So, Apparently I Blew That One

It appears I was wrong to trust Lawrence O’Donnell, who should know better, as he is constantly pointing out his Senate experience, but he flat up lied about Paul and others:

John Cole you are so willfully misled:

1. Senate Resolution 85 is non-binding; it DOES NOT have the force of law.

2. It was passed in less than a minute after introduction, with no debate, and only the title about “condemning human rights violations” was read outloud. Here is the transcript:
——————————————————————————————————————————————————
Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S. Res. 85, which was introduced earlier today.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.

The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

A resolution (S. Res. 85) strongly condemning the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya, including violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms, and for other purposes.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.

Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and any statements be printed in the Record.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The resolution (S. Res. 85) was agreed to.

The preamble was agreed to.

There was no vote in Congress authorizing our military action in a foreign country. Please read the Constitution. If you are required to obey laws, our country must also live up to its end of the bargain and obey its rules.

Rand never voted for ‘resolution 85’. It was passed on motion ‘without objection’ before Rand could even get back to the floor, wasn’t even read, so no one knew what was in it, and was explained away as ‘nonbinding’. Check out the Congressional Record, only the TITLE mentioning NO military action was read, even, before it was deemed passed. Wonder why they did it like that? Maybe because Rand Paul had been the only one to object to extending the Patriot Act for three years ‘by unanimous consent’ the same way? What sort of ‘representative government’ is this?

So there is that.






87 replies
  1. 1
    Elisabeth says:

    So I guess Paul’s been running around the halls of Congress demanding a (re)vote? Oh wait…Carl Levin’s the one pushing it.

    Sorry, John, Rand Paul is likely against the no-fly zone but he’s hardly been at the forefront of demanding Congressional action.

  2. 2
    General Stuck says:

    I don’t see the big deal, though i didn’t watch O’donnell’s clip, or all the way to the end. I never thought it was binding and was done before the UN res. It was a “sense of the senate” res and it WAS passed by unanamyous consent, and Paul could have with held his consent, or objected. These things are never passed without all members agreeing not to object beforehand. If O’donnell said in his remarks in the clip that it was anything other than that, then he was wrong. But you didn’t say that in your thread post.

  3. 3
    Cat Lady says:

    If you want to rely on a cable talker, stick with Rachel. She doesn’t need to bloviate cuz she’s wicked smaht. She found out you only need to let Rand Paul talk.

  4. 4
    lol says:

    Paul also lied when he said the Senate hadn’t weighed in at all.

  5. 5
    feebog says:

    The resolution was sent to all members of the Senate earlier in the day. If Rand Paul had an objection, then he should have made sure his sorry ass was on the floor when the resolution was brought up. As for this being a non-binding resoluction, so what? If you don’t want to go on record as supporting it, then show up and object.

  6. 6
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @feebog: Technically true. Which means, of course, that it is collectively nonsense.

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    And yes, by not objecting, Paul conceded his vote as a senator endorsing the UN to do something.
    What it seems like to me has happened, is that Paul, being a dufus tea tard, never dreamed a UN security council res would lead to the US taking mil action in Libya. And he is not alone for those who do not understand treaties and their binding nature, and in this case, the world coming together under a UN charter, that we signed and has the force of US law. You can quibble all day about what the word “war” means in the constitution, and weather any shot fired in anger makes it necessary for a congressional declaration of war, or under the war powers act. But what we have done is perfectly legal, so long as it complies with the UN resolution.

  8. 8
    moe99 says:

    @lol: Yes–exactly what I said downthread.

  9. 9
    The Dangerman says:

    @lol:

    Paul also lied when he said the Senate hadn’t weighed in at all.

    The line to lie forms to the Right; today’s big lie is that the U.S. handing off command to NATO means the U.S. is still in charge because we are NATO. Or NATO is us. Or something.

    After hearing 2 or 3 Republicans on the TV bloviating their talking points, I can recite those points by memory. They have a script and they damn well stick to it.

  10. 10
    FlipYrWhig says:

    wasn’t even read, so no one knew what was in it

    This seems like your correspondent’s key point. Is how this was handled any different than any other nonbinding resolution? I have no idea myself.

    Schumer says it was introduced “earlier today.” That suggests that the full text was somewhere. (Maybe not long enough?) They ask for unanimous consent and get no objections. Then Schumer proposes the actual thing, including what sounds like more of the text than just the supposedly anodyne title. Once again, there are no objections.

    Sounds like someone who wanted to object to the resolution had two opportunities to do so, and took neither.

    Doesn’t sound like a “vote.” True. Was there bait-and-switch style skulduggery? I have no idea. IANA parliamentarian.

  11. 11
    Montysano says:

    @feebog:
    What feebog said. Exactly. Rand Paul simply assumed that he could sit out the vote, then bring the butthurt and no one would call him on it.

    John, you didn’t … heh … blow anything.

  12. 12
    Dave says:

    Bullshit. Rand could have been in the Senate chamber. In fact, isn’t that where he should have been?

  13. 13
    montana says:

    Uhm, I believe that is how O’Donnell clearly explained it last night. Truth is that Paul voted for it. If he did not know what he was voting for…well, says a lot about him.

  14. 14
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Schumer mentions “the resolution” and “the preamble.” The person who posted the comment on which this post is based suggests that “only the TITLE mentioning NO military action was read.” That person seems to think this is something sneaky. Is it? Where did “the resolution” and “the preamble” come from? Had they been circulated so that senators could see them? If not, that sounds bad. But do we know that?

  15. 15
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    Yabut, I’ll take a President Obama apologist over a Randy Paulist any day.
    .
    .

  16. 16
    General Stuck says:

    Geez Cole, looks like you got rickrolled by a Paultard in comments. Almost everything HAMM wrote was wrong. Should I link the Astley clip?

  17. 17
    The Moar You Know says:

    Huh. Lotta comments from people who STILL HAVEN’T READ THE FUCKING LEGISLATION.

    It doesn’t authorize ANYBODY to do anything. I’ll give you the gist of it right here:

    “Kadafy is a bad guy”

    O’Donnell is a straight-up fucking unserious liar who I’ll never, ever listen to again.

    And GODDAMM HIS LYING ASS for making me defend Rand Paul. Of all people. Fuck.

  18. 18
    Under the Aurora Freeway says:

    You’ve got to pay the troll toll, to get into the boy’s soul…

  19. 19
    gbear says:

    .

    .

    .

    .

    Christ, those dots are stupid.

  20. 20
    Dave says:

    Funny thing…I went over to Thomas.gov to look at the resolution and checked the schedule for the Senate that day. It seems a little earlier Senate Resolution 82–TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT TIME FOR LEGISLATION TO BE READ– was submitted earlier. A resolution sponsored by one Senator Rand Paul.

    So, um, shouldn’t he have been there or something?

  21. 21
    Turgidson says:

    Seems like O’Donnell didn’t lie about anything exactly, but he exaggerated and made a mountain out of a molehill in order to embarrass Rand Paul. Which, I’d add, isn’t necessary, because the man does a perfectly good job embarrassing himself regularly.

    Oh well.

  22. 22
    DarrenG says:

    I normally like Lawrence, and his ‘gotcha’ is possibly defensible if you squint and tilt your head just right while looking at the facts.

    But damn, man, if *this* is the best you can come up with against Rand Paul, you’re way off your game.

    Edit: Turgidson owes me a beer for sneaking in just before me with that.

  23. 23
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Moar You Know: IMHO it looks like two things are true.

    1. The resolution doesn’t authorize anything.
    2. The senate had a chance to object to the resolution and didn’t.

    So Paul had the opportunity to say something and didn’t. But the thing he had the opportunity to say something about was nonbinding and hollow.

  24. 24
    El Tiburon says:

    @Cat Lady:
    And…1.

    I like LD well enough. Especially when he was just a guest and stuck to his limited area of expertise. Otherwise I think he is just another b-lister hanging around waiting for more celebrity; he is not a True Believer like Olbermann seemed to evolve into over the years.

    Now, Rachel, she is a True Believer. Yes, sometimes she plays it a bit close to the vest on certain topics (for job security reasons I suppose).

  25. 25
    Citizen Alan says:

    Never apologize for thinking the worst of Rand Paul, or indeed any member of the satanic death cult that calls itself the GOP.

  26. 26
    Mark S. says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Exactly. Here’s the resolution. It doesn’t authorize anything.

    I made this point in that thread but the discussion soon turned to toilet water and John Woo. In other words, a pretty fucked up thread even by BJ standards.

  27. 27
    General Stuck says:

    Just watched the entire clip, and most of it was spot on and full disclosure, except at the end where Odonnell states that Paul “voted for everything Obama has done”. That is sorta of true and sort of not true. Paul was whining about not doing a binding war authorization like the Aumf, and that didn’t happen. But Paul did vote for everything Obama has done concerning going to the UN and getting them to act, and making it legal via treaty obligations for us to use the mil in Libya. The problem is Paul is an idiot and doesn’t have a clue what a UN res is under US law and the constitution, and Odonnell took advantage of that to make a point. A point that stands, imo. Though with an asterisk.

  28. 28
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mark S.: This whole thing is about the distinction between authorizing and the much more general “having input.” Paul had a chance to have some kind of input and didn’t take it. Paul didn’t authorize. Both are true.

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck: I’d be more comfortable saying that Paul didn’t object to what Obama has done when he was afforded the opportunity to do so. It just wasn’t much of an opportunity, and even then it was symbolic.

  30. 30
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I didn’t hear Odonnell use the word “authorize” but instead the more nebulous “voted for” what Obama was doing. I think there exists a problem in reporting on the movements of morons in congress, and Paul is too uninformed and stupid for me to grasp him being a US senator. Odonnell just took it and ran.

  31. 31
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    No, when a senator agrees to a UC vote, he is voting for something. Not just not objecting. Just not to “authorize” anything, but a sense of the senate res that the best word for, I think, is “endorsed” what Obama has done. And the no fly zone suggestion was in the res 85 that Paul voted for.

  32. 32
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    It appears I was wrong to trust Lawrence O’Donnell…

    I don’t see where you or O’Donnell were wrong, John. I watched the clip all the way through, and never got the sense that it was anything but a “Sense of the Senate” resolution. The point was that Rand Paul (and other objecting Republicans) is a hypocrite for saying that we joined the action in Libya without our “representatives of the people” having “any say” or “without any Congressional approval”.

    It wasn’t an authorization to use force, but it wasn’t nothing either.

    .

  33. 33
    Elia says:

    I know we’ve covered toilets pretty thoroughly here today, but have we talked yet about how it looks like we’re not (this we talked about) but also NATO isn’t going to arm the rebels and, what’s more, told them “no funny shtuff”?

    That last bit in particular really cheered me up. The part of this that made me the most nervous was the prospect that glibertarians could feel vindicated calling Sam Power Bill Kristol in a dress (or whatever obnoxious phrase gained the most currency), because the rebels were going around killing peeps. I know that that may still happen…but this is still encouraging, I’d say.

  34. 34

    I pointed out in another thread that Marco Rubio had sent a letter to the Senate leadership that the Senate should just go ahead and endorse the Libyan adventure, with regime change being the explicit goal. I guess that isn’t getting much traction.

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I don’t use the Thomas.gov server very adeptly, but it looks to me at first glance that this nonbinding resolution on Libya was handled very similarly to a nonbinding resolution CONDEMNING THE ELECTIONS IN BELARUS dated March 17, 2011. Here’s what I’m looking at.

    In this Belarus case, there’s a request for unanimous consent, then it’s reported by title, then there’s a speech, then there’s another request for unanimous consent on the resolution and the preamble, and then there’s a long list of “Whereas” phrases.

    Was the Libyan resolution handled any differently? Here’s the text. The immediate difference is that Schumer doesn’t give a speech. Maybe that’s grounds for complaint. But the formulas attested in the post itself don’t seem incriminating in the way they’re being suggested to be, i.e., that not enough was read aloud, in order to fake out the otherwise vigilant Rand Paul.

  36. 36
    General Stuck says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    I guess that isn’t getting much traction.

    I doubt it, unless Obama is a fool by letting himself get baited into the morass of wingnut politics on wars, which of course is entirely insane and mostly about them regaining the upper hand on the situation for partisan political gain.

  37. 37
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Here are the two cases. I left out the texts of the resolutions themselves, but you can find them in the links I left in the earlier post.

    Libya:

    Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S . Res . 85 , which was introduced earlier today.
    __
    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
    __
    The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
    __
    A resolution (S . Res . 85 ) strongly condemning the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya, including violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms, and for other purposes.
    __
    There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.
    __
    Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and any statements be printed in the Record.
    __
    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
    __
    The resolution (S . Res . 85 ) was agreed to.
    __
    The preamble was agreed to.
    __
    The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:
    __
    __
    __

    Belarus:

    Mr. REID. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that we proceed to the immediate consideration of S . Res . 105 .
    __
    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
    __
    The legislative clerk read as follows:
    __
    A resolution (S . Res . 105 ) to condemn the December 19, 2010, elections in Belarus, and to call for the immediate release of all political prisoners and for new elections that meet international standards.
    __
    There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.
    __
    Mr. DURBIN. [GIVES A SPEECH]
    __
    Mr. REID. I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and any statements related to the resolution be printed in the Record.
    __
    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
    __
    The resolution (S . Res . 105 ) was agreed to.
    __
    The preamble was agreed to.
    __
    The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

  38. 38
    Ron says:

    I may be missing something, but doesn’t the US Constitution contain a clause saying that all treaties we’ve entered are the law of the land. Wouldn’t the membership in the UN involve a treaty?

  39. 39
    Pete says:

    To be fair John, your basic sentiment was correct, so please don’t step back from it because of comment that begins in the robotic manner of

    John Cole you are so willfully misled

    the very verbal gait of an inveterate Paulite.

    You were fundamentally right with your premise. Don’t let Lawrence’s oversights spoil that.

  40. 40
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Pete: He wasn’t even misled. The commenter’s specifics are wrong. Rand Paul has a valid point that this resolution was nonbinding and shouldn’t be oversold. The commenter who led John to reconsider made a different point, and drew some innuendo-laced conclusions in the process, and IMHO those are not borne out after looking at a parallel case of another nonbinding Senate resolution. John, you should reconsider reconsidering here.

  41. 41
    John W. says:

    Everyone agrees the resolution is nonbinding.

    It’s only meant to show that there was widespread support in Congress of a NFZ, which, of course, is true and not controversial at all.

  42. 42
    JKR says:

    He wasn’t given the language in advance, and it passed before he made it back to the floor so he was physically unable to object. Check this out: http://t.co/Yp3YAvF

    He is seriously against this, always has been, never varied.

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JKR: It doesn’t look like this nonbinding resolution was handled differently than any other nonbinding resolution, though. Was it? Seems to me like he should be saying “I may not have objected to a nonbinding resolution, but that’s not the same thing as endorsing the specific policy this administration is undertaking, and you know better than to pretend those are the same thing, Lawrence.”

  44. 44
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Rand Paul has a valid point that this resolution was nonbinding and shouldn’t be oversold

    No he doesn’t have a valid point. He is essentially saying Obama is conducting warfare without congressional authorization, which has been pointed out many times here not to be the case given our treaty obligations through the UN.

    The Senate authorized a long time ago, our participation in UN security council resolutions. Would it be nice to also get a stand alone congressional res on what we are doing in Libya? Yes, maybe. But not required for legality.

    As for Odonnell, he used some unfortunate word play in the clip, but the over all sentiment of Paul endorsing our path through the UN to a no fly UN security council resolution stands. And I watch the senate every day, and have for many years, and the UC for this SOTS res was pro forma, like all the others. Paul either didn’t understand what he was consenting to for endorsement, or failed to even check, or more likely just figured it wouldn’t come to anything, and didn’t bother. It did, and Paul endorsed the general path obama took to where we are.

  45. 45
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck: The valid point is the rejoinder to O’Donnell. Paul is saying the Senate has been kept from voicing its opinion, O’Donnell is waving the resolution as proof that the Senate has indeed had such a chance, and then Paul is saying that that isn’t good enough, IMHO. That last bit is to my mind the most valid part, and O’Donnell is being disingenuous with his objection. Your argument makes sense but it’s not what either one of them is taking issue with.

  46. 46
    jwb says:

    Kind of OT, but I hate our press corps. So CNN, who takes everything that Breitbart throws together at face value, even though he’s known to be a serial liar, but accuses TPM of selective editing, when they used an edited clip only after Republicans accused them of copyright violation by posting the whole video.

  47. 47
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I didn’t hear Paul mention the senate res in that Odonnell clip. Maybe I missed or forgot it, but all I heard was him whining that a direct vote by congress is needed and hasn’t happened to lend legality to what we are doing in Libya. Though I agree Odonnell conflated the senate res vote with Paul’s stated “most important vote he would ever take comment” on authorizing a NFZ in Libya, but that is moot, since it does not require a direct vote at this time for legality. And Odnonnell did not use the “authorize” word, but simply stated Paul voted for what Obama has done. Which is true. Paul is a US senator, and he gets no breaks for being ignorant of the law and what his votes relate to and what he endorses with his votes.

  48. 48
    HAMM says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Do you have a link to this?

  49. 49
    priscianus jr says:

    @John W.:

    It’s only meant to show that there was widespread support in Congress of a NFZ, which, of course, is true and not controversial at all.

    Well then, wouldn’t that necessarily entail our setting up a NFZ and maintaining it? It doesn’t happen by itself, you know, and everyone was aware that the US would have to lead, at least on that. Which means we’d have to send some guys over there. So what is Paul complaining about? Probably the money.
    O’Donnell may have jazzed it up a bit, but he did not speak with forked tongue.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JKR:Oh, I thought he was, like, totally for it, dude.

  51. 51
    Calouste says:

    @jwb: Full-blown Republican projection as usual. “We do it so let’s accuse the other side of doing it.”

  52. 52
    Anne Laurie says:

    @feebog:

    If Rand Paul had an objection, then he should have made sure his sorry ass was on the floor when the resolution was brought up.

    After his huge on-camera lament last week about how “the toilets in my house don’t work… I’ve been waiting to complain about that for twenty years”, Paul may just have been… otherwise occupied.

    (And I can’t believe I’m the first commentor to flash back on Paul’s high-profile complaints about low-flush toilets. Slacking, my fellow BJuicers!)

  53. 53
    JKR says:

    @ priscianus Jr. It is less than 40 seconds, you can watch it yourself. And see if you hear any mention of a no fly zone, while you are at it.

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/pro.....stop/15261

  54. 54
    Mark S. says:

    @Elia:

    Arming the rebels would violate 1970 paragraph 9.

    Putting boots ona ground would seem to violate 1973 paragraph 4:

    to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory

  55. 55
    Mike M says:

    Both the House and Senate held hearings on a Libyan no-fly zone. Both Gates and Mullens were clear that implementing a no-fly zone would require attacks on Libyan assets. Gates was very clear that implementing a NFZ was an act of war.

    Senate Resolution 85 calling on the UN Security Council to implement a NFZ and other actions was passed on March 1, and even if you were asleep for the actual vote, you could have read about it in any of the major newspapers or news sites. The UN Security Council didn’t pass its Resolution 1973 until March 18. There was plenty of time for Paul and others to raise objections and to take congressional action prior to the UN vote.

    The US president is authorized to take action in support of a UN Security Counsel Chapter VII resolution pursuant to section 42 without seeking further action from Congress. Is this news ot people? It shouldn’t be. The law has been in effect since 1945, and Congress has had more than ample time to revise it. Afterall, the US has participated in multiple UN authorized military actions under many different presidents.

    Some people believe that Congress should not be able to delegate its power to declare war through treaties or other legislation. Fine, then change the law, but don’t come whining about the president overstepping his authority in the meantime. If Congress wanted to block military action, then one of the legislators now speaking out should have put their views to a vote. Perhaps even a sense of the Senate resolution of their own. But of course, this is a group who cannot even pass last year’s budget.

  56. 56
    rootless_e says:

    Excuse me but didn’t Rand Paul get elected to the Senate for the first time last year?

    Maybe because Rand Paul had been the only one to object to extending the Patriot Act for three years ‘by unanimous consent’ the same way? What sort of ‘representative government’ is this?

  57. 57
    dlnelson says:

    @Anne Laurie: We have three low flow kohler toilets, we live in No Cal. It has saved us over eighty bucks a MONTH. Our old toilets were from the eighties, now we have new ones. It is amazing. It is an engineering surprise. We pay for water here, that baby could suck tennis balls down the tube. Rep Paul, does not know what he is talking about, of course he may be out of the loop. Thanks, for this forum. When you pay for water, you watch what you use. I also, sort cans, water bottles, etc. I must be a — well you fill in the blank.

  58. 58
    General Stuck says:

    @Mike M:

    laid out quite nicely!

  59. 59
    Brooklyn Red Leg says:

    Uh, that resolution was introduced at the END OF THE DAY. It was done and over in less than 45 seconds. Do yourselves a big fat favour and learn something:

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/pro.....stop/15261

    Furthermore, treaties CANNOT supercede the US Constitution:

    “This Court has also repeatedly taken the position that an Act of Congress, which must comply with the Constitution, is on a full parity with a treaty, and that, when a statute which is subsequent in time is inconsistent with a treaty, the statute to the extent of conflict renders the treaty null. [n34] It would be completely anomalous to say that a treaty need not comply with the Constitution when such an agreement can be overridden by a statute that must conform to that instrument.” – Reid v. Covert

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/sup.....01_ZO.html

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike M:

    Senate Resolution 85 calling on the UN Security Council to implement a NFZ and other actions was passed on March 1, and even if you were asleep for the actual vote, you could have read about it in any of the major newspapers or news sites.

    That’s unpossible, because Cacti and Joe Beese have been here telling me over and over again that the NFZ was implemented without Congress’ knowledge. Clearly your facts must be wrong since they challenge the fantasy world those two are busy constructing.

  61. 61
    General Stuck says:

    @Brooklyn Red Leg:

    Furthermore, treaties CANNOT supercede the US Constitution:

    When we sign them and the senate ratifies them, THEY ARE the constitution and just as constitutional as any other provision.

    A specific treaty or any of it’s mandates or provisions can only be deemed unconstitutional by the courts, or SCOTUS. So until someone challenges, if they haven’t already, our ratified UN Charter membership treaty, or the parts about participating in UN Security council resolutions, then parlor discussions on the matter are just that, parlor discussions.

    Uh, that resolution was introduced at the END OF THE DAY.

    Votes are docketed in advance, and Unanaymous Consent votes are controlled by leaders in both parties, and they are not entered into until every member of both caucuses have secured permission from every member of said caucus. They are not impromptu events and if by chance one side tries to pull a fast one that hasn’t been pre approved, it is immediately objected to by someone from each party always present on the senate floor. Each member has access to the full text of any planned UC vote in advance to read before deciding to consent to a unanymous consent procedure. If there was a problem, then Paul needs to take it up with Mcconnell/ There is no indication that this sen res 85 was not done by the numbers.

    Sorry, your idiot tea party senator and maybe even the GOP senate caucus in total, got rolled by Schumer, Obama, and senate dems. they did endorse what Obama has done, and it is legal, blogger objections are noted, but are meaningless.

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brooklyn Red Leg:

    It was done and over in less than 45 seconds.

    Maybe because… nobody objected to it even when given a chance to do so. That probably has a tendency to speed things up.

    Again, there’s this implicit or explicit contention that it was being rushed through so that no one could read it. Is that true, according to anyone other than Rand Paul’s staff? I provided another recent Senate resolution that has all the same formulas in all the same order. That leads me to believe that the Libya resolution was handled… the way resolutions are handled. Nothing in the transcript John blockquoted here looks amiss. You would need to find evidence that the text of the resolution had not been shared. But the commenter John is quoting uses the fact that only the title was read to prove that, and it looks like as a matter of SOP, only the titles of these things are read. That moots the evidence. Hence you need new evidence.

  63. 63
    Bill H. says:

    @General Stuck:

    No he doesn’t have a valid point. He is essentially saying Obama is conducting warfare without congressional authorization, which has been pointed out many times here not to be the case given our treaty obligations through the UN.

    Wrong. The UN cannot authorize the use of US military force. See here

  64. 64
    Bill H. says:

    @Mike M:

    Some people believe that Congress should not be able to delegate its power to declare war through treaties or other legislation.

    And, in fact, Congress is not able to delegate its power to declare war through treaties or other legislation. See here.

  65. 65
    General Stuck says:

    @Bill H.:

    Nope, The Constitution gives the Congress plenary power to declare war, it does not put any restrictions on how that is done. It is purposeful, and why we call our constitution a liberal one. It grants all sorts of powers to congress, and leaves open how they choose to exercise it. In this case via a ratified treaty. It is a similar principle with Article one powers on congress having the plenary power to make their own rules. Those rules cannot contradict other express constitutional prohibitions, but the power to authorize war is an affirmative power. Meaning it is what the congress says it is. And until the courts explicitly rule that the UN Charter that has been ratified, and it’s provisions on participating in UN actions, whatever they are, it has the force of US law, and it is like I already said, good for parlor discussions, but nothing more.

    Congress is not powerless with the Libya action. They can pass a law that closes the purse strings on using tax dollars for conducting it, or they can repeal the UN Treaty, or amend it. Or, someone can take it to court to challenge the constitutionality of it. But until that is done, what Obama is doing is legal.

  66. 66
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    And the power of the purse in this situation is a very relevant one, and restricts what Obama does here, even without a law prohibiting him from spending tax money to carry out the UN res. The congress appropriates a fairly small contingency sum, as wars go, to the Pentagon for just such emergencies as with Libya. I don’t know the amount, but Gates said today they had spent about 500 million thus far, and soon would only be spending about 40 million a month in a reduced role. At some point, or if Obama wanted to expand the mission, he would then have to go to congress for a supplemental and they could exercise more authority in what is going on. My impression today from Gates, was they were not planning on much more expense, and likely less as time goes by.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill H.:

    Amazing how Lind can write an entire article and not even address the War Powers Resolution, which was passed by Congress after the UN treaty.

    But, hey, why should he look at evidence that might damage his pre-fab conclusion?

    ETA: Is there a particular reason that you posted the same link twice in a row in successive posts? Thought we wouldn’t get it the first time?

  68. 68
    General Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well, at least we have moved on from the Catfood Commission urban myths into new ones with catchy slogans like “congress cannot delegate’ this or that power. Hope you are doing well, Mnem.

  69. 69
    Mark S. says:

    @General Stuck:

    Well, there is a nondelegation doctrine, though it’s rarely invoked.

    I did a paper on war powers once, and my best guess is the courts would not get involved (political question). Congress’ choices are basically to not fund it or to impeach. Good luck with either of those.

  70. 70
    General Stuck says:

    @Mark S.:

    It’s always been my understanding that the courts are loathe to define primary constitutional powers of the other branches of gov. I think during Vietnam several cases were filed and the courts declined to get involved then.

  71. 71
    ColeFan says:

    Christ, Cole, you’re an embarrassment.

  72. 72
    Mark S. says:

    @General Stuck:

    They are, and you can’t blame them. What are they supposed to do, hold the President in contempt when he tells them to piss off? Issue orders on how to withdraw troops half a world away? It’s really beyond their competence.

  73. 73
    Yutsano says:

    @Mark S.:

    Congress’ choices are basically to not fund it or to impeach.

    I am fairly certain some Teatard in office is just itching for an excuse like this. Unfortunately this is not settled law and I doubt the articles even make it out of committee.

  74. 74

    @Bill H.:

    Greenwald almost had me until the end of his in-depth look at UNPAC’s section 287d-1:

    (1) the detail to the United Nations, under such terms and conditions as the President shall determine, of personnel of the armed forces of the United States to serve as observers, guards, or in any non-combatant capacity, but in no event shall more than a total of one thousand of such personnel be so detailed at any one time …

    Greenwald’s misinterpretation occurs where he glosses over “…to serve as observers, guards…”, and more importantly the “…or…”- which distinguishes three separate categories of participants- for the ambiguously defined third category of “non-combatants”.

    Greenwald then emphasizes “…in no event shall more than a total of one thousand of such personnel be so detailed at any one time…” without questioning how this is defined.

    While Greenwald seems to be counting everyone aboard ship as “any non-combatant”, the administration counts them as “support” as they would be if based on Malta, thus not counted towards the 1000 participant limit; the administration also seems to be counting the helicopter and airplane crews as the “observers” and/or “guards”: As long as that number of crewmen at any one time remains under 1000, the administration is following the law.

    Further, Greenwald writes:

    The Constitution cannot be amended by statute. It cannot be amended by treaty. It cannot be amended by precedent. It cannot be amended by public opinion poll. It cannot be amended by election result. It cannot be amended by humanitarian pity. The U.S. Constitution can only be amended by the procedures set forth in Article V of the Constitution itself.

    As pointed out in the comments of this post at least once previously, statutes remain binding law until such time that they are ruled unconstitutional by the courts. While Greenwald is of the opinion that UNPAC is unconstitutional, he will only be proved- or disproved- if and when the courts issue a final ruling.

  75. 75

    D’OH!

    Too late to edit, but substitute Lind for Greenwald. I saw salon and…well…whoops!

  76. 76
    BruinKid says:

    There was a discussion about reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act back in February, and Daily Kos’s David Waldman pointed out that for all of Rand Paul’s verbal opposition to it, when it came down to the actual vote, he could’ve actually DONE something about it by objecting, but chose not to. Given that prior behavior, I’m less inclined to give Paul the benefit of the doubt here. He could’ve objected to this, held it up, etc. Bottom line, he didn’t. And he didn’t do so on the PATRIOT Act either, when given the chance. It was “just words”, no action.

  77. 77
    rea says:

    Doesn’t anyone on the right know any history? John Adams had us fighting France without a declaration of war (with Washington called out of retirement to lead the troops, although as it turned out there was no land combat) almost before the ink dried on the Constitution. Jefferson landed the Marines in Libya (as some may recall from the song) without a declaration; Madison did the same thing in Algeria a few years later. The founders rather plainly thought that the president had the power to commit US forces to combat without a declaration.

  78. 78
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Does this mean we have to get rid of our low flush toilets?

  79. 79
    Bill H. says:

    There is no hope for this country. The president acts outside the constitution but, because he is a Democrat and we are all loyal Democrats, we will back anything he does. Anyone who disagrees with us is either stupid or evil, or both.

    Arguments that previous presidents have violated their constitutional limitations serve as justification for this one doing likewise. The arguement that Congress would prefer for him to violate the constitutuion rather than bearing the burden of making that decision themselves make it okay for him to do it. His refefinition of the word “war” to exclude war is viable for him to bein a “not-war” using the instruments of war. Arguments that Congress has amended the constitution by statute with the War Powers Act which, even if it were the case, would not cover the Libyan action, serve as validation for him violating his constitutional authority. The idea that the United Nations is now running American war policy settles the issue.

    It’s no longer principles or politics, it’s just raw tribalism. My tribe aginst your tribe. Bring out the clubs and knives.

  80. 80
    les says:

    @Brooklyn Red Leg:

    Well then, if the congressional assholes were serious, they could pass a statute. NO SUCH STATUTE EXISTS. The UN treaty is law. Jebus, if libertard apologists weren’t idiots, they wouldn’t say stupid stuff.

  81. 81
    les says:

    @Bill H.:

    The stupid, it burns. Why aren’t you whining that congress, when it approved the UN treaty and made it the law of the land, including the provision requiring our support of Sec. Council resolutions, exceeded it’s constitutional mandate? Is it because the counter argument–that congress approved in advance actions such as the Libyan no fly zone, and has never rescinded that approval–is too easy? Congress can rescind the original vote, or impose conditions on implementation if it wishes–but until they do, or until a successful constitutional challenge to the treaty is heard by the Supremes, you’re just talking out your ass.

  82. 82
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    @BruinKid:

    Why doesn’t voting against extending the Patriot Act count as “action”?

  83. 83

    @Bill H.:

    The idea that the United Nations is now running American war policy settles the issue.

    There are simplifications, over-simplifications….And then there’s this.

    You’d have an excellent point here if a UN resolution under Chapter VII, Article 42 mandated participation by member nations. It does not.

    It’s no longer principles or politics, it’s just raw tribalism. My tribe aginst your tribe. Bring out the clubs and knives.

    How…circular.

  84. 84
    ocelot says:

    It is sort of fun reading the post of so many liberal apologists trying to justify President Obama’s war in Afghanistan. W. Bush is smiling on you all.

  85. 85
    JonnyMuffin says:

    Thanks Bill H.
    I think people here are getting caught in the minutia of ‘is proper procedure being followed’ and how can we cherry pick certian laws to make a case for our team, when we should be asking ‘WTF are we bombing Libya for?’. So this guy may or may not be playing a political stunt. Are we really ok with this type of debate and authorization to go bomb people? A non-binding resolution with no debate and if you aren’t present to object it’s assumed you are ok with it (did I catch that right). If some lawyer comes back and tells me that ‘it’s all good, legal as hell’, I’ll tell that SOB to go fight his own war, and leave us citizens out of it.

    This is the same BS as bush. At least bush came out and lied directly to me, Obama just sneaks it in… and we are all supposed to be ok with that?

  86. 86
    Sad says:

    You people are sad. I’ve never seen such a lack of logic being used in my life.

  87. 87
    Ramsey says:

    @montana: The Article clearly states he was not there for the vote.

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