- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 18, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Three days of heavy downpours have brought historic flooding to Louisiana, where 30 parishes have declared to be a disaster, and the death toll has climbed to 13.

The U.S. Coast Guard and other first responders rescued more than 20,000 people over the weekend, as the massive flooding inundated areas in and around Baton Rouge. More than 70,000 people have registered for federal disaster assistance and more than 9,000 have filed flood insurance claims.

“With an estimated 40,000 homes damaged by deadly flooding, Louisiana could be looking at its biggest housing crunch since the miserable, bumbling aftermath of Hurricane Katrina a decade ago,” the Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday. “People whose homes were swamped by some of the heaviest rains Louisiana has ever seen are staying in shelters, bunking with friends or relatives, or sleeping in trailers on their front lawns.”

And where is President Obama?

Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard.

“Mr. Obama and Michelle Obama, the first lady, have gone out for dinner almost every night since arriving here on Aug. 6. And on Sunday, they attended an annual birthday party for the civil rights activist Vernon E. Jordan Jr. at Lola’s, an Oak Bluffs restaurant specializing in Southern seafood,” The New York Times reported blithely this week.

“In his final summer vacation as president, Obama has spent almost every night of his escape painting its towns red — so to speak,” The Associated Press said.

The president has also made time for golf, hitting the links with NBA stars Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Alonzo Mourning and Ray Allen. So far, Mr. Obama has played eight rounds.

“President Obama went out for his sixth round of golf on a hot Sunday afternoon, where he briefly intersected with ABC News cameras staked out near the Farmneck Golf Club’s third fairway,” ABC News reported this week. “Obama was the only one of his foursome to hit the fairway, and playfully ribbed his partners as they started to look for their balls in the rough.

‘The most important thing is that neither of them are mine!’ Obama said.

Fun times being had by all!

Then President George W. Bush was rightly criticized by the mainstream media for not returning to Washington, D.C., from his vacation, more than a day after Hurricane Katrina hit, so I ask, where is that same press scrutiny for Mr. Obama while Louisiana is underwater?

“Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm, had smashed into the Gulf South. People were drowning. And the president of the United States played guitar in San Diego, egged on by country singer Mark Wills,” Vanity Fair wrote of Mr. Bush’s delayed response to the storm. “Even George W. Bush’s most stalwart supporters cringed at his disconnect from reality. Bush, like Michael Jackson in his days at Neverland Ranch, was living in a bubble.”

A bubble, huh?

NBC Reporter Kasie Hunt tweeted on Wednesday: “Do read this exquisite White House pool report from the elite playground on Martha’s Vineyard,” which went on to describe the president’s motorcade pulling away from the Vineyard Golf Club.

“This oasis of green is a special place, according to itself,” The New York Times’ Gardiner Harris wrote in the pool report. “While the club is presently unable to accommodate new members, its website graciously invites non-members to learn more about the things they cannot have here. Like ‘exquisite dinners and that last nightcap,’ evoking a bygone era.”

The Louisiana flooding is the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy — and yet the president and his minions in the press seem unfazed.

The White House said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will visit the state on Thursday to review the federal government’s response.

Mr. Obama spoke with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on Wednesday morning and then got back to his round of golf as the press adoringly looked on.

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