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Daily Archives: September 14, 2013

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction issues final report to Congress

September 2013: Quarterly Report To Congress

“SIGIR’s successive congressional expansions and extensions proved profitable. Over nine-plus years of existence, the organization cost about $245 million to operate, while providing more than $1.8 billion in financial benefits, including nearly $645 million in direct savings from SIGIR’s audits and more than $192 million in seizures and court-ordered monetary penalties from SIGIR’s investigations. SIGIR’s professional staff completed 390 audits and inspections and executed investigations that led to 90 convictions. This string of productivity included 37 Quarterly Reports to the Congress and 37 testimonies on Capitol Hill. Importantly, the organization generated nine lessons-learned reports, the last of which, Learning From Iraq, suggested reforms that could strengthen the U.S. national security architecture and avert the kind of fraud, waste, and abuse that occurred too often during the Iraq stabilization and reconstruction operation (SRO).”

  • See also via Neil Gordon/POGO:  “SIGIR warned that no one will ever know how the United States spent billions of dollars in Iraq over the past decade. According to SIGIR’s March 2013 audit report, at least $8 billion of the $53 billion spent up to that point was lost to fraud, waste, and abuse.”

The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981-2010

The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981-2010. Michael Siegel, MD, MPH, Craig S. Ross, MBA, and Charles King III, JD, PhD. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print September 12, 2013: e1–e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301409) “Objectives. We examined the relationship between levels of household firearm ownership, as measured directly… Continue Reading

Can the Internet of Everything bring back the High-Growth Economy?

This article by Michael Mandel – who is the chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute and a senior fellow at Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management: “The United States and the other major advanced economies are currently stuck in a seemingly endless twilight of slow growth. The numbers are ugly: The April 2013… Continue Reading

FISA Court Orders Declassification Review of Rulings on NSA

ACLU: “In an important decision, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ordered the government to review for release the court’s opinions on the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The ruling is on a motion filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, and Yale Law… Continue Reading

Disability Shocks Near Retirement Age and Financial Well-Being

“Using Health and Retirement Study data, we examine three groups of adults aged 51–56 in 1992 with different disability experiences over 8 years. Our analysis reveals three major findings. First, people who started and stayed nondisabled experienced stable financial security, with improvement in household wealth despite labor force withdrawal. Second, the newly disabled—people who started as nondisabled… Continue Reading

OASDI Beneficiaries by State and ZIP Code, 2012

“This annual publication focuses on the Social Security beneficiary population at the ZIP Code level. It presents basic program data on the number and type of beneficiaries and the amount of benefits paid in each state, Social Security Administration field office, and ZIP Code. It also shows the number of beneficiaries aged 65 or older.” Continue Reading