Monthly Archives: May, 2014

A hat tip to a site you should know about: The Government Attic

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I wanted to spend a moment today to tip my hat to the Government Attic. It’s essentially a resource for information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that is put up for anyone to look through. It’s been a fantastic source of stories for me and for others I know who follow the site. You might remember this story about Burning Man. It was made possible with the documents stored on the Government Attic site. The intended audience is the public, journalists, researchers and others.  It is entirely self-funded and does not accept any money from anywhere or any…

Attention small businesses, the Coast Guard is looking for some officer swords

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The United States Coast Guard is asking small businesses for bids from small businesses for about 580 swords and accompanying scabbards, according to a solicitation posted on Fed Biz Opps on May 23. The solicitation is only for small businesses who are able to supply officer swords with specialized grips, pommels and blades with the appropriate insignia. Small businesses have until June 3, at 5 p.m. to submit their proposals. Here are some sketches of the scabbards in question. The rest are available here.

Committee passes bill to limit Oil paintings for government officials to $20,000 each

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The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted May 21 to limit the federal dollars spent on oil paintings of government officials – and restrict who gets to have themselves painted. The aptly named Responsible Use of Taxpayer Dollars for Portraits Act of 2013, co-sponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would permanently cap the amount of each painting to $20,000 and would limit those eligible to those in line for presidential succession. While the government is currently prohibited from spending money on oil paintings of government officials the ban lasts only through this fiscal year,…

11 things you probably didn't know were in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015

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On May 8, the House Armed Services Committee voted on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 – about 15 minutes after midnight. The committee voted on hundreds of amendments and debated the legislation for more than 12 hours before finally passing it. You have probably heard some of the highlights of whats in the bill, but here is a longer list of stuff that made it in that you might not have heard about. Now remember, the bill still needs to be voted on by the full House and then by the Senate, so there are still changes that…

Tensions high after masked men threaten Bureau of Land Management workers

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Things are getting scary out west for federal workers. On May 6 on Interstate 15 in Utah a pair of masked men in a pickup truck rode up beside a Bureau of Land Management car and, brandishing a gun and holding a note reading “you need to die” before driving off. The license plate was covered with duct tape and law enforcement has yet to locate the vehicle or the suspects. Jeff Krauss, spokesman for BLM, said the agency is looking into the matter with the help of law enforcement. “Threats against BLM employees will not be tolerated.  We are…