Monday, April 30, 2012

A Look at Interracial and Interethnic Married Couple Households in the U.S. in 2010

"Marriages among couples of different races or ethnicities have increased from about 8 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2010 for householders and their spouses. But what are the most common types of these relationships? If we define intermarriage as either spouses of different races, or couples that include one Hispanic spouse and one non-Hispanic spouse, the most common type is Hispanic/non-Hispanic marriage. Forty-five percent of intermarried couple households in 2010 contained Hispanic/non-Hispanic couples.

Exploring Early Americas

A variety of interactive maps from the Library of Congress in Silverlight, Flash, and html formats

FTC Seeks Public Input on How Identity Theft Impacts Senior Citizens

"The staff of the Federal Trade Commission is seeking information from the public on how identity theft impacts senior citizens, which the agency will use to inform its law enforcement agenda, policy initiatives and consumer education efforts.
Seniors may be particularly susceptible to identity theft. They are often targeted for phishing scams; some seniors have granted powers of attorney giving wide access to their personal information; and most seniors' Medicare cards list their Social Security numbers. In addition, the personal information of senior citizens may be vulnerable in hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities..."

Global natural gas consumption doubled from 1980 to 2010

"Between 1980 and 2010, global consumption of dry natural gas rose from 53 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) to 113 Tcf. Although consumption in North America saw the slowest regional growth in percentage terms (29%) from 1980 to 2010, the region accounted for more than 25% of the world's natural gas consumption during all years in the period. The Middle East had the highest growth rate, increasing more than ten-fold from 1.3 Tcf in 1980 to 13.2 Tcf in 2010..."

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

"The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) provides benefits to low-income households to help them purchase food. The program is an “automatic stabilizer,” meaning that its number of beneficiaries and amount of spending increase
automatically during tough economic times. In fiscal year 2011, total federal expenditures on SNAP—$78 billion— and participation in the program (measured as the number of participants and as a share of the U.S. population) were the highest they have ever been. In an average
month that year, nearly 45 million people (or one in seven U.S. residents) received SNAP benefits ..."

New Food Choices Free of Trans Fats Better Align U.S. Diets With Health Recommendations

"Federal agencies that are charged with giving dietary advice to consumers—the U.S.
Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—
recommend that consumers keep their intake of trans fatty acids as low as possible. To that
end, Federal regulations now require food labels to say how many grams of trans fats are
in each serving. In this report, we examine recent changes in the trans fats content of new
food products and the use of “no trans fats” package claims. We fi nd a marked decline in
the trans fats content of new food products from 2005 to 2010, along with an increase in the
use of “no trans fats” claims on product packages..."

Households and Families: 2010

"The 2010 Census enumerated 308.7 million people in the United States, a 9.7 percent increase from 281.4 million in Census 2000. Of the total population in 2010, 300.8 million lived in 116.7 million households for an average of 2.58 people per household. This was down from an
average of 2.59 in 2000 when 273.6 million people lived in 105.5 million households. The remaining 8.0 million people in 2010 lived in group-quarters arrangements such as school dormitories, nursing homes, or military barracks..."

Firearms Trace Data

"A key component of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) enforcement mission is the tracing of firearms on behalf of thousands of Federal, State, local and foreign law enforcement agencies. Firearms trace data is critically important information developed by ATF. ATF has prepared the following state-by-state reports utilizing trace data which is intended to provide the public with insight into firearms recoveries.."
View datareports

Employment Characteristics of Families, 2011

"In 2011, 11.5 percent of families included an unemployed person, falling from a peak of 12.4 percent in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Of the nation's 78.4 million families, 79.8 percent had at least one employed member in 2011..."

China’s Evolving Space Capabilities: Implications for the U.S. Interests

"The PRC is emerging as a world leader in space. Managed by a diverse set of military and civilian organizations, Chinese political authorities view space power as one element of a broader international competition in comprehensive strength and science and technology (S&T). With preservation of its monopoly on power as an overriding goal, the CCP consolidates its legitimacy through achievements in space. Adopting an integrated civilian and military perspective in its plans and programs, PRC investment into space technology supports economic development and advances national defense modernization. Successes in space symbolize the emergence of the PRC as a world power. How China intends to leverage its newfound power remains uncertain..."

State Nuclear Profiles: 2010

 A report on nuclear power generation by individual states.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Older Americans Month: May 2012

 Various statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau portraiting older americans during Older Americans Month.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Protecting Classified Information and the Rights of Criminal Defendants: The Classified Information Procedures Act

"A criminal prosecution involving classified information may cause tension between the
government’s interest in protecting classified information and the criminal defendant’s right to a constitutionally valid trial. In some cases, a defendant may threaten to disclose classified information in an effort to gain leverage. Concerns about this practice, referred to as “graymail,” led the 96th Congress to enact the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) to provide uniform procedures for prosecutions involving classified information..."

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

"The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012,P.L. 112-81, affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), P.L. 107-40, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. The act provides for the first time a statutory definition of covered persons whose detention is authorized pursuant to the AUMF. During debate of the provision, significant attention focused on the applicability of this detention authority to U.S. citizens and other persons within the United States. The Senate adopted an amendment to clarify that the provision was not intended to affect any existing law or authorities relating to the detention of U.S. citizens or lawful resident aliens, or any other persons captured or arrested in the United States. This report analyzes the existing law and authority to detain U.S. persons, including American citizens and resident aliens, as well as other persons within the United States
who are suspected of being members, agents, or associates of Al Qaeda or possibly other terrorist organizations as “enemy combatants.”..."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits

"The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the largest safety net programs in the United States, serving 44.7 million individuals in an average month in 2011. We used Current Population Survey data to examine the effect of SNAP on poverty from 2000 to 2009, by adding program benefits to income and calculating how SNAP benefits affected the prevalence, depth, and severity of poverty. We found an average decline of 4.4 percent in the prevalence of poverty due to SNAP benefits, while the average decline in the depth and severity of poverty was 10.3 and 13.2 percent, respectively. SNAP benefits had a particularly strong effect on child poverty, reducing its depth by an average of 15.5 percent and its severity by an average of 21.3 percent from 2000 to 2009..."

Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Financial Problems

"The continuing conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a time of uncertainty in the housing, mortgage and financial markets has raised doubts about the future of these enterprises, which are chartered by Congress as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)and whose debt is implicitly guaranteed by the federal government..."

Gasoline and Diesel Fuel (Gasoline Component History)

A historical table indicating cost of a gallon of gasoline with breakdown of retail price, refining, distribution and marketing, taxes, and crude oil components.

Hydraulic Fracturing: Chemical Disclosure Requirements

"Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to free oil and natural gas trapped underground in low-permeability rock formations by injecting a fluid under high pressure in order to cause cracks in the formations. The composition of a fracturing fluid varies with the nature of the formation, but typically contains mostly water;a proppant to keep the fractures open, such as sand; and a small percentage of chemical additives. Some of these additives may be hazardous to health and the environment. The Shale Gas Production Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board(SEAB) has recommended public disclosure, on a well-by-well basis, of all of the chemical ingredients added to fracturing fluids, with some protection for trade secrets..."

Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

"Hydraulic fracturing is a technique developed initially to stimulate oil production from wells in declining oil reservoirs. More recently, it has been used to initiate oil and gas production in unconventional (i.e., low-permeability) reservoirs where these resources were previously inaccessible. This process now is used in more than 90% of new oil and gas production wells. Hydraulic fracturing is done after a well is drilled and involves injecting large volumes of water, sand (or other propping agent), and specialized chemicals under enough pressure to fracture the formation holding the oil or gas. The sand or other proppant holds the fractures open to allow the oil or gas to flow freely out of the formation and into a production well..."

Library of Congress Website Updated

"The Library’s main web search function has been improved. A new feature allows users to narrow their search results by language and location. In addition, the homepage and search-results pages have updated search boxes that allow users to refine their search by format, such as books, photos and maps.

Speaking of maps, the Library has implemented a new “object” page – initially limited to some 9,500 maps from the Geography and Maps Division – that present material in a cleaner, simpler layout. An improved zoom feature lets you better examine the finer details of the map images, including a “full screen” view. And, you can take your map “on the go,” as it were, thanks to better mobile-device functionality and the now-Library-standard features such as social-media sharing..."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Federal Depository Library Program: Issues for Congress

"The transition to digital information raises a number of issues of possible interest to Congress. This report discusses those possible concerns as they affect FDLP , but also extend beyond the program to variety of contexts related to the management of government information in tangible and digital forms. Issues include the following: maintenance and availability of the FDLP tangible collection; retention and preservation of digital information; access to FDLP resources; authenticity and accuracy of digital material; robustness of the FDLP Electronic Collection; and the cost of FDLP and other government information distribution initiatives..."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Military Justice: Courts-Martial, An Overview

"Recent high profile military-related cases involving U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan, including the deadly attack on Afghan civilians allegedly by a servicemember, the accidental burning of the Quran, and servicemembers allegedly urinating on Afghan corpses, have resulted in increased public and congressional interest in military discipline and the military justice system. Many of these recent cases, including those of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the alleged shooter at Fort Hood, Pfc.
Bradley Manning, the alleged source of leaked classified material through the organization WikiLeaks, and quite possibly, the recent attack on the Afghan civilians, have raised questions regarding the mental capacity of the accused and how the military justice system addresses this concern..."

White House Forum on Women and the Economy

"Today, at the White House Forum on Women and the Economy, the President will discuss the importance of restoring the economic security for the middle class and creating an economy that’s built to last for America’s women. The President believes we must build an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone pays their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. As part of today’s Forum the White House released a new report entitled Keeping America’s Women Moving Forward, The Key to an Economy Built to Last, which examines the ways in which the Administration has worked to ensure women’s economic security through all stages of life – from young women furthering their education and beginning their careers, to working women who create jobs and provide for their families, to seniors in retirement or getting ready for retirement. View the report HERE..."

The Chinese Communist Party and Its Emerging Next-Generation Leaders

"This series of reports will seek to identify figures in the CCP bureaucracy, the military, and the state-owned economy who appear to be on track to assume positions of increased authority after the 18th Party Congress and in the years to follow. It will also examine the social, political, and economic trends involved in the Party's selection of cadres for higher leadership posts, and analyze the likely policy implications for the United States..."

VA Gulf War Task Force Report Released

"The Department of Veterans Affairs has released the second in a series of annual reports from its Gulf War Veterans Illnesses Task Force, outlining how the department will address the concerns of Veterans deployed during the Gulf War of 1990-1991. The report is available on the Internet..

The report focuses on efforts to improve the delivery of health care for Gulf War Veterans. One of the most substantial additions is the launch of a prototype clinical care model specifically for Gulf War Veterans, which is the most critical point of service VA provides. There are also efforts underway to create better links between specialty knowledge on Gulf War health issues and subject matter experts for health care providers serving these Veterans at the point of care..."

Pesticides: Controlling Pests

With the coming of Spring, get advise on the use of pesticides to control pests from the the U.S. EPA.

Environmental Tips

Get email tips on the environment from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during Earth month.

USDA Agricultural Projections to 2021

"This report provides projections for the agricultural sector through 2021. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices. The projections are based on specific assumptions about macroeconomic conditions, policy, weather, and international developments, with no domestic or external shocks to global agricultural markets. Provisions of current law are assumed to remain in effect through the projection period..."

Nutrition Basics

Take a look at how the basic food groups have changed over the years.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The U.S. Infant Mortality Rate: International Comparisons, Underlying Factors, and Federal Programs

"The infant mortality rate (IMR)—the number of deaths occurring in the first year of life per 1,000 live births—is a widely used proxy for the health status of a nation, and is commonly used for international comparisons. As of 2008, the U.S. IMR was 6.6, a historically low rate of the United States, but a rate that is still higher than the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average of 4.6. The relatively high U.S. rate—and the number of infant deaths it indicates—concerns some policymakers. In addition, there is concern that the U.S. IMR has leveled off after four decades of decline. Reducing the U.S. IMR has been—and continues to be—a recognized public health objective..."

The Peace Corps: Current Issues

"A comprehensive assessment of Peace Corps operations was published in June 2010. It makes 64 recommendations supporting a six-point strategy to be implemented in the coming years.

Current issues include the extent to which there is available funding for Peace Corps expansion, whether the Peace Corps has the institutional capacity to expand, and whether volunteers are able to function in a safe and secure environment."

OnGuardOnline

"If you run a small business, you may rely on technology to expand your reach and stay competitive, even if you don’t have a full-time IT staff. OnGuardOnline.gov wants you to have the information you need to protect your data, your networks, and your IT systems.

Our small business page highlights how-to videos and tutorials about protecting information, creating cybersecurity plans, and learning about cyber threats. The page also features training materials for employees, free email updates, and other cybersecurity resources for small businesses..."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Smokefree.gov

"Smokefree.gov allows you to choose the help that best fits your needs. You can get immediate assistance in the form of:

A step-by-step quit smoking guide
Information about a wide range of topics related to smoking and quitting
An interactive U.S. map highlighting smoking information in your state
LiveHelp, National Cancer Institute's instant messaging service
National Cancer Institute's telephone quitline, 1-877-44U-QUIT
Local and state telephone quitlines, 1-800-QUIT-NOW
Publications to download, print, or order.."

National Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population 2012

"CDC’s Second Nutrition Report Adobe PDF file [PDF - 10.98MB] is part of a series of publications that provide ongoing assessment of the U.S. population’s nutrition status by measuring blood and urine concentrations of biochemical indicators (such as nutrients or a dietary indicator with potential health relevance).

Covering 58 biochemical indicators, CDC’s Second Report is the most comprehensive biochemical assessment of the nutritional status of the U.S. population – it shows us what the levels of nutrition indicators are actually in people – general population and selected groups such as children, women of childbearing age, and minorities..."

Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance

"Building capacity and limiting corruption at all levels of Afghan governance are crucial to the success of a planned transition from U.S.-led NATO forces to Afghan security leadership.

• The capacity of the formal Afghan governing structure has increased significantly
since the Taliban regime fell in late 2001, but many positions at the local level
are unfilled.
• Nepotism and political considerations in hiring are entrenched in Afghan culture
and limit development of a competent bureaucracy, as does widespread illiteracy.

• President Hamid Karzai has accepted U.S. help to build emerging anti-corruption
institutions, but these same institutions have sometimes caused a Karzai backlash
when they have targeted his allies or relatives..."

Population and Housing Unit Estimates, 2011

The latest estimates of total population for counties, Puerto Rico municipios, and metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas - for July 1, 2011 - were released April, 2012.

2011 County Total Population Estimates
2011 Puerto Rico Municipio Total Population Estimates
2011 Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Population Estimates

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Living With Diabetes: Keep Your Feet Healthy

"People with diabetes can develop serious problems with their feet that can affect how easily they can walk, and even lead to amputation.

Many of these serious problems can be prevented by taking good care of your feet and your health:

Manage your diabetes, including keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar (glucose) and cholesterol at levels your health care provider recommends.

Don't smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to the feet. Ask for help to stop smoking by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Make healthy food choices.
Stay at a healthy weight.
Be physically active every day.
Take your medicines even when you feel good.
Have your doctor give you a comprehensive foot exam every time you visit (but at least four times a year).
Check your feet for sores and other injuries every day.
Wear shoes that fit right and do not rub or pinch your feet, or cause blisters.
Never walk barefoot or while wearing just socks."

Big Data a Big Deal

"What do the Great Lakes, mercury and earthquakes have in common? They are all the subjects of major, new research projects in the natural sciences using “big data.”

The U.S. Geological Survey announced these and other new science investigations today at the "Big Data" event hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and co-sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation. Using “big data” refers to improving the ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data..."

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Find safety information from the U.S. Department of Transportation on distracted driving.

Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Dai-ichi on the U.S. Marine Environment

"The massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, caused extensive damage in northeastern Japan, including damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power installation, which resulted in the release of radiation. Some have called this incident the biggest manmade release ever of radioactive material into the oceans. Concerns arose about the potential effects of this released radiation on the U.S. marine environment and resources...

Based on computer modeling of ocean currents, debris from the tsunami produced by the Tohoku earthquake was projected to spread eastward from Japan in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Approximately two to three years after the event, the debris plume likely will reach the U.S. West Coast, dumping debris on California beaches and the beaches of British Columbia, Alaska, and Baja California. Although much of the radioactive release from Fukushima Dai-ichi is believed to have occurred after the tsunami, there is the possibility that some of the tsunami debris might also be contaminated with radiation."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Investor.gov

Learn how to invest your hard earned money at this new web site from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

CDC estimates 1 in 88 children in United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released today that looked at data from 14 communities. Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.

The number of children identified with ASDs ranged from 1 in 210 children in Alabama to 1 in 47 children in Utah. The largest increases were among Hispanic and black children.."

Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2008

"Death rates from all cancers combined for men, women, and children continued to decrease in the United States between 2004 and 2008. The findings are from the latest "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer," coauthored by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society."

Fair Debt Collection Policies Act

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “the Bureau”) is pleased to
submit to Congress its first annual report summarizing its activities to administer the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA” or “the Act”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692 et seq., during the past year. These activities represent the Bureau’s inaugural effort to curtail deceptive, unfair, and abusive debt collection practices in the marketplace prohibited by the FDCPA. Illegal collection practices cause substantial harm to consumers, who may pay amounts not owed, unintentionally waive their rights, suffer emotional distress, and experience invasions of privacy. Such practices can even place consumers deeper in debt..."

Internet Social Newtork Risks

A recent report from the FBI outlining potential threats to social networks.