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House Committee Shreds Kerry on Iran Nuclear Deal

House Committee Shreds Kerry on Iran Nuclear Deal

“Iran’s neighbors who know them the best, trust them the least.”

Today US Secretary of State John Kerry sat alongside Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz for a brutal afternoon of questioning before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the nuclear agreement arranged between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna earlier this month.

Throughout the hearing, Kerry attempted to stand firm on his previous assertions that the deal Congress will be voting on in September is “all or nothing;” republican committee members, however, voiced skepticism about whether or not a “deal” with Iran was even possible. From the Houston Chronicle, via the AP:

“If Congress does not support the deal, we would see this deal die — with no other options,” Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday as he testified for the second time in a week, part of the Obama administration’s all-out campaign to sell the accord.

“Iran has cheated on every agreement they’ve signed,” said Rep. Ed Royce, the panel’s chairman. With Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew waiting to testify, he asked if Tehran “has earned the right to be trusted” given its history.

Few, if any, new details emerged from the more than three-hour hearing. Some committee members asked the three officials questions, while others used their time to read lengthy statements in opposition. That left Kerry visibly frustrated and several times he accused the members of misconstruing or misunderstanding the details of the agreement.

“Nothing in this deal is built on trust. Nothing,” Kerry said.

Kerry was asked what would prevent Iran from adhering to the agreement for a short time, and then, in effect, take the money and run toward building an atomic bomb.

Kerry said that was not a likely scenario. He said the Iranian government is under pressure to improve the economy in their country where half the population is under 30 years of age and wants jobs. And he defended the inspection protocol under the agreement, arguing that if Iran tries to develop a nuclear weapon covertly, the international community will know.

Committee members countered by arguing that a separate and confidential agreement between Iran and the IAEA could jeopardize what oversight provisions the P5 did manage to put in place.

You can watch the first half of the hearing here (you’ll have to fast forward to around the 38 minute mark):



Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

…and the second half here:



Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

If you want an example of how the majority of this hearing went for Secretary Kerry, click into the second video and start paying close attention 40 seconds in, when Rep. Marino begins to question the witnesses. The exchange is ugly, and it’s representative of the content and tone of the majority of the hearing.

These congressmen are angry; but when you cut through the requisite political posturing and rhetoric, what you’re left with is the near-entirety of the committee expressing an absolute mistrust of Secretary Kerry, the Obama Administration, and the regime in Tehran.

The criticism was not limited to the right-leaning side of the aisle. Top Democrat Rep Eliot Engel (D-NY) read a list of concerns, but also urged his colleagues to review the deal carefully before casting a vote:

He also urged lawmakers to consider the alternative if they rejected the deal.

“Would renewed pressure bring the Iranians back to the table, if this deal fails?” he asked.

Still, Engel listed a litany of concerns he had about the deal. He said that under the deal, Iran could have more than a month to refuse international inspections of some sites.

“That potential length of time gives me pause,” he said. He also expressed concern that some military facilities are “off-site” from inspectors.

He also said he was “troubled by reports” on side deals made with the International Atomic Energy Agency on how Parchin, a military site, would be inspected.

And Engel expressed concern that restrictions on ballistic missiles and conventional arms would be lifted in five to eight years.

“I’d like to understand how we allowed this to happen,” he said.

Engel also questioned what Iran would do when sanctions are phased out, resulting in billions of dollars in relief.

“My fundamental concern is that 15 years from now, Iran will be off the hook,” he said.

My personal favorite zinger came toward the end of the hearing, and threw the whole scandal into full relief:

Congressman Reid Ribble asked the question we’ve all been waiting to hear the answer to: Why was the agreement not submitted as a treaty?

Kerry’s answer shocked everyone:

Hours of transcripts, but there you have it, in a nutshell. The Obama Administration shoved this through, over the heads of your elected representatives, because it was more convenient for them.

Sounds about right.

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Comments

FrankNatoli | July 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Shredded Kerry? Wow. So…now…what is Congress actually going to do about it? It’s a treaty. The Constitution only gives the Senate the right to consent to a treaty. The House is Constitutionally irrelevant. Are the Republicans going to continue with this unconstitutional charade by actually voting on it in the House?

    Estragon in reply to FrankNatoli. | July 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Pretend all you want, that’s not the way it works. 90% of our international deals since Reagan have come in the form of Executive Agreements that were not submitted as treaties. You wait until now to complain about it?

    Unless you can articulate how we could FORCE Obama to submit it as a treaty for ratification lacking a veto-proof 290 votes in the House and 67 in the Senate, all you are advocating is an exercise in Kabuki Theater.

      FrankNatoli in reply to Estragon. | July 28, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      If everyone else who takes this website seriously will forgive me, for the Nth time, I will repeat the explanation for your sole benefit.

      The Constitution requires the President to submit treaties to the Senate, which must vote minimally 2/3 to approve the treaty, or it’s DEAD.

      The Constitution also gives the President “foreign policy” authority. This President can argue that this “agreement” with a foreign sovereignty is not a treaty but instead the exercise of his Constitutional “foreign policy” prerogatives, in which case the Congress has nothing to do with the “agreement”. This case is, I believe, what you are arguing.

      The Constitution DOES NOT GIVE any President the authority, requirement or responsibility to submit a “not treaty” to the full Congress. It’s simply not there. How should the Congress know how to vote on it? Treaties require 2/3 of the Senate. Legislation requires a majority in both houses, and a Presidential signing, or 2/3 of both houses to override. The “not treaty” is none of the above. The President has no Constitutional authority to submit it to the Congress. The Congress has no Constitutional authority or documented process to vote on it. It has nothing to do with the rule of law. Congress consenting to vote on it, a completely unconstitutional process, then perhaps disapproving it, then the President “vetoing” a disapproval, a completely unconstitutional process, then the Congress perhaps voting to override, a completely unconstitutional process, has nothing to do with the rule of law.

        Milhouse in reply to FrankNatoli. | July 28, 2015 at 7:14 pm

        Your “explanation” makes no sense. The president can transmit to Congress whatever information he likes. He doesn’t need a clause in the constitution authorizing him to to so. In this case, a law passed by both Houses and signed by him requires him to submit to Congress any agreement he makes, so he has done so. It also suspends for 60 days his power to implement the agreement without anyone’s permission. If, within those 60 days, 2/3 of each house votes to permanently forbid him from implementing this agreement, that will be law, and he will have to go back to Iran and the P5+ and say, “Sorry, I tried”, and the agreement will be dead. If he can get at least 1/3 + 1 of each house to stand by him, then when the 60 days are up he can go ahead and implement it. That’s all. The constitutional violations you see don’t exist except in your imagination.

          FrankNatoli in reply to Milhouse. | July 28, 2015 at 10:46 pm

          “He doesn’t need a clause in the constitution authorizing him to to so.”
          Thank you for your personal definition of an unconstitutional act.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 29, 2015 at 1:12 am

          Are you seriously claiming that the president may not do anything except what the constitution explicitly says he can do?! That’s insane. The constitution doesn’t say he can breathe, eat, eliminate, marry, divorce, hire a secretary, or fly in a plane. It doesn’t say he can give speeches to Congress, or to the nation, or hold press conferences. It doesn’t say he can propose legislation to Congress, or submit a budget, or about 90% of the things presidents do. And it doesn’t have to. The president, like any other person, can do pretty much anything he likes unless the constitution or some law says he can’t. And communicating with Congress is one thing that presidents have been doing since 1789, because it makes no damn sense not to.

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to FrankNatoli. | July 28, 2015 at 10:20 pm

        Treaties require 2/3 of the Senate. Legislation requires a majority in both houses, and a Presidential signing, or 2/3 of both houses to override. The “not treaty” is none of the above.

        What do you mean it is (neither) of those.

        It’s the second. It’s legislation. It requires a majority in Congress to pass, can be vetoed and if so, requires a 2.3 majority to override. The legislation would reject some provisions of the agreement.

        Previous legislation said that a certain power of the president to waive sanctions disappeared for 30 days or 60 days (depending upon when the agreement was submitted) unless this agreement was submitted to Congress, and then Congress did not extend the disapproval before the 30 or 60 day deadline..

          FrankNatoli in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | July 28, 2015 at 10:44 pm

          (1) there is no proviso in the Constitution for the Executive Branch to submit legislation to the Legislative Branch. None. Or show me the article or amendment that does.

          (2) even if there was such a mechanism, which there is not, any legislation that does not obtain a majority vote in both houses of Congress is DEAD, period, DEAD. The Executive, under the Constitution, does not get to “veto” DEAD legislation. The Executive, under the Constitution, gets to veto legislation that has passed both houses.

          (3) there is a proviso in the Constitution for the Executive to submit a treaty to the Senate, which must obtain a 2/3 vote to pass, or the treaty is DEAD. This Executive has apparently chosen to NOT pursue that Constitutional path.

          (4) there is a proviso in the Constitution for the Executive to submit an annual budget to the Congress, recall Democrat Tip O’Neill saying, eight times, Ronald Reagan’s budget is DEAD ON ARRIVAL. Funny, I don’t remember Reagan vetoing O’Neill. You?

          There is no other Constitutional mechanism. None. We all know this Executive is lawless and brazenly disregards the Constitution. I am demanding that the Congress refuse to kiss his feet and engage in the unconstitutional process of accepting a “not treaty”, voting on it with both houses, pretending that a failure to pass either house can be “vetoed” by the Executive, then attempting a 2/3 override.

          Milhouse in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | July 29, 2015 at 2:04 am

          Sammy:

          What do you mean it is (neither) of those.

          It’s the second. It’s legislation.

          No, it’s the exact opposite of legislation. It’s notice of what the president intends to do if Congress doesn’t stop him. As the law stands now he doesn’t need Congress’s permission to implement this agreement; to stop him Congress must pass a new law forbidding him from doing so, and then sustain it over his veto.

          FrankNatoli:
          (1) there is no proviso in the Constitution for the Executive Branch to submit legislation to the Legislative Branch. None. Or show me the article or amendment that does.

          “He shall […] recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

          Not that this is what would be happening with the Iran deal; quite the opposite, he has informed Congress of his intentions, as he is required by law to do, and now it’s up to Congress to stop him. But it is what happens with every bill that the president asks Congress to pass, which is something that happens regularly.

          any legislation that does not obtain a majority vote in both houses of Congress is DEAD, period, DEAD. The Executive, under the Constitution, does not get to “veto” DEAD legislation.

          Yes, exactly. What is your point? In this case, if both houses pass a law forbidding the president from implementing the agreement with Iran, he will veto it. So what’s your problem?

          there is a proviso in the Constitution for the Executive to submit a treaty to the Senate, which must obtain a 2/3 vote to pass, or the treaty is DEAD.

          No deader than it is if it’s not submitted at all. It’s still an agreement that the president has made, and which he is free to implement to the extent that he can.

          The president does not need any authority to make agreements, or to keep them, provided that he is able to. If he agrees to something that he’s physically incapable of doing, such as running a one-minute mile, or that he’s legally incapable of doing, such as changing a law, then his agreement is of no effect. But if he agrees to something that he can do, both physically and legally, such as pouring a bucket of ice on his head or waiving the sanctions on Iran, then he is morally bound by his word. Nobody else is, though.

          This Executive has apparently chosen to NOT pursue that Constitutional path.

          That’s right. There’s no reason in the world why he should. Nothing in the constitution requires him to. You are making that up.

          there is a proviso in the Constitution for the Executive to submit an annual budget to the Congress,

          No, there is not. You are once again inventing things. Unless you’re referring to the same clause I quoted earlier, which can equally include a budget or any other kind of legislation.

          I am demanding that the Congress refuse to kiss his feet and engage in the unconstitutional process of accepting a “not treaty”, voting on it with both houses, pretending that a failure to pass either house can be “vetoed” by the Executive, then attempting a 2/3 override

          You’re a nut. You have no right to make any such demand. There is nothing unconstitutional about this process; it is exactly what the constitution requires. If Congress wants the president not to waive the sanctions, the only way it can prevent him is to change the law, and that requires 2/3 in each house to override his veto.

      tom swift in reply to Estragon. | July 28, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      90% of our international deals since Reagan have come in the form of Executive Agreements that were not submitted as treaties.

      So what? You seem to attach importance to the irrelevant fact that countries don’t always need treaties to handle quotidian agreements. It hardly follows that all agreements can, or should, be handled that way.

      Traditionally, the US has gone the full “treaty” route. The US has hundreds of treaties with Canada alone. One such demilitarized the Great Lakes. When the US built warships on the Lakes during WW2, the US and Canada made—you guessed it—another treaty to allow that. Of course unlike the bizarre naval arms race on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812, these ships were bound for the Atlantic, not Canada; both parties knew it and were not suspicious of any double-dealing.

      In 1948 the US, UK, Canada, and Australia signed a treaty standardizing a new thread system for machine screws. That was (and still is) the Unified system, based closely on the older US National systems. Colorful historical items like the Whitworth and British Association threads were relegated to the museums, at least in theory. There are no big inspection systems, no strategic consequences if one party cheats; the arrangement is to the obvious advantage of all parties and nobody even grouses about it.

      These treaties are hardly earth-shaking, and involve no inspections or serious legal or practical consequences if they’re subsequently ignored. Obviously any sort of “executive agreement” can do the same job.

      Others are a bit more contentious, such as extradition treaties. But when one country violates one—such as Switzerland’s refusal to extradite Roman Polanski—the consequences are again hardly earth-shaking. Even so, since extraditions are inherently legal matters, it’s hard to see how such treaties could be usefully replaced by mere “agreements”.

      On questions involving arms races and wars, it’s bizarre to argue that any “agreement” can do the job which normally requires a treaty.

        Milhouse in reply to tom swift. | July 28, 2015 at 7:20 pm

        As you acknowledge, there is nothing in the constitution requiring international agreements to be handled as treaties. If an agreement only requires things a president can do on his own, and if he doesn’t want to bind future presidents by entrenching the agreement in law, then he has no reason to submit it to anyone. The only reason to submit a treaty to the senate is if it requires a change in US law.

        Even if an agreement goes beyond what a president can do on his own, he has another option: rather than submit it to the senate as a treaty, which would require a supermajority in the senate but bypass the house, he can submit it as a proposed statute, which would require only simple majorities but in both houses. It’s entirely up to the president which route he takes, based on where he thinks he has the numbers.

          FrankNatoli in reply to Milhouse. | July 28, 2015 at 10:51 pm

          “he can submit it as a proposed statute”
          Article number and section, or Amendment number please.
          “which would require only simple majorities but in both houses”
          Simple majorities to what? To pass? And what if either house votes in the majority negative? What article number and section, or what amendment number, documents the process of the president “vetoing” a “not treaty” which has FAILED to obtain a majority of both houses?
          I am quoting what the Constitution explicitly documents is the role of Executive and Legislative.
          You are documenting what? What you think the Constitution SHOULD SAY?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 29, 2015 at 2:12 am

          “he can submit it as a proposed statute”

          Article number and section, or Amendment number please.

          Article 2, section 3.

          “which would require only simple majorities but in both houses”

          Simple majorities to what? To pass?

          Yes.

          It’s very simple. If the president concludes an international agreement and wants it to have the force of US law, he has two ways to do that: he can submit it to the senate as a treaty, or to both houses as a statute. The choice is entirely his, depending on where he has the numbers. But this president knows that he doesn’t have the numbers in either house, so he has no way of entrenching this agreement in law. Fortunately for him (and unfortunately for us and the whole civilized world), he doesn’t have to. Nothing in it requires any change in law, so he can just implement it on his own authority, unless Congress makes a new law to stop him, and sustains that law over his veto. Let’s hope they manage to do so.

          FrankNatoli in reply to Milhouse. | July 29, 2015 at 8:36 am

          [Here is the full text. Note the word “statute” does not appear here or anywhere in the Constitution.]
          SECTION 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully
          executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United
          States.
          [The above is NOT what this President pretends to “recommend for their Consideration”. Because if he were, their possible decision to consider the Measure in the negative would be final. This President is pretending to have the Constitutional authority to “veto” such a decision. That has nothing to do with the law.]

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 29, 2015 at 12:49 pm

          Gawd, you really are tihck, aren’t you. Statutes are measures. The president is explicitly commanded to recommend to Congress such measures, including statutes, that he thinks it should take.

          Here he has not proposed anything. He has informed Congress of the agreement he has made with Iran, and of his intention to fulfil it. He doesn’t need anyone’s permission to do so, but he is required by law to inform Congress and give it a chance to try to stop him. It’s now up to Congress to do that. If fewer than 2/3 of each house votes to stop him, he will veto that measure, and unless they override the veto within 10 days he will proceed with his plan. If 2/3 of each house vote to stop him, and he sees that he can’t swing them, he may not bother with the veto.

    Milhouse in reply to FrankNatoli. | July 28, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    FrankNatoli, you’re an idiot. You don’t get that this is not a treaty. It’s not being submitted to the senate for 2/3 consent, therefore it is not a treaty. Submitting it and not getting the 2/3 would have exactly the same effect as not submitting it at all, so what would be the point?

    The House will vote on an attempt to prevent it, and it has every constitutional right to do so, just as it can vote to prevent anything else. If a 2/3 of each house passes a bill to forbid the president from implementing this agreement, enough to override his promised veto, the bill will be law and the agreement will be dead. If they don’t then he will implement the agreement, since doing so is entirely within his existing powers. That’s all.

      FrankNatoli in reply to Milhouse. | July 28, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      “FrankNatoli, you’re an idiot.”
      And with your ad hominem attack, you have announced what you are.

        Milhouse in reply to FrankNatoli. | July 29, 2015 at 2:17 am

        It’s not an ad hominem attack. You further prove your idiocy by claiming it is. An argumentum ad hominem would be, “You’re an idiot, therefore your arguments are idiotic”. What I argued is the exact opposite: “Your arguments are idiotic, therefore you’re an idiot”.

          FrankNatoli in reply to Milhouse. | July 29, 2015 at 8:39 am

          ad hominem: directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
          Milhouse to Natoli: “You’re are an idiot”.
          Were I to label you an illiterate, I would be guilty of an ad hominem attack. So I won’t.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 29, 2015 at 1:29 pm

          You keep making a fool of yourself. The fallacy is argumentum ad hominem, an claim that ones opponent’s argument must be false because of who he is, rather than because of some flaw in the argument itself. I.e. “you’re an idiot, therefore your argument is idiotic.”

          As a matter of pure logic, this is a fallacy, since even idiots can occasionally come up with good arguments. But as a matter of rhetoric it’s a perfectly valid argument, and law it’s officially recognised as valid: “falsus in unum falsus in omnibus”.

          However, my argument was the exact opposite of ad hominem: “Your argument is idiotic, therefore you are an idiot”. That is valid even in pure logic.

Of course. Obama said from well before this round of talks began in 2013, and has reiterated personally and through spokesmen many times since, that he would not submit the deal as a treaty.

This is because he planned from the beginning to authorize Iranian nukes, and knew the Senate would never approve – even under Harry Reid.

– –

Elections matter. In every respect, Obama will be leaving our nation on a less prosperous course, with worse security, crushing regulations, and a more dangerous situation than he found.

We have worse relations with every country in the world since he took office, except for Iran and Cuba – and they only because he gave them freebies at the expense of their own people and the security of the world.

I like the “THE” on his name card!

American Human | July 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm

No amount of renewed pressure would bring the Iranians back to the table. They didn’t come to the table under pressure in the first place. They took the measure of Obama and Kerry and knew they could brow beat and cajole and play the game with them to get whatever they want.
It is easy to read the contempt the Ayatolla Hommini has for the U.S. They most likely already have the frozen assets in their grubby fingers. They have no pressure at home from “the people who want jobs” because they all know what will happen to them if they complain.
There is nothing good about this deal. The door to all they want has been thrown wide open. Russia can provide them with their newest air defense systems and on and on.
I am wondering if Iran is either Gog or Magog?

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to American Human. | July 28, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Gog and Magog? I thought that was Kerry and Obama……

      Gog is a person; Magog is a place. Ezekiel 38:2

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to Milhouse. | July 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm

        Magog is Scythia, which is more or less Ukraine, although it could be something else carved out of it. And there are some other ideas.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magog_(Bible)

        Josephus identified the offspring of Magog as the Scythians, a name used in antiquity for peoples north of the Black Sea.[1] According to him, the Greeks called Scythia Magogia (Ant., bk. I, 6). An alternate identification derived from an examination of the order in which tribal names are listed in Ezekiel 38, “would place Magog between Cappadocia and Media.”[2] According to Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried (19th century) Magog refers to the Mongols. He cites an Arab writer who refers to the Great Wall of China with the name ‘Magog’.[3]

        And in any case there is no ruler named Gogh on the scene right now.

        There has been much confusion about this where Megog becomes a person.

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | July 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Kerry is a Traitor!

That’s okay, the Republicans will once again fold and the leadership in the Hosue and Senate will go along and give Obama what he wants.

    Ottis in reply to natdj. | July 28, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    DING DING DING..We have a winner. The Rs will fold.

    Milhouse in reply to natdj. | July 28, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Why would you think that? The Republicans will undoubtedly do all they can to frustrate this deal, but there’s a sharp limit to what they can do. Without enough Democrats to make up a veto-proof majority in both houses, they can’t do anything but protest. 0bama has already said he will veto any attempt to prevent him from waiving the sanctions; what do you imagine the Rs can do about it? They already tried to take away his power to waive the sanctions, but they couldn’t get enough votes to override a veto, so they compromised on a 60-day suspension. Now that we have an agreement, and we can all see how bad it is, they need to work on getting those few extra Democrat votes to override the veto.

This is all a charade. The Ruling Class has decided to emasculate the United States and, as Yul Bryner said “So shall it be said, so shall it be written”

When are American citizens going wake up to the fact our country has been taken over by an minority of well connected elitists bent on controlling our every move? Only 1/5 of registered Republicans think their Party truly represents them while 4/5 of Democrats are happy with their representation. They’re using the Constitution as toilet paper and have their bureaucratic creatures make life harder and more expensive for us while the Rulers get off scot free!

Iranian’s.. “told stories that, at times, they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan”

Oh Wait!

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to JP. | July 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Is this another news story about Planned Parenthood?

    Oh wait………

    Eskyman in reply to JP. | July 29, 2015 at 1:56 am

    JP, you have captured my exact thought! (Great minds, etc.)

    Problem is, that’s actually true about the Iranians…. 🙁

Eastwood Ravine | July 28, 2015 at 4:28 pm

The big rumor is that Kerry will receive a Noble Prize for negotiating the West’s surrender to Iran, and then use it to run for President when Hillary drops out. Even a Clinton can’t become President if they’re under indictment or in a prison cell.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Eastwood Ravine. | July 28, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    No-Ball Putz Prize for Kerry!

    SeniorD in reply to Eastwood Ravine. | July 28, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    If that’s the case, here comes Algore with HIS Noble Prize, his Emmy and Oscar.

    Milhouse in reply to Eastwood Ravine. | July 28, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    There’s noting in the constitution preventing a felon from being elected president.

      Eastwood Ravine in reply to Milhouse. | July 29, 2015 at 1:11 am

      Technically, no. However, being elected president doesn’t lessen the illegality of what a felon had done. They could be President of the United States, but still have to serve his or her prison time. The 25th Amendment would come into play, until the time was served, or until a pardon was granted.

inspectorudy | July 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm

I have read a synopsis of this entire deal and it was pointed out that the P5+1 have conceded at every meeting and Iran has not. It has been a one sided bargain from the start and on top of that the Iranians were allowed to put into the agreement things that had absolutely nothing to do with nuclear arms but we were not allowed to. Can anyone explain why? It would seem that we started out in the driver’s seat and then ended up in the trunk. Where and why did our ability to negotiate disappear?

“Would renewed pressure bring the Iranians back to the table, if this deal fails?” he asked.

This statement by Engel is peculiar. While it’s nice to see a Dem resisting the Party’s standard knee-jerk support for all things Obama, it seems to miss the mark. The point of this whole exercise is to prevent the creation of a Persian atomic bomb. This can be done by international agreement—i.e. treaties, or by force—arms races, or war—conventional (if sooner) or nuclear (if later).

Merely forcing Iran “back to the table” is not the goal at all. And, if the historical lesson is that Iran is going to violate any agreement with the Great Satan, then anything that happens at the table is irrelevant.

Sammy Finkelman | July 28, 2015 at 6:55 pm

“If Congress does not support the deal, we would see this deal die — with no other options,” Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday…

….Kerry was asked what would prevent Iran from adhering to the agreement for a short time, and then, in effect, take the money and run toward building an atomic bomb.

Kerry said that was not a likely scenario. He said the Iranian government is under pressure to improve the economy in their country where half the population is under 30 years of age and wants jobs….

I don’t think Kerry explains, if that is the case, why would Iran then tear up the agreement if Congress rejects it.

Estrogen if you read the constitution it’s clear that the Senate’s power of advise and consent on treaties is independent of what the President calls the agreements he negotiates. And whether he chooses not to submit these treaties to the Senate. If it did then the power would be worthless. The Senate has the power to decide what is a treaty worthy of their approval.

They need to declare that Obama’s “agreement” with Iran is a treaty and have a vote on ratification/consent. This treaty is terrible and for that reason it will be rejected. It will be null and void. Thank God!

    Milhouse in reply to ConradCA. | July 28, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    You’re not making any sense. Of course the senate’s power to consent to treaties depends on the president asking for that consent. How can they refuse consent that has not been asked for in the first place? What would be the point?

    Please be explicit: What do you imagine would happen if the senate were to vote 34-66, or even 99-0, against consenting to this agreement as a treaty. How would it be any different than not submitting it at all? Do you imagine the agreement would magically vanish, and the president would somehow be unable to implement it?! How do you imagine that would happen? Where in the constitution did you see such a strange thing?

      walker in reply to Milhouse. | July 28, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Put it this way: a treaty that fewer than 67 senators have voted for is exactly the same as a treaty that no senators have voted for because nobody ever asked them to.

      Or, a treaty that was submitted and got 66 votes is exactly the same as a treaty that got no votes because it was never submitted.

I looked over the constitution and it says nothing about what the president calls his treaties or his submission of them to the Senate. If this power was dependent on that it would be worthless.

If they rejected this treaty then it would be null and void for our country. Tyrant Obama the Liar has been attempting to neuter the Congress so he can rule over us like a king/dictator. This treaty is a great opportunity for us to stop his march towards tyranny and restore our freedom.

    Milhouse in reply to ConradCA. | July 28, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    You’re an idiot. If the president doesn’t submit it to the senate then what makes it a treaty?

    If the senate rejected this, how would it be any different than it is now? Answer us that.

    walker in reply to ConradCA. | July 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Yes, Conrad, Milhouse is right. Tell us how you think a treaty that got 66 votes in the senate, or any number lower than 66, is different from one that got no votes because it was never submitted.

Where in the constitution does it state that Senates power of advice and consent on treaties is dependent on the President calling his agreements treaties or submitting them for approval by the Senate? It doesn’t. The power to determine what is a treaty and to hold a vote on ratification is in the Senate alone.

    Milhouse in reply to ConradCA. | July 28, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Where does it say that the senate has “the power to determine what is a treaty”? And what is the effect of refusing consent when the president hasn’t asked for consent in the first place?

    This agreement isn’t a treaty for the simple reason that a treaty is defined as an agreement for which the president obtained the consent of 2/3 of the senate. If he didn’t, whether because he didn’t ask or because he asked and at least 1/3 of the senate said no, then by definition it isn’t a treaty.

What bothers me the most about this deal is the continued claim by Obama that he (and in this case Kerry) are so much smarter than everyone else in this country, Congress, and everywhere else. They took this approach with Obamacare and we all saw the disaster it became so now they are taking this approach on Iran. Once again Obama is going to do what he wants with little other input or approval from anyone else so, should this Iran deal pass, he will own it completely by himself. Clearly something is very broken when we have devolved into a monarchy where Congress is so impotent that it can accomplish little and the president gets his way every time despite the overwhelming majority against what he is doing.

    Milhouse in reply to Cleetus. | July 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    In what way have we “devolved”, and in what way is congress more impotent now than it ever was? That’s always been the case. The first congress in 1789 was no more able than today’s congress to do anything the president really didn’t like, unless it had the support of 2/3 in each house. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

    0bamacare was passed by Congress. The president couldn’t do it on his own. But this Iran deal is something the president has full authority to implement on his own, which is why 2/3 in each house is necessary to forbid him.

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