Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Legislature' (99) Currently Viewing: 81 - 90 of 99

May 1, 2014 at 7:27am

Thursday Morning Joe: Army brass defend budget, Pakistani militant watch, bad guys on the rise, flying car, commissary cuts rejected, Lego Simpsons ...

Morning Joe History: Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 fire an AT-4 coffee launcher on a target during a live-fire training course. Original photo by Petty officer 2nd Class Michael Lavender


Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno say the fiscal year 2015 Army budget submitted to Congress "is lean, stark but critical to meeting the needs of our nation and our soldiers."

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James outlined the service's progress in leveraging the talent and capabilities of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve within the total force concept.

Reports of sexual assaults by members of the military rose 50 percent after the Pentagon began a vigorous campaign to get more victims to come forward.

The Philippines-China-U.S. Triangle: A precarious relationship.

A former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan said Wednesday that corruption, not the Taliban, is the worst threat to the future of the war-torn country.

Five Pakistani militants we should be paying more attention to.

Afghanistan needs more than U.S. troops to survive.

The number of terrorist attacks, kidnappings, deaths and injuries across the globe rose by 43 percent last year.

A top VA health official says there is no evidence the Phoenix VA hospital kept a list of patients unable to get appointments.

The commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division has been relieved of command.

The U.S. Senate late Wednesday confirmed Robert Work as deputy defense secretary.

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and his deputy, David Shedd, will retire by early fall.

Natick researchers develop combat cooler.

Storied 4th Brigade Combat team "Currahee," 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), prepare to inactivate.

French flying car undergoes testing for Special Forces.

DoD official defends training Afghan military on Russian helos.

Sen. John McCain said the Air Force's recent contract with a Lockheed-Boeing joint venture prevents potential new competitors from bidding for some of the work.

House panel rejects commissary cuts, delays other changes.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) announced a bill Wednesday to push military operations to be more energy efficient and rely less on fossil fuels.

The fascinating untold history of war and prosthetics.

The filmmakers for Godzilla were given access to Navy flattops and other support from the Defense Department.

Google now can remember where you parked.

Vice catches up with the woman formerly known as Miss Cleo.

Tips: What to choose on Free Comic Book Day.

This abandoned igloo hotel in Alaska can be yours for $300,000.

Salon looks at the gender politics in Star Wars.

Why?: These album cover faces are a little creepy.

Nice: Guide to sitcom writers on Twitter.

The Simpsons' Lego Spectacular is here. ...

LINK: Original photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Lavender

April 30, 2014 at 7:22am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Iraqis vote, Black Hawk Drone, more A-10 anger, House rejects cuts, new super group ...

Morning Joe History: M-203 coffee launcher training at Camp Atterbury, Ind. Original photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane


Masked gunmen in military fatigues took control of a government building in another Ukrainian town.

Unshaken by the latest surge in violence, Iraqis braved the threat of bombs and attacks to vote today in key elections for a new parliament amid a massive security operation as the country slides deeper into sectarian strife.

A new defense pact reflects closer U.S.-Philippine ties.

President Obama's pivot to Asia will lack a crucial military underpinning next year, when for four months, the Navy will not have an aircraft carrier in the region.

China's A2/AD capabilities have many in Washington worried. America's land forces could help

Senator: Benghazi e-mails reveal White House misinformation.

Secretary of State John Kerry accused Moscow of accelerating the crisis in Ukraine instead of sticking to an agreement to ratchet back tensions.

The United States has proof that the Russian government in Moscow is running a network of spies inside eastern Ukraine.

The fate of the A-10 close-air support platform has been the most contentious issue between the Air Force and Congress over the last six months. If comments made yesterday are any indication, it's a fight that isn't going away.

House lawmakers have rejected proposed cuts in housing allowances and commissary funding, as well as an overhaul of the Tricare system that would increase out-of-pocket costs for some beneficiaries.

The House Seapower subcommittee markup that was revealed yesterday offered at least one surprise - cutting the Navy's request for three littoral combat ships to only two - but the bill supports the other new ship requests, including two destroyers and two submarines.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed all of the services to review their hairstyle policies in response to a letter from the Congressional Black Caucus.

Hagel's defense cuts: a good idea.

The Air Force chief of staff explored the proper force ratio between the service's active duty and reserve components in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Army's most iconic helicopter is about to go pilotless.

Michael D. Shear examines how popular culture has incorporated the issues that President Obama has faced.

What happens when a normal guy gets to fly in a Thunderbird F-16.

Finally: Sunglasses that ping your phone when you leave them behind.

The cast of the new Star Wars movie has been announced.

Carrie Fisher is auctioning a bunch of her rare Star Wars stuff.

Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5), Bill Rieflin (Swans, Ministry), and Kurt Bloch (ex-Fastbacks) have formed the band super-Earth.

Finally: Road House fight chart.

OK, stop doing whatever the heck you're doing, because this is it. ...

LINK: Original photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

April 29, 2014 at 7:27am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Special Ops wish list, Army in-flight movies, mystery jets solved, vet hate groups real, Jedis vs Harry Potter ...

Morning Joe History: A Paratrooper with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, fires a cup of coffee from a M320 grenade launcher. Original photo by Spc. Mike MacLeod


A pair of back-to-back bombs ripped through an outdoor market northeast of Baghdad today, killing at least 17 people and wounding 42.

Negotiators from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have arrived in Ukraine to try and win the release of an international observer team that has been held hostage by separatist forces in the town of Slavyansk in the eastern Ukraine since April 25.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu assured Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a phone call yesterday that Russian forces would not invade Ukraine, according to the Pentagon

The U.S. will focus on economic sanctions against Russia and put Ukraine's pleas for U.S. weaponry on the backburner.

North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills near its disputed western sea boundary today.

How will the Ukraine crisis affect the defense budget? The more US Reps. Mac Thornberry of Texas and Rick Larsen of Washington state spoke yesterday, the more clear it became just how far apart the former's Republican Party and the latter's Democratic Party stand on national security issues.

While Obama scored points with skeptical Asian allies simply by showing up, not everything followed the White House plan

Foreign Policy: From bad to none.

U.S. Special Operations Command issued a formal request for "Advancement of Technologies in Equipment for Use by U.S. Special Operations Forces."

The mystery jets that were spotted over Amarillo, Texas, and Wichita, Kan. earlier this year are in fact Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bombers on a training sortie.

Army increases in-flight situational awareness for rapid response forces.

Marine dirt bike "gangs" of Afghanistan.

The U.S. Navy announced a record $17.645 billion contract to build 10 new SSN 774 Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines.

Defense Department CIO Teri Takai is set to step down in the coming days.

Report backs The New York Times op-ed piece linking vets to hate groups.

Amazing timelapse of massive 7-ft long Lego Serenity spaceship.

This bastard kills more humans than all the deadliest animals combines.

A 3,500-year-old NYC monument is being cleaned with freaking lasers.

Craig Ferguson is leaving The Late Late Show.

The Daily Show just hired a new correspondent.

Showtime put the premiere of its new monster-themed series, Penny Dreadful, on YouTube.

If Jedis from Star Wars fought wizards from Harry Potter, who wins?

Finally: Check out a comprehensive list of all of Don Draper's clients on Mad Men.

It's a looking glass into the past...

LINK: Original photo by Spc. Mike MacLeod

March 12, 2014 at 7:23am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Navy's new math, National Guard pissed, new Air Force leaders, Keith Richard's children's book...

The Starbucks inside the Tacoma Proctor District Safeway is always fast in the mornings.


Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the top commander in Afghanistan, will testify on Capitol Hill today about the situation on the ground amid a continuing standoff with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., incoming chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the Pentagon's troubled F-35 program says there's one thing Congress can do to avoid more problems: fully fund it.

Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven't seen in 700 years

Elite special forces in danger of cracking as demand is outpacing capacity.

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said today that if Sen. Dianne Feinstein's claim that the CIA spied on a Senate computer network is true, it would "destroy" Congress's relationship with the agency. 

The trial of an Army general accused of sexual assault moved into uncharted legal territory Tuesday when the judge dismissed the jury to allow the defense time to hammer out a new plea deal with the military.

Outrage on Capitol Hill as Navy changes ship-counting rules.

The U.S. Air Force nominated the next leaders of its Space and Mobility commands.

A top defense official said he thought it was time to reconsider the legal authority used by the military to target terrorists around the world

Why the Garrison State is here to stay.

National Guard commanders rise in revolt against active Army; Maj. Gen. Rossi questions Guard combat role.

The Air Force's decision to favor new designs over upgrades to legacy aircraft forced the cancellation of a program that could muddy an international market for radar and avionics upgrades.

President Barack Obama's nominee to be director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command said yesterday that legislation and transparency are critical to the nation's security in cyberspace.

Feedback on "Transition GPS," which prepares service members to enter the civilian workforce, indicates it improves on the program it replaced.

Please!: A '70s-set rock 'n' roll drama from Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger.

Here's a cover story about how the Muppets "got their mojo back."

Here are 7 facts about your favorite superheroes - Spiderman, The Avengers, Superman, Wolverine, etc. - that you probably didn't know.

Psst: Here's what The Flash's suit looks like on the new CW series.

Wha-What!: Keith Richards has a children's book on the way.

Finally: A Star Wars-themed parody of Pharrell's Happy.

Put your face close to your screen and hit play...

March 11, 2014 at 12:32pm

Medal of Honor recipients Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter and Sgt. Leroy Arthur Petry to be honored by state Senate

Medals of Honor have been in the news lately. Twenty-four soldiers who fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam will receive the Medal of Honor March 18 at the White House, correcting oversights that prevented many of them from receiving the nation's highest award for valor because of their Hispanic, Jewish and African-American backgrounds. The awarding of 24 Medals of Honor - most of them posthumously - will be the largest number to be awarded at one time since World War II.

Tomorrow, our state Senate will adopt resolutions sponsored by Sen. Steve O'Ban, R-University Place, recognizing two of the three recent Medal of Honor recipients who reside in Washington. Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter will be honored with Senate Resolution 8713 for his heroic actions in the Kamdesh district of the Nuristan Province of Afghanistan, and Sgt. Leroy Arthur Petry will receive a similar honor with Senate Resolution 8714 for his sacrifice in Afghanistan's Paktia Province.

That's awesome.

For details and background on the presentation and herorics, read a news release out of the O'Ban camp below.


March 11, 2014 at 7:22am

Tuesday Morning Joe: QDR breakdown, shadowy C41 unit, Veterans Benefits Delivery Act, watching strangers kiss...

Legendary Doughnuts on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue sells ginormous tiger tail doughnuts with its espresso.


2014 Quadrennial Defense Review includes more risk, less money.

Israeli military officers are crediting a shadowy C4I unit as the unsung heroes of Operation Full Disclosure, a months-long mission that led to the high-seas capture of an Iranian arms cache some 1,500 kilometers from the Israeli coast.

The Senate's VA Backlog Working Group present the 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act, which would provide better customer service for veterans with pending claims, offer more money to veterans who file "fully developed" claims and mandate stricter oversight of claims officials.

A flurry of defense-related Capitol Hill hearings begin today with President Obama's nominee to head the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.

The Senate on Monday unanimously approved legislation that boosts protections for victims of military sexual assault.

Turns out, there is some money next year for a program to develop a replacement for the HH-60G Pave Hawk.

Interview: Outgoing Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., could be called the U.S. House's dean of Navy shipbuilding, and he is attempting to become its top Asia-Pacific strategist.

The Pentagon Channel's pilot episode of Armed with Science delves into Army Research Laboratory and Naval Research Laboratory science that shapes the future of defense.

After searching hundreds of millions of objects across our sky, NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed "Planet X."

There is a growing fad at Machu Picchu that officials hope to nip in the bud: tourists who pose for nude snapshots with the iconic Inca Citadel looming in the background. Warning: Video features naked tourists.

President Barack Obama sits down with Zach Galifianakis for his most memorable interview yet.

Read New York magazine's profile of Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss (but watch out for the cleavage).

Neil Young is launching a Kickstarter campaign for his high-resolution music project.

What? Hear a new track in which The Clash's Paul Simonon and Mick Jones team up with Frank Ocean and Diplo.

Serious? Love these maps of the most popular TV shows set in each state.

Finally: A list of artists whose best-known songs are covers.

Well, this is awkward...

March 5, 2014 at 7:12am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Russian threats, Pentagon budget facts and analysis, tackling sequestration again, Seinfeld's apartment

Did you mess up on Valentine's Day? Bigfoot Java on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue still has the hearts out.


The Kremlin is threatening to hit back if Western nations impose sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

Defense leaders are telling Congress it has to tackle sequestration again.

The Pentagon started off the 2015 budget season Tuesday with a $496 billion budget that's sure to face a chorus of critics on Capitol Hill. Republican hawks say President Barack Obama's latest military spending request will embolden America's foes to take aggressive acts, while his Democratic mates offered only tepid support.

U.S. Army Plans to Cut 3 of 13 Aviation Brigades by 2019.

Army's budget plan also cuts readiness, kills the Ground Combat Vehicle and places a new priority on replacing obsolete vehicles such as the Humvee and the M113 armored personnel carrier.

Promises kept: Few surprises in U.S. Air Force budget.

How the 2015 budget cuts affect pay, BAH, per diem and Tricare.

The $22.8 billion Marine Corps budget request included funding for a major buildup of embassy security and quick reaction forces.

The Pentagon's latest Quadrennial Defense Review (has emphasized the need to protect science, technology, research and development, specifically cyber capabilities.

A senior Pentagon official said on Tuesday that, due to cuts to the defense budget, the Pentagon's plans to pivot to Asia "can't happen."

Russia has shocked the world by sendingtroops into Ukraine, and a new Defense Department long-term threat assessment proves that the U.S. military was no exception.

Fighting Afghan terrorism, without troops.

Less than a month before an Army general's trial on sexual assault charges was set to begin, the lead prosecutor broke down in tears as he told a superior he believed the primary accuser in the case had lied under oath.

The Air Force Academy to cut 99 jobs and 10 majors, including a third of the sergeants who oversee military training and cadet discipline, and 29 positions in academics.

A U.S. Navy ocean tug on Tuesday was towing a Canadian navy ship with nearly 300 crew members on board to Hawaii's Pearl Harbor after an engine fire left 20 sailors with minor injuries.

Longtime music journalist Michael Azerrad talks to Pitchfork about his influences.

See a cool model of Jerry Seinfeld's apartment.

Read Norm Macdonald's great story about Harold Ramis, which he shared on Twitter.

This is cool

March 3, 2014 at 7:21am

Monday Morning Joe: Washington vs Russia, Pentagon budget jitters, Academy Awards recap, Apple's CarPlay...

Warning: The Starbucks at the Lakewood Towne Center is closed today. It will reopen tomorrow with a brand new look.


American military commanders have a sizable amount of firepower at their disposal in Europe as the crisis deepens over Russia's incursion into Ukraine - but Washington has no plans to use it.

When the Russian parliament authorized the deployment of military forces in Ukraine, sending black-clad gunmen into the former Soviet Republic, it might have been expected to touch off yet another battle between the White House and congressional Republicans. Instead, there has been a conspicuous absence of saber-rattling on both sides.

Some 13,729 Afghan troops killed, 16,511 wounded during war in Afghanistan - higher than previously reported.

The Pentagon will unveil its 2015 budget proposal this week, beginning a contentious fight with Capitol Hill over the military's spending priorities.

Hagel defended administration plans to downsize the military in its new budget proposal.

Chuck Hagel, with his first budget plan as U.S. defense secretary, has managed to do the unthinkable: He has united Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Air Force secretary has placed a $41 billion bet that Congress will ease off on the mandatory spending cuts in the sequester process.

Booming sales of aircraft are squeezing suppliers, spurring brutal competition between Airbus and Boeing, which are demanding better deals from the companies that make billions of parts the factories need. 

Sweden - three years after selling its national submarine-maker Kockums to Germany's ThyssenKrupp - is now fighting to wrest control of its indigenous sub-building capability from the German giant.

Here's a recap of the 2014 Academy Awards in 38 words: Beautiful people were beautifully dressed. Jennifer Lawrence fell - again. Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie that ricocheted around the Twitterverse. That crack-smoking mayor from Toronto even showed up. Also, some people in the entertainment industry won some awards.

Cool: Bill Murray's spontaneous Harold Ramis tribute.

Here's an interesting list that ranks all 85 best picture Oscar winners.

Apple has announced its new in-car iPhone integration system: CarPlay.

Apparently B-flat is the alligator equivalent of Barry White. Who knew?

"Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT."

Prince is taking over The Arsenio Hall Show this week.

Patton Oswalt shows us "The Indie-izer."

What if John Lennon and the cast of Stand by Me were covered in tattoos?

Here's the Godzilla trailer, in case you haven't seen it already.

This is scary! This is awesome!

February 25, 2014 at 7:23am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Congress freaks over Pentagon cuts, Seth Meyers' first "Late Night," Taco Bell serves breakfast...

The Starbucks close to 19th and Union in Tacoma is a highly functioning machine with a quick turn-around.


After more than four decades, Vietnam War hero to receive Medal of Honor.

Congress and others in the defense community pushed back on Pentagon plans to cut 120,000 personnel from the active and reserve Army ranks, retire entire fleets of Air Force aircraft and sideline Navy ships.

The Pentagon's proposed 2015 budget includes a surprise proposal to raise health care fees for active-duty family members which, if approved, would mark the first increases in health care costs for those beneficiaries since Tricare was established nearly 20 years ago.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the Pentagon cuts send the wrong signal to the world.

Calling the Air Force's decision to retire the A-10 combat jet a "serious mistake," Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is pledging to fight the retirement in Congress.

The U.S. Defense Department is proposing limiting troop pay raises, reducing housing allowances and cutting funding for commissary stores because of automatic budget cuts.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey wants feedback from servicemembers on the fiscal year 2015 defense budget request that he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined to reporters at the Pentagon yesterday.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel made a clear statement that the Air Force plans to invest heavily in new engine technology.

After her second month in office, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James laid out her top three priorities as part of a "state of the Air Force" address.

Lump-sum payouts set for Korea tour extensions.

Army researchers, scientists and engineers are collaborating and sharing to leverage limited resources and discover leap-ahead technologies.?

Navy vet invents the BakBone, a better way to hold an iPad.

What military food ration packs look like around the world.

In memory of Harold Ramis, New Yorkers are leaving Twinkies and flowers in front of the Ghostbusters firehouse.

Good News: Taco Bell is about to start serving breakfast.

Here's a recap of what happened on Seth Meyers' first Late Night.

Fred Armisen's Late Night playlist (on Spotify) is pretty fantastic.

List: Board games that could make great movies.

List: Tech figures portrayed on film versus how they look in real life.

Toy Story: The true identity of Andy's mom makes the movie more epic.

Silicon Valley is gonna be BOSS. Watch        

February 19, 2014 at 12:46pm

Rep. Graham Hunt sponsors veteran-owned businesses list bill

You could be on Rep. Grahan Hunt's list.

Looks like Rep. Graham Hunt (R-Orting) made the list with his list, if the list is about freshman legislators who sponsor bills that creat certified lists of veteran-owned businesses.


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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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