Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Night Life: Why We Need Bats All the Time

"Researchers are identifying the important ecological and economic contributions of bats; gleaning lessons from incredible bat abilities that may advance technology; and helping to battle a new fatal bat epidemic.."
http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=125883&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

2013 Fuel Economy Model Year Vehicles

Find gas mileages figures for the 2013 model year vehicles.
2013 Fuel Economy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disaster Declarations

Find disaster declarations for individual states that are impacted by hurricane Sandy.
Disaster Declarations
Disaster Declarations

FEMA Federal Aid Programs for emergency and disaster areas

"As the post-tropical storm Sandy continues its path through the Northeast, residents of affected areas should note that President Obama has declared states of emergency in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, with major disaster areas declared in New York and New Jersey.

Below are current links from FEMA for Federal Aid programs to support those hit by this devastating storm. .."
http://fastlane.dot.gov/2012/10/federal-aid-programs-via-fema-for-emergency-and-disaster-areas.html

FDA reports conditions observed at New England Compounding Center

"Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a copy of the FDA Form 483 issued to the New England Compounding Center (NECC). The FDA observed and has since confirmed contaminated products and listed a number of observations regarding conditions in the clean room at NECC’s Framingham, Mass. facility.
 
The investigators also observed problems with NECC’s ability to maintain its clean room, which is the enclosed space that is designed and maintained to have a controlled environment with low levels of airborne particles and surface contamination. Production of sterile drug products in a properly functioning and maintained clean room reduces the risk of the introduction of microbial contamination into the drug during processing, including filling into its final container..."
FDA Report on New England Compounding

2013 Army Weapon Systems Handbook

"Thank you for your interest in this annual publication, which details the Army's major weapon system
programs and illustrates our ongoing efforts to empower, unburden and protect our Soldiers. The Army’s
Acquisition community is charged with the solemn responsibility of maintaining our Soldiers’ unprecedented
edge against current and future threats.

With program descriptions, status and specifications, projected activities, and names and locations of large
and small contractors, this book will provide you with a better understanding of our efforts to provide
Soldiers with the best, most advanced and sustainable equipment possible. To this end, we are mindful of
the public trust imposed by the use of taxpayer resources. We continuously seek to improve our business
practices to meet the needs of our Soldiers on an efficient and timely basis..."
2013 Army Weapon Systems Handbook

Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2011

"In 2011, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $684, about 82 percent of median earnings for male full-time wage and salary workers ($832). In 1979, the first year for which comparable earnings data are available, women earned 62 percent of what men earned..."
Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2011

Friday, October 26, 2012

Food Safety during Hurricanes and Storms

"Hurricane Sandy could bring wind, flooding, heavy rain and possibly snow to the East Coast, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service urges people to take steps now to ensure they have access to safe food. Power outages and flooding that often result from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, and planning ahead can minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage. FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” also has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe..."Food Safety during Hurricanes and Storms

Energy Saver Homes

Find information on energy saving tips for your home.
Energy Saver Homes

Hurricane Season

Tips to prepare for a hurricanes.
Hurricanes

Interior Designates 27 New National Landmarks

"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the designation of 26 national historic landmarks and one national natural landmark as places that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Currently there are only 2,527 designated national historic landmarks and 592 national natural landmark sites across the country that bear this national distinction..."
Interior Designates 27 New National Landmarks

FTC Videos Remind Consumers to Check AnnualCreditReport.com

"As consumers turn back their clocks, it’s a good time to check their free annual credit report.

Consumers shopping for a car, looking for a job or just getting their financial house in order should check their free annual credit reports.  The FTC is offering new videos, in English and Spanish, explaining why, and advising them what to do if a report contains inaccurate information.

During the fall, when people turn back their clocks at the end of daylight savings time, it’s a good time to order a free credit report from one of the three national consumer reporting companies at AnnualCreditReport.com or 1-877-322-8228..."
FTC Videos Remind Consumers to Check AnnualCreditReport.com

Sherwin-Williams and PPG Settle FTC Charges That They Misled Consumers to Believe Their Paints Were Free of Potentially Harmful Volatile Organic Compounds

"Two of the nation’s leading paint companies, The Sherwin-Williams Company and PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they misled consumers to believe that some of their paints are free of potentially harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The two companies agreed to settlements with the FTC requiring them to stop making the allegedly deceptive claim that their Dutch Boy Refresh and Pure Performance interior paints, respectively, contain “zero” volatile organic compounds.  According to the agency, while this may be true for the uncolored “base” paints, it is not true for tinted paint, which typically has much higher levels of the compounds, and which consumers usually buy..."
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/10/sherwinwilliams.shtm

Managing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Policy Implications of Expanding Global Access to Nuclear Power

"After several decades of widespread stagnation, nuclear power has attracted renewed interest in recent years. New license applications for 30 reactors have been announced in the United States, and another 548 are under construction, planned, or proposed around the world. In the United States, interest appears driven, in part, by tax credits, loan guarantees, and other incentives in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, as well as by concerns about carbon emissions from competing fossil fuel technologies..."
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL34234.pdf

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..."
Contemporary Developments in Presidential Elections

Life in Congress: Aligning Work and Life in the U.S. House and Senate

"Most Americans don’t look at Congress as a workplace environment and usually are mystified by what Members of Congress and their employees actually do on a daily basis. There is almost no reporting outside of Washington of congressional staff activity, and what is portrayed in fictional media about the work world of Members of Congress is usually hyperbolic, negative, and inaccurate. And yet, there are tangible benefits to Capitol Hill employees, legislators, and the public at large if Congress can improve its effectiveness and efficiency by addressing workplace issues..."
Life in Congress: Aligning Work and Life in the U.S. House and Senate

How the Supply of Labor Responds to Changes in Fiscal Policy

"In choosing how much to work, people respond to incentives that are partly determined by taxes on income
from that work and by government benefits that vary with income. Those responses play a critical role in the
Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) analyses of the effects of changes in fiscal policy on economic outcomes..."
https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/10-25-2012-Labor_Supply_and_Fiscal_Policy.pdf

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2009-2011 American Community Survey Estimates

"The U.S. Census Bureau today released the latest findings from the American Community Survey, the primary source of small-area estimates available on a wide range of important statistics about people and housing for every community across the country and in Puerto Rico. The estimates released today cover a three-year period from 2009 to 2011 and are available for areas with a population of 20,000 or more.
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb12-204.html

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2012

"The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, getting endorsements from 24 state governments, to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November 1990 as "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994. This Facts for Features presents statistics for American Indians and Alaska Natives, as this is one of the six major race categories..."
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff22.html

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Look Before You Book


Look Before You Book
Th SaferBus app, released just last April, gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a company’s safety record before buying a ticket or while waiting to board a bus.
Look Before You Book

2011 American Housing Survey


"The AHS provides current information on a wide range of housing subjects, including size and composition of the nation’s housing inventory, vacancies, physical condition of housing units, characteristics of occupants, indicators of housing and neighborhood quality, mortgages and other housing costs, persons eligible for and beneficiaries of assisted housing, home values, and characteristics of recent movers..."
2011 American Housing Survey



Monday, October 22, 2012

Weight loss does not lower heart disease risk from type 2 diabetes

"An intensive diet and exercise program resulting in weight loss does not reduce cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke in people with longstanding type 2 diabetes, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study tested whether a lifestyle intervention resulting in weight loss would reduce rates of heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular-related deaths in overweight and obese people with type 2 diabetes, a group at increased risk for these events..."
http://www.nih.gov/news/health/oct2012/niddk-19.htm

Ten Ways to Save Money, Energy and Protect Your Health This Winter

 1. Maintain your heating equipment to lower utility bill
 2. Download EPA’s free Apps to help protect your health
 3. Decorate for the holidays with Energy Star light strings that can last up to 10 times longer
 4. Lower the temperature in your home to increase savings up to 12 percent
 5.Check for water leaks and install WaterSense products to save approximately $170 per    year.
 6.Reduce your food waste. Feed people, not landfills.
 7.Look for the Design for the Environment label on more than 2,800 products during winter cleaning. 
 8.Test your home for radon gas, 1 in 15 homes may have elevated levels
 9.Learn before you burn and cut firewood use by more than 30 percent
10.Prevent Pests.

Ten Ways to Save Money, Energy and Protect Your Health This Winter

Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price

"Most Americans consume diets that do not meet Federal dietary recommendations. A common explanation is that healthier foods are more expensive than less healthy foods. To investigate this assumption, the authors compare prices of healthy and less healthy foods using three different price metrics: the price of food energy ($/calorie), the price of edible weight ($/100 edible grams), and the price of an average portion ($/average portion). They also calculate the cost of meeting the recommendations for each food group. For all metrics except the price of food energy, the authors find that healthy foods cost less than less healthy foods (defined for this study as foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugar, and/or sodium, or that contribute little to meeting dietary recommendations)."
Are Healthy Food Really More Expensive?

A comparison of 25 years of consumer expenditures by homeowners and renters

"Between 1986 and 2010, homeowners and renters dramatically changed their spending habits in response to changes in the economy, although the amount they spent on overall expenditures remained roughly the same. A comparison of spending by homeowners and renters in the major expenditure categories shows many differences, but one thing remains constant: housing is the largest expenditure for U.S. consumers..."
A comparison of 25 years of consumer expenditures by homeowners and renters

National Archives to Open Robert F. Kennedy Records Relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis

"The National Archives and Records Administration and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library are releasing an additional seven boxes of material (more than 2,700 pages) from the Robert F. Kennedy Papers, housed at the Kennedy Library in Boston, including documents relating primarily to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The records will be available both online at www.jfklibrary.org and in the Research Room at the Kennedy Library in Boston..."
National Archives to Open Robert F. Kennedy Records Relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis

To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis

"In October 1962, the world held its breath as the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the brink of nuclear war.

This new exhibit gives unprecedented access to clandestine White House audio recordings, revealing how the President and his advisers worked furiously to avert World War III."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mexico: Oil Production

"Mexico is one of the ten largest oil producers in the world, the third-largest in the Western Hemisphere, and an important partner in the U.S. energy trade. However, the amount of oil produced in Mexico has steadily decreased since 2004 due to natural production declines from Cantarell and other large offshore fields, though the rate of their decline has abated in recent months. The onus on arresting or reversing production declines falls squarely on the shoulders of Petroleós Mexicanos (PEMEX), the state-owned oil company, due to constitutional limits on foreign involvement in the exploration, production, and ownership of the nation's hydrocarbon resources. Nonetheless, recently enacted and potential reforms could liberalize the sector and promote greater foreign investment..."
Mexico: Oil Production

Biofuels Issues and Trends

"Biofuels is a collective term for liquid fuels derived from renewable sources, including ethanol, biodiesel, and other renewable liquid fuels. This report focuses on ethanol and biodiesel, the most widely available biofuels. From 2009 to the middle of 2012, the U.S. biofuels industry increased its output and prepared to meet an expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2), which requires increasing volumes of biofuels use. In 2011, the biofuels industry transitioned away from tax incentives for non-cellulosic biofuels, which expired at the end of 2011. Annual ethanol and biodiesel consumption, production, imports, and exports during 2009-11 are summarized in Table 1..."
Biofuels Issues and Trends

2010 Population and Housing Unit Counts Reports (CPH-2)

"This report series contains tables providing population and housing unit counts from the 2010 Census and selected historical censuses. Some tables also include area measurements and density. The lowest level of geography is the place level. There is a report produced for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the nation. The reports are being released on a state-by-state basis.."
2010 Population and Housing Unit Counts -CPH-2

Summary Population and Housing Characteristics Reports (CPH-1)

" This report series contains tables on age, sex, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, households, families, housing tenure and occupancy, population density and area measurements. The lowest level of geography is the place level. There is a report produced for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the United States. The reports are being released on a state-by-state basis.
2010 Summary Population and Housing Characteristics. CPH-1

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Statutes of Limitation in Federal Criminal Cases: An Overview

 "A statute of limitations dictates the time period within which a legal proceeding must begin. The purpose of a statute of limitations in a criminal case is to ensure the prompt prosecution of criminal charges and thereby spare the accused of the burden of having to defend against stale charges after memories may have faded or evidence is lost..."
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL31253.pdf

Job Growth During the Recovery

 "Congress in recent years passed a number of bills intended in part to jump-start a recovery in the labor market from the recession that began in December 2007. Members are interested in the labor market’s response to these measures to help them decide how well the legislation has worked and whether additional job-creation legislation may be warranted in light of the pace and composition of job growth since the recession’s end in June 2009. Accordingly, employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is analyzed in this report from December 2007 to September 2012 (the latest month for which data were available at the time of the report’s preparation)..."
Job Growth During the Recovery

City of Madison 2013 Draft Action Plan

"The City of Madison presents this One Year Action Plan for the 2013 Community Development program
funds. The City developed these funding decisions based upon Mayoral priorities, CDBG Committee
recommendations, Community Development Division (CDD) staff analysis, public hearing comments,
program performance information and consultation with various service agencies, stakeholders, other
funders, the Madison Metropolitan School District and business leaders and developers..."
Print copies available for viewing at all Madison Public Libraries.
City of Madison 2013 Action Plan

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Consumption of Diet Drinks in the United States, 2009‒2010

"Sugar drinks are a major source of added sugars in the diets of Americans (1).
Several recent studies have described factors associated with sugar-drink
consumption (2,3); however, the consumption of diet drinks among the U.S.
population has not been as well-characterized. This report describes the
consumption of diet beverages among the U.S. population during 2009‒2010
by sex, age, race and ethnicity, and income, and details trends in diet drink
consumption from 1999‒2000 through 2009‒2010."
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db109.pdf

Iraq:Politics, Governanace and Human Rights

" Relations among major political factions broke down in late 2011 - a development that, when coupled with spillover from increasingly sectarian violence in Syria, threatens Iraq's stability, its ability to balance its relations with both Tehran and Washington and the achievements of the long U.S. intervention in Iraq. Sunni Arabs, always fearful that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would seek unchallenged power for Shiite factions, accuse him of sidelining high ranking Sunni Arabs from government. Iraq's Kurds have also become increasingly distrustful of Maliki over territorial, political, and economic issues, and are threatening to limit or end their involvement in the central government. The Shiite faction of Moqtada Al Sadr supported  the other groups' efforts in mid - 2012 to try to oust Maliki, but Iran - a key Maliki ally and supporter - pressed Sadr to discontinue that action, contributing to the failure of the ouster drive. The infighting, coupled with the emboldening of Iraqi Sunni insurgents by the Sunni-led uprising in Syria, has produced increasingly ambitious attacks by Iraqu Sunni insurgent groups, particularly Al Qaeda in Iraq..."
Iraq: Politics, Governance and Human Rights

Faster vs. Bigger: Size and Growth of the Foreign-Born from Asia and Latin America

from Random Samplings:
"The foreign-born population from Asia increased over the last decade – from 8.2 million in 2000 to 11.6 million in 2011 – and now represents more than one-fourth (29 percent) of all immigrants in the United States.

 While sizeable, the foreign-born population from Asia is still smaller than the number of foreign born from Latin America and the Caribbean. As of 2011, there were 21.2 million foreign-born from Latin America and the Caribbean, up from 16.1 million in 2000. More than half (53 percent) of today’s foreign-born population is from Latin America and the Caribbean..."
Faster vs. Bigger: Size and Growth of the Foreign-Born from Asia and Latin America

Monday, October 15, 2012

FTC Staff Sends Warning Letters to Online Marketers Claiming to Offer Legitimate Substitutes for International Driving Permits

"Only AAA and AATA Can Issue International Driving Permits to Lawful Holders of U.S. Driver’s Licenses, Agency Says

Nineteen online marketers received letters from the Federal Trade Commission staff warning that they may be breaking the law by selling documents that they are falsely promoting as legitimate substitutes for International Driving Permits. The staff letters say the marketers’ ads may make deceptive claims that violate the FTC Act..."

FTC Warns Online Marketers Claiming to Offer Legitimate Substitutes for International Driving Permits

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: A Primer on TANF Financing and Federal Requirements

"The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant provides federal grants to the 50 states, the District of  Columbia, American Indian tribes, and the territories for a wide range of benefits, services, and activities. It is best  known for helping states pay for cash welfare for needy families with children, but it funds a wide array of additional activities. TANF was created in the 1996 welfare reform law (P.L. 104-193). Current law funds TANF through March 2013. .."
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant..

Alzheimers.gov

"Welcome to alzheimers.gov, the government's free information resource about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Here you can find links to authoritative, up-to-date information from agencies and organizations with expertise in these areas. .."
Alzheimers.gov

Iran's Nuclear Program:Status

"Iran's nuclear program began during the 1950s. The United States has expressed concern since the mid-1970s that Tehran might develop nuclear weapons. Iran's construction of gas centrifuge-based uranium enrichment facilities is currently the main source of proliferation concern. Gas centrifuges enrich uranium by spinning uranium hexafluoride gas a high speeds to increase the concentration of the uranium-235 isotope. Such centrifuges can produce both low-enriched uranium(LEU), which can be used in nuclear power reactors, and weapons-grade highly enriched uranium(HEU), which is of the two types of fissile material used in nuclear weapons..."  

Iran's Nuclear Program: Status

Eurozone Crisis: Overview and Issues for Congress

An analysis of the Eurozone's economic crisis from its Greece beginning in 2009 to the present and its implications for Congress.
Eurozone:Overview and Issues for Congress

Patterns of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Population Change:2000 to 2010

"This report examines subnational demographic variation through the ens of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. Metro areas and micro areas, as they are coloquially known, are useful geographic units for analyzing the U.S. population. States are sometimes too large a unit to provide meaningful subnational analysis, obscuring patterns worthy of attention from regional or even national perspective. Counties, on the other hand, number more than 3,000 and can be too small and numerous for some purposes. Metro and micro areas, as socially and economically integrated groupings of one or more counties, provide appropriately detailed geographic analysis as well as good mapping units for a national overview..."
Pattens of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Population Change: 2000 to 2010.

Wisconsin Hunting Regulations

Find the current hunting regulations for Wisconsin including: Deer, Bear, Migratory game birds, Small game and turkey, and Wolf harvest. Available in: English, Hmong,and Spanish.
Wisconsin Hunting Regulations

Friday, October 12, 2012

Congressional - Executive Commisson on China, 2012 Annual Report

"Two countervailing trends exemplified human rights and rule of law developments in China this past year. On the one hand, the Commission observed the Chinese people, often at great risk, exercising the basic freedoms to which they are entitled and demanding recognition of these rights from their leaders. This development did not arise from any external force, but originated from the Chinese people themselves, and was evident not just among a handful of activists but at all levels of Chinese society. At the same time, the
Commission observed a deepening disconnect between the growing demands of the Chinese people and the Chinese government’s ability and desire to meet such demands. In a year marked by a major internal political scandal and leadership transition, Chinese officials appeared more concerned with ‘‘maintaining stability’’ and preserving the status quo than with addressing the grassroots calls for reform taking place all over China..."
Congressional - Executive Commission on China, 2012 Annual Report

2012-2013 Presidential Election Period: National Security Considerations and Options

 "This report discusses historical national security-related presidential transition activities, provides a representative sampling of national security issues a new Administration may encounter, and offers considerations and options relevant to each of the five phases of the presidential election period. Each phase has distinct challenges and opportunities for the incoming Administration, the outgoing Administration, and Congress. This report is intended to provide a framework for national security considerations during the current election period and will be updated to reflect the election outcome..."
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42773.pdf

Unemployment: Issues in the 112th Congress

"This report considers three policy issues: whether to take additional measures to increase jobs, what measures might be most effective, and how job creation proposals should be financed. Most proposals discussed as part of a potential additional macroeconomic jobs bill are traditional fiscal stimulus policies. Their objective is to increase total spending in the economy (aggregate demand) either through direct government spending on programs or by providing funds to others that they will spend (through tax cuts, transfer payments, and aid to state and local governments). Proposals for employment tax credits are different from traditional fiscal policies in that their objective is to directly increase employment through a subsidy to labor costs..."
Unemployment: Issues in the 112th Congress

Report on the Troubled Asset Relief Program—October 2012

"In October 2008, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Division A of Public Law 110-343) established the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to enable the Department of the Treasury to promote
stability in financial markets through the purchase and guarantee of “troubled assets.” Section 202 of that legislation requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to submit semiannual reports on the costs of the Treasury’s purchases and guarantees of troubled assets. The law also requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to prepare an assessment of each OMB report within 45 days of its issuance..."
Report on the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Oct. 2012

TOPPLING OFF THE FISCAL CLIFF: WHOSE TAXES RISE AND HOW MUCH?

"The fiscal cliff threatens an unprecedented tax increase at year end. Taxes would rise by more than $500 billion in 2013—an average of almost $3,500 per household—as almost every tax cut enacted since 2001 would expire. Middle-income households would see an average increase of almost $2,000. Policymakers are rightly concerned about the potential impact on families and the economy of such a sudden tax increase and are considering proposals to delay, repeal, or offset parts of the cliff. To inform that discussion, this report provides a detailed look at the revenue, distributional, and incentive effects of these increases. Almost 90 percent of Americans would see their taxes rise if we topple off the cliff. For most households, the two biggest increases would be the expiration of the temporary cut in Social Security taxes and the expiration of the 2001/2003 tax cuts. Households with low incomes would be particularly affected by the expiration of tax credits expanded or created by the 2009 stimulus. And households with high incomes would be hit hard by the expiration of the 2001/2003 tax cuts that apply at upper income levels and the start of the new health reform taxes. Taken together, the scheduled changes would significantly increase the marginal tax rates that can influence behavior. Average marginal tax rates would increase by 5 percentage points on labor income, by 7 points on capital gains, and by more than 20 points on dividends..."
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/412666-toppling-off-the-fiscal-cliff.pdf

The Role of TARP Assistance in the Restructuring of General Motors

"General Motors Corporation (Old GM) was a publicly traded company from 1916 until its bankruptcy in 2009. As part of restructuring, Old GM and its successor General Motors Company (New GM) together received over $50 billion in federal assistance through the U.S. government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). In exchange for this financial support, the U.S. Treasury received 60.8% of the new company, with the rest of New GM held by the United Auto Workers (UAW) retiree health care trust fund, the governments of Canada and Ontario, and holders of Old GM’s bonds. In its restructuring, GM closed plants, cut its hourly and salaried workforce, shed three brands, reduced debt, introduced popular new vehicles, and implemented changes in retiree legacy costs that had been a major financial drain..."
The Role of TARP Assistance in the Restructuring of General Motors

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cesar E. Chavez National Monument

"The property in Keene, California, known as Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace) (La Paz), is recognized for its historic significance to César Estrada Chávez and the farm worker movement. César Chávez is one of the most revered civil rights leaders in the history of the United States. From humble beginnings in Yuma, Arizona, to the founding of the United Farm Workers (UFW) movement, César Chávez knew firsthand the hard work of farm workers in the fields across the United States and their contribution to feeding the Nation. He saw and experienced the difficult conditions and hardships that confronted farm worker families. And through his hard work, perseverance, and personal sacrifice, he dedicated his life to the struggle for respect and dignity for the farm workers of America..."

Cesar E. Chavez National Mounment

GPO MOBILE

Here are links to 3 mobile apps for accessing federal government information:

Presidential Documents:
Released in partnership with the National Archives' Office of the Federal Register, the Presidential Documents app allows for mobile access to documents from the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents.

Mobile Member Guide for the 112th Congress:

Based on the Guide to the House and Senate Members and information in the Congressional Pictorial Directory, the app allows users to browse for Members of Congress.

Mobile Budget of the U.S. Government for FY13:
The mobile app for the FY13 Budget of the U.S. Government provides mobile users with access to the text and images of the main FY13 Budget book, including the Budget Message of the President, information on the President's priorities, and budget overviews organized by agency. Summary tables are available in pdf format.
GPO Mobile

FTC Acts to Halt Medical Plan Scheme that Targeted Vulnerable Consumers

"The Federal Trade Commission charged a telemarketing operation with bilking millions of dollars from thousands of consumers by tricking them into buying what they believed was comprehensive health insurance, when in fact they had paid for something decidedly less.  At the FTC’s request, a federal court stopped the defendants from marketing or selling any products or services related to medical discount plans or health-related insured benefits, pending resolution of the case..."

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/10/iab.shtm

Federal Budget Deficit: 2012

"The federal budget deficit was about $1.1 trillion in fiscal year 2012, CBO estimates, approximately $200 billion less than the shortfall recorded in 2011. At 7.0 percent of gross domestic product, the 2012 deficit was down from 8.7 percent in 2011 and 9.0 percent in 2010 but greater than in any year between 1947 and 2008. The estimated 2012 total reflects the shift of some payments from fiscal year 2012 into fiscal year 2011 (that is, from October 2011 to September 2011, because October 1 fell on a weekend); without that timing shift, the deficit in 2012 would have been about $30 billion higher..."
Federal Budget Deficit: 2012

Jordan:Background and U.S. Relations

"This report provides an overview of U.S. Jordanian politics and current issues U.S. -Jordanian relations. It provides a brief discussion of Jordan's government and economy and of its cooperation in promoting Arab-Israeli peace and other and other U.S. policy objectives in the Middle East..."

Jordan:Background and U.S. Relations

Pakistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance

"The 112th Congress has focused on measures to reduce the federal budget deficit. This backdrop may continue to influence congressional debate over a top-ranking U.S. aid recipient, Pakistan - a country vital to U.S. national security interests but that some say lacks accountability and even credibility as a U.S. ally..."
Pakistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance

Field of Degree and Earnings by Selected Employment Characteristics:2011

An examination of the relationship between the field of study or major of bachelor's degrees,  earnings, and employment characteristics for those aged 25 and older.
 Field of Degree and Earnings by Selected Empoyment Characteristics:2011

Homeland Security and Terror Levels

"Homeland security generally refers to the efforts by states to protect their interests and citizens from terror. In the United States, this effort is overseen by the cabinet level Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The department was created in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City and Washington DC and is now responsible to protecting the United States against terror as well  as administering other issues, such as immigration, border security and natural disasters..."
Homeland Security and Terror Levels

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wisconsin Fall Color Report

Find the best sites for fall colors in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Fall Color Report

FTC Cracks Down on Phony Mortgage Relief Schemes

"The Federal Trade Commission has filed three separate suits in federal court to halt the allegedly deceptive tactics of three operations that preyed on distressed homeowners by falsely claiming they could save their homes from foreclosure, and then charging them thousands of dollars up-front, while delivering little or no help and often driving them deeper into debt..
FTC Cracks Down on Phony Mortgage Relief Schemes

Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

"Trafficking in persons, or human trafficking, refers to the subjection of men, women, and children to exploitative conditions that can be tantamount to slavery. Reports suggest that human trafficking is a global phenomenon, victimizing millions of people each year and contributing to a multi-billion dollar criminal industry. It is a centuries-old problem that, despite international and U.S. efforts to eliminate it, continues to occur in virtually every country in the world. Human trafficking is also an international and cross-cutting  policy problem that bears on a range or major national security, human rights, criminal justice, social, economic, migration, gender, public health, and labor issues..."

Trafficking in Persons:International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

What Medicare Covers

Find detailed information on medicare coverage from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Serivces'  Medicare.gov  web site. What Medicare Covers


Western Hemisphere Defense Policy Statment

"DoD will support robust inter-American defense cooperation. Whenever possible, DoD will develop innovative, low-cost and small-footprint approaches to achieve our shared security objectives, relying on training, advisory capabilities, exercises, and rotational presence. This policy statement provides the framework on which we seek to build partnerships to enhance bilateral, sub-regional, and hemispheric capacity to meet the challenges of the 21st century.."

Western Hemisphere Defense Policy Statement

Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Financial Status: Frequently Asked Questions

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are charted by Congress as government-sponsored enterprises(GSEs) to provide liquidity in the mortgage market and promote homeownership for underservedgroups and locations. They purchase mortgages, guarantee them, and package them in mortgage backed In addition to the GSEs’ guarantees, investors widely believe that MBSs are implicitly guaranteed by the federal government. In 2008, the GSEs financial condition had weakened and there were concerns over their ability to meet their obligations on $1.2 trillion in bonds and $3.7 trillion in MBSs that they had guaranteed. In response to the financial risks, the federal government took control of these GSEs in a process known as conservatorship as a means to stabilize the mortgage credit market.

Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Financial Status: Frequently Asked Questions

Friday, October 5, 2012

Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends

"The extent to which residents of the United States who are not U.S. citizens should be eligible for federally funded public aid has been a contentious issue for more than a decade. This issue meets at the intersection of two major policy areas: immigration policy and welfare policy. The eligibility of noncitizens for public assistance programs is based on a complex set of rules that are determined largely by the type of noncitizen in question and the nature of services being offered. Over the past 16 years, Congress has enacted significant changes in U.S. immigration policy and welfare policy. Congress has exercised oversight of revisions made by the 1996 welfare reform law (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, P.L. 104-193)— including the rules governing noncitizen eligibility for public assistance that it established—and
legislation covering programs with major restrictions on noncitizens’ eligibility (e.g., food stamps/SNAP, Medicaid)."
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33809.pdf

Teen Drinking and Driving

" The percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has decreased by more than half since 1991,* but more can be done. Nearly one million high school teens drank alcohol and got behind the wheel in 2011. Teen drivers are 3 times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash. Drinking any alcohol greatly increases this risk for teens..."
Teen Drinking and Driving

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Home-Based Workers in the United States: 2010

"As communication and information technologies advance, workers are increasingly able to perform work at home. Since work is often more than simply a means of making a living, but tends to dictate how people organize their lives, changes in work patterns have both economic and social implications. Accordingly, timely data on the characteristics of home-based workers is of interest to researchers and policy makers, including those in the fields of transportation, employment, planning, and housing. This report provides information about the characteristics of home-based workers in 2010.
Home-Based Workers in the United States:2010

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

FTC Halts Massive Tech Support Scams

"The Federal Trade Commission has launched a major international crackdown on tech support scams in which telemarketers masquerade as major computer companies, con consumers into believing that their computers are riddled with viruses, spyware and other malware, and then charge hundreds of dollars to remotely access and “fix” the consumers’ computers.
  
At the request of the FTC, a U.S. District Court Judge has ordered a halt to six alleged tech support scams pending further hearings, and has frozen their assets...:

FTC Halts Massive Tech Support Scams

Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment

"The Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment (GP) contains information from the Current Population Survey (CPS) for census regions and divisions, the 50 States and the District of Columbia, and selected large metropolitan areas and cities. Data are provided on the employed and unemployed by selected demographic and economic characteristics.."
Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment

The 2012 Long-Term Projections for Social Security: Additional Information

"Social Security is the federal government’s largest single program.1 Of the 56 million people who currently receive Social Security benefits, about 70 percent are retired workers or their spouses and children, and another 11 percent are survivors of deceased workers; all of those beneficiaries receive payments through Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI). The other 19 percent of beneficiaries are disabled workers or their spouses and children; they receive Disability Insurance (DI) benefits. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that in fiscal year 2012, Social Security’s outlays totaled $773 billion, one-fifth of federal spending; OASI payments accounted for about 82 percent of those outlays, and DI payments made up about 18 percent..."
2012 Long-Term Projections for Social Security

BLS Data Finder

"Data Finder is a new search and navigation tool for BLS time series data available on the BLS website. Rather than searching individual data sets, Data Finder allows users to conveniently search multiple data sets all at once. Users can extract specific data by searching by keyword or by filtering through multiple topics, measures, and attributes. Feedback is greatly appreciated and will aid in further development of Data Finder..."
BLS Data Finder

Monday, October 1, 2012

Health Status, Health Insurance, and Medical Services Utilization: 2010

"This report examines the relationship between medical services utilization, health status, health insurance coverage, and other demographic and economic characteristics. Measurement of medical services
utilization includes the frequency of visits to medical doctors, nurses, and other medical providers; visits to
dentists and dental professionals; nights spent in a hospital; and use of prescription medication. Data about
health status are self-reported, where respondents rate their health according to one of five possible response
categories: “excellent,” “very good,” “good,” “fair,” or poor.” The demographic and economic characteristics
studied in this report include sex, race and ethnicity, age, family income,7 and insurance status. These demographic and economic characteristics may not have a causal relationship to health status and medical
services utilization..."
Health Status, Health Insurance, and Medical Services Utilization: 2010