Friday, March 29, 2013

Reduce, reuse, recycle: green technologies and practices at work

"Fifty-seven percent of businesses in the United States used green technologies or practices to improve energy efficiency within their establishments in August 2011, and over half used green technologies and practices to reduce or eliminate the creation of waste materials as a result of operations. These are some of the results from the first BLS Green Technologies and Practices (GTP) survey, published in June 2012..."
Green Technologies at Work

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau releases largest collection of federal consumer financial complaint data

"Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) goes live with the nation’s largest public database of federal consumer financial complaints, opening up to consumers across the country information on more than 90,000 individual complaints on financial products and services...
Consumer Complaint Database
Today’s launch expands the Consumer Complaint Database significantly from about 19,000 credit card complaints to more than 90,000 complaints on mortgages, student loans, bank accounts and services, other consumer loans, and credit cards. In many cases, it includes the sub-category of products. For example, for mortgages it includes reverse mortgages, conventional fixed mortgages, conventional adjustable mortgages, and home equity loans or lines of credit..."
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau consumer financial complaint data

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Moral Science: Protecting Participants in Human Subjects Research

 "The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues today issued its report concerning federally-sponsored research involving human volunteers, concluding that current rules and regulations provide adequate safeguards to mitigate risk.  In its report, “Moral Science: Protecting Participants in Human Subjects Research," the Commission also recommended 14 changes to current practices to better protect research subjects, and called on the federal government to improve its tracking of research programs supported with taxpayer dollars..."
http://bioethics.gov/cms/node/558

Get the LED Out! – Easier Access to Powerful Labor Force Information

 "Do you need information on the changing composition of the workforce through the recent recession? Or evidence of the job creation ability of young firms? Answer questions like these and many more with the Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) dataset available through the new Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Extraction Tool..."
http://blogs.census.gov/2013/03/28/get-the-led-out-easier-access-to-powerful-labor-force-information/

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SuperTracker

Use the USDA's SuperTracker tool to plan, analyze and track you diet

SuperTracker

Tips to Prevent Poisonings

Find safety tips fro preventing poisoning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tips for Preventing Poisonings

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Ohio

 Explore the history of the Buffalo Soldiers at the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio.
 Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Ohio.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, MD

Explore the life of Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland.
 Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument

Womens Rights National Historical Park

Follow the founding of the modern women's movement with the efforts of four women in 1848 at the First Women's Rights Convention.
Womens Rights National Historical Park

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Statue of Liberty to Reopen by July 4th

 "Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the National Park Service expects to reopen the Statue of Liberty to visitors by July 4, 2013, after repairing the extensive damage to Liberty Island caused by Hurricane Sandy."
Statue of Liberty ReOpen by July 4th

Census report finds increases in coastal population growth by 2020 likely, putting more people at risk of extreme weather

 "If current population trends continue, the already crowded U.S. coast will see population grow from 123 million people to nearly 134 million people by 2020, putting more of the population at increased risk from extreme coastal storms like Sandy and Isaac, which severely damaged infrastructure and property last year..."
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20130325_coastalpopulation.html

International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress

"This report evaluates the purpose, membership, financing, and focus of the IMF’s activities. It
also discusses the role of Congress in shaping U.S. policy at the IMF and concludes by addressing
key issues, both legislative and oversight-related, that Congress may wish to consider, including
• the role of the IMF as a lender of last resort;
• the adequacy of IMF resources; and
• the effectiveness of IMF surveillance..."
International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress

Cloud Computing: Constitutional and Statutory Privacy Protections

"In light of this rapidly changing technology, there have been several legislative proposals to
augment the Fourth Amendment’s protections for digital communications and update existing
statutory protections like the SCA for information shared and stored in the cloud.."
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43015.pdf

Friday, March 22, 2013

Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification

"Legislation on electronic employment eligibility verification may be considered in the 113th
Congress as part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill or as separate, stand-alone
legislation. In weighing proposals on electronic employment verification, Congress may find it
useful to evaluate them in terms of their potential impact on a set of related issues: unauthorized
employment; verification system accuracy, efficiency, and capacity; discrimination; employer
compliance; privacy; and verification system usability and employer burden..."
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40446.pdf

Supporting Criminal Justice System Reform in Mexico: The U.S. Role

 "This report provides an overview of Mexico’s historic 2008 judicial reforms and an assessment of
how those reforms have been implemented thus far. It then analyzes U.S. support for judicial
reform efforts in Mexico and raises issues for Congress to consider as it oversees current U.S.
justice sector programs and considers future support to Mexico..."
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R43001.pdf

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Publishing Scientific Papers with Potential Security Risks: Issues for Congress

"This report describes the underlying controversy, the potential benefits and harms of publishing
these manuscripts, the actions taken by domestic and international stakeholders, and options that
may improve the way research is handled to minimize security concerns."
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/R42606.pdf

Household Debt in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011

"In 2011, 69 percent of U.S. households held some form of debt. This represents a decrease from 2000 when 74 percent of U.S. households held debt.1 At the same time, median household debt has increased over the past decade: from $50,971 [+/- $1,165] in 2000 to $70,000 [+/- $1,199] in 2011 (see Figure 1).."
Household Debt in the United States: 2000-2011

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency

"Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy—such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice..."
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/R42106.pdf

Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2012

"EPA’s annual report that tracks the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the United States is signaling a significant 1.4 mile per gallon (mpg) increase for 2012 cars and trucks – along with a continued decrease in carbon pollution.

The expected 1.4 mpg improvement in 2012 is based on sales estimates provided to EPA by automakers. EPA’s projections show a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 374 grams per mile and an increase in average fuel economy to 23.8 mpg..." http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm

India: Country Analysis Brief, 2013

"In 2011, India was the fourth largest energy consumer in the world after the United States,
China, and Russia. India's economy grew at an annual rate of approximately 7 percent
since 2000 and proved relatively resilient to the 2008 global financial crisis. India was the
10th largest economy in the world in 2011, as measured by nominal gross domestic
product (GDP). In the International Energy Outlook 2011, EIA projects India and China to
account for the biggest share of Asian energy demand growth through 2035..."
India: Country Analysis Brief, 2013.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Buying a Car? Here’s What You Should Know

Thinking of purchasing a car, here are some tips on buying or leasing a car.
Buying a Car? Here's What You Need to Knowing .
http://blog.usa.gov/post/45680599103/buying-a-car-heres-what-you-should-know

An Overview of the Housing Finance System in the United States

"When making a decision about housing, a household often must evaluate renting versus owning. Multiple factors will influence the decision, such as a household’s financial status and
expectations about the future. Few that decide to purchase a home have the necessary savings or available financial resources to make the purchase without borrowing money. Most need to take out a loan known as a mortgage. This report serves as a primer that explains how the system of housing finance works..."
An Overview of the Housing Finance System in the United States

Guns, Excise Taxes, and Wildlife Restoration

"As a result of the recent debate over guns, gun rights, and gun-related violence, there has
been a marked increase in sales of many weapons as well as ammunition. Through an
excise tax on firearms and ammunition, such sales have a marked beneficial effect on
funding for state wildlife programs through the Wildlife Restoration Program (also known as
Pittman-Robertson or P-R). This report examines these taxes, their allocation, and their use. It
also examines the effects of sequestration of this account, pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25)..."
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42992.pdf

Monday, March 18, 2013

Occupational Outlook Hookbook

Published every 2 years, this is the premier source for occupational information, including job descriptions, education requirements, salaries, work environment, and projection of job growth.
Occupational Outlook Handbook

Women-Owned Businesses

For those looking to start a business or seeking help in managing a business, take a look at the  "Women Owned Businesses" section of the U.S. Small Business Administration's web site.
Women Owned Businesses

Federal Reserve Bulletin

For research data on banks and banking, take a look at the Federal Reserve Bulletin. This site provides full-text of the monthly issues of the bulletin from 1996 to the present.
Federal Reserve Bulletin

Survey of Current Business

The Survey of Current Business is the U.S. Department of Commerce's principal source for disseminating data on the U.S. economy as well as selected data on international and state economic issues.
Survey of Current Business

Monlthly Labor Review Online

Looking for statistics on the labor market, take a look at issues of the Monthly Labor Review,  an online publication from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Monthly Labor Review online

Investor.gov

Looking for investor information, take a look at the Investor.gov site from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Administration. Find information on basic investing, markets, research, employment, retirement,  and life trends. 
Investor.gov

Economic Report of the President: 2013

Find the latest edition of the Economic Report of the President: 2013, an annual report on the economic and financial condition of the nation.
Economic Report of the President: 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

How Corned Beef and Cabbage Became a Holiday Staple

"In the 18th century, when large numbers of Irish immigrants came to the U.S., they brought with them the idea of beef as a luxury.  So when they found salted beef brisket was cheap in the States, they were quick to replace their traditional “Irish bacon.”  Nutrient-dense cabbage was also readily available and affordable, and a dish combining the two became a staple for working classes across the country.

As St. Patrick’s day evolved into a celebration of Irish heritage and nationality for Irish-Americans, corned beef and cabbage became a holiday tradition for consumers across the nation..."

How Corn Beef and Hash became a Holiday Staple

Consumer Action Handbook

Get a free copy of the Consumer Action Handbook. Find tips for preventing theft, understanding credit, filing a consumer complaint, etc.
Consumer Action Handbook

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) iPhone app.

"A free iPhone app called TSP Funds is currently being offered through the Apple store. It asks Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) participants for their account log in information.

This is not an official TSP app and the TSP does not recommend using this app to access your TSP account. Providing your information could result in a security risk to your account.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) iPhone app

Symptoms, causes, and treatments of eating disorders.

"An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spiraled out of control.."
Symptoms, causes, and treatments of eating disorders

6 Tip-offs to Rip-offs: Don't Fall for Health Fraud Scams

"Bogus product! Danger! Health fraud alert!
You’ll never see these warnings on health products, but that’s what you ought to be thinking when you see claims like “miracle cure,” “revolutionary scientific breakthrough,” or “alternative to drugs or surgery.”.."
Health Fraud Scams

Oil and Gas Boom Driving Population Growth in the Great Plains, Census Bureau Estimates Show

"Numerous metropolitan statistical areas, micropolitan statistical areas and counties that were among the fastest-growing last year were located in, or at least near, the Great Plains and West Texas, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today.

Midland, Texas, was the fastest-growing metro area over the July 1, 2011, to July 1, 2012, period, with its population increasing 4.6 percent. Adjacent Odessa, Texas, ranked fifth overall, Austin-Round Rock, Texas, was seventh, while two areas in Wyoming (Casper and Cheyenne), along with Manhattan, Kan., and Bismarck, N.D., were also among the 20 fastest-growing metropolitan areas..."
Fastest Growing Metro Areas, July 31, 2011 - July 31, 2012

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Disability Employment Tabulation, 2008-2010

"The Disability Employment Tabulation 2008-2010 (3-year ACS data) is available through American FactFinder (AFF) (factfinder2.census.gov) beginning March 14, 2013. This 49-table tabulation, which shows the disability status and diversity of the labor force and population 16 and over, is based on the American Community Survey (ACS) three-year data 2008-2010 (www.census.gov/acs).."
Disability Employment Tabulation, 2008-2010

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Welfare Waivers

"The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is willing to waive
certain federal work participation standards under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to permit states to experiment with “alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families HHS announced this initiative on July 12, 2012..."
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Welfare Waivers

U.S. Immigration Policy: Chart Book of Key Trends

"This report is a chart book of selected immigration trends that touch on the main elements of
comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). Most policymakers agree that the main issues in CIR
include increased border security and immigration enforcement, improved employment eligibility verification, revision of legal immigration, and options to address the millions of unauthorized aliens residing in the country. The report offers snapshots of time series data, using the most complete and consistent time series currently available for each statistic..."
U.S. Immigration Policy: a Chartbook of Key Trends

Top Cities with the Most ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings in 2012

From the U.S. Department of Energy, here is a list of the top 25 cities with the most Energy Star Certified Buildings in 2012.
Top Cities with the Most ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings in 2012

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

Although the number of jobs created each month is a closely watched report, to get a more
complete one needs to look at the monthly "Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey."
Here you will find the number of job openings, hires, and separations.
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

Monday, March 11, 2013

GovSpeak: A Guide to U.S. Government Acronyms & Abbreviations

If you need to identify an acronym of a U.S. government agency, department, bureau or such, try the GovSpeak:a Guide to U.S. Government Acronyms and Abbreviations.
GovSpeak

CDC- Environmental Health

If you are looking for current information on environmental health, try the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site section on "Environmental Health".
CDC- Environmental Health

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Oil Sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline: Background and Selected Environmental Issues

"If constructed, the Keystone XL pipeline would transport crude oil (e.g., synthetic crude oil or
diluted bitumen) derived from oil sands in Alberta, Canada to destinations in the United States.
Because the pipeline crosses an international border, it requires a Presidential Permit that is issued
by the Department of State (DOS). The permit decision rests on a “national interest”
determination, a term not defined in the authorizing Executive Orders. DOS states that it has
“significant discretion” in the factors it examines in this determination..."
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42611.pdf

Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2013

"This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and
Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates,
party affiliation, and other information for each. Tables have been updated as of the report’s
issuance date to reflect leadership changes..."
Party Leaders in the U.S. Congress: 1789 - 2013

Fisheries Economics of The U.S. 2011

 "Economic information related to commercial and recreational fishing activities, and fishing-related industries in the United States are reported in the annual Fisheries Economics of the U.S. statistical series. These reports cover a ten year time period and include descriptive statistics on commercial fisheries landings, revenue, and price trends; recreational fishing effort, participation rates, and expenditure information; and employer and non-employer establishment, payroll, and annual receipt information for fishing-related industries..."
Fisheries Economics of the U.S.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Employee Rights and Responsibilities under the Family and Medical Leave Act

 Find basic information concerning the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act(revised February 2013)
Employee Rights and Responsibiliites under the Family and Medical Leave Act

Federal Agencies Announce Action Plan to Guide Protection of Indian Sacred Sites

"As part of President Obama’s commitment to honoring a nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country, four cabinet-level departments today joined the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in releasing an action plan to strengthen the protection of Indian sacred sites and provide greater tribal access to these heritage areas. The interagency plan is required by the Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2012 by the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regarding coordination and collaboration for the protection of sacred sites...
Federal Agencies ..Plan to Guide Protection of Indian Sacred Sites

Inflation and the Real Minimum Wage: A Fact Sheet

"The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 established the hourly minimum wage rate at
25 cents for covered workers.1 Since then, it has been raised 22 separate times, in part to
keep up with rising prices. Most recently, in July 2009, it was increased to $7.25 an hour.
Because there have been some extended periods between these adjustments while inflation
generally has increased, the real value (purchasing power) of the minimum wage has decreased substantially over time..."
Inflation and the Real Minimum Wage

The 2013 Cybersecurity Executive Order: Overview and Considerations for Congress

"The federal role in cybersecurity has been a topic of discussion and debate for over a decade.
Despite significant legislative efforts in the 112th Congress, no major legislation on this topic has been enacted since the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) in 2002, which addressed the security of federal information systems. In February 2013, the White House issued an executive order designed to improve the cybersecurity of U.S. critical infrastructure (CI)..."
The 2013 Cybersecurity Executive Order: Overview and Considerations for Congress

Public Access to Data from Federally Funded Research: Provisions in OMB Circular A-110

"The results of scientific studies are often used in making government policy decisions. While the studies are often published, traditional federal research funding policies did not require the data on which they are based to be made available publicly. Such policies did, however, generally require researchers to share data and physical samples with other scientists after publication of the research..."
Public Access to Data from Federally Funded Research: Provisions in OMB Circular A-110


Out-of-State and Long Commutes: 2011

"Among U.S. workers who did not work at home,
8.1 percent had commutes of 60 minutes or longer in 2011.

An estimated 61.1 percent of workers with “long commutes” drove to work alone, compared with 79.9 percent for all workers who did not work at home..."
Out-of-state and Long Communites:2011

Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering

"Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering provides statistical information about the participation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. A formal report, now in the form of a digest, is issued every 2 years..."
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/2013/start.cfm

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Missing W-2

Discover how to get a missing W-2 form.
Missing W-2

Managing Household Records

Discover which records you need to keep, how long, and which you may discard.
Managing Household Records

Sequestration: Automatic Cuts to the Federal Budget

USA.gov has compiled a Q&A explaining various aspect of sequestration and directing people to additional resources.

Where is my refund?

Due a tax refund? You can check it online at this IRS site.
Where is my refund?

Women's suffrage monument at U.S. Capitol

 "This group portrait monument to the pioneers of the woman suffrage movement, which won women the right to vote in 1920, was sculpted by Adelaide Johnson (1859-1955) from an 8-ton block of marble in Carrara, Italy..."
Women's suffrage monument at U.S. Capitol

Fire Ants: Coping With These Invasive Insects

"... The invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is a notoriously pesky species that benefits when humans disturb natural areas. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Joshua King at the University of Central Florida and Walter Tschinkel at Florida State University have been exploring the underlying causes and consequences of the association of fire ants with human-altered ecosystems..."
Fire Ants: Coping with these invasive insects

Average Food Prices: a snapshot of how much has changed over a century

"As many senior citizens will tell you, prices have increased quite a lot over the past century. Of the items listed, potatoes were the least expensive item in 1913, at less than 2 cents per pound. By 2013, flour had replaced potatoes as the cheapest item per pound among the items tracked. And while potatoes remain among the cheapest food items today, potato prices have increased over 39-fold since 1913, the sharpest rate of increase seen of the items tracked over the past century..."
Average Food Price changes over the years

Friday, March 1, 2013

Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

"Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most
prolific areas of contemporary international criminal activity and is of significant interest to the
United States and the international community as a serious human rights concern. TIP is both an
international and a domestic crime that involves violations of labor, public health, and human
rights standards, and criminal law..."
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

"This report provides a brief overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt and information on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. The United States has provided significant military and economic assistance to Egypt since the late 1970s. U.S. policy makers have routinely justified aid to Egypt as an investment in regional stability, built primarily on long-running military cooperation and on sustaining the March 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Successive U.S. Administrations have viewed Egypt’s government as generally influencing developments in the Middle East in line with U.S. interests. U.S. policy makers are now grappling with complex questions about the future of U.S.-Egypt relations, and these debates and events in Egypt are
shaping consideration of appropriations and authorization legislation in the 113th Congress..."
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements

"Arms control and nonproliferation efforts are two of the tools that have occasionally been used to
implement U.S. national security strategy. Although some believe these tools do little to restrain
the behavior of U.S. adversaries, while doing too much to restrain U.S. military forces and
operations, many other analysts see them as an effective means to promote transparency, ease
military planning, limit forces, and protect against uncertainty and surprise..."
Arms Control and Nonproliferation: a Catalog of Treaties and Agreements