He died after battling brain cancer, according to the vice president’s office.
“Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known,” his father wrote in a statement.
Biden had suffered known health problems dating back to 2010, when he experienced a stroke that did not affect his motor skills or speech.
In 2013, Beau Biden was treated at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after he became disoriented and weak while on vacation. He was diagnosed with brain cancer, and after undergoing surgery was given a clean bill of health.
Unfortunatly, the cancer returned this Spring, and Biden received “aggressive treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.”
Oh God Beyond All Praising is performed here by theMormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra, with Anton Armstrong conducting. Composed by Gustav Holst with lyrics by Michael Perry and arrangement by Dan Forrest.
This gorgeous hymn with its powerful and profound lyrics has become a favorite at weddings.
Here’s another beautiful rendition. I can’t get enough of this hymn:
The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.
“So we want an Islamic state where Islamic law is not just in the books but enforced, and enforced with determination. There is no space and no room for democratic consultation. The Shariah is set and fixed, so why do we need to discuss it anymore? Just implement it! – ISIS Leader Abu Bakar Bashir
“We’re definitely not losing in Iraq” – Barack Obama
“In a very short time the Islamic State has become the most compelling and attractive organisation for Muslim fighters around the world, more so than al-Qaeda ever was”– Sunny Hundal, Al Jazeera
On Sunday, Islamic State forces captured Ramadi, routing the Iraqi army, many of whom literally fled from the scene, those that could. Over 500 Iraqi soldiers died in the assault, and the debacle came so quickly that substantial pockets of Iraqi troops were trapped there after taking heavy casualties. They aren’t expected to hold out very long and I’ve already received reports that some of them have already been captured and executed by ISIS.
Hundreds of civilians fled along with the Iraqi troops.
ISIS is using some fairly innovative tactics against fixed defensive points like Ramadi. First they seek to control the ingress and egress via outlying areas, to prevent or delay reinforcement and resupply. The next step in Ramadi was to break the defensive line using car and truck bombs, after which ISIS fighters stormed into the breach.
Many Americans may recall hearing the name Ramadi before, and some might recall that quite a few American lives were spent in securing it. Here’s why Ramadi matters.
Look at the map above. Ramadi controls all of the traffic on the Euphrates River. It is only 68 miles (110 Kilometers) from Baghdad and opens the road to that city from the west, just as Fallujah, which ISIS also holds does from the east paving the way for a two-pronged assault. Also, ISIS captured the town of Jubbah in this new offensive, next door to Iraq’s biggest air base at Al-Ansar. That’s where US soldiers, AKA advisers are trying to train Iraqi troops to fight ISIS, which so far hasn’t been particularly successful.
ISIS has also surrounded the oil-producing town of Baiji near Ramadi, where a small Iraqi army force of a few hundred soldiers is trying to hold out. It’s probably only a matter of tie until they’re forced to surrender or are wiped out.
Our Secretary of State John Kerry announced from a news conference in Seoul, South Korea that as far as he was concerned Ramadi was ” a target of opportunity” for ISIS rather than a carefully planed strategic offensive.
“I am convinced that as the forces are redeployed and as the days flow in the weeks ahead that’s going to change, as overall (they) have been driven back … I am absolutely confident in the days ahead that will be reversed.”
Let’s examine that.
Exactly what forces is Secretary Kerry talking about? True, the Iraqi government announced that “major military reinforcements” were being deployed to halt the advance of ISIS. The problem is that between Ramadi, the recent ‘victory’ in Tikrit (about which more later) and an attempted counterattack on Fallujah that went horribly wrong, the Iraqi army has very little strength to ‘deploy’ between ISIS and Baghdad right now. They’re a badly defeated army that is incapable of an offensive against Islamic State right now. The only thing keeping ISIS away from Baghdad is a series of 19 U.S, airstrikes near Ramadi over the past 48 hours.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!
And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning. It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.
And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?
Members of the US Air Force are grumbling because their Commander in Chief’s “no-boots-on-the-ground” pledge is keeping them from fighting an effective air campaign against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
Within the U.S. Air Force, there’s mounting frustration that the air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq is moving far more slowly than expected. Instead of a fast-moving operation with hundreds of sorties flown in a single day—the kind favored by many in the air service—American warplanes are hitting small numbers of targets after a painstaking and cumbersome process.
The single biggest problem, current and former Air Force officers say, is the so-called kill-chain of properly identifying and making sure the right target is being attacked. At the moment, that process is very complicated and painfully slow. “The kill-chain is very convoluted,” one combat-experienced Air Force A-10 Warthog pilot told The Daily Beast. “Nobody really has the control in the tactical environment.”
That story was posted at the Daily Beastback in October of 2014 – and the situation hasn’t improved one iota in 7 & 1/2 months. Can you imagine the frustration of these pilots?Here’s Fox News5/28/2015:
U.S. military pilots carrying out the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are voicing growing discontent over what they say are heavy-handed rules of engagement hindering them from striking targets. They blame a bureaucracy that does not allow for quick decision-making. One Navy F-18 pilot who has flown missions against ISIS voiced his frustration to Fox News, saying: “There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn’t get clearance to engage.”He added, “They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them. It was frustrating.”
This crap has been going on for nearly a year, and they’ve been forced to watch Daesh slaughter their way through Iraq from the sidelines – only allowed to bomb one or two jihadis at a time.
Sources close to the air war against ISIS told Fox News that strike missions take, on average, just under an hour, from a pilot requesting permission to strike an ISIS target to a weapon leaving the wing. A spokesman for the U.S. Air Force’s Central Command pushed back: “We refute the idea that close air support strikes take ‘an hour on average’. Depending on the how complex the target environment is, a strike could take place in less than 10 minutes or it could take much longer. “As our leaders have said, this is a long-term fight, and we will not alienate civilians, the Iraqi government or our coalition partners by striking targets indiscriminately.”
A former U.S. Air Force general who led air campaigns over Iraq and Afghanistan also said today’s pilots are being “micromanaged,” and the process for ordering strikes is slow — squandering valuable minutes and making it possible for the enemy to escape.
“You’re talking about hours in some cases, which by that time the particular tactical target left the area and or the aircraft has run out of fuel. These are excessive procedures that are handing our adversary an advantage,” said retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, a former director of the Combined Air Operations Center in Afghanistan in 2001.
Deptula placed the blame squarely on the community organizer in the White House.
“The ultimate guidance rests in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said. “We have been applying air power like a rain shower or a drizzle — for it to be effective, it needs to be applied like a thunderstorm.”
Of course this is his doing. He wants to be the anti-Bush – and Bush was hammered by the left for the (highly inflated) civilian casualties during the Iraq War.
“But wait,” you say – there are many more civilian casualties as a result of us doing nothing. ISIS is slaughtering, torturing, enslaving hundreds of people at a time – in the most heinous and gruesome ways!
But of course Obama doesn’t care about any of that. He just doesn’t want to get blamed for it.. And he knows, that by taking this dovish, hesitant, womanly stance, he keeps his anti-war base happy. And that’s really all that matters.
They will continue to gain ground, strength and power because President Fubar refuses to deal with them. But it’s okay – this cluster-F won’t reach critical mass until he’s left office (he’s hoping.)
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., recently complained that 75 percent of pilots are returning without dropping any ordnance, due to delays in decision-making up the chain of command. A senior defense official at the Pentagon pushed back on the comparisons between the air war against ISIS and past air campaigns. “The Gulf War and Kosovo are not reasonable comparisons. In those instances, we were fighting conventional forces. Today, we are supporting a fight against terrorists who blend into the civilian population,” he said. “Our threshold for civilian casualties and collateral damage is low. We don’t want to own this fight. We have reliable partners on the ground.”
Law enforcement expects to see an escalation in criminal activity over the summer. Already we’ve seen a disturbing trend in May, including:
• The deadliest month Baltimore has seen in more than 15 years, with almost 30 shootings and nine deaths just over the holiday weekend. That makes well over 100 murders this year, compared with 71 at this time last year, the fastest the city has reached 100 homicides since 2007.
• Any time Baltimore officers respond to calls on the city’s west side, scene of the Freddie Gray riots, as many as 50 people threaten them, Police Chief Anthony Batts says. “We have to send out multiple units just to do basic police work,” he said. “It makes it very difficult to follow up on violence that takes place there.”
Sheriff Mike Lewis from Wicomico County, Maryland was on Hannity to give his perspective on what is happening in his state – particularly in Baltimore. He didn’t hold back.
“In the Baltimore City Police Department, the officers particularly on the street have been eviscerated, they’ve been disemboweled – their guts removed – to have the courage to go out there and do this job. They’re very fearful if they go out there and be proactive – which we all should be doing in law enforcement, today. We can’t afford to be re-active – especially in urban areas.
Those officers are no longer being proactive and as you see, the violence has surged. We’ve had 36 homicides in the last 27 days alone in Baltimore City. This is absolutely unacceptable, and I hope this is a shot fired across the bow of Mayors and urban leaders across this country. Once you disembowel your law enforcement officers, you can no longer expect them to go out and protect you and protect your communities. This is very troubling – the worst I’ve ever seen in 31 years of law enforcement.”
Lewis pointed out that Obama was “very quick to weigh in on Trayvon Martin” and the other black shooting “victims” but he has had nothing to say about the rampant violence that plagues black communities all across the country.
“He’s not used any of his presidential influence or power to stop the violence that’s occurring in Baltimore City, in Chicago…” etc..the Sheriff noted.
He’s absolutely correct. In fact, it’s been the opposite – Obama’s used his presidential influence to deepen divides and rub raw resentments (a la Alinsky.)
Hannity took the opportunity to play the same infuriating clip he aired last night of Obama making one disgusting, race-baiting quip after another from the past six years.
“WOW…. Sean, he’s impacted it tremendously”, Lewis said in reaction. “The racial disparities have grown exponentially under the Obama administration, under Eric Holder’s leadership – we have seen this grow rapidly over the last several years. Race relations were the best I’d ever seen eight or ten years ago. They have eroded tremendously under Obama and Eric Holder – it’s the worst I’d ever seen.”
Hannity had a panel on next to discuss the crime wave, but I want to focus on Sheriff Lewis’s comments because I think he hit on something maybe a lot of people are feeling.
I’ve been wondering for awhile if I was just badly mistaken about race relations pre – Obama because like the Sheriff, I thought it seemed pretty okay 8 to 10 years ago. It wasn’t until I saw Obama’s radical black church in Chicago, (March 2008) that my eyes were opened to the idea that something very ugly and disturbing was going on in [some] black urban communities throughout the land. It hit me that perhaps this country hadn’t progressed as far as I had hoped these past few decades. It seemed that long expired racial grievances were still festering in many communities.
I concluded that I had been naive – that there indeed was a lot of simmering rage underneath the surface, (fed by decades of destructive liberal policies) just waiting to be brought out.
And this of course, is where the Community Organizer comes in. Obama’s been an expert in bringing it all out. Why? Is he trying to spark some kind of revolution of the underclass? I don’t know. I’ll leave it to others to figure out why he’s doing it. All I know is he’s doing it.
Pre – Obama, it looked to me like America had broken down racial barriers and almost achieved that ideal of a “post racial society.” Apparently, the sheriff – who is in a pretty decent position to know – was feeling the same way.
Ironically, Obama was sold in 2008 as a “post racial president.” Remember that? But au contraire – this National Disgrace of a president has made sure through his rhetoric and his actions – that those racial barriers were built right back up, and any barriers that were still standing, he made stronger. And always, always – he rubbed raw the resentments of the people. It will take decades to undo the damage he’s done on this one issue alone.
Of the parade of horribles this president will leave behind when he finally, thankfully, mercifully leaves office in January of 2017 – his most shameful legacy will be his destruction of race relations in this country. Because more than anything else – it’s the one thing on which our first black president could have had the most positive impact.