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(Voxy (New Zealand))   Remember in school, they said the Senate has to approve all foreign treaties before they're ratified? Apparently if a treaty lines up perfectly with our existing laws, and the President's name starts with an O, that doesn't apply   ( divider line
    More: Spiffy, Senate, mercury pollution, United States, Assistant Secretary of State, United Nations Environment Programme, Dr Jones, treaty, Achim Steiner  
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2755 clicks; posted to Politics » on 07 Nov 2013 at 4:38 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-11-07 04:41:25 PM  
3 votes:
A misleading headline that has nothing to do with the article linked?!?!  On my!?!?!  You don't say...
2013-11-07 05:56:38 PM  
1 vote:
I read about this yesterday.  I was pleased, since I've been to Minamata, met victims of "Minamata Disease," and think of Hg poisoning as, well, a bad thing.

I was also perplexed, since I'm an American and I know that America doesn't ratify these kinds of things, especially environmental things.  Scarily, a couple friends who teach international politics - and who would normally be the ones explaining this sort of thing to me - were also perplexed.

I emailed folks in charge of the treaty at UNEP, and they said the Americans had assured them it was all legit, but they really had no idea why that was.  This wasn't very reassuring.  I emailed folks in the State Department - they were happy, but didn't explain.

Finally, a few minutes ago, one of the professors forwarded an explanation from another professor: the State Department's foreign affairs manual says under "Agreements Pursuant to Legislation" that "the President may conclude an international agreement on the basis of existing legislation."  It's called a "sole executive agreement" apparently, which I'd never heard of - not defined in the constitution, but a power gradually given to the President over the years.

And although the Senate occasionally biatches about a President using it for one thing or another, strangely they can never come up with the votes to do anything about the President committing the US to, ya know, keep following our existing laws.

So... well played, Obama.  Well played.

Now who's going to be the first to start the "Obama did an end-run around Congress!  Imbalance of government powers!  Jackbooted UN thugs are going to take our Mercurochrome and thermometers!" wharrgarbl?
2013-11-07 04:59:31 PM  
1 vote:

BMulligan: Troll thread. You've been warned.

No kidding. A non-binding treaty is suddenly another call for impeachment.

Subby should be outed.
2013-11-07 04:48:48 PM  
1 vote:
Remember when subby was so butthurt about Obama that he downplayed any possible significant accomplishment from the Obama administration?

So do I.
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