After more than 18 hours of deliberations, the House Armed Services Committee early Thursday morning approved the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill by a 60-2 vote.The legislation, which authorizes $523 billion in national security spending and $89 billion in funding for DOD’s overseas contingency operations account, now heads to the House floor later this month, reported the Hill.The measure rejects a number of cost-cutting reforms proposed by the Pentagon, including a request to hold a BRAC round in 2017, plans to trim support for commissaries and housing allowances for troops, and retiring the A-10 close air support jet.Late Wednesday, the committee adopted by voice vote an amendment from freshman Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) blocking the Air Force’s plan to retire the A-10 fleet.The draft bill already would authorize $683 million to million to keep the A-10s flying in FY 2016, but it did not include explicit language barring the Air Force from retiring the aircraft. That allowed McSally to offer her amendment and take credit for aiding her southeastern Arizona district, home of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and more than 80 Warthogs.Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) opposed the move to block the aircraft’s retirement and offered an amendment to allow the Air Force to take steps to retire up to 164 A-10s, but leave more than 100 in service. The proposal from the former Marine and Iraq veteran failed, however, reported the Hill.The measure authorizes pay raises for troops at 2.3 percent, versus the administration’s request for a 1.3 percent boost. The legislation is available on the committee website. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
News Miranda Lambert: 2018 Artist-In-Residence miranda-lambert-named-country-music-hof-and-museums-artist-residence Miranda Lambert Named Country Music HOF And Museum’s Artist-In-Residence Twitter Last year’s honoree, the 14th artist-in-residence Jason Isbell tweeted his congratulations immediately. Lambert’s unique retrospective concerts are scheduled for Sept. 19 and 26 at the CMA Theater in Nashville. Tickets go on sale on July 13.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more Facebook The youngest country artist ever to receive the honor, Lambert will reprise her “canon” in two special September showsPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Jul 9, 2018 – 3:43 pm Multiple GRAMMY winner Miranda Lambert notched a new lifetime accomplishment on July 9 when the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum announced she will be their 15th artist-in-residence, an honor reserved for “a musical master who can be credited with contributing a large and significant body of work to the canon of American popular music.” Lambert is the third female recipient of the honor and the youngest ever.”The history that the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum holds is so important,” Lambert said. “It’s truly an honor to be named artist-in-residence for the museum. I’m thankful for this place, where our music can continue to be cherished, and I’m thrilled to be among the esteemed artists who have been honored by this designation.””We’re talking about someone who has been the CMA’s top female vocalist a record seven times, selling millions of albums and scoring hit after hit while retaining absolute artistic conviction and credibility. She writes her heart and sings her truth, and her truth resonates,” said museum CEO Kyle Young. “We are honored that she is this museum’s 15th artist-in-residence, the latest in a line of greats that includes some of Miranda’s own musical heroes, like Guy Clark, Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson, and Buddy Miller.” Email https://twitter.com/JasonIsbell/status/1016359744796266497
Enlarge Image mcdomx/Getty Images Drivers in Anchorage, Alaska can now pay for a parking ticket in pens and pencils, in an effort to help underprivileged kids get enough school supplies, the Anchorage Daily News reports.Specifically, drivers with a ticket that’s under 30 days old can pay their $20 fine by submitting 200 No. 2 pencils or 100 black or blue pens during the next two weeks. Now, before all you Alaskan parking scofflaws start twirling your mustaches and looking at buying pencils by the crate, EasyPark — the company that handles parking enforcement for Anchorage — will only let you pay for one ticket this way.(As a resident of Los Angeles, I want to take a second and imagine living in a place where parking tickets only cost $20. If parking enforcement attempted to offer this kind of alternate payment idea here, the city would likely drown in a sea of Bics and Ticonderogas, but I digress.)”Providing assistance by accepting school supply items for parking citations is a positive start in supporting our local students for a successful school year,” said Demetric Tuggle, parking director for EasyPark, in a statement.If you live in Anchorage and want to pay a ticket off with writing implements, you can go to the EasyPark office at 440 B St. between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays from Friday through Aug. 9.We checked, and no, Ms. Tuggle is not actually a character from a Thomas Pynchon novel, she’s just a lady trying to help the kids in Anchorage, and we support that. If you don’t have a ticket, but you want to donate school supplies anyway, you can contact Helping Us Give School Supplies (Hugss) here. Share your voice 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Post a comment 2019 Jeep Wrangler review: First-place performance 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 0 Car Culture Random Tags More From Roadshow
Democratic 2020 US presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US on 18 May. Photo: ReutersSeeking to build on early momentum in his 2020 presidential bid, former US vice president Joe Biden on Saturday condemned “anger” within his own Democratic Party and pledged to work to unify the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency.At a rally in downtown Philadelphia, Biden, as he has done throughout the beginning stages of his campaign, made Trump his central target, blasting him as “the divider-in-chief.”But he also chided other Democratic presidential candidates in the field, suggesting that anger toward Trump within his party was not enough to win next year’s presidential election.His message, Biden said, was expressly aimed at Democratic, Republican and independent voters alike.”Some of the really smart folks say Democrats don’t want to hear about unity,” he said. “They say Democrats are so angry, and that the angrier your campaign will be, the better chance you have to win the Democratic nomination. Well, I don’t believe it.”About 6,000 people attended the rally, which had, by design, the feel of a general-election event. With his poll numbers currently swamping the rest of the Democratic field, Biden has often acted as if his current opponent is Trump and not the other 23 Democrats vying for the party’s nomination.”If the American people want a president to add to our division, to lead with a clenched fist, closed hand, a hard heart, to demonize the opponents and spew hatred – they don’t need me, they’ve got President Donald Trump,” Biden told the crowd, which was bookended by large video monitors.Democratic nominating contests begin next February, giving the dynamics of the race plenty of time to shift. But Biden, 76, has opened up a more than 20-point lead over his nearest rival, US senator Bernie Sanders, in several public opinion polls.Biden, a US senator for 30 years and a two-term vice president under Barack Obama, has argued he is best positioned to take on Trump next year.Attendees at the event said they agreed.”He’s going to be the one who takes Trump out of office,” said Daril Murard, 27, of Langhorne, Pennsylvania. “That’s why I’m here.”Tim Reihm, 48, drove to the event from his hometown of York, Pennsylvania.”I think there’s been a tendency in the party to drift a little too far left and I think that’s going to disenfranchise a large section of the country,” Reihm said. “Joe represents a sort of a more middle ground where we can bring people together instead of becoming more and more fractious.”Biden also answered critics who have mocked his pledge to work with Republicans as unrealistic should he win the White House.”I’m going to say something outrageous,” he said. “I know how to make government work.”Biden’s remarks drew a swift response from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal advocacy group that backs another candidate, US senator Elizabeth Warren.A fundraising memo sent to members after the rally accused Biden of trying to splinter the party.”Joe Biden is dividing Americans when, after the historic 2018 election, he tells voters they are wrong to be angry – and wrong if they don’t want ‘unity’ with corrupt Republican politicians,” the memo said.”We don’t need a Democratic nominee who rejects the fact that people are righteously angry in the Trump era,” it said.Biden has established his campaign headquarters in Philadelphia, illustrating the importance of Pennsylvania to Democratic hopes next year. Trump narrowly won the state over Hillary Clinton in 2016.Trump will hold an event of his own on Monday in northeast Pennsylvania.Prior to Biden’s speech, the Republican National Committee in a release pointed to statistics showing how Pennsylvania’s economy has improved during Trump’s presidency.Biden will not have the luxury of shrugging off the rest of the Democratic field much longer.In recent weeks, he has been criticized by Senator Kamala Harris for his past support for the 1994 crime bill that critics say led to mass incarceration of African-Americans, by Sanders for his support of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and by Warren for his ties to the credit-card industry.With Biden the clear front-runner, those attacks are likely to intensify. But Biden on Saturday said he would keep his focus on Trump and not his rivals for the nomination.”You will not hear me speak ill of another Democrat,” Biden said.Following the Philadelphia event, Biden is expected to spend the next several weeks focusing on policy announcements and raising money.