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Inspector General Warns: Significant Oversight of Section 215 Required

EPIC – “The DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General released a report this month detailing the FBI’s use of Section 215 and warning that “significant oversight” is required. The Inspector General describes the FBI’s expanding use of 215 to collect electronic information in bulk and criticized the agency for taking seven years to develop minimization procedures. The Second Circuit ruled the NSA’s telephone record collection program exceeded the legal authority under Section 215. EPIC previously petitioned the Supreme Court to suspend the program. Unless Congress votes to reauthorize or modify the authority, Section 215 is set to expire on June 1.”

Quantitative Analysis of Writing Style on the U.S. Supreme Court

Carlson, Keith and Livermore, Michael A. and Rockmore, Daniel, A Quantitative Analysis of Writing Style on the U.S. Supreme Court (March 11, 2015). Washington University Law Review, Vol. 93, No. 6, 2016; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 3. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2554516 “This paper presents the results of aContinue Reading

CRS – Tracking Federal Funds: USAspending.gov and Other Data Sources

Tracking Federal Funds: USAspending.gov and Other Data Sources. Merete F. Gerli, Information Research Specialist. May 13, 2015. “Finding data on federal grants and contracts awarded to states and congressional districts, local governments, nonprofit organizations, contractors, and other eligible entities may present challenges. The official website, USAspending.gov, at http://www.usaspending.gov, collects data on grants, loans, insurance, assistance,Continue Reading

The City Energy Efficiency Scorecard

“Mayors and local lawmakers in America’s largest cities continue to take innovative steps to lower energy costs for consumers and businesses, increase their resilience, and reduce pollution through increased energy efficiency, according to the 2nd edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).  Available onlineContinue Reading

Tweets now appear in Goggle mobile search results

Via Twitter Blog – “We’re excited to team up with Google to bring Twitter’s unique, real-time content to Google’s search results. Starting today, U.S. users searching in English will see relevant Tweets in their search results within the Google app (iOS and Android) and mobile web. The desktop web version is coming shortly, and weContinue Reading

Improving job quality and reducing gender gaps are essential to tackling growing inequality

“Income inequality has reached record highs in most OECD countries and remains at even higher levels in many emerging economies. The richest 10 per cent of the population in the OECD now earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 per cent, up from 7:1 in the 1980s and 9:1 in the 2000s, accordingContinue Reading

Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods

Kaufman, Sarah and Moss, Mitchell L. and Tyndall, Justin and Hernandez, Jorge, Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods (December 29, 2014). NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2598566. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2598566 “Although public transit provides access to jobs throughout the New York City region, there are actually substantial inequalities in mobility.Continue Reading

Federal Reserve proposes adding certain investment grade general obligation state and local municipal bonds to types of assets big banks may hold to meet liquidity needs

“The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday proposed adding certain general obligation state and municipal bonds to the range of assets a banking organization may use to satisfy regulatory requirements designed to ensure that large banking organizations have the capacity to meet their liquidity needs during a period of financial stress. Under the Liquidity Coverage RatioContinue Reading

Making Archival and Special Collections More Accessible

OCLC Research Report – “Key highlights: Institutions should undertake an accurate census of their archival collections as a foundation for acting strategically in meeting user needs, allocating available resources, and securing additional funding. Accurately describing unprocessed and therefore hidden collections is a daunting but important task that is a necessary prerequisite for discovery. Practitioners shouldContinue Reading

Ten U.S. Cities Now Have 1 Million People or More

“San Jose, Calif., is now among the 10 U.S. cities with a population of 1 million or more, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. California now has three cities with 1 million or more people (Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose), tying Texas (Houston, San Antonio and Dallas) for theContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Vehicle Fleets, Medicare Physician Payment Rates, Nuclear Weapons Council, Telecommunications, Unemployment Insurance

Federal Vehicle Fleets: Leading Practices for Managing Fleet Operations, GAO-15-644T: Published: May 21, 2015. Publicly Released: May 21, 2015. Medicare Physician Payment Rates: Better Data and Greater Transparency Could Improve Accuracy, GAO-15-434: Published: May 21, 2015. Publicly Released: May 21, 2015. Nuclear Weapons Council: Enhancing Interagency Collaboration Could Help with Implementation of Expanded Responsibilities, GAO-15-446:Continue Reading

Deepwater Horizon oil spill contributed to high number of Gulf dolphin deaths

NOAA – As part of an unusual mortality event investigation, a team of scientists has discovered that dead bottlenose dolphins stranded in the northern Gulf of Mexico since the start of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have lung and adrenal lesions consistent with petroleum product exposure according to a paper published today in the peer-reviewedContinue Reading