The NSA has the ability to literally monitor every phone call, email and all internet activity of anyone. Abuses are self-reported.
What are the chances that the NSA is NOT monitoring the heads of the committees that fund them? And what are the chances that a career politician (44 years for Feinstein; 19 for Rogers) never made a single transgressions that they would rather keep private?
Googling "jurnos" reveals (e.g. http://jurnos.wikispaces.com/, http://rejurno.com/jurnos/) a sub-type of "new media" journalists. I guess they didn't like the term "blogger" (I don't like that term either), but rather than trying to maintain self-respect and calling themselves journalists, they decided to create an even-more-stupid name for themselves.
The economists all agree that corporate income taxes cause real problems. They likely have different views on the specific implementation and replacement methods, but the common ground is that corporate taxes cause distortions that are bad for public policy. But, of course, this can't even be discussed because even mentioning it is countered with such revulsion. Everyone feels that "corporations" should pay taxes. But whether you believe a corporation is a person or not, you must realize that it is people that pay the taxes.
We never pretend that property taxes are anything but a tax on the person who owns the property, so why do we pretend that the corporation pays its own taxes?
Economists still debate about who pays how much of the corporate taxes, but most economists believe that the OWNERS of the capital are likely paying less than half. What is generally agreed on is that corporate taxes raise the cost of capital which drives it to non-corporate or tax-exempt sectors. Corporate taxes result in lower rates of return for ALL owners of capital. It discourages corporate structure for no good reason, and it encourages debt (interest payments are deductible) over equity (dividends are not deductible). These are all distortions that do not serve any public policy goals.
However, it's this hidden and misunderstood nature of corporate taxation that makes it so easy to hang onto. If we don't know who's paying it, everyone seems to believe that they aren't paying it and only some rich guy is.
Even the libertarian on the panel reluctantly agreed that fossil fuels should be taxed (his reluctance stemmed from the fact that it should be an international policy to be effective, not a national policy). Fossil fuels already have an incredibly high cost. The problem is that the cost is spread out amongst everyone and only felt over a great amount of time. In the short run, it doesn't make economic sense NOT to pollute.
What's really unfortunate, of course, is that we can't even have reasonable discussions about most of the proposals above.
And from reading the comments, you seem to be absolutely correct. No one seems to even be willing to read beyond the first sentence of the proposal summaries in this article. Y'all should actually listen to the show and get the details instead of the knee-jerk reactions. These are NOT crazy GOP schemes to kill the poor but actually widely viewed problems that most economists across the board agree on. The show itself goes into an in-depth discussion of each of the proposals, but everyone here seems to just want to read the first sentence and shout them down.
In 1971, long before Freakonomics, George Stigler published "The Theory of Economic Regulation" (http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/3003160). In the paper, he measures the level of regulation of competing industries: Rail roads (the large incumbent industry with huge barriers to entry) vs Trucking (an upstart industry in the 1930s with much lower start up costs and no significant barriers to entry). Trucking is mostly regulated by state, so he compares the level of regulation by state and considers other factors.
Would it surprise you to know that weight limits on trucks were correlated with how much rail was already in the state? States with a lot of rail had tighter regulations on trucks. In two states, the weight limit on trucks between two rail stations was more strict than on routes that were not served by rail.
There was also a statistically significant correlation between the level of trucking regulation and the size of the agricultural workforce. The larger the ag industry (which depend on cheap transportation) was, the less onerous the regulations on trucking were.
It's undeniable that trucking must be regulated. Trucks can tear up roads and can be a danger to everyone else on the road. But should the level of regulation really be a function of how strong their competitors are?
To all industries, regulation is an economic service. You may have to pay to avoid or, or you can pay to have it thrust upon your competitors. It's something that you "buy" from the government, and you "buy" it with votes, organization, and campaign contributions. And you can only buy it from a government (the only real natural monopoly).
Since networks like Fox can hold their local channels hostage if Dish doesn't also carry unrelated channels, I don't understand why they don't just add a "no commercial-skip feature on our content" clause to their carrier agreements. Most likely, that would require them to wait until the current agreements expire and they want it stopped before it starts.
However, if they lose this case, they'll almost certainly add those clauses in the future (unless they can get Congress to pass a "no-commercial-skipping" law (probably calling it something like the "Free Television Act").
Wasn't there a president impeached for committing perjury? I seem to remember the far right was very upset about this. It had nothing to do with what he was lying about (which wasn't actually illegal), but lying under oath seemed a very big deal at the time.