Friday, January 29, 2010

Register to vote by Feb. 1, 2010

Monday, Feb. 1, 2010 is the last day to register to vote in the March 2 primary elections. To see a sample Harris County Democratic and Republican ballot for the March 2 election access Harris Votes provided by the Harris County Clerk's Office. Harris Votes also provides links with information about early voting locations and a ballot by mail application. Early voting will be available from Feb. 16 through Feb. 26. The last day to apply for ballot by mail (received, not postmarked) is Feb. 23.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report (Order Number: RL30588) dated 12/30/2009 that provides background information about issues surrounding the conflict in Afghanistan.   The Thurgood Marshall Law Library has made available online "Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy." The 41 page document complete with tables and a map of Afghanistan provides a succinct summary of issues our government must consider in dealing with the conflict in Afghanistan.

Overview of the U.S. Financial System

A 12/14/2009 report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides useful background information as hearings about the financial crisis get underway.  The Thurgood Marshall Law Library has made available online CRS Order Number: R40249,. "Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of U.S. Financial Supervision." The report "provides an overview of current U.S. financial regulation: which agencies are responsible for which institutions and markets, and what kinds of authority they have."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan

On Jan. 4, 2010 the Center for a New American Security released a report entitled "Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan" which examines the relevance of the U.S. intelligence community to the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.  The report argues "that because the United States has focused the overwhelming majority of collection efforts and analytical brainpower on insurgent groups, the intelligence apparatus still finds itself unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which U.S. and allied forces operate in and the people they are trying to protect and persuade."  The authors, Major General Michael T. Flynn, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence in Afghanistan, his advisor Captain Matt Pottinger, and Paul Batchelor, Senior Advisor for Civilian/Military Integrations at ISAF, recommend "sweeping changes to the way the intelligence community thinks about itself – from a focus on the enemy to a focus on the people of Afghanistan."

House of Representatives Disbursements

In response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request to publish the U.S. House of Representatives Statement of Disbursements (SOD) online in addition to the paper volumes, the online statements from July 1, 2009 through September 30, 2009 are now available. Since 1964 Congress has published the quarterly SOD in three paper volumes within 60 days of the end of each quarter.