Diamond Life: Michelle Obama rents out $23-million Hollywood Hills mansion for a night

Apparently, a hotel, even a luxury hotel, was not good enough.

Former first lady Michelle Obama had to go big, renting out a $23-million Hollywood Hills mansion for...a night.  The New York Post has the pictures of it here.  Several news accounts explained it as possibly a rental to try and buy, something most home-buyers don't get to do.  Whether she actually paid is also a big question mark, and if so, whether she paid market value (which would have cost more than a fancy hotel) or received her night there a "gift," which presents its own ethics problems.

Here's what a local CBS report said the place was like:

The Shark House, which is located in the 9200 block of Swallow Drive, is thus named due to its open air shark aquarium. It also has a full spa, a humidor room, movie theater and walk-in wine room.

It's on the market, currently listed for a cool $22.9 million.

A source told TMZ the Obamas may be looking at real estate in the Hollywood Hills area, but that was not confirmed.

If they're in the market to buy that, they've got a lot more money than the press is reporting.  We know they're loaded.  But not that loaded.  Not Louis XIV loaded, which is about the range for this sort of place.  Or is it a sweetheart deal in the works we're talking about?  Maybe they'll end up buying it for "a dollar."  Don't know yet, but neither possibility makes them look good.

It's all part and parcel of the Obamas' long, luxurious post-presidency, a nonstop vacay that costs taxpayers millions.  It's as though we're financing kings now, not retired presidents.  For a while there, the Obamas were jetting around with billionaires and staying on private islands.  Then they bought that expensive Kalorama mansion in Washington, D.C., all supposedly for the benefit of their daughter Sasha, who was finishing high school.  Surprise, surprise, it actually seems to primarily serve as a political watch post for longtime Obama loyalist and consigliere Valerie Jarrett.  They did some audience tours and hung out with more billionaires.  There were those lucrative Goldman Sachs speeches by the celebrity president (which certainly weren't based on economics anyone would want to trade on).

And all of this has been financed by taxpayers, who pay his $207,000 pension, along with bennies such as unlimited air travel, transition expenses, office expenses, presidential library funds, and lifetime Secret Service detail.

Apparently, to the Obamas, there's no reaching that "certain point" at which "you've made enough money."

For Michelle, just call her "Mooch."  Is this really what an ex-presidency is supposed to be like?  Hitting the money jackpot?  What he makes on his own is his own business (subject to bribery laws), but taxpayers shouldn't be financing this level of movie-star billionaire luxe life.  Maybe it's time for some pension reform from Congress.  Would be quite a thing to see that idea presented to the House's ruling Democrats.

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