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Daily Archives: August 4, 2013

The U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Condition

CRS – The U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Condition: A Primer

“Since 1971, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been a self-supporting government agency that covers its operating costs with revenues generated through the sales of postage and related products and services. The USPS is experiencing significant financial challenges. After running modest profits from FY2003 through FY2006, the USPS lost $41.1 billion between FY2007 and FY2012. Since FY2011, the USPS has defaulted on $11.1 billion in payments to its Retiree Health Benefits Fund (RHBF). The agency has reached its $15 billion borrowing limit and is low on cash. In October 2012, the USPS bolstered its liquidity by withdrawing all of the cash from its competitive products fund. At the end of the first half of FY2013, the USPS’s financial condition showed no appreciable signs of improvement. The agency’s revenues and operating expenses were little changed relative to mid-FY2012.”

CRS – Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification. Harold F. Upton, Analyst in Natural Resources Policy; Peter Folger, Specialist in Energy and Natural Resources Policy. July 30, 2013 “With increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the extent of effectson the ocean and marine resources is an increasing concern. One aspect of this issue is the ongoing process (knownContinue Reading

Retaining and Preserving Federal Records in a Digital Environment

CRS – Retaining and Preserving Federal Records in a Digital Environment: Background and Issues for Congress – Wendy Ginsberg, Analyst in American National Government. July 26, 2013 “All federal departments and agencies create federal records “in connection with the transaction of public business.” The Federal Records Act, as amended (44 U.S.C. Chapters 21, 29, 31,Continue Reading

International Criminal Court Legal Tools Database

International Criminal Court (ICC): “The Legal Tools are the leading information services on international criminal law. They equip users with legal information, digests and an application to work more effectively with core international crimes cases (involving war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or aggression). By being freely available in the public commons, the Tools democratizeContinue Reading

Skin in the Game as a Required Heuristic for Acting Under Uncertainty

Skin in the Game as a Required Heuristic for Acting Under Uncertainty, Constantine Sandis, Oxford Brooks; Nassim Nicholas Taleb, NYU-Poly; Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne – Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne (CES). July 25, 2013. “We propose a global and morally mandatory heuristic that anyone involved in an action which can possibly generate harm for others,Continue Reading

Pre- and Post-Judgment Review of Summary Judgment Denials After Ortiz v. Jordan

Pre- and Post-Judgment Review of Summary Judgment Denials After Ortiz v. Jordan — A Wider and Deeper Look, Joan E. Steinman, Illinois Institute of Technology – Chicago-Kent College of Law, August 2, 2013 Chicago-Kent Legal Studies Research Paper, Forthcoming. “In Ortiz v. Jordan, 131 S.Ct. 884 (2011), the Supreme Court purported to resolve a splitContinue Reading

Scientists report alarming declines seen in frogs, salamanders

By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun: “Some of springtime’s more notable heralds appear to be fading away, as a new study finds frogs, toads and salamanders disappearing at an alarming rate across the United States. In what they say is the first analysis of its kind, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and aContinue Reading

Court opinion upholds warrants for historical cellphone location data

Via ABA: “The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of a provision of the Stored Communications Act that allows the government to obtain court orders for telecommunications records. The law says the government must offer “specific and articulable facts” showing reason to believe the material sought is relevant and materialContinue Reading

Working Paper – ABA Task Force on Future of Legal Education

“The American legal profession, the nation’s law schools, and the American Bar Association have collaborated over several generations to create a system of legal education that is widely envied around the world. At present, the system faces considerable pressure prompted by rising tuition, large amounts of student debt, falling applications, and limited availability of jobsContinue Reading

How Student Debt Reduces Lifetime Wealth

At What Cost? How Student Debt Reduces Lifetime Wealth by Robert Hiltonsmith, Demos, August 2013 “Student debt has skyrocketed over the past decade, quadrupling from just $240 billion in 2003 to more than $1 trillion today. If current borrowing patterns continue, student debt levels will reach $2 trillion in 2025. Average debt levels have risenContinue Reading