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The McLaughlin Group

Subject: Mid-Term Elections, Capital Punishment, Hacking into Cars' Computer Systems

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host;
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist;
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast;
Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner;
Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report

Time: 11:30 a.m. EDT
Date: Sunday, August 24th, 2014

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Off to the Races.

This November, two and a half months from now, voters will have their say on whether his or her Congress member is worth reelecting. All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election, and 36 seats of the 100 members of the U.S. Senate.

As of today, the Republican Party controls the House. And as of today, the Democratic Party controls the Senate. And also as of today, polling is giving us an inkling as to whether these majorities maintain their status quo after election day or whether either the Hour or the Senate will flip.

Well, get this. According to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll conducted three weeks ago, July 28 to 31, the Senate, now Democratic, will flip to the Republicans. The poll found that 43 percent of registered voters - that's registered voters - say they want the Republicans to control the Senate, as compared to 41 percent who want the Democrats to retain control. As for the House, 43 percent want the Republicans to retain control - no flip - as compared to 41 percent who want the Democrats to gain control.
Republicans may preen over these numbers, but they should keep in mind that 50 percent of registered voters think Congress on the whole has been one big collection of do nothing, as compared to 3 percent who say it has been very productive.

Question: Is it likely that the Marist poll overstates Democratic strengths? Pat Buchanan.

PAT BUCHANAN: I think the Republicans are going to win the Senate, John, very narrowly. They're going to hold the House. They may gain a couple of seats. But, you know, what are the Republicans going to get? The Congress's approval was at 14 percent in a poll a week ago, NBC poll. They're going to get that.
Even if they got the Senate, they're not going to be able to overcome a filibuster by Harry Reid's Democrats. They're not going to be able to overcome a veto by the president. So they're going to have to compromise on him and (meet ?) with him. That's going to come at the expense of Republican principles.

And finally, John, you ought to remember, you know, remember the 80th Congress. Republicans took over both houses in 1946. Harry Truman pounded them to a pulp, the no-good, do-nothing 80th Congress, and won reelection, or election in his own right. So I'm not sure that Republican control of the Congress the next two years is going to be a great political boon to the party.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you making a prediction here or not?

ELEANOR CLIFT: (Laughs.)

MR. BUCHANAN: I think if the Republicans control both houses of Congress, they're going to have problems not producing themselves in 2016, yes.

MS. CLIFT: Well, I -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: I just don't think Republicans are making all those calculations. I think right now winning isn't everything; it's the only thing, actually. And Republicans -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, winning is everything.

MS. CLIFT: Winning is everything. It's the only thing. For Republicans going into November, they really want to get the Senate. And the way - where the races fall, six of the seven most competitive races are in states that Romney won by big margins. So the Republicans are really going to have to screw up to not take control.
But they are perfectly capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, because they're on this kind of impeachment kick or sue-the-president kick. "Obamacare" is turning out to be pretty successful. It's not going to be the silver bullet. Benghazi is sort of frittered away. And people hate Congress. So I think there's a chance that the Democrats could hold their own, but it won't be the shellacking that people fear.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Susan.

SUSAN FERRECHIO: OK, so you've got 10 Senate seats, 13 House seats held by Democrats that are tossups. Only two Republicans in either the House or the Senate are tossups. Just those numbers alone suggest Republicans have a far better chance.

But if you look at individual poll numbers, it tells a different story. The lead that these Republicans have are small. And there's 90 days left, and the Democrats are outraising the Republicans. So as Eleanor said -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Outraising?

MS. FERRECHIO: They are outraising them.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Money.

MS. FERRECHIO: In 14 of the key races, the Democrats are far outraising the Republicans. And that's going to give them a real advantage here. And I think, as Eleanor said, Republicans could do something that happens between now and November that makes it harder for them. Certainly it wouldn't be unprecedented for that to happen.

And I also agree with Pat. If the Democrats lose and Republicans take over the Senate, therefore we'd have Republicans in the House and the Senate. It's going to be difficult for them to govern, not only because we have a Democratic president, but because there are key issues they don't agree on. They're going to fight, and there's going to be a lot of pressure on them. And their approval ratings are terrible, as it is in Congress.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're aware that this is an off-year election.

MS. FERRECHIO: It's a midterm election, so it's not a presidential election.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's also - what's the turnout in off-year elections?

MS. FERRECHIO: It's lower, but it's higher than, say, an off-off year, say, which would be the last election we had, where just a few governors were up. So in a presidential election year, there's much higher turnout. But we've been seeing higher turnouts lately. People are becoming more interested in the elections.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. FERRECHIO: And so it's possible you may see more turnout. However, that's going to hurt Democrats if you get just your more impassioned people turning out. It usually helps the underdog.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here's the data, if you believe it. In off-year elections, the voters who turn out - e.g., likely voters - are generally older, more politically engaged, more likely to have an ax to grind against the incumbent party in power. The results are very different for registered - from registered-voter polls. Are you calculating that into this?

MS. FERRECHIO: That's part of the reason why people think Republicans could take over the Senate, because they are not the incumbents in the Senate. Older voters tend to vote Republican. And, you know, so you get impassioned conservative voters turning out. That could help them.
However, Democrats could gain from Hispanic voters turning out, especially if the president decides to take a key executive action this summer that would help Hispanics who are here in the country, perhaps living here illegally. That could boost popularity for the party.

MR. BUCHANAN: Executive amnesty will set the country completely on fire. I do agree it might get out the Hispanic vote, but you will have red-state Democrats denouncing the president for doing it, for engaging in unconstitutional action.

MS. FERRECHIO: I think they're willing to lose those Democrats for it.

MR. BUCHANAN: It would be a tremendous firestorm which would really polarize the nation.

MS. CLIFT: Executive amnesty is your word and the word that people on the right are putting out, but that's not what the president is going to do. He's going to act within his own constitutional boundaries. Let's see what he does.

It's Mort's turn. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there deep pessimism about the country and the leadership of the country?

MORT ZUCKERMAN: Yes, I think there is. I think -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that going to influence how people vote?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Of course it is. And the single most powerful influence on the attitude of the average American is the economy. And we still have a very, very serious and very, very slow-growing economy, with a lot of people being hurt, a lot of people on part-time work; very, very, very weak improvements in their standard of living compared to where they see, shall we say, the upper 1 percent, as the cliche goes.
So I think that's going to drive a lot of people, and it's going to be held - and the responsibility for it is at the feet of the president and of the Democrats.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK, we've got to -

MS. CLIFT: The party that wants to do something about that and has specific proposals out there is the Democrats. And if they can get their people to the polls - Nancy Pelosi said a couple of weeks ago half of our supporters don't even know there's an election. So you've got to get those people engaged. And some of these issues that we've talked about already could get those folks engaged.

MS. FERRECHIO: Democrats are great at get out the vote.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: The question is who these people who are being hurt, who do they -

MR. BUCHANAN: Executive amnesty will get (them all ?) engaged.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: - hold responsible for this? And they're going to hold -

MS. CLIFT: I think - (inaudible) - the Republican Congress -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: They look at the president always. The president is the leader of the party.

MS. CLIFT: The president's not on the ballot. (Laughs.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He's not on the ballot, but he's the leader of the Democratic Party. And that's why the Democratic Party is -

MS. CLIFT: He's not helping the Democrats, but the Republicans aren't helping Republicans. And the Republican Congress has basement-low ratings.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible) - a thousand-point drop in the Dow in the last couple of weeks, I think, is going to have an impact on the economy and on this election.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK -

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible) - the 1 percenters won't vote.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's 10 percent.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question.

MS. CLIFT: Ten percenters, OK.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Please restrain from interfering with the progress of the show.

In 2010, Obama took a self-described shellacking in the midterm elections. Are the Democrats in for another shellacking? Yes or no? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think they're in for - yeah, I think they're going to lose the Senate. And I think the Republicans might pick up a couple of seats in the House, because usually they win the House even when they've got a lower electoral turnout.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Give me a yes or no. We've got to move fast.

MS. CLIFT: Given the nature of the map, I think the Republicans are not going to do as well as they anticipate. And there are some Democratic surprises out there; Michelle Nunn in Georgia, Alison Grimes in Kentucky.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So no shellacking.

MS. CLIFT: No shellacking.

MS. FERRECHIO: It'll be a healthy victory, not a shellacking, for the Republicans.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean they're going to win over the Senate.

MS. FERRECHIO: I think they'll win the Senate and they'll pick up seats in the House, based on the map currently.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's a shellacking.

MS. FERRECHIO: Well, shellacking would be if they're picking up 40 seats in the House. They won't do that.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MS. FERRECHIO: They'll get a majority in the Senate. They won't get the 60 votes they need, though, which would allow them to do whatever they wanted.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We may be in a problem of nomenclature; you know, shellacking -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think ultimately this will be seen as a victory for the Republicans, because they'll pick up enough seats, both in the Senate and the House, to be able to establish that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I predicted four months ago that the Republicans will pick up the Senate.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, your prediction was right on the mark.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It was, what, insightful?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, insightful. And actually, when you think about how far in advance you predicted this, it was actually -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The wisdom of age, Mort.

MS. CLIFT: A stab in the dark. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't forget, the McLaughlin Group has its own website, and you can watch this program or earlier programs on the Web at any time from anywhere in the world at McLaughlin.com. Could anything be simpler or more enticing? McLaughlin.com.

Issue Two: Capital Punishment.

MICHAEL KIEFER (media execution witness): (From videotape.) He closed his eyes. He went to sleep. Then he started gasping, and he did. He gasped for more than an hour and a half.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Witnesses to the lethal injection of Joseph Rudolph Wood last month in Arizona said Mr. Wood gasped and snorted over 600 times before dying. Normally, inmates who are lethally injected die within 10 to 15 minutes. But Wood was not pronounced dead until nearly two hours after the injection.
One hour into the execution, Wood's attorneys phoned a judge to file an emergency appeal to stop the execution. But before the judge could rule, Wood was dead. He was convicted for the 1989 shooting deaths of his estranged girlfriend, Debbie Dietz, and her father. Wood was on death row for 23 years.

JEANNE BROWN (sister and daughter of shooting victims): (From videotape.) Everybody's more worried about did he suffer. Who really suffered was my dad and my sister when they were killed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wood died from a lethal combination of the drugs Midazolam and Hydromorphone, drugs that sedate and stop someone's breathing. The drugs were injected 15 times during the execution before Wood died. The two drugs are a mixture also used in Ohio earlier this year on convicted killer Dennis McGuire, who gasped for nearly one half hour before dying.

Both the Ohio execution and now the Arizona execution have caused the governors of those states to launch reviews of the execution process. For years, the drug Pentobarbital was used in lethal injections but now is in short supply after its European manufacturers decided to stop selling it to U.S. prisons. The EU does not have the death penalty.
Despite state moratoriums issued in the wake of some so-called botched executions, and others due to people found innocent after being executed, 32 U.S. states have the death penalty, as compared to 18 states and the District of Columbia where it is outlawed. And the states that have the death penalty continue to execute. Convicted rapist and killer Michael Worthington was put to death in the state of Missouri, making him the first inmate to die by lethal injection after the botched execution of Joseph Wood.

Question: Is it disingenuous for capital punishment foes to lobby to bar the production of the lethal drugs used in execution and then to take advantage of the resulting botched execution to garner media attention? Do you follow that?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah. And I think you've got a point. But, look, that's not the main problem here. Look, the fact that some of these people convicted and sentenced to death take a few minutes to die - a lot of people, John, take an awful long time to die who are innocent and good people. That doesn't bother me. The point of it is, do you want to have this death penalty on the books?
I do agree that it ought to be decided at the state level. I do agree that there ought not to be - you ought to do everything you can to avoid aspects of torture. But the real problem with the death penalty for people, John, isn't the minutes it takes to die. It is the months and years of anticipation that they are going to die by a date certain and that the society and the community has willed their death. It is that on a person's conscience and belief system that is far more problematic in terms of -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MR. BUCHANAN: - (inaudible) - than the act of putting a needle in their arm and letting them die in two minutes or 10 minutes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Look, I agree with what Pat's saying. I mean, I think it is the anticipation of death, not only by the people who have been convicted, but by all the people who are associated with them. That is a very difficult thing to do.

It's a terribly difficult issue for an American public to deal with. This has been a part, like it or not, of the American way of dealing with people who have killed other people. And the question is, are we, at this point, beyond that kind of behavior? And I think there are a lot of people who are feeling we don't need the death penalty, frankly.

MS. CLIFT: There's a profound sense of unease about putting another human being -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right, exactly.

MS. CLIFT: - willingly and willfully to death. And that shows up in the way we handle all of these sort of cases of botched executions. And it is a state-by-state - it reflects sort of the culture and the values of the political establishment in the various states. And so I think it's going to continue to be fought. You're not going to have a federal ban. That could never get through. And then you have in Tennessee -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: - where they don't have the proper, you know, dosages. They're not comfortable with that. They've now written into the law that they're bringing the executioner's chair back, which some see as -

MR. BUCHANAN: The electric chair?

MS. CLIFT: The electric chair, right -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: - which seems rather -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you remember -

MS. CLIFT: - barbaric.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you remember Michael Dukakis?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, he's -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you remember the debate?

MR. BUCHANAN: I sure do. It was Bernie Shaw asking him if your wife was raped and brutalized and murdered, would you favor the death penalty? And he gave a disquisition on his opposition to the death penalty. And that was the death penalty for his candidacy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He said no.

MR. BUCHANAN: He said no.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. But, you know, I don't question -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And that killed his election possibilities.

MS. CLIFT: I don't question that he -

MR. BUCHANAN: He was going down anyway. (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: I don't question that he would have felt a great deal of emotion if this happened in real life, but he was responding as a potential presidential candidate -

MR. BUCHANAN: Right.

MS. CLIFT: - you know, not as a husband. And it turns out it was a political mistake.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you have liked to have seen Dukakis president?

MS. CLIFT: Yes, I would have, actually.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who remembers Dukakis?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I know him very well.

MS. FERRECHIO: (He's from ?) Massachusetts, so I know him well.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I knew him very well.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you have liked to have seen him president of the United States.

MS. CLIFT: He was a good governor.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you have voted for him?

MS. FERRECHIO: I was not old enough to vote at the time.

MR. BUCHANAN: George Herbert Walker Bush.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK, Stevens - that's the Supreme Court justice, retired - who wrote this book, by the way, "Six Amendments and Why We Should Change the Constitution." Can you see that?

MR. BUCHANAN: John Paul Stevens.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: John Paul Stevens. OK, Stevens is swayed. Let's hear him. The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads, quote, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted," unquote.

Many believe the words "cruel and unusual punishment" apply to the death penalty, which is a reason, in and of itself, for its abolition. And former Supreme Court judge John Paul Stevens is now one of the abolitionists.

Stevens, nominated by President Gerald Ford, served on the high court from 1975 until 2010, 35 years. In his new book, "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution," Justice Stevens proposes adding five words to the language of the Eighth Amendment. Quote: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments, such as the death penalty, inflicted," unquote.

He wanted to revise the Constitution, which now reads, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments." The Constitution stops there. He wants the following words included: "such as the death penalty inflicted."

Question: Could an anti-death-penalty constitutional amendment such as former Justice Stevens, who had enormous experience, proposed, could that pass today? Pat, it's an exit question.

MR. BUCHANAN: It could not get through either house of the Congress of the United States, and it needs three fourths of the Senate to -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.

MR. BUCHANAN: - of the states to -

MS. CLIFT: There are 32 states still practicing the death penalty. Do the math. I don't think you could get victories on Capitol Hill.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.

MS. FERRECHIO: It's being decided on a state level anyway, so it's not even necessary.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right. It will not be passed at the level that he wants it to be passed. But it is going to - his recommendation is going to continue this dialogue now in a very serious way.

MS. CLIFT: It's a good idea, what he proposes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When will it be passed?

MR. BUCHANAN: Never.

MS. CLIFT: Never.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Never?

MS. FERRECHIO: It will be decided on the state level.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Never?

MR. BUCHANAN: State by state will decide it. It will never get through three fourths of the states.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Within one decade.

OK, of the 195 countries in the world, 58 nations still retain capital punishment. Here's a sample from that list: Afghanistan, Belarus, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Any surprises, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: No. The ones that outlaw -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No surprises?

MR. BUCHANAN: The ones that outlaw the death penalty are western countries, which no longer believe, frankly, in fighting and dying and killing. They've had two horrendous wars. So they've outlawed all that. But the rising countries - you take these Islamic countries, all of them. They believe in these types of finality for their enemies. And we're going to find out who wins this century.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right.

MS. CLIFT: Well, a lot of those countries don't believe in it after due process of law either, because you have a lot of these renegade groups that are rising, which is really, I think, the scourge of the early part of the 21st century -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You sound like a Republican.

MS. CLIFT: - with these kind of -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You sound like a Republican.

MS. CLIFT: That's not sounding Republican. That's talking about what reality is out there. And they're inflicting these penalties, chopping off hands. And we saw that in the last part of the last century as well.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, thanks for clearing that up for me.

Exit question: Is capital punishment, like abortion, one of those political divides so tinged with religion and sincere convictions and claims of justice on both sides that it will always be contentious?

MR. BUCHANAN: It's about religion and morality. You're right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: It's about politics.

MS. FERRECHIO: It is going to become less contentious, because more people are opposed to it, in part because innocent people are being killed because our legal system has made mistakes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How many?

MS. CLIFT: A lot.

MS. FERRECHIO: A lot have been - have had their death-penalty convictions overturned. There are cases where the person has already been put to death.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I shouldn't say this, because I'm not certain of it, but I think the number of mistakes are in the 40s. What do you think?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't know the answer to that question, frankly. I think -

MS. FERRECHIO: There's 144 death-penalty cases that have been overturned, some of which -

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah. I think there are enough of them - let me put it this way - that are overturned as to make this a viable issue and a real issue for a lot of people.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think that you can see the future when it will go away?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, I can.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I can too.

MS. FERRECHIO: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you know when in the future it will go away?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't know the exact day, but I'll give you the year.

MS. CLIFT: It was -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What year? (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: Actually -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What year? Will it go away before the end of the century?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's going to be 23 years after I die. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)

MS. FERRECHIO: A majority of states have already stopped it. A majority of states have already stopped (the penalty ?), even though -

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What? What? What?

MS. FERRECHIO: A majority of states - even though you say only 18 states prohibit it, 36 states now have either (long ?) prohibited it or now prohibit it, because the governors have decided to stop it (on grounds ?).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right. Right.

MS. FERRECHIO: That's growing. That number is growing.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think within 15 years.

MS. CLIFT: It was reinstated in 1976, so it was gone before then.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: High Tech Carhacking.

SENATOR JAY ROCKEFELLER (D-WV): (From videotape.) And, as our cars become more connected to the Internet, to wireless networks, with each other and with our infrastructure, are they at a risk of catastrophic cyberattacks? In other words, could some 14-year-old in Indonesia figure out how to do this and just shut your car down, shut a whole bunch of cars down, because everything is now wired up?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Today's leading automakers are incorporating computer-control features into new-model cars to help drivers navigate, maintain lanes, avoid collisions, park, and back up. All these features are vulnerable to hacking.

Researchers at the University of California and the University of Washington have used music CDs to introduce viruses into car computer systems, taking over their controls. In one test, research teams using a laptop in an adjacent vehicle wirelessly disabled the electronic braking system of a car traveling at 40 miles per hour. And that's just today's technology.

The ultimate in vehicle automation is Google's self-driving cars, now legal for road use in three states - California, Nevada and Florida. Google employees have road-tested the cars commuting to work in Silicon Valley. Advocates say driverless cars - that is, vehicles directed by a smartphone app - will cut down on accidents, reduce traffic congestion, and allow people with disabilities like blindness to drive, so to speak.

But the FBI's directorate of intelligence warns that these benefits come up with a down side. Quote: Autonomy will make mobility more efficient, but will also open up greater possibilities for dual-use applications and ways for a car to be more of a potential lethal weapon than it is today. For instance, driverless cars could be used for stalking, or surveillance, or as getaway vehicles, leaving criminals free to shoot at pursuers.

Question: Who poses the greater risk of hacking high-tech cars - mischievous teenage geeks or cybercriminals? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, John, I would say, if you're talking about how many attacks would come, it would probably be the geeks. If you talk about some malevolent attack, like disabling the brakes on somebody's car when it's going on a highway and doing it deliberately, I would say it would be an enemy of some kind, whether domestic or foreign.

But I do think, look, every time you make one of these advances, no doubt there are problems with it. But you disable somebody's brakes - you do it mechanically or you do it by cyberwarfare - that is really - that's a murder if those people die in that. So it's - I mean, I don't see what really the basic difference is between if you're going to disable a person's brakes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. But you love to drive. You sit up there in that - what is that big vehicle you drive?

MR. BUCHANAN: It's a big Navigator, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Big Navigator. You sit up there.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's only about -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You look like you're in command of the universe.

MR. BUCHANAN: I am. It's 6,000 pounds, John - 6,000 pounds.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We want objectivity here. Mort, can you speak to this?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: You know, I actually think it's quite dangerous, you know, because it renders too many people in a position to create accidents that really are not responsible in the sense that they're driving the car. And that seems to me to give you a level of recklessness that I would be uncomfortable with. So the one thing I would do is if you're going to have that, you have to find some way to protect the car from any kind of independent people, you know, hacking away at it.

MS. CLIFT: This is a whole new area for lawyers here in terms of liability. But, you know, if you're talking about the 14-year-old in Indonesia, there are so many ways you can disrupt life in this country - power grids and so forth -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: - and they're not doing that. So I choose to look at the positive side of this. Most of - 60 to 70 percent of accidents are caused by driver error. This gets rid of that. You can also buy cars today that park automatically. I wouldn't mind having one of those.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.

MS. FERRECHIO: People don't realize how automated their cars already are. Your steering, your brakes, things you feel like you're doing yourself, that's computers that are at work there. People don't - you know, they don't realize it. I think people like to feel that they're in control, so these Google self-driving cars, I think, will be slow to catch on, and it'll be more of a younger-generation thing. And I don't think it's going to be big any time soon. People like to feel like they're controlling their own cars, and they won't -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Google has found a possible big niche, and that's disabled people.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.

MS. CLIFT: Sure. Yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Six million disabled people could benefit from autonomous vehicles.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Barack Obama will do some kind of amnesty for the illegal aliens by Labor Day.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Win or lose for the Democrats in the Senate in `14, they will win the majority in `16 because the map favors them like it favors the Republicans this time.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Susan.

MS. FERRECHIO: Foreign policy issues are going to be the dominant problem for the president the next two years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: The economy will continue to create more jobs at better wages, and that will reduce the concerns that the Democrats have over the elections.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I predict that Xi Jinping's corruption investigation into former Minister of Public Security Zhou Yongkang, China's internal security czar, will backfire, causing - and will cause dissension within communist party ruling circles. There will be a power struggle unlike anything since Hua Guofeng - take these names down, Buchanan - took on the Gang of Four in the 1970s.

Bye-bye.

(END)