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June 28 2017

How the 1 Percent Lives: Like Former President Obama

I don't want to be the first woman president.

I want to be the first woman former president!

So I can live like this, as Fox News reports:

Since leaving office in late January, Obama has visited late actor Marlon Brando’s private island; the Four Seasons in Bali -- where rooms cost upward of $2,000 per night; a Palm Springs estate; Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island; the exclusive Mid Pacific Country Club in Oahu; the 13th-century Borgo Finocchieto in Tuscany; and the Rising Sun, Hollywood studio mogul David Geffen’s private yacht.

"These are some of the most luxurious travel destinations in the world. Many of our clients spend tens of thousands of dollars or more to stay at these resorts, which cater to the most discriminating and demanding guests,” said Kendra Thornton, travel expert and owner of luxury travel agency Royal Travel. “For example, Necker Island has a nightly price tag of $80,000. Anyone who stays at these properties does so because they want the best of the best."

Fox News contacted the Borgo Finocchieto hotel. It’s actually not really a hotel, at least of the kind ordinary travelers come to expect. It’s a restored medieval hamlet with five villas and 22 bedrooms that can only be rented for a three-day minimum, in its entirety. Obama touched down at a nearby airport in a private jet escorted by six Eurofighter jets from the Italian Air Force. Presumably, the former president scored a deal on the stay since the Borgo Finocchieto is owned by one of his appointees, the former Italy Ambassador John Phillips.

"Medieval hamlet," huh? Social analyst Joel Kotkin has written extensively about the way liberal elites create not socialist paradises but feudal paradises remiiscent of 1200 A.D. whose main beneficiaries are the liberal elites themselves. Here's Kotkin on ultra-"green," oh-so-socially-conscious California, where the Republican Party is all but extinct:

At a time when twentysomething billionaires are being minted, largely in the Bay Area, California’s middle class is being hammered. The state now ranks third from the bottom, ahead of only New York and the District of Columbia, for the lowest homeownership rate, some 54 percent, a number that since 2009 has declined 5 percent more than the national average. The peasants, it appears, are expected to remain landless much longer, or be forced to leave the state.

Rather than a land of opportunity, our “new” California increasingly resembles a class-bound medieval society. The proportion of aggregate income taken by the top 1 percent is greatest in a couple of Californian metros, San Francisco and San Jose, as well as New York. California is the most unequal state when it comes to well-being, according to the report by Measure of America, which is a project of the Social Science Research Council.

Serfs up! But back to the post-presidential adventures of Lord Barack:

“These trips are like the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” said Democratic strategist Pat Caddell. The former adviser to ex-President Jimmy Carter believes that President Obama’s vacations are unprecedented, and a far cry from how Carter spent his first few months out of office.

“I think the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, when they see President Obama, whom they instinctively want to defend being the corporatist president, I think it makes the base uneasy,” said Caddell.

Left-wing activists told Fox News they are troubled by what they see as a trend by Obama to distance himself from the base of the party. It’s not just vacations. The president also has enjoyed hefty fees for speeches to prominent Wall Street firms. It’s all part of a trend, they say, of Obama trying to join the fabled 1 percent.

Of course that reported $400,000 for a Wall Street speech will at least cover at least a few nights on Necker Island. But as Fox News points out, Obama seems to have joined the very "fat cats" he used to denounce during his days in the White House--something that hasn't been lost on the progressive media:

“I’ll tell you who should kick back a little less,” said HBO host John Oliver in an interview with Seth Meyers on Late Night Monday. “This might be controversial – I’m a little sick of seeing photos of President Obama on vacation with Richard Branson. Just tone it down with the kite-surfing pictures. I’m glad he’s having a nice time – America is on fire.”

Since according to Fox, Obama's next vacation stop is Bali, nice times seem never to stop if you're a liberal former president on a roll--a bankroll, that is.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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