Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Constitution Annotated

"The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (popularly known as the Constitution Annotated) contains legal analysis and interpretation of the United States Constitution, based primarily on Supreme Court case law. This regularly updated resource is especially useful when researching the constitutional implications of a specific issue or topic. TheFeatured Topics and Cases page highlights recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that demonstrate pivotal interpretations of the Constitution's provisions..."
Constitution annotated

Senate Select Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction

"The United States Constitution provides each House of Congress with the sole authority to establish rules and punish and expel Members. From 1789 to 1964, the Senate dealt individually with cases of disciplinary action against Members, often forming ad hoc committees to investigate and make recommendations when acts of wrongdoing were brought to the chamber’s attention. Events of the 1960s, including the investigation of Secretary to the Majority Robert G. “Bobby” Baker, for alleged corruption and influence peddling, prompted the creation of a permanent ethics committee and the writing of a Code of Conduct for Members, officers, and staff of the Senate.
The Senate Select Committee on Ethics was first established in 1964. This bipartisan, six-member committee investigates alleged violations of the rules of the Senate and recommends disciplinary actions. In the 95th Congress (1977-1978), the Senate expanded the committee’s jurisdiction and altered its procedures to implement revisions to the Senate Code of Official Conduct. Also, to reflect these changes the committee was renamed the Select Committee on Ethics.."
Senate Select Committee on Ethics

Our Plan to Combat and Prevent Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

"Antibiotics save millions of lives every year. Today, however, the emergence of drug resistance in bacteria is undermining the effectiveness of current antibiotics and our ability to treat and prevent disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause two million illnesses and approximately 23,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. Antibiotic resistance also limits our ability to perform a range of modern medical procedures, such as chemotherapy, surgery, and organ transplants. That’s why fighting antibiotic resistance is a national priority.
Over the past year, the Administration has taken important steps to address the threat of antibiotic resistance. In September 2014, the President issued Executive Order (EO) 13676: Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, which outlines steps for implementing the National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and addressing the policy recommendations of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)’s report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance. Furthermore, the President’s FY 2016 Budget released earlier this year proposed nearly doubling the amount of Federal funding for combating and preventing antibiotic resistance to more than $1.2 billion.
Combating and preventing antibiotic resistance, however, will be a long-term effort. That’s why, today, the Administration is releasing the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (NAP). The NAP outlines a whole-of-government approach over the next five years targeted at addressing this threat..."
Antibiotic resistant bacteria

President Obama Helps Dedicate the New Edward M. Kennedy Institute

"President Obama, Vice President Biden, and the First Lady traveled to Boston today to celebrate the opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The building — complete with a full-scale replica of the United States Senate chamber — honors the life and legacy of Edward "Ted" Kennedy, who served as a U.S. Senator from 1962 to 2009.
Located adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Institute offers interactive exhibits, a replica of Sen. Kennedy’s D.C. office, and historic documents and memorabilia from the Senator’s life.
“The John F. Kennedy Library next door is a symbol of our American idealism. The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is a living example of the hard, frustrating, never-ending, but critical work required to make that idealism real,” President Obama said today..."
Edward M. Kennedy Institute

New USDA Survey Examines Where We Shop for Groceries and How We Get There

"We’ve long recognized that what we eat affects our health. But distances to stores offering healthy and affordable foods—as well as travel modes—can play a role in what gets purchased and consumed. Are the poor at a disadvantage when it comes to getting to a grocery store? How do shoppers—poor and not poor—travel to their main grocery store and how far do they travel to get there?
A new survey funded by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and Food and Nutrition Service is ideally suited to answer these questions. The National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) collected information from a national sample of 4,826 households between April 2012 and January 2013 about where they shop for food and other unique, comprehensive data about household food purchases and acquisitions. FoodAPS is unique because it sampled a relatively large number of households that participate in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as nonparticipant households from three income levels..."
Where we shop for groceries 

FTC, Multiple Law Enforcement Partners Announce Crackdown on Deception, Fraud in Auto Sales, Financing and Leasing

"The Federal Trade Commission and 32 law enforcement partners today announced the results of Operation Ruse Control, a nationwide and cross-border crackdown to protect consumers when purchasing or leasing a car, encompassing 252 enforcement actions. The six new FTC cases include more than $2.6 million in monetary judgments.
There were 187 enforcement actions in the United States since the agency’s last sweep, and 65 actions in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada. Enforcement efforts by the FTC, United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama and other partners at the federal, state and local level in the U.S. and Canada include both civil and criminal charges of deceptive advertising, automotive loan application fraud, odometer fraud, deceptive add-on fees, and deceptive marketing of car title loans..."
Deception, Fraud in Auto Sales, Financing and Leasing

FTC Releases Reports on 2012 Cigarette and Smokeless Tobacco Sales and Marketing Expenditures

"The number of cigarettes sold to wholesalers and retailers in the United States declined from 273.6 billion in 2011 to 267.7 billion in 2012, according to the most recent Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report.
The amount spent on cigarette advertising and promotion by the largest cigarette companies in the United States rose from $8.37 billion in 2011 to $9.17 billion in 2012, due mainly to an increase in spending on price discounts (discounts paid to cigarette retailers or wholesalers in order to reduce the price of cigarettes to consumers). Spending on price discounts increased from $7.0 billion in 2011 to $7.8 billion in 2012. The price discounts category was the largest expenditure category in 2012, as it has been each year since 2002; in 2012, it accounted for 85.1 percent of industry spending.
The Commission has issued the Cigarette Report periodically since 1967 and the Smokeless Tobacco Report periodically since 1987.
To read the full reports, click on Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2012 and Federal Trade Commission Smokeless Tobacco Report for 2012..."
Cigarette, smokeless tobacco sales

EEOC to Study Workplace Harassment

"Jenny R. Yang, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today announced the membership of the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.
At a public meeting on the topic of Workplace Harassment held January, 2015, Yang announced the formation of the Select Task Force, which will examine the problem of workplace harassment in all of its forms and look for ways by which it might be prevented and addressed. The Select Task Force will be co-chaired by EEOC Commissioners Chai R. Feldblum and Victoria A. Lipnic.
"A lot of progress has been made around the issue of workplace harassment, but we know it remains a persistent problem. Complaints of harassment span all industries, include many of our most vulnerable workers, and are included in 30% of the charges that we receive." said Yang. "Through creation of this Select Task Force, I hope we will reach more workers and more in the employer community so we can understand the challenges they face and promote the practices we've seen work. I really look forward to the results."
The Select Task Force is comprised of 16 members from around the country, including representatives of academia and social science; legal practitioners on both the plaintiff and defense side; employers and employee advocacy groups; organized labor; and others. Its work will begin formally in the weeks to come. It is anticipated that the Select Task Force will hold a series of meetings, including public meetings, over the course of the next year..."
Workplace harassment

Labor Secretary announces bulletin on preventing green tobacco sickness quote context: http://pllqt.it/sMF6ob

"Dehydration, dizziness, headaches and vomiting are just a  few of the symptoms of nicotine poisoning, also known as "green tobacco  sickness." Workers who plant, cultivate and harvest tobacco are particularly at  risk. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today announced the release of a recommended practices  bulletin with guidance on reducing the  hazards for tobacco workers.
In recent years, the tobacco industry has undertaken  voluntary efforts to curtail child labor in tobacco farming and increase  protections for young workers. The department has collaborated also with state  agencies, growers, farmers, manufacturers and others to increase education,  training and protections for tobacco workers.
"The best way to protect people from on-the-job hazards is  to prevent those hazards in the first place, and this bulletin outlines  commonsense steps to reduce nicotine exposure and prevent heat illness," said  Secretary Perez. "It's important that we continue to work with a wide array of  stakeholders in order to find solutions that protect all workers."
..."
Green tobacco poisoning

Rubella: Make Sure Your Child Gets Vaccinated

"Rubella is a contagious disease caused by a virus. For some people—especially pregnant women and their unborn babies—rubella can be serious. Make sure you and your child are protected from rubella by getting vaccinated on schedule.
Young children who get rubella usually have a mild illness, with symptoms that can include a low-grade fever, sore throat, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Older children and adults are more likely to have a headache, pink eye, and general discomfort before the rash appears..."
Rubella

The Burden of COPD

"Fighting for each breath is only part of the struggle for those living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Chronic lower respiratory disease, primarily COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COPD is linked to an increased number of people being unable to work and decreased activity. This outcome was even more pronounced for those who are current smokers and are physically inactive..."
COPD

Epilepsy and Smoking

"Epilepsy" is a broad term used for conditions that affect the brain and cause seizures. About 2.3 million adults in the United States have epilepsy.1
A recent CDC study showed that about 20% of adults with active epilepsy, and almost 22% of adults with a history of epilepsy, currently smoke cigarettes. About 19% of adults without epilepsy currently smoke. These new data show that people with active epilepsy are as likely to smoke cigarettes as people without epilepsy..."
Epilepsy - smoke

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Planting your spring garden? Consider climate’s ‘new normal’

"Among the most important factors determining which plants can survive where is how cold the winter is. If you’re planting a garden this spring, this set of maps can help you see how planting zones across the country have shifted ever so subtly over the past few decades in response to warming climate.

Click titles below maps to switch map view.The maps at right show average minimum winter temperatures across the contiguous United States divided into 10-degree planting zones for the most recent U.S. Climate Normals (1981-2010), the old Normals (1971-2000), and how the margins of the planting zones shifted between the two time periods as a result of warmer winter minimum temperatures. In these areas, warmer nights are allowing plant species to shift their range northward..."Gardening and climate control

(U) The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century

"(U) The FBI’s Response to the 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations
 (U) Overarching Recommendation: (U) “A specialized and integrated national security workforce should be established at the FBI consisting of agents, analysts, linguists, and surveillance specialists who are recruited, trained, rewarded, and retained to ensure the development of an institutional culture imbued with a deep expertise in intelligence and national security.”
(U) Review Commission Finding: The Bureau has established comprehensive structures, programs, and policies to build an end-to-end intelligence architecture for intelligence requirements, collection, analysis, production, and dissemination. It has assigned analysts, including reports officers, and human intelligence (HUMINT) collectors to the field. It has introduced a well-conceived, entity-wide threat prioritization process. Intelligence support has been prioritized, though it requires faster progress and deeper execution. Its detailees to other agencies, including the NCTC and the National Intelligence Council (NIC), have had a positive impact. Fundamentally, however, the Review Commission’s report highlights a significant gap between the articulated principles of the Bureau’s intelligence programs and their effectiveness in practice. The Bureau needs to accelerate its pursuit of its stated goals for intelligence as a matter of increased urgency.."
FBI and homeland secuirty

New Census Bureau Population Estimates Reveal Metro Areas and Counties that Propelled Growth in Florida and the Nation

"Florida was home to the nation's fastest growing metro area from 2013 to 2014, according to new U.S. Census Bureau metropolitan statistical area, micropolitan statistical area and county population estimates released today.
The Villages, located to the west of the Orlando metro area, grew by 5.4 percent between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, to reach a population of about 114,000. State population estimates released in December revealed that Florida had become the nation's third most populous state. Today's estimates show Florida's growth to reach this milestone was propelled by numerous metro areas and counties within the state.
Florida contained seven of the nation's top 50 numerically gaining metro areas between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, and these areas accounted for more than three-quarters of the state's population gain over the period:
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (with a one-year gain of about 66,000).
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (about 50,000).
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (about 41,000).
  • Jacksonville (about 23,000).
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers (about 18,000).
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (about 16,000).
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven (about 11,000)..."
    Population estimates 2014

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Poison Proof Your Home

"Accidental poisoning by common household items kill more people than car accidents each year. Products we use everyday such as medicines, household cleaning solutions, children’s art supplies, makeup and other personal items can be toxic if used incorrectly.
Learn about the dangers and who’s most at risk, how to poison-proof your home, and what you can do if you experience an emergency. Contact the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 and use this emergency checklist as a guide for what information to give the poison expert on the phone. Keep the Poison Help Line number handy or save it on your cell phone..."
Poison and homes

Computer Malware and E-mail Hack Attacks: What to Do Fast

"You may know the experience: Your e-mail account starts behaving oddly, or your computer is slowing down and acting up. You may have been hacked, or gotten a virus. Would you know how to address an e-mail hack, secure your device, and protect your identity?
Watch these two short videos which go over the critical first steps you can take to minimize the damage and get back in control.
Want more information? Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for information on:

Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Legal Challenges and Solutions

"Over the course of the last year, a host of cyberattacks has been perpetrated on a number of high profile American companies. The high profile cyberattacks of 2014 and early 2015 appear to be indicative of a broader trend: the frequency and ferocity of cyberattacks are increasing, posing grave threats to the national interests of the United States. While considerable debate exists with regard to the best strategies for protecting America’s various cyber-systems and promoting cybersecurity, one point of general agreement amongst cyber-analysts is the perceived need for enhanced and timely exchange of cyber-threat intelligence both within the private sector and between the private sector and the government. Nonetheless, there are many reasons why entities may opt to not participate in a cyber-information sharing scheme, including the potential liability that could result from sharing internal cyber-threat information with other private companies or the government. More broadly, the legal issues surrounding cybersecurity information sharing— whether it be with regard to sharing between two private companies or the dissemination of cyber-intelligence within the federal government—are complex and have few certain resolutions. In this vein, this report examines the various legal issues that arise with respect to the sharing of cybersecurity intelligence, with a special focus on two distinct concepts: (1) sharing of cyberinformation within the government’s possession and (2) sharing of cyber-information within the possession of the private sector..."
Cybersecurity and information sharing

Monday, March 23, 2015

Climate Change: how do we know

"The Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives..."
Climate Change (NASA)

Calling all Instagrammers, Viners, Facebook fans, and Tweeters to the White House Easter Egg Roll Social

"On Monday, April 6, 2015 President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the 137thannual White House Easter Egg Roll, a historic White House South Lawn celebration featuring games, sports and fitness zones, cooking demonstrations, live music, and of course the White House Easter classics like the egg roll and egg hunt. 
We want you to apply to come join us for a day of social media  and Easter festivities at the White House Easter Egg Roll Social. This year’s Egg Roll theme is #GimmeFive, in support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative encouraging children to lead heathy, active lives. Selected pWe warticipants will be invited to join the Easter Egg Roll event on the South Lawn on April 6th. All applicants must have children ages 5-13..."
White House Easter Roll at Whitehouse

26th Amendments

"Passed by Congress March 23, 1971, and ratified July 1, 1971, the 26th amendment granted the right to vote to American citizens aged eighteen or older..."
Read more at the Charters of Freedom...
26th Amendment

Partnerships to Prevent Youth Violence

"Youth violence is a significant public health problem that causes considerable harm to young people, families, and communities. Learn about CDC's work leveraging partnerships across jurisdictions through the STRYVE Action Council, a multi-sector group of organizations with the common objective of mobilizing and sustaining actions that prevent youth violence before it starts.."
Youth Violence

Saturday, March 21, 2015

In Graco case, NHTSA uses enforcement authority to boost child safety

Photo of Graco child safety seat
"When parents buckle their children into car seats they need to trust that their seat will protect as promised. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fights to keep car seats and other products with safety-related defects off our nation's roads.
Today, we’ve acted again to fine a company that failed to report a safety-related defect to NHTSA as required by law. And we’re doing so in a way that doesn’t just punish bad behavior, but also makes American children safer.
Early last year, NHTSA learned that millions of Graco car seats were made with a seat buckle that could become difficult or nearly impossible to unlatch. In an emergency, a stuck seat buckle could lead to a life threatening situation. NHTSA investigated the issue and forced a recall of more than 6.1 million affected Graco seats..."
Graco safety seats

Lt. Henry O. Flipper's Quest for Justice: "As honorable a record in the Army as any officer in it

Lt. Henry O. Flipper
Born into slavery in Thomasville, Georgia, on March 21, 1856, Henry Ossian Flipper was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1873. Over the next four years he overcame harassment, isolation, and insults to become West Point's first African American graduate and the first African American commissioned officer in the regular U.S. Army. Flipper was stationed first at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, later served at Forts Elliott, Quitman, and Davis, Texas. He served as a signal officer and quartermaster, fought Apaches, installed telegraph lines, and supervised the building of roads. At Fort Sill, the young lieutenant directed the construction of a drainage system that helped prevent the spread of malaria. Still known as "Flipper's Ditch," the ditch is commemorated by a bronze marker at Fort Sill and the fort is listed as a National Historic Landmark..."
Henry O. Flipper

Interior Department Releases Final Rule to Support Safe, Responsible Hydraulic Fracturing Activities on Public and Tribal Lands

"Following a robust and transparent public process that included more than 1.5 million public comments, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released final standards that will support safe and responsible hydraulic fracturing on public and American Indian lands. The commonsense standards will improve safety and help protect groundwater by updating requirements for well-bore integrity, wastewater disposal and public disclosure of chemicals.

There are more than 100,000 oil and gas wells on federally managed lands.  Of wells currently being drilled, over 90 percent use hydraulic fracturing. The rule applies only to development on public and tribal lands and includes a process so that states and tribes may request variances from provisions for which they have an equal or more protective regulation in place. This will avoid duplication while enabling the development of more protective standards by state and tribal governments.  Today’s final rule is a major step in the Department of the Interior’s agenda to support a balanced, prosperous energy future.  Other reforms will also include important measures to target where oil and gas leasing occurs and protect sensitive areas that are too special to drill..."
Hydraulic fracturing

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

"The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. On January 21, 2015, President Obama issued an executive order for enhancing coordination of national efforts in the Arctic. The United States will assume the chairmanship of the Arctic Council in April 2015 and will serve in that capacity for two years.
Record low extents of Arctic sea ice over the past decade have focused scientific and policy attention on links to global climate change and projected ice-free seasons in the Arctic within decades. These changes have potential consequences for weather in the United States, access to mineral and biological resources in the Arctic, the economies and cultures of peoples in the region, and national security..."
Changes in the Arctic

U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective

"This report is designed to inform the debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing through a series of charts and tables that depict the position of the United States relative to other countries according to various metrics. Understanding which trends in manufacturing reflect factors that may be unique to the United States and which are related to broader changes in technology or consumer preferences may be helpful in formulating policies intended to aid firms or workers engaged in manufacturing activity. This report does not describe or discuss specific policy options..."
International Manufacturing

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Still Moving, But Why?

"Between 2013 and 2014, 35.7 million people age 1 and over moved to a different residence in the United States. This represents about one-ninth of the population  about the population of Texas and New Jersey combined (35.9 million). The mover rate, measured as the percentage of the population that moved over a one-year period, was 11.5 percent for 2014.The migration statistics released today tell us how many people are moving, the type of move, characteristics of movers and why they moved. According to the estimates, about two-thirds of all moves were within the same county last year, while just under one-third were to different counties and about three percent were from abroad..."
Geographic mobility


The Debt Limit Since 2011

"The Constitution grants Congress the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States— one part of its power of the purse—and thus mandates that Congress exercise control over federal debt. Control of debt policy has at times provided Congress with a means of raising concerns regarding fiscal policies. Debates over federal fiscal policy have been especially animated in recent years. The accumulation of federal debt accelerated in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession. Rising debt levels, along with continued differences in views of fiscal policy, led to a series of contentious debt limit episodes in recent years..."
Debt limit

U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During President Obama’s First Six Years (2009-2014)

"The selection and confirmation process for U.S. circuit and district court judges is of continuing interest to Congress. Recent Senate debates over judicial nominations have focused on issues such as the relative degree of success of President Barack Obama’s nominees in gaining Senate confirmation compared with other recent Presidents, as well as the time from nomination to confirmation for nominees, and the relative prevalence of vacant judgeships compared to years past. This report addresses these issues, and others, by providing a statistical analysis of nominations to U.S. circuit and district court judgeships during the first six years of President Obama’s time in office and that of his three most recent two-term predecessors, Presidents Reagan, Clinton and G.W. Bush..."
President Obama and courts

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

"As congressional policymakers continue to debate telecommunications reform, a major discussion point revolves around what approach should be taken to ensure unfettered access to the Internet. The move to place restrictions on the owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet, to ensure equal access and non-discriminatory treatment, is referred to as “net neutrality.” While there is no single accepted definition of “net neutrality,” most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network..."
Net neutrality

The Effects of Potential Cuts in SNAP Spending on Households With Different Amounts of Income

"The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) provides benefits to low-income households to help them buy food. Total federal expenditures on SNAP amounted to $76 billion in fiscal year 2014. In an average month that year, 47 million people (or one in seven U.S. residents) received SNAP benefits.
Some policymakers have expressed a desire to scale back the program significantly to reduce federal spending. In this report, the Congressional Budget Office examines several options for doing so and their effects on the benefits that would be received by households with different amounts of income..."
SNAP and households

Monday, March 16, 2015

Law Enforcement and Race: Continuing the Conversation

 Director Comey Addresses NOBLE
"The sometimes uneasy relationship between members of law enforcement and the diverse communities they serve can be a difficult topic to discuss, but FBI Director James B. Comey today encouraged the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) to continue that conversation—and he again called for better reporting of incidents where force is used by police and against them.

During a speech to the NOBLE group in Atlanta, Georgia, Comey noted that the organization’s members were “uniquely qualified as law enforcement leaders who are leaders of color” to drive this conversation forward, and he pledged that the FBI would strive to be a more diverse organization to reflect the nation it serves..."
Law enforcement and race




The Importance of Data Occupations in the U.S. Economy

"The growing importance of data in the economy is hard to dispute. But what does this mean for workers and jobs? A lot, as it turns out: higher paying (over $40/hour), faster growing jobs.
In this report we identify occupations where data analysis and processing are central to the work performed and measure the size of employment and earnings in these occupations, as well as in the industries that have the highest concentration of these data occupations.."
Data occupations

Economic Indicators

"Available from April 1995 forward, this monthly publication is prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers for the Joint Economic Committee. It provides economic information on gross domestic product, income, employment, production, business activity, prices, money, credit, security markets, Federal finance, and international statistics.

Economic Indicators back to 1948 are made available through FRASER, the Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research. FRASER is provided through a partnership between GPO and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. FRASER is not an official version of Economic Indicators and GPO can not guarantee the authenticity or completeness of the data..."
Economic indicators

Two out of 3 people with invasive cancer are surviving 5 years or more

"Two out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer survive five years or more, according to a CDC study published in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report found that the most common cancer sites continue to be cancers of the prostate (128 cases per 100,000 men), female breast (122 cases per 100,000 women), lung and bronchus (61 cases per 100,000 persons), and colon and rectum (40 cases per 100,000 persons). Among these common cancer sites, 5-year relative survival was 97 percent for prostate cancer, 88 percent for breast cancer, 63 percent for colorectal cancer, and 18 percent for lung cancer..."
Cancer survivors

Friday, March 13, 2015

Announcing the Fifth White House Science Fair!

"The Obama administration is committed to helping inspire young people across the nation to get excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and to celebrating the extraordinary K-12 students that already are accomplishing great work in these fields. The President has often said that it is just as important to celebrate the winners of science fairs as it is to celebrate the winners of sporting events.

That’s why the President is hosting the fifth White House Science Fair on March 23, welcoming more than 100 of the nation’s brightest young minds with some showcasing innovative inventions, discoveries, and science projects. The President will meet with and congratulate these students, who, as budding engineers, scientists, and researchers are on deck to help solve some of the greatest challenges of our time..."
5th Whitehouse science fair
Reduction of E. coli O157 illnesses since the mid-1990’s has been one of the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s greatest public health successes, with illnesses having dropped by over 50% since 1998.  While overall illnesses are down significantly, the most recently available outbreak data shows a slight increase in illnesses from this dangerous pathogen.  FSIS’ Strategic Performance Working Group (SPWG) has released a six-point strategy to turn the trend back in the right direction. - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/03/12/usda-releases-strategies-to-reduce-e-coli-levels-at-beef-slaughterhouses/#sthash.9IixcyE7.dpuf5th Whitehouse science fair5th Whitehouse science fair
Reduction of E. coli O157 illnesses since the mid-1990’s has been one of the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s greatest public health successes, with illnesses having dropped by over 50% since 1998.  While overall illnesses are down significantly, the most recently available outbreak data shows a slight increase in illnesses from this dangerous pathogen.  FSIS’ Strategic Performance Working Group (SPWG) has released a six-point strategy to turn the trend back in the right direction. - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/03/12/usda-releases-strategies-to-reduce-e-coli-levels-at-beef-slaughterhouses/#sthash.9IixcyE7.dpuf
Reduction of E. coli O157 illnesses since the mid-1990’s has been one of the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s greatest public health successes, with illnesses having dropped by over 50% since 1998.  While overall illnesses are down significantly, the most recently available outbreak data shows a slight increase in illnesses from this dangerous pathogen.  FSIS’ Strategic Performance Working Group (SPWG) has released a six-point strategy to turn the trend back in the right direction. - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/03/12/usda-releases-strategies-to-reduce-e-coli-levels-at-beef-slaughterhouses/#sthash.9IixcyE7.dpuf

U.S. Census Bureau Releases Key Statistics in Honor of Women's History Month

"National Women’s History Month’s roots go back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month, and the President has issued a proclamation. Following are a few key statistics on women in the United States and the role they play in our labor force and
economy..."
U.S. Census Bureau Releases Key Statistics in Honor of Women's History Month
Womens history month

Truman Doctrine

"On March 12, 1947, President Harry S. Truman presented this address before a joint session of Congress. His message, known as the Truman Doctrine, asked Congress for $400 million in military and economic assistance for Turkey and Greece..."
Truman Doctrine

Skin Cancer Prevention

"Traveling for spring break? Don't forget to pack, protect yourself from the sun, and go!
Don't risk ruining your trip or your health with too much sun.
Using sun protection can prevent sunburn during your vacation and protect you against skin cancer later. Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the United States. Skin cancer can be serious, expensive, and sometimes even deadly. Fortunately, most cases are preventable, and as a traveler, you can use simple strategies to keep yourself and your family safe from the sun..."

Skin cancer

Genetic Testing: Background and Policy Issues

"Congress has considered, at various points in time, numerous pieces of legislation that relate to genetic and genomic technology and testing. These include bills addressing genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment; precision medicine; the patenting of genetic material; and the oversight of clinical laboratory tests (in vitro diagnostics), including genetic tests. The focus on these issues signals the growing importance of public policy issues surrounding the clinical and public health implications of new genetic technology. As genetic technologies proliferate and are increasingly used to guide clinical treatment, these public policy issues are likely to continue to garner attention. Understanding the basic scientific concepts underlying genetics and genetic testing may help facilitate the development of more effective public policy in this area..."
Genetic testing

New Long-Term Earthquake Forecast for California

"A new California earthquake forecast by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners revises scientific estimates for the chances of having large earthquakes over the next several decades.
The Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, or UCERF3, improves upon previous models by incorporating the latest data on the state’s complex system of active geological faults, as well as new methods for translating these data into earthquake likelihoods.
The study confirms many previous findings, sheds new light on how the future earthquakes will likely be distributed across the state and estimates how big those earthquakes might be.
Compared to the previous assessment issued in 2008, UCERF2, the estimated rate of earthquakes around magnitude 6.7, the size of the destructive 1994 Northridge earthquake, has gone down by about 30 percent. The expected frequency of such events statewide has dropped from an average of one per 4.8 years to about one per 6.3 years..."
California Earthquakes

An Analysis of the President’s 2016 Budget

" This report by the Congressional Budget Office presents an analysis of the proposals in the President’s budget request for fiscal year 2016. The analysis is based on CBO’s economic projections and estimating models (rather than on the Administration’s), and it incorporates estimates of the effects of the President’s tax proposals that were prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT)..."
President's Budget 2016

The Importance of Data Occupations in the U.S. Economy

"The growing importance of data in the economy is hard to dispute. But what does thismean for workers and jobs? A lot, as it turns out: higher paying (over $40/hour) , faster growing jobs.
In this report we identify occupations where data analysis and processing are central to the work performed and measure the size of employment and earnings in these occupations , as well as in the industries that have the highest concentration of these data occupations..."
Data occupations

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Student Aid Bill of Rights: Enhancing Protections for Student Loan Borrowers

"The single most important investment anyone can make in their future is to pursue higher education. But the one thing I often hear from families is that they are worried about the cost.
Too many students are graduating from college feeling burdened by their student loan debt. The Obama Administration has – and will continue to – make college more affordable through increased Pell Grants and education tax credits, while improving transparency so that students and families have the information they need to select schools that provide the best value. Today, we are building on the Administration’s success helping students manage their debt and stay on track..."

Student aid

Daylight Saving Time change smoke and CO alarm batteries

"We at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urge you to check your alarms this weekend when you set your clocks one hour ahead for Daylight Saving Time. Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday at 2 a.m.
This is a great time to put fresh batteries in your alarms. Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms do an important job of giving you and your family time to escape a fire or CO poisoning incident, but only if they have batteries that are working.  CPSC recommends replacing batteries in alarms once every year.
Why is this so important?  Because about 2,200 people die in home fires on average and there are about 400 CO poisoning deaths each year..."

Daylight saving time

Deep Vein Thrombosis (Blood Clots)

"Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is often an underdiagnosed and serious, but preventable medical condition.
DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. These clots usually develop in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis, but they can also occur in the arm. Another type of blood clot, called pulmonary embolism (PE), can form when part of a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs.
It is important to know about DVT and PE because they can happen to anybody and can cause serious illness, disability, and in some cases, death. The good news is that blood clots are preventable and treatable if discovered early..."
Deep vein thrombosis

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

"The FY2013 Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310, Section 1037) indicated that it is the sense of Congress that “the United States should pursue negotiations with the Russian Federation aimed at the reduction of Russian deployed and nondeployed nonstrategic nuclear forces.” The United States and Russia have not included limits on these weapons in past arms control agreements. Nevertheless, some analysts and Members of Congress have argued that disparities in the numbers of nonstrategic nuclear weapons may become more important as the United States and Russia reduce their numbers of deployed long-range, strategic nuclear weapons..."

Nuclear weapons

Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060

"Between 2014 and 2060, the U.S. population is projected to increase from 319 million to 417 million, reaching 400 million in 2051. The U.S. population is projected to grow more slowly in future decades than in the recent past, as these projections assume that fertility rates will continue to decline and that there willbe a modest decline in the overall rate of net international migration. By 2030, one in five Americans is projected to be 65 and over; by 2044, more than half of all Americans are projected to belong to a minority group (any group other than non-Hispanic White alone); and by 2060, nearly one in five of the nation’s total
population is projected to be foreign born.."
Population projections

Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure, 1956 to 201

"Public spending—spending by federal, state, and local governments—on transportation and water infrastructure totaled $416 billion in 2014. Most of that spending came from state and local governments: They provided $320 billion, and the federal government accounted for $96 billion. This report provides information on spending for six types of transportation and water infrastructure: Highways, Mass transit and rail, Aviation, Water transportation, Water resources, and Water utilities..."
Transportation spending

Economic Census Reveals Sharp Growth in Value of Shipments for Oil and Gas Extraction Industry; Biofuel Sales Nearly Quadruple

"The U.S. Census Bureau released figures today from the Economic Census showing that the value of shipments for the nation’s crude petroleum and natural gas extraction (NAICS 211111) industry climbed 28.9 percent between 2007 and 2012, despite only an 8.5 percent increase in the number of establishments over the same period.   

Value of shipments rose from $212.8 billion in 2007 to $274.3 billion in 2012, with the number of establishments increasing from 5,964 to 6,470..."
Oil industry statistics

Repeat Photography of Alaskan Glaciers

"Repeat photography is a technique in which a historical photograph and a modern photograph, both having the same field of view, are compared and contrasted to quantitatively and qualitatively determine their similarities and differences. The following sections depict how this technique was used at a number of locations in Alaska, including Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Kenai Fjords National Park, and the northwestern Prince William Sound area of the Chugach National Forest, to document and understand changes to glaciers and landscapes as a result of changing climate.."
Alaska glaciers

Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program: An Overview

"The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program provides health insurance to federal employees, retirees, and their dependents. This report provides a general overview of FEHB. It describes the structure of FEHB, including eligibility for the program and coverage options available to enrollees, as well as premiums, benefits and cost sharing, and general financing of FEHB. The report also describes the role of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in administering the program.."

Federal employees and Health benefits

International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law

"This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. International law is derived from two primary sources—international agreements and customary practice. Under the U.S. legal system, international agreements can be entered into by means of a treaty or an executive agreement. The Constitution allocates primary responsibility for entering into such agreements to the executive branch, but Congress also plays an essential role. First, in order for a treaty (but not an executive agreement) to become binding upon the United States, the Senate must provide its advice and consent to treaty ratification by a two-thirds majority. Secondly, Congress may authorize congressional-executive agreements. Thirdly, many treaties and executive agreements are not self-executing, meaning that implementing legislation is required to provide U.S. bodies with the domestic legal authority necessary to enforce and comply with an international agreement’s provisions..."
International law

Saturday, March 7, 2015

New Population Projections Account for Differences in Fertility of Native- and Foreign-Born Women

"Last December, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest series of national population projections, providing perspective on the future composition of the nation’s population. A new report released today explores these projections. It uses current data, along with past trends in fertility, mortality and international migration, to anticipate changes in the population in the years to come..."
Population projections

Friday, March 6, 2015

GPO OBSERVES 154TH BIRTHDAY WITH NEW NAME, NEW LOGO

"The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) marks its 154th anniversary of opening for business today. Since March 4, 1861, GPO has seen many changes as the agency continually adapted to changing technologies. In the ink-on-paper era, this meant moving from handset to machine typesetting, from slower to high-speed presses, and from hand to automated bookbinding. While these changes were significant for their time, they pale by comparison with the transformation that accompanied GPO’s adoption of electronic information technologies, which began over 50 years ago with a plan to develop a new system of computer-based typesetting. By the early 1980’s this system had completely supplanted machine-based hot metal typesetting. By the early 1990’s, the databases generated by GPO’s typesetting system were uploaded to the Internet via the agency’s first Web site, GPO Access, vastly expanding the agency’s information dissemination capabilities. Those functions continue today with GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys, at www.fdsys.gov ) on a more complex and comprehensive scale, which last year registered its one billionth document download..."
Governemnt Printing Office

Healthy Kids Need Healthy Food: USDA Nutrition Programs Help Children and Families Grow & Thrive

Childhood Hunger in America infographic. Click to enlarge.
"USDA nutrition programs help families gain access to safe, nutritious food. Still many families with children don’t have the security of knowing they will be able to feed their family tomorrow.  Further, many families often rely on cheaper, less healthy foods because of financial constraints and transportation issues.."
Healthy kids & healthy nutrition

Create an Effective Sample Complaint Letter with our Tool

"Unhappy with a product or a service you bought? Our sample complaint letter tool can help you effectively communicate with the company to explain your problem and request your desired resolution..."   
Complaint letter samples

State Transportation by the Numbers Profiles

"The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) presents a profile of transportation that covers the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This collection of transportation information from BTS, other federal government agencies, and other national sources provides a picture of the state’s infrastructure, freight movement and passenger travel, safety, vehicles, economy and finance, and energy and environment..."
State transportation statistics

FTC Announces New Robocall Contests to Combat Illegal Automated Calls

"The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it is launching two new robocall contests challenging the public to develop a crowd-source honeypot and better analyze data from an existing honeypot. A honeypot is an information system that may be used by government, private and academic partners to lure and analyze robocalls. The challenges are part of the FTC’s long-term multi-pronged effort to combat illegal robocallers and contestants of one of the challenges will compete for $25,000 in a top prize.

As part of Robocalls: Humanity Strikes Back, the FTC is asking contestants to create a technical solution for consumers that will identify unwanted robocalls received on landlines or mobile phones, and block and forward those calls to a honeypot. A qualifying phase launches today and runs through June 15, 2015 at 10:00 p.m. ET; and a second and final phase concludes at DEF CON 23 on Aug. 9, 2015..."Robocall contests

Air-Source Heat Pumps

"An air-source heat pump can provide efficient heating and cooling for your home, especially if you live in a warm climate. When properly installed, an air-source heat pump can deliver one-and-a-half to three times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes. This is possible because a heat pump moves heat rather than converting it from a fuel like combustion heating systems do.
Although air-source heat pumps can be used in nearly all parts of the United States, they do not generally perform well during extended periods of sub-freezing temperatures. In regions with sub-freezing winter temperatures, it may not be cost-effective to meet all your heating needs with a standard air-source heat pump.."
Air-source heat pumps

Five Fast Facts About Scientist Rachel Carson

"It’s Women’s History Month on Energy.gov. During the month of March we’re highlighting the great contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM fields made by women throughout history, as well as taking a look at fascinating work that women are doing in STEM fields today.
Rachel Carson is best known as an environmentalist and author of the book Silent Spring, which pointed out major flaws in the U.S. approach to pesticides and inspired a national environmental movement..."
Rachel Carson

New 'Digest of EEO Law' Issued by EEOC

"The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that the latest edition of its federal sector Digest of Equal Employment Opportunity Law, is now available online
This quarterly publication, prepared by the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO), features a wide variety of recent Commission decisions and federal court cases of interest. Addition­ally, it contains a special article entitled The Law of Harassment: Assisting Agencies in Developing Effective Anti-Harassment Policies
"The article on harassment contains an overview of the applicable statutes as well as recent case law," said OFO Director Carlton M. Hadden. "The article should provide helpful information to our stakeholders when they are drafting anti-harassment policies." 
The Digest contains summaries of noteworthy decisions issued by the EEOC. This edition features cases involving attorneys' feesclass complaints, compensatory damagesdismissalsfindings on the meritsremediessanctionssettlement agree­mentsstating a claimsummary judgment and timeliness. .."EEOC Laws

Colorectal Cancer Awareness

"Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it. But this disease is highly preventable, by getting screened beginning at age 50.

What You Can Do