The political committee for former Montana senator Max Baucus, a Democrat, wrote a large check to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee just days before being confirmed as the new U.S. ambassador to China. According to the DSCC's public filings, Friends of Max Baucus made a donation of $475,000 to the organization on January 31. Read a copy of the filing here, where Baucus's donation is listed on page 6.
Three days before the donation, Baucus appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations committee for his hearing, where he said he was "not an expert on China" and appeared unfamiliar with aspects of the Obama administration's policy on China.
On February 6, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Baucus as ambassador.
Baucus had announced last year that he would not seek another term in the Senate in 2014. The leading Democratic contender for the open seat was erstwhile lieutenant governor John Walsh, who was actually appointed to the vacated seat by Montana's Democratic governor and sworn in on February 11. The move was designed to give Democrats a small incumbency advantage before the November election. The Cook Political Report says the race still leans Republican, with first-term congressman Steve Daines the most likely GOP nominee for the seat.
Israeli forces returned fire into Syria today with some warning shots, according to the Jerusalem Post. "The IDF fired a warning shot at the Syrian military on Sunday, after a Syrian shell landed in the Golan Heights for the second time in recent days."
President Obama made the case to the ladies of The View that we should "marginalize" the infamous anti-Islam video that supposedly sparked attacks on American embassies across the world by "ignoring it."
CBS reports this morning that witnesses are saying "that there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate [in Benghazi, Libya]. Instead, they say, it came under planned attack. That is in direct contradiction to the administration's account of the incident."
"What's clear," the CBS reporter concludes, "is that the public won't get a detailed account of what happened until after the election."
The Obama administration has conceded that the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya on September 11 was, in fact, an act of terrorism. And intelligence officials suspect that al Qaeda’s affiliate, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), orchestrated the raid.
America's ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, unequivocally stated at the U.N. Security Council stakeout that Iran is "very much complicit in the killing that is going on" in Syria. Rice would not provide further details on how the Iranians are helping the Syrians suppress the protesters and kill their citizens.