July 4 — on a hammock or stuck at work?

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 at the end 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 next week, when lots of us will be back to work. Enjoy today and check it out tomorrow.

Happy holiday. Check this space next week.



By Jack Moore

When the music for the “Star Spangled Banner” was first published, the opening words “O” and “say” were written as the same note. It’s unclear when the anthem’s opening evolved to the two-note, minor-third descending interval we all know today.

(Source: Slate)


OMB to reward employees who receive positive customer service reviews
One of the Office of Management and Budget’s cross-agency priority goals is to bring customer service more in line with private sector experiences. OMB says it wants to focus on front-line personnel in these efforts. The plan indicates the award structure will be completed over the next few months and be ready to launch by the first quarter of 2015.

VA medical inspector retires after scathing report
The chief medical inspector for the Department of Veterans Affairs has retired, following a report that his office downplayed whistleblower complaints outlining serious problems at VA facilities across the country, acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson said Wednesday.