Monday, February 8, 2016

Countering Violent Extremism

"Today, as part of its leading role in helping to prevent terrorist attacks and in sharing its expertise on public safety issues, the FBI is taking the next step in educating communities on violent extremism by launching a new, free program for teens nationwide.
It’s called Don’t Be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism, and the centerpiece is an interactive website at that uses activities, quizzes, videos, and other materials to teach teens how to recognize violent extremist messaging and become more resistant to self-radicalization and possible recruitment..."
Violent extremism

State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: Historical Precedents and Pending Litigation in Texas v. United States

"States and localities can have significant interest in the manner and extent to which federal officials enforce provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) regarding the exclusion and removal of unauthorized aliens. Depending upon the jurisdiction’s specific concerns, this interest can be expressed in various ways, from the adoption of “sanctuary” policies limiting the jurisdiction’s cooperation in federal enforcement efforts to the enactment of measures to deter unauthorized aliens from entering or remaining within the jurisdiction. In some cases, states or localities have also sued to compel federal officials to enforce the INA and other relevant laws.

In the mid-1990s, six states which were then home to over half the unauthorized aliens in the United States—Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Texas—each filed suit alleging that federal officials’ failure to check unauthorized migration violated the Guarantee and Invasion Clauses of the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment, and provisions of the INA. Concerns regarding standing—or who is a proper party to seek relief from a federal court—were sometimes noted. However, even when standing was assumed, the constitutional claims were seen to involve nonjusticiable “political questions,” or failed on their merits. The states’ statutory claims were similarly seen to involve matters committed to agency discretion by law and, thus, not reviewable by the courts. In three cases, the courts also noted that federal officials’ alleged failure to control unauthorized migration did not constitute a reviewable “abdication” of their statutory duties..."
Immigration law

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Library of Congress by the Numbers in 2015

"The Library of Congress today released statistics for fiscal year 2015. Its collection now comprises more than 162 million physical items in a wide variety of formats.

The daily business of being the world’s largest library, the home of the U.S. Copyright Office and a supportive agency to the U.S. Congress resulted in the Library adding 1.7 million physical items to its permanent collections, registering more than 443,000 copyright claims and responding to more than 1 million reference requests from Congress, the public and other federal agencies in fiscal year 2015.

Some notable items newly cataloged into the Library’s collection include the papers of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and composer Marvin Hamlisch; rare Civil War stereograph images; recordings from the pioneering folk music label Stinson Records, featuring Woody Guthrie, Peter Seeger and Lead Belly; the Archive of the Association of American Geographers; and the backfile of issues on microfilm of the French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo," which began publishing in 1970...
Library of Congress

Demographic and Economic Profiles of New Hampshire’s Electorate

" In advance of the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, the U.S. Census Bureau presents a variety of statistics that give an overall profile of the state’s voting-age population and industries. Statistics include:
New Hampshire Electorate

"This is GPO's beta website that will eventually replace the Federal Digital System (FDsys) public website. Being in beta means this site is a work in progress that we are sharing with you to get your feedback.
Release Notes - February 3, 2016 - govinfo Beta Launch: Learn about the key new features and enhancements
Meet govinfo: Learn about the new site and what's available

About This Site

This site provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government and allows you to:
  • Search for documents and publications using advanced search capabilities and the ability to refine and narrow your search for quick access to the information you need.
  • Browse for documents and publications alphabetically, by category, by Congressional committee, and by date (Government author coming soon!).
  • Access metadata about documents and publications in standard XML formats.
  • Download documents and publications in multiple file formats as a single file or content and metadata packaged together in a compressed file..."

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Strategic Implications

"On October 5, 2015, Ministers of the 12 Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries announced conclusion of their free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. The agreement is one of the Obama Administration’s signature trade policy initiatives, an effort to reduce and eliminate trade and investment barriers and establish new rules and disciplines to govern trade and investment among the 12 countries. TPP proponents, including Administration officials, argue that the proposed TPP would have substantial strategic benefits for the United States in addition to its direct economic impact. They argue that the agreement would enhance overall U.S. influence in the economically dynamic Asia-Pacific region and advance U.S. leadership in setting and modernizing the rules of commerce in the region and potentially in the multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Congress plays a key role in the TPP. Through U.S. trade negotiating objectives established in Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation and informal consultations and oversight, Congress has guided the Administration’s negotiations. Ultimately, Congress would need to pass implementing legislation if the concluded agreement is to take effect in the United States..."
Trans-Pacific Partnership

Federal agencies announce proposal creating U.S. seafood traceability program

 "Today, the National Ocean Council Committee to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud announced its proposal for creating a U.S. seafood traceability program — the next step the U.S. government is taking to ensure that global seafood resources are sustainably managed and not fraudulently marketed.  
The proposal, a major step forward in combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, aims to trace the origins of imported seafood by establishing reporting and filing procedures for imported fish and fish products entering U.S. commerce.
“Traceability is a key tool for combating illicit activities that threaten valuable natural resources, increase global food security risk and disadvantage law-abiding fishermen and seafood producers,” said Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., under secretary of  commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We are asking the seafood industry, trade and consumer sectors, our international partners and the conservation community to help guide us in creating an effective, efficient program..."
Seafood tracking

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Census Bureau Releases First 2012 Economic Census Product Lines Reports

"The Census Bureau today released the first product lines reports from its 2012 Economic Census Subject Series. These reports present national and state-level data at the two through six- or seven-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) level. They provide statistics on number of establishments and sales/receipts/revenue by products and contributing industry. Reports were released for the following four sectors:.."
2012 Economic Census

Demographic and Economic Profiles of Iowa’s Electorate

"In advance of the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1, the Census Bureau presents a variety of statistics that give an overall profile of each state’s voting-age population and industries. This is the first in a series of such profiles for all the states holding primaries or caucuses. Statistics include:

Iowa's electorate

Office of Financial Security, 2015 Annual Report to Congress

"Over the past year, the resilience of the United States financial system has continued to improve and threats to overall U.S. financial stability remain moderate. Both are trends we’ve discussed for the past four years. But as we’ve also previously warned, there’s no cause for complacency.

In fact, several financial stability risks have continued to edge higher over the past year. Three major themes stand out: (1) the persistent effects of low interest rates, (2) elevated and rising credit risks, and (3) the uneven resilience of the financial system.

This year we are reporting to Congress and the public in two installments. We presented to the public in-depth analyses in our 2015 Financial Stability Report in December. In addition to summarizing those analyses, this Annual Report to Congress documents our progress and presents plans for further advancement this year and in coming years. I hope that, taken together, the two reports will help us communicate with a wide range of stakeholders while ensuring that we are transparent and accountable in our work and the ways we pursue it..."
Financial Security

National Commission on the Future of the Army

"The American people expect their Army to be trained and ready whenever called upon to achieve national objectives. In an increasingly complex world with an increasing array of diverse threats at home and abroad, America’s Army must possess a wide range of capabilities to fulfill its myriad missions. However, even as the demand for Army forces expands and diversifies, the fiscal resources necessary to meet that demand have declined and will remain challenging for several years. This tension between growing requirements and fewer resources not only creates national-level risk, it also has resulted in some unhealthy competitive tension among the Army’s components, especially between the Regular Army and the Army National Guard. In large part, these factors, plus the Army’s proposal, endorsed by the Department of Defense, to consolidate all Apache aircraft in the Regular Army, prompted the Congress to establish the National Commission on the Future of the Army (NCFA)..."
U.S. Army

Take a look at the newly updated website from the U.S.  Federal Trade Commission.
Identity theft

Unmanned Aircraft Operations in Domestic Airspace: U.S. Policy Perspectives and the Regulatory Landscape

"Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), often referred to as “drones,” have become commonplace over the past few years. As UAS technology develops rapidly, the United States faces significant challenges in balancing safety requirements, privacy concerns, and economic interests.

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA; P.L. 112-95) required the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to integrate unmanned aircraft into the national airspace and issue regulations governing the operation of small unmanned aircraft used for commercial purposes. FAA has proposed regulations allowing routine operations of small commercial UAS weighing less than 55 pounds, but is still developing the guidelines and standards for federal, state, and local government agencies required by FMRA. Hundreds of thousands of small UAS are already being operated as recreational model aircraft and hobby drones that are permitted under a special rule for model aircraft established by FMRA. In addition, several hundred public agencies and more than 3,000 businesses have been granted approval to operate UAS on a case-by-case basis. Once regulations and guidelines are put in place, large growth in UAS operations is anticipated..."
Unmanned aircrafts

Rigged Justice: How Weak Enforcement Let Corporate Offenders Off Easy,

"United States Senator Elizabeth Warren today released a report titled Rigged Justice: How Weak Enforcement Lets Corporate Offenders Off Easy. The report, the first in an annual series on enforcement, highlights 20 of the most egregious civil and criminal cases during the past year in which federal settlements failed to require meaningful accountability to deter future wrongdoing and to protect taxpayers and families.
"Much of the public and media attention on Washington focuses on enacting laws. And strong laws are important - prosecutors must have the statutory tools they need to hold corporate criminals accountable," the report states. "But putting a law on the books is only the first step.  The second, and equally important, step is enforcing that law.  A law that is not enforced - or weakly enforced - may as well not even be a law at all."..."
Senator Elizabeth Warren

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This Is the Winning Design for the New World War I Memorial

"The United States military was involved in World War I for just 585 days, but during that time, the country mobilized more than 4.3 million forces. Experts estimate that approximately 208,502 of those soldiers were wounded, missing or taken prisoner, while 116,516 were killed. This number, specifically, will take on new significance through the upcoming World War I memorial to be built in Washington, D.C. Officials announced yesterday that they have selected a winning design for the memorial—which will use each cubic foot of space to represent an American soldier lost during the so-called Great War.
Joe Weishaar and Sabin Howard’s winning proposal, The Weight of Sacrifice, was chosen out of more than 350 total designs. World War I is the last major war to be commemorated on a larger scale in D.C., a fact that has rankled with people who want to preserve the memory of the enormous toll the war took Americans at home and on the front..."
World War 1 Memorial