-up-and-wait mentality that enlisted men gripe about constantly, a masterful invention that bonded people more than they'll ever know or admit.
I miss people taking off their hats when they enter a building, speaking directly and clearly to others and never showing disrespect for rank, race, religion or gender.
I miss being a small cog in a machine so complex it constantly circumnavigates the Earth and so simple it feeds everyone on time, three times a day, on the ground, in the air or at sea.
Mostly, I don't know anyone who has served who regrets it, and doesn't feel a sense of pride when they pass through those gates and re-enter the world they left behind with their youth.
Face it guys - we all miss it............Whether you had one tour or a career, it shaped your life.