July 4 breather

We hope you’re reading this from a hammock, surrounded by beautiful or nubile admirers who are feeding you dainties while they grill your lunch. Good for you. A nice little break in the middle of the week is always good for your mental health.

And, if today finds you at work, that’s good too. Maybe not for you, but certainly for us. Because what you are doing and where you are doing it is probably good for our health, safety and security. Even if we can’t see you.

Most media outlets find that readers, listeners and viewers drop off on holidays, which makes sense. So we are saving the good stuff for tomorrow, July 5, when lots of us will be back to work. Enjoy today and check it out tomorrow.

Happy holiday. Check this space tomorrow.



By Jack Moore

In the fairy tale classic Snow White, the evil queen creates a sorcerous concoction to poison the apple she gives to the unwitting princess. But Listeria monocytogenesis, dangerous bacteria more commonly referred to as listeria, could be a simpler explanation, according to Life’s Little Mysteries, which provides the “science of fairy tales.” Listeria can reside in a variety of foods, including apples. Last fall, more than a dozen people were killed in an outbreak traced to contaminated cantaloupe.


TSP numbers bounce back in June
After several months of declining numbers, the Thrift Savings Plan figures began to climb through the month of June, with all 10 funds reporting numbers in the black. In May, only the G Fund and the F Fund ended the month on the positive side of the ledger. A month later, though, all 10 funds were posting positive returns.

Agency performance reporting lags under wasteful spending initiative
A report by the Congressional Research Service finds agencies are not listing high-priority goals and regularly updating performance information online as directed by a June 2011 executive order. The order is part of the administration’s broader initiative to increase accountability and cut wasteful government spending.

House bill restores mass transit subsidy
Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) introduced legislation to extend the mass transit tax break that expired at the end of 2011. The subsidy would allow commuters to deduct up to $230 a month for mass transit expenses incurred getting to work. That tax break dropped to $125 per month in 2012.