Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Electoral College

After Tuesday's election the Electoral College takes over. Do you know who is responsible for administering the Electoral College? Is it:
  • a. Congress
  • b. the states
  • c. Office of the Federal Register?

Actually, 1985 legislation designated the Archivist of the United States (from the National Archives and Records Administration [NARA]) as administrator of the Electoral College on behalf of Congress and the states. The Archivist in turn gave the responsibility to its Office of the Federal Register. After the election of 2000 Michael White, then chief counsel of the Federal Register, was dubbed the "Dean of the Electoral College." White has posted an enlightening discussion explaining the role of NARA's Office of the Federal Register in the Electoral College process. For additional information about the Electoral College, visit NARA's U.S. Electoral College pages:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vitamin D Deficiency

The Associated Press revealed Oct. 12 that the American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending double the dose of vitamin D for children since there is evidence it might reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease in addition to preventing bone disorders like rickets. Vitamin D is added to milk and formula, but most children and teenagers do not drink enough milk to get the newly recommended dosage of 400 IU a day (up from 200 IU a day). Also breastfed babies are likely to need a supplement.

In addition to milk, other sources of Vitamin D are the sun, fortified cereals, and oily fish such as tuna, sardines, and mackerel. To get adequate Vitamin D from the UV rays of the sun requires 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen a few times weekly. That poses a problem for those living in a northern climate with less sun and for those with darker skin making absorption more difficult.

For more detailed information about Vitamin D, see the National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D (not yet revised with the new recommendation). Also look for changes in the recommended dosage for adults which now stands at 200 IU through age 50, 400 IU for ages 51-70, and 600 IU for ages 71+.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Voter Registration

Although Texas has an Oct. 6 deadline to register to vote, not all states have the same deadline. According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission's National Voter Registration site, a few states like Montana and Nevada even allow voters to register on election day. See registration deadlines to check the deadline for a specific state.

If you need to determine whether you are officially registered or where to cast your vote, state election officials have created to help you. After selecting a state, you can select the "Am I Registered" link and enter either your driver's license number, your name, or your VUID.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Iraq Stability and Security

The latest (Sept. 2008) quarterly report of the Department of Defense's "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq" is now available. Previous editions are located at Major topics covered include political stability, economic activity, security/transferring security, and Iraqi Security Forces training and performance.

Threat From Iranian Nuclear Development

On Sept. 19, 2008 the Bipartisan Policy Center (a non-profit organization established in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell to provide a forum to address tough policy challenges) released a report entitled Meeting the Challenge: U.S. Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development. Not surprisingly, the report, co-chaired by former senators Daniel Coats (Republican from Indiana) and Charles Robb (Democrat from Virgina) concluded that "Iran's nuclear development may pose the most significant strategic threat to the United States during the next administration."