A Tale of Two Quakes

The earthquake along the East Coast yesterday had an almost Dickensian aspect to it.

That it’s epicenter was near Washington, D.C., seemed almost like a divine warning. The two famous structures hit, the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral, would be the kind of foreshadowing Charles Dickens would use in a plot of one of his novels. Church and state both targeted. The Monument hit as if something is striking the core of a country so beautifully envisioned by our first president. The cathedral a reminder that both must prosper together or both may fall together. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and God, which is God’s.

I was struck by how President Obama, playing golf in Martha’s Vineyard, said he didn’t feel or notice the quake. Others in his party said they did. As a metaphor for him now it’s spot on. Could anyone argue that Obama doesn’t seem to feel what average Americans are feeling? He doesn’t recognize the disasters occurring right under his feet. He is so out of touch that not even a slap by Mother Nature reaches him.

That it happened on vacation is equally striking. It points out how different his life is from everyday Americans. Most are struggling and sacrificing. According to a piece in The Daily Mail, he and Michelle are doing neither. This was an expensive trip – and not the first.

The rental home at Martha’s Vineyard comes in at $50,000 a week and they are staying 10 days. No one begrudges a first family some time off, but isn’t that a bit ridiculous? Because she wanted to get to the house a few hours before the president, Michelle and daughters required their own outfitted plane. They didn’t want to wait two hours for Air Force One to leave with the president.

And they complain about Bush’s vacations! Taxpayers did not have to pay for staying on his Crawford ranch. The Bushes were not ones to seek out epicurean palaces to dine; Michelle seems to favor top shelf vodkas and expensive champagnes says the Daily Mail. We know of her love for fresh vegetables – organic, of course!

By White House calculations, Michelle has spent $10 million in public funds for herself for vacations just this year. She has taken 42 days of vacation this year, according to sources, including trip to Spain and a ski trip to Vail where she took a $2,000 a night suite. Of course, every time she travels somewhere it requires a special plane, plus staff and Secret Service and they must be housed, too.

Want to bet their rooms are a lot less posh than hers?

If not a tale of two cities, it’s a tale of two countries.

As I recall, that novel didn’t end too well.

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