Federal government

Behold the Best Selling Federal Government Books of 2015

Ahhhh, bureaucracy in action....


U.S. Government Bookstore

Apropos of seemingly nothing, I received an email yesterday heralding the best selling federal government books of 2015. "Find out which Federal titles were ranked among the best for 2015, according to customer purchases over the past year," it stated. Be still my heart! 

The top-selling book of the year seems not to be a book at all, but a fit-for-framing "Gold Retirement Federal Career Service Award Certificate," printed on "high quality, off-white heavy paper stock … embossed with a metallic version of the Great Seal of the United." OK. Same thing for the third best seller, an "international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis as approved by the World Health Organization." 

The second top-selling book provides room for a bit of optimism: a pocket-edition of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. A larger edition of the Constitution also shows up in the number five spot. 

The rest—and the reason I'm sharing—offer an amusing look at bureaucracy and the regulatory state in action. A few titles: 

  • The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right, September 2011 Revision
  • Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute: Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, as Amended, and 5 U.S.C. 5596, The Back Pay Act, as Amended (2012)
  • Government Auditing Standards: 2011 Revision (Yellow Book)
  • Quick Bio-Agents: USAMRIID\'s Pocket Reference Guide to Biological Select Agents & Toxins
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards 
  • Health Insurance Claims Forms (CMS-1500) Single Sheets (Revised 2012)

Alas, 2012, 2013, and 2014 top-sellers such as Ponzimonium: How Scam Artists Are Ripping Off America, Astronomical Almanac for the Year 2013 and Its Companion the Astronomical Almanac Online, Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?National Interoperability Field Operations Guide Version 1.5, and the United States Senate Telephone Directory 2013 have all been bumped. 

NEXT: After Supporting Surveillance Reforms Snowden Helped Bring About, Ted Cruz Calls Him a Traitor

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  1. Quick Bio-Agents: USAMRIID\’s Pocket Reference Guide to Biological Select Agents & Toxins

    The government is providing material support to terrorists by publishing this terrorism manual.

  2. Ponzimonium: How Scam Artists Are Ripping Off America

    Perhaps the Social Security Administration had this one removed.

      1. Yeah, been one of those days…I’ve gotten aced out twice already today.

    1. I don’t even look at my paystubs anymore.

  3. Bumped?!? No, not the National Interoperability Field Operations Guide Version 1.5!

  4. Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?

    How else will you stir the Ents to wrath and to war?!

  5. Ponzimonium: How Scam Artists Are Ripping Off America

    Tell me this was a book about Social Security, and it’ll restore an ounce of faith back in me.

  6. You buy your own retirement award certificate?! Doesn’t that sort of cheapen it?

  7. I’m surprised the novelization of that IRS Star Trek sketch didn’t do better.

    1. Alan Dean Foster can’t write everything, you know.

      1. And thank Jeebus for that.

  8. With Ununtrium in the bag, it was only a matter of time before the Feds added Ponzimonium to the National Stockpile of New Hazards To Regulate,

    Stay tuned for American Spectator & Breitbart pop-ups telling us how to avoid the coming transuranic crash by investing in an Island of Stability

  9. Apropos of seemingly nothing, I received an email yesterday heralding the best selling federal government books of 2015.

    While I laud the ability to convert spam to content, I’m gonna polite pass on the libertarian implications of OTC ED medicine and free market practices of Nigerian princes.

    1. the free market practices of Nigerian princes

      I don’t know, I’d read a hot take on that

  10. Just think of how much money was spent on publishing those titles. People–probably a lot of them–get paid to pump out this shit. And it’s all essentially pointless. And think about how that is probably multiplied by a zillion* times within the government. It’s like a black hole of prosperity and productivity, it just sucks it in and it all disappears, never to be seen again. Does it go to an alternate universe? I don’t know, maybe we should ask JJ Abrams.

    * Zillion is a number, look it up


      1. RED MATTER YO

  11. PAGING ENB: Passenger Says American Airlines Mistakenly Accused Him of Sex Trafficking

    “”I asked him, ‘Can you tell me what this is about?'” Chan told Pix11. “He told me the flight crew had alerted the police that it was a possible case of sex trafficking. They thought I had not spoken any English, and that I was taking directions from Jay during the flight.””

    “What were the reasons the couple was singled out? When Serrano went to the bathroom (because he was sick, but the crew didn’t know that), Chan walked with him there and waited for him outside the lavatory. And at one point in the flight, Serrano asked for half a cup of orange juice. He got a full cup instead and gave some to Chan, who asked for a stirrer.”

    Basically, she’s Asian and he’s white so she must be a sex trafficking victim.

    1. And people think that the Department of Homeland Security training PSAs didn’t have any value.

    2. If they admit *that,* they’re up the creek.

      1. “that” = the racial component.

        Which nowadays is the only way you can challenge this stuff.

    3. Oh my God, this fucking comment:

      “Embarrassing yes, but embarrassment doesn’t kill ? sex-trafficking ? slavery ? is a life of torture and often early death through forced drug abuse. I’d much rather be embarrassed than know that staff had looked the other way when they could have saved a life.”

      There was no evidence she was a sex trafficking victim. She literally just stood outside the bathroom while he was in there because he was sick. Unbelievable.

      1. OMG

        “With all due respect to the other comments here, think about this for a second. What if it *had* been a case of sex trafficking? You think they can just ask the girl point blank? And then, supposing they had confirmed suspicions, what do they do then?

        It’s an embarrassing mix-up, for the couple, for the crew, for the law enforcement involved. But the living hell that sexual victims have to endure is so awful that I think we can afford to put up with a little embarrassment. All of you griping about how their only job is to get paying customers from one place to another are forgetting that all of us in society have a responsibility to each other and if we think something is rotten, we can report it to the proper authorities and let them deal with it, just as happened here.

        Would you ignore the sounds of beating and cries from your drunk neighbor’s house every night when he gets home to his family? I don’t think so. The signs here were far more subtle, but enough that suspicion was reasonably aroused. And I, for one, think they did the right thing. Let’s not discourage people from reporting their concerns in the future by crucifying these flight attendants for their good intentions.”


        1. Shorter:

          “They were completely wrong in every particular, but I feel better, so I say we should encourage people to be completely wrong in every particular every chance they get!”

    4. They thought I had not spoken any English, and that I was taking directions from Jay during the flight.

      So all that time Kevin Smith was getting trafficked?

    5. OK I just blogged about this but I swear I’m just seeing your comment about it now

      (preempting any insufficient-h/t whining…)

  12. Ok, so I have the dead tree copies of the IRC, I get the seasonal updates, and I get the Regs books too. Wanna fight about it?

    Oh, we buy them from Wolters Kluwer. Maybe not the same sweet list.

  13. I admit to owning a copy of the National Interoperability Field Guide. But only because I am the amateur radio operator at my local Emergency Management Office. It was given to me as part of my duties.

    1. Is it Version 1.5, though? God help us all if you’re still using 1.4, or worse, 1.1.

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