Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Sunday, January 08, 2006

The rarely seen Vice President must be conducting his top secret and ill-fated puttering, these days, at his palatial waterfront Ballintober Estate on Maryland's chi-chi Eastern Shore.

Reported and Googled figures for the Cheney purchase, seen in this tiny thumbnail, during the beginning days of Hurricane Katrina range from $2.2 to $2.7 million.
Press reports seem to suggest the new arrivals and their high-tech imperial accoutrements are wearing thin amongst the neighboring horsy set.
Elizabeth Burmiller’s normally hagiographic White House letter from December 19 (available only with TimesSelect) offers an introductory hint of sourness:

The main discordant note in the cheery local patter comes from private pilots…about a no-fly zone over Ballintober that extends a nautical mile in radius and to an altitude of 1,500 feet. The no-fly zone, imposed last month, is in effect even when Mr. Cheney is not there.

Lloyd Grove advanced the ball in last Friday’s edition of the New York Daily News with word that Cheney’s rural Maryland neighbors are not enjoying the frisson of a massive security entourage:

“I've had great big helicopters fly over my house at 3 o'clock in the morning and at 1 in the morning. I can tell you I'm not happy. They're very noisy. The dogs start barking, and we can't get back to sleep…When they travel, the Secret Service clears Church Neck Road and prevents people from leaving their property. When they drive into town, people are actually told to stay inside their houses until the Cheneys go by. And I hear that two weeks ago, they told the DNR Police to keep their boats away from Cheney's house because it was ruining his view."

Those who have wondered about the VP’s recent activities can, I think, now rest assured with news that Mr. Cheney is occupied ordering stray boats, planes, autos and people from the panoramic vista enjoyed from his Barca-lounger.
Are migratory geese next on the all-powerful Veep’s panorama target list?

Photos: DOD,
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