Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What Does Martha's Vineyard, ISIS, Iraq, Vacations and You Have in Common?

Martha's Vineyard is a relatively obscure place.  The island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, known for being a haven  for the affluent stays out of the news until a U.S. President decides to lay low there for some R&R. The quiet hiatus has found itself recently mentioned in the same context with ISIS, Iraq, and or course, President Barrack Obama.

 On the brink of the militant organization ISIS wreaking havoc in Iraq The President of The United States Barrack Obama left the "house that talks" for some R&R at Martha's Vineyard setting off a firestorm of comments, and debates surrounding the President's decision to take a break in the midst of the unrest unfolding abroad.

Even the dimmest light bulb in the bunch should be armed with enough gray matter to ascertain the fact that if any U.S. President waited for the world to be quiet before vacationing, they would never get a vacation. However, I digress.

The pundits came with some twisted insights on the President's taking a vacation why thousands of people were perishing in the mountains of Iraq. Here are a couple of the more hyped ones.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post -
"As criticism became public Obama was doggedly sticking with his plans to go on vacation-a decision that if not in the category of stupid stuff could fit under the heading of tone deafness.

Mr. Milbank is a frequent contributor to the very Pro-Obama MSNBC show Politics Nations with Al Sharpton. I wonder if Sharpton knows one of his go to people are playing both sides of the fence?

Conservative radio show host Mark Levin -
"Little kids are now being hung on crosses, crucifixes; they're being crucified and decapitated where their heads are being put on posts in parks in Monsul.”Why would we expect the President to cancel his vacation to Martha's Vineyard?" Levin also referred to Martha's Vineyard as the "whitest" place on earth. He also charged the President as hating whites.

Those are only two of many facetious views that attempt to imply the President is detached and callous because he chose to take some time away from D.C. while Iraq was under siege. The key words in that last statement are "time away from D.C." not hardly time away from everything that is going on. For any President that would be impossible, especially this one. It is not as if he could depend on Congress to get anything done in his absence- oh that is right, Congress is on vacation too. Who knew?

While I am on this vacation kick, I have some observations that deserve going naked on a public platform.

First - there is not anything the President can do for Iraq in Washington that he cannot do in Martha’s Vineyard. All he needs is a phone, pen, fax, and printer-all of which I'm certain he has. Have a nice working vacation Mr. President.

Second - Congress on the other hand is the master of vacations. The take many while leaving Americans stranded in all sorts of dire situations. Consider the fact that through September 7, 2014 Congress will have been off some 105 days. Those are formal days off exclusive of the days they showed up for work and sat comatose all day long. These days off are sometimes cleverly disguised as a recess. Recesses are often considered a “work week” in their districts –- but they are not getting much legislating done away from the nation’s capital. Though lawmakers often participate in constituent meetings and fundraisers, they are not really required to work.

By comparison, during Barrack Obama's first six years in office he has taken a total of 107 formal vacation days. That is a little over 17 days a year - a tad short of what the run of the mill CEO enjoys annually. Congress on the other hand is on pace for averaging a 100+ days a year in time off. So seriously? People want to begrudge the President some time off? Seriously? They would do well to expend that energy  holding Congress' feet to the fire to draft and past legislature that would insure YOU and I at least a snippet of the vacation latitude Congress themselves enjoy.

You see we are the only advanced country in the civilized world that that does not have a mandate requiring workers get a specified span of paid days off. The European Union requires all full-time employees be afforded 20 paid days off annually. France generously affords their full-time employees 30 days while Sweden Denmark Finland Norway and Austria allot 25 paid vacations days. Moreover, our own Congress has a mandate for time off regarding themselves.

There is a law that mandates Congress take a break no later than July 31 of each year. Judging by the copious number of breaks this Congress has taken preceding the mandate date, they didn't have to worry about exercising that mandate.

So this vacation begrudging is a practice not only heaved on the President of the United States but its heaved on the citizens of the United States while those in the position of making the change use that power to help themselves to R&R while the rest of us slave on.

Until the next post, I will be in recess.

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