May is for Mothers and Other Malarkey


Last Sunday, our nation celebrated Mother’s Day, a national holiday that recognizes the love, guidance and service that all mothers have devoted to our families and communities. However, May is about more than just mothers, as far as Washington, D.C. is concerned.

Free Comic Book Day

H. Res. 250 called on the House of Representatives to congratulate and commend Free Comic Book Day. Seriously, if you tell mom that you are reading comic books to develop literacy and a life-long love of reading, as the bill suggests, mom will not be fooled. Calling comics a wonderful educational tool that teaches narration, dialogue, and visual design is indeed a form of creative writing.

Timing is Everything

Perhaps, the most ill-timed celebration would be Senator Rick Santorum’s bill to designate the week of May 22, 2006 as National Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week. This was Senator Santorum’s Mission Accomplished moment. The text ironically reads:

Designating the week of May 22, 2006, as `National Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week’.

Whereas the United States has experienced corporate scandals in recent years, resulting in serious legislation and regulation dealing with professional responsibility, ethics, and compliance programs;

Whereas the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is a compelling example of legislative guidance that recognizes the important role of compliance programs for organizations that desire to maintain ethical and law-abiding workplaces, services, and products;

Whereas the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, including recent amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, emphasize and reinforce that there are specific consequences for noncompliance;

Whereas many companies in the United States have responded by developing and implementing corporate ethics and compliance programs intended to detect and prevent violations of law, such as establishing a high level official to oversee compliance and integrity in the organization, auditing and monitoring mechanisms to test compliance, reporting mechanisms such as hotlines to ensure open communication, and training programs designed to educate employees on the laws, regulations, and policies that affect their business operation;

Whereas the private sector has organized to provide the necessary resources for ethics and compliance professionals and others who wish to promote quality compliance through organizations such as the Health Care Compliance Association and the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics; and

Whereas the establishment of a National Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week would celebrate the creation and maintenance of these ethics and compliance programs, and their resulting impact on the integrity, ethics, and compliance of the organizations that have created them: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate designates the week of May 22, 2006, as `National Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week’.

Lest we have forgotten about the Great Recession, the economy pretty much collapsed about 18 months after National Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week. Apparently, the serious legislation and regulation were not enough to stem another round of corporate scandal, this time even more costly than the last. On a positive note, this would be the perfect time to re-introduce this bill because I’m sure that Washington has stamped out corporate misbehavior once and for all.

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Many Ways to Celebrate May

While other nations celebrate May Day or International Workers’ Day on May 1st, we have opted for Loyalty Day to reaffirm our loyalty to the United States and recognize the heritage of American freedom. In accordance with 36 U.S. Code § 115, President Obama has issued a proclamation honoring this special day. For those who believe that the federal government is bloated by waste and duplication, your observation may be validated by Law Day, U.S.A., which is also celebrated on May 1st so that we can appreciate our liberties, affirm our loyalty to the United States, and rededicate ourselves to the ideals of equality and justice under law, which sounds suspiciously similar to the aspirations of Loyalty Day. President Obama also issued a Law Day, U.S.A. proclamation to celebrate this occasion as well.

Additional May moments include the National Day of Prayer (May 5), Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 6), Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15), National Defense Transportation Day (May 20), and Memorial Day (May 30). By the way, National Defense Transportation Day has nothing to do with the armed forces. Instead, it celebrates the role that the transportation system plays in times of peace and war.

I’m not sure why, but some May observances span a week, such as the National Women’s Health Week, National Charter Schools Week, and the Police Week, while others merit an entire month, including the Steelmark Month, Older Americans Month, National Foster Care Month, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and National Building Safety Month. If you are wondering, Steelmark Month recognizes the contributions of the steel industry toward our national security and defense.

So, has Congress recognized every day in the month of May? Let’s see.

So, May 23rd, May 26th, May 31st remain unclaimed. If you still haven’t found your day, perhaps Congress has designated a week for you:

Or, maybe even an entire month: