Parallels between Rome and the Modern US

NPR : Drawing Parallels Between Ancient Rome and the U.S. Today
Novelist Robert Harris draws some parallels between Ancient Rome and the modern US, with some eerie recapitulations of language in the way the pirate attack on Ostia in 68 BC was handled by those in power in Rome, as well as the reaction of its citizenry.
Harris made this point in a NY Times article that I saw back at the end of September, which will soon be going beyond the pay wall.
In the NPR segment, though, he also makes the parallel between a massive natural disaster early in the Roman Empire and a modern day natural disaster.
Katrina is our own modern rendition of the destruction of Pompeii at the hands of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Anyway, as a fan of things Roman, I found the parallels,once highlighted, interesting.