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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: Off-base criticism doesn't help

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  • “Ignoramus” is defined in Webster’s as a person who does not know much. While that definition might aptly befit many in this current effete Congress, it could also be the epithet for those criticizing the president for being on vacation during these challenging times.
    Further, Speaker of the House John Boehner, along with his band of do-nothing congressional cohorts, can criticize the president from their resting places during their five-week vacation. No one is calling them back to Washington.
    How detrimental is it if the president denounces ISIS and journalist James Foley’s killers as terrorists from a podium at Martha’s Vineyard off Cape Cod, Massachusetts or from the White House press room?
    On his first week of vacation he went on camera to address the situation in Iraq and the racial discord in Ferguson, Missouri. He made time to call world leaders to discuss the ongoing tension between Ukraine and Russia and the never-ending missile exchanges between Gaza’s Hamas leaders and Israel. His final days were concentrating all of the above including the beheading of Foley. He even returned to the White House to address several of this foreign and domestic issues.
    And yes, he played golf, attended a jazz performance, had dinner with his family and tried to relax all the while the world was watching. Some vacation.
    While they don’t get work-free vacations like you or I do, but presidents do get vacations and deservedly so.
    Scott Farris writes in the Washington Post, “Some 200 people accompany the president including White House aides, Secret Service Agents, military advisers and experts in communications and transportation. He continues daily intelligence and national security briefings, tapes his weekly radio broadcast, holds news conferences and attends political fund raisers. Presidents pay for their own and their families’ lodging, food and incidentals.”
    A presidential vacation scorecard reveals that George W. Bush took more vacation days than any other president with – 1,020 days. Reagan 335 days. Clinton had the least with 28. Obama has hit the 139 mark.
    Then there is the ignoramus who wanted to know if taxpayers were going to pay for the four Arthur Bryant’s dinners President Obama shared with four local citizens while visiting Kansas City in July. With all of the billions upon billions spent on wars and defense spending, he wanted to know who paid that bill – the president did.
    I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.
    Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz.msn.com.

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