Peter Johnson Remembers Ed Koch
Peter Johnson, Jr. filled in for Sean on Friday (don't worry Sean will be back Monday!) Peter Johnson Jr., a prominent appellate and trial lawyer in New York, began Friday's show by discussing the passing of his friend former Mayor Ed Koch. "Koch was one of the most historic Mayor's of New York City and navigated between being a Republican and being a Democrat. He was criticized sometimes, but he always tried to tell the truth and talk in a straight manner - something we're not used to today with our double-talking politicians," said Johnson, Jr. Koch was fast-talking, opinionated and sometimes rude, becoming the face and sound of New York to those living outside the city. Koch became a celebrity, appearing on talk shows and playing himself in a number of movies, including "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and "The First Wives Club" and hosting "Saturday Night Live." Koch died this morning at the age of 88. For more on Ed Koch please click here.
Hagel Under Fire
Johnson kicked off Friday’s show with Fox News contributor KT McFarland to get her take on the Chuck Hagel hearings. “I watched this hearing with Chuck Hagel,” laughed Johnson, “I’ve never seen such a stammering, stuttering and confused guy in my life.” “He did keep contradicting himself,” criticized McFarland, “The only time he sounded good was when he was quoting Reagan and I took some pride in the fact that I wrote many of those words when I was a speech writer for President Reagan.” “President Obama has so much prestige on this and I think he needs to fight to the finish on this,” continued McFarland, “We saw his embarrassment with his needing to pull Ambassador Susan Rice.” Senator Chuck Hagel has a strong reputation within Congress but it was clear from some of the questions that the former Nebraska legislator was not prepared for the hammering he received. To see some of t he heated confirmation hearing, click here.
The Second Bill of Rights?
Peter sat down with former U.S. Department of Justice Attorney John Yoo to get his thoughts on the constitutional issues surrounding the controversy of a second Bill of Rights. “Professor Cass Sunstein is actually out there suggesting we should have a second Bill of Rights,” began Johnson, “Am I right in thinking that he’s saying that Americans have a right to everything you could have in a welfare state.” “You are right,” agreed Yoo, “This can only have two effects, the first would be to have all these provisions in the Constitution and society couldn’t live up to them because it would be too expensive and if that’s the case, nobody would respect the Constitution. The second could be that judges try to implement these.” “There has been a lot of damage to our Constitution over the years,” pressed Johnson, “There are real questions now whether this President respects the Constitution, where do we stand on the Constitution and where do Americans assert their Constitutional rights in an environment where it seems the Constitution does not matter.” “I’m afraid I’d have to agree with your litany of what is going on,” answered Yoo, “The Constitution wanted our government to have a very light hand on domestic issues and I think this President has moved far away from the Constitutional vision of the Presidency.” While a second Bill of Rights is crazy to think about in American culture, so too was universal health care a few years ago. For more on this second Bill of Rights idea provided by Professor Cass Sunstein, click here.