Monday, February 06, 2006

Day One, Winding Down

Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is back, taking up the "inherent authority" argument again and talking about Fifth Column movements. He makes a lot of coherent sounding civil libertarian arguments regarding citizens being unfairly branded as being sympathetic to the enemy.

Berto makes the basic John Yoo argument: Congress's basic check on executive authority lies in the power of the purse.

Graham asks if Congress can tell the military it can't abuse prisoners of war.

Gonzales says he doesn't exactly agree, and Graham jumps on him for it.

By golly. Graham, the former military JAG officer, is giving Gonzales a basic schooling on military law, and Gonzales has his tail between his legs.


Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) makes the point that the executive branch is using its own lawyers to make legal decisions on its actions and describing that as practicing "checks and balances."

Hooray! They're getting to the heart of the matter.

As Durbin is saying, when the executive branch is monitoring itself, there are no checks or balances.

Berto's pulling a number about classified information.

Durbin's not letting him off the hook.

And Durbin, at the end of his time, enters testimony from 9/11 victim family members that refutes the propaganda Jeff Sessions has been pushing on C-Span all day.


John Cornyn (R-Texas) now, trying to say government whistle-blowers are protected, when in fact we've all seen that they aren't.

We've gotten a pretty good picture today of who the good guys and bad guys are. Cornyn has decisively placed himself in the latter camp.


Cornyn's revisiting the same neo-nonesense he covered earlier, so let's wrap things up for today.

Tomorrow, I'll publish my analysis of the good, bad, and ugly of the first day of the war powers hearings.


  1. Jeff, you've done a 4-0 job on these hearings today. I've heard part of it on radio and your summations and distillations seem completely accurate to me.

    Good job, well done.

    One very minor point: the Senator from South Carolina's first name is "Lindsy", not "Leslie."

  2. Check that comment above. The correct name is spelled "Lindsey".

    I grovel in embarassment.

  3. Anonymous7:33 PM

    Durbin has been impressive in other hearings. He sees right through the crap, does his homework, and articulates his statements carefully and thoughtfully. I enjoy listening to him.

    Cornyn? Ugh, a real stomach turner.

    Off to read the rest, sorry I missed "must see tv" today!


  4. Kerstin and Lurch,

    Thanks for the catch of Graham's first name. I was thinking of a woman I know in the other Carolinas.