Shake up at the Pentagon?
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CNN, Barbara Starr and David Gergen
A "Situation Room" panel weighs in on who could be taking over the reigns of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Who will fill Bob Gates' Pentagon office?
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TIME, Mark Thompson
Like Paul Bunyan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is going to do a lot of chopping soon when he's expected to detail $100 billion in new cuts to future Pentagon budgets. But some time after that, he's going to lay down his ax, leave his Pentagon E-ring office for the last time, and head west to his Washington state home overlooking Big Lake, some 50 miles north of Seattle. So just who's going to inherit his task of selling all that timber not to mention two wars to the White House, Congress and the American public?
New faces in the 112 Congress:
Groups have high hopes for vets joining Congress
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Stars and Stripes, Leo Shane III
When the new Congress is seated later this month, it will boast the largest number of Iraq War veterans ever, but will have a lower overall number of members who’ve served in the military. Veterans groups and the new slate of lawmakers hope that the influx of younger veterans eight House members and two Senators, all Republicans, have served in Iraq will help bring a new perspective to the legislative session, helping keep the focus on Iraq and Afghanistan even as financial reform issues dominate the headlines.
Cuts to be detailed soon:
Republicans: Military not exempt from spending cuts
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Reuters, Andy Sullivan
U.S. military programs will not necessarily be exempt from sharp spending cuts Republicans in the House of Representatives plan to put forward in coming months, incoming House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said recently. House Republicans previously have said defense and domestic security programs would be exempt from their efforts to trim $100 billion from the U.S. budget. But speaking on the day before his party takes control of the House, Cantor did not rule out defense cuts. "Everything is going to have to be on the table," he told reporters.
Social media update:
Military services win social media kudos
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NextGov, Brian Kalish
The Armed Services particularly the Navy and Marine Corps made the best use of Facebook in 2010 among government agencies, according to a new survey. Facebook's Washington office in late December asked a handful of social media experts and fans on three Facebook pages (Congress on Facebook, U.S. Politics on Facebook, and Government on Facebook ), for their thoughts on which politicians and government agencies were the most Facebook savvy.
Patrick B. Nixon
In defense spending bill, a map around congressional gridlock
The Washington Post Share
It's quite amazing what Congress can do when there is bipartisan agreement among the leadership and public attention is focused elsewhere. Consider this: It passed a single piece of legislation that deals with controversial subjects such as health care costs, gun control and environmental problems, but the bill went through the House and the Senate under unanimous consent agreements with hardly a murmur during the lame-duck session. More
Defense Dept., private industry to trade workers for a while
The Washington Post Share
The Defense Department is launching a pilot program that will send information technology employees to industry in an effort to improve the government's IT expertise, particularly in cybersecurity. The Pentagon is issuing the regulations to make the program a reality, and key DOD agencies, including the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force and Army, are ready to participate. More
Sources: White House orders DoD to cut $78 billion over 5 years
Federal Times Share
White House budget officials have ordered the Pentagon to shed $78 billion from its annual budgets over the next five years, starting with a $12 billion cut in 2012, sources told Federal Times. Pentagon budget officials already were busy determining how to respond to the 2012 budget reduction, which was first reported by Defense News. Now, one budget source said Pentagon officials "are scrambling" to determine how they will trim Defense Department plans to meet a new Office of Management and Budget directive to trim $78 billion over the future years defense plan, which will span 2012 to 2016. More
Congress passes defense authorization bill
Government Executive Share
Congress recently passed a defense authorization bill that was stripped of all provisions considered controversial to allow quick passage. The prior defense bill, which included language repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay men and women from serving in the military, was twice filibustered by Senate Republicans in 2010. More
A year at war: Families bear brunt of deployment strains
At War Blog via The New York Times Share
The work of war is very much a family affair. Nearly 6 in 10 of the troops deployed today are married, and nearly half have children. Those families more than a million of them since 2001 have borne the brunt of the psychological and emotional strain. More
Frito-Lay to make 50 percent of snacks with 'all-natural' ingredients
Recipes for more than six dozen varieties of Frito-Lay snacks, including Lay's potato chips, Tostitos and SunChips, will be reformulated in the coming year so that 50 percent of the company's products are made only with natural ingredients, the firm said recently. PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America division, which has pursued greener manufacturing facilities, transportation and packaging, announced the ingredients change Dec. 28 and described the marketing blitz that will promote the product reformulation. Frito-Lay said the largest integrated marketing campaign in company history launched on New Year's Day during the Tostito Fiesta Bowl. More
Sunflower Farmers Market to expand in California
Triple Pundit Share
Sunflower Farmers Market was launched in 2002 with the slogan "Serious Food, Silly Prices!" having grown from one to 32 stores within six years and now covering six southwest markets in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and New Mexico. The successful chain's current plan is to expand into California at the beginning of 2011, the first site to be in Roseville outside of Sacramento in April followed by another site in San Jose. Founder Mike Gilliland told the San Francisco Chronicle, "We're thrilled to be bringing Sunflower Farmers Market to California and to continue expanding even further throughout the state in 2011." More
USDA to require nutrition labels for meat
Supermarket News Share
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced recently that it will require 40 of the most popular cuts of meat and poultry products to feature nutrition facts panels on their package labels by Jan. 1, 2012. The panels will include the number of calories in each product, as well as grams of total fat and saturated fat. Products that include a lean percentage statement, such as "76 percent lean," also will be required to list fat percentage, to help consumers better understand the amount of lean protein and fat in a product. More
Food-safety bill becomes law
Progressive Grocer Share
Supported by key grocery industry groups, a $1.4 billion food-safety bill was signed into law Jan. 4. by President Barack Obama. The biggest change to oversight of the food industry since 1938, the law is expected to set up a funding fight with Republicans poised to take control of the House of Representatives. Industry groups including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Food Marketing Institute and United Fresh were among those expressing support for the legislation. More
Fooducate launches mobile app that will change the way America eats
PR Web via The San Francisco Chronicle Share
Everyone, especially at this time of year, wants to eat more healthfully. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 80 percent of consumers read food labels in order to make better choices. But most people are overwhelmed by confusing ingredient lists, nutrition labels, health claims, and marketing hype. Introducing Fooducate, a free and fun mobile app that empowers supermarket shoppers to effortlessly choose healthier foods based on what's really inside. Fooducate's iPhone app enables shoppers to automatically scan the barcodes of more than 200,000 unique food products, and instantly see how nutritious they really are. More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Web site since 10 a.m. Dec. 22, 2010, and as of 10 a.m. Jan. 6, 2011:
NOTICES TO TRADE
FRESH MEATS MARKET REPORT RECAP FROM LES SIMPSON, DECA:
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
The annual ALA/DeCA Appreciation Day Golf Event has been scheduled for Ft Lee, Va. golf course for May 10. Watch for more information.
Dallas Fisher House and VA tour
If you missed the Dallas Fisher house tour Jan. 5 you missed a great event. Jim Weiskopf (firstname.lastname@example.org) and his Dallas team hosted five ALA member companies and the entire AAFES Executive level on a tour and briefing on the Fisher House Mission. The Dallas Fisher House is located at the rear of the huge Dallas VA Hospital that supported more than 1.3 million veterans last year. The Fisher House is but one of more than 50 homes supporting family members of severely ill and injured service members that want to be close during treatment and recuperation.
We heard stories of family members living in their cars in the hospital parking lot before the home was built where the family can stay at no charge as long as treatment is being provided. The Fisher Houses are operated and funded by donations and a new home will soon will be built in Dover, Del., at the site of the Military Mortuary to support the family's of service members killed in the line of duty. I encourage you to take time to visit the Fisher House in your area by contacting Jim Weiskopf at 202-607-1067.
Supermarket News Share
Food retailers expect competitive pressures to subdue the potential positive impacts of inflation in 2011, and they also expect the weak employment picture to present ongoing challenges in the year ahead. "I think probably one of the biggest challenges is getting the workforce back to work," said Mike Needler, chairman and chief executive officer, Fresh Encounter, a 32-store operator based in Findlay, Ohio. He and other top food-retailing executives said food inflation, projected to rise in the low single digits in 2011, could put pressure on margins, depending how competitors react. More
Starbucks unveils a new logo
Starbucks Corp. debuted a logo recently that brings the iconic green Siren out of the circle and drops the words "Starbucks Coffee." The Seattle-based coffee chain, commemorating its 40th anniversary this year, said the logo change marks the company's milestone year and Starbucks' next chapter "in our history." "Throughout the last four decades, the Siren has been there through it all," Howard Shultz, Starbucks' president and CEO, said in a post on the company's website. More
Toot'n Totum debuts new store design prototype in Texas
Convenience Store News Share
Toot'n Totum, a 62-unit privately held convenience store/gasoline retailer based in Amarillo, Texas, completed its new prototype design with the help of CBX, a branding and retail design consultancy based in New York, the company reported. It debuted November 2010 in Amarillo and includes a new identity for the store and Toot’n Totum's new private label fuel brand, as well as a complete interior decor package with elements that can be rolled out to future sites. "We have received great feedback from the public on our new look, beginning with the grand opening celebration when community and business leaders complimented us on the design of the store and overall site, as well as the new logo," said Greg Mitchell, Toot'n Totum president, in a released statement. More
Can you be addicted to foods?
Well Blog via The New York Times Share
Many people tend to think that all obese people have to do to solve their problems is eat less and move more. Alcoholics, on the other hand, need treatment. But are the two disorders really all that different? Is it possible that eating in today's sweet and salty fast-food world is actually somewhat, well, addictive? Could people with a predilection to abusing alcohol and drugs just as easily abuse food? More
Gadgets: iPads lend value to restaurant industry
TMC Net Share
The iPad has expanded the world of mobile computing even further than users dreamed when they first laid hands on the smart phone. Now, according to this recent Associated Press report, even those who aren't regular iPad users still may benefit from the technology when they patronize the Chicago Cut steakhouse. An upscale eatery, the steakhouse invested in 40 iPads at roughly $700 each to use for its wine selection. Chicago Cut is not alone. Since the debut of the Apple tablet, upscale restaurants, hamburger eateries and quick-service chains have implemented the device to use as a full menu. More
Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Program
The Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Program has been recognized as essential for creating and maintaining the morale of military personnel. Services programs have long provided essential food, fitness, lodging, recreation and services for military members.
MWR programs were first introduced during the Revolutionary War. With the establishment of a huge "citizen" army during World War I, the United Service Organizations was founded along with programs like library services, troop canteens and sports programs. In 1920, the Army Motion Picture Service was set up and was soon to be followed by the founding of service clubs later during World War II.
Services programs also began during the Revolutionary War, with billeting and food facilities serving as fundamental necessities for military troops. Services' roots sprang from the supply and civil engineering career fields and Services branched off as its own entity in 1991.
MWR and Services merged Air Force wide in 1992. On Jan. 1, 1994, the Air Force Morale, Welfare, Recreation, and Services Agency was renamed Air Force Services Agency, reflecting what the agency's programs are all about service.
How to send great care packages
As both the sender of less-than-ideal care packages and the recipient of awesome ones, Navy veteran Megan Just discusses the importance of care packages to deployed service members and the elements that distinguish an outstanding care package from a run-of-the-mill one. More
Air Force supports special needs families
Thirty-five installations worldwide now have additional staff members to support active duty Airmen who have family members with special needs. Air Force officials established Exceptional Family Member Program family support coordinator positions at installations with the highest number of EFMP-enrolled Airmen. Coordinators are located in airman and family readiness centers and will assist with the implementation of a community support program for the more than 16,000 Air Force families with special needs. More