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Daily Archives: December 13, 2013

Ranking Members Waxman and DeGette Release Memo on Security

“Today Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette released a memo to Democratic Committee members regarding the security of  In a classified briefing two days ago, HHS officials revealed that there have been no successful security attacks on and that no person or group has maliciously accessed personally identifiable information from the site.  The memo summarizes the non-classified portion of the briefing.  HHS officials told members and staff that there have been a total of 32 Information Security Incidents.  Eleven incidents are under investigation.  Of the remaining events, three were classified as non-incidents; one was an attempted (but unsuccessful) scan of the system; two were classified as “inappropriate usage” in violation of acceptable computing use policies; and fifteen were classified as “unauthorized access” where an individual accidentally gained access to unauthorized information.  None of these events involved a significant breach of personal information. HHS officials indicated that they were conducting ongoing 24-7 system monitoring and ongoing assessments in order to ensure and strengthen system security. The memorandum is available online here.”

Phasing Out Certain Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals

News release: “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is implementing a voluntary plan with industry to phase out the use of certain antibiotics for enhanced food production. Antibiotics are added to the animal feed or drinking water of cattle, hogs, poultry and other food-producing animals to help them gain weight faster or use less food to… Continue Reading

Energy Department Releases Grid Energy Storage Report

Grid Energy Storage December 2013 “Modernizing the electric grid will help the nation meet the challenge of handling projected energy needs—including addressing climate change by relying on more energy from renewable sources—in the coming decades, while maintaining a robust and resilient electricity delivery system. By some estimates, the United States will need somewhere between 4 and… Continue Reading

Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the DOJ – 2013

Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice – Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Justice – 2013, December 13, 2013. “This year’s list identifies six challenges that we believe represent the most pressing concerns for the Department.  They are Addressing the Growing Crisis in the Federal Prison System; Safeguarding National Security Consistent with… Continue Reading

Commentary – The Decay of American Political Institutions

The Decay of American Political Institutions by FRANCIS FUKUYAMA. We have a problem, but we can’t see it clearly because our focus too often discounts history. Published on December 8, 2013 “Many political institutions in the United States are decaying. This is not the same thing as the broader phenomenon of societal or civilization decline, which has become… Continue Reading

Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States

Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States, by Nari Rhee, PhD. December 2013. New NIRS research examines racial disparities in retirement readiness among working-age Americans and households. “A new report calculates the severity of the U.S. retirement security racial divide. The analysis finds that every racial group faces significant risks, but people of color face particularly… Continue Reading

Very High Blood Lead Levels Among Adults – United States, 2002–2011

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) November 29, 2013 / 62(47);967-971 “Over the past several decades there has been a remarkable reduction in environmental sources of lead, improved protection from occupational lead exposure, and an overall decreasing trend in the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) in U.S. adults. As a result, the U.S. national… Continue Reading

New Report Highlights Benefits of Flu Vaccine

“Flu vaccination prevented an estimated 6.6 million influenza-associated illnesses, 3.2 million medically attended illnesses, and 79,000 hospitalizations during the 2012-2013 flu season, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report(MMWR). CDC also reported today that despite the benefits of flu vaccination, only 40% of Americans 6… Continue Reading

Long-Term Care Services in the United States: 2013 Overview

Long-Term Care Services in the United States: 2013 Overview – National Center for Health Statistics: “This report provides information on the supply, organizational characteristics, staffing, and services offered by providers of long-term care services; and the demographic, health, and functional composition of users of these services. Service users include residents of nursing homes and residential care communities, patients of… Continue Reading