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Vacationing President Obama snubs nose at country’s working class

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Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013 12:00 am

In April, I traveled to Washington, D.C. As is my practice, while in town I made an appointment to see my Congressman. The aide who confirmed my visit warned me to allow extra time because sequestration had resulted in laying off several security guards.

The unfortunate laid-off individuals came to mind earlier this week when I read in the Washington Post that President Obama and his family are off again on another extravagant vacation that will set taxpayers back tens of millions. The Obama family destination this time is Africa; projected cost: $100 million, the most expensive of all his scandalously lavish vacations.

The Post revealed that to provide the United States president the security he must have in the event of an emergency during his five-night trip, a Navy aircraft carrier with a fully staffed medical trauma center will be stationed offshore. In addition, military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 parade limousines, a fully loaded ambulance, and three trucks carrying bulletproof glass to cover the hotel windows where the Obamas will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts to provide around the clock coverage over the president’s airspace.

Although Obama’s trip falls under the guise of official government business, it’s a total rip-off. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said that the emerging African democracies on the president’s itinerary are crucial partners with the U.S. in regional security conflicts. Obama will allegedly hold bilateral meetings with each country’s leader to forge stronger economic ties and will reportedly also highlight global health programs including HIV/AIDS prevention — tedious falsehoods that taxpayers have heard multiple times in an attempt to justify previous trips to Africa made by presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush.

Not to fear, the Obamas will return in plenty of time to make their fourth annual trek to Martha’s Vineyard, the preferred destination of elite millionaires. Their 2009, 2010 and 2011 vacations were spent at the Blue Heron Farm, a 28-acre estate with two full-sized homes, a boathouse, a reassembled 150-year-old barn, tennis and basketball courts, multiple gardens and an apple orchard.

However, since this palace sold in December 2011 for $21.9 million, it’s no longer on the rental market. The Boston Globe identified the lush Farm Neck section of Martha’s Vineyard as the Obama’s second choice. Michelle and the children will vacation there for “an extended period” with Obama joining them on weekends, via Air Force One, and for two weeks at the end of August.

Getting back to the laid-off security guards’ plights, they probably earned minimum wage or a few pennies more. Maybe they were part-time workers who needed the job to help support their family. Or maybe they’re recent university graduates who couldn’t find a job but have college loans to pay off.

Obama must consider the security guards, the employees who once gave White House tours that sequestration cancelled and the Secret Service staff who lost their positions when the budget was slashed by $84 million to be, as Leona Helmsley infamously said, “little people.”

Americans regardless of their political affiliation are offended by the selfish, blatant disregard the president shows toward the working class who helped elect him.

Joe Guzzardi retired from the Lodi Unified School District in 2008. He is a registered Independent equally disgusted by both Republicans and Democrats. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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  • Joe Baxter posted at 12:11 pm on Mon, Jul 15, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Another Heapin', Helpin' Load of LIBERAL DUMPSTER STEW.

  • Michael Hartung posted at 7:46 am on Sat, Jun 29, 2013.

    mhartung Posts: 25

    No Bush was on vacation his whole presidency, somewhere in Texas a village has it's idiot.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:46 pm on Fri, Jun 28, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    Mr. Hartung,

    Based on your logic, Obama must then be dumber than Bush because he has taken more vacations than him. Is that your position?

  • Michael Hartung posted at 7:00 am on Thu, Jun 27, 2013.

    mhartung Posts: 25

    Did the dumbest president this country ever have go to Crawford Texas 4 times a yeat to cut brush? Joe what is your problem, every president this country has had took a vacation....W was always on vacation because he was not smart enough to do the job. Keep your opinions in Pittsburgh

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:11 pm on Tue, Jun 25, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    While Joe Guzzardi is obviously "offended by the selfish, blatant disregard the president shows toward the working class who helped elect him," I wonder why he is so resentful of the president going on a diplomatic mission to strengthen US ties with 3 African allies.

    Everyone wants to have the US represented as a great power, but no one seems to want to pay the bill for it.

    Here's a good interview to read from NPR on the reasons for Obama's African trip in a bit more in-depth basis:


    As for the First Lady:

    "First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Africa later this month with her mother Marian Robinson and daughters Malia and Sasha. They will visit Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, and Gaborone, Botswana, during the June 21-26 trip, during which Obama will focus on youth leadership, education and health and wellness."

    "During her trip, Obama will deliver a keynote address to a U.S.-sponsored Young African Women Leaders Forum in South Africa. The administration believes that the continent’s future will depend in large part on developing its future leaders, helping African women realize their potential and investing in the health and well-being of the children who live there."

    As for the cost of protecting the leader of the most powerful country in the world, yes the price is high, but the cost of NOT protecting him is even higher. The world has become a lot more dangerous since November 22, 1963. If we left presidential security at the level we had then, I'm sure we'd have many more dead presidents.

    Just look at the attempts made on Gerald Ford (twice), and Ronald Reagan - not to mention assassination plots that have been foiled from Nixon to Obama.

    And what is the big deal about WHERE the president will be spending his vacation? Joe Guzzardi's very misplaced anger about Obama going to Martha's Vineyard is not only irrational, it's just plain ridiculous. Why should the President of the United States NOT vacation where he wants?

    At least he should be grateful that Obama has not spent almost TWO AND A HALF YEARS on vacation like George W. Bush did during HIS presidency.

  • Walter Chang posted at 5:32 pm on Mon, Jun 24, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1191


  • John Kindseth posted at 6:26 am on Sat, Jun 22, 2013.

    John Kindseth Posts: 246

    Joe, sadly you've only scratched the surface of the sordid tale of "the Antoinettes of DC".


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