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Nero fiddles while Rome burns

Waves wash oil onto beach near south pass of Mississippi River

Is it me, or does this seem like just about the most amazing tone-deafness by President Obama so far? While fish, birds, animals, and people fight to survive the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama chose to fly to San Francisco to attend three political fund-raisers, one at the home of Gordon Getty, an oil heir.

President Obama, facing criticism that his administration has failed to respond aggressively to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, assured supporters in San Francisco on Tuesday that “the situation in the gulf is heartbreaking, and we’re doing everything we can.”

“Nobody is more upset than me, because ultimately,” he said, “when this happens on your watch, you are thinking, how does this get solved?”

Is this a joke? Am I still dreaming–trapped in a nightmare that won’t end?

Obama spoke to a VIP reception of about 200 people and later to a sold-out crowd of about 800 at a reception at the Fairmont Hotel, two of his three appearances Tuesday to bulk up the campaign coffers of Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who will face strong Republican competition this fall in her bid for a fourth term. [….]

After the Fairmont event, which was expected to raise at least $1.7 million from supporters who paid $250 to $2,000 for tickets, Obama was whisked to an exclusive VIP dinner at the Broadway mansion of wealthy oil heir Gordon Getty and his wife, Ann.

Inside the lavish home of the philanthropist son of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, some 80 donors wrote checks for $35,200 per couple to meet the president and have their photo taken with him. Boxer’s campaign raised $600,000 from the two events, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee took in $1.1 million, organizers said.

And tomorrow, the emperor is off to Chicago for a relaxing weekend, while the rest of us agonize over a global ecological catastrophe that is destroying one of the most beautiful and productive parts of our country. Is he holding a fund-raiser in Louisiana on Friday too, I wonder?

But no one is more upset than he is.