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Category: Issue Backgrounder

FDA Proposed Rules on Pet and Animal Food Safety

After yet another widespread pet food recall,┬áthe FDA has released its proposed animal food safety rules. On October 25, Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Mary Clare Jalonick wrote, The proposed rules would require those who sell pet food and animal feed in the United States, including importers, to follow certain sanitation practices and have detailed food safety …Read the Rest

On getting online state codes (mostly) right

I recently had occasion to confirm a citation to the codified statutes of Wisconsin. Wisconsin happens to be one of the minority of states that produces both a directly state-published statutory Code and a commercially published (West, in this case) annotated code. But the quality of the online availability of the “official” code, the Wisconsin …Read the Rest

Government Shutdown and the Debt Ceiling

Update (Oct. 16, 2013) Background Debt Ceiling Debate Clean C.R. vs. Piecemeal Legislation Default Danger Related Legislation CRS Analyses Debt Ceiling Articles News and Blogs Update (Oct. 16, 2013) AP: Deal Reached to Avoid Default, Open Government The draft C.R. includes a $2.9 billion earmark for a Kentucky dam lock project. President Obama’s remarks House …Read the Rest


Background International Law — Primary Sources Selected Books and Book Chapters Legal and Scholarly Articles News/Websites/Blogs Audiovisual Background The use of chemical weapons in the ongoing Syrian conflict presents an issue of classic public international law — when, if ever, one sovereign nation-state can, should, or must involve itself in a conflict otherwise totally contained …Read the Rest

Jury Instructions

The 18th Circuit Court of Seminole County, Florida, released the jury instructions in State v. George Zimmerman. The document is widely available via the internet, via Scribd (posted by ABC Action News), NPR, and various traditional media news websites. The NPR account reports that attorneys debated over nearly every sentence. The starting point for this …Read the Rest

IRS Controversy: What is a 501(c)(4) anyway?

Primary Sources Selected Recent Articles of Interest Disclosure Issues Other Aspects of Political Participation and Non-profit Tax Status Allegations of inappropriate IRS investigations of the tax status of “tea party” groups have put so-called 501(c)(4) groups in the headlines. Section 501 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (i.e. Title 26 of the U.S. Code) identifies …Read the Rest