KIA Kabuki

"The Play’s The Thing," Mark Steyn writes at the Corner:

A week ago, I wrote about the decline of government into mere simulacrum thereof – a shutdown that isn’t a shutdown over a rollout that isn’t a rollout and a debt ceiling that isn’t a ceiling. But even in a world of Beltway-as-Broadway this story is deeply weird:

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense unit charged with recovering servicemembers’ remains abroad has been holding phony “arrival ceremonies” for seven years, with an honor guard carrying flag-draped coffins off of a cargo plane as though they held the remains returning that day from old battlefields.

The Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that no honored dead were in fact arriving, and that the planes used in the ceremonies often couldn’t even fly, and were towed into position…

Read the whole incredibly surreal thing; follow the links.

No word yet if the band playing "Taps" is miming to a prerecorded tape, as Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman did at Mr. Obama's first inauguration, and Beyoncé did during the National Anthem at his second.

Or to put it another way, it's Potemkin villages, all the way down.