It's heartbreaking devastation. One third of a city I once called home for two years as a child, wiped out by a wrath of nature we call a tornado. As I write this the search continues for miracle survivors and those for whom a miracle has passed.
The next scene I saw on the newscast was President Obama and his wife waving to cheering crowds in Ireland as the American President declared his Irish heritage with only an apostrophe missing after the "O" in his last name. That was yesterday.
This morning, Tuesday, I'm looking at Joplin High School where there will be no more school this year or for many months to come. It is in ruins. Standing outside is a saddened superintendent of schools describing the loss of two elementary schools and extensive damage to the school system's administrative building.
The next scene this morning was President Obama chatting with a smiling Queen Elizabeth outside London's Buckingham Palace with Michele a step behind with Prince Phillip. They were also chatting. I could not tell if they were smiling.
What's wrong with this picture?
You should be in Joplin, Mr. President, not London. You should have flown home when you were aware of the extent of the tragedy in Joplin and the loss of 117 lives. You should be walking there, not London, consoling residents and being the representative of our nation in extending condolences to those who are suffering. It is what caring presidents do.
President Bush was at his ranch in Texas when Katrina hit New Orleans. He chose to fly over the devastation before finally showing up several days later. He paid a high price for his choice for the remainder of his presidency.
The United States is broke. So why are you in Europe anyway, Mr. President? We have no money to bail out the Europeans, which is what the G-8 meeting is all about that you will be attending; which is why all those Irish were robustly cheering, hoping you brought Yankee dollars to bail out their country that is in even worse financial shape than its fellow European Union member, Greece.
Cut the losses for American taxpayers and come home now, Mr. President. I and every other thinking American have lost their taste for Chinese lending, so I would like to get off the China credit card and start cutting spending to eliminate debt. We must now concentrate on bailing ourselves out of the fiscal mess we're in.
You and Michele could begin by cutting your lavish travel budget which has been propelled into the tens of millions by your trips to the Middle East, Indonesia, etc., etc., etc.
But do make one trip - to Joplin. And do it before Sunday. Do it because you care, Mr. President. Do it for your fellow Americans. And tell the people in Joplin that we are praying for them and all they've lost.