Throwback Thursday: Brit Hume's All-Star Panel

Fox News First: Baier Tracks

What’s in a phrase? A lot. First of all, ‘boots on the ground’ is a term most members of the military hate. But let’s stipulate that it’s the phrase du jour for describing troops in a combat zone. When President Obama and his administration continue to adamantly insist that the U.S. will NOT put combat troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria, many people might start hearing “Hamlet” and think that the president ‘doth protest too much.’ Wednesday brought a caveat to the president’s pledge. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provided the asterisk in remarks to Congress. Now, administration officials concede that ‘forward deployed advisors’ may consult with Iraqi forces in their fight and may call in U.S. air strikes. If you talk to some of those ‘advisors’ – aka U.S. Special Operators or U.S. Special Forces – they will tell you that if they are sitting next to an Iraqi, Peshmerga or a Free Syrian Army fighter as they’re taking fire from the enemy and the ‘advisor’ is directing a laser guided GBU (a laser guided bomb) to be dropped from an F16 – they are IN COMBAT, no matter what the administration says.



So now the question is: what are the rules of engagement for these ‘advisors?’ The officers I talk to can already see the shackles being placed on their ability to bring the fight to ISIS. That’s a serious issue, no matter what words are used.–Bret Baier

For more Baier Tracks check out Chris Stirewalt's Fox News First

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Special Report Grapevine: Drive-Thru Funerals

Back To The Future: The Royal Canadian Air Force had to get creative when seeking out replacement parts for its search and rescue airplanes – they ended up raiding the National Air Force Museum. In July 2012 – according to documents just made public – two navigational parts were taken off a Hercules plane on display and installed in a similar craft still in use. The Search and rescue planes were supposed to be replaced starting in 2002, but none are on the horizon.

House Calls: A former VA supervisor has been sentenced to four years of probation, community service, and $15K in restitution after pleading guilty to theft of government property. Venita Godfrey-Scott, a supervisor in the facilities management service, directed VA employees to work on her private home, including installing a deck, putting in new carpet and bathroom improvements. The employees worked on her home during regular work hours and used her government issued credit card to purchase supplies.

A Quick Goodbye: A funeral home in Michigan has installed a drive-thru windows allowing people to pay their last respects… without having to park. The drive-thru option is featured at Paradise Funeral Chapel in Michigan. The Saginaw News writes that the body of the deceased is visible through a window of the building. Mourning periods are limited to 3 minutes and a guestbook appears from a retractable door.

Senator Inhofe "one size fits all" approach will not work in Iraq/Syria

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) criticized the White House strategy in Iraq and Syria by raising publicly, a point that is being discussed privately, and widely in military and intelligence circles.

Inhofe said the administration’s position that they will employ the same strategy used in Yemen and Somalia, does not acknowledge the clear differences in the adversary, ISIS, and conditions on the ground.

Yemen is a government that has given tacit approval to the US drone campaign and Somalia lacks a coherent government to object to the campaign. Inhofe says this cookie cutter approach by the President does not recognize that ISIS holds more territory (size of Great Britain), has more money, has 10-thousands of fighters, and in both Iraq and Syria there are functioning governments, and in Syria an air defense system.

While the targeted killing campaign has taken out leadership in Yemen and Somalia, both groups have found ways to replace.  By example, al-Shabaab replaced Godane who was killed in an airstrike earlier this  month – within days.

2014 Race for Every Child

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the 2014 Race for Every Child. The Race for Every Child supports children and families throughout the Washington area --and around the world --by raising funds for specialized medical care, research into childhood diseases, and important wellness and preventive services at Children's National Health System. For more information please visit www.raceforeverychild.org.

Immigration Reform: Action by Years End

Bret Remembers September 11, 2001

Politicians Remember 9/11 via Facebook

Senator Gillibrand: Arlington is a 'soulless' suburb

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) received quite a few responses via social media over an excerpt from her new book released on Tuesday, titled "Off the Sidelines."  

In the book, Gillibrand refers to her husband's distaste of the Arlington, VA neighborhood, calling the area a "soulless suburb."

"We lived in a soulless suburb. It wasn't the right place for us, and we needed a change...Eventually we moved from Arlington, Virginia, to Capitol Hill, and Jonathan found a job he liked."

The tweets ranged from angry NoVa residents defending Arlington to those in complete agreement. The excerpt also brought up the all important question... the city or the burbs? 

Gillibrand later took to her own Twitter account to personally apologize to Arlington--really, she did.

 

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Ukrainian President Poroshenko is in DC to try and drum up US support for taking on Russian-backed aggression. He made an address to a joint session of Congress and will meet with President Obama at the White House.

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