Congress votes to repeal the 3 percent withholding provision:
By a vote of 422 to 0, the House passed the Senate amended HR 674 to repeal the 3 percent withholding provision. With this House vote, we have overcome the final hurdle in Congress. The bill now goes to the White House for the president's signature! This was a long struggle but the result is an affirmation of the power of collective action. Big thanks to all ALA companies that stepped up to support the repeal of this key legislation.
On supercommittee, growing doubts about reaching a debt deal
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The Washington Post, Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman
With less than a week left before a Thanksgiving deadline, members of the congressional "supercommittee" appear increasingly pessimistic about the odds of forging a debt-reduction deal, despite a new offer by Republicans to raise taxes. The public debate has grown more divisive since both sides laid out their latest offers last week.
DoD won't be exempt from cuts if plan fails
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Army Times, Rick Maze
No knight on a white horse is likely to ride to the Pentagon's rescue if budget-reduction talks fail and automatic, across-the-board cuts are triggered. Although there is talk in the House and Senate about protecting the military from the effects of so-called sequestration, the odds of that happening seem low. Even the lawmaker fighting hardest to shield the military from more cuts doesn't support the idea.
Hints of hope as deficit deadline approaches
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The Wall Street Journal, Janet Hook and Naftali Bendavid
Despite sharp divisions within Congress's special deficit-cutting panel, members of both parties say its goal of trimming at least $1.2 trillion from federal deficits over 10 years remains within grasp, and President Barack Obama tried to provide an additional push.
Panetta: Debt-panel failure would result in 'devastating' defense cuts
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The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta recently warned if the bipartisan debt "supercommittee" fails and an across-the-board spending cut is enacted, the result will be "devastating" for the Pentagon, creating a "substantial risk" that the country's defense needs might not be met.
Top Marine: Nation doesn't grasp impact of massive budget cuts on Defense
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The Hill, John T. Bennett
Additional Pentagon spending cuts would be dangerous and force the military to cut everything from personnel to ammunition to training, according to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos.
Panel stymied, members push Pentagon protection
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National Journal, Yochi J. Dreazen
An influential, bipartisan group of lawmakers is working to shield the Pentagon from sweeping mandatory cuts if the supercommittee fails to strike a deficit-cutting deal.
Supercommittee war scheme
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The Washington Post via The Fiscal Times, Lori Montgomery
The congressional "supercommittee" is looking to count as budget savings as much as $700 billion that the nation no longer plans to spend on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next decade, an accounting gimmick that has drawn fire from both Democrats and Republicans.
Patrick B. Nixon
Deficit stalemate signs rise
The Wall Street Journal Share
One week before Congress's deficit-cutting supercommittee hits its deadline, and with signs of stalemate increasing, lawmakers grappled with the consequences of possible failure. Some lawmakers pushed to water down automatic budget cuts that kick in if the panel fails, especially those that would hit the Pentagon. The group has until Wednesday to find a way to reduce deficits by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. (Subscription required.) More
House passes veterans jobs bill legislation heads to Obama
The Washington Post Share
President Barack Obama will get a chance to sign into law a portion of his $447 billion jobs plan after the House recently agreed to extend tax credits to businesses that hire unemployed veterans and to repeal a tax provision seen as a potential burden to government contractors. This is the first element of Obama's jobs package to get congressional approval. More
Veteran's Day: Why 22 percent of young vets are unemployed
The Christian Science Monitor Share
Veteran's Day drew attention to the unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which outstrips the national average. But efforts to help are growing. More
Obama urges Americans to hire veterans
The Wall Street Journal Share
President Barack Obama observed Veterans Day on Nov. 11, by urging Americans to hire the thousands of servicemen and women coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. In remarks at Arlington National Cemetery, he called it "a time when America needs all hands on deck." (Subscription required.) More
Obama seeks new Pacific influence
The Wall Street Journal Share
President Barack Obama plunged into a long-awaited and high-stakes mission to re-establish U.S. leadership in the Pacific but is bumping into the expanding influence of China at every turn. Obama hosted a forum of 21 Asian-Pacific nations in Hawaii over the weekend. But one of those countries, China, occupied an outsize share of the president's attention and that of his aides, underscoring the challenges the U.S. faces in the Pacific. (Subscription required.) More
For troops, being pitied is tough to take
The Washington Post via PressDisplay Share
Troops are lavished with praise for their sacrifices. But the praise comes with a price, service members say. The public increasingly acts as if it feels sorry for those in uniform. More
Survey: Military families report concern over potential TRICARE fee hike
Government Executive Share
Military families are worried about changes to their health insurance, and those concerns are prompting them to sock away more money for such costs during retirement, according to a new survey. More
Obama tells Asia, US 'here to stay'
President Barack Obama said on Nov. 17, that the U.S. military would expand its role in the Asia-Pacific region despite budget cuts, declaring America was "here to stay" as a Pacific power which would help shape the region's future. More
Obama vows no US defense cuts for Asia-Pacific
Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News Share
President Barack Obama signalled a pivotal U.S. shift to Asia on Nov. 17, pledging not to let Washington's budget crunch compromise his expansive vision and military presence in the region. "The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay," Obama declared in the Australian parliament on the latest stop of a tour that he said augured a "larger and long-term role" in shaping Asia. More
Supermarket News Share
Hot or cold, shoppers are still reaching for store-prepared sides as an alternative to fast food, or to add to home-cooked meals or store-cooked entrees. More
GMA helps launch 1st-ever Global Food Safety Fund
Progressive Grocer Share
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, U.S. government and World Bank officials have formed an innovative public-private partnership that has pledged $1 million toward the creation of the world’s first Global Food Safety Fund for capacity building. To be administered by the World Bank, the proposed fund will employ the tripartite approach pioneered by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which offers training to a wide range of stakeholders to improve food safety and facilitate trade. More
How to save on your Thanksgiving groceries
Check your coupons to maximize your savings especially during the holiday seasons because grocery stores are offering some amazing deals. More
Health Department offers holiday food safety tips
The Rock River Times Share
The holidays are a time for delicious feasts, not an upset stomach. Food safety is especially important during these times, as food is being served in large amounts and in unique displays. Proper storing, cooking and displaying large volumes of food will help prevent food-borne illness. The following tips are from the Winnebago County Health Department in Rockford, Ill. More
The healthiest breads: 6 types explained
The Huffington Post Share
The bread section is probably the most popular aisle at the grocery store. It's also the most confusing. Faced with labels ranging from "organic whole wheat" to "seven grain" to "flax and grains," it's enough to make your head spin. But the decisions you make in this aisle affect your health, along with your risk of chronic disease, in a big way. Consider this your shopping guide to help you bag a loaf that will add years to your life, instead of taking away from it. More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website:
DP #22, Alaska Shipper & Promotion Quantities.
DP #1, Update 1.
DP #2, Far East Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
Winter Club Pack January CONUS Quantities.
NOTICES TO TRADE
12-06, Industry Support for Overseas.
12-07, Round Table Discussion DeCA Brand-Name Fresh Chicken Merchandising Program.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-46.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
March 7-9, 2012
Happy Holidays from a chapter near you!
Many ALA chapters have holiday events scheduled in early December. Luncheons, auctions, dinners, meetings benefiting a range of deserving groups: Toys for Tots, Military Commanders Scholarship Fund, AREA and others.
Visit the ALA events calendar for details and registration information on events across the country: New York, Hampton Roads, Dallas, Rocky Mountains and Northern California.
Don't see your chapter's event listed? Email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it!
Northwest Chapter Christmas Open House Scheduled!
The Northwest Chapter will be having their annual Christmas Open House and fundraiser for children of military families on Dec. 7. The cost will be $15 per person and an unwrapped gift.
David Carey, Pacific Area director is expected to be our featured guest.
More details regarding the restaurant and location will be included in our flier which will be coming shortly.
President, ALA Northwest Chapter
Sears won't open on Thanksgiving: Customers didn't want to get up at midnight
Chicago Sun-Times Share
Sears stores will open at 4 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving, reversing last year's decision to open on Thanksgiving Day. Sears stores will remain closed this Thanksgiving Day to give their store employees and their families the ability to celebrate the holiday, the company announced Friday. More
Retailers woo the 'mission shoppers'
Bloomberg Businessweek Share
Americans don't shop the way they used to. It's not only that they’re going to the mall less often. Consumers in this post-recession era are also less likely to stick around and browse after they walk into a store. Marketing pros say that shoppers tend to come armed with oodles of Web research on brands and prices. They buy, then leave. No browsing. No impulse buys. More
Shoplifters getting busy
'Tis the season for shoplifters? It would seem so. In a weeklong period ending Nov. 10, Cherry Hill, N.J., police apprehended suspects leaving stores with more than $3,000 worth of items they had not paid for. Cherry Hill Police Lt. William Kushina said the department is seeing more of an organized effort at making off with big-ticket items. "It's not just kids. When someone is stealing 10 pairs of jeans, that is organized retail theft," said Kushina. "The economy has a lot to do with it, but we do see an uptick before the holidays." More
Fashion retailing catalogs turn a page
Los Angeles Times Share
Retailers say print catalogs sell products, and they send them out in the billions. But digital delivery is growing with the iPad and mobile apps. More
PepsiCo being honored by US Chamber of Commerce for veteran hiring
On the eve of Veterans Day, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation honored PepsiCo for its outstanding record in hiring U.S. veterans.
In accepting the Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award on PepsiCo's behalf, Dan Bryant, senior vice president, Global Public Policy and Government Affairs, noted that PepsiCo's veteran recruiting efforts greatly benefited the company while providing opportunities to highly deserving people.
"Simply put, we are a better company, a stronger company, a company of greater integrity because of our employees who are veterans," said Bryant. "Our veterans do important things and hard things well. What a difference that makes."
Earlier in the day, at a ceremony at the U.S. Chamber's headquarters, first lady Michelle Obama delivered keynote remarks underscoring the importance of honoring, recognizing and supporting U.S. military families: "Joining me here today are representatives from some of our biggest brand names and our most vibrant small businesses. We're all gathered here at the home of the world's largest business federation to send one simple message to our veterans and military families: America has your back."
NRF: Return fraud to cost retailers $3.5 billion this holiday season
Retail Customer Experience Share
While still a tremendous problem, fewer retailers are expecting return fraud rates to grow this holiday season, thanks in part to enhanced return policies and requiring identification when receipts are not present during the return process. According to NRF's annual Return Fraud Survey, completed by loss prevention executives at 103 retail companies, the retail industry will lose an estimated $3.48 billion to return fraud this holiday season, down from $3.73 billion last year. More
Wal-Mart brings bricks and mortar to battle with Amazon
Advertising Age Share
Wal-Mart competes with almost everyone in retail, but increasingly suppliers see the giant focused on a new and, to some, surprising rival: Amazon. Wal-Mart, struggling to eke out even single-digit same-store sales in the U.S., could use a bigger dose of what gave Amazon 44 percent top-line growth last quarter. But Wal-Mart is also playing defense against Amazon's increasingly aggressive moves into packaged goods. And e-commerce supports broader strategies for the Bentonville behemoth as it looks to boost its presence in urban markets, take another stab at reaching upscale consumers and build more small stores. More
Hard times cafe? High prices squeeze restaurants
CBN News Share
Food prices in the U.S. are expected to increase across the board, putting a pinch on businesses and consumers. More
Chester's continues aggressive expansion in convenience channel
CSNews Foodservice Share
Chester's International LLC is continuing its aggressive expansion with the opening of 17 more domestic convenience store locations. Its turnkey chicken program enables operators to continually adapt to customer needs, while consistently providing a quality product and exceptional customer service, the company said. More
Best Buy encourages holiday shoppers to check-in for charity
This holiday season Best Buy shoppers can use their mobile device to give back. The retailer announced it will donate $2 to Boys & Girls Club of America for every mobile Facebook check-in as part of Best Buy's first-ever Facebook Check-in for Charity program. Best Buy has committed to donating up to $250,000 to the non-profit organization. More
Promotions & Assignments
On behalf of the Commander, I am pleased to announce the following executive promotions and assignments. Please join me in congratulating these deserving associates:
Audrey Alston PB 5A General Manager, Patrick AFB Exchange, Eastern Region to the position of PB 5B General Manager, Fort Lee Exchange, Eastern Region in December.
Maryann Bishop PB 5B General Manager, Fort Polk Exchange, Central Region to the position of PB 5C General Manager, Fort Riley Exchange, Central Region in January 2012.
Keith Boettiger PB 5B Chief Loss Prevention Special Services, Loss Prevention Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5D Loss Prevention Operation Director, Loss Prevention Directorate, Exchange HQ in December.
Jaye Briggs PB 4F Accounts Payable Manager, Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A ECP Operations and Risk Manager, Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ in October.
Paula Cline PB 4F Financial Analyst III (S), Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A General Accounting Operations Manager, Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ in October.
Joel Gagui PB 4F Lead Profit Recovery Manager, Sales Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Principle Trade Promotion Officer, Sales Directorate, Exchange HQ in October.
Mario Garza PB 5A Systems Analyst Lead, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5B Application Programming Manager, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ in October.
Brian Gonzalez PB 4F Loss Prevention Budget Training and Equipment Specialist, Loss Prevention Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Region Loss Prevention Manager, Central Region in December.
Richard Koloski PB 5D Loss Prevention Operations Director, Loss Prevention Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5E Vice President of Loss Prevention, Loss Prevention Directorate, Exchange HQ in December.
Tracy McDonald PB 4F Inventory Management Specialist III, Sales Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Senior Logistics Analyst Contingency, Logistics Directorate, Exchange HQ in October.
Curtis McVea PB 4F Contract Team Leader, Procurement Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Procurement Manager, Procurement Directorate, Exchange HQ in December.
Robert McVey PB 4F Business System Analyst III (S), Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A ECP Business Systems Manager, Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ in October.
Marla Smith PB 5C General Manager, Grafenwoehr Exchange, Europe Region, to the position of PB 5D Director Customer Experience, Marketing Directorate, Exchange HQ in November.
William Stewart PB 5A Region Loss Prevention Manager, Central Region to the position of PB 5B Chief Loss Prevention Special Services, Loss Prevention Directorate, Exchange HQ in December.
Michele Weisshaar PB 4F General Manager (Dual), Presidio of Monterey Exchange, Western Region to the position of PB 5A General Manager, United States Military Academy, Eastern Region in November.
Carlton Carpenter PB 5C General Manager, Fort Riley Exchange, Central Region to the position of PB 5C General Manager, Grafenwoehr Exchange, Europe Region in January 2012.
Maria Cherota PB 5A Region Services Program Specialist, Europe Region to the position of PB 5A Region Services Program Specialist, Central Region in January 2012.
Adrian Hinson PB 5A Region Food Program Specialist, Europe Region to the position of PB 5A Senior Restaurant Program Planner (S), Sales Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2012.
Mikel Hunter PB 5A Region Services Program Manager, Central Region to the position of PB 5A Region Services Program Specialist, Europe Region in February 2012.
Eduardo Torres PB 5A Senior Restaurant Program Planner (Supervisor), Sales Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Market Research Analyst Senior, Real Estate Directorate, Exchange HQ in November.
Congratulations! Please disseminate to our Exchange family.
Susan I. Simone
Senior Vice President
Exchange hours keep the 'Thanks' in Thanksgiving
Shoppers will get a jump on morning Reveille at Army posts and Air Force bases as Army & Air Force Exchange Service main store doors open at 4 a.m., in the United States the day after Thanksgiving, "Black Friday."
"We understand the industry push is to open earlier and earlier with some retailers opening before the Thanksgiving Day even ends, but as a part of the military community we understand that time with family, for both customers and associates, is a priority," said the Exchange's Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. "While Exchanges in the United States are opening early Friday, Black Friday hours worldwide will allow shoppers to give thanks with loved ones and still partake in the savings."
Exchanges are prepared for customers to start lining up as early as midnight Friday morning. To ensure a fun and safe event, Exchanges will hand out numbered tickets to shoppers waiting in line for "door buster" items including laptops, televisions and large appliances.
"Customers waiting in line will be asked which item they are there to purchase and will receive a ticket for that item," said Ockenfels. "In years past, the take-a-ticket program has been extremely helpful in ensuring people get what they came for."
Complete details on Exchange Black Friday weekend sales and specials in the United States, Europe and the Pacific are available at shopmyexchange.com.
Non Appropriated Funds jobs
NAF provides Morale, Welfare and Recreational activities for active duty, civilian, retirees and their families. NAF employees are compensated by NAF funds which are derived from revenue earned by the various MWR activities. More
Strengthening our Military Families
We encourage you to check out the White House's "Strengthening Our Military Families" website.
Stronger installation management community, stronger support for soldiers, civilians and families
U.S. Army Share
The IMC has a huge impact on the lives of soldiers, civilians and families on how we work, train, live and play. The immediate resource challenges only intensify our focus on the mission. We are dedicated to doing our best in serving Soldiers and families today and we will find ways to serve even better tomorrow. More
Michelle Obama reaches out to military women
The New York Times Share
Michelle Obama, who traveled to Hawaii with her husband for an economic summit of Pacific nations, attended a job fair for military veterans and spouses on Nov. 14, and commiserated with the women in the group. Among them were the wives of soldiers and sailors who have served multiple deployments abroad. Obama's attendance at the job fair, held at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, was part of a nationwide campaign that she and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., have undertaken with the Hawaiian and United States Chambers of Commerce to help veterans and military spouses find work. More