GSA: Thank you, thank you!

In political Washington, the general rule-of-thumb is never kick ’em while they are up. That is, we wait for someone (or something) to get caught with their pants down, their hand in the cookie jar, or in some other embarrassing situation. Then we strike. Pile on! If there is film at 11 or oh-my-God video on YouTube, so much the better.

Suffice to say that all of us in the political-media-legal community here salute a small band of GSA workers — and especially their career and political bosses — for the recent dumbdown in the desert.

Although we publicly strive for world peace, racial harmony and good things for mankind, we are in our element when a tornado hits a trailer park, hotels are infested with head lice, man bites dog, or, especially, when someone in authority inserts foot in mouth or some other amusing orifice.

Lots of comment here in D.C., and elsewhere from members of the public about the GSA team-building exercise in Nevada not far from the spot where they used to test atomic bombs. Except more quietly.


Most of the response we got here at Federal News Radio is from, not surprisingly, federal workers. Many of them are twice as offended as the typical taxpayer (or sanctimonious politician) because they are twice wounded. First as taxpayers, but also as fellow government workers. The actions of a small band of feds has further demonized all government workers who have already been denounced, in print, on TV and in Congress, as overpaid and/or underworked.

The question many are asking is what-made-them do it? What were they thinking? And what about those supposedly funny videos — posted on YouTube yet — that provide and confirm the smoking gun. Maybe even worse, they weren’t funny!

Like many people in the media we, and the folks at the Federal Times, have been following the GSA meltdown. Reporters Andy Medici and Steve Losey, who have followed the story, will be on our Your Turn radio show today at 10:30 a.m. EST. We’ll pick it apart, pick their brains and seek your questions and comments

Losey will also update us on OPM’s war on its retirement-claims backlog.

Saving big bucks

Before we leap into the why’s of the GSA affair, we plan to start off our Your Turn show on a happier note. Dealing with money. Your money. Allan Roth of CBS tells the 10 secrets of parting with as little of your hard-earned money as possible. Roth admits to owning a 70-inch TV and staying in top-line hotels. Yet he says he saves a bundle nearly every time he gets out his wallet. How so? Here’s a sneak preview.


By Jack Moore

A 19-year-old man walking naked through an Indiana neighborhood told police he was unclothed because it was opposite day, according to the Smoking Gun website. “Fine, in that case, you are not going to jail for public indecency,” the police officer replied before booking the man for just that.


GSA places deputy PBS Commissioner Foley on leave
David Foley, the deputy Public Buildings Service commissioner, has become the fourth senior executive at headquarters to feel the aftershocks of a scathing inspector general’s report on excessive spending and waste.

OPM retirement backlog falls 14 percent as agency surpasses monthly goals
The Office of Personnel Management has consistently made progress processing retirement claims since the start of the calendar year, even as federal employees continue to retire in higher-than-projected numbers. In each of the first three months of the year, OPM surpassed its processing goal, according to OPM data released last week. Over the same period of time, the agency cut its longstanding backlog of retirement claims by 14 percent from January levels.