ODDS AND ENDS : ISSUE 113, JANUARY 2006

A Collection of Web Sites of Possible Interest to Government Documents Librarians

Table of Contents

9/11 Commission - 9/11 Public Discourse Project Chastises Federal Reponses
Abramoff Lobbying Scandal
Air Force One
Alleged Secret Detentions in Council of Europe Member States
Alternative Minimum Tax
An American Christmas: Decade by Decade
American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920
Authorization for Use of Military Force in Response to the 9/11 Attacks Legislative History
Career Voyages
Changes in the Lives of U.S. Children: 1990-2000
Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information
Constitution in Crisis : The Downing Street Minutes and Deception,
Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War
CRS Reports on Agriculture and Food Issues
Decline of the National Disaster Medical System
Documerica: Photographs from the Dawn of the EPA
Effectiveness and Enforcement of the CAN-SPAM Act: A Report to Congress
Excluded and Invisible: The State of the World’s Children 2006
Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity
Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress
Freight Rail Transportation: Long-Term Issues
From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America
Global Population Aging in the 21st Century and Its Economic Implications
Google Book Search Project: Is Online Indexing a Fair Use Under Copyright Law?
Gulf of Tonkin Papers
Health United States 2005
Herb Hunters Guide
Hispanic Population in the United States: 2004
The Hockey Lockout of 2004–05
Intelligent Design Rejected as Scientific Theory By Federal Court
Leaving the Nation at Risk
Legal Authorities Supporting the Activities of the National Security Agency Described By the President
Lobbying
Long Term Budget Outlook
Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies
Medicare Prescription Drug and Reform Legislation Analyses
Michigan Votes
Mind Your Own Business
Minimum Wage Laws in the States, January 1, 2006
Monticello Explorer
NARA Offers Improved Electronic Access to Archival Databases
NASACAST Now Offering Podcasts
NASA Eclipse Home Page
National Security Agency Declassified
National Security Whistleblowers
National Taxpayer Advocate's 2005 Annual Report to Congress
National Traffic and Road Closure Information
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-2007 Edition
OnGuardOnline.gov
Patriot Act News
Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005
Plate It Your Way
Poetry 180 : A Poem a Day For America's High Schools
Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance
to Gather Foreign Intelligence Information
A Review of the Top Officials 3 Exercise
Safercar.gov : Tires
Sago Mine Explosion
Same-Sex Marriages: Legal Issues
Santa Tracker Web Pages
Scenic Byways Online
Sexual Assault on Campus: What Colleges and Universities are Doing About It
Social Security Retirement Planner
Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2006
Trans Fat
UN Report on the Assassination of Rafik Hariri, former Prime Minister of Lebanon
USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (H.R. 3199):
A Side-by-Side Comparison of Existing Law, H.R. 3199 (Conference) and H.R. 3199 (Senate Passed)
U.S. Congress Votes Database
U.S. Military Under Strain and At Risk
VA Gravesite Locator
West Point in the Making of America

Google
WWW http://www.lib.msu.edu/harris23/red_tape/

9/11 Commission - 9/11 Public Discourse Project Chastises Federal Reponses
http://www.9-11pdp.org/press/2005-12-05_report.pdf
The latest report from the members of the 9/11 Commission, now identified as the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, hands out many low or failing grades to the federal government for its efforts to implement the recommendations of the commission. Lowest grades were given for allocating homeland security funds without regard to risk of recipient communities, failure to improve airline passenger pre-screening, lack of common standards for terrorist detention, and failure to declassify the overall intelligence budget for better congressional oversight. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Abramoff Lobbying Scandal
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2005/06/22/LI2005062200936.html
"Jack Abramoff, the once-powerful lobbyist at the center of a wide-ranging public corruption investigation, pleaded guilty Jan. 3 to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials in a deal that requires him to provide evidence about members of Congress." This special Webpage has been created by the Washington Post newspaper to trace the history of the lobbyist's activities and the possible repercussions of his expected testimony for various Congressmen and to possible changes to Congressional rules on lobbyists that might be made because of this plea bargain. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 16, 2006.
(Last checked 01/19/06)

Air Force One
http://www.reaganfoundation.org/airforceone/
Upon leaving office, President Reagan stated that one day he hoped he would be able to share Air Force One with the American people by placing it at his Presidential Library. That dream to have this magnificent aircraft here at his Library has finally come true. We are privileged to have this national treasure and honored by the trust the United States Air Force has placed in us to share it with the American people. The new Air Force One Pavilion, which opened on October 24, 2005 at the Ronald Reagan Library-Museum, celebrates President Reagan’s vision and tells the story of his staggering achievements.
Also check out The Journey of Air Force One and Air Force One : Facts and Stats
(Last checked 01/13/06)

Alleged Secret Detentions in Council of Europe Member States
http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=/CommitteeDocs/2006/20060124_Jdoc032006_E.htm
Europe is investigating the CIA's clandestine torture centers while the U.S. Congress looks the other way. Courtesy of the Council of Europe.
(Last checked 01/27/06)

The Alternative Minimum Tax
http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5386&sequence=0
"For more than three decades, the individual income tax has consisted of two parallel tax systems: the regular tax and an alternative tax that was originally intended to impose taxes on high-income individuals who have no liability under the regular income tax. The stated purpose of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) is to keep taxpayers with high incomes from paying little or no income tax by taking advantage of various preferences in the tax code." With inflation, this Tax has crept into the lives of many middle and upper-middle class taxpayers. With Congressional action on changing the tax code stalled, an increasing number of taxpayers may be required to pay an additional amount on their reported income. Learn about the code here! Courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, December 26th, 2005, and January 2, 2006.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

An American Christmas: Decade by Decade
http://hoover.archives.gov/exhibits/AmChristmas/
This online exhibit has been put together by the curators at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum and attempts to chart this history of the holiday and explain "How We Came to Celebrate Christmas as a National Holiday." Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, December 5th, 2005.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award97/mhsdhtml/aladhome.html
"This collection of approximately 2,800 lantern slides represents an historical view of American buildings and landscapes built during the period 1850-1920. It represents the work of Harvard faculty, such as Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., Bremer W. Pond, and James Sturgis Pray, as well as that of prominent landscape architects throughout the country. The collection offers views of cities, specific buildings, parks, estates and gardens, including a complete history of Boston's Park System. In addition to photographs, views of locations around the country include plans, maps, and models. Hundreds of private estates from all over the United States are represented in the collection through contemporary views of their houses and gardens (including features such as formal gardens, terraces, and arbors)." Courtesy of the Library of Congress, American Memory Project. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 9, 2006.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

Authorization for Use of Military Force in Response to the 9/11 Attacks Legislative History
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22357.pdf
Analyzes the differences between the original draft of the White House Resolution to authorize military force (9/12/2001) and the text of Public Law 107-40 to authorize the use of military force against the terrorist attackers. The analysis argues that the congressional document is more narrowly focused and rejected open-ended language in the White House draft that would have permitted the president to claim broad authority to direct military action against future adversaries without seeking further authorization from Congress. From the Congressional Research Service, posted by the Federation of American Scientists. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 01/10/06)

Career Voyages
http://www.careervoyages.gov/
The ultimate road trip to career success. "This web site is the result of a collaboration between the U.S. Departmant of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to provide information on high growth, high demand occupations along with the skills and education needed to attain those jobs." Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 9, 2006.
(Last checked 01/13/06)

Changes in the Lives of U.S. Children: 1990-2000
http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0078/twps0078.pdf
Uses decennial data to present an analysis of changes in the demographic and socioeconomic state of children during the 1990s. Covers children’s living arrangements, languages spoken, education attainment level, labor force status of the children’s parents, and physical characteristics of their housing. From the Census Bureau. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information
http://feinstein.senate.gov/crs-intel.htm
Despite the President's assertion to the contrary, this CRS report clearly documents differences in congressional and presidential access to intelligence data. "By virtue of his constitutional role as commander-and-in-chief and head of the executive branch, the President has access to all national intelligence collected, analyzed and produced by the Intelligence Community. The President's position also affords him the authority - which, at certain times, has been aggressively asserted - to restrict the flow of intelligence information to Congress and its two intelligence committees, which are charged with providing legislative oversight of the Intelligence Community. As a result, the President, and a small number of presidentially-designated Cabinet-level officials, including the Vice President - in contrast to Members of Congress - have access to a far greater overall volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence information, including information regarding intelligence sources and methods. They, unlike Members of Congress, also have the authority to more extensively task the Intelligence Community, and its extensive cadre of analysts, for follow-up information. As a result, the President and his most senior advisors arguably are better positioned to assess the quality of the Community's intelligence more accurately than is Congress. In addition to their greater access to intelligence, the President and his senior advisors also are better equipped than is Congress to assess intelligence information by virtue of the primacy of their roles in formulating U.S. foreign policy..." CRS Memo to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, December 14, 2005. Spotted in BeSpecifica, December 15, 2005.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

The Constitution in Crisis : The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War
http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/iraqrept122005/finalreport.pdf
"This report examines the Bush Administration's actions in taking us to war from A to Z. The report finds there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration. The Report concludes that a number of these actions amount to prima facie evidence that federal criminal laws have been violated. Legal violations span from false statements to Congress to whistleblower laws." Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI). Investigative Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff. 273pp.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

CRS Reports on Agriculture and Food Issues
http://www.NationalAgLawCenter.org/crs/
The National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas School of Law has announced the availability of a website which currently provides access to over 200 CRS reports on agriculture and food law policy related issues such as avian flu, international trade, mad cow disease, biotechnology, food labeling, farm programs, estate tax and family farms, U.S. agriculture after Katrina, and many more subjects. The site's content will continue to expand, and currently provides users with a subject index comprising 22 listings.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

The Decline of the National Disaster Medical System
http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov/Documents/20051209121130-87452.pdf
A report requested by Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, and Rep. Charlie Melancon finds that since 2002, the effectiveness of the National Disaster Medical System - a key component of the nation’s emergency response capacity -- has been eroded by mismanagement, bureaucratic reshuffling, and inadequate funding. As a result, when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the system was unprepared, resulting in major failures in the medical response. U.S. House Committee on Government Reform Minority Staff. December 2005. 23pp.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Documerica: Photographs from the Dawn of the EPA
http://www.ej.msu.edu/documerica/Home/home.htm
In 1971, at the birth of the Environmental Protection Agency and the mass environmental movement, the EPA initiated Project Documerica to record the state of the environment and efforts to improve it. Thirty years later, a treasure trove of 15,000 images of environmental and social history are on-line at the National Archives. They document one of the most important decades of the twentieth century. This website provides an introduction to Documerica. Designed for reporters, historians, and the general public, this site features a history of Documerica, a step-by-step guide on how to search for images from Documerica in the National Archives, galleries of Documerica photos, and a list of further resources on the project.
(Last checked 01/06/06)

Effectiveness and Enforcement of the CAN-SPAM Act: A Report to Congress
http://www.ftc.gov/reports/canspam05/051220canspamrpt.pdf
Finds that the Act has been effective in stimulating the adoption of commercial email best practices by legitimate online marketers and by providing law enforcement authorities with additional tools to use against spammers. Also finds increasing amount of malevolent content in spam messages. "The report proposes three steps that could improve the efficacy of the CAN-SPAM Act. First, Congress should enact the US SAFE WEB Act, to improve the FTC's ability to trace spammers and sellers who operate outside of the United States. Second, we should continue education efforts to ensure that consumers are aware of the various ways they can protect themselves from spam, spyware, and sexually-explicit material. Third, we need continued improvement of anti-spam technology, and in particular, tools that prevent spammers from operating anonymously." From the Federal Trade Commission. December 2005. 116pp. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Excluded and Invisible: The State of the World’s Children 2006
http://www.unicef.org/sowc06/pdfs/sowc06_fullreport.pdf
Narrative and statistical tables on the bleak status of most of the world’s children and the degree to which meeting the millennium development goals could alleviate the misery. From UNICEF. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity
http://www.nap.edu/books/0309097134/html/
Comprehensive review of scientific evidence on the influence of food and beverage marketing on the high calorie, poor nutrition food choices of children 12 and under. Calls for coordinated efforts by schools, government and private sector to enhance nutrition standards and promote policies that lead to better choices. From the Institute of Medicine. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/doughtml/doughome.html
"The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The release of the Douglass Papers, from the Library of Congress's Manuscript Division, contains approximately 7,400 items (38,000 images) relating to Douglass' life as an escaped slave, abolitionist, editor, orator, and public servant. The papers span the years 1841 to 1964, with the bulk of the material from 1862 to 1895. The collection consists of correspondence, speeches and articles by Douglass and his contemporaries, a draft of his autobiography, financial and legal papers, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous items. These papers reveal Douglass' interest in diverse subjects such as politics, emancipation, racial prejudice, women's suffrage, and prison reform. Included is correspondence with many prominent civil rights reformers of his day, including Susan B. Anthony, William Lloyd Garrison, Gerrit Smith, Horace Greeley, and Russell Lant, and political leaders such as Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison. Scrapbooks document Douglass' role as minister to Haiti and the controversy surrounding his interracial second marriage. The online release of the Frederick Douglass Papers is made possible through the generous support of the Citigroup Foundation." Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, December 26th, 2005, and January 2, 2006.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

Freight Rail Transportation: Long-Term Issues
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/70xx/doc7021/01-17-Rail.pdf
Reviews trends in the demand for and supply of freight railroad transportation. After years of reducing track, equipment, and workforce, the freight rail industry is investing in new equipment and hiring new workers. From the Congressional Budget Office. Spotted in the College of William and Mary's Swem Library Government Information Blog, January 18, 2006.
(Last checked 01/19/06)

From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/haventohome/
"From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America features more than two hundred treasures of American Judaica from the collections of the Library of Congress, augmented by a selection of important loans from other cooperating cultural institutions. The exhibition examines the Jewish experience in the United States through the prisms of "Haven" and "Home." "Haven" opens with a selection of pivotal documents expressing the ideals of freedom that have come to represent the promise of America. This section also explores the formative experiences of Jewish immigrants as they struggled to become American. The "Home" section focuses on the opportunities and challenges inherent in a free society and the uniquely American Jewish religious movements, institutions, and associations created in response." A Library of Congress Exhibition. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, December 19th, 2005.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

Global Population Aging in the 21st Century and Its Economic Implications
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/69xx/doc6952/12-12-Global.pdf
The world is in the midst of a great demographic transition. The world population nearly quadrupled during the 20th century and is projected to grow by roughly 50 percent before stabilizing during the 21st century. That transition is expected to leave the population much larger and, on average, older than it was previously -- developments that have far-reaching implications for societies and governments throughout the world and for how they are likely to interact. Courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office, December 2005. 48pp.
(Last checked 01/13/06)

Google Book Search Project: Is Online Indexing a Fair Use Under Copyright Law?
http://opencrs.cdt.org/rpts/RS22356_20051228.pdf
Google, Inc. is digitally scanning the collections of several prominent libraries in order to create a vast searchable database of literary works. Copyright holders who have not authorized and object to the digitization have filed suit against the company. This report provides background on the pending litigation. It will be updated as judicial developments warrant. Congressional Research Service report RS22356, December 28, 2005 via OpenCRS.
(Last checked 01/17/06)

Gulf of Tonkin Papers
http://www.nsa.gov/vietnam/index.cfm
A first installment of previously classified material, including chronologies of events, oral history interviews, signals intelligence reports and related memoranda, relating to the incident which escalated American military involvement in Vietnam. From the National Security Agency. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Health United States 2005
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm
Annual statistical compendium from the National Center for Health Statistics. In two parts: Chartbook that illustrates major trends in the health of Americans and 156 detailed data tables. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Herb Hunters Guide
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/HerbHunters/hhunters.html
"Among the wild plants of the United States are many that have long been used in the practice of medicine, some only locally and to a minor extent, but others in sufficient quantity to make them commercially important. The collection of such plants for the crude-drug market provides a livelihood for many people in rural communities, especially in those regions where the native flora has not been disturbed by agricultural or industrial expansion and urban development." It describes each plant's use and provides information about them. USDA Miscellaneous Publication No. 77, July 1930.
Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, December 19th, 2005.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

The Hispanic Population in the United States: 2004
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hispanic/cps2004.html
Latest update on the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the U.S. Hispanic population including citizenship, nativity, income, educational attainment, occupation, and poverty status. From the Census Bureau. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

The Hockey Lockout of 2004–05
http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2005/12/art3full.pdf
For Detroit Red Wing and other ice hockey fans. The epic lockout resulted in the loss of the entire 2004–05 National Hockey League season and produced an outcome slanted largely in favor of the owners; a salary cap, a pay cut for players, new free-agency rules, a new drug-testing policy, and changes in the rules of play were among the agreements reached in the settlement. Source: Paul D. Staudohar, Professor of Business Administration, College of Business and Economics, California State University, Hayward, California, Monthly Labor Review Online, December 2005, Vol. 128, No. 12.
(Last checked 01/11/06)

Intelligent Design Rejected as Scientific Theory By Federal Court
http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf
Text of Tammy Kitzmiller et al Plaintiffs v. Dover Area School District opinion in notable evolution case where U.S. District Judge John Jones rejected intelligent design as a scientific theory and ruled that the Dover School Board's mandate that a statement about intelligent design be read to all 9th grade biology students was a violation of the establishment clause of the Constitution. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Leaving the Nation at Risk : 33 Unfilled Promises From the Department of Homeland Security
Web Link
Identifies 33 promises that date back to 2002 that were made by various members of the Department’s leadership and which remain unfulfilled. An Investigative Report by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Democratic Staff .2005. 40pp.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Legal Authorities Supporting the Activities of the National Security Agency Described By the President
http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/lps66493
The Government Printing Office has posted the Department of Justice whitepaper on the issue of NSA intercepts onto GPO Access.
(Last checked 01/25/06)

Lobbying
http://www.senate.gov/reference/reference_index_subjects/Lobbying_vrd.htm
This site presents information written staff from the U.S. Senate about the practice and rules for lobbying its members. While the practice is perfectly legal, parts of its action have recently come under scrutiny with the arrest and recent guilty plea of Jack Abramoff. So, here's what the Senate says is legal for the endeavor: "Lobbying is the practice of trying to persuade legislators to propose, pass, or defeat legislation or to change existing laws. A lobbyist may work for a group, organization, or industry, and presents information on legislative proposals to support his or her clients' interests. The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 establishes criteria for determining when an organization or firm should register their employees as lobbyists. Lobbyists register with the Senate Office of Public Records." It contains the history of the practice, a reprinting of the Disclosure Act of 1995 and a list of the Lobbyists who have registered with the Congress. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 16, 2006.
(Last checked 01/19/06)

Long Term Budget Outlook
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/69xx/doc6982/12-15-LongTermOutlook.pdf
This report has been prepared by the Congressional Budget Office (CB)) to analyze the probable costs to the U.S. Treasury and provides possible ways to finance those expenditures over the next half-century: "Over the next half-century, the United States will confront the challenge of conducting its fiscal policy in the face of the retirement of the baby-boom generation (the large number of people born between 1946 and 1964).1 Under current policies, the aging of the population is likely to combine with rapidly rising health care costs to create an ever-growing demand for resources to finance federal spending for mandatory programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. This report presents several illustrative scenarios for federal spending and revenues through mid-century, describes their implications for the economy, and frames the key issues involved in choosing among those alternatives. The analysis indicates that attaining fiscal stability in the coming decades will probably require substantial reductions in the projected growth of spending and perhaps also a sizable increase in taxes as a share of the economy." Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 16, 2006.
(Last checked 01/19/06)

Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies
http://opencrs.cdt.org/rpts/RL33211_20051229.pdf
The issue before Congress is whether to continue to support the executive branch's prosecution of medical marijuana patients and their providers, in accordance with marijuana's status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, or whether to relax federal marijuana prohibition enough to permit the medical use of botanical cannabis products by seriously ill persons, especially in states that have created medical marijuana programs under state law. Bills have been introduced in recent Congresses to allow patients who appear to benefit from medical cannabis to use it in accordance with the various regulatory schemes that have been approved, since 1996, by the voters and legislatures of 11 states. In the current Congress, the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act (H.R. 2087, Frank) would move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act and make it available under federal law for medical use in states with medical marijuana programs. The Steve McWilliams Truth in Trials Act (H.R. 4272, Farr) would make it possible for defendants in federal court to reveal to juries that their marijuana activity was medically related and legal under state law. In June 2005, the House defeated, for the third time, the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment to prevent federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act against medical marijuana patients in states that have approved such use. The amendment is expected to be offered again in the 2nd session of the 109th Congress. Eleven states, mostly in the West, have enacted laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and many thousands of patients, having registered in their state programs, are seeking relief from a variety of serious illnesses by smoking marijuana or using other herbal cannabis preparations. Meanwhile, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to investigate and arrest medical marijuana providers in those states as elsewhere. Claims and counterclaims about medical marijuana -- much debated by journalists and academics, policymakers at all levels of government, and interested citizens -- include the following: Marijuana is harmful and has no medical value; marijuana effectively treats the symptoms of certain diseases; smoking is an improper route of drug administration; marijuana should be rescheduled to permit medical use; state medical marijuana laws send the wrong message and lead to increased illicit drug use; the medical marijuana movement undermines the war on drugs; patients should not be arrested for using medical marijuana; the federal government should allow the states to experiment and should not interfere with state medical marijuana programs; medical marijuana laws harm the drug approval process; the medical cannabis movement is a cynical ploy to legalize marijuana and other drugs. With strong opinions being expressed on all sides of these complex issues, the debate over medical marijuana does not appear to be approaching resolution. This report will be updated as legislative activity and other developments occur. Congressional Research Service report RL33211, December 29, 2005 via OpenCRS.
(Last checked 01/17/06)

Medicare Prescription Drug and Reform Legislation Analyses
http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/prescriptiondrugs.cfm
This Web index has been created by the Congressional Budget Office to allow access to a number of reports and statistical tables related to the recently enacted Medicare Drug legislation. It contains documents from 1996 to 2005 tracing the history of the recently passed bills authorizing payment to recipients for many of the most popular drugs from the Medicare program. The latest of the reports listed here are from the Spring of 2005 and provide details of the estimated cost of the program.
(Last checked 01/13/05)

Michigan Votes
http://www.michiganvotes.org/
This web page, sponsored by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, allows one to search Michigan legislation and also tracks how members of the Michigan legislature voted back to 2001. It includes links to brief descriptions of the bills, amendments and resolutions. Previously mentioned in Red Tape Blog
(Last checked 01/19/06)

Mind Your Own Business
http://www.mindyourownbiz.org/default.shtml
"Welcome to Mind Your Own Business, where you can find the links to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Created by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Junior Achievement, this site walks you through five easy steps of business ownership - whether you've just had a brainstorm for your first business venture or you've been at it a few years. So go Mind Your Own Business, and find out about the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur." Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, December 19th, 2005.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

Minimum Wage Laws in the States, January 1, 2006
http://www.dol.gov/esa/minwage/america.htm
Clickable map of the U.S. which leads to information about minimum wages in each state and how they are determined. From the Employment Standards Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Spotted in the College of William and Mary's Swem Library Government Information Blog, January 17, 2006.
(Last checked 01/19/06)

Monticello Explorer
http://explorer.monticello.org/
Not everyone can visit Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. For those who can't take a look at this web site for a virtual tour. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 9, 2006.
(Last checked 01/13/06)

NARA Offers Improved Electronic Access to Archival Databases
http://www.archives.gov/aad/
Redesigned site which now offers one stop searching across all series and electronic files available online at the National Archives.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

NASACAST Now Offering Podcasts
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/podcasting/
The official NASA Portal podcast, NASAcast, contains the latest audio and video features from the NASA web site, NASATV's This Week at NASA, and more. Additional NASA podcasts, such as Science@NASA --give subscribers an in-depth look at content by subject matter. Source: ResearchBuzz Roundup, December 22, 2005.
(Last checked 01/04/06)

NASA Eclipse Home Page
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html
Mark your calendars for this year's penumbral lunar, total solar, partial lunar, and annular solar eclipses.
(Last checked 01/14/06)

National Security Agency Declassified
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB24/index.htm
Offers background information, policies and authorities of the largest and most secretive of the U.S. intelligence agencies. Provides perspective on the current controversy about domestic spying by NSA conducted without warrant authorization from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court under a secret presidential executive order. From the National Security Archive. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

National Security Whistleblowers
http://www.pogo.org/m/gp/gp-crs-nsw-12302005.pdf
The 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act has failed to meet "the expectations of some lawmakers, agency employees and private organizations," according to a recent CRS report (December 30, 2005). Employees and contractors working at national security agencies are the most vulnerable. The Whistleblower Protection Act does not cover federal or contract employees working for the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, National Security Agency, the FBI and "any other executive agency determined by the president to have as its principal function the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence activities." The report also reviews current legislation to strengthen protections for whistleblowers. The Senate has approved one bill. A measure introduced in the House has yet to be reported to the floor for a vote by the full chamber.
(Last checked 01/11/06)

National Taxpayer Advocate's 2005 Annual Report to Congress
http://www.irs.gov/advocate/article/0,,id=152735,00.html
Pleads for tax simplification from Congress and details 20 most serious tax problems. Also covers legislative recommendations and most litigated issues. From the Internal Revenue Service. Spotted in the College of William and Mary's Swem Library Government Information Blog, January 17, 2006.
(Last checked 01/19/06)

National Traffic and Road Closure Information
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/index.htm
This Web index has been created by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration and allows users to find road and highway reports for their particular state or on roads they will pass over on their planned vacation. This includes both State and other Government highway links and includes up-to-date traffic maps as well as live camera transmissions for selected highways. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 16, 2006.
(Last checked 01/19/06)

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-2007 Edition
http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm
Offers information on occupation educational requirements, earnings, working conditions, and prospects. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
(Last checked 01/04/06)

OnGuardOnline.gov
http://onguardonline.gov/index.html
OnGuardOnline.gov provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.
(Last checked 01/14/06)

Patriot Act News
http://patriotactnews.blogspot.com/
Susan Payne 's blog is a handy tool for tracking new developments regarding the Patriot Act as the weeks tick down to the showdown in early February.
(Last checked 01/17/06)

Plate It Your Way
http://sosntsl01.sos.state.mi.us/plates/
Thinking about requesting specialized license plates from the Michigan Secretary of State's Office? This web page reviews the options and procedures.
(Last checked 01/17/06)

Poetry 180 : A Poem a Day For America's High Schools
http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/
Welcome to Poetry 180. Poetry can and should be an important part of our daily lives. Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed. A collection by Billy Collins, Former Poet Laureate of the United States, maintained by the Library of Congress.
(Last checked 01/10/06)

Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance to Gather Foreign Intelligence Information
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/m010506.pdf
In the continuing debate on the legality of surveillance by the NSA without warrants, the Congressional Research Service has issued a new report analyzing the arguments set forth by the administration and the constitutional arguments that support and refute the presidential claim.
(Last checked 01/09/05)

A Review of the Top Officials 3 Exercise
http://www.dhs.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/OIG_06-07_Nov05.pdf
A comprehensive, governmentwide exercise conducted five months before Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast revealed gaps in the nation's ability to respond to catastrophic incidents, according to a new report. The Top Officials 3, or TOPOFF 3, exercise in early April showed flaws in coordination between the federal government, state and local governments and the private sector, according to a review released this week by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general. Specifically, the review revealed a lack of understanding at all levels about the National Response Plan and National Incident Management System, which were developed to coordinate the government's response to terrorist attacks or natural disasters. NRP and NIMS were used for the first time in a real catastrophe during Hurricane Katrina.
(Last checked 12/21/05)

Safercar.gov : Tires
http://www.safercar.gov/Tires/
(Last checked 01/19/06)

This Website has been created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help drivers operate their automobiles safely. On this particular page, they address the proper use and care of your car's tires. "Proper tire pressure is the most important part of maintaining your tires." The method to properly inflate and maintain your tires and other tire safety tips can be found here. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 16th, 2006.
(Last checked 01/19/06)

Sago Mine Explosion
http://www.msha.gov/sagomine/sagomine.asp
The Mine Health and Safety Administration ("MHSA") has put together a web page on the Sago Mine Explosion. To read reports on accidents, inspections, violations and other reports from the MHSA, go to MSHA's Data Retrieval System and enter the Mine ID of 4608791. Spotted on the University of Colorado at Boulder Government Documents Library Blog page.
(Last checked 01/10/06)

Same-Sex Marriages: Legal Issues
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/57869.pdf
Discusses the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows individual states to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in other states. Also discusses the potential legal challenges to the federal law. From the Congressional Research Service, posted by the State Department. Spotted on College of William and Mary Swem Library Government Information Page.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Santa Tracker Web Pages
NASA (Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsvillle, Ala.)
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/home/seasonal/santatrackhome.html
NORAD (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
http://www.noradsanta.org/
(Last checked 12/22/05)

Scenic Byways Online
http://www.byways.org/
"The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The program is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States.... America's Byways® is the umbrella term we use for marketing the collection of 126 distinct and diverse roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. America's Byways® include the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads." Their site lists all the Byways in the program and helps vacationers plan their trips over these roads and highways. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 16th, 2006.
(Last checked 01/19/06)

Sexual Assault on Campus: What Colleges and Universities are Doing About It
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/205521.htm
Findings from the first major survey about sexual assault on college campuses, whether the crimes are being reported and whether schools are complying with federal requirements. From the National Institute of Justice.
(Last checked 01/04/06)

Social Security Retirement Planner
http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/
"This planner provides detailed information about your Social Security retirement benefits under current law and points out things you may want to consider as you prepare for the future. You can use the calculators to test out different retirement ages or different future earnings amounts. If you are already near retirement age, you'll find instructions on how to apply for benefits and what supporting documents you'll need to furnish. There is also information about how members of your family may qualify for benefits with you." Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, December 12th, 2005.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/sawhtml/sawhome.html
"This presentation features 68 motion pictures produced between 1898 and 1901 of the Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine Revolution. The Spanish-American War was the first U.S. war in which the motion picture camera played a role. These films were made by the Edison Manufacturing Company and the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company and consist of actualities filmed in the U.S., Cuba, and the Philippines, showing troops, ships, notable figures, and parades, as well as reenactments of battles and other war-time events. The Special Presentation presents the motion pictures in chronological order together with brief essays that provide a historical context for their filming." Part of the Library of Congress, American Memory Project. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, December 26th, 2005, and January 2, 2006.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

Statistical Abstract of the United States 2006
http://www.census.gov/statab/www/
Latest edition of the annual compilation of data on all aspects of American life. 2006 edition includes 1375 tables with 80 new tables. From the Census Bureau.
(Last checked 12/29/05)

Trans Fat
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/transfat.html
"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires food manufacturers to list trans fat (i.e., trans fatty acids) on Nutrition Facts and some Supplement Facts panels. Scientific evidence shows that consumption of saturated fat, trans fat, and dietary cholesterol raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol levels that increase the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, over 12.5 million Americans suffer from CHD, and more than 500,000 die each year. This makes CHD one of the leading causes of death in the United States today." This site from the FDA explains the health risks for those consuming large amounts of Trans Fats and what the agency is requiring manufacturers to publish on their packaged foods to alert the public about this ingredient. Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, January 9, 2006.
(Last checked 01/13/06)

United Nations : Report of the International Independent Investigation Commission
Established Pursuant To Security Council Resolution 1595 (2005)
http://www.un.org/news/dh/docs/mehlisreport/
The UN report on the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon, and one of the major sources of irritation that the United States has with Syria, other than aiding and abetting anti-U.S. efforts in Iraq.
(Last checked 01/17/06)

USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (H.R. 3199): A Side-by-Side Comparison of Existing Law, H.R. 3199 (Conference) and H.R. 3199 (Senate Passed
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/59027.pdf
The Congressional Research Service provides a side-by-side comparison of the existing law with the modifications agreed to in conference and passed by the Senate... Congressional Research Service report RL33210, December 28, 2005.
(Last checked 01/18/06)

U.S. Congress Votes Database
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/?referrer=email&referrer=email&referrer=email
This site, washingtonpost.com’s U.S. Congress Votes Database, is a deep database of every vote in the United States Congress since the 102nd Congress (1991). It lets you browse votes in a variety of ways — both in aggregate and for individual members of Congress. Browse the database by drilling down to a particular Congress (e.g. 109th Congress) or particular member (e.g. 109th Congress senators). This site can also serve as a current awareness service via an RSS feed of recent votes by each member of Congress, and a feed of the most recent votes in both chambers. See the RSS page for full details. It is generally updated every day, although there is a delay between a vote in Congress and its appearance on the official Congress Web sites.
Previously mentioned in Red Tape Blog
(Last checked 01/19/06)

U.S. Military Under Strain and At Risk
http://reed.senate.gov/documents/Reports/National%20Security%20Report%2001252006.pdf
This paper is intended to sound a warning -- to raise awareness about the state of our ground forces today and the very real risk that poses to our future security. This paper also proposes an actionplan for restoring the health and vitality of the U.S. miliary. William James Perry, National Security Advisory Group, 2006. 22pp.
(Last checked 01/31/06)

VA Gravesite Locator
http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/j2ee/servlet/NGL_v1
The Veterans Administration has made it easier and faster for the public to get answers about family history, old war buddies or famous war heroes. The agency has put on the Web 3.2 million records for veterans buried at 120 national cemeteries since the Civil War. Recently, the VA added almost two million veterans' records to its grave locator -- mostly veterans buried in private cemeteries. That brings the number of names in the grave site locator up to about five million. The front page has a simple search that allows you to look for first name and last name. The advanced search allows you to specify a date of birth and/or death, and include a cemetery. Results include name, rank, branch of service, birth and death dates, and the name and section of the cemetery where they are. The VA will withhold some information, such as next of kin, for privacy purposes. Source : ResearchBuzz #362, December 29, 2005
(Last checked 01/04/06)

West Point in the Making of America
http://americanhistory.si.edu/westpoint/
"n March 2002, the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, celebrated 200 years of producing leaders for the United States Army—and also for American science, education, engineering, exploration, public works, business, manufacturing, communications, and transportation. This bicentennial exhibition looks at the lives of selected West Point graduates, some famous, others less well known. All attended the Academy between 1802 and 1918. Families are also part of the story, because they helped sustain army communities. The stories of the officers and their families blend into the U.S. Army’s major functions of 19th- and early 20th-century America: building the nation’s infrastructure of roads, bridges, canals, and railroads; exploring its territories from the Mississippi to the Pacific; and fighting its wars—the role of the West Pointers in engineering, exploration, and war."Spotted on the El Dorado County (California) Library What's Hot On the Internet This Week web site, December 26th, 2005, and January 2, 2006.
(Last checked 01/12/06)

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