This week on "Wingin' It Wednesday", panelist Mike Stagg, Warren Caudle, and Carol Ross joined "Mornings with Ken and Bernie" to discuss the possible extension of I-49 to New Orleans as well as whether or the NSA's meta-data mining violates the 4th amendment.

Here's what the panel had to say:

1. State Treasurer John Kennedy is proposing the use of state budget surplus funds and the sale of bonds to finance the completion of I-49 South.  What do you think of his proposal.  Will Governor Jindal go along with his proposal to use the surplus funds?  Will investors be comfortable enough to buy bonds to finance the highway upgrade?

Mike Stagg started us off:

There was a big story in the Advocate over the weekend about I-49 and how they could lower the cost on it, but their proposals are insane. On this end I favor I-49, but not through downtown Lafayette. You can’t justify spending a billion dollars for 8 miles of road that won’t increase any vehicular capacity.
If you really want the road, build it where it can be done cost effectively, and that’s east of Lafayette on Teche Ridge.

Warren Caudle added:

About 25 years ago or something this thing got real hot and heavy because if it came through it would destroy the businesses in that area, and when you really look at it, well, what businesses?
It took 50 years to four lane Highway 90 and complete it. This thing with 49 was scheduled in the early 70s and it kept getting pushed back. Lets just do something.

Carol Ross Concluded:

Absolutely it’s a good idea what he proposed. He’s been talking about bonding the unclaimed property that sits there. I don’t understand how I-49 north keeps getting the money when I-49 south has all the population and the businesses. In terms of environmental safety, I believe the environmental study was done by the Highway Department, and the Teche Ridge plan was ruled out because of the opposition of the environmentalist.


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2. A federal judge in Washington said Monday the National Security Agency’s mass collection of phone records violates the U.S. Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches. Judge Leon put his ruling on hold to allow the government to appeal... do you think his ruling will actually lead to a curtailment of NSA activity?

Warren stated:

I say thank God that there are some federal judges who actually understand the law and the constitution and aren’t afraid to say so. A lot of these people have a hard time distinguishing between the government and the country. They think that government IS the country, and they are above the law.
Michael Hayden, who was the direct of the CIA, when he was asked about these meta-data wiretaps, he said they were allowed to do it. When asked what about the 4th amendment and probable cause, he said the 4th amendment doesn’t talk about probable cause. I can’t believe he doesn’t even know the constitution.

Carol added:

This judge is interesting. I did a little research on this guy. One of the stories says he goes after the government on a regular basis despite the fact that he worked at the Justice Department. His question was whether the collection of meta-data counts as “search” under the 4th amendment. According to him it did.
In his ruling he said the government could not cite one single instance in which collection of meta-data stopped an imminent attack. This ruling is a step in the right direction. They were mining for data. This will make them think twice.

Mike stated:

I applaud the judges ruling. This goes back to the days immediately after 911 when the government forced AT&T to fork over their data lines. Since that day, we’ve been scooping up all that information.
This is a bureaucracy run amuck. This is the NSA, on their own, proceeding with a plan that no one has given approval to. The fact that this is a secret court and the opposition cannot give an argument…

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Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think about today’s Wingin’ It Wednesday topics. Who got it right, who got it wrong, and who was way off? Let us know in the comment section.