In the news

DHS Funding Fight: As the clock ticks down to Friday night's DHS funding deadline, the standoff on Capitol Hill has taken a turn for the weird as Senate Republicans announced they'd put forth a clean DHS funding bill as long as Dems would agree to allow a vote on a standalone immigration bill. Despite the fact that plan is exactly what Senate Dems have said they've wanted, Sen Reid indicated his caucus would object to consideration of a clean bill unless they get assurances from Speaker Boehner that the House would consider and pass a clean funding bill. Republicans argue that's tantamount to moving the goalposts while Dems say the ball is in Boehner's court.

FCC Internet Regulation: A day before the FCC will vote on substantial new internet regulations, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing into the relationship between the FCC and the White House.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who chairs the committee, has made it clear that he and other Republican lawmakers are unhappy with the FCC's proposed so-called "net neutrality" rules that will add an additional layer of regulations for broadband providers, and they want to know what role the president is playing in influencing FCC policy and rulemaking.

State Department Official Arrested: Daniel Rosen, a senior State Department official in charge of federal counterterrorism programs was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly soliciting sex from a minor. Police say Rosen was arrested by a county detective about noon at his Washington, D.C. home and transported to the DC Jail. Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said late Tuesday, "We are aware that a State Department employee has been arrested and charges have been issued. For issues related to Department personnel and for privacy reasons, we are not able to confirm the identity of the individual or specific charges. His security clearance will be suspended and he will be put on administrative leave while this proceeds to its end through any judicial process. We are following standard procedure in this case." Mr. Rosen awaits extradition to Fairfax County, expected this morning.

Obama Advisor Comments on Netanyahu Address: Susan Rice, President Obama's national security advisor, said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's acceptance of an invitation to address Congress next month is "destructive of the fabric of the relationship" between Israel and the United States. Many House and Senate Democrats have said they will not be in attendance for the speech.



Bret answers viewer questions

2016 Contenders: Senator Rick Santorum

A few of the questions and answers you didn't get to hear on the show--

Train Derailment Renews Calls for Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline

This week's fiery accident involving oil tanker cars derailing in West Virginia is renewing the call for what proponents claim would be a safer, more reliable method of transportation -- the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.
Correspondent Leland Vittert reports--

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

Article by Graeme Wood of The Atlantic

Control of territory is an essential precondition for the Islamic State’s authority in the eyes of its supporters. This map, adapted from the work of the Institute for the Study of War, shows the territory under the caliphate’s control as of January 15, along with areas it has attacked. Where it holds power, the state collects taxes, regulates prices, operates courts, and administers services ranging from health care and education to telecommunications

Viewer Photos: Snow Day!

Thank you for sending in your snow photos-- we received a lot of great shots, but these are a few of our favorites. Enjoy the snow day if you have one and be safe--for all of our viewers in warm weather today we would like to say ENJOY!

Photo 1 from @MMetcalfSC: The snow and ice in Greer, SC

Photo 2 from @FortPeckLake: Tommy being a good boy and not chasing the deer

Photo 3 from @DylanCasteel6 : 6 inches of snow in Evansville, IN

Photo 4 from @DoogantheBoxer: Fun in the snow in Harford County, MD

Photo 5 from @kgunderm: Can't make it to a tropical place so making due in Northern Maine

Photo 6 from @haleymsmith15: An inch or so in Overland Park, KS

Court Shakes Up Amnesty Fight on Hill

By Bret Baier /Fox News First 

As is so often the case, states lead the way. A lawsuit filed by 26 states against President Obama's executive actions on immigration, took a big step forward. On Monday, a federal judge blocked the president’s actions granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's decision puts a freeze on the president’s plan, the first phase of which was supposed to begin Wednesday.

While the administration will no doubt appeal the ruling, this decision could provide a legislative opening for the Homeland Security funding bill that is stalled in the Senate. The bill is being blocked by Democrats and would also be certainly vetoed by the President should it pass.

So what is the way out of the standoff?  The Republican argument may be to ask how they could fund anything that has been blocked by the courts and go full steam ahead on offense. Or, Republicans may be so encouraged about the chance for legal remedy that the looming showdown is drained of some of its urgency and move toward compromise.

We’ll see what they choose.

AP Releases Comprehensive Report on Fatalities in Gaza Home Strikes

By Ford Fischer, Special Report College Associate

A new report released by the Associated Press details the outcome of this summer’s conflict between Israelis and Palestinians along the Gaza strip.

At least 844 Palestinians were killed as a result of the airstrikes on homes this summer. Of those, only 92 were confirmed or suspected militants. The AP report explained that these airstrikes made up only 247 of the 5,000 airstrikes launched by Israel during the conflict.

The report found that approximately one third of the dead were children, and 60% were women, children, or older men. The other 240 were males aged 18-59 with no known connection to militant groups.

Gaza militants fired 4,300 rockets at Israel, who conducted a total of 5,000 airstrikes. While the number of rockets fired is relatively equal, only five Israeli civilians were killed, along with 67 soldiers.

Palestinians largely feel that Israel is specifically targeting citizens. "Either they have the worst army in the world that constantly misses targets and hits civilians, or they are deliberately killing civilians," said Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian spokeswoman said to the AP. If most of those killed are civilians, "you cannot call them collateral damage."

In January, Palestinians joined the International Criminal Court. While it seemed unlikely before, this creates the possibility of Israel being investigated for war crimes.

Israeli leaders maintain that the strikes, even when citizens were killed, were justified. They explain that Hamas has strategically placed weapons and fighters in civilian areas. "Our position is very clear. Israel did not commit war crimes," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

Palestinian leaders feel that this doesn’t hold up, given that only 89% of those killed in strikes on civilian areas were not suspected or confirm militants.

U.N. investigators do note, however, that Hamas is not entirely faultless either. While their tactics have been mostly ineffective, they are also under suspicion of war crimes for indiscriminately firing rockets over the border, which could hit civilians.

Overall, 1,483 Palestinian civilians were killed in the war -- 66 percent of the overall death toll of 2,205. Only 6% of the Israeli death toll (which totals 72) has been civilians. Both sides have been in a ceasefire since August.

2016 Contenders: Governor Scott Walker

Governor Scott Walker on a 2016 run, the competition, his reason for not finishing college and Common Core.

Behind the Scenes: Chapel with Daniel

I surprised Daniel at school this morning to attend chapel with him and his class. A great start to the busy day--



Coming Up

A House Oversight hearing on the IRS revealed that 32,000 Lois Lerner emails have been found in backup tapes at the IRS facility in Martinsburg, WVA.

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  • Charles Krauthammer @krauthammer

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