Republicans Pan Eroding US Military Readiness

A NEW Republican broadside aimed at the White House says President Clinton has allowed military preparedness to erode far more than the administration has acknowledged.

Rep. Floyd Spence (R) of South Carolina, the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee under the new GOP majority, issued a report Sunday that finds military readiness sagging in all the armed services, not just a few isolated spots.

Mr. Spence called the commitment by Clinton to pour an additional $25 billion into the Pentagon budget over the next six years ``a welcome, albeit a very modest first step.''

Performers saluted

FOUR decades after being blacklisted in the McCarthy era, folk singer Pete Seeger heard first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and much of official Washington sing his songs and his praises.

And Arlo Guthrie evoked cheers at a Kennedy Center gala Sunday night with a swipe in song at California's anti-immigrant Proposition 187.

It was a night for poignant tributes in words, dance, and music to five great American performers - Mr. Seeger, actor Kirk Douglas, soul singer Aretha Franklin, composer Morton Gould, and Broadway director Hal Prince. President Clinton feted this year's winners of the Kennedy Center honors first at the White House before he left to catch a red-eye flight to a conference in Budapest.

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