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A sizzling summer
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Goodness, it’s hot. Our wet, cool spring saved us a bunch on air-conditioning bills and broke the drought that held Georgia in such a stranglehold for the last several years. But, traditional Georgia summertime heat and humidity have arrived, and it’s pretty close to miserable.

Politics have heated up correspondingly. Issues on the front burner demanding scrutiny promise a long, hot summer.

Embarrassment continues to emanate from the Oval Office. The new president is upset because one news network, FOX, has been critical of his actions. The 44th president wants no criticism of any kind, which he publicly announced in an interview this week.

With all due respect: Dude, get over it. You blasted "the failed policies of the Bush administration" at every turn of the campaign, but now that you’re in the kitchen you’ve found the heat a bit stifling? If you’re that thin-skinned, just wait a few more months until even bleeding-heart liberals and the staunchest of Socialists fail to defend your actions.

Yet another flip-flop occurred last week as the president, who campaigned for change and demanded transparency in government, reversed his field. President Obama instructed White House legal counsel to defend the position held by former President George W. Bush that White House guest lists are strictly confidential, exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. That’s the exact policy to which candidate Obama so stridently objected.

Isn’t it odd that he who wanted it public knowledge when lobbyists called on President Bush to suddenly not want anyone to know who is calling upon the Obama Oval Office?

With all due respect: Dude, get over it. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You can’t have it both ways.

Or can he? Meet the new boss! Same as the old boss!

Last week the Wall Street Journal reported an attempt by special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform to summarily fire Inspector General Gerald Walpin. Walpin had investigated misuse of federal funds by Sacramento Mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson. Walpin — a Bush appointee — found serious irregularities in the application of federal money and suspended Johnson — an Obama supporter — from receiving stimulus money. The city of Sacramento, with Johnson as mayor, could not receive stimulus money, either.

So the Obama White House summarily fired the very inspector general charged to oversee disbursement of federal money. President Obama promised to carefully watch how every stimulus dollar is spent, but as the WSJ reported, evidence suggests that his White House fired a public official who refused to roll over to protect a presidential crony.

I believe the guy in the Oval Office will continue to embarrass this nation and embolden our enemies to the point where every American will clearly see the 44th President for what he is: a supremely arrogant, self-aggrandizing individual who is ill-equipped to hold the office of America’s chief executive.

As the long, hot summer simmers, America swelters now under "the failed policies of the Obama administration."

Look at the housing market. Billions of dollars have been printed for lenders, President Obama has urged homeowners to refinance, and the market has rebounded, right?

With all due respect: Dude, if you believe that, you’ve been out in the sun too long.

"There’s a lot of inventory out there," local Realtor Cathy Dobbs told me, "and the higher end market has virtually stopped."

If there is a silver lining, availability of housing makes great opportunities for first-time home buyers; but for things to start moving, borrowers must convince lenders of their dependability.

"I expect to see the kinds of home loans from 20 to 30 years ago, when sizable percentages were required as down payments," Dobbs summarized. "As that develops, I feel more confident in the clientele we’re serving."

Steve Jordan, the president of the Georgia Bankers Association, is a true Southern gentleman from Monticello. You won’t find a finer man anywhere than Steve Jordan. When he talks, people listen.

In his capacity with the GBA, Jordan has been to Washington twice this year to hear testimony from various officials on the projected impact of the Obama administration’s policies, both short-term and down the road.

"I guess the best I can say on record is this," said Jordan, measuring his words. "Banking in Georgia over the next two to three years will be extremely difficult."

America’s president once faced the multiple challenges of pulling America together in the wake of an unpopular war while resurrecting a peacetime economy, and reassuring a changing world political landscape looking to the United States for leadership even as critics assailed him from many corners.

Some things never change.

But that President was Harry S. Truman, who operated boldly behind a plaque on his Oval Office desk which read: "If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

With all due respect to the 44th president: Dude, that’s as transparent as it gets.

Nat Harwell is a long-time resident of Newton County. His columns appear regularly on Sundays.