Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Indian (Native American) Affairs Lawyer

The University of Nebraska has a new Web site detailing the life and works of Charles J. Kappler, known primarily for writing Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Mr. Kappler's long list of accomplishments include serving on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, acting as co-counsel in the first case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, and participating in major Indian law cases before the United States Supreme Court.The Web site even includes how the authors searched major legal databases to gain access to Kappler's court cases.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Economic Downturn Income Tax Issues

Given the current economic situation, the IRS is beginning the 2009 tax season with information to help financially challenged taxpayers. The IRS is doing such things as postponing collection actions, being more flexible with missed payments, conducting second reviews when local real-estate valuations are in question, arranging options to help taxpayers avoid default, and expediting levy releases for hardship reasons. For more details about this assistance, see IRS Begins Tax Season 2009 with Steps to help financially Distressed Taxpayers.

The IRS has also created a page of "what-if" scenarios listing possible consequences for topics ranging from losing a job or losing a home through foreclosure to filing for bankruptcy protection, withdrawing money from an IRA, or facing drops in value for a 401k.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stability and Security in Iraq

The Department of Defense has released its Dec. 2008 quarterly report, Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq. The report indicates progress toward political, security, and economic stability in Iraq. Also of interest are charts and graphs scattered throughout the publication on such topics as oil production and export, civilian deaths, U.S. deaths, weapons caches, neighborhood stability, and MoD and Mol operational readiness. Another helpful tool is a list of acronyms and abbreviations.

Previous quarterly reports are also available.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Iraq Reconstruction

What is the status of reconstruction in Iraq? Reports about reconstruction progress are available from SIGIR, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction which replaced the Coalition Provisional Authority Inspector General (CPA-IG), created by Congress to provide oversight of the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF). Quarterly reports from SIGIR are available from March 2004 to the present. The SIGIR reports site also includes "lessons learned" reports, audit reports, project assessment reports, testimony before Congress, and links to other related resources.

Credit Crisis Timeline

The Federal Reserve has posted a timeline of events and actions for the credit crisis. The Timeline of the Financial Crisis lists market events and actions by the Fed and other government agencies. Included are links to official source documents, relevant economic data, and government agency websites. Additional content will be added to the site in the coming months.

New Military Reports

New reports are available from the Defense Science Board. Challenges to Military Operations in Support of U.S. Interests [2007 Summer Study] is available as an executive summary (Vol. I) or as the main report (Vol. II). The introduction paints a grim picture: "The United States could well confront the possibility of going to war abroad in the face of significant devastation in the homeland--dividing forces between homeland catastrophe relief operations and combat abroad--even facing the possibility that deploy and supply of U.S. military forces could be delayed and disrupted." The study investigated and made recommendations for seven areas for which the United States might need more preparation:

  • Future of war
  • Unconventional weapons and technology proliferation
  • Nuclear proliferation-a special case
  • Unconventional operational concepts and the homeland
  • What we know and don't know about adversary capabilities: intelligence
  • Fighting through asymmetric counterforce
  • Strategic communication--another instrument of U.S. power

A December 2008 report also addressed nuclear weapons:Permanent Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Surety Report: Nuclear Weapons Inspections for the Strategic Nuclear Forces. An April 2008 related report dealt with unauthorized movement of nuclear weapons.