Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Budget and Economic Outlook, 2012 to 2022

"This volume is one of a series of reports on the state of the budget and the economy that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issues each year. It satisfies the requirement of section 202(e) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 that CBO submit to the Committees on the Budget periodic reports about fiscal policy and its baseline projections of the federal budget. In accordance with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, the report makes no recommendations..."

Earned Income Tax Credit-Tips

Determine if you are eligible to receive earned income tax credit on your federal income tax return.

Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll Summary Report: 2010

Find employment and payroll data for public employees on states, counties, cities,
townships, special districts, and school districts.

State Energuy Profiles, 2010

"The State Electricity Profiles 2010 presents a summary of State statistics. The objective of the publication is to provide industry decision makers, government policymakers, analysts, and the general public with historical data that may
be used in understanding U.S. electricity markets. The State Electricity Profiles is
prepared by the Electric Power Systems and Reliability Team; Office of Electricity,
Renewables, and Uranium Statistics; U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA); U.S.
Department of Energy..."

Tracking Employment-Based Health Benefits in Changing Times

"Health care in the United States is a complex system consisting of patients, providers, insurers, employers, and governments. Individuals and companies shopping for health coverage face a myriad of choices presenting varying costs and benefits. Since most Americans obtain coverage through an employment-related plan, employers must stay current with laws and regulations and educate their employees about the changing nature of health benefits.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as the principal federal agency charged with reporting labor market activity, disseminates statistical information on the costs to employers for health care benefits. It also reports measures of access, participation, and features for those plans as part of its National Compensation Survey (NCS)..."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fiscal 2013 Budget Priorities

"Spending priorities in the forthcoming fiscal 2013 defense budget request call for reductions in the end strength of the Army and Marine Corps, an increase in special operations forces and maintaining the number of big-deck carriers, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said here today.

The Pentagon’s budget topline request is set at $525 billion for fiscal 2013 with an additional $88.4 billion for overseas contingency operations -- mostly in Afghanistan. This is down from $531 billion and $115 billion, respectively, in this fiscal year..."


"The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future today released its final report to the U.S. Energy Secretary, detailing comprehensive recommendations for creating a safe, longterm solution for managing and disposing of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high‐level radioactive waste.

The report is the culmination of nearly two years of work by the commission and its subcommittees, which met more than two dozen times since March 2010, gathering testimony from experts and stakeholders, as well as visiting nuclear waste management facilities both domestic and overseas..."

EPA Releases New Tool with Information about Water Pollution Across the U.S.

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of a new tool that provides the public with important information about pollutants that are released into local waterways. Developed under President Obama’s transparency initiative, the Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool brings together millions of records and allows for easy searching and mapping of water pollution by local area, watershed, company, industry sector, and pollutant. Americans can use this new tool to protect their health and the health of their communities..."
View full report.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2011 Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories

"The economic condition of small businesses in the United States is captured in the latest edition of the Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories. This annual publication from the Office of Advocacy provides information on the demographics of business ownership, employment, industry composition, and small business income, for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The publication provides available limited data on the U.S. territories..."

Health and Access to Care Among Employed and Unemployed Adults: United States, 2009–201

"This report uses data from the 2009 and 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to compare the health insurance status, health, and access to health care of employed and unemployed adults aged 18–64 years. It compares health status and access to care between the employed and unemployed by insurance status to show associations between these factors and employment net of insurance status, a major determinant of health care access..."

Cancer Screening - United States, 2010

"Each year, approximately 350,000 persons are diagnosed with breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer in the United States, and nearly 100,000 die from these diseases (1). The U.S.
Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening tests for each of these cancers to reduce morbidity and mortality (2). Healthy People 2020 sets national objectives for use of the recommended cancer screening tests and identifies the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) as the means to measure progress.."

Surveillance of Demographic Characteristic,, Cancer Survivors, 2009

"A cancer survivor is a person who has received a diagnosis of cancer, from the time of diagnosis throughout the person’s life (1–3). The aging of the U.S. population has resulted in an increase in the number of cancer diagnoses (4), and because of improvements in early detection and treatment, the number of cancer survivors has steadily increased during the last 3 decades. As of 2007, nearly 12 million cancer survivors were living in the United State.."

International Trade: Rules of Origi

"Determining the country of origin of a product is important for properly assessing tariffs,
enforcing trade remedies (such as antidumping and countervailing duties) or quantitative
restrictions (tariff quotas), and statistical purposes. Other commercial trade policies are also
linked with origin determinations, such as country of origin labeling and government
procurement regulations.

Rules of origin (ROO) can be very simple, noncontroversial tools of international trade as long as
all of the parts of a product are manufactured and assembled primarily in one country. However,
when a finished product’s component parts originate in many countries—as is often the case in
today’s global trading environment—determining origin can be a very complex, sometimes
subjective, and time-consuming process..."

Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

"Noroviruses are a group of related viruses. Infection with these viruses affects the stomach and intestines and causes an illness called gastroenteritis (GAS-tro-en-ter-I-tis; inflammation of the stomach and intestines).

Anyone Can Get Norovirus
Anyone can be infected with noroviruses and get sick. Also, you can get norovirus illness more than once during your life. The illness often begins suddenly. You may feel very sick, with stomach cramping, throwing up, or diarrhea.

Noroviruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States. CDC estimates that each year more than 20 million cases of acute gastroenteritis are caused by noroviruses. That means about 1 in every 15 Americans will get norovirus illness each year. Norovirus is also estimated to cause over 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths each year in the United States..."

National Crime Victims Database

"As part of an integrated campaign to increase awareness about victims’ rights, educate the public about the impact of crime, and promote crime victim resources, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) launched crimevictims.gov in 2005. At the time of its launch, the site was tied directly to the release of seven public service announcements (PSAs) that began to air nationally during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, an annual commemoration that promotes victims’ rights and services in all sectors of society.

Designed for three audiences—crime victims, volunteers, and victim service providers—crimevictims.gov provides a wealth of resources for each, including links to Web sites, publications, databases, and hotlines. The site intentionally mirrors the look and feel of the PSAs, "giving a face" to crime victims, volunteers, and providers through photos and brief testimonials...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tuskegee Airmen - Resources

The Government Documents Department of the University of Alabama - University Library has created a web site with a great many resources on the Tuskegee Airmen and African Americans in the military. Take a look.

American Indians and Alaska Native Population:2010 (2010 Census Briefs)

"According to the 2010 Census, 5.2 million people in the United States identified as American Indian and Alaska Native, either alone or in combination with one or more other races. Out of this total, 2.9 million people identified as American Indian and Alaska Native alone. Almost half of
the American Indian and Alaska Native population, or 2.3 million people, reported being American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races. The American Indian and Alaska Native in combination population experienced rapid growth, increasing by 39 percent
since 2000..."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Organic 101: Allowed and Prohibited Substances

"Organic standards are designed to allow natural substances in organic farming while prohibiting synthetic substances. The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances—a component of the organic standards—lists the exceptions to this basic rule.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is designed by law to advise the National Organic Program (NOP) on which substances should be allowed or prohibited. Made up of dedicated public volunteers appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, board members include organic growers, handlers, retailers, environmentalists, scientists, USDA-accredited certifying agents and consumer advocates...

Fake News Sites that Allegedly Deceived Consumers about Acai Berry Weight-Loss Products

"Six online marketers agreed to settlements with the Federal Trade Commission that will permanently halt their allegedly deceptive practice of using fake news websites to market acai berry supplements and other weight-loss products.

As part of its ongoing crackdown on bogus health claims, the proposed settlements will require that the six operations make clear when their commercial messages are advertisements rather than objective journalism, and will bar the defendants from further deceptive claims about health-related products such as the acai berry weight-loss supplements and colon cleansers that they marketed..."

Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline: Legal Issue

"This report reviews those legal issues. First, it suggests that legislation related to cross-border facility permitting is unlikely to raise significant constitutional questions, despite the fact that such permits have traditionally been handled by the executive branch alone pursuant to its constitutional “foreign affairs” authority. Next, it observes generally that state oversight of pipeline siting decisions does not appear to violate existing federal law or the Constitution.
Finally, the report suggests that State Department’s implementation of the existing authority to
issue presidential permits appears to allow for judicial review of its National Environmental
Policy Act determinations..."

State of the Union, 2012

Text of President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address, January 24, 2012

Congressional Hackathon Report

"Today, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) issued the following report, outlining the discussions held at the first-ever Congressional Facebook Hackathon. The event brought together a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, Congressional staffers, Facebook developers and digital innovators to explore the connections between legislative data, constituent correspondence, and social media..."

W-2 Forms

"An employer gives you a Form W-2 - Wage and Tax Statement by January 31 of the current tax year. If you do not receive your Form W-2 by February 14, contact the IRS for assistance.

If you have questions about the information supplied on the W-2, contact your employer or the IRS.

You can file your income tax return using Form 4852 - Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement (PDF document) to support the withholding amount claimed.

View Form W-2 Information - Additional, Incorrect, Lost, Non-receipt, and Omitted for more information.

If you need certain prior year tax return information, you can obtain it from the IRS.

Information for Employers
If you are an employer and need information on where, when, and how to file, visit Tax Topic 752 - Form W-2."

Annual Energy Outlook early Release, 2012

"This release is an abridged version of the Annual Energy Outlook that highlights changes in the AEO Reference case projections for key energy topics. The Early Release includes data tables for the Reference case only. The full AEO2012 will be released April 26, 2012..."

CO Deaths Continue to Rise

"Just in time for the cold weather, we have new information on carbon monoxide (CO) deaths associated with the use of consumer products.

In 2008 — the latest year for which we have complete data — there were about 190 unintentional non-fire CO-poisoning deaths associated with consumer products under our jurisdiction. The product associated with most of these deaths? Portable generators.

As more people use portable generators, the numbers of CO-related deaths have increased. In 1999 there were seven generator-related CO deaths. In 2008 the number of deaths reached 86. That’s an increase of more than 1,000 percent.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible killer that strikes within minutes. You can protect yourself with a few simple safety rules:

Install working CO alarms in your home. Make sure the alarm is battery-operated or has a battery-backup so it works during a power outage.
Keep all generators outside of your home, away from doors and windows.
Never use a generator in a garage, basement, crawl space, shed or on a porch..."

African American History Month, February 2012

"To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents proclaim February as National African-American History Month."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Army 2020: Generating Health and Discipline in the Force..2012

"Nearly two years ago, the Army published the Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, Suicide Prevention Report 2010, referred to as the Red Book, which provided the first comprehensive review of the health and discipline of the Force.  The following report continues—and in many ways expands—that dialogue, providing a thorough assessment of what we have learned with respect to physical and behavioral health conditions, disciplinary problems, and gaps in Army policy and policy implementation.  It provides important information on the challenges confronting our Soldiers and Families, challenges that we must collectively address to reduce the stress on the Force, promote Soldier health and discipline and improve unit readiness.  To this end, this report is designed to educate leaders, illuminate critical issues that still must be addressed and provides guidance to leaders who are grappling with these issues on a day‐to‐day basis..."  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigation

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, the Bureau) is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with counterterrorism investigations. Since the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, the FBI has implemented a series of reforms intended to transform itself from a largely reactive law enforcement agency focused on investigations of criminal activity into a more proactive, agile, flexible, and intelligence-driven agency that can prevent acts of terrorism.

This report provides background information on key elements of the FBI terrorism investigative
process based on publicly available information..."

Homeless Women Veterans: Actions Needed to Ensure Safe and Appropriate Housing

"As more women serve in the military, the number of women veterans has grown substantially, doubling from 4 percent of all veterans in 1990 to 8 percent, or an estimated 1.8 million, today. The number of women veterans will continue to increase as servicemembers return from the
conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of these women veterans, like their male counterparts, face challenges readjusting to civilian life and are at risk of becoming homeless. Such challenges may be particularly pronounced for those women veterans who have disabling psychological conditions resulting from military sexual trauma and for those who are single mothers..."

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – What You Need To Know

"Pertussis (whooping cough) is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Among vaccine-preventable diseases, pertussis is one of the most commonly occurring ones in the United States.

Pertussis Vaccine Protection
There is high pertussis vaccine coverage for children nationwide. However, protection from the childhood vaccine decreases over time. Preteens, teens and adults need to be revaccinated, even if they were completely vaccinated as children..."

Managing Household Records

"When was the last time you couldn't find an important paper you knew you had carefully put away? How do people decide where to store and keep such records? And how do they know what to keep, what to throw away, and when? Do you have a simple system or roadmap for important papers (PDF | download Adobe Reader) to which you or a loved one can refer to in case of an emergency?

Every household must work out its own records management system, but some general guidelines can help. A good system will provide an overview of what happens to property after a major life event occurs..."

Expandable Lunch Boxes Recalled by California Innovations

"The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Expandable Insulated Lunch Box with Freezer Gel Pack

Units: About 248,000

Importer: California Innovations Inc., of Toronto, Canada

Hazard: Gel that contains diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol can leak out of damaged freezer gel packs, posing a poisoning hazard if ingested by children or adults.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received two separate reports of a dog chewing and ingesting gel from the gel pack. One dog reportedly died from ingestion of the gel. The other was reported to have received treatment and has recovered.

Description: The recalled product is a Ci Sport three-piece, expandable, insulated lunch box set, which includes the lunch box, aluminum bottle and the freezer gel pack. The lunch box of the recalled set has the code "1-61731-99-57" printed on one of the two white labels that are sewn under the white fastener inside the main compartment. The lunch box is 8 inches wide, 5 inches deep and 10.25 inches high. It is made of vinyl, polyester nylon and crushed nylon and has a logo with the words "Ci Sport" attached to the upper left corner. The lunch box has a carrying handle on the top and a mesh carrying pouch for the aluminum bottle on the side. The aluminum bottle measures 2.75 inches in diameter and 7.5 inches tall. The gel pack is a 6-inch by 4-inch transparent plastic pouch filled with blue liquid gel. The words "Cryofreeze" and "Ice Pack/Hot Pack" are printed in white letters on the front of the pouch. The lunch box was available in four colors: navy blue, red, black and denim blue..."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps)

"To Apply...

To apply for benefits, or for information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, contact your local SNAP office. You can find local offices and each State's application on our national map. Local offices are also listed in the State or local government pages of the telephone book. The office should be listed under "Food Stamps," "Social Services," "Human Services," "Public Assistance," or a similar title. You can also call your State's SNAP hotline number. Most are toll-free numbers..."

Friday, January 20, 2012

1040 Central

Find the latest information on filing your federal taxes from the IRS.

FAA Mobile

"FAA Mobile is an easy-to-use mobile website that provides quick access to popular FAA.gov tasks for aviation enthusiasts on-the-go. You can look up N-numbers, find Advisory Circulars, browse airport delays, and more. You can find FAA Mobile at http://www.faa.gov/mobile (optimized for mobile devices)..."

Nuclear Power Plant Design and Seismic Safety Considerations

"The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power
station and the earthquake that forced the North Anna, VA, nuclear power plant’s temporary
shutdown have focused attention on the seismic criteria applied to siting and designing
commercial nuclear power plants. Some Members of Congress have questioned whether U.S
nuclear plants are more vulnerable to seismic threats than previously assessed, particularly given
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) ongoing reassessment of seismic risks at certain
plant sites..."

Prepregnancy Contraceptive Use Among Teens with Unintended Pregnancies Resulting in Live Birth

"Approximately 400,000 teens aged 15–19 years give birth every year in the United States (1), and the teen birth rate remains the highest in the developed world (2). Teen childbearing is a public health concern because teen mothers are more likely to experience negative social outcomes, including school dropout (3). In addition, infants of teen mothers are more likely to be low birth weight and have lower academic achievement, and daughters of teen mothers are more likely to become teen mothers themselves(4–6)..."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Citizen Archivist Dashboard

The National Archives Citizen Archivist Dashboard provides an opportunity for individuals to tag, edit, and upload files to the National Archives database.

Science and Engineering Indicators, 2012.

"The United States remains the global leader in supporting science and technology (S&T) research and development, but only by a slim margin that could soon be overtaken by rapidly increasing Asian investments in knowledge-intensive economies. So suggest trends released in a new report by the National Science Board (NSB), the policymaking body for the National Science Foundation (NSF), on the overall status of the science, engineering and technology workforce, education efforts and economic activity in the United States and abroad...
View full report.

PIPA (Protect IP Act) (H.R. 3261)

Bill summary of the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or the PROTECT IP Act of 2011 (H.R. 3261) from the Library of Congress's Thomas legislative information service.

SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act)Bill Summarym (H.R. 3261)

Bill summary of SOPA(Stop Online Privacy Act) H.R. 361) from the Library of Congress's Thomas legislative information service.

A Citizen's Guide to Radon

Find current information on radon: how it gets into your home, how to test for it, lower your risks of radon, myths about radon, and additional information.

2012 Progress Report: States Are Implementing Health Reform In

"In the nearly two years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, all States have taken some action to implement health reform. For example, forty-four States are participating in the new premium rate review system where insurers must justify the rationale for any double-digit insurance premium increase. And 28 States and the District of Columbia are on their way toward establishing their own Affordable Insurance Exchange – an essential component of the law..."

Contemporary Developments in Presidential Elections

"This report considers contemporary developments in presidential elections. It emphasizes three
topics chosen for their recurring importance and notable recent developments: (1) nominating
procedures; (2) campaign finance; and (3) the electoral college. The report highlights significant
developments in these areas, particularly for the 2008 and 2012 elections. It also provides
background information about the presidential election process in general. Other CRS products
cited throughout this report provide additional information about the topics introduced here..."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Human Trafficking Awareness Day: 20 Ways You Can Help Fight Modern Slavery

"After first learning about human trafficking, many people want to help in some way but do not know how. Here are just a few ideas for your consideration.

1. Learn human trafficking red flags and ask follow up questions so that you can detect a potential trafficking situation.

2. In the United States, report your suspicions to law enforcement at 911, Department of Justice at 1-888-428-7581, and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-3737-888. Victims, including undocumented individuals, are eligible for services and immigration assistance.

3. Be a conscientious consumer. Make socially responsible investments. Let your favorite retailers know that you support their efforts to maintain a slavery free supply chain. Encourage your company or your employer to take steps to investigate and eliminate human trafficking throughout its supply chain and to publish the information for consumer awareness. Refer to the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.

4.Hire trafficking survivors..."

Report on Carcinogens, 12th (2011)

"The Report on Carcinogens (RoC) is an informational scientific and public health document that identifies and discusses agents, substances, mixtures, or exposure circumstances (hereinafter referred to as “substances”) that may pose a hazard to human health by virtue of their carcinogenicity. For each listed substance, the RoC contains a substance profile which provides information on (1) the listing status, (2) cancer studies in humans and animals, (3) studies of genotoxicity (ability to damage genes) and biologic mechanisms, (4) the potential for human exposure to these substances, and (5) Federal regulations to limit exposures..."

Unauthorized Appropriations and Expiring Authorizations

"This report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) satisfies the requirements of
section 202(e)(3) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act, as amended.
The report, which must be completed by January 15 of each year, is intended to assist the
Congress by identifying authorizations of appropriations that have expired or that will expire
this year..."

Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers

"The King Center Imaging Project brings the works and papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to a digital generation. JPMorgan Chase & Co. began the project in April of 2011 with the intent to preserve, digitize and make publically available some of the extensive holdings of The King Center Archive collection..."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bills to Be Considered on the House Floor

Finds bills being considered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey

"EAC administers the biennial Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS), an instrument used to collect state-by-state data on the administration of federal elections. Our data collection effort for the 2010 election is currently under way, and we will report our findings starting in the summer of 2011. Contact us if you would like to receive an automatic e-mail alert when the reports are released. In the meantime, read more about the policies and procedures that guide EAC's survey in A Guide to the Election Administration and Voting Survey, view the survey instrument, and scroll down to view reports from recent federal elections..."

Presidential Proclamation: Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, 2012

"On a hot summer day nearly half a century ago, an African American preacher with no official title or rank gave voice to our Nation's deepest aspirations, sharing his dream of an America that ensured the true equality of all our people. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a movement that would push our country toward a more perfect Union.

At a time when our Nation was sharply divided, Dr. King called on a generation of Americans to be "voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion." His example stirred men and women of all backgrounds to become foot soldiers for justice, and his leadership gave them the courage to refuse the limitations of the day and fight for the prospect of tomorrow. Because these individuals showed the resilience to stand firm in the face of the fiercest resistance, we are the benefactors of an extraordinary legacy of progress.

Today, Dr. King is memorialized on the National Mall where he once spoke, a symbol of how far our Nation has come and a testament to the quiet heroes whose names may never appear in history books, but whose selflessness brought about change few thought possible. Dr. King's memorial reminds us that while the work of realizing his remarkable dream is unending, with persistence, progress is within our reach.

On the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, we celebrate the man who fought for the America he knew was possible. Dr. King's faith in a God who loves all His children and a Nation grounded in the promise of equality would not let him rest until victory was won. As we work to meet the challenges of our time -- from fixing our schools so every child gets a world-class education to ensuring all Americans have access to strong and secure economic opportunity -- let us draw strength from Dr. King's stirring affirmation that "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." In his memory, let us continue climbing toward that Promised Land, one more fair and more just for all people.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2012, as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday. I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate civic, community, and service projects in honor of Dr. King, and to visit www.MLKDay.gov to find Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service projects across our country.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Cronobacter Illness and Infant Formula

"Cronobacter: A group of bacteria found in the environment and foods
Cronobacter (formerly called Enterobacter sakazakii) is a group of bacteria that are found naturally in the environment. These bacteria can survive in very dry conditions. Sometimes, they have been found in dry foods, such as powdered infant formula, powdered milk, herbal teas, and starches. They also have been found in wastewater. It is likely Cronobacter bacteria can be found in other places, too..."

Safe Sleep for Babies: Learn How

"Whether you just had a baby, expecting a new baby, or taking care of a young infant it's important to create a safe sleep environment for your baby. Take a few moments to see how to create a safe sleep environment for your baby. En EspaƱol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx0txjBoXl8&feature=ch..."

Cervical Cancer Month

"Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later.

When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. The cervix connects the vagina (birth canal) to the upper part of the uterus. The uterus (or womb) is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant.

Cervical cancer is highly preventable in most Western countries because screening tests and a vaccine to prevent HPV infections are available. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Folic Acid Helps Prevent Neural Tube Defects

"Folic acid is a B vitamin. Our bodies use it to make new cells. Everyone needs folic acid, but it is particularly important for women who can become pregnant! If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before she is pregnant, it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby's brain and spine. These birth defects are called neural tube defects.

CDC and the US Public Health Service urge every woman who could become pregnant to consume 400 micrograms (400 mcg) of folic acid every day..."

Preventing Gang Affiliation by Increasing Protective Factors

"From 2002–2006, gangs were responsible for approximately 20% of homicides in the 88 largest cities in the U.S.1 Research shows gang members are more likely than their non-gang affiliated peers to engage in crime and violence, which increases their risk of violence-related injuries and death. While only an estimated 5% of the U.S. population has ever joined a gang,2 gang membership has reached 14 to 30% of the population in many urban areas. 3, 4

A recent CDC study, “Risk and Protective Factors associated with Gang Affiliation among High-Risk Youth: A Public Health Approach,” was designed to identify risk and protective factors for gang affiliation to guide gang membership prevention strategies..."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Binge Drinking

"New estimates show that binge drinking is a bigger problem than previously thought. More than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink, about 4 times a month, and on average the largest number of drinks consumed is eight. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men over a short period of time.

As reported in this month’s Vital Signs, the CDC found that those who were thought less likely to binge drink actually engage in this behavior more often and consume more drinks when they do. While binge drinking is more common among young adults aged 18–34 years, binge drinkers aged 65 years and older report binge drinking more often—an average of five to six times a month. Similarly, while binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more, the largest number of drinks consumed on an occasion is significantly higher among binge drinkers with household incomes less than $25,000—an average of eight to nine drinks per occasion, far beyond the amount thought to induce intoxication...

New American Factfinder Increases Data Coverage

"The new AmericanFactFinder, the U.S. Census Bureau's statistics and information search engine introduced one year ago, has been updated with files formerly found in its "legacy" version. Users now have access to more than 60 important data sets in the new FactFinder English interface and 14 data sets in the Spanish interface.

“Users no longer have to navigate between two Web tools,” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. “They now have one stop for the most important data sets from the Census Bureau.”

Nearly all of the information from the older version has been uploaded to the new American FactFinder website. At your fingertips, you now will have access to more than 250 billion data cells and statistics for more than —

40,000 tables.
1,500 population groups and tribes
80,000 business and industry codes
12 million geographies for each decennial census.."
American Factfinder2

2010 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

"For the first time, comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) data reported directly from large facilities and suppliers across the country are now easily accessible to the public through EPA’s GHG Reporting Program. The 2010 GHG data released today includes public information from facilities in nine industry groups that directly emit large quantities of GHGs, as well as suppliers of certain fossil fuels.,,"
Greenhouse gases database

Documerica Returns!

"Almost 40 years ago, EPA’s Documerica project captured thousands of images of environmental problems and everyday life. Now it’s your turn!

On Earth Day 2011, EPA put out a global call for current photos of life and our environment, PLUS a challenge to photograph the ‘now’ of places in Documerica. Your photo could be exhibited around the U.S. in 2012!"

School Enrollment in the United States: 2010

"These national statistics describe a wide variety of student characteristics at all levels of school, from nursery to graduate. The tables provide information by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, family income, type of college, employment status and vocational course enrollment. The statistics are produced from the October School Enrollment Supplement to the Current Population Survey; historical tables are provided."
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Economic Recovery: Sustaining U.S. Economic Growth in a Post-Crisis Economy

"The 2007-2009 recession was long and deep, and according to several indicators was the most
severe economic contraction since the 1930s (but still much less severe than the Great
Depression). The slowdown of economic activity was moderate through the first half of 2008, but
at that point the weakening economy was overtaken by a major financial crisis that would
exacerbate the economic weakness and accelerate the decline.

Evidence suggests that the process of economic recovery began in mid-2009. Real gross domestic
product (GDP) has been on a positive track since then, although the pace has been uneven and
relatively weak. The stock market has recovered from its lows, and employment has increased
moderately. On the other hand, significant economic weakness remains evident, particularly in
the balance sheet of households, the labor market, and the housing sector..."

Raising the Ages of Eligibility for Medicare and Social Security

"Raising the ages at which people can begin to collect Medicare and Social Security benefits would be one way to reduce long-term fiscal imbalances. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, under current policies, federal outlays will significantly exceed federal revenues during the coming decade and beyond. Outlays for the government’s two largest domestic programs, Social Security and Medicare, provide benefits primarily to the elderly. Those outlays are projected to increase rapidly because of the retirement of the baby-boom generation and growth in per capita spending for health care that is expected to continue to exceed growth in per capita gross domestic product (GDP) over the long term. Unless policymakers decrease spending from projected amounts, increase revenues well above their historical average as a share of GDP, or adopt some combination of those two approaches, federal debt will become unsustainable.."

National Health Expenditures, 2010

"U.S. health care spending experienced historically low rates of growth in 2009 and 2010 according to the annual report of national health expenditures (NHE) published in the January issue of the journal Health Affairs.

Analysts at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report in the article that the increase in spending for 2009 represents the lowest rate of increase in the entire 51 year history of the NHE. The low rate of growth, the data show, reflects lower utilization in health care than in previous years. The report notes that U.S. health care spending grew only 3.9 percent in 2010, reaching $2.6 trillion or $8,402 per person, just 0.1 percentage point faster than in 2009.

In 2010, as health spending growth remained low, growth in U.S. economy as reflected in gross domestic product (GDP) (4.2 percent) rebounded. As such in 2010, the health spending share of the overall economy was unchanged at 17.9 percent. In the past, this share has increased, rising over time from 5.2 percent in 1960..."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States

"The U.S. economy reigned supreme in the 20th century, becoming the largest, most productive, and most competitive in the world; amazing new technologies were invented and commercialized; the workforce became the most educated in the world; and incomes soared while a large middle class emerged and thrived. As the 21st century approached, however, alarms began to sound about the U.S.
economy’s ability to remain in this preeminent position. Incomes stagnated and job growth slowed. Other countries became better educated and our manufacturing sector lost ground to foreign competitors. Observers have expressed concern that the scientific and technological building blocks critical to our economic leadership have been eroding at a time when many other nations are actively laying strong foundations in these same areas. In short, some elements of the U.S.
economy are losing their competitive edge which may mean that future generations of Americans will not enjoy a higher standard of living than is enjoyed in the United States today..."

Deforestation and Greenhouse Gases

"Human activities produce large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs), primarily carbon dioxide (CO2),and thus contribute to global warming. The use of fossil fuels is the primary source of CO2 emissions, but the removal of trees from forested land has also contributed.

Mature forests, having absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere while growing, store carbon in wood, leaves, and soil. That carbon is released when people clear forested land and destroy the wood. From 2000 to 2005, the loss of forests, primarily in tropical developing countries, accounted for approximately 12 percent of global GHG emissions..."

Tax Gap

"The tax gap is defined as the amount of tax liability faced by taxpayers that is not paid on time. The Internal Revenue Service collects more than $2 trillion annually in taxes so producing an estimate of the tax gap is a major statistical effort that it undertakes every few years.

This month, the IRS released a new set of tax gap estimates for tax year 2006. The new tax gap estimate represents the first full update of the report in five years, and it shows the nation’s compliance rate is essentially unchanged at about 83 percent from the last review covering tax year 2001..."

Economic Recovery: Sustaining U.S. Economic Growth in a Post-Crisis Economy

"The 2007-2009 recession was long and deep, and according to several indicators was the most
severe economic contraction since the 1930s (but still much less severe than the Great
Depression). The slowdown of economic activity was moderate through the first half of 2008, but
at that point the weakening economy was overtaken by a major financial crisis that would
exacerbate the economic weakness and accelerate the decline..."

State-Level Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2000-2009

"Over the time period from 2000 to 2009, carbon dioxide emissions fell in the United States and most individual States (Table 1). Thirteen States, however, experienced emissions increases in that time period. The greatest percentage increase was in Nebraska at 13.3 percent (5.5 million metric tons), while Colorado experienced the greatest absolute increase (8.9 million metric tons or 10.5 percent). Other States that experienced growth included: Arizona (9.5 percent), Iowa (7.5 percent), South Dakota (5.1 percent), Missouri (4.7 percent), and Oklahoma (4.4 percent)..."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Toxics Release Inventory, 2011

"TRI is a database containing data on disposal or other releases of over 600 toxic chemicals from thousands of U.S. facilities and information about how facilities manage those chemicals through recycling, energy recovery, and treatment. One of TRI's primary purposes is to inform communities about toxic chemical releases to the environment..."

Resolution: Manage Debt

"Do you want to take control of your debt in 2012? Many people face a financial crisis at some time in their lives because of personal or family illness, the loss of a job, or overspending. It can seem overwhelming, but debt can often be overcome.

There is no such thing as a quick and easy way to get out of debt. Turning to a business that offers help in solving debt problems may seem like a reasonable solution when your bills become unmanageable. But before you do business with any company, check it out with your state Attorney General, local consumer protection agency, and the Better Business Bureau..."

Minimum Wage

"The federal minimum wage provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Many states also have minimum wage laws. Some state laws provide greater employee protections; employers must comply with both.

The FLSA does not provide wage payment collection procedures for an employee’s usual or promised wages or commissions in excess of those required by the FLSA. However, some states do have laws under which such claims (sometimes including fringe benefits) may be filed..."

Five Facts about Congenital Heart Defects

"Did you know that congenital heart defects are common?
Congenital heart defects are conditions present at birth that affect how a baby's heart is made and the way it works. They are the most common type of birth defects. In the United States, about 40,000 infants are born with a heart defect each year..."

A Look at Hemophilia

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working toward developing a comprehensive public health agenda to promote and improve the health of people with blood disorders. In this video people with hemophilia and medical professionals talk about the disorder and the importance of Universal Data Collection..."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rubella: Make Sure Your Child Gets Vaccinated

"Rubella is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It is also called German measles or three-day measles. But don't confuse rubella with measles, which is sometimes called rubeola. The two diseases have similar features, including a red rash, but they are caused by different viruses.

Rubella virus can be found in nose and throat secretions, such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus, of infected people. You can spread the virus to others through sneezing or coughing..."

National Radon Month, January 2012

"EPA has designated January as National Radon Action Month. Learn more about the national effort to take action against radon."

African American History Month, February 2011

"To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents proclaim February as National African-American History Month..."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Interactive Health Tutorials

"MedlinePlus presents interactive health tutorials from the Patient Education Institute. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for a variety of diseases and conditions. Also learn about surgeries, prevention and wellness. Each tutorial includes animated graphics, audio and easy-to-read language..."

Sexual Assault Report, Two New Policies Announced

" The Department of Defense (DoD) released today key findings from the Academic Program Year (APY) 2010-2011 “Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies.” The report also contains the results from the “2011 Service Academy Gender Relations Focus Groups.”

"One sexual assault is one too many,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

“Whether it’s in our academies or our ranks, at sea or ashore, there’s no place for this unacceptable behavior. We treat each other with dignity in this institution. I expect everyone in this department to live up to that high standard. This is a leadership issue, first and foremost, so I also expect us to lead with integrity and with energy to eliminate sexual assault and harassment from our culture. I’m confident the steps we are taking are the right ones, but we must continue to improve.”

One of the department’s strategic priorities is to address the increase in the number of reports made to authorities to ensure victims obtain needed support and services..."

Malayia Analysis Brief, 2011

"The Malaysian government is focused on efforts to enhance output from existing oil and natural gas fields and to advance exploration in deepwater areas. New tax and investment incentives introduced in 2010 aim to promote oil and natural gas exploration and development. Their target is to increase aggregate production capacity by 5 percent per year up to 2020 to meet domestic demand growth and to sustain crude oil and LNG exports to overseas markets. Malaysia also aims to become a regional oil storage and trading hub, taking advantage of its strategic location in the center of the Asia-Pacific region astride key shipping lanes.

Malaysia's western coast runs alongside the Strait of Malacca, an important route for the seaborne energy trade that links the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Malaysia's position in the South China Sea makes it a party to various disputes among neighboring countries over competing claims to the sea's resources. While it has bilaterally resolved competing claims with Vietnam, Brunei, and Thailand, an area of the Celebes basin remains in dispute with Indonesia. Potential risks of territorial disputes with China, Vietnam, and the Philippines could emerge as exploration initiatives move into the deepwater areas of the South China Sea..."

Digest of United States Practice in International Law 2010

"The Office of the Legal Adviser publishes the annual Digest of United States Practice in International Law to provide the public with a historical record of the views and practice of the Government of the United States in public and private international law. Following a hiatus from 1989-1999, publication of the Digest recommenced with calendar year 2000. Since then, annual volumes for 2000 through 2010, a two-volume set covering 1991-1999, and a volume for 1989-1990 have been published. A cumulative index for the years 1989-2008 was released in the spring of 2010. A brief history of the Digest and explanation of the current format of the book is provided in the Introduction to the Digest of United States Practice in International Law 2000. A supplemental note, dated October 1, 2010, provides updated information on Internet citations included in the Digest..."

Capital Punishment, 2010 - Statistical Tables

"Presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2010, and persons executed in 2010. Preliminary data on executions by states during 2011 are included. Tables present state-by-state information on the movement of prisoners into and out of death sentence status during 2010, status of capital statutes, and methods of execution. Tables also summarize data on offender characteristics, such as sex, race, Hispanic origin, and time between death sentence and execution. Data are from the National Prisoner Statistics (NPS-8) series.

Highlights include the following:

At yearend 2010, 36 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons held 3,158 inmates under sentence of death, 15 fewer inmates than at yearend 2009.
Between January 1 and December 19, 2011, 13 states executed 43 inmates, which was 3 fewer than the number executed as of the same date in 2010.
During 2010, 119 inmates were removed from under sentence: 46 were executed, 20 died by means other than execution, and 53 were removed as a result of sentences or convictions overturned or commutations of sentences..."
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The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

"CFIUS is an inter-agency committee authorized to review transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign person (“covered transactions”), in order to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States. CFIUS operates pursuant to section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended by the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA) (section 721) and as implemented by Executive Order 11858, as amended, and regulations at 31 C.F.R. Part 800..."

Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide

"Meeting growing global demand for food, fiber, and biofuel requires robust investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) from both public and private sectors. This study examines global R&D spending by private industry in seven agricultural input sectors, food manufacturing, and biofuel and describes the changing structure of these industries. In 2007 (the latest year for which comprehensive estimates are available), the private sector spent $19.7 billion on food and agricultural research (56 percent in food manufacturing and 44 percent in agricultural input sectors) and accounted for about half of total public and private spending on food and agricultural R&D in high-income countries..."