President Obama has headed off on another vacation, this time to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Of course, all presidents take time off from the rigors of office, and that’s a good thing. The U.S. would be poorly served by any president who is so beaten down by the pressures of office that he couldn’t properly do his job. Being president is a very tough job, and getting away from its demands is a nice break, even if it is for a short time.

I remember reading about the vacations President George W. Bush went on, and people pointed to his many vacations as a sign of a bad president. According to the article, he spent 487 days at Camp David, and 490 days at his Crawford ranch in Texas. And so that means he was completely cut off from his office, right? Pfft. A president isn’t ever really away from his job, not even when on vacation. In the middle of a transoceanic flight on Air Force One, the president is in constant communication with the rest of government. Camp David is just as connected as Air Force One and so was Pres. Bush’s ranch. During his time away from the White House, Pres. Bush was still getting his daily briefings of current events and threats, and Pres. Obama is undoubtedly doing the same on his vacations.

Both Camp David and Pres. Bush’s ranch in Texas were excellent places for some a little presidential R-and-R. Both have been set up to support a president and his needs without completely disrupting the people around. But when a president or his family goes someplace else, the visit is a huge disruption to the locals. You can see a clear demonstration of this disruption during Mrs. Obama’s vacation in Spain. As her group went around, security had to clear out buildings, check for suspicious people, and cordon off beaches just for the First Lady’s use. I certainly understand the need for security, and to a lesser extent privacy, but the end result still remains: a visiting president and family is a major disruption. Just ask the people stuck for hours in bumper-to-bumper L.A. traffic because Pres. Obama made a short visit there.

Frankly, I’m glad Pres. Obama is taking his vacations, even if it means causing a ruckus around the States. Each vacation means he is able to blow off some of the pressure of office, and hopefully that means we will have a better president.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Here is 51 second verbal home run scored against our current administration.

I’m sick and tired of hearing about Obama and the White House coming out with yet another crisis that has to be fixed by government sticking it to the people and taking more of what we earn and produce. Instead of allowing our small businesses, especially, to keep more of what we earn and produce, and then reinvest according to our own priorities. So that we can grow and thrive and hire more people. That’s how we create jobs. That’s how the economy will get roaring back to life.

But see, too many in the White House, including our own president, I don’t know when they have run a business. I don’t know when they have been a CEO of anything where they’ve had to look out for the bottom line, and they’ve had to make payroll and live within their own means with a budget. You know, they’re from government. They’re community organizers. They’ve been spending other people’s money for so long that I think a lot of the free enterprise principles that so many of us believe in, it’s all foreign to them.

For someone whom the liberal media tells us is dumber than a box of rocks, former Governor Palin understands better than this administration how the economy works and grows, and it isn’t from the government spending money while lurching from one crisis to another.

Would you, anonymous stranger, complain if I were to paint the inside of my house a bright green with pink spots? Of course not, because you’d have no business dictating to me how I can or can’t paint my own place. It’s not your place, nor is it your responsibility to dictate what I do. On the other hand, my landlord could certainly complain, keep my security deposit, or demand that I repaint the walls their original color. He has the right to do this because it is his house. Since he has ownership and its associated responsibility, he can dictate exactly what I can and cannot do to the house. But you have no say because it is not your house and not your responsibility.

Is this clear enough? Apparently, not to Congress.

The current brouhaha in Congress comes over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys by the Justice Department. Congress has its collective panties in a bunch because it could be *drum roll* politically motivated. *gasp* The horror!

Lawmakers requested the documents as part of an investigation into whether the firings were politically motivated. While it is unclear whether the documents will answer Congress’s questions, they show that the White House and other administration officials were more closely involved in the dismissals, and at a much earlier date, than they have previously acknowledged.

Seven U.S. attorneys were fired on Dec. 7, and another was fired months earlier, with little explanation from the Justice Department….

When Congress asked the Justice Department to fork over documents to justify the firings, the Justice Department should have responded with, “Mind your own business, Congress.” The Justice Department is overseen by the Executive Branch, and its hirings and firings are an internal matter. The title of the above report is “Attorney firings had genesis in White House.” And my response is–yeah; so? The U.S. attorneys work under the auspices of the Chief Executive, not the Legislature, so firings are handled by the Executive Branch. Frankly, the President could have fired any of these people on a whim, if he chose.

Would the White House be justified in asking Speaker Pelosi to explain the firing of someone on her staff? Absolutely not! The Executive Branch has nothing to do with Speaker Pelosi’s staffing issues, and Speaker Pelosi and the rest of Congress should butt out of the private staffing issues of the Executive Branch.

Paul Kane of the Washington Post has expressed his barely contained glee at the subpoenas by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) regarding the firing of the U.S. attorneys. Sanchez asked, “Are these people being removed for doing their job and for doing it too well?” The question is left hanging. Obviously there is something evil going on–or so Kane would have you believe. But his own blog entry has the key quote:

“Today’s hearing was political grandstanding. Every U.S. attorney serves at the pleasure of the president and they know this beforehand. Most of the U.S. attorneys in question served 4 years or longer. Republicans are not going to provide votes for political subpoenas,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the top Republican on the full Judiciary Committee, in a statement.

They serve “at the pleasure of the President,” says Rep. Smith. This sounds very much like “at will” employment. Every job I have had in my professional career to date has been at-will employment. This meant I could be fired for any reason or no reason, and with no prior warning. It also meant I could leave my job for any reason or no reason, and with no prior warning.

So some U.S. attorneys were fired. Big whoop-de-friggin’-doo. Even if these people were fired at the personal request of Pres. Bush, it would still be a non-story. The attorneys worked for him, and he had every right to fire them if he chose to do so, regardless of what meddlesome Democrats in Congress and liberals in the media might say. They have no more say in this event than you have in choosing a paint color for my house.

UPDATE (3/13/2007 2:37:14 PM): Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acknowledges mistakes, successfully pouring oil on the Democrat fire.

“Obviously I am concerned about the fact that information — incomplete information was communicated or may have been communicated to the Congress,” Gonzales said. “I believe very strongly in our obligation to ensure that when we provide information to the Congress, it is accurate and it is complete. And I very dismayed that that may not have occurred here.”

If the Justice Department had told the Congress to butt out of internal affairs, this wouldn’t be the ginned-up scandal it is today.

I didn’t feel like covering the latest example of Democrat outrage, increasingly called “Leakgate” by the media, but since it is being misreported and people do not seem to understand what it is all about, I thought it was time to chime in. Several items about this whole issue smell very fishy to me.

It all started July 14, 2003, with the publication of Bob Novak’s article called Mission to Niger, about Joseph Wilson’s trip to Africa to investigate allegations of Iraq buying yellowcake uranium. Notice that this was written in July. Why did Wilson start freaking out about this article months later? The response delay does smell fishy, does it not?

Novak was curious to discover why Wilson was chosen to investigate the alleged sale of uranium. After all, Wilson was an ambassador, not an investigator. He is a Democrat, staunchly anti-Bush and firmly against the war in Iraq, so how did he get sent on a critical mission to investigate the claims that Iraq was seeking uranium? Novak wanted to uncover why, and he believed he found the reason in the person of Wilson’s wife.

Here is the offending paragraph that has bunched the Dem’s undies:

Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.

The Democrats are screaming that revealing Wilson’s wife’s status in the CIA violates a law about revealing the identity of undercover intelligence officers. They are hoping this will be the wedge they can use to pry open the White House and oust President Bush. Who it was that told Novak about Plame is not known, because Novak refuses to identify his sources. His article says “senior administration officials,” but this does not necessarily mean the White House. It could apply to any senior bureaucrat serving anywhere in the executive branch of government. In fact, on Crossfire Novak said, “Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this.” But that hasn’t stopped liberals from pointing the finger of blame right at the White House.

Here’s a typical bit of liberal ranting found on one Bush-bashing site: “The intentional leaking of the name of a CIA operative by Senior White House Officials (AKA Karl Rove), was most certainly politically motivated.” Are there any facts in this sentence? Here they have changed Novak’s description to cast aspersions on the White House, and have specifically named Karl Rove, Bush’s chief strategist. These are not the only people to direct their anger toward Rove. Wilson himself did this before an audience in Seattle. He said he wanted “to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.” Later on ABC’s Good Morning America, Wilson had to shamefacedly confess, “I don’t have any knowledge that Karl Rove himself was either the leaker or the authorizer of the leak.” That should clear Rove, right? But Wilson went on to state, “I have great confidence that, at a minimum, [Rove] condoned it and certainly did nothing to shut it down.” He offers no proof, just the same type of baseless assertion that he gave in Seattle and later retracted.

But regardless of who passed the information about Plame to Novak, the Democrats say this was a violation of law. Even Bush is calling this leak a “criminal matter,” but I must disagree. Granted, I am not a legal scholar, but I do not see how this leak actually violates the law. The law in question states that the United States must take affirmative measures to conceal a covert agent’s relationship with the United States. So, did the CIA hide the matter of Plame’s employment? I cannot see how the CIA could be taking “affirmative measures to conceal” if they confirmed to Bob Novak, and columnists Clifford May and Josh Marshall, that Plame was a CIA employee. If the CIA had been trying to hide her employment, they could have denied that she worked for them or repeated the standard “we can neither confirm nor deny” routine. But they chose neither of these options. It seems pretty clear that the CIA took no measures to conceal Plame’s employment.

So Plame works for the CIA, as freely admitted by the CIA itself. If she is a covert agent or some other secret operative, instead of the analyst the CIA claims she is, whose fault is it that her employment with the CIA was uncovered? Clearly it is the CIA’s fault for confirming her employment. Do you see the liberals barking after the CIA, asking for heads to roll or people to be frog-marched out? Are you silly? Their target is Bush, and they will stop at nothing to hammer away at him. Democrats have called for a special prosecutor to investigate this matter. They are all excited about the need for a special investigator because they know that their ox will not be gored. If a prosecutor is called, then the investigation will continue through the upcoming election year, muddying the waters and giving the Democrats ample ammunition with which to attack Bush.

But one thing should be very noticeable in this whole manufactured, inflated brouhaha: Bush is not dragging his feet in this investigation. He has informed the White House staff that they will cooperate fully with the Justice Department. Gone are the days of the Clinton administration, of declarations of executive privilege and shameless stonewalling. Staff members are willingly handing over documents, rather than letting them appear mysteriously years later in the residential part of the White House.

Addendum: CIA suspected that Soviet spy, Aldrich Ames gave Valerie Plame’s name with others to the Russians in 1994. They were certain enough that he had handed over her name, so they recalled her back to Washington. So she’s not been a covert agent since at least 1994. This information was posted on Oct. 11th by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times.

So why did the CIA send someone known to be a rabid Bush hater to Africa to scope out the veracity of this story, especially since Wilson has no experience being an investigator? In his own words, he spend his time “investigating” by talking with government officials in his hotel while sipping sweet mint tea. So when they said they absolutely did not sell yellowcake uranium to Iraq, he believed them. Some great investigator.

Did the White House send him? Originally he said his mission came from Vice President Cheney’s office, but they have no record of this. So someone in the CIA, and most certainly a Democrat who wanted to embarrass Bush, sent Wilson. And Bob Novak wanted to know why someone like Wilson was given this assignment when he had no experience in this area. The simple answer is that his wife played a key part in his selection. See how it all ties together?