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Daily Archives: May 17, 2017

US Courts – Interactive Database Aids the Study of Judiciary Trends

“A recently enhanced database that houses information about civil and criminal federal cases dating to 1970 is now available to researchers and the public on the Federal Judicial Center’s website as part of a partnership with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The interactive database contains docket information from district, appellate, and bankruptcy court filings and terminations, including plaintiff and defendant names, filing date, termination date, disposition of the case, type of lawsuit, jurisdiction, and docket number. It excludes judges’ names as a preventative measure against judge-shopping by plaintiffs. Use of the database is free and it allows for multiyear data analyses. Data can be downloaded in annual and multi-year batches, or users can select their target cases using the database’s interactive feature. For several decades it has been a frequent tool for academic researchers studying workload trends in the federal Judiciary. For example, it’s been used in the past to examine how plea bargaining and charging outcomes have changed over time in response to changes in sentencing laws and to analyze the market impacts of corporate lawsuits involving publicly traded companies. It is also useful as a sort of “shopping list” for the PACER database, the federal Judiciary’s online service that makes judicial opinions, motions, pleadings and other actual records of cases available to the public.  Using the database on the FJC’s site in conjunction with PACER can help users zero in on the types of records sought, saving unnecessary document downloads. The revamped database adds in some data sets that were not in earlier versions: civil-case plaintiff and defendant names and docket numbers. It will also be updated with recent case information more frequently than in the past. A version of the database will continue to be housed at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan, where it has been available since the 1980s. The Federal Judicial Center is the research and education arm of the federal Judiciary and often works in partnership with the AO, the Judiciary’s administrative agency. The AO collects and supplies the records for the database.”

Pew – Tech Adoption Climbs Among Older Adults

“A record 46 million seniors live in the United States today, and older Americans – those age 65 and older – now account for 15% of the overall U.S. population. By 2050, 22% of Americans will be 65 and older, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections. At the same time America is graying, recent Pew… Continue Reading

Guardian – How real books have trumped ebooks

Alex Preston – The digital revolution was expected to kill traditional publishing. But print books are ever more beautifully designed and lovingly cherished “James Daunt, chief executive of Waterstones, contends that the resurgence of the physical book is real and sustainable. Furthermore, a focus on the book as object of desire has been central to… Continue Reading

Gaps in Coverage Among People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Kaiser Family Foundation: “The American Health Care Act (AHCA), which has passed the House of Representatives, contains a controversial provision that would allow states to waive community rating in the individual insurance market. In this brief we estimate the number of people with pre-existing conditions who might be affected by such a policy.” Continue Reading

DOJ – Appointment of Special Counsel to investigate Russian activities impacting US election

“Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein today announced the appointment of former Department of Justice official and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to serve as Special Counsel to oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters. This is a copy of the order.” “In… Continue Reading

Purchases on Google Now Available for Beta Request

Anthony Capetola on May 16, 2017 – Sales and Orders Blog: “This is new and we only just noticed it in Merchant Center. It seems as though Google quietly rolled out the Beta for Purchases on Google. Access to the request form can be found in Merchant Center Programs in your Merchant Center account. Additionally,… Continue Reading

Household Debt Reaches New Peak Driven by Gains in Mortgage, Auto, and Student Debt

Federal Reserve Bank of New York: “The Center for Microeconomic Data’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit reveals that total household debt achieved a new peak in the first quarter of 2017, rising by $149 billion to $12.73 trillion—$50 billion above the previous peak reached in the third quarter of 2008. Balances climbed… Continue Reading

GAO – Gov’t Opportunities to Address Pervasive Management Risks and Challenges while Reducing Federal Costs

Government Efficiency and Effectiveness: Opportunities to Address Pervasive Management Risks and Challenges while Reducing Federal Costs, GAO-17-631T: Published: May 17, 2017. Publicly Released: May 17, 2017: “The federal government is on a long-term, unsustainable fiscal path—it is spending more money than it is collecting. We’ve made hundreds of recommendations through our High Risk list and… Continue Reading

FTC – New dietary supplement website launched

“Ever wonder if your dietary supplements are truly safe, effective and risk-free? If you are a member of the military, this question can be particularly important. Servicemembers often are targeted by companies selling supplements: to help members of the military lose weight, enhance workouts, or be in top shape for battle. If you’re considering using… Continue Reading

The Emoji States of America – a new way to present government data

I admit to not being and emjoi aficionado, so to make up for this apparent deficit, I offer you The Emoji States of America – via Axios Visuals Editor Lazaro Gamio: “This visualization is a modified version of Chernoff Faces, a technique that maps multiple statistical values to the features of a face. Because it’s… Continue Reading

The Visual History of Decreasing War and Violence

Truth be told, the world has not become more violent. The facts specific to the history of violence are documented in numerous charts, graphs and statistics, all expertly researched and presented by Our World in Data (OWID) – an online publication that shows how living conditions are changing. The 18 slides that comprise the presentation… Continue Reading