The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

Hawks gonna hawk:
US hawks push for arming Syrian rebels | Al Akhbar English

US hawkish senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman said Thursday it was time to arm Syria’s rebels in the wake of last week’s Houla massacre that left 108 civilians dead.
“It’s time to act. It’s time to give the Syrian opposition the weapons in order to defend themselves. It’s not a fair fight,” the Republican McCain told reporters in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
McCain attacked Russia and China for opposing aggressive action on Syria, and the US administration of President Barack Obama – who defeated the Republican in the 2008 election – for not acting more forcefully on the issue.
“It is shameful that the United Nations Security Council should again be hindered by Russia and China, by their vetoes for any significant action against Syria,” he said.

The United States has never hindered action by the UN (ahem Israel ahem) so this must be really frustrating.
To her credit, Hillary is on it:
Clinton defuses military intervention talk on Syria

Hawks gonna hawk:

US hawks push for arming Syrian rebels | Al Akhbar English

US hawkish senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman said Thursday it was time to arm Syria’s rebels in the wake of last week’s Houla massacre that left 108 civilians dead.

“It’s time to act. It’s time to give the Syrian opposition the weapons in order to defend themselves. It’s not a fair fight,” the Republican McCain told reporters in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

McCain attacked Russia and China for opposing aggressive action on Syria, and the US administration of President Barack Obama – who defeated the Republican in the 2008 election – for not acting more forcefully on the issue.

“It is shameful that the United Nations Security Council should again be hindered by Russia and China, by their vetoes for any significant action against Syria,” he said.

The United States has never hindered action by the UN (ahem Israel ahem) so this must be really frustrating.

To her credit, Hillary is on it:

Clinton defuses military intervention talk on Syria

Citizens United and a Tale of Two Republicans

John McCain: The Maverick Returns? | Andy Kroll

McCain is starting to resemble his reformer self again. He slams the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision every chance he gets. He has teamed up with Democrats to demand a rethinking of Citizens United and to craft a new bill that would beef up disclosure of campaign donations and political ads. “He is starting to exert himself, which he had not been doing over the past couple years,” says Craig Holman, the top lobbyist for Public Citizen.

McCain’s criticisms of the Supreme Court’s five conservative justices and their ruling in Citizens United—which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited treasury money on so-called independent expenditures—has been fierce. He caused a stir in January when he veered off script during a Mitt Romney campaign press call and launched into a tirade against super-PACs and the state of the political money wars. “I think the outside super-PACs and others [are] so disgraceful that I’m ashamed of the United States Supreme Court in their decision on [CitizensUnited],” he said. “I predict to you there will be a major scandal associated with the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United.”

McCain has since doubled down on his prediction: “I promise you, there will be huge scandals, because there’s too much money washing around, too much of it we don’t know who’s behind it, and too much corruption associated with that kind of money. There will be major scandals.”

Senator McConnell Petitions Supreme Court To Uphold Citizens United, Claims Corporate Money Hasn’t Really Been Used In Elections | Lee Fang

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Republican leader of the Senate, and in all likelihood, the next Senate Majority Leader, thinks corporations deserve the right to spend limitless amounts in American elections. He was the point person in Congress fighting campaign reforms in the late 90s, and now, he’s begging the Supreme Court not to reverse its Citizens United ruling. In fact, he just petitioned the court. His argument, that corporations deserve political rights akin to regular Americans because they rarely exercise that right, is laughable. […]

In reality, corporations have aggressively taken advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling (and related rulings, such as FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life) to spend millions in attack ads and other electioneering efforts to influence elections. They have done so, however, largely through 501(c) organizations that do not have to disclose their donors. Although the media is obsessed with the idea of Super PACs, 501(c) groups actually spend more money and have had a far greater impact on competitive general elections. Most corporations do not want the bad publicity associated with directly influencing a campaign with shareholder money — so they spend through undisclosed 501(c) groups.

Here’s what McConnell cleverly chose to ignore in his brief, which only analyzed segmented Super PAC spending. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce dwarfed all other outside spending groups in 2010 by using its 100%-corporate funded budget to run television and radio ads to support big business candidates for Congress. The Chamber, a 501(c)(6) tax exempt entity, refused to disclose a single penny of its spending efforts. Similarly, other corporate-funded groups sprung to action in the wake of the court’s decision. The American Chemistry Council, a lobby funded by chemical corporations like DuPont and Dow Chemical, began airing election ads for candidates for the first time in 2010, and is now airing an aggressive multimillion dollar campaign ad effort for this election cycle. The NRA, funded in part by gun companies, followed suit as well. The Chemistry Council and NRA are both 501(c) groups.

The evidence McConnell submitted to the court is completely arbitrary. The true big spenders are 501(c) groups like the 60 Plus Association, American Future Fund, Americans for Job Security, etc. These groups could be funded by Fortune 100 companies; they could be funded by individuals. But we have no idea, so the numbers McConnell uses in his brief are meaningless.

McCain, Lieberman and Graham: The Senate’s three war-crazed amigos | Alex Pareene

The Senate’s three most predictable and least credible warmongering “moderates” frequently join forces to publish joint Op-Eds or hold press conferences and the one thing they always, invariably want is for the United States to have just a little bit more war than it currently has, somewhere far away. Sure, we could draw down in Iraq … or we could listen to McCain, Lieberman and Graham and draw back up. We could draw down in Afghanistan … or we could stay the course and keep sending troops there until we win! Americans may be tired of endless war with no coherent goal, but on the other hand, “only decisive force can prevail in [whatever country John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman are talking about now].”

As the Hill recently explained in a story on how John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman were pushing for a resolution basically promising to make war with Iran, “Graham, Lieberman and McCain are considered some of the top foreign policy experts in the upper chamber,” because they always, invariably support military intervention everywhere for any reason, and that is invariably considered a sign of “seriousness” in Washington. If you don’t like waging wars everywhere, forever, you are a weird kooky hippie, and everyone laughs at you. If you believe that bombs and troops have the power to magically solve all problems, you are invited on all the Sunday shows every week to offer your sober analysis of the foreign situation.

McCain to call for air strikes on Syria | Josh Rogin

Of course he is (hawks gonna hawk):

Later today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services, will become the first U.S. senator to publicly call for U.S. led air strikes to halt the violence and atrocities being committed by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“After a year of bloodshed, the crisis in Syria has reached a decisive moment,” McCain will say Monday afternoon in a speech on the Senate floor, according to excerpts obtained in advance by The Cable.

“What opposition groups in Syria need most urgently is relief from Assad’s tank and artillery sieges in many cities that are still contested. Homs is lost for now, but Idlib, and Hama, and Qusayr, and Deraa, and other cities in Syria could still be saved,” McCain will say. “But time is running out. Assad’s forces are on the march. Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives. The only realistic way to do so is with foreign airpower.”

Ugh.

Someday you’ll win the Vietnam War, John. Someday.

Until then could you please disappear from politics? Thanks.