Posted on August 06, 2010 in Viewpoint with James Zogby
On Thursday's edition of Viewpoint with James Zogby: Josh Kraushaar, Executive Editor of The Hotline, the National Journal; Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel at the ACLU; Andrew Serwer, Writing fellow at The American Prospect.
Josh Kraushaar, Executive Editor of The Hotline, the National Journal, discussed a wide range of political issues including Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Kraushaar compared Kagan’s confirmation to that of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, saying that the ultimate decision of certain moderate Republicans to vote against her confirmation “suggests Obama’s clout is not what it was when Sonia Sotomayor as elected”. Kraushaar went on to discuss key congressional races in Nevada and Michigan and offered his expert analysis on other important issues in Washington politics.
Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel at the ACLU, discussed efforts by federal agencies like the FBI to broaden their abilities to obtain sensitive personal material and supersede constitutionally protected rights to privacy. Richardson said that the FBI is “…engaging in ethnic and racial mapping” in order to find out information about certain groups’ activities. Richardson explained that if the FBI gets its way, no limit will be placed on its authority to obtain (by any means) any information they see fit. The FBI will need “no factual basis to investigate a crime”, said Richardson “this is ultimately where we are heading”.
Andrew Serwer, Writing fellow at The American Prospect discussed the controversial Cordoba Center, a proposed Mosque and community center to be built near ground zero in New York City. The proposed Cordoba center has sparked an nation-wide debate and has been at the center of much criticism from many groups. Despite its controversy, and the high level of opposition from many groups, the Cordoba Center is well on its way to being built. Serwer discussed the opposition to the center, by what he called “outside national conservative figures” and termed the opposition “cultural war counter terrorism”. “The group that is building the mosque is not a threat to national security “, said Serwer.