Today, the House Democrats cleared a procedural hurdle to advance a bill extending the Bush tax cuts to middle class families only, prompting accusations from House Republicans that the Democrats are continuing to play political games. In a procedural vote, the House voted 213 to 203 to advance the bill. A full vote is expected later today.

While Republicans in the Senate have vowed to block all legislation in the Senate chamber until a decision is made on the federal budget and the Bush tax cuts, Democrats in the House of Representatives indicate that they will continue to move forward on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s DREAM Act legislation.

The concerns voiced against the intrusive Transportation Security Administration screening procedures have been confirmed by experts at Child Lures Prevention. According to the organization, in an effort to have children cooperate with the TSA screenings, the TSA is calling the airport pat-downs “a game.” As a result, children who experience the enhanced pat-downs may become desensitized to sexual molestation.

As predicted, the Obama administration rescinded its promise to allow domestic offshore oil drilling yesterday. The Competitive Enterprise Institute reports that the Interior Department has placed an official moratorium on offshore drilling in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as well as in the Gulf for the next seven years at minimum. What's the excuse? The BP oil spill, of course.

The revival now appearing to take place throughout the U.S. of “the true Spirit of ‘76” — and not its emotional counterfeit which was seen to come and go during the Bicentennial of 1976 — has simultaneously given rise to an interest in and identification with the flags of the American Revolution (or American War of Independence). The first of these was the Bedford Flag, carried by the Minutemen of that Massachusetts town to the neighboring Battle of Concord on April 19, 1775. Some 60 years later Ralph Waldo Emerson made it famous in his poem Concord Hymn:

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