Friday, November 21, 2008

Transition Web Site - New Administration & Congress

As Barack Obama and newly elected Congress members work to effect a smooth transition, help is available from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). On its Serving the Congress and the Nation page, the GAO "provides insight into, and recommendations for addressing the nation’s major issues, risks and challenges." The site also includes video messages from experts and reports for further research.

The following are listed as "urgent issues" for the newly elected leaders to address:

  • oversight of financial institutions and markets,
  • U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan,
  • protecting the homeland,
  • undisciplined defense spending,
  • improving the U.S. image abroad,
  • finalizing plans for the 2010 Census,
  • caring for service members,
  • preparing for public health emergencies,
  • revamping oversight of food safety,
  • restructuring the approach to surface transportation,
  • retirement of the Space Shuttle,
  • ensuring an effective transition to digital TV, and
  • rebuilding military readiness.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

U.S. Bank Card and Mortgage Delinquencies

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has created an interactive map of bank card and mortgage delinquencies in the United States. Clicking on a state brings up a chart listing counties and corresponding rates for either mortgages or bank cards, whichever is selected from a bar on the top. Once a state is selected it is also possible to click on a county and just get data from that county.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Honor Our Veterans

People in the United States have many opportunities to honor our veterans on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2008. Each year the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spotlights regional celebrations chosen as especially fitting tribute to veterans.

Houston's program, Houston Salutes American Heroes, begins at 10:00 a.m. with a ceremony on the steps of City Hall. At 11 a.m. the 11th Hour Ceremony begins with a moment of silence to honor fallen service members. At 11:45 a parade with a flyover begins at Smith and Texas Streets.

On the campus of Rice University a ceremony honoring and recognizing Rice veterans will begin at 11 a.m. in Rice Memorial Center's Ray Courtyard.