Friday Digest

Digest

May 7, 2010

The Foundation

“The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.” –George Washington

Government & Politics

What Country Is This Again?

American flags bad, Spanish NBA jerseys good?

It’s no surprise that Arizona’s recently passed immigration law continues to generate controversy. Immigration rallies took place across the country on May 1 – or “May Day,” the international communist holiday – as thousands took to the streets in support of (illegal) immigration.

These “useful idiots” may think they’re protesting against racism and bigotry, but with their Mexican, Cuban, Venezuelan flags; with their placard pictures of hammers, sickles, swastikas and KKK symbols; and with their violence against people and property, what they’re actually demonstrating against is the Rule of Law.

The debate hit public schools on Cinco de Mayo as five students at one California high school were forced to leave campus for wearing – we kid you not – clothing with American flag designs. One of the students said administrators told them that they “could wear it on any other day, but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday, so we were not allowed to wear it today.” One of the five is Hispanic. Last we checked, California is still part of the United States. (It bears mentioning that Cinco de Mayo is a holiday not celebrated much in Mexico. It was made popular by beer companies in the U.S.)

The debate also spilled from the political arena into the sports arena. While American flag clothing may be taboo in our schools, the Phoenix Suns, an NBA franchise, made a statement in Game 2 of their playoff series on Wednesday by donning jerseys that read “Los Suns” in support of Hispanic (illegal) immigrants and in opposition to the Arizona law. They wore the jerseys twice during the regular season. (Are there really that many Hispanics in the NBA?) Suns owner Robert Sarver says the law calls into question “our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law.” General Manager Steve Kerr said the team wasn’t after “a huge political statement” but wanted to “celebrate the diversity that exists here in Arizona.” On the other hand, he said the law conjures up “images of Nazi Germany.”

The team could have at least made an effort to get the Spanish right. A literal translation would be “Los Soles.” Furthermore, they might want to rethink the wisdom of alienating their fan base, given that 70 percent of Arizonans support the law.

Adding insult to injury, The Phoenix News Times reports, “The greatest example of government bailout excess may just be Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, whose banks have taken $140 million in Troubled Asset Relief Program funds.” Apparently, he still had money for the basketball team, though.

So what to do? The Washington Times suggests a solution:

“[W]hile millionaire athletes become walking billboards for a political cause, the state of Arizona might want to review the terms of its relationship with the Suns. If Mr. Sarver wants to use his team to push a political agenda, perhaps citizens can push back. Imagine Phoenix residents channeling the spirits of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. by turning up en masse to Suns games, sneaking in without tickets, demanding special services like free food and access to box seats, overtaxing arena security and ruining the game for the people with tickets. They can call it a celebration of diversity.”

We might add that if you give birth at a game, you get lifetime season tickets for the anchor baby. Or maybe the Suns should stick to basketball. Just a thought.

News From the Swamp: Another One Bites the Dust

Rep. David Obey (D-WI) became the latest Democrat to announce retirement this week, surprising many of his colleagues by deciding that 42 years in the House is enough. Not that he admits to being nervous about his prospects in November: “I’ve won 25 straight elections,” he boasted. “Does anyone really believe I wouldn’t have won again?” Actually, yes, his seat was in play with a strong challenge from Republican Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy.

Duffy thinks he has a chance because “Obey never comes back to the district. And he’s the author of the failed economic stimulus plan. This election is going to be about debt and runaway spending.” Of course, Obey is proud of his “accomplishment” with the stimulus. “My only apology is that it should have been larger,” he said, “but it was the most that the system would bear at the time.” Obey was also a key player in the passage of ObamaCare and thus has become a symbol of Washington’s out-of-control spending. Indeed, no member of Congress is more to blame for the colossal increase in federal spending than the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Obey’s district hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984, but it could be difficult for Democrats to recruit a viable contender this late in the game. His retirement is yet another signal of the tough sledding Democrats face in November.

Congressional Primaries

Several congressional primaries were held this week, and while the results were mixed, the anti-incumbent wave predicted for 2010 is still alive and well. For the GOP, the biggest race was the five-way contest in Indiana, where the winner goes on to face Rep. Brad Ellsworth, the Democrats' handpicked successor to retiring Sen. Evan Bayh. Former Republican Sen. Dan Coats, heavily favored and promoted by establishment Republicans, won with 39 percent, a less-than-stellar performance that was likely hindered by his lobbyist background and abandonment of Hoosiers. Meanwhile, incumbent Republican Reps. Dan Burton and Mark Souder likewise squeaked by with only a plurality of the vote after their opponents attacked them for becoming creatures of Washington.

North Carolina Democrats turned out in record-low numbers and the two Washington-connected opponents looking to take on Sen. Richard Burr ® will have to hold a runoff. In the Ohio Democrat primary to fill the open seat left by Republican George Voinovich’s pending retirement, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher won with 55 percent, which seems impressive until one considers that his opponent was supported by ACORN and was so broke she didn’t have enough money for a single television ad.

In other election news, The New York Times reports, “Among the many reverberations of President Obama’s election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials. ” The Times says party officials believe this is the result of “the marriage of two factors: dissatisfaction with the Obama administration, and the proof, as provided by Mr. Obama, that blacks can get elected.”

From the Left: Traficant Is Putting the Con in Congress

James Traficant, the disgraced Democrat congressman who served nine terms in Congress before serving seven years in prison for bribery, obstruction and tax evasion, is out of jail and looking to get back into politics. He filed papers this week to run as an independent against a former staffer, Tim Ryan, who beat Traficant when he tried to run for re-election from prison. Thanks to Congress’s flexible ethics laws, Traficant’s jail time doesn’t bar him from running again. While his lack of money and party support make his victory unlikely, if he’s the same man we knew years ago, we will no doubt witness a colorful campaign.

Hope ‘n’ Change: Big Brother to Monitor Your Bank Account?

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who didn’t see fit to pay his own income taxes, may soon have the authority to watch over your financial transactions, thanks to a new federal agency that would be created in the Democrats' financial overhaul bill. The Office of Financial Research, straight out of a George Orwell novel, would serve as a central repository of transaction records generated at private financial companies. Geithner, along with an unspecified number of bureaucrats that he hires, will have unlimited access for “statistical analysis and research” of the nation’s financial institutions – supposedly for the purpose of spotting systemic problems that will allow them to act before another meltdown.

This agency is the latest in the series of unconstitutional power grabs that Democrats have grown accustomed to since Barack Obama became president. It violates American citizens' Fourth Amendment guarantee of security in their “persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” and its imprecise language leaves plenty of room for expanding the agency’s activities without congressional approval. The type of information access that Democrats seek would not have enabled them to prevent the financial meltdown of 2008, but it would allow bureaucrats who work for this agency the opportunity to share their privileged information with the private sector one year after leaving the agency. So, ironically, the Office of Financial Research simply presents our bloated government even more opportunity for further corruption and mismanagement of the economy.

In other financial “reform” news, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), the architect of the legislation, has agreed to drop the $50 billion bailout fund in an effort to get Republicans onboard. While Dodd is making concessions, though, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is making accusations, claiming that Republicans are stalling because “they are having difficulty determining how they’re going to continue making love to Wall Street” if the bill passes. You’re a class act, Harry.

National Security

Warfront With Jihadistan: Times Square

When the first description of the Times Square would-be bomber Faisal Shahzad was released to the media, it raised the hopes of many. No, fellow Patriots, we’re not speaking of normal American hopes such as a quick capture of the would-be mass murderer. Unfortunately, what some were hoping was that this “middle-aged white guy” would be a right-wing Tea Party nut.

Fox News' resident lefty Bob Beckel pontificated that he thought it might be a “right-wing militiaman” and Geraldo Rivera salivated over the white male suspect that was initially reported. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested it might be “somebody home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something.” MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer couldn’t help but allude to the Hutaree Militia in Michigan while lamenting, “I get frustrated and there was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country.” One could almost taste the blood in the water as the frenzied Leftmedia homed in on the “real” right-wing threat they just knew had finally been revealed.

Unfortunately for them, however, this latest attempt at a “man-caused disaster” on American soil wasn’t perpetrated by a homegrown militiaman, nor by a member of the Tea Party, nor by an anti-ObamaCare zealot. Despite all the dashed “hopes” of the Left, this guy was just another Muslim jihadist. Worse is the news that Shahzad is a naturalized Pakistani-American with apparent Taliban and al-Qa'ida training. Furthermore, he drew inspiration from Anwar al-Awlaki, the same radical Yemeni-American cleric that inspired Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan. The only good news, despite irresponsible media efforts to correct the mistake, was that this nitwit must have flunked Bombing 101.

In the face of the evidence, even the administration came around. Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano informed the nation in the hours after the bombing attempt, “We’re treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack.” Nothing gets by her.

This Week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ Award

“I worked in homeland security. I’m from intelligence, and I’ll tell you, one of the largest threats to our internal security – I mean terrorism has an Islamic face – but it really comes from racial supremacist groups. Its the kind of thing we keep a threat assessment on record [for].” –Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) on the Tea Party

U.S. Reveals Nuclear Arsenal Numbers

Proving yet again that they simply do not get it, this week at the UN’s Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference the Obama administration attempted to use that old liberal favorite, “moral suasion,” against the completely amoral regime in Tehran. This time, the method used was to reveal one of the more closely held secrets of the last 65 years, namely the precise size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, in the ridiculous belief that showing our reduction in nuclear arms since 1991 would convince Iran that it doesn’t need nuclear arms. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that revealing the size of the U.S. arsenal would “place the issue of transparency back on the shoulders of nations such as Iran and North Korea.” No, we’re not making that up. As if either of those troublemakers are interested in “transparency.”

Not satisfied with just one inane remark, Secretary Clinton later offered this howler: “Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something and the world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. It is time for a strong international response.” No, Madam Secretary, the time for a strong international response was August 31, 2006, when the deadline for Iranian compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1696 came and went. Four years and four UNSC resolutions later, Iran knows full well that it need not fear a strong response from the UN.

The Obama team also has reportedly accepted a dinner invitation from Iran’s Foreign Minister, Manoucher Mottaki, to be attended by Deputy UN rep Alejandro Wolff. Do they expect Mottaki to do or say anything different from the last four years? Do they think that this is finally the time that Lucy won’t yank the football away and send Charlie Brown sprawling? Be on the lookout next week as Iran plays up this dinner as “proof” that it really wants to reach an agreement with the UN, even as it continues defying that body.

Third Navy SEAL Acquitted

“A military jury in Virginia found a Navy SEAL not guilty Thursday on charges of punching a suspected Iraqi terrorist,” reports the Associated Press. Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe of Perrysburg, Ohio, one of three SEALs on trial for the alleged abuse, “was tried at Naval Station Norfolk on accusations of assaulting Ahmed Hashim Abed, who is suspected of plotting the 2004 slayings of four U.S. contractors in Fallujah.” Of course, “slayings” is putting it far too mildly. The four Blackwater security contractors, two of whom were former SEALs, were murdered, mutilated and burned, their charred bodies later hung from a bridge in Fallujah. Abed was the mastermind. As we said two weeks ago, Abed followed the al-Qa'ida training manual and alleged abuse, and if he got nothing more than a punch in the gut and a fat lip, we’re in awe of the SEALs' restraint.

Business & Economy

The Slippery Slope of Buffoonery

“Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.” This axiom from the Gipper is as true today as when he uttered it almost three decades ago. It’s truer still when government is actually responsible for being a solution to the problem. Case in point: the BP oil spill, currently gushing unchecked in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening virtually all fishing and tourism within it.

Notwithstanding the fact that federal agencies are bound by law under 1994’s “In-Situ Burn” plan to have fire booms on hand for just such a disaster, zero (0) were actually on-hand when disaster struck. The government had to go all the way to Illinois to find one. Obama shills unlucky enough to be on the hot seat explained that the administration was “on it from Day One” (witness statements over the past weekend from Janet Napolitano, Ken Salazar, et al.), but it’s not by accident that even the Leftmedia see this incident as “Obama’s Katrina.” If the buffoonery is that obvious, something surely must be wrong. Puppet-master George Soros' front-group MoveOn.org was faster than a carrier-catapulted nitromethane funny car to launch its “ban-offshore-drilling” ad, but shouldn’t we ask whether stifling one of our nation’s principal energy lifelines is really a smart answer?

To put this incident into perspective, the Exxon Valdez dumped about 260,000 barrels of oil – or almost 11 million gallons – into the sea. That’s about two month’s worth of BP oil-spillage to reach “disaster parity,” relatively speaking. Those of you who might be thinking oil companies still don’t “get it” should consider that Exxon spent roughly 600 times more – $3.14 billion – on cleanup and litigation than the oil was worth at the time. Rest assured, they get it. (Though sometimes we do wonder, given that candidate Obama was the biggest recipient of BP campaign contributions.)

Also consider that between 1985 and 2001 – the most recent data available – U.S. offshore facilities produced seven billion barrels of oil with a spill rate of only .001 percent, comparing favorably even with commercial air transport mishap rate data. Moreover, in 2003 the National Academy of Sciences reported that more than 60 percent – roughly 47 million gallons – of crude released in North American waters alone, each year, derives from natural seepage from the sea floor. Only one percent comes from offshore oil and gas development.

Of course, we at The Patriot have always taken the “long view” – that is, the strategic perspective – toward national-level events, and this event is certainly no exception. In this case, we worry not so much about government’s ineptitude in cleaning up this mess – frankly, this is a natural consequence of government’s involvement in areas beyond its expertise (i.e., national defense and domestic jurisprudence) – but rather, about the strategic impacts of this event.

Remember, the president’s own chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, stated, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Here, rest assured, this crisis will not go to waste. Look for the Demogogues to try to kill any future offshore drilling initiatives. In fact, as Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) put it, “I will make it short and to the point: The president’s proposal for offshore drilling is dead on arrival.” Rahm would be proud.

EU Tries to Douse Greece Fire

Bailout-mania has skipped the Pond and landed in Europe, where 15 Euro-zone nations, along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have agreed to a $146 billion bailout of Greece. It seems the land of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle failed to figure that spending beyond revenue could last only so long. In return for the rescue, Greece has promised a three-year pay freeze for government workers as well as a hike on taxes, including a value-added tax. But as Investor’s Business Daily reports, “[No] problem has yet been solved, and more problems likely loom – not just in Europe, but in the U.S. and Asia as well.”

The reason? Greece and the rest of the EU have pledged long-term entitlements to an aging populace despite the lack of money to fund these promises. Sound familiar? As economist Jagadeesh Gokhale wrote, “The average EU country would need to have more than four times (434%) of its current annual gross domestic product in the bank today, earning interest at the government’s borrowing rate, in order to fund current policies indefinitely.” At this rate, by 2035, funding the EU’s welfare programs will require a 57 percent tax rate.

The Bank for International Settlements recently warned “that the path pursued by fiscal authorities in a number of industrial countries is unsustainable.” Of course, there is an alternative: the proven path of cutting welfare programs, cutting spending, cutting entitlements, and cutting taxes. What a novel idea.

Culture & Policy

Climate Change This Week: Climate Treaty

Yvo de Boer, the UN’s lame-duck climate change bigwig, recently held a three-day conference in Koenigswinter, Germany. The meeting, loftily known as the “The Petersberg Dialogue” (which sounds like the title of a Robert Ludlum novel), was arranged to repair the breakdown in trust that occurred at Nopenhagen last December.

The next major UN climate change conference is set for December of this year in Cancun, Mexico, which, unlike frozen Copenhagen, shouldn’t suffer snow or bring record cold temperatures. While Copenhagen was hyped in the media for months beforehand, de Boar isn’t holding out any hopes for a binding treaty in Cancun. Instead, he hopes it will lead to a “functioning architecture,” which is liberalese for establishing a platform of wealth redistribution on an international scale.

De Boer is confident that a treaty will be signed before 2012, but he was careful to state that “even that will not be the definitive answer to the climate change challenge.” Of course, the only definitive answer, according to envirofascists, would involve bankrupting economies and limiting each couple to one child because, by the very fact of our existence, humans are endangering the planet.

In the meantime, the Leftmedia continues to wage its scare campaign on the rest of us. This week, the Leftmedia headlined “Melting Icebergs Cause Sea Level Rise,” which was taken from a press release issued by the University of Leeds. The article continues with the usual fear-inspiring “facts,” giving just enough data to sway some of those on the fence. Of course, as blogger Anthony Watts pointed out, at the rate the scientists claim the ice is melting, a dubious guess in and of itself, we can expect the sea level to rise one inch every 526 years.

Meacham’s mess

The Washington Post is divesting itself of another Leftmedia financial hemorrhage, Newsweek Magazine. The Post’s magazine division lost $29.3 million in 2009 after a $16.1 million loss in 2008. Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, who fancies himself a political moderate, has lorded over the papers decline during the last four years with Leftist cover stories, including many like the 2006 headline proclaiming “We’re losing…” in Iraq, and hit pieces in support of terrorists at Gitmo, which undermine our effort to combat Jihadistan, and embolden our enemies at great peril to our uniformed Patriots in theaters of warfare.

According to Meacham, who is trying to find private investors to keep his magazine afloat, “I believe this is an important American institution. I just do. Maybe that’s quixotic, maybe that’s outdated, but it’s what I believe.” “Quixotic”? Perhaps idiotic.

Under Meacham, who was considered something of a “golden boy” when he took the reins of Newsweek, the magazine has digressed into a yellow journalism rag, some might even say “red journalism.” Meacham’s sycophantic support for Obama certainly accounts for some of the magazine’s woes. Newsweek has lost employees at the same rate as its advertising decline, and its paid print circulation guarantee is down from 2.6 million to 1.5 million. But there is one employee who hasn’t lost his job, and if the remaining 400 employees want to keep their jobs, he should go.

From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

At the White House Correspondent’s Dinner last week, Barack Obama may have outdone himself in the tasteless joke department when he warned the Jonas Brothers about coming near his young daughters. “Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don’t get any ideas,” Obama deadpanned. “Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think I’m joking?”

Predator drones, which have been very useful is taking down insurgents, have also killed numerous civilians, adding to the anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. Imagine if George W. Bush, who was demonized by the media for eight years, made a joke about such a weapon. At least some liberal journalists owned up to that fact. “Let’s be honest, fellow progressives,” tweeted the Philadelphia Daily News' Will Brunch, “we’d be all over Bush if he made the same ‘predator drone’ joke Obama told.” Indeed they would.

Village Academic Curriculum: SJSU Suspends Blood Drives

In February 2008, then-president of San Jose State University Don Kassing suspended all blood drives on campus. In response to a complaint from an employee, Kassing concluded that the blood drives violated the university’s non-discrimination policy because the FDA does not accept blood from men who have had sex with other men. The University’s new president, Jon Whitmore, recently decided to continue Kassing’s ban on blood drives. Apparently believing that “inclusiveness” is more important than the collection of life-saving blood, Whitmore’s decision is a disturbing example of political correctness run amok.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the risk of accepting blood from men who have engaged in homosexual sex is substantial. Even if HIV positive men don’t donate blood, the risk of HIV transmission from potential donors with a history of homosexual sex is 200 times higher than for first-time blood donors, and is 2,000 times higher than for repeat blood donors. Moreover, HIV can be hard to detect in the early stages of infection, even with modern testing techniques. Because there are more than 20 million transfusions of blood or blood products every year, an error rate as minuscule as one in one million can devastate many innocent lives.

Whitmore’s policy has real, and devastating, consequences. According to the Red Cross, every blood donation can help to save up to three lives. Blocking blood drives at SJSU leaves the local blood bank to struggle with critical shortages. None of this seems to matter to the caring, compassionate Whitmore and other radical inclusivists. Rather than put the well being of millions of innocent patients first, they would rather kowtow to radical homosexual activists who eschew any responsibility for their own behavior.

Faith and Family: Kansas Can’t Get Over Abortion Hump

Over the last several years, abortion foes in Kansas have seen a familiar pattern emerge in their fight against late-term abortion: more restrictive bills pass both their House and Senate, only to be vetoed by Democrat Gov. Mark Parkinson (or his predecessor, Kathleen Sebelius, who is now Health and Human Services Secretary.) At that point, the proponents of stopping late-term abortions come tantalizingly close to overriding the veto but are held off by just a few members of the Kansas Senate.

It was déjà vu all over again this week in Topeka. On Monday the veto override passed the House in its second attempt by an 86-35 vote, just over the 84 votes required. But Wednesday saw the familiar defeat in the Senate as only 26 of 40 Senators voted to override, leaving pro-life forces short by a single vote.

The legislation would have required additional reporting in cases where abortions were performed beyond 21 weeks and allowed families to sue doctors if they had evidence state law was broken. However, after abortionist George Tiller was murdered in May 2009, no Kansas doctors currently perform late-term abortions.

While the measure appears dead this term, there is hope for the future as Parkinson declined to run for a full term as governor, leaving the seat open for November’s election. Then perhaps Kansas may join neighboring Oklahoma and Nebraska in stiffening its abortion laws.

Second Amendment: Virginia Considers Eddie Eagle for Public Schools

Virginia recently conducted a study of unintentional deaths and injuries due to firearms over the period 2003-2006. Among its findings were that two-thirds of injuries occurred in a residence; half of victims unintentionally injured by others were children; and children were usually injured by other children who were either friends or family. The study concluded, “Most unintentional firearm injuries could be prevented by following the basic safety rules.”

The Virginia legislature soon picked up on the study’s conclusion, voting overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that calls for the Virginia Board of Education to “establish a standardized program of firearm safety education for students in the elementary school grades to promote the protection and safety of children.” Once the program is available, it will be up to individual school divisions to determine if they want to incorporate it into their classrooms.

According to the bill, “the program objectives incorporate, among other principles of firearm safety, accident prevention and the rules of the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program.” Eddie Eagle teaches kids four simple steps. If you see a gun: 1) STOP!; 2) Don’t Touch; 3) Leave the Area; 4) Tell an Adult.

Naturally, the legislation is not without controversy. One parent complained, “It’s not the wisest thing because, for instance, [my daughter]. She doesn’t know what a gun is. But, if she sees gun safety, then now she’s curious about it.” So ignorance is bliss? Would this parent say the same thing about sex or drug education? And how often have we heard the mantra, “Do it for the children”? Well, as the study points out, this is for the children.

To Keep and Bear Arms

A man in South Bend, Indiana, walked into the River Park store and began gathering merchandise. When he brought it to the counter, he demanded the storeowner hand over his money. The 52-year-old suspect pretended to have a handgun in his pocket, which was actually a carpet knife. When the storeowner refused to give him the money, they began to fight. The suspect grabbed a pair of scissors from behind the counter, but the owner was able to take them away from him after minor injuries. He then pulled out his gun, which he kept behind the counter, shooting the suspect in the abdomen. The suspect was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover.

And Last…

On Sunday, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, we’re reminded that among the 10 Commandments there is but one that comes with a promise: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation in 1914 proclaiming Mother’s Day a national holiday. Then again, we don’t need a holiday to express our appreciation to moms everywhere. May God bless each and every mother among our Patriot readers.

Finally, as a helpful hint for those looking for a last minute gift, look no further than this story from The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Forget flowers, chocolate, and breakfast in bed. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board officials have just the idea for you: vodka. The state agency is airing radio ads to make sure you know you can buy Mom all kinds of different vodka flavors – Cherry! Strawberry kiwi! Tropical punch! – for rock-bottom prices at the state’s wine and spirits stores.” In fact, just add 1 part Amaretto liqueur to 1 part vodka and you have a “Godmother.” Forget toasting your mom, just make sure she’s toasted.