Tuesday, September 27, 2016
A draft of the United States of America Midterm Self-Assessment Report - Third Open Government National Action Plan 2015-2017, September 2016, is now available. The self-assessment report "describes the development process for the third NAP and the progress made implementing the initiatives halfway through the two-year implementation period. " The initiatives are based on four open government principles: transparency, civic participation, public accountability, and technology and innovation for openness and accountability. All 45 open government commitments of the NAP are described in a quick-view chart along with each one's level of completion. The commitments cover a wide range of areas from helping students make informed decisions about higher education to improving health with data-driven precision medicine to developing a common whistleblower training curriculum for the intelligence community.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
The grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture the weekend of September 23-25, 2016 fulfills the aspirations of Black Civil War veterans who suggested the museum in 1915 and countless others since then as discussed in the September 2016 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine. Seated prominently on the National Mall across from the Washington Monument, the museum displays over 35,000 objects collected from all over the world. The founding director, Lonnie Bunch, reveals the four pillars the museum was built on:
- to harness the power of memory to help America illuminate all the dark corners of its past.
- to demonstrate that this was more than a people’s journey—it was a nation’s story.
- to be a beacon that illuminated all the work of other museums in a manner that was collaborative, and not competitive.
- to reflect upon the global dimensions of the African-American experience.
(Read the full story at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/definitive-story-national-museum-african-american-history-culture-came-be-180960125/#eXHRKcDrqqkTiryo.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
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Friday, September 02, 2016
On August 26, 2016 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report entitled "How Can the Results of a Presidential Election be Contested?" The brief report reveals that challenges to the vote for presidential electors are initially handled in the states since states are the initial and principal authority for the administration of elections within their jurisdictions. The document also reveals how objections can be made when Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes. For further information, it also recommends CRS Report RL32717 ("Counting Electoral Votes: An Overview of Procedures at the Joint Session, Including Objections by Members of Congress") and CRS Report RL32611 ("The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections").
Friday, August 26, 2016
On August 25, 2016 the National Parks Service (NPS) turned 100. To celebrate the NPS created 99 Ways to Find Your Park, a linked list of 99 activities people can do in urban, nature, and historic parks. They also created the hashtag #FindYourPark for those wanting to post a picture or video of a park experience.
Monday, August 08, 2016
For example, if you want:
- information about candidates' foreign policies, check the Council on Foreign Relations site.
- information about a candidate's biography, voting record, positions, ratings, speeches, and funding, check Project Vote Smart.
- to see where candidates stand on a host of issues, check ProCon.org's Presidential Election site.
- to check whether candidates' statements are factual, access FactCheck.org.http://www.factcheck.org/ and/or POLITIFACT.
- more information about how delegates are awarded by the political parties or how the electoral college works, check the Presidential Election Process from USA.gov.
- information on elections, parties, voter behavior and campaigns, check CQ Voting & Elections Collection (subscription).
- information about campaign contributions, check the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and/or OpenSecrets.org.
- general information on evaluating candidates for public office, check USA.gov's Choosing Candidates to Vote for
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Concerned that monitoring of the restoration of the Gulf coast after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may be inadequate, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have created a publication identifying best practices for restoration monitoring, assessment, and synthesis. The publication also "offers specific guidance for a subset of habitats and taxa to be restored in the Gulf including oyster reefs, tidal wetlands, and seagrass habitats, as well as a variety of birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals." Download Effective Monitoring to Evaluate Ecological Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico for free on the Academies' site or purchase a paper copy for $52.00.
Friday, July 29, 2016
The City of Houston Disaster Recovery homepage lists Friday, July 29, 2016 as the final day for residents of 16 Texas counties to register with FEMA for assistance for damage/losses due to the April 17-30 floods. See http://www.houstonemergency.org/go/doc/2263/2861890 for more information.