Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Long-Term Projections for Social Security: Additional Information

"In fiscal year 2014, spending for Social Security benefits totaled $840 billion, or almost one-quarter of federal spending; OASI payments accounted for about 83 percent of those outlays, and DI payments made up about 17 percent.2 Each year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) prepares long-term projections of revenues and outlays for the program. The most recent set of 75-year projections was published in July 2014.3 Those projections generally reflect current law, following CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections through 2024 and then extending the baseline concept for the rest of the long-term projection period.  This publication presents additional information about those
Social security projections

Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll Summary Report: 2013

"This report presents data on state and local government employment and payroll based on information collected by the 2013 Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll for the month of March. Data are published in tables at the federal, state, and local levels. Tables
describing state- and local-level activities are compiled into national, as well as individual state totals. Employment estimates are available for full- and parttime workers, as well as full-time equivalent employees. Total payroll amounts are also available separately for
full- and part-time employees..."
Public employment

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. The key findings and elements germane to the data depicted are summarized with the figures. The summary offers the highlights of key immigration trends..." 

The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11

"With enactment of the FY2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act on January 1, 2014 (H.R.
3547/P.L. 113-73), Congress has approved appropriations for the past 13 years of war that total $1.6 trillion for military operations, base support, weapons maintenance, training of Afghan and Iraq security forces, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the war operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks.

Of this $1.6 trillion total, CRS estimates that the total is distributed as follows:
• $686 billion (43%) for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) for Afghanistan and
other counterterror operations received;
• $815 billion (51%) for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation New Dawn
• $27 billion (2%) for Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security
at military bases; and
• $81 billion (5%) for war-designated funding not considered directly related to the
Afghanistan or Iraq wars.,,: 
Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan and other wars

Third Estimate of GDP for the Third Quarter of 2014

"Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.0 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2014—the strongest single quarter since 2003—according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.While quarterly growth reports are volatile, and some of the growth in Q3 reflected transitory factors, the recent robust growth data indicate a solid underlying trend of recovery. Indeed, the strong growth recorded in each of the last two quarters suggests that the economy has bounced back strongly from the first-quarter decline in GDP, which largely reflected transitory factors like unusually severe winter weather and a sharp slowdown in inventory investment. Consumer spending, business investment, and net exports all remained positive contributors this quarter. Real gross domestic income (GDI), an alternative measure of the overall size of the economy, was up 4.7 percent in Q3..."
GDP 3rd quarter 2014

EPA Tips for Building a Cleaner Fire this Holiday Season

"Across the country this holiday season, families and friends will gather around fires in woodstoves or fireplaces. But how you build that fire – and what you burn – can have a significant impact on air quality and health, both inside your home and out.
Whether you’re using a woodstove, pellet stove, or your fireplace, seeing smoke from your chimney means your fire isn’t burning efficiently or cleanly as it could.
Woodsmoke contains fine particles – also called fine particle pollution or PM2.5 -- which can harm the lungs, blood vessels and heart. People with heart, vascular or lung disease, and older adults and children are more at risk..."
Fire and holidays

Home Safe Home for the Holidays

"Stitches, slings, and crutches are not what most people envision for the holiday season. Unfortunately, for about 200 people a day, decoration-related injuries are a reality this time of year. During November and December, an estimated 13,000 consumers are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to holiday lights, Christmas trees, ornaments and other decorations. As consumers nationwide gear up to deck out their homes for the holiday season, CPSC is warning of decorating dangers and providing tips for a safe holiday home...."
Home holiday safety

Switching to Farming Made Human Joint Bones Lighter

"Sending more time sitting on our butts isn't just a problem for obesity and heart disease. The shift to a more sedentary lifestyle has probably been bad for our bones, too. A pair of papers published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest that humans evolved lighter joint bones relatively recently in our evolutionary history as a response to changes in physical activity.
One study pinpoints the origin of these weaker bones at the beginning of the Holocene epoch roughly 12,000 years ago, when humans began adopting agriculture. “Modern human skeletons have shifted quite recently towards lighter—more fragile, if you like—bodies. It started when we adopted agriculture. Our diets changed. Our levels of activity changed,” says study co-authorHabiba Chirchir, , an anthropologist in the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program..."
Farming & human joint bones

2013 National Incident-Based Reporting System Statistics

"Today, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program released its third annual compilation of statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), providing expanded data on more than 4.9 million criminal incidents reported to law enforcement in 2013..."
Incident based statistics

Monday, December 22, 2014

Protect Young Children from Burns on Glass Fronts of Gas Fireplaces—Use Protective Barriers

"Protective barriers will be standard on new gas fireplaces starting on January 1.  Make sure to use the barrier.
If you already have a fireplace, buy a protective retrofit barrier to protect your little ones from being burned. Barriers can include attachable safety screens, safety gates and fireplace safety screens like you see below.  If you choose an attachable safety screen, check with your fireplace manufacturer to get the right one for your fireplace. You can buy safety screen barriers at fireplace retailers and hardware stores and purchase safety gates at big box and/or baby product stores..."
Gas fireplace safety

Friday, December 19, 2014

Organic 101: Organic Seeds Are Fundamental Right from the Start

"The fall harvest is in, and organic farmers are already looking forward to planting their spring seedlings.  Organic farmers rely on organic seeds to meet the growing demand for certified organic products. These seeds are essential to the integrity of the supply chain for quality organic food, feed and other products.  All organic producers must use organic seeds, annual seedlings and planting stock unless organic varieties are not commercially available...
To meet the increased demand for organic seeds, the National Organic Program (NOP), part ofUSDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is collaborating and sharing information with the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) and its partner, the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA), to better understand the organic seed market and to help farmers locate seed producers and supplies..."
Organic seeds 

Updated Reverse Mortgage Guide: Two Things You Should Know

"Reverse mortgages are a special type of home equity loan sold to homeowners aged 62 years and older, which are repaid when the borrowers sell the home, move out, or die. It’s a complicated type of loan that works best for homeowners who carefully consider all of their options.
Things to consider
Before borrowing, seniors and their families should consider:
  • The cost of homeowners’ insurance and taxes
  • Plans for staying in the home or leaving it to family members
  • Plans for dependents or others living in the home
  • Alternatives to reverse mortgages.."

Reverse mortgage

EPA Takes Action to Protect Public from Harmful Lead Exposure

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced 62 enforcement actions that require renovation contractors and training providers to protect people from harmful exposure to lead dust and debris, as required by EPA’s Lead-based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) standards. 

The enforcement actions include 55 settlements and six complaints issued between February and October 2014 for renovations performed on pre-1978 homes and child-care facilities. All of the settlements require that the alleged violators certify their compliance with RRP standards and, in most cases, pay civil penalties. In two of the settlements, the violators agreed to fund voluntary lead abatement supplemental environmental projects, which require the removal of lead-based paint and post-construction testing to ensure that no hazardous conditions remain.."
Lead exposure

Presidential Task Force Issues Recommendations to Level Playing Field for U.S. Fishermen

"Earlier today, the U.S. government took additional steps to level the playing field for legitimate U.S. fishermen, and ensure the vitality of marine fish stocks. The Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, co-chaired by the Departments of State and Commerce, released 15 recommendations to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud and increase consumer confidence in the sustainability of seafood sold in the U.S...:
Fishermen & fish industry

HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell on Senate Confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General

""I commend the Senate for their vote today and am pleased Dr. Vivek Murthy will become our nation’s next Surgeon General. His clinical, academic and research experience, along with his consistent leadership on public health and prevention in the United States and abroad, are a true testament to his abilities to successfully serve as America’s doctor.  I look forward to working with Dr. Murthy in the days ahead as we promote prevention and wellness and work to support policies and strategies that help Americans maintain and improve their health. Dr. Murthy will lead the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, a team of 6,800 officers dedicated to protecting, promoting and advancing the health and safety of our nation.  He will also play a critical role in our work to address other challenges facing our nation’s public health, including our ongoing efforts to reduce obesity and smoking rates and help keep Americans healthy this flu season.”.." 
Surgeon General

The Fraudster Who Faked His Own Death: Inside the Aubrey Lee Price Case

"When a federal judge recently sentenced Aubrey Lee Price to 30 years in prison for bank fraud, embezzlement, and other crimes, it closed a chapter on the once successful businessman’s sensational criminal saga.
Price went from a devout Christian minister and trusted financial adviser to a schemer who wiped out many of his clients’ life savings and then faked his own death to avoid taking responsibility for what he had done. When a routine traffic stop in Georgia resulted in his arrest on New Year’s Eve in 2013—nearly 18 months after his disappearance—Price acknowledged that he had become a drug dealer..."
Aubrey Lee Price

How Do Holiday Lights Work?

"We're getting into the holiday spirit here at the Department of Energy. Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care and we have strings of lights decorating our cubicles. While stringing up lights, I wanted to learn how exactly holiday lights work. Here’s what I discovered.
Note that the primer below applies to incandescent light strands, which have been traditionally used to decorate our homes for the holidays -- and are a great way to learn about the flow of electric current. LED holiday light strands are becoming more popular, due to being sturdier, lasting longer and consuming 70 percent less energy than conventional incandescent light strands. It only costs $0.27 to light a 6-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days with LEDs compared to $10 for incandescent lights. Learn more about LED lighting on Energy Saver...:
Holiday lights

Cancer Prevention in the Workplace

"Employers can help reduce workers’ cancer risk by addressing—
  • Harmful exposures in the workplace. Asbestos, diesel exhaust, and radon are examples of harmful substances that may be present in workplace settings. These substances can increase a person’s risk for certain types of cancer and should be eliminated or reduced as much as possible. Smoke from other people’s cigarettes (secondhand smoke)increases cancer risk in workers who don’t use tobacco themselves, and tobacco-free workplace policies can help protect workers. Outdoor workers are often exposed to the sun for long periods of time, which increases their risk for skin cancer. Providing shade and protective gear to outdoor employees can help them stay sun-safe on the job...:
    Cancer & workplace

Raw (Unpasteurized) Milk

"Raw milk can carry harmful germs that can make you very sick or kill you. If you're thinking about drinking raw milk because you believe it has health benefits, consider other options.
Developing a healthy lifestyle requires you to make many decisions. One step you might be thinking about is adding raw milk to your diet. Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized (heating to a specific temperature for a set amount of time to kill harmful germs). Germs include bacteria, viruses, and parasites..."
Raw milk

Hospital-Based Emergency Departments: Background and Policy Considerations

"Hospital-based Emergency Departments (EDs) are required to stabilize patients with emergent conditions regardless of the patients’ ability to pay as a requirement of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). Given this requirement, EDs play an important part in the health care safety net by serving the uninsured, the underserved, and those enrolled in Medicaid. Open 24 hours a day, EDs provide emergency care, urgent care, primary care, and behavioral health care services in communities where these services are unavailable or unavailable after hours. EDs also play a key role during emergencies, such as natural disasters..."

Charting a New Course on Cuba

"Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people.  We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba...." 

Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates

"Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) are produced for school districts, counties, and states. The main objective of this program is to provide updated estimates of income and poverty statistics for the administration of federal programs and the allocation of federal funds to local jurisdictions. Estimates for 2013 were released in December 2014. These estimates combine data from administrative records, postcensal population estimates, and the decennial census with direct estimates from the American Community Survey to provide consistent and reliable single-year estimates.."
Small area income

Cinematic Treasures Named to National Film Registry

"The horrors of war, the heroism of sacrifice, a vaudeville pioneer, the devil and a master of the macabre represent the diversity of an elite selection of films recognized for their cultural, historic or aesthetic significance. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today the annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selection to the registry will help ensure that these films will be preserved for all time..."
National Film Registry

Work Experience of the Population: 2013

"A total of 157.0 million persons worked at some point during 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over who worked at some time during 2013 was 63.5 percent, little different from 63.8 percent in 2012. The number of persons who experienced some unemployment during 2013 decreased by 1.5 million to 20.9 million..."
Work experience

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Climate Resilience Toolkit

"The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit provides scientific tools, information, and expertise to help people manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, and improve their resilience to extreme events. The site is designed to serve interested citizens, communities, businesses, resource managers, planners, and policy leaders at all levels of government..."
Resilience climate toolkit

Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995–2013

"For the period 1995–2013, females ages 18 to 24 had the highest rate of rape and sexual assault victimizations compared to females in all other age groups. Within the 18 to 24 age group, victims could be identified as students enrolled in a college, university, trade school or vocational school or as nonstudents. Among student victims, 20% of rape and sexual assault victimizations were reported
to police, compared to 32%  reported among nonstudent victims ages 18 to 24.."
Sexual assault and college students

Consumer credit reports: A study of medical and non-medical collections

"Roughly half of all collections tradelines that appear on credit reports are reported by debt
collectors seeking to collect on medical bills claimed to be owed to hospitals and other medical
providers. These medical debt collections tradelines affect the credit reports of nearly one-fifth
of all consumers in the credit reporting system.
This paper describes characteristics of the medical and non-medical collections tradelines on
consumers’ credit reports and the processes by which they appear and disappear. It draws on
analysis of data contained in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Consumer .."
Consumer credit

114th New Member Pictorial Directory

Here are listed pictorial directory of new members of the 114th Congress.
Congressional Pictorial Directory

Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis

"Data breaches, such as those at Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, and JPMorgan Chase,
affecting financial records of tens of millions of households seem to occur regularly. Companies
typically respond by trying to increase their cybersecurity by hiring consultants and purchasing
new hardware and software. Policy analysts have suggested that sharing information about these
breaches could be an effective and inexpensive part of improving cybersecurity. Firms share
information directly on an ad hoc basis and through private-sector, nonprofit organizations such
as Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) that can analyze and disseminate

Avoid Fetal "Keepsake" Images, Heartbeat Monitors

"Ultrasound imaging is the most widely used medical imaging method during pregnancy.
Fetal ultrasound imaging provides real-time images of the fetus. Doppler fetal ultrasound heartbeat monitors are hand-held ultrasound devices that let you listen to the heartbeat of the fetus. Both are prescription devices designed to be used by trained health care professionals. They are not intended for over-the-counter (OTC) sale or use, and the FDA strongly discourages their use for creating fetal keepsake images and videos..."Heartbeat monitors

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Senate. Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency 's Detention and Interrogation Program

"On April 3, 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted to send the
Findings and Conclusions and the Executive Summary of its final Study on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program to thePresident for declassification and subsequent public release.
This action marked the culmination of a monumental effort that officially began with the Committee's decision to initiate the Study in March 2009, but which had its roots in an investigation into the CIA's destruction of videotapes of CIA detainee interrogations that began in December 2007.." [WARNING. this big report will take time to load]
CIA's detention and interrogation

A Change in Circumstances: Family and Household Transitions and Child Well-Being

"Change is inevitable, but how often things change can matter for the well-being of children. A new report, A Child’s Day: Living Arrangements, Nativity, and Family Transitions: 2011, uses multiyear data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to understand how often children experience family and household transitions.
The new report examines three types of transitions that children potentially face. A family structure transition occurs if the child experienced a change in family structure due to a parent getting married, divorced or cohabiting with a new partner. An employment transition occurs if either parent in the household lost or gained a job. Lastly, a residential transition occurs if the child moved at any point..."Households

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2014 National Population Projections

"The Population Projections Program produces projections of the United States resident population by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and nativity. The 2014 National Projections are based on the July 1, 2013 population estimates, which are based on the 2010 Census, and provide projections of the population for July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2060. The projections were produced using a cohort-component method and are based on assumptions about future births, deaths, and net international migration..."
Population projections

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How to NOT Give Your Office Food Poisoning at the Holiday Party

"Tip 1: Keep Hot Food Hot. Hot items are best served immediately after cooking or reheating. If you plan on serving a hot item at the office party, take it straight from the oven and either place it in an insulated bag or hot food carrier. If you can’t serve it as soon as you arrive, return it to the oven. Alternatively, you can completely chill the item and transport it according to Tip 2. Once you arrive at the office reheat it using a microwave, stove, or oven to 165 °F.
Tip 2: Keep Cold Food Cold. Cold items should remain in the refrigerator for as long as possible. When transporting cold dishes, place items in a cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. A refrigerator thermometer in the cooler is a useful way to make sure items remain at proper chill temperature of 40 °F or below.
Tip 4: Use Several Small Platters. For both hot and cold items, arrange and serve food on several small platters rather than on large platter. This way you can hold food at safe temperatures (cold foods below 40 °F and hot foods above 140 °F) until partygoers are ready to eat it.
Tip 5: Keep Track of Time. Keep track of how long items have been sitting on the buffet table and discard anything out longer than two hours. You never want to leave perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles in the “Danger Zone” over two hours. The danger zone is between 40 and 140 °F where bacteria multiply rapidly. After two hours, enough bacteria may have grown in your food to make partygoers sick. Exceptions to the danger zone include ready-to-eat items like cookies, crackers, bread and whole fruit.."
Holiday parties and food poisioning

New Energy Star Tool for Homeowners to Save Money, Energy This Winter

"Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching its Energy Star Home Advisor, an online tool designed to help Americans save money and energy by improving the energy efficiency of their homes through recommended, customized and prioritized home-improvement projects. 
The updated Energy Star Home Advisor guides the homeowner through a “do-it-yourself” energy assessment to create an Energy Star home profile. Based on the newly created profile, the Home Advisor provides customized, prioritized recommendations for improvements. From these recommendations, users can create their own to-do lists of projects such as adding insulation to the attic or replacing an HVAC air filter.
More on EPA’s Energy Star Home Advisor: www.energystar.gov/homeadvisor .."
Energy Star tool

"Day of Infamy"

Find a copy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's  "Day of Infamy"  delivered on December 8, 1941 to a Joint session of Congress leading to a Declaration of War on the country of Japan following its attack on Pearl Harbor.
Day of Infamy

35 U.S. hospitals designated as Ebola treatment centers

"An increasing number of U.S. hospitals are now equipped to treat patients with Ebola, giving nationwide health system Ebola readiness efforts a boost.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state health officials have identified and designated 35 hospitals with Ebola treatment centers, with more expected in the coming weeks.
Hospitals with Ebola treatment centers have been designated by state health officials to serve as treatment facilities for Ebola patients based on a collaborative decision with local health authorities and the hospital administration..."
Ebola hospitals

Ethanol Market Concentration

"This Report presents the Federal Trade Commission’s (“Commission” or “FTC”)
concentration analysis of the ethanol production industry for 2014.  Section 1501(a)(2) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires the FTC each year to “perform a market concentration analysis of the ethanol production industry using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index to determine whether there is sufficient competition among industry participants to avoid price-setting and other anticompetitive behavior.”  The statute also requires the FTC to consider all marketing arrangements among industry participants in preparing its analysis.3
 The FTC must report its findings to Congress and to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) by December 1..."


Hate Crime Statistics, 2013

"Today, the FBI released its annual Hate Crime Statistics report, which revealed that 5,928 hate crime incidents involving 6,933 offenses were reported by our law enforcement partners to the Bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2013. These hate crime incidents impacted a total of 7,242 victims—which are defined as individuals, businesses, institutions, or society as a whole. The number of reported hate crimes last year is down slightly when compared to 2012 UCR figures—5,928 in 2013 versus the 2012 figure of 6,573..."
Hate Crime
Hate crime

Lead Hazards in Some Holiday Toys

"The holiday season is here, and that means many children will be given toys as gifts. While new toys are a holiday tradition, you  should be aware of potential lead hazards associated with some toys, including toy jewelry. Review these important facts to keep your children safe this holiday season.
Lead is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell. Children may be exposed to it from consumer products by simply handling the product normally. Because children often put toys, other objects, and their fingers in their mouths, they can be exposed when they do this as well..."
Lead inToys

Protect Against Respiratory Syncytial Virus

"Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common virus. It spreads through coughing and sneezing. You can also get RSV by touching surfaces that have RSV on them, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Most children get RSV by the time they are 2 years old. Healthy children usually experience mild, cold-like symptoms and recover on their own within a week or two. But RSV can cause severe lung infections, including bronchiolitis (infection of small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia. Each year in the United States, 100,000 to 126,000 babies younger than 1 year old are hospitalized due to RSV infection..."
Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Building Trust Between Communities and Local Police

"Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and around the country have grabbed the attention of the nation and the world, and have highlighted the importance of strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities that they protect.
Today, the Administration announced new steps we’re taking to strengthen the relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they are obligated to protect and serve, including:
  • Advancing the use of body worn cameras and promoting proven community policing initiatives
  • Creating a new task force to promote expansion of the community-oriented policing model, which encourages strong relationships between law enforcement and the communities that they serve as a proven method of fighting crime
  • Reforming how the federal government equips state and local law enforcement – particularly with military-style equipment.." 
  • Communities and local-police

Are Today’s Young Adults Better Off Than Their Parents? Yes and No

"Compared with prior generations, young people today, those 18 to 34 years old, are more educated and, in some parts of the country, earn more. However, they are also less likely to be employed and more likely to live in poverty than their counterparts were in 1980..."
Todays young 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The increased supply of underutilized labor from 2006 to 2014

"The supply of labor and worker productivity are major sources of a nation’s long-term growth in
economic output. The supply of labor depends on the size of a country’s population and the country’s labor force participation rate.
A country’s population size can be affected by its fertility rate, life expectancy, and international migration. In 2012, the fertility rate in the United States was the lowest since data collection began in 1920.
But life expectancy at birth has been rising for a century or more, while the population has increased because of international migration.
In the United States, the labor force participation rate for men has been falling for several decades. The participation rate for women increased for several decades until 1999, but has fallen since..."
Undeveloped labor supply

EPA Proposes Smog Standards to Safeguard Americans from Air Pollution

"Based on extensive recent scientific evidence about the harmful effects of ground-level ozone, or smog, EPA is proposing to strengthen air quality standards to within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion (ppb) to better protect Americans’ health and the environment, while taking comment on a level as low as 60 ppb. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review the standards every five years by following a set of open, transparent steps and considering the advice of a panel of independent experts. EPA last updated these standards in 2008, setting them at 75 ppb..."
EPA, air pollution,  smog standards

Check Your Closet for Apparel Recalled Last Summer

"Cooler weather means it is time to pull out our jackets, hoodies, boots and sweaters. Here is some apparel you may wear in the winter that has been recalled over the summer months. To check other products for safety issues, go to SaferProducts.gov...."
Recalled apparel

Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

"The FBI’s annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report that was released earlier this week details in chilling narratives and statistics how 76 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2013.
While the LEOKA report offers a stark reminder of the dangers police face every day, the main reason for gathering the comprehensive data about line-of-duty fatalities, assaults, and accidents is to prevent them from occurring in the future. In addition to collecting details about the critical aspects of fatal confrontations and assaults, the FBI’s LEOKA program conducts extensive research on the data that eventually gets incorporated into the officer safety awareness training the FBI provides for partner agencies..."

Law enforcement officers killed

AskEnergySaver: Weatherization

"Home heating and cooling account for about 48 percent of the average homeowner’s utility bill. As the weather gets colder, it’s important to weatherize your home in order to save money while staying cozy. And while we have lots of great tips for saving on heating and cooling, we know there are always more questions to be answered.
This month we asked you to share your questions about weatherization. To answer them we turned to Ely Jacobsohn, Program Manager of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR in the Department’s Buildings Technology office..."

Fact Sheet: Fixing Our Broken Immigration System Through Executive Action

"The President asked Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to undertake a rigorous and inclusive review to inform recommendations on reforming our broken immigration system through executive action. This review sought the advice and input from the men and women charged with implementing the policies, as well as the ideas of a broad range of stakeholders and Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. Our assessment identified the following ten areas where we, within the confines of the law, could take action to increase border security, focus enforcement resources, and ensure accountability in our immigration system..."

World AIDS Day, 2014

"On December 1, people throughout the world observe World AIDS Day, an opportunity for the global community to honor those living with HIV; the families, friends, caregivers, and communities who support them; and those who have lost their lives to AIDS. The theme for 2014 – "Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation" – reflects the drive to focus on interventions that work and partner with a broad range of stakeholders to achieve control of the epidemic and move closer to an AIDS-free generation..."
World Aids Day

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Overview of FDA Labeling Requirements for Restaurants, Similar Retail Food Establishments and Vending Machines

"This page provides information on the menu and vending machines labeling requirements.
For more information see, Menu and Vending Machines Labeling Requirements Main Page..."

FDA labeling

Climate Change Indicators in the United states, 3rd ed., 2014

"The Earth’s climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events—like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures—are already  taking place. Scientists are highly confident that many of these observed changes can be linked to the climbing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, which are caused by human activities.
The climate change indicators in this report look at the composition of the atmosphere, fundamental measures of climate, and the extent to which several climate-sensitive aspects of the oceans, snow and ice, human health, society, and ecosystems are changing. Together, these indicators present compelling evidence that climate change is happening now in the United States and around the world..."
Climate change

Intelligence Authorization Legislation for FY2014 and FY2015: Provisions, Status, Intelligence Community Framework

"An Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Years (FY) 2014 and 2015 (H.R. 4681) was considered in May 2014 and passed by the House but not by the Senate. Instead, both chambers passed, and the President signed an IAA for FY2014 (P.L. 113-126) in July 2014. At this time, an IAA for FY2015 (S. 2741) is under consideration by the Senate. If it passes, it will be referred to the House. This report examines selected provisions in the legislation (those summarized below) and provides an intelligence community framework in the Appendix..."

Intelligence authorization

Committee on Ways and Means Green Book, 2014

"The Green Book published by the Committee on Ways and Means of the United States House of Representatives provides background material and data on the programs within the jursidiction of the Committee on Ways and Means..."
Green book

U.S. gasoline prices this Thanksgiving are the lowest since 2009

"U.S. retail regular-grade gasoline prices continue to decline, averaging $2.82 per gallon (gal) as of November 24. This average is 47 cents lower than a year ago, and the lowest price heading into a Thanksgiving holiday since 2009. Traditionally, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most traveled times of the year in the United States, and much of that travel is by car. AAA estimates that during this Thanksgiving holiday weekend (November 26-30), 41.3 million people in the United States will travel more than 50 miles from home by car. This level of travel, 4.3% higher than the same time last year, is the highest number of travelers by car for Thanksgiving in seven years and the third highest since AAA began publishing the data in 2000..."
Gas prices

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sexual Violence at Institutions of Higher Education

"In recent years, a number of high-profile incidents of sexual violence at institutions of higher education (IHEs) have heightened congressional and administration scrutiny of the policies and procedures that IHEs currently have in place to address campus sexual violence and how these policies and procedures can be improved. Campus sexual violence is widely acknowledged to be a problem. However, reported data on the extent of sexual violence at IHEs varies considerably across studies for a variety of methodological and other reasons. Victims of sexual violence may suffer from a range of physical and mental health conditions including injuries, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, suicidality, and substance abuse. College students who are the victims of sexual violence may experience a
decline in academic performance, and they may drop out, leave school, or transfer.."
Sexual violence on campus

The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress

"In January 2014, 578,424 people were homeless on a given night. Most (69  percent) were staying in residential programs for homeless people, and the rest (31 percent) were found in unsheltered locations.

Nearly one-quarter of all homeless people were children under the age of 18 (23 percent or 135,701). Ten percent (or 58,601) were between
the ages of 18 and 24, and 66 percent (or 384,122) were 25 years or older.
Homelessness declined by 2 percent (or 13,344 people) between 2013 and 2014 and by 11 percent (or 72,718) since 2007..."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Turkey basics: safe cooking

Here you will find basic information on preparing and cooking a turkey.
Turkey cooking

Turkey tips: shopping for your feast

"You’re certain you’ve thought of everything to make this year’s Thanksgiving meal a flawless success.

You’ve assigned your quarrelsome family members who passionately root for rival football teams to seats on opposite ends of the dinner table. You’re prepared to cook all of your guests’ favorite holiday dishes, and after years of practice, you finally feel like you’ve perfected the delicate art of carving a turkey. Yes, this year will be different. You won’t have to order a pizza and eat it with lumpy gravy like you did after last year’s cooking disaster! But while you may think you’ve thought of absolutely everything for the perfect Thanksgiving meal, you may have neglected some of the most important steps – those involving food safety.
Unsafe handling and undercooking of turkeys can lead to serious foodborne illness, but the USDA is here to offer a few tips so you have a delicious, safe holiday feast. Over the next two weeks, we will share several food safety steps that you should follow.

The first step to hosting a safe holiday feast is choosing your bird. Picking out the perfect turkey doesn’t mean just choosing the plumpest one in your grocery store. To find the perfect turkey for you and your guests, read the labels. These are the most common ones, which are regulated by the USDA:
Preparing for Thanksgiving can become hectic. On Tuesday [CMB1] we tried to make your trip to the grocery store a little easier, by explaining the labels you’ll find on turkeys for sale. Now that you have your bird, you’re probably thinking about putting your game face on and getting that meal ready.
In between trying to convince your 21-year-old nephew to sit at the kid’s table (because there’s no room at the adult table) and figuring out how you’ll answer your relatives’ questions about where your current relationship is going, we want to help you prepare your meal. With such thoughts possibly running through your head, proper food safety practices are sometimes treated like pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving: always required but too often ignored and overshadowed.
- See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/11/20/turkey-tips-step-2-preparing-your-feast/#sthash.HNcyf521.dpuf
You’ve assigned your quarrelsome family members who passionately root for rival football teams to seats on opposite ends of the dinner table. You’re prepared to cook all of your guests’ favorite holiday dishes, and after years of practice, you finally feel like you’ve perfected the delicate art of carving a turkey. Yes, this year will be different. You won’t have to order a pizza and eat it with lumpy gravy like you did after last year’s cooking disaster! But while you may think you’ve thought of absolutely everything for the perfect Thanksgiving meal, you may have neglected some of the most important steps – those involving food safety. - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/11/19/turkey-tips-step-1-shopping-for-your-feast/#sthash.I49T8FEL.dpuf
Turkey tips

The Horrific Sand Creek Massacre Will Be Forgotten No More

"Jeff Campbell worked for 20 years as a criminal investigator for the state of New Mexico. He specialized in cold cases. These days, he applies his sleuthing skills to a case so cold it’s buried beneath a century and a half of windblown prairie.

“Here’s the crime scene,” Campbell says, surveying a creek bed and miles of empty grassland. A lanky, deliberate detective, he cups a corncob pipe to light it in the flurrying snow before continuing. “The attack began in predawn light, but sound carries in this environment. So the victims would have heard the hooves pounding towards them before they could see what was coming.” 

Campbell is reconstructing a mass murder that occurred in 1864, along Sand Creek, an intermittent stream in eastern Colorado. Today, less than one person per square mile inhabits this arid region. But in late autumn of 1864, about 1,000 Cheyenne and Arapaho lived in tepees here, at the edge of what was then reservation land. Their chiefs had recently sought peace in talks with white officials and believed they would be unmolested at their isolated camp..."
Sand creek massacre

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Federal Policies and Innovation

"Innovation is a central driver of economic growth in the United States. Workers become more productive when they can make use of improved equipment and
processes, and consumers benefit when new goods and services become available or when existing ones become better or cheaper—although the transition can be disruptive to established firms and workers as new products and processes supersede old ones. Looking ahead, innovation will continue to be important for economic growth, in part because the supply of workers to the economy is expected to increase at a much slower rate in the future..."
Federal policies and Innovation

In the Shadow of the Great Recession: Experiences and Perspectives of Young Workers

"Young adults in the United States have experienced higher rates of unemployment and lower rates of labor force participation than the general population for at least two decades. The Great Recession exacerbated this phenomenon. Despite a substantial labor market recovery from 2009 through 2014, vulnerable populations—including the nation’s young adults—continue to experience higher rates of unemployment..."

Young workers and recession

2013 Annual Services Report

Find the latest data on the Services Industry featuring reports on Employer and Nonemployer Firms, Expenses for Employer Firms, Sources of Revenue for Employer Firms, End of Year inventories,
 E-Commerce Revenue, etc .
Annual Services Report

Monday, November 17, 2014

Executive Summary of the White House Breach

"This week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report titled: "Executive Summary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Report on the White House Incursion of September 19, 2014." This report discusses Omar Gonzalez's recent White House breach on September 19, 2014. On this day Gonzalez breached White House security and was able to gain access to the "north lawn" and the interior of the mansion. The incident sparked a national and congressional debate about the competency of the forces guarding the President's residence, and whether a more lethal approach to the current rules of engagement (ROE) is appropriate..."
White House Breach

A Toolkit to Help Communities Respond to a Changing Climate

"It’s been a big week for the United States’ efforts on climate change. On November 12, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced historic actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, we’re announcing important steps that the Administration is taking here at home to help communities respond to and prepare for a changing climate.

Today, the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience – a group of leaders from across the country who are working to boost resilience efforts in their communities – released recommendations on ways in which the federal government can support actions to address the impacts of climate change.

In response to early input from the Task Force, the Administration has developed the Climate Resilience Toolkit, a website that provides centralized, authoritative, easy-to-use information, tools, and best practices to help communities prepare for and boost their resilience to the impacts of climate change..."

Climate change

Tips for Successful Holiday Shopping

"For many people the last few months of the year are all about getting ready for the holidays. From organizing family dinners to festively decorating the house, the holidays are bustling with activity.
One part of these preparations – and perhaps the most time consuming – is shopping.
Whether you’re going to the stores or shopping online, you can avoid last-minute setbacks by following these suggestions:
Before going shopping
  • Set a budget that includes how much you’ll spend on gifts, decorations, and dinner menu ingredients.
  • Make a list of the things you really need and prioritize them, so you won’t need to do all your shopping in one day.
  • Research and choose stores and websites that carry the items you need.
  • Plan to use coupons and discounts to save money. Watch for deals at stores and on websites..." 
  • Holiday shopping

Six Steps to Protect Your Brand

"A trademark is an essential part of a brand, helping to distinguish a business’s unique products and services from what another business offers. It can be a word, slogan, logo, symbol, design or even a sound. The following six steps from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provide a useful guideline on what to consider before registering a trademark and during the application process. Have an invention? Make sure to protect that too..."

Gather and Share Your Family Health History

"If you are concerned about a disease running in your family, collect your family health history and talk to your doctor at your next visit. A doctor can evaluate all of the factors, including family health history, that may affect your risk of diseases and can recommend ways to reduce that risk.

Knowing Your Family Health History Can Benefit You At Any Age

The holiday season offers many opportunities for your family to share a meal—and your family health history. You and your family members share genes, and you may also have similar behaviors, cultures, and environments, each of which may affect your risk of developing health problems. Family health history takes all of these factors into account. Everyone in your family can benefit from knowing your family's health history and sharing this information with his or her doctor..."

Family Health History

Managing Your Diabetes During the Holidays

"Having diabetes shouldn't stop you from enjoying holiday celebrations and travel. With some planning and a little preparation, you can stay healthy on the road and at holiday gatherings with friends and family.
Preparation is the most important step in managing diabetes during holiday travel and festivities. Know what you'll be eating, how to enjoy a few traditional favorites while sticking with a healthy meal plan, how to pack necessary supplies for a trip, and you're ready to celebrate!.."

Diabetes Management

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

"Learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources. Recycling programs are managed at the state and local level—find information on recycling in your community..."