Oliver North

There has been a lot of that on Capitol Hill this week, even though Congress is supposedly in recess. Both the House and Senate had to come back to the sweltering swamp this week to vote on unfinished business. In their haste to get out of the broiling temps, nobody noticed a $600 million "border security bill," approved first in the Senate and then by the House, actually violated procedures mandated by Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution: "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." Just blame it on the heat.

One should be thankful that the "special session" was a great opportunity for Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., the venerable legislator facing 13 ethics charges. He braved stifling temperatures to stroll into the well of the House of Representatives and exercise a "point of personal privilege." After telling his cronies, "I am not going away; I am here," they applauded. Perhaps it was too hot for those who were clapping to have read the most recent polls showing 78 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing.

Rangel and his colleague Rep. Maxine Waters -- also facing corruption charges -- have asked for public hearings in September. Perhaps things will have cooled off in Washington by then.

At least the pressure cooker temps aren't bothering the first lady. Michelle Obama -- and a bevy of pals -- escaped Potomac Fever and growing lines of unemployed Americans by taking a delightful summer sojourn in Spain. The White House, ever sensitive to photos of Mrs. Obama sightseeing with European royalty while Americans can't afford to run their air conditioners, was quick to point out that the first fam will be taking "a real vacation" later this month -- at Martha's Vineyard. Just like the rest of us.

Those of us who cannot afford to jet-set around Europe or hobnob with the rich and famous in the style of the Kennedys do have an outlet: the summer Freedom Concerts with Sean Hannity. Here in Atlanta -- despite a deeply troubled economy, stifling heat and being in the epicenter of the Jane Fonda Network -- thousands of our countrymen have turned out to hear some great patriotic music and support our troops. For those who think it's hot here, it was 107 degrees in Afghanistan's Helmand province today. And over there, Americans go to work in flak jackets and helmets.


Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.