Reassessing the Gulf Military Balance – Part One: Conventional and Asymmetric Forces

Reassessing the Gulf Military Balance – Part One: Conventional and Asymmetric Forces. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Anthony H. Cordesman et al. October 10, 2012.

The ongoing crisis over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, uncertain diplomatic efforts, and the steady build up of forces in the Gulf creates a growing risk of some form of military clash between Iran and the U.S. and its allies. Such a clash can take many different forms, each presenting differing levels of risks, costs, and potential benefits. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 207 pages, 2.86 MB].

Latino Voters Support Obama by 3-1 Ratio, But Are Less Certain than Others about Voting

Latino Voters Support Obama by 3-1 Ratio, But Are Less Certain than Others about Voting. Pew Hispanic Center. Mark Hugo Lopez and Ana Gonzales. October 11, 2012.

Latino registered voters prefer President Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 69% to 21%; express growing satisfaction with the direction of the nation and the state of their personal finances; but are somewhat less certain than non-Hispanics that they will vote in this election. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 64 pages, 1.33 MB].

Antipoverty Effects of Unemployment Insurance

Antipoverty Effects of Unemployment Insurance. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Thomas Gabe and Julie M. Whittaker. October 16, 2012.

This report examines the antipoverty effects of unemployment insurance benefits during the past recession and the economic recovery. The analysis highlights the impact of the additional and expanded unemployment insurance (UI) benefits available to unemployed workers through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; P.L. 111-5) and the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program (Title IV of P.L. 110-252). In 2011, approximately 56% of all unemployed individuals were receiving UI benefits (down from a high of 66% in 2010) and thus were directly affected by legislative changes to the UI system. UI benefits appear to have a large poverty-reducing effect among unemployed workers who receive them. Given the extended length of unemployment among jobless workers, the additional weeks of UI benefits beyond the regular program’s 26-week limit appear to have had an especially important effect in poverty reduction.

[PDF format, 42 pages, 530.18 KB].

U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts

U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Brock R. Williams and J. Michael Donnelly. October 19, 2012.

The global financial crisis and the U.S. recession, during the 19 months from December 2007 through June 2009, caused the U.S. trade deficit to decrease, or lessen, from August 2008 through May 2009. Since then it has begun to increase again as recovery has commenced. The financial crisis caused U.S. imports to drop faster than U.S. exports, but that trend has reversed as U.S. demand for imports recovers.

[PDF format, 38 pages, 480.24 KB].

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track? Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. James E. McCarthy and Claudia Copeland. October 5, 2012.

Since Barack Obama was sworn in as President in 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed and promulgated numerous regulations implementing the pollution control statutes enacted by Congress. Critics have reacted strongly. Many, both within Congress and outside of it, have accused the agency of reaching beyond the authority given it by Congress and ignoring or underestimating the costs and economic impacts of proposed and promulgated rules. The House has conducted vigorous oversight of the agency in the 112th Congress, and has approved several bills that would overturn specific regulations or limit the agency’s authority. Particular attention is being paid to the Clean Air Act, under which EPA has moved forward with the first federal controls on emissions of greenhouse gases and also addressed emissions of conventional pollutants from a number of industries.

[PDF format, 46 pages, 494.06 KB].

More Americans Say There Is Solid Evidence of Global Warming

More Americans Say There Is Solid Evidence of Global Warming. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. October 15, 2012.

The percentage of Americans saying there is solid evidence of global warming has steadily increased over the past few years. Currently, 67% say there is solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades, up four points since last year and 10 points since 2009. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 118.49 KB].

China Play in US Election.

China Play in US Election. YaleGlobal. Edward Gresser. October 15, 2012.

U.S. politicians often gripe about China, but campaign promises to “get tough” aren’t easy to keep. China is the third largest export market for U.S. products. The Obama administration has already heightened enforcement of trade laws and filed more trade complaints than the previous administration. Even so, Mitt Romney’s website suggests that the Obama administration extends “acquiescence to the one-way arrangements the Chinese have come to enjoy”; Romney promises a tough stance, including a willingness to “walk away” from unsatisfactory negotiations. Gresser warns tough policies, including declaring China a currency manipulator, could result in an “irreparable breach in the larger relationship with China.” Tensions run high over North Korea nuclear weapons development, maritime sovereignty and climate change. Chinese elites may worry that Republicans will do to China what they’ve done to domestic opponents, oppose everything China wants. China may be accustomed to the campaign rhetoric, or could decide to “walk away” first from a dysfunctional, polarized, deficit-ridden partner, insecure about its own decline and intent on dragging others down with it. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Improving Maternal Mortality and Other Aspects of Women’s Health

Improving Maternal Mortality and Other Aspects of Women’s Health. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Phillip Nieburg. October 5, 2012.

Over the past several decades, the world has witnessed some astonishing global health success stories–from the eradication of smallpox to the expanding control of other vaccine-preventable diseases to the widespread provision of effective treatment for HIV/AIDS to millions of people. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 1.57 MB].

Job Polarization and the Great Recession

Job Polarization and the Great Recession. Urban Institute. Josh Mitchell and Austin Nichols. October 15, 2012.

For decades, the labor market has grown more polarized with employment and wages growing more slowly for middle-skill jobs than for other jobs. By most measures, polarization did not accelerate during the Great Recession. More polarization is evident, however, in the wages of re-employed workers. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 7 pages, 1.3 MB].