The Graphic Guide to Cybersecurity and Simplicity

The Graphic Guide to Cybersecurity and Simplicity. New America Foundation. Dan Ward. Web posted February 29, 2016.

A comic by Dan Ward illustrates the tendency we have to overcomplicate security, when a simple solution would suffice. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 1.53 MB].

A Primer on Disaster and Emergency Appropriations

A Primer on Disaster and Emergency Appropriations. The Heritage Foundation. Justin Bogie. March 2, 2016.

Each year, Congress appropriates billions of dollars in discretionary funding for disaster relief and emergencies. Some of that funding is provided through base appropriations measures, but a much larger portion is provided through annual Budget Control Act (BCA) cap adjustments that increase discretionary spending by billions of dollars, or by supplemental appropriations bills that provide even greater amounts of funding that is not subject to spending caps or budgetary controls. The paper outlines the three classifications of disaster and emergency spending and discusses the importance of paying for these events within the normal annual appropriations except in the cases of true emergencies. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 3 pages, 121.36 KB].

An Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals

An Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals. Urban Institute. Richard C. Auxier et al. March 3, 2016.

Hillary Clinton proposes raising taxes on high-income taxpayers, modifying taxation of multinational corporations, repealing fossil fuel tax incentives, and increasing estate and gift taxes. Her proposals would increase revenue by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. Nearly all of the tax increases would fall on the top 1 percent; the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers would see little or no change in their taxes. Marginal tax rates would increase, reducing incentives to work, save, and invest, and the tax code would become more complex. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 40 pages, 450.49 KB].

After EU Deal, British Voters Weigh Costs and Benefits of Brexit

After EU Deal, British Voters Weigh Costs and Benefits of Brexit. YaleGlobal. David D. Cameron. February 25, 2016.

Like other nations, the United Kingdom faces ongoing pressures from debt, demographics, and refugees fleeing the Middle East. Some politicians use the European Union as a convenient scapegoat for their own troubles. In 2013, British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to renegotiate terms of Britain’s membership in the EU. A referendum on whether the country should remain a member is set for June. The settlement addresses irritants in the areas of economic governance, competitiveness, social benefits and free movement, but does not change treaty terms or provide significant EU reform. Economic crisis has hit Europe hard in recent years, but the EU remains a powerful force in trade, accounting for 20 percent of global exports and imports while representing only 7 percent of the world’s population. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

More Support for Justice Department Than for Apple in Dispute Over Unlocking iPhone

More Support for Justice Department Than for Apple in Dispute Over Unlocking iPhone. Pew Research Center. February 22, 2016.

As the standoff between the Department of Justice and Apple Inc. continues over an iPhone used by one of the suspects in the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, 51% say Apple should unlock the iPhone to assist the ongoing FBI investigation. Fewer Americans (38%) say Apple should not unlock the phone to ensure the security of its other users’ information; 11% do not offer an opinion on the question. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 7 pages, 323.87 KB].

The Kingdom and the Caliphate: Duel of the Islamic States

The Kingdom and the Caliphate: Duel of the Islamic States. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Cole Bunzel. February 18, 2016.

Since late 2014 the Islamic State has declared war on Saudi Arabia and launched a series of terrorist attacks on Saudi soil intended to start an uprising. In a further attack on the Saudi kingdom, the self-declared caliphate has claimed to be the true representative of the severe form of Islam indigenous to Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism. These two very different versions of an Islamic state are at war over a shared religious heritage and territory. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 50 pages, 348.28 KB]].

Scoring the College Scorecard: What’s Good and What Needs Improvement

Scoring the College Scorecard: What’s Good and What Needs Improvement. Center for American Progress. Ben Miller. February 16, 2016.

The word “voluminous” does not even begin to describe the College Scorecard. The new tool to help students and their families choose institutions of higher education, released by the U.S. Department of Education in September 2015, contains 1,700 variables about more than 7,000 colleges across 18 years of data from 1996 to 2013. It is almost certainly the largest release ever of higher education data. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 34 pages, 713.5 KB].

Smaller Share of Women Ages 65 and Older Are Living Alone

Smaller Share of Women Ages 65 and Older Are Living Alone. Pew Research Center. Renee Stepler. February 18, 2016.

After rising steadily for nearly a century, the share of older Americans who live alone has fallen since 1990, largely because women ages 65 to 84 are increasingly likely to live with their spouse or their children. The likelihood of living alone has grown since 1990 for older men and for women ages 85 and up. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 27 pages, 513.09 KB].

U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy

U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. William A. Kandel. February 17, 2016.

Family reunification is a key principle underlying U.S. immigration policy. It is embodied in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which specifies numerical limits for five family-based admission categories, as well as a per-country limit on total family-based admissions. The five categories include immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and four other family-based categories that vary according to individual characteristics such as the legal status of the petitioning U.S.-based relative, and the age, family relationship, and marital status of the prospective immigrant.

[PDF format, 35 pages, 932.2 KB].

Border Security Metrics Between Ports of Entry

Border Security Metrics Between Ports of Entry. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Carla N. Argueta. February 16, 2016.

Understanding the risks present at the U.S. borders and developing methods to measure border security are key challenges for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Border Patrol, the agency within DHS charged with securing the border between ports of entry. Metrics for border security are used at both the strategic level, by DHS, and at the operational level by Customs and Border Protection (Border Patrol). This report reviews DHS’s and the Border Patrol’s use of metrics in evaluating their objective to secure the border between ports of entry. DHS and the Border Patrol can use metrics to measure their performance and estimate risks at the border. Additionally, metrics provide Congress with an understanding of DHS’s and Border Patrol’s progress in securing the border.

[PDF format, 23 pages, 811.09 KB].