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CRS — Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2015 (March 10, 2015)

March 24, 2015 Comments off

Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2015 (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The passage of the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization and appropriations bills through Congress often does not follow the course laid out in textbooks on legislative procedure. Tracking DOD authorization or appropriation bills can be confusing and time-consuming. This has been particularly true in recent years, when continuing resolutions (CRs) containing the DOD and other appropriation bills have been passed in lieu of the 12 regular appropriations bills for the entire U.S. government.

This report is a research aid which lists the DOD authorization bills (Table 1) and appropriations bills (Table 2) for FY1970-FY2015. This report includes all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers. Key definitions are also included. This report will be updated as legislative activity warrants.

Forty Years of Forensic Interviewing of Children Suspected of Sexual Abuse, 1974–2014: Historical Benchmarks

March 23, 2015 Comments off

Forty Years of Forensic Interviewing of Children Suspected of Sexual Abuse, 1974–2014: Historical Benchmarks
Source: Social Sciences

This article describes the evolution of forensic interviewing as a method to determine whether or not a child has been sexually abused, focusing primarily on the United States. It notes that forensic interviewing practices are challenged to successfully identify children who have been sexually abused and successfully exclude children who have not been sexually abused. It describes models for child sexual abuse investigation, early writings and practices related to child interviews, and the development of forensic interview structures from scripted, to semi-structured, to flexible. The article discusses the controversies related appropriate questions and the use of media (e.g., anatomical dolls and drawings). It summarizes the characteristics of four important interview structures and describes their impact of the field of forensic interviewing. The article describes forensic interview training and the challenge of implementing training in forensic practice. The article concludes with a summary of progress and remaining controversies and with future challenges for the field of forensic interviewing.

Medicare at 50—Origins and Evolution

March 9, 2015 Comments off

Medicare at 50—Origins and Evolution
Source: Commonwealth Fund

Since 1965, Medicare has provided millions of older and disabled Americans with guaranteed access to affordable health care. The broad popularity of the program, however, belies the intensely ideological struggle that preceded its creation and that continues in the debate over its future. In the first report of a two-part series published in the New England Journal of Medicine, David Blumenthal, M.D., Karen Davis, and Stuart Guterman trace the origins of Medicare and discuss its accomplishments, the changes it has undergone, and the challenges that remain.

Women’s History Month: March 2015

March 2, 2015 Comments off

Women’s History Month: March 2015
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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.

Rise of the Machines: The Effects of Labor-Saving Innovations on Jobs and Wages

February 25, 2015 Comments off

Rise of the Machines: The Effects of Labor-Saving Innovations on Jobs and Wages (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

How do firms respond to technological advances that facilitate the automation of tasks? Which tasks will they automate, and what types of worker will be replaced as a result? We present a model that distinguishes between a task’s engineering complexity and its training requirements. When two tasks are equally complex, firms will automate the task that requires more training and in which labor is hence more expensive. Under quite general conditions this leads to job polarization, a decline in middle wage jobs relative to both high and low wage jobs. Our theory explains recent and historical instances of job polarization as caused by labor-replacing technologies, such as computers, the electric motor, and the steam engine, respectively. The model makes novel predictions regarding occupational training requirements, which we find to be consistent with US data.

A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality

February 24, 2015 Comments off

A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

This guide consists of four sections. The first describes the commonly used sources and statistics on income and discusses their relative strengths and limitations in understanding trends in income and inequality. The second provides an overview of the trends revealed in those key data sources. The third and fourth sections supply additional information on wealth, which complements the income data as a measure of how the most well-off Americans are doing, and poverty, which measures how the least well-off Americans are doing.

CRS — The Presidential Libraries Act and the Establishment of Presidential Libraries (February 6, 2015)

February 19, 2015 Comments off

The Presidential Libraries Act and the Establishment of Presidential Libraries (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Through the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the federal government currently operates and maintains 13 presidential libraries, and is currently engaging with representatives seeking to construct a presidential library for President Barack Obama. The libraries, which primarily serve as archival repositories and museums in which the records and memorabilia of the former Presidents are held and made available to researchers and the public, are privately constructed on behalf of former Presidents. Before construction on a presidential archival facility can begin, the Archivist must approve a plan, and Congress must be provided 60 days of continuous session during which it can disapprove of the plan. If Congress chooses not to act, the land, buildings, and sometimes other amenities for the library may be deeded to or otherwise placed under the control of the federal government.

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