Browsing: fun

Happy … General Pulaski Day?

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The vast majority of the federal workforce has today off for Columbus Day, but Ed O’Keefe at the Post notes that in many other places, the tradition is falling out of favor. Some cities have canceled parades, or given workers a floating holiday in lieu of Columbus day. It’s not only the perennial controversy over Native Americans’ post-1492 treatment sinking the holiday — cash-strapped California dropped it entirely last year as part of a budget-cutting effort. O’Keefe’s got a poll that shows respondents are, by a nearly two-to-one margin, against the second Monday in October being a federal holiday. (But…

Excelsior! GPO publishes first comic book

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Printing government budgets year after year may have gotten a little stale for the Government Printing Office, so they’ve decided to spice things up a bit. GPO today announced the publication of its first comic book, “Squeaks Discovers Type!” In the comic, the titular hero traces the history of printing, from cuneiform, to medieval illuminated manuscripts, to Gutenberg’s printing press, to the Internet age. (You can read a few sample pages here.) The whole thing was handled in house — GPO promotions manager Jim Cameron wrote the story, graphic designer Nick Crawford illustrated and colored it, and the agency printed…

The Elizabeth Warren rap

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You know what comes to my mind when I think of Elizabeth Warren, the left’s favorite to be the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Rap music. And Sergio Leone-esque spaghetti westerns. So you can imagine my joy when I stumbled upon this video, from the consumer protection group Main Street Brigade, which is a strong supporter of Warren and Obama’s financial reform efforts. “Got a New Sheriff” combines rapping, auto-tuned lyrics, and Ennio Morricone-inspired whistling, resulting in something that’s … er … unique, to say the least. Unless I’m sorely mistaken, this is the first rap…

Shirley Sherrod responsible for global warming too?

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The Daily Show returned from vacation last night and weighed in on the Shirley Sherrod foofaraw. Jon Stewart, as always, gave the whole absurd episode the gravitas it required by editing the video of her speech to make it look like she was admitting to ruining the environment (the gold-plated Air Force One and alpaca fighting ring were also particularly nice touches). Stephen Colbert then took it one step further by splicing Mel Gibson’s latest racist and very NSFW rant into a quote from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. But why should Stewart, Colbert and Andrew Breitbart have all…

High stakes and bathroom breaks at State ops center

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The Washington Post just posted a fun article that peeks inside the State Department’s high-pressure, round-the-clock operations center. In an office that coordinates phone calls to the most powerful people in the world, even things as mundane as bathroom breaks have their own protocol: “I’m going blue!” duty desk officers call out when they stand up to go to the bathroom. They flip a switch, triggering a blue glow from the [Barbie-sized, light bulb-equipped wooden] outhouse. As on an airplane, the light signals: Bathroom occupied; remain in your seats. Work stations must be staffed in case of an emergency.

Government waste has never been this awesome!

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No-bid contracts? Lobbyists and special interests? Multi-billion dollar Defense acquisition projects that don’t work? Bo-ring! The Onion reports that the public is increasingly demanding that if the government’s going to waste taxpayer dollars, at least spend them on things that are cool. And I think we all can get behind this kind of spending: A CNN poll conducted last month found that, among Americans who favor eliminating tax breaks for Big Oil and blowing the cash on something that’s actually cool, 41 percent want to build a shopping mall in the clouds that would be accessible by hovercar, 33 percent…

Betty White, scourge of the census taker

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Betty White killed on Saturday Night Live this weekend, but it’s a shame they buried this very funny sketch at the end of the show. Something tells me a lot of census takers are going to find themselves in Tina Fey’s shoes (that is to say, they’ll have to deal with downright crazy folks) as they try to survey the last stragglers over the next few weeks. [HTML1]

Saturday Night Live swipes at public employees, unions

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Ouch. And just in time for Public Service Recognition Week. If Sen. Tom Coburn is still wondering why OPM Director John Berry feels the need to polish the image of federal employees, this sketch from the April 24 episode of SNL helps illustrate why. The crowd over on GovLoop mostly seems to be taking the sketch with good humor, but recognizes it as a sign of how bad civil servants’ image has become. Some posters appear thankful that while the sketch first appeared ready to slam federal employees alongside DMV workers, none of the “awardees” ended up being feds. One thing jumped out…

Contest results in: USA.GOV Rocks!

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A couple months ago, I told you about a contest to find the most entertaining and creative video extolling the government’s online information portal, www.usa.gov. Well, the results are in, and the winning entry might have you wondering if punk rockers Green Day have hung up their “American Idiot” creed for a pro-government bent. No, Green Day hasn’t sold out. But the rocking tune from contest winner Peter Sullivan, father of two from Nashville, Tenn., proves that it’s possible to write a song about looking up government information online that might actually appeal to the cool kids. Sullivan won $2,500 from the…