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.

 

President Obama's Primetime Address: Special Edition of Special Report

Janay Rice Stands By Her Husband

Janay Rice, wife of former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, posted a statement today on the social media website Instagram in the wake of her husband's release from the NFL and the newly surfaced video of the domestic violence incident that took place earlier this year.

Ray Rice, 27, was arrested following an incident involving his then fiancee back in February. Rice was suspended for two games and fined more than $500,000.

Rice's $35 million dollar contract was terminated by the Baltimore Ravens on September 8th after a video of the brutal event surfaced showing him knocking Janay unconscious in an elevator in Atlantic City, NJ and then dragging her body out into the hotel casino.

The Ravens stated they had not previously seen the video and that after viewing it the team owner decided that Rice had to be released from the team. A meeting was called to discuss and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was informed of the decision.

The Ravens released a brief statement: "The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon."

The NFL also took action, saying that Goodell announced --based on the new vide evidence-- that Rice was indefinitely suspended from the NFL.  

The White House released the following based on President Obama's reaction:

"The President is the father of two daughters. And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society," the statement said. "Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that's true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that's bigger than football -- and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it."

Many sporting goods stores have pulled Rice jerseys and sponsors pulled out of deals. Through it all Janay Rice stands by her husband and is blaming the media for creating more problems for their family. The couple has a young daughter together--

Twitter reacted to the video with thousands of women taking part in the #WhyIStayed / #WhyILeft campaign -- sharing their own personal stories of domestic abuse. The hashtags have been trending on Twitter--

So what do you think? Should the Ravens have fired Ray Rice earlier--or at all? Is it fair for Janay Rice to blame the media? Share your thoughts with us here on the blog or on Twitter @BretBaier.

 

President Obama Gears Up For Primetime Speech

As the President gets ready for his primetime speech on ISIS where he hopes to set the record straight on his strategy to defeat the terrorist group, a new Washington Post/ABC poll shows some troubling news on the public’s view of his leadership and handling of foreign policy.  The new poll shows only 38 percent of Americans give him positive marks on international affairs, only 43 percent of Americans say he is a strong leader and as the Washington Post writes, “over half the country says his presidency has been a failure, although partisanship colors that judgment.” Ahead of his speech, the President has been meeting with various leaders –  he meets with Congressional leaders today and last night he and the Vice President had a private dinner with a group of foreign policy experts, including former Administration officials from Republican and Democratic Administrations, academics and think tank experts.

The slow roll-out of the President’s plan has created a good bit of time for lawmakers to fill pre-acting to whatever he will say, providing more room for error. Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, in a close race to retain his seat against Congressman Cory Gardner, said Saturday, “"If we stand together, we are going to get our man.  I can tell you, Steve Sotloff and James Foley would tell us: Don't be impulsive, horrible and barbarous as those executions were, don't be impulsive. Come up with a plan to knock ISIL back to degrade and destroy ISIL."

Senator Udall later apologized for the remark, saying, "I should not have invoked the names of James Foley and Steven Sotloff. It was inappropriate and I sincerely apologize."

Tonight on Special Report we’ll discuss the build-up to the President’s speech,  what we might hear tomorrow night, what the 9pm timeslot could mean (versus a daytime speech) and Congressional reaction.

 

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on ISIS, specifically US policy and threat posed by the terror group.

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  • Charles Krauthammer @krauthammer

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