Watchdog Radio: Torture, Gruber and the Cromnibus (oh my)


By Eric Boehm and Matt Kittle |

It was a big week in the nation’s capital, beginning with the release of the U.S. Senate’s report on torture conducted by the CIA and ending with the passage of the so-called “Cromnibus” spending bill that will keep the federal government from shutting down.

But it was also a week that had some people asking — rightly — whether the federal government might have too much power. Could a rewrite of the Constitution fix things? A few state lawmakers are planning to find out.

All that, plus Jonathan Gruber and an update on Gov. Chris Christie’s pension mess in New Jersey, on this edition of Watchdog Radio.

Part 1: Hosts Eric Boehm and Matt Kittle discuss the revelations contained in the U.S. Senate’s report on the CIA’s use of torture during the early years of the war on terror. Did the ends justify the means? Should those who ordered the use of torture be held to account for their apparent crimes?

Part 2: Producer Ben Yount sits down with Chris Koopman, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center, to talk about the so-called “sharing economy” and how government is trying to muscle its way into private transactions. After all, taxes must be paid.

Part 3: Should there be another constitutional convention, a mere 226 years after the original? Some state lawmakers think so, and they sat down in Washington, D.C., last week to hash out plans for something that has never been done before in American history. State Rep. Chris Kapenga, R-Wisconsin, sits down with the hosts to talk about the plan.

Part 4: Watchdog national reporter Katie Watson joins us from Washington, D.C., to talk about the passage of the “Cromnibus” bill. Then, Matt Kittle offers some closing thoughts on the role of police and the need for personal responsibility.