Congress did manage to work out a Defense Authorization Bill that should be voted on this week and sent to the president for signature. There is a slight chance the president could veto the measure due to some issues with the handling of detainees but in the end it will probably make it through. The outline of the bill is contained in the articles below.The items impacting military resale are few. There is a provision allowing the exchanges to access the Treasury for handling of some debt (receivables) which will be a positive addition to their bottom line. As I mentioned last week there were several amendments that did not make it into the bill that would have had a significant negative impact. The provision for an enhanced commissary operation proposed by the Maine delegation did not make the bill.
The scenario that is to be played out now is uncharted territory from a budget perspective. The Budget Control Act delivered as promised as it allowed for the debt ceiling to be raised. The failure of the supercommittee seems to clear the way for a focused discussion on reductions that are required beginning in 2013. It is too early to tell but this is most likely to devolve into an election strategy that will be played out over the months between now and the election.
House and Senate agree on sweeping defense bill
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The Associated Press via Yahoo News, Donna Cassata
Overall, the bill would authorize $662 billion for military personnel, weapons systems, national security programs in the Energy Department and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. Reflecting a period of austerity and a winding down of decade-old conflicts, the bill is $27 billion less than Obama requested and $43 billion less than Congress gave the Pentagon for the year before.
House and Senate agree on Pentagon cuts
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The Washington Post, Walter Pincus
House and Senate conferees agreed on $662.4 billion for the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill, about $26.6 billion below the president's original request, reflecting the level of reductions in national security spending required under August's budget agreement.
Lawmaker: Defense cuts could cost 1.5 million jobs
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Reuters, David Alexander
Defense cuts that begin in the 2012 budget will ultimately cost up to 800,000 jobs, and additional spending reductions could push that figure to 1.5 million over the next decade, a top Republican lawmaker recently testified.
We need to keep a close eye on this one:
House Armed Services chairman seeks to avert $55 billion in cuts
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Bloomberg News,Roxana Tiron and Kathleen Hunter
The chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee is proposing to avoid about $55 billion of defense spending cuts in 2013 by reducing the federal workforce. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., recently introduced legislation to trim government employment by 10 percent over 10 years by hiring one federal employee for every three who retire.
Once thought to be in line for Secretary of Defense, the top Pentagon woman moves on:
One of the Pentagon's top women is stepping down
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The New York Times,Elisabeth Bumiller
Pentagon officials say Michèle A. Flournoy is more outspoken behind the scenes, where she has worked on the most crucial issues facing the Defense Department: the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, the buildup and impending withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan and the need to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the Pentagon budget for the first time in a decade.
Patrick B. Nixon
Congress edges toward a compromise on spending
The Washington Post Share
Put this in the "small accomplishments" category for an especially gridlocked Congress: It appears increasingly likely that, with little fuss, lawmakers will approve a bipartisan compromise in coming days that will keep government running past Dec. 16, when a short-term funding measure that has kept the lights on expires. More
Democratic Sen. McCaskill finds House defense bill riddled with earmarks
McClatchy Newspapers Share
House Republicans banned earmarks, a top symbol of congressional profligacy, after they won control of the chamber last fall in a wave of voter anger over excessive government spending. But more than half of the amendments to this year's House Department of Defense authorization bill were earmarks, according to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a leading congressional critic of the practice. More
House bill would extend pay freeze
Government Executive Share
House Republicans recently unveiled a payroll tax cut extension bill that includes an additional pay freeze for federal employees and lawmakers and increases the amount both groups contribute to their pensions. The legislation extends the current two-year federal pay freeze through 2013 for federal workers and also applies to members of Congress. More
Panetta to unveil defense strategy next month as budget prelude
Bloomberg News Share
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta next month will unveil results of the Pentagon's strategic review of U.S. roles, missions and worldwide posture, his spokesman said. "Specific plans for public rollout haven't been finalized, but you can expect the secretary and other officials to start to talk about the strategy we have worked through, the process by which we are building the fiscal 2013 budget and eventually the budget itself," spokesman George Little told reporters. More
For top US military officer, economy emerges as major concern
National Journal Share
To understand how much the job of the nation's top military officer has changed, consider the issue Army Gen. Martin Dempsey identified as one of his top concerns. "We are extraordinarily concerned about the health and viability of the euro, because of the potential for civil unrest and the breakup of the [European Union] that has been forged over there," Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the audience at an Atlantic Council event. More
US military chief eyes euro zone fallout risks
The top U.S. military officer said recently he believed the euro zone was at great risk and warned that any breakup could have consequences for the Pentagon, even threatening its top weapons program. More
Army to slash thousands of civilian jobs in 2012
Government Executive Share
Army officials said they will cut 8,700 civilian positions next year at 70 locations across 37 states. The jobs will be eliminated by Sept. 30, 2012, to cope with anticipated budget cuts, according to a Pentagon announcement. Ninety percent of the cuts will come from the Installation Management Command, the Army Materiel Command and Training and Doctrine Command, although five other commands also will see reductions. More
Doomsday war games: Pentagon's 3 nightmare scenarios
The Christian Science Monitor Share
Pentagon planners have plenty to deal with these days Iran in search of nuclear-weapons technology, suicide bombings in Afghanistan, and the final pullout of U.S. troops in Iraq potentially leaving behind a security vacuum in the Middle East. But in war games in Washington recently, U.S. Army officials and their advisers debated three nightmare scenarios in particular. More
Food trends point to higher prices, more meals at home
Packaging Digest Share
A continued desire to save money will lead more Americans to eat at home in the coming year, and consumers will rely even more on technology to shop for bargains and make community connections, predicted Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert. More
Customer driven: Food industry outlook
Supermarket News Share
Supermarkets will offer more "everyday fair pricing" in the years ahead, as part of a hybrid-EDLP model; will continue to shutter underperforming stores, leading to consolidation of food retailers; and will increasingly offer payment and other solutions for consumers through mobile devices. More
Food Lion offers sweet holiday tips
Progressive Grocer Share
Food Lion is now offering its MVP cardholding customers a Southern Living magazine guide of seasonal recipes and tips to help shoppers entertain family and friends in festive style. The offer runs through Dec. 27. More
Pushpins Inc. helps your grocery shopping experience with coupons, lists, nutrition
The holidays are coming up very soon, and that means more large dinners. So how about an app that will make the entire experience easy? Pushpins will do that, and a whole lot more. More
Dr. Oz touts best frozen foods for weight loss
Contrary to current views that food must be fresh in order to be healthy, Dr. Oz presents his choice of the best frozen foods for losing weight. More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website as of 10 a.m., 15 Dec 11:
DP #2, Update #1.
2012 Truckload Water Program.
2012 Severe Weather Program.
Winter Club Pack, Update #2.
NOTICES TO TRADE
12-13, Ft. Campbell New Store Opening Plans.
12-16, DeCA Form 40-15 Training for Industry.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-50.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
2012 Exchange Roundtable
Joining forces to give back
March 7-9, 2012
Registration is now open!
The early-bird rate is available through Dec. 30!
Click here for more info.
Q&A: Why Yankee Candle trumps Victoria's Secret
MarketingDaily via MediaPost Share
These days, it's hard to find a retailer that doesn't insist that social networking strengthens its connection to shoppers. Trouble is, not many feel they can measure the effect. More
Shoppers say 'ho-hum' not 'ho-ho-ho' to sales
The Associated Press via The Sacramento Bee Share
Sale, schmale. Used to be, customers would come running when stores cut prices. But these days, more Americans are becoming blase about bargains. More
Martha's deal miffs Macy's
The Wall Street Journal Share
Martha Stewart's deal with J.C. Penney Co. could well get her company into hot water with Macy's Inc. The media and merchandising company raised $38.5 million by selling a stake to Penney and providing two board seats, a deal that could help the department-store chain's new chief, Ron Johnson, shape up his struggling housewares business. More
Shoppers plan to spend more, hold the plastic
USA Today Share
Consumers plan to spend considerably more this holiday, but not in the same way they have in years past. Where will Americans be shopping? The most popular destination remains big box stores, like Wal-Mart and Best Buy, where 42 percent of shoppers plan to do at least some spending, according to CNBC's All-America Economic Survey. More
What to expect from retailers this holiday season
U.S. News and World Report Share
So far, most signs point to a very merry holiday season for retailers and shoppers alike. Early numbers from the National Retail Federation show that shoppers spent almost $400 apiece on Black Friday weekend, up from $365 last year. Surveys also indicate that the spending will continue through December; the NRF expects overall holiday sales to increase 2.8 percent over last year. More
Retailers, small businesses brace for postal cuts
USA Today Share
Snail mail is about to trudge even slower, forcing companies dependent on the postal service, such as prescription-medication firm Express Scripts and thousands of small businesses, to revamp fundamental business models. More
7-Eleven's 'groundbreaking' new strategy
7-Eleven Inc. has a struggle, a key hurdle it is working hard to overcome: luring new customers. And piggybacking on its already successful "Concentrated Market Rollout," the convenience store chain is working on what it calls a "groundbreaking" new strategy to get past it. More
What's in store for retail in 2012
How does one go about making predictions about the next 12 months when potential game changers and disrupters seem to be occurring on a weekly basis? If there was only one prediction to be made about retailing in 2012, it would have to be "Hold on, it's going to be a heck of a ride!" — quickly followed by the suggestion that if change is not your forte, it may be time to explore new career options. More
Retailers find holiday spirit through social media
The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and once again, we find ourselves scrambling to figure out what to buy our friends and family. For Santa, it's easy. He's the guy with all the lists. For the rest of us, it's really just a guessing game, which makes holiday shopping hard and frustrating at times. Retailers feel this frustration the most, since they only want to stock the shelves with items we will buy. The following are four social networking tips for retailers this holiday season. More
New study is first to test the actual impact of branded apps on consumers
Retail Customer Experience Share
A new research study co-authored by an Indiana University professor suggests that interactive applications for mobile phones such as Apple's iPhone and Google's Android may be some of the most powerful forms of advertising yet developed. More
Dr Pepper preps 2012 price increase
Convenience Store News Share
Carbonated soft drink consumers with a taste for Dr Pepper will pay slightly more for the beverage in 2012. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. President and Chief Executive Larry Young said Dec. 12, that the company expects to see a modest 1.5 to 2 percent price increase next year, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. More
AAFES 2012 Seminars
2012 Power Zone Seminar: The dates are July 30–Aug. 3, in Orlando at Caribe Royale Hotel. Below is a link to the hotel.
2012 Express Seminar: May 7-11, in St. Charles, Ill., at Pheasant Run Resort.
Exchange offers support on some level to entire military
Exchange - Army Air Force Exchange Services Press Affairs Share
On any given day, a variety of visitors, contractors and Department of Defense civilians visit any one of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's more than 3,000 food, entertainment and retail operations around the world. The question most frequently posed by these visitors is "Who's authorized to shop these facilities?" More
Ferriter takes command of Installation Management Command
U.S. Army MWR Share
Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter took the reins of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command from Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch during a change of command ceremony Nov. 17 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno presided over the changing of the guard for the command, which relocated from suburban Washington, D.C., to South Texas during the past two years as part of Base Realignment and Closure. More
Report offers state of military families
After 10 years of war the government is making strides in taking care of service members and their families but significant challenges remain, according to a recently released report from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. But while the 28-page report makes a number of recommendations to lawmakers, "Unsung Heroes: Military Families after 10 Years of War," is directed more broadly at an American public increasingly distant from the military, says one of its writers. More
Air Force Services Agency
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. More
Services strikes down barriers
Air Force Services Agency Share
It's 15 pounds, glows in the dark and can "strike" down the competition with a slight move of the thumb. As part of continuing efforts to support Air Force wounded warriors, this summer the Air Force Services Agency officials purchased and distributed 85 remote controlled bowling balls and ramps for installations worldwide. More