John McCain Caught Playing iPhone During Senate Syria Hearing

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John McCain Caught Playing iPhone During Senate Syria Hearing

Senator John McCain was caught playing virtual poker during a hearing about potential US involvement in the Syrian civil war.

When you really think about it, multitasking is one of the most useful skills a person can invest in. After all, we're only on this planet for a finite amount of time and it makes sense to do as much as we can with the time we have. Even so, there are still occasions when some focused attention is warranted. Talking on the phone during a movie for instance, is pretty bad form. Nor would we suggest reading a book during a funeral. We can also say with some confidence that if you're a Senator and former presidential candidate, you should probably be paying attention during a Senate hearing discussing whether or not to attack another country.

That last bit was apparently too much to ask to of Senator John McCain who, during a three hour Senate hearing on potential American involvement in the Syrian civil war, was caught by reporters playing poker on his iPhone. After discovering that pictures of his mobile gaming had been published online by the Washington Post, McCain replied with a somewhat sarcastic Tweet. "Scandal," he said. "Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing- worst of all I lost!"

Now granted, McCain is already a supporter of American intervention in Syria so he probably figured it was no big deal to catch up on his virtual poker. Then again, the man's job is pretty much just to attend hearings and make decisions based off of what happens during them. You'd think he could maybe put his all into this, especially considering how well unilateral American military actions have turned out in the past.

Source: The Washington Post

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Serious comments on a story of this nature are completely worthless; we can wag our finger at the Senator.. and that's about it.

So instead let's joke about how this just shows games r evul!

I understand the man's plight though. I often wonder if the folks in the office across the road will rat me out for posting on the Escapist when I should be working.

I like this guy, he isn't acting like the rest of the senate, he comes out and laughs at the yellow media and incompetence.
Though I don't like his support for 'Murica to police the world, when 'merica can't police itself.

This sums up American politics pretty well. The man's made a decision, so obviously he doesn't need to hear any facts (or listen to whether the other side's got any valid points), he just needs to vote.

Still, I can understand. 3 hours straight is a bit too much.

Politicians sleep during voting sessions in my corrupt country. This is nothing.

kael013:
This sums up American politics pretty well. The man's made a decision, so obviously he doesn't need to hear any facts (or listen to whether the other side's got any valid points), he just needs to vote.

Still, I can understand. 3 hours straight is a bit too much.

Yeah, the decision to go to war and murder countless people should be capped off at two hours, tops.

But as for the first point, that's a huge problem with American politics, and where Canadian politics is headed too.

It's hard to believe now that back in the 80's, Conservatives and Liberals got together, studied the evidence, and both came to a consensus based on it to reform our justice and penal system, for instance. Now it's all about "supporting YOUR team" or ideology, regardless if that ideology matches up with the reality or not.

"So are we prepared for this gentlemen? This declaration, if passed, will risk the lives of Americans, cause the loss of life of Syrian soliders and potentially innocent civi-"

"YES ROYAL FLUSH. TAKE THAT YOU BASTARDS!"

Jumwa:

kael013:
This sums up American politics pretty well. The man's made a decision, so obviously he doesn't need to hear any facts (or listen to whether the other side's got any valid points), he just needs to vote.

Still, I can understand. 3 hours straight is a bit too much.

Yeah, the decision to go to war and murder countless people should be capped off at two hours, tops.

But as for the first point, that's a huge problem with American politics, and where Canadian politics is headed too.

Chill man. I was just making a joke. I think they should take as much time as necessary before making the decision. Still, how long can it take to say "if we go to war this, this, and this will most likely happen, but if we don't go to war this, this, and this will most likely happen"? I'll bet most of that hearing was probably veiled political posturing.

kael013:
Chill man. I was just making a joke. I think they should take as much time as necessary before making the decision. Still, how long can it take to say "if we go to war this, this, and this will most likely happen, but if we don't go to war this, this, and this will most likely happen"? I'll bet most of that hearing was probably veiled political posturing.

So what wasn't chill about my totally tepid response?

But there's plenty to hear about on the issue. The world isn't so simple that complex issues can be spelled out so succinctly while doing it justice.

Politicians should be calling on experts to come testify and present evidence for them on majour issues, to hear the results of studies and such.

But really, we don't allow kids to do this, and they spend far more than three hours listening to boring people talk about things they don't care about. And kids have far less patience than adults. So why is it unreasonable to expect the same from our senior politicians on important issues than we do from kids during a mundane day?

I kind of want to know what his high score is on fruit ninja.

No break?
Damn a 90 min lesson in school gets tiresome after the ait gets all damp in the classroom.
3+ hours I understand you could need a break.
Wonder what other games he's been playing during hearings...
Well at least he won't be allowed to vote against the "away with phones from classrooms" thing :D

kael013:
This sums up American politics pretty well. The man's made a decision, so obviously he doesn't need to hear any facts (or listen to whether the other side's got any valid points), he just needs to vote.

As opposed to what other country's politics?

I've long thought, well since 2008 anyway, that John McCain just doesn't give a shit any more and is just daring the voters to turf him out.

He's been one of the most vocal proponents for intervention in Syria, yet when he's asked to hear the case for and against it he can't even be bothered to listen. I mean its's not like you need to hear "facts" or see "evidence" before voting on something as insignificant as military intervention _

John McCain you are a fucking asshole.

I dislike McCain for many reasons, not the least of which is I am a hippie freak. But I'm just not feeling the OMGHOWCOULDYOU on this one. phone poker games tend to be pretty slow regardless, I can't someone like him is really going to struggle with listening to a briefing he already knows everything about while playing (Badly, it seems) some poker thing. He's not exactly Rick Santorum who would need three hours to learn to spell 'Syria' before he'd bomb the I and A off it.

Can't imagine that it is a good thing for security, though, to be running random sketchy poker apps. >.>

Anyone ever been in a VERY LONG ASS lecture or speech or seminar?

You could play a game of Monopoly in some of them and not miss anything!
Now granted this does look bad.

But at which point he is playing may lessen it.
I mean it could have just been two people arguing in circles.
Or something they went over already.

Admit it...most of us could not sit through three straight HOURS of something without letting our mind wander.

I had three hour once a week courses.
We NEEDED a 15 minute break in it because no one could pay attention through the entire damn thing.

Still it does look bad for an elected official in a war committee to be doing that.
At least he was not looking at porn.

This is more fun to talk about than syria.

kael013:

Chill man. I was just making a joke. I think they should take as much time as necessary before making the decision. Still, how long can it take to say "if we go to war this, this, and this will most likely happen, but if we don't go to war this, this, and this will most likely happen"? I'll bet most of that hearing was probably veiled political posturing.

You haven't been to very many business meetings have you? You'd be surprised at how many ways a person can reach the same conclusion on a matter. Many meetings I sit in on I've known the outcome in the first 5 minutes, but we sit there for another 45 re-hashing the issue from every angle.

Entitled:

kael013:
This sums up American politics pretty well. The man's made a decision, so obviously he doesn't need to hear any facts (or listen to whether the other side's got any valid points), he just needs to vote.

As opposed to what other country's politics?

Um, North Korea's? They don't vote on stuff there. I'm American and I don't keep track of the world's politics, so I can't really comment on other country's politics, just my own. However, I doubt that every country's politics is about "what's best for MY group?" There has to be some politicians out there who still think about what's best for their country as a whole and work with the other political groups to figure out what that is and how to make it reality.

Jumwa:

kael013:
Chill man. I was just making a joke. I think they should take as much time as necessary before making the decision. Still, how long can it take to say "if we go to war this, this, and this will most likely happen, but if we don't go to war this, this, and this will most likely happen"? I'll bet most of that hearing was probably veiled political posturing.

So what wasn't chill about my totally tepid response?

Eh, nothing. I read it as a hostile response when you probably didn't mean it that way. Sorry.

But there's plenty to hear about on the issue. The world isn't so simple that complex issues can be spelled out so succinctly while doing it justice.

Politicians should be calling on experts to come testify and present evidence for them on majour issues, to hear the results of studies and such.

But really, we don't allow kids to do this, and they spend far more than three hours listening to boring people talk about things they don't care about. And kids have far less patience than adults. So why is it unreasonable to expect the same from our senior politicians on important issues than we do from kids during a mundane day?

You're right, it isn't. And I forgot about the reports by experts (I tend to think purely of the politicians and them making speeches and debates), but taking them it account, yeah I can see how it would be longer than 3 hours.

Makabriel:
You haven't been to very many business meetings have you?

Well, my job involves helping sick/injured people stay alive long enough for me to get them to a hospital, so nope. I'm just giving a layman's opinion on the issue.

Hazy992:
He's been one of the most vocal proponents for intervention in Syria, yet when he's asked to hear the case for and against it he can't even be bothered to listen. I mean its's not like you need to hear "facts" or see "evidence" before voting on something as insignificant as military intervention _

John McCain you are a fucking asshole.

Alternatively, Senator McCain became bored because he's listening to someone talk about something he's already well-informed on. Since, you know, he's personally interested in the conflict and has almost certainly invested time into reading all the reports about it.

Briefings like this are for those Senators that haven't been following the situation on their own - mostly because its a rather unimportant conflict in the middle of nowhere that isn't of strategic concern for the USA. McCain is there for appearances' sake.

Ugh, I just defended McCain. You made me defend McCain. I hope you're proud...

*takes shower to wash off the shame*

No surprise, he's a war mongering sociopath. To be fair he's already had a long drawn out conversation with his BFF Obama at the white house, presumably while they braided each others hair and giggled at the thought of burning Syria with hellfire. Honestly, I don't understand why people think they hate each other, I'm surprised they haven't announced their engagement yet.

If Mccain had his way this wouldn't be going through the Senate at all. Unfortunately we have to occasionally bomb a country into dust because it's the only way Mccain and Lindsey Graham can get a hard on anymore.

I have sat in meeting like that. "We will go in and attack the infrastructure of the enemy until they are not able to fight back and will have to resort to guerrilla tactics we will call terrorism. Now the nex-...." *Me* "So what country are we "helping" this week? The rest of the briefing is the same as last month" This did not really go over very well........

Huh... The exact same thing happens in my countrys government, but it does make it kinda extra bad that they are talking about war here X3.

Teoes:

I understand the man's plight though. I often wonder if the folks in the office across the road will rat me out for posting on the Escapist when I should be working.

I have some kickass blinds, which means I can be sitting in my office, feet on the table and eating a salad, and post on the Escapist forum with no fear! I'm only here to answer the phone though, and I get maybe 10 calls on your average day so... What I'm saying is, McCain should get some blinds... Somehow.

Jumwa:

kael013:
This sums up American politics pretty well. The man's made a decision, so obviously he doesn't need to hear any facts (or listen to whether the other side's got any valid points), he just needs to vote.

Still, I can understand. 3 hours straight is a bit too much.

Yeah, the decision to go to war and murder countless people should be capped off at two hours, tops.

But as for the first point, that's a huge problem with American politics, and where Canadian politics is headed too.

It's hard to believe now that back in the 80's, Conservatives and Liberals got together, studied the evidence, and both came to a consensus based on it to reform our justice and penal system, for instance. Now it's all about "supporting YOUR team" or ideology, regardless if that ideology matches up with the reality or not.

Just to clear things up a bit, if there is a Senate vote it is not going to be about declaring war or 'murdering countless people'. The operation being considered is a limited strike with no ground forces being deployed in order to punish the regime for its use of chemical weapons against civilians. This is a position McCain already supports and he's one of the Senators who has taken the time to inform himself about the subject the most, while this hearing is mainly geared toward bringing other, less informed Senators up to speed. While I agree that he shouldn't be messing about on his iPhone regardless, your characterization of the whole affair seems a bit over the top. No offense intended, it just seems like you might be misinformed about what was actually going on with that hearing.

Jumwa:
It's hard to believe now that back in the 80's, Conservatives and Liberals got together, studied the evidence, and both came to a consensus based on it to reform our justice and penal system, for instance. Now it's all about "supporting YOUR team" or ideology, regardless if that ideology matches up with the reality or not.

Yeah, I miss Reagan too. :P

I had a thought to use your comment as a springboard into a mini-rant about how partisan American politics have become and what I think is the cause, but I decided "Why bother?"

So instead I'll just say "Here's to World War III! Been a long time coming and it looks like this powder keg is finally about to blow!" Given how most news outlets that I've heard/read make it seem like a done-deal that Congress is going to support Obama's desire to launch an attack (due to the number of high-ranking congressmen/women who have already announced their support for the war), we really are heading in that direction. There's no way Russia and/or China are just going to sit back and let this happen. Hell, North Korea might decide to do something as well.

Fox12:
Honestly, I don't understand why people think they hate each other, I'm surprised they haven't announced their engagement yet.

Probably because every Sunday after he lost the election he's gone on Meet The Press to complain about everything the President has done, is doing and will do in the future.

As Bill Maher put it: "New Rule: John McCain has to try spending a Sunday morning with his family. Look, Senator, I'm with you, anything to avoid church. But, come on, it's Sunday morning. There's got to be an easier way to tell Lindsey Graham you don't want to cuddle."

I love the idea that 3 hours too long. I don't know about the US, but the minimum you have to work to earn a 15 minutes break in the UK is 4 hours. Not only that but the person working without a break could be cleaning a toilet. This guy is making a decision about killing people.

This is inconsequential and a matter of course for politics. He knows how he is voting, for intervention. It's just a matter of him having to be there. If he could be home and phone it in he would. I mean, do people really think every countries political scene doesn't have people just like this? Of course they do. America is broken in such a way that we have the media everywhere we look and are then convinced that this actually matters.

I often play something simple while listening. Maybe it's a touch of ADD, but I find it easier to focus if I also have something to do with my hands.

I am intrigued at the possibility of this being some sort of foreboding. He lost at poker during an important hearing, and he then loses the vote.

I sympathize with the guy but this really looks bad. I'm sorry Senator McCain but this is your job; it doesn't really matter how long the hearing is it's your obligation to listen and make an informed decision. This looks especially bad given his position going into the hearing.

I'm just glad he was caught playing a game as opposed to being caught sending out pictures of his crotch.

Because that would be a real war crime.

Ahem. NO BLOOD FOR OIL VIDEO GAMES!!

I feel this article and the reactions to it show a pretty clear view of what a harmful and atrophying effect this pastime has had on our society. These time wasting pieces of entertainment have leeched their way into our lives so thoroughly that gamers can't even stop playing them during the times when they should be paying attention to making what will be for other human beings, a life or death situation.

It's up to all of we gamers to stand up and tell Senator McCain and the rest of the world that this aggression, or in this case I guess non-aggression, will not stand.

I have more to add but must cut this post short in case my superior catches me posting this instead of doing my job. A situation with which I am willing to bet many of my fellow forum posters can relate.

I noticed an implication in this thread that needs to be addressed. Most of the people in the Hearing were most likely already extremely well-informed on the subject matter, or should have been. They have staff meetings, meetings with experts, reporters, and Senators/Congressmen about this kind of stuff before and after the Hearing. This Hearing isn't really to give new information (Unless new information was released), its for conversation. The thing about that is the discussion is not to sway a decided member, but to sway undecided members.

McCain has already made his decision, and announced it to the public. It wasn't a decision made willynilly, but one done with a foundation of information and influenced by his political philosophy. Him, and every other Senator who already knows how they are going act, are only there because it was expected for them to be there and that there is the possibility of new information (Which a Poker game wouldn't make him miss). This isn't a situation of him not caring about the topic, or about him refusing to accept new information on the topic. This is a situation of him not being bored about arguments that aren't even targeted towards him, and most likely ones he has heard before in private.

Now, there is an argument to be had about changing social etiquette that is even leaking into the very traditional Senate. But that is far more boring than "McCain the War-Monger doesn't care about whats going on!" hyperbole that will inevitably be caused by this.

I take it you guys haven't really watched much parliamentary proceedings? Politicians' exceptional talent for waste verbiage is such that anyone could play poker on his phone, and not miss a thing.

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