New Trump Budget Eliminates Arts, Humanities, Library Agencies

Source: Jackie Zubrzycki, Education Week, Curriculum Matters blog, May 23, 2017

The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences would begin shutting down in 2018 if President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget, released today, is approved by Congress.

The $4.1 trillion budget, called “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” involves significant tax cuts, an increase in spending on the military and border security, and cuts to domestic programs like Medicaid along with the arts, humanities, and library agencies.

Trump’s initial budget proposal, released in March, involved cutting the endowments and IMLS, which support education programs around the country. Supporters breathed a sigh of relief when the endowments received extra funds through the end of 2017. ….

But Trump’s new budget again calls for the elimination of the agencies, asserting that the endowments are not “core federal activities” and that getting rid of the IMLS will likely not cause “a significant number” of libraries and museums to close.

Jim Martin Table: FY 2018 President’s Budget

Source: Federal Funds Information for States, May 2017
(subscription required)

The Jim Martin table is an homage to Jim Martin, a long-time director of federal relations at the National Governors Association and a big supporter of FFIS in its early days. He requested the table because he wanted to show changes in federal funding for major programs on one sheet of paper. We’re told he carried it wherever he went, including Washington, DC’s metro, where he was seen distributing it to anyone who was interested. Alas, Jim is gone but his eponymous table lives on.

Jim Martin Table: FY 2018 President’s Budget
May 23, 2017
The Jim Martin Table has been updated to reflect the president’s FY 2018 budget request.
Full Report

Jim Martin Table: FY 2017 Omnibus
May 2, 2017
The Jim Martin Table has been updated to reflect funding under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244).

Maternal occupational physical activity and risk for orofacial clefts

Source: A. J. Agopian, Jihye Kim, Peter H. Langlois, Laura Lee, Lawrence W. Whitehead, Elaine Symanski, Michele L. Herdt, George L. Delclos, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, May 19, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Objectives
To perform a case-control study of maternal occupational physical activity and risk for orofacial clefts in Texas during 1999-2009.

Methods
We used logistic regression to assess 14 measures of physical activity estimated from a job exposure matrix, using the maternal occupation reported on the birth certificate, among 887 children with cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CLP), 436 children with cleft palate only (CP), and 1932 controls.

Results
After adjusting for several potential confounders, seven measures of physical activity (as a categorical and/or continuous variable) were significantly associated with CLP, CP, or both. Positive associations were seen for keeping balance, kneeling, standing, and walking/running (odds ratio 95% confidence interval range 1.0-1.9 for fourth versus first quartile). A significant positive trend was also seen for bending/twisting. Negative associations were seen for repetitive motion and sitting.

Conclusions
Maternal occupational physical activity may be related to the etiology of orofacial clefts.

Psychosocial work factors and low back pain in taxi drivers

Source: Barbara J. Burgel, Rami A. Elshatarat, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Online First, May 19, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Introduction
Taxi drivers are at high risk for low back pain (LBP).

Aim
Identify the association between psychosocial-work factors (Job strain, Iso-strain, effort-reward imbalance [ERI], unfairness, and mental exertion) and LBP in taxi drivers.

Methods
A cross-sectional study was done with 129 taxi drivers.

Results
Approximately 63% reported LBP in the prior 12 months. Chi square or t-test analyses identified the associations between demographic, work, health, and psychosocial work factors, and self-report of LBP in the prior 12 months. Depression, perceived physical exertion, dispatcher and manager support, unfair treatment at work, and unfair treatment due to nationality were significantly associated with LBP in bivariate analyses. Multivariate logistic regression was done to identify the predictors of LBP. High dispatcher support remained the sole significant predictor for lower prevalence of LBP (OR = 0.66, P = 0.017).

Conclusion
Greater understanding of psychosocial work factors may aid in developing interventions to prevent LBP in taxi drivers.

Evaluation of a state based syndromic surveillance system for the classification and capture of non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses in New Jersey

Source: Marija Borjan, Margaret Lumia, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Online First, May 23, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background
This preliminary study evaluates a real-time syndromic surveillance system to track occupationally-related emergency room visits throughout New Jersey.

Methods
Emergency Department (ED) chief complaint fields were evaluated from 79 of 80 hospitals in NJ in 2014, using work-related keywords and ICD-9 E-codes, to determine its ability to capture non-fatal work-related injuries. Sensitivity analysis and descriptive statistics, were used to evaluate and summarize the occupational injuries identified.

Results
Overall, 11 919 (0.3%) possible work-related ED visits were identified from all ED visits. Events with the greatest number of ED visits were slips, trips, and falls (1679, 14%). Nature of injury included cuts, lacerations (1041, 9%). The part of the body most affected was the back (1414, 12%). This work-related classifier achieved a sensitivity of 5.4%, a specificity of 99.8%, and a PPV of 2.8%.

Conclusions
This evaluation demonstrated that the syndromic surveillance reporting system can yield real-time knowledge of work-related injuries.

These Protesters Are Hitting Trump Where It Actually Hurts

Source: Mattea Kramer, The Nation, May 23, 2017

Could the president be influenced by threats to his profit margin? ….

…. Since Donald Trump’s election in November, and especially since his January inauguration, hundreds of small and not-so-small organizations have sprung up to oppose the president. They joined the ranks of established left-leaning and liberal groups already revving up their engines to fight the administration. Among all the ways you can now voice your dissent, though, there’s one tactic that this president will surely understand: economic resistance aimed at his own businesses and those of his children. He may not be swayed by protesters filling the streets, but he does speak the language of money. Through a host of tactics—including boycotting stores that carry Trump products, punishing corporations and advertisers that underwrite the administration’s agenda, and disrupting business-as-usual at Trump companies—protesters are using the power of the purse to demonstrate their opposition and have planned a day of resistance against his brand on June 14th.

Such economic dissent may prove to be an especially apt path of resistance, especially for the millions of Americans who reside in blue states and have struggled with a sense of powerlessness following the election. After all, it’s not immediately obvious how to take effective political action in the usual American way when your legislators already agree with you. But what blue-state dwellers lack in political sway they make up for in economic clout, since blue states have, on average, greater household incomes and more purchasing power than their red-state compatriots. The impact of coordinated blue-state boycotts could be enormous. That’s why Grab Your Wallet, along with Color of Change, a racial-justice group, and numerous other organizations are encouraging individuals to see their purchasing power as political muscle. ….

…. At first glance, Grab Your Wallet is a modest website: a Google spreadsheet that lists about 50 companies to boycott. Included are the department stores Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Lord & Taylor, as well as online retailers like Overstock.com, Zappos, and Amazon, all of which sell some type of Trump swag. (The precise number of companies listed continues to decline, as retailers dump the Trump brand.) The site gets an impressive two million unique visitors every month, and when I spoke with Coulter, she told me that 22 retailers had dropped Trump products since the start of the boycott. She believes that this is just the beginning…..

Implementation of a resident handling programme and low back pain in elder care workers

Source: Andreas Holtermann, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Volume 74, Issue 6, 2016
(subscription required)

From the introduction:
Low back pain (LBP) is the most important contributor to number of years lived with a disability and a major risk factor for sickness absence and work disability. Occupational groups with physically demanding work, like healthcare workers, have particularly high prevalence of LBP, and a considerable fraction of the LBP is considered to be caused by work-related factors. Moreover, LBP is a particular barrier for sustainable employment among workers with physically demanding work. Therefore, implementation of equipment (mechanical lifts or other assistive devices) for reducing the mechanical loading of healthcare workers during manual handling of residents should theoretically be efficient for preventing LBP and sickness absence among those with LBP. However, interventions implementing equipment for reducing the mechanical loading on healthcare workers during manual handling of residents show conflicting results on LBP. This might be due to the relatively short follow-up period of previous intervention studies introducing equipment for manual handling, which may need longer time before being fully implemented in an organisation. Moreover, it can be caused by lacking repetitive measures of both the implementation of the intervention as well as the often fluctuating level of LBP. Thus, there is a research gap in the documentation of the effects on LBP

Symposium: Court clarifies review of racial gerrymandering, but does not impose strict scrutiny on every intentional creation of a majority-minority district

Source: Kristen Clarke and Ezra Rosenberg, SCOTUSblog, May 22, 2017

As we prepare for the upcoming round of 2020 redistricting, the opinions in Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections and Cooper v. Harris make clear that what constitutes unlawful racial gerrymandering will prove critical. Although states and localities can act intentionally to preserve and create majority-minority districts, they must do so in a way that complies with the Constitution. First, and put simply, race cannot predominate over every other consideration. And, second, unlawful racial gerrymandering cannot be justified as an attempt to achieve partisan ends.

The decisions provide a workable approach for addressing allegations of unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, while at the same time rejecting the proposition that the intentional creation of a majority-minority election district automatically triggers strict scrutiny. This is clear from the sum and substance of the majority opinions, and from the explicit language in the separate opinions of Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas in Bethune-Hill and that of Thomas in Cooper. A contrary result would have imperiled legitimate attempts by state legislatures to create majority-minority districts….

Equal Pay for Mothers Is Critical for Families

Source: Jasmine Tucker, National Women’s Law Center, Fact Sheet, May 2017

From the summary:
More than 22.8 million mothers with children under 18 are in the workforce, making up nearly 1 in 6 – or 15.5 percent – of all workers. The great majority of these mothers work full time. In 2015, 42 percent of mothers were sole or primary family breadwinners, while 22.4 percent of mothers were co-breadwinners, meaning families are increasingly relying on mothers’ earnings.

While women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are typically paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, the wage gap between mothers and fathers is even larger. Mothers working full time, year round outside the home are paid just 71 cents for every dollar paid to fathers, a gap that translates to a loss of $16,000 annually. The wage gap between mothers and fathers exists across education level, age, location, race, and occupation, and compromises families’ economic security….