Getting filthy rich off of Uncle Sam






I realize the economy stinks.  But The Wall Street Journal lets us know that NOT EVERYONE is suffering:

On a bright spring morning, Debbie Driesman and her interior decorator surveyed progress on Norton Manor, the 40,000 square-foot house she’s building with her husband, information-technology entrepreneur Frank Islam. To make way for the French chateau-style manse, the family bought two houses on adjacent 4-acre lots and invited the local fire department to destroy them. For practice.

The manor, in suburban Washington, features a reflecting pool (just as the Capitol does), east and west wings (like the White House) and is configured for easy Secret Service coverage when VIP guests attend the couple’s Democratic Party fundraisers. Decorator Skip Sroka scoured the globe for Norton Manor’s marble fireplaces, hand-loomed carpets and several tons of gilded and Venetian chandeliers. The gardens are modeled, in part, after those of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court palace.

“If there’s something he can’t have that he wants, you have to find a way,” Ms. Driesman says of her exacting husband. “You can’t just tell him ‘no.’ “

The sprawling compound is a product of Washington’s Gilded Age—a time of lush business profits initially fueled by government outsourcing and war.

Oh.  So this is that economic boom the media keeps telling us about.  Politically-connected types trading on their relationships and past government service to scoop up lots and lots of taxpayer money.