Friday, August 1, 2014

Understanding Geographic Relationships: Counties, Places, Tracts and More

"Geography is at the center of taking a census. We do not just count people; we count people where they live. Geography is important because it is the basis for taking a census and for tabulating census data. The Census Bureau also maintains unique geographic areas that other local, state and federal agencies use..."
Understanding geographic relationships

Treasury Issues Proposed Rules to Enhance Financial Transparency

"The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend existing Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations to help prevent the use of anonymous companies to engage in or launder the proceeds of illegal activity in the U.S. financial sector.  The proposed rule would clarify and strengthen customer due diligence obligations of banks and other financial institutions (including brokers or dealers in securities, mutual funds, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers in commodities).  The proposed amendments would add a new requirement that these entities know and verify the identities of the real people (also known as beneficial owners) who own, control, and profit from the companies they service..."
Financial transparency

Your Money, Your Goals: Financial empowerment tools for social services

"Many people feel overwhelmed by their financial situations, and they may not know where to go for help. For many low-income Americans, frontline staff of nonprofit and public social services programs are in a unique position to provide that help.
Their clients already know and trust them, and in many cases, they’re already sharing financial information with them. Social workers and case managers know, however, that the financial stresses clients face may interfere with their progress toward other goals, like finding and keeping secure housing, staying in school, or even landing a job. As they make progress toward those goals, financial missteps can often erase their hard-fought gains.
That’s why social services programs across the country are taking steps to integrate financial empowerment into the work they do each day with their clients. To support their efforts, we’ve developed and field-tested a toolkit for financial services programs called Your Money, Your Goals..."

Consumer finance

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Competition and the Cost of Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program

"The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (generally referred to as the Medicare Modernization Act, or MMA) substantially expanded the federal Medicare program by creating the prescription drug benefit known as Part D. In fiscal year 2013, Medicare Part D covered 39 million people. The federal government spent $59 billion net of premiums on
Part D in that year; after accounting for certain payments from states under the program, the net federal cost was $50 billion, which represented 10 percent of net federal
spending for Medicare.."
Medicare prescription drugs

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations

"The initial section of this report provides ongoing information and analysis on the July 2014
Israel-Gaza conflict.
Since Israel’s founding in 1948, successive U.S. Presidents and many Members of Congress have demonstrated a commitment to Israel’s security and to maintaining close U.S.-Israel defense, diplomatic, and economic cooperation. U.S. and Israeli leaders have developed close relations based on common perceptions of shared democratic values and religious affinities. U.S. policy
makers often seek to determine how events and U.S. policy choices in the Middle East may affect Israel’s security, and Congress provides active oversight of executive branch dealings with Israel and other actors in the region.."

Israel - U.S. Relations

Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832

"Stealing a trade secret is a federal crime when the information relates to a product in interstate or
foreign commerce, 18 U.S.C. 1832 (theft of trade secrets), or when the intended beneficiary is a foreign power, 18 U.S.C. 1831 (economic espionage). Section 1832 requires that the thief be aware that the misappropriation will injure the secret’s owner to the benefit of someone else. Section 1831 requires only that the thief intend to benefit a foreign government or one of its instrumentalities..."
Trade secrets and Espionage

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lumens and the Lighting Facts Label

"When you're shopping for lightbulbs, compare lumens to be sure you're getting the amount of light, or level of brightness, you want. The Lighting Facts Label will help. This new label will make it easy to compare bulb brightness, color, life, and estimated operating cost for the year.

Buy Lumens, Not Watts

We typically buy things based on how much of it we get, right? When buying milk, we buy it by volume (gallons). So, why should light be any different? For decades, we have been buying lightbulbs based on how much energy they consume (watts) -- no matter how much light they give us (lumens)..."
Lumens and lighting

State and Local Government Finances: 2004-2011

Find here historical data on local and state government for all 50 states covering the years 2004- 2011.  
State and local government finances

America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2013: Adults

"These tables look at the demographic characteristics of the adult population 15 years and older. They describe the current marital status of people in the United States for selected age, race/origin and earnings groups, as well as detailed living arrangements of adults by age and sex.."
Families and Living Arrangements.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc

"A 5-4 decision, issued over a highly critical dissent, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
resolved one of the many challenges raised in response to the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Imputing the beliefs of
owners of closely held corporations to such corporations, the U.S. Supreme Court found that closely held corporations that hold religious objections to certain contraceptive services cannot be required to provide coverage of those
services in employee health plans. The Court’s decision was based on the protections offered under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a statute prohibiting the government from imposing a substantial burden on a person’s religious exercise unless it can show a compelling interest achieved by the least restrictive means..."

Religion and Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

THE COST OF DELAYING ACTION TO STEM CLIMATE CHANGE

"There is a vigorous public debate over whether to act now to stem climate change or instead to delay
implementing mitigation policies until a future date.This  report examines the economic consequences of delaying implementing such policies and reaches two main conclusions, both of which point to the benefits of implementing mitigation policies now and to the net costs of delaying taking such actions.."
Climate change

Protect yourshelf and your kids online

"It is always important to protect yourself and your personal information when you’re online. But it’s especially important for your kids - particularly in the summer, when it’s easy to get “bored” and spend more time on the internet.
Kids and Online safety

Surgeon General issues call to action to prevent skin cancer

"Skin cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, is a major public health problem that requires immediate action, according to a new Call to Action released today by the U.S. Surgeon General.

Even though most skin cancers can be prevented, rates of skin cancer, including melanoma, are increasing in the United States. Nearly 5 million people in the U.S. are treated for skin cancer every year, at an average annual cost of $8.1 billion. It is also one of the most common types of cancer among U.S. teens and young adults.

A key message in today’s report is that although people with lighter skin are at higher risk, anyone can get skin cancer—and it can be disfiguring, even deadly. Over the last three decades, the number of Americans who have had skin cancer is estimated to be higher than the number for all other cancers combined..."
Skin cancer

How Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Compare with Traditional Incandescents


"Compared to traditional incandescents, energy-efficient lightbulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs) have the following advantages:
  • Typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, saving you money
  • Can last 3-25 times longer..."
  • Energy efficient light bulbs

Monday, July 28, 2014

Safe and effective vaccine that prevents cancer continues to be underutilized

"CDC officials announced today that the number of girls and boys aged 13-17 years receiving human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine remains unacceptably low despite a slight increase in vaccination coverage since 2012, according to data from CDC′s 2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen) published in this week′s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).."
Vaccines, Teens and cancer