Wikipedia For Politics? A New Site Gives It A Try

Source: Declan McCullagh, CNET News.com, October 9, 2007

A political Web site set to launch on Tuesday plans to become a kind of Wikipedia-like destination specializing in elections, governments, and political candidates.

The idea behind PoliticalBase.com is to provide a neutral, one-stop source of information about politics (and politicians) to which anyone can contribute. Changes must be approved by a staff editor before they take effect.
Related sites:
From the Center for Media and Democracy:
PRWatch
Coming this Week in Congress
SourceWatch
The 2008 U.S. Congressional Elections Portal
U.S. presidential election, 2008
Congresspedia
TobaccoWiki
See also:
Beta of LOUIS (Library Of Unified Information Sources) Database
Citizendium

Center for the State of the Parks: Park Assessments — National Parks of the Great Lakes

Source: National Parks Conservation Association, State of the Parks, July 2007

From the press release:
The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today released a report that highlights threats to the natural features and cultural sites in six national parks along the Great Lakes–Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin; Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana; Isle Royale National Park, Michigan; Keweenaw National Historical Park, Michigan; Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan; and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan.

The report describes these sites and their significance, and summarizes resource conditions. Also noted are funding and staffing considerations, park planning efforts, resource education opportunities, and external support provided by volunteers and partner organizations.

According to NPCA’s Center for State of the Parks report, the Great Lakes parks face threats from air and water pollution, non-native species that are seriously damaging ecosystems, adjacent development, and funding shortfalls that are threatening every aspect of the parks.
See also:
Summary

Staffing Ratios, Retiree Benefits Sticking Issues as California Nurses Strike Sutter Health

Source: Eileen Prendiville and Mischa Gaus, Labor Notes, #344, November 2007

Leading a strike that one hospital administrator said cost her $1 million a day, 5,000 registered nurses at 10 Northern California hospitals in the Sutter Health chain walked off their jobs for two days in mid-October. Five facilities locked out striking nurses for an additional one to three days when the strike, the largest among nurses in a decade, was over.

As Gaming Grows, Many Tribes Get Left Behind

Source: Tom A. Peter Christian Science Monitor, November 1, 2007

A casino plan in Massachusetts is pushing two Connecticut tribes to expand their gambling operations.

… In New England, all eyes are on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is proposing that the state allow three resort casinos to be built by 2012. He claims the casinos would create 20,000 permanent jobs and generate at least $400 million a year in tax revenues. By some estimates, the plan could cost Connecticut’s tribal casinos $700 million a year in lost business.

Transportation for a Metropolitan Nation

Source: Robert Puentes, Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Project, Congressional Testimony, Committee on the Budget United States House of Representatives, October 25, 2007

Debate on the nation’s transportation policy focuses narrowly on new revenues needed to bolster the federal program. In recent testimony before the House Budget Committee, Fellow Robert Puentes argues that we should start with a clearer articulation of the goals, objectives and desired outcomes.

Putting Patients First: Developing and Maintaining Patient-Centered Medical Practices

Source: Martha Ross and Kathy Patrick, Brookings Institution, October 24, 2007

Focus groups of low-income Washington, DC residents conducted by the DCPCA Medical Homes DC project identified multiple barriers to health care access and problems within the system. The identified barriers are common across the country, especially among low-income and minority populations, and the paper recommends several promising practices that health centers can enact to improve access to care and the patient experience.

2007-2008 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard

Source: Corporation for Enterprise Development, 2007

From the summary:
The 2007-2008 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard contains evidence that even profound and enduring ownership patterns can change and change fast. In the two years since the release of the 2005 Scorecard, median net worth jumped 20% nationwide, while it jumped 68% for women and more than doubled for minorities. Most of these gains have come as a result of increasing homeownership and home values, and are therefore at risk that as interest rates rise and grace periods end, foreclosure rates will also rise. The results underscore the efficacy of housing finance and credit innovation and the need for policing and reigning-in predatory lending.

Yet, the most important message of the 2007-2008 Scorecard, like its two predecessors, is the disparity in asset ownership – and, consequently, economic opportunity–among states, and by race, gender and income.

Guide to the Scorecard

The Alternative Minimum Tax: Assault on the Middle Class

Source: Leonard E. Burman, Urban Institute, October 29, 2007

From the abstract:
In a tax code with no shortage of ironies, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) stands out. Created by Congress in 1969, it was aimed at millionaires, but relatively few millionaires pay it. It is billed as a low-rate levy, but most of its victims face higher taxes because of it. It undermines two widely lauded reforms of the income tax–restoring both bracket creep and the marriage penalty. And though nobody favors keeping this Frankenstein alive, it will be very difficult to kill. Welcome to the tax policy twilight zone.