If the government does indeed close, will mail still be delivered, are food stamps still available, what about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid payments? Has this happened before? For how long? Just what is the debt ceiling? Some CRS reports can help with these questions: Government Shutdown: Operations of the Department of Defense During a Lapse in Appropriations; Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects; Federal Funding Gaps: A Brief Overview; and The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases. In addition- 66 questions and answers about the government shutdown (USA Today), 8 Things to Know About a Government Shutdown (NPR), and Government shutdown: Get up to speed in 20 questions (CNN) – will give you a good idea of what will be closed (national museums and parks, most of NASA) and what will remain open (government hospitals and the FBI).
Archive for September, 2013
The Public Papers of the President of the United States is an ongoing series that publishes the papers and speeches of the president along with other documents such as addresses to the nation, executive orders, interviews, and proclamations. It has been in existence since 1957 when President Truman’s papers started appearing.(More of its history.) There are previous collections of papers, but they were not necessarily printed by the federal government (aka the National Archives). However, these older volumes, back to 1789, are also available here. Due to the careful editing of these works, there is a time lag; the second volume for President Obama’s 2009 year has just come out. To keep up-to-date with presidential papers, one can use the Compilation of Presidential Documents that, as of this writing, is current through September 13.
The State of Broadband 2013: Universalizing Broadband, issued by the International Telecommunication Union and UNESCO, gives us an updated look into worldwide use of the Internet. Accompanied by numerous insights, figures, boxes, tables, and annexes, this report lists what countries have national broadband plans, addresses filtering technologies and freedom of expression online, and examines the global growth of broadband, among other topics. For those statistically inclined, there are lists of fixed/mobile broadband penetration ranked by country, percentage of households with Internet access, and percentage of individuals using the Internet, again arranged by country. Eighteen key findings are listed separately.
As October 1 approaches, here are some helpful sites to answer your questions or provide guidance: Health Reform: Seven Things You Need to Know (Consumer Reports); 4 steps to getting covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace (healthcare.gov); Health coverage for you and your family (healthcare.gov); Health Reform (including state exchange profiles, Kaiser Family Foundation); Here’s what you need to know when Obamacare kicks in…(Medlineplus); Obamacare (FactCheck.org); and What You Need to Know About the Obamacare Marketplaces (PBS).
Egypt in Crisis: Issues for Congress (CRS); Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress (CRS); FRUS, Salt II Office of the Historian, State Dept); Information Technology and Cyber Operations: Modernization and Policy Issues to Support the Future Force (Hearing, House Armed Services Committee); The Snowden Affair (National Security Archive); Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2013 (CRS); and Homeland Security – Observations on DHS’s Oversight of Major Acquisitions and Efforts to Match Resources to Needs (GAO).
This report – Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources – was originally published in April 2012; this newer version is current through September 17, 2013. The format is the same; it is just that this is more current. A valuable resource.
At last count, Constitute contained 177 countries’ constitutions. A real great feature of this site is the ability to search through these documents thematically by employing 350 topic headings. Find out which constitutions define the power of a supreme court (101 do) or guarantee the rights of the disabled (29 do). The results then give the full text of the article or section germane to the topic searched. As far as we can tell, all the documents are in English. An excellent site for comparative coverage. Constitution Finder also lists modern constitutions, but it allow provides access to previous versions; for example, you can review the prior five editions of the Afghanistan constitution. Many of the texts are in English