Author Andy Medici

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.

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,…

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…

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…

On Oct. 1, 2013 the federal government became the victim of a gridlocked Congress and began to shut down. Hundreds of thousands of workers were furloughed without notice while many more kept working – unsure of when they would be paid. Just one day later the 50 or so employees at the Bureau of Land Management’s Cliffside Gas Field – the last remaining federal helium plant – breathed a sigh of relief. The facility had only been allowed to operate until Oct. 7, but Congress had managed to finalize legislation that would keep the facility open for more than six…

You know your wedding day will be memorable when it triggers a series of environmental reviews and a proposed rule from the federal government. That is definitely the case for a lucky person named “Ellie,’ whose planned wedding fireworks display on June 27 about 1.5 miles into the Long Island Sound near Greenwich, Conn., had to be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Because the fireworks will be launched from a barge in navigable waterways, the Coast Guard had to perform an environmental impact review and formally establish a temporary safety zone. “This temporary rule proposes to establish a safety…

Every year at the end of August nearly 70,000 people descend on Black Rock Desert in Pershing County, Nevada to take part in the celebration of radical self expression known as Burning Man. And for many people it’s synonymous with drug use and burning a giant wooden man in the middle of the desert. But according to the Bureau of Land Management — which has jurisdiction over government land and the Burning Man festival grounds in particular — the number of people cited or arrested is quite low for its size and duration. In 2013 only 6 people out of…

Braulio Castillo first became famous when he was the subject of a House investigation into how he parlayed a 30-year-old prep school ankle injury into getting $500 million in contracts in the form of a special service-disabled veteran status for his company Signet Computers. He suffered the injury while attending the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School in 1984 but played football the next year at the University of San Diego. In 2012 he filed a claim with the Veterans Affairs office to get the special status as a service-disable veteran. His special status helped get his company Signet Computers (renamed…

So lets have a little bit of fun today. It seems that every group, school and town is getting a list, so lets add federal employees to those groups! Feel free to add your own at the bottom of the blog. 1. When people shout “high five!” and your first thought is “over my dead body. 2. Jan. 1 doesn’t even hold a candle to Oct. 1. Its the cleanest slate you can imagine. 3. You give your children 180 days to respond to a new rule you are proposing. Corollary: You refer to your family as “stakeholders.” 4. You…

On March 7 22-year-old Taylor Blake Martin and Seth Andrew Stephenson pleaded guilty in court to harassing an endangered species by luring an adult manatee and its calf to a dock and then “cannonballing” on top of them. Martin and Stephenson then posted a video of the incident on Facebook, which brought it to the attention of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Martin and Stephenson face a year in prison and a maximum $50,000 fine. After the video was posted on Facebook, several people commented on it.  In response to a post that expressed displeasure with Martin’s actions, Martin…

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