Posted tagged ‘Treaties’

How Team Trump plans to kill Obama’s Paris climate deal by declaring it a treaty

April 27, 2017

How Team Trump plans to kill Obama’s Paris climate deal by declaring it a treaty, Washington timesStephen Dinan, April 26, 2017

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A briefing paper circulated among Republican senators this week said the deal should have been sent to Capitol Hill by Mr. Obama, but he “knew that Congress would never approve such a flawed deal, so he refused to seek the Senate’s advice and consent.”

****************************

As President Trump’s top advisers prepare to hash out a final policy on the Paris climate agreement dumped onto their laps by President Obama, another option has hit the table: Declare the deal a treaty and send it to the Senate to be killed.

The treaty option could emerge as the middle ground in the increasingly tense battle between “remainers” on the one hand, who say the president should abide by Mr. Obama’s global warming deal, and the Paris agreement’s detractors, who say Mr. Trump would be breaking a key campaign promise if he doesn’t withdraw from the pact.

Mr. Trump’s principal advisers are slated to meet Thursday to hash out a final set of recommendations for the president, with several deadlines looming next month.

At an initial meeting of top staffers Tuesday, several memos and letters that were circulated laid out the options, including the treaty proposal put forth by Christopher C. Horner and Marlo Lewis Jr., senior fellows at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Under their vision, Mr. Trump could toss out Mr. Obama’s decision that the Paris accord was an executive agreement, declare it a treaty and send it to the Senate, where it would need a two-thirds vote for ratification.

Given Republican control of the chamber, the agreement’s opponents say senators would either shelve the deal or outright defeat it. Either option would derail the deal, the memo suggested.

“That option affirms that we are a nation of laws, not men and, importantly, discourages both our negotiating partners and future U.S. officials against attempting to circumvent our system,” the memo says.

A briefing paper circulated among Republican senators this week said the deal should have been sent to Capitol Hill by Mr. Obama, but he “knew that Congress would never approve such a flawed deal, so he refused to seek the Senate’s advice and consent.”

Supporters of the Paris accord have their own memo drafted by lawyers in the State Department. That memo says that by sending the agreement to the Senate, the president would be giving up important powers and leave Mr. Trump and his successors open to congressional meddling.

“Because the large majority of international agreements concluded by the United States are concluded as executive agreements, this could have far-reaching implications for our conduct of foreign affairs,” the State Department document says.

The Paris agreement is the main international vehicle for trying to combat climate change. Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to the deal in 2015 but never submitted it for ratification, saying it was an extension of a U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which the Senate ratified in 1992.

The State Department memo says there are few risks to remaining part of the Paris deal. It says the “legal obligations are relatively few and are generally process-oriented [and] discretionary in their application or repeat existing obligations already contained in the Framework Convention.”

Michael McKenna, a Republican energy strategist, said anything short of withdrawal would leave the U.S. open to legal challenges, with judges potentially attempting to enforce strict climate limits based on the commitments.

“The president is being asked to travel a path that leads him — ultimately — to continue the Obama administration policies on climate change,” said Mr. McKenna, who has authored his own memo calling for withdrawal.

He blamed Obama administration “holdovers” at the State Department for trying to preserve their former boss’ plans.

Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The former president tried to enforce the commitment through a series of executive and administration actions, imposing tight limits on power plants and auto emissions.

Federal courts have halted some of those plans, and Mr. Trump and Congress have nixed others, easing the pressure on American industry. During the campaign, Mr. Trump also pledged to cancel the Paris deal.

As a decision nears, the sides among Mr. Trump’s top advisers have become clear.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday appeared to join the remainers, though he said the deal should be renegotiated.

“I’m not going to tell the president of the United States to walk away from the Paris accord,” Mr. Perry said at a conference sponsored by Bloomberg. “I will say that we need to renegotiate it.”

Mr. Perry said other countries are breaking their self-imposed commitments, giving the U.S. an opportunity to insist on changes.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is a remainer, as are perhaps Mr. Trump’s closest advisers, son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump. The White House general counsel’s office also appears to be leaning toward remain, sources familiar with the negotiations said.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt is pushing for withdrawal, and he is joined by U.N. Ambassador Nikki R. Haley, analysts said. Top presidential strategist Stephen K. Bannon is also a withdrawal advocate.

Exxon Mobil Corp. has written a letter urging the administration to stick with the Paris agreement, and the National Mining Association said this week, after its leaders met with Mr. Pruitt, that it will push for withdrawal, Politico reported.

The next test for the Paris accord will be in the middle of May, when finance ministers of the Group of Seven major economies meet in Italy. The heads of state meet at the end of the month.

The leaders are hoping for a communique reaffirming the Paris agreement, while opponents within the U.S. are hoping to prevent that, saying it would tie Mr. Trump’s hands going forward.

Thank you, America!

June 25, 2016

Thank you, America! Wattsupwith that, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley via Anthony Watts, June 24, 2016

(This is by far the best address I have read thus far on Brexit. — DM)

head-for-the-brexit

“Your Majesty, with my humble duty, I was born in a democracy; I do not live in one; but I am determined to die in one.”

And now I shall die in one. In the words of William Pitt the Younger after the defeat of Napoleon, “England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example.”

The people have spoken. And the democratic spirit that inspired just over half the people of Britain to vote for national independence has its roots in the passionate devotion of the Founding Fathers of the United States to democracy. Our former colony showed us the way. Today, then, an even more heartfelt than usual “God bless America!”

***************************

For my final broadcast to the nation on the eve of Britain’s Independence Day, the BBC asked me to imagine myself as one of the courtiers to whom Her Majesty had recently asked the question, “In one minute, give three reasons for your opinion on whether my United Kingdom should remain in or leave the European Union.”

My three reasons for departure, in strict order of precedence, were Democracy, Democracy, and Democracy. For the so-called “European Parliament” is no Parliament. It is a mere duma. It lacks even the power to bring forward a bill, and the 28 faceless, unelected, omnipotent Kommissars – the official German name for the shadowy Commissioners who exercise the supreme lawmaking power that was once vested in our elected Parliament – have the power, under the Treaty of Maastricht, to meet behind closed doors to override in secret any decision of that “Parliament” at will, and even to issue “Commission Regulations” that bypass it altogether.

Worse, the treaty that established the European Stability Pact gives its governing body of absolute bankers the power, at will and without consultation, to demand any sum of money, however large, from any member state, and every member of that governing body, personally as well as collectively, is held entirely immune not only from any civil suit but also from any criminal prosecution.

That is dictatorship in the formal sense. Good riddance to it.

I concluded my one-minute broadcast with these words: “Your Majesty, with my humble duty, I was born in a democracy; I do not live in one; but I am determined to die in one.”

And now I shall die in one. In the words of William Pitt the Younger after the defeat of Napoleon, “England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example.”

Indeed, No-way and Nixerland having already voted down the EU, Brexit may well be swiftly followed by Frexit, Grexit, Departugal, Italeave, Czechout, Oustria, Finish, Slovakuum, Latviaticum and Byebyegium.  At this rate, soon the only country still participating in the European tyranny-by-clerk will be Remainia.

The people have spoken. And the democratic spirit that inspired just over half the people of Britain to vote for national independence has its roots in the passionate devotion of the Founding Fathers of the United States to democracy. Our former colony showed us the way. Today, then, an even more heartfelt than usual “God bless America!”

All who have studied the Madison papers will grasp the greatness of the Founding Fathers’ vision. They were determined that no law and no tax should be inflicted upon any citizen except by the will of elected representatives of the people in Congress assembled.

They regarded this democratic principle as of such central importance that they wrote it down as Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States: “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Period. No ifs. No buts. No exceptions.

Except one. The Constitution establishes that foreign treaties ratified by a two-thirds majority of the Senate shall have the same force of law throughout the United States as enactments of Congress.

It is, therefore possible for any U.S. Government that can muster that Senate majority to ratify any treaty and thereby to thwart the central principle of Congressional democracy: that no Congress may bind its successors.

The Republicans, who are not always as lively in their understanding of the threat to democracy posed by supranational and global institutions such as the EU, the UN and its bloated climate bureaucracy, are too often snared or charmed by determined “Democrats” who fully understand and thirst to exercise the power to inflict perma-Socialism on their nation by bilateral, multilateral or global treaties.

It is astonishing how many of the GOP are willing to be cajoled and schmoozed into supporting monstrosities such as the Transatlatic Trade and Investment Partnership, which on its face sounds like a free-marketeer’s dream but is in its small print a series of outright Socialist measures which, once the Senate has ratified them, cannot be repealed. Its climate provisions, for instance, are highly dangerous.

It is no accident, therefore, that the bankers, the corporate profiteers, the Greens and the National Socialist Workers’ Party of Scotland – the corporatists and the communists together – made common totalitarian cause and heavily promoted the campaign to keep Britain in the EU, that paradise of vested interests and their poisonous lobbyists.

It is likewise no accident that precisely these same national and global vested interests heavily promote the campaign to subject Britain and the world to various unnecessary and damaging measures whose ostensible purpose is to control the climate but whose real ambition is to curb capitalism, fetter freedom, punish prosperity,. limit liberty and deny democracy.

The necessity to protect the flagile flower of democracy from the scythe of Socialism is now surely self-evident. Here are two modest proposals to ensure that the will of the people prevails over the power of the politicians, the Press, and the profiteers.

First, every new treaty, and as many pre-existing treaties as possible, should be made subject to repeal by a national referendum – and not just by a referendum called by the governing party because it thinks it can win it but by the people via the initiative procedure. Britain would have left the EU long before now if we, the people, and not those who govern us, had had the right to put referendum questions on the ballot.

Secondly, the governing bodies of all new supranational or global bodies exercising real sovereign power or spending taxpayers’ money from the states parties to the treaty that establishes them should be elected at frequent intervals by the peoples of those states parties.

Otherwise every international treaty, being a transfer of power from elected to unelected hands, diminishes democracy. Britain’s membership of the European Union effectively took away our democracy altogether, so that three new laws in five (according to the researchers of the House of Commons Library) or five in six (according to the German Government in a submission some years ago to the German Constitutional Court) are inflicted upon us solely because the unelected Kommissars require it.

Till now, our obligation has been to obey, on pain of unlimited fines.

The vote by the people of Britain to break free from this stifling, sclerotic tyranny has sent a shock-wave through every major international governing entity. It was no accident that the the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Corruption and Devastation, and various world “leaders” including Mr Obama, broke with democratic convention by openly promoting a “Remain” vote in a flagrant attempt to interfere in Britain’s decision.

Mr Obama’s intervention was decisive. The moment he demanded that Britain should remain within the EU, the polls began to swing against it. It was only when, in his maladroit fashion, he had sought to interfere in Britain’s decision that so many undecided voters woke up to the danger that the maneuverings and posturings of the international governing class represent to democracy.

What will Britain’s decision mean for the climate debate? Of course, it will break us free from the EU, whose governing elite had seized upon the climate issue as a purported ex-post-facto justification for the now-hated bloc’s continued existence.

We are left with our own British governing class, which has until now been no less determined than the EU to damage our economic and environmental interests by shutting down vital coal-fired power stations and carpeting our once green and pleasant land with windmills.

Now that the EU and its devoted poodle Mr Cameron have been consigned to the trashcan of history, it is near-certain that any new British Cabinet will take a more alert and less acquiescent stance than the present lot on the climate question.

It may even occur to the new Cabinet to check whether the rate of global warming is anything like what the profiteers of doom had predicted; to count the number of downstream businesses – such as cinder-blocks made from fly-ash out of coal-fired power stations – that have been destroyed by the EU’s war on coal; and even to wonder whether the forest of windmills that infest our once beautiful landscape are now extracting between them so much kinetic energy from passing storms that they are slowing them down, causing far more flash flooding than slightly warmer weather would (if and when it happened).

In the past, there was no point in our politicians asking any such questions, for our policies on all matters to do with our own environment were set for us by the unelected Kommissars of Brussels, whether we liked it or not.

Now that our politicians are going to have to learn to think for themselves again, rather than acting as an otiose, automated rubber stamp for directives from Them in Brussels, perhaps the Mother of Parliaments will begin to calculate the enormous economic advantage that Britain will gain by abandoning all of the climate-related directives that have driven our coal corporations, our steelworks and our aluminum works overseas, and have killed tens of thousands by making home heating altogether unaffordable.

We, the people, are the masters now. Our politicians will have to reacquire the habit of listening not to Them but to us. Here, and in the rest of Europe, and eventually throughout the world, let freedom ring!

Thank you, America, and God save the Queen!

Use Our Senatorial Nuclear Option to Stop Iran’s Radioactive Nuclear Option

August 28, 2015

Use Our Senatorial Nuclear Option to Stop Iran’s Radioactive Nuclear Option, National Review – Morning Jolt, Jim Geraghty, August 28, 2015 (via e-mail).

A simple proposal: To stop Iran’s nukes, use our own nuclear option. Scrap the filibuster, pass a resolution declaring the Iran deal a treaty that requires Senate authorization, introduce the text of the Iran deal, and vote it down.

Remember, Democrats got rid of the filibuster for nominations in 2013, arguing that GOP obstructionism was interfering with the president’s constitutional authority to make judicial appointments. The Constitution requires Senatorial consent to treaties. The administration claims the Iran deal isn’t a treaty because they think it has “become physically impossible“ to pass a treaty in the Senate.

Do you think Iran will honor its side of the agreement? Probably not, right?

Even if they do, do you think Iran will attempt to build a nuke quickly when the deal expires? Certainly, right?

Do you think that if Iran gets a nuke, they will use it? Pretty darn likely, right?

So, congressional Republicans . . . what are you willing to do to prevent a mushroom cloud either in the Middle East or closer to home?