Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: August 8, 2013

Economic Statistics for 8 Aug 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 3.5 points to -23.5, the highest in 5 years.

Chain store sales were mostly positive for July, though most of the increases come from new stores, with same store sales a bit weak.

Initial claims for unemployment rose 7,000 last week, to 333,000. The 4-week moving average fell 5,750 to 335,500, Continuing claims rose 59,000 to 3.018 million.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $13.6 billion last week, with total assets of $3.585 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $10.3 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $46.4 billion last week.

Dale Franks
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Give government power and they’ll abuse it: Part II

Well, well, well … here’s a surprise!  Not!

Remember the post the other day about how the DEA was “recreating the investigative trail” to hide where they got some of their initial info (you know, the newest euphemism for lying)?

As with most of these sorts of stories, it apparently only exposed the tip of the proverbial iceberg:

Details of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program that feeds tips to federal agents and then instructs them to alter the investigative trail were published in a manual used by agents of the Internal Revenue Service for two years.

The practice of recreating the investigative trail, highly criticized by former prosecutors and defense lawyers after Reuters reported it this week, is now under review by the Justice Department. Two high-profile Republicans have also raised questions about the procedure.

A 350-word entry in the Internal Revenue Manual instructed agents of the U.S. tax agency to omit any reference to tips supplied by the DEA’s Special Operations Division, especially from affidavits, court proceedings or investigative files. The entry was published and posted online in 2005 and 2006, and was removed in early 2007. The IRS is among two dozen arms of the government working with the Special Operations Division, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.

So … it could even go deeper, no?  And of course, this just adds more mud to the IRS’s already mud-spattered reputation.

Show of hands … how many would be shocked, shocked I tell you to learn that the FBI, CIA, NSA and a myriad of other alphabet soup Federal agencies were doing this as well? 

For those not raising your hand, naïve doesn’t even begin to cover it.