Thursday, May 10, 2012

House Votes to Eliminate Funding for the American Community Survey

Starting with the 2010 Census the American Community Survey (ACS) replaced the traditional census long form. Data collected by the ACS is used to help determine the distribution of $400 billion in federal and state funds for everything from school lunch programs to new hospitals. Joan Naymark, Director of Research and Planning for Target, states on the ACS website:
The American Community Survey is vital to economic development and for wise government and business decision-making. The American Community Survey is an improvement over the census long form because it provides small-area information annually instead of once a decade.
On Wednesday, May 9, 2012 in the House of Representatives, Daniel Webster (R-FL) introduced Amendment 1077 to the FY2013 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill. The amendment sought "to prohibit the use of funds to conduct the survey, conducted by the Secretary of Commerce, commonly referred to as the 'American Community Survey." The House voted 232-190 to eliminate all funding of the ACS ( All but 11 Republicans voted for Webster's amendment; all but four Democrats voted against eliminating ACS funding.

The Senate is expected to take up the FY2013 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill next week. To monitor progress on the bill, access The Library of Congress Thomas site:

Friday, May 04, 2012

Bin Laden's Letters

The Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point has released a report entitled Letters from Abbottabad: Bin Ladin Sidelined? The report studies 17 declassified letters or draft letters authored by bin Laden and other al-Qa`ida leaders obtained during the Abbottabad raid. Dated from September 2006 to April 2011, 175 pages of the letters are in original Arabic while 197 pages have been translated to English.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Launch of Manufacturing.Data.Gov

According to an April 30, 2012 news release, Manufacturing.Data.Gov is now available as a "one-stop Web portal" for anyone interested in sharing ideas and "transforming emerging technologies into commercial success stories." The site will serve "as a public resource of high-value datasets, tools, and applications that can help entrepreneurs steer the entire product development chain for a project, from invention, engineering design and prototyping, to validation and testing, manufacturing, and sales."