Monday, February 06, 2006

Great Moments in Powertoolery


DURBIN: I just don’t understand why they can’t make what modifications in the law might be necessary, but instead are claiming powers that go way beyond what the statute allows and way beyond what anyone voted for on September 14, 2001.

Q: But the attorney general says FISA allows intercepts that are otherwise authorized by statue. And he also says that that was authorized in the authorization of force act.

DURBIN: That’s his argument. You’ve just repeated it.

Q: Well, why don’t – if you disagree with that argument, why don’t you go on the floor and try to get a vote and have the Senate say whether or not the authorization of force – with all force necessary --

DURBIN: No, you’ve got it wrong. You’ve got it wrong. I don’t know – who do you work for, incidentally?

Q: Powerline and Pajamas Media.

DURBIN: Jamas Media?

Q: Pajamas Media.

DURBIN: Pajama Media?

Q: And Powerline.

DURBIN: Okay, I’m sorry I wasn’t familiar with your publication. But I will just tell you this: the argument is the Constitution spells out the powers of the president, as well as the powers of the legislative branch and the judicial branch. And statutes will be followed if, in fact, they put exclusive authority. That’s was FISA does. It creates the word “exclusive means” – exclusive authority. And they are reading more into it now than the statute obviously allows.

Q: But did you hear Gonzales say –

DURBIN: I’ll check out Pajamaline, but I’m not familiar with your publication.

Q: Yeah. Dan Rather knows something about it.