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Left, Right & Center

KCRW

333
Followers
2.5K
Plays
Left, Right & Center

Left, Right & Center

KCRW

333
Followers
2.5K
Plays
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About Us

Left, Right & Center is KCRW’s weekly civilized yet provocative confrontation over politics, policy and pop culture.

Latest Episodes

George Floyd

The death of George Floyd — who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for seven minutes in the process of arresting him — has reignited outrage over police treatment of black Americans. There have been protests in cities across the country in response to Floyd’s death and the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and in Minneapolis, a level of unrest led the governor to call in the National Guard. The panel discusses what’s driving the protests and what governments can do to gain the public’s trust that justice will be done when police abuse power. Also on the show: Joe Biden has a plan for that. That’s what Matt Yglesias says: that Biden is the most progressive Democratic nominee ever with a long list of plans for progressive policy change. But will progressives believe that? And will conservatives be able to convince anyone that Biden is a radical? The United States Postal Service, like many institutions, faces financial trouble due to the pandemic. What’s the social purpose of the post office? And what does that say about how Congress should help it out?

53 MIN6 d ago
Comments
George Floyd

Will President Trump ever wear a mask in public?

President Trump really doesn’t want to be photographed wearing a mask (even though he has a cool one with the Presidential Seal on it). But 72% of Americans say that they’re wearing masks all or most of the time when they’re out of the house. So why have masks become a political symbol? And will that interfere with efforts to contain the virus? Plus: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had a relative light touch when it came to lockdown orders and many critics warned of dire outcomes from that. Was Governor DeSantis right all along? Or has he just been lucky? Then: Frederick Hess, resident scholar and director of the Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, joins the panel to look at how the coronavirus is affecting education. Are students actually learning at home right now? Will schools be ready to open in the fall? And is there even enough money to pay for all the changes needed to make it work?

54 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Will President Trump ever wear a mask in public?

Obamagate! Wait, what’s Obamagate?

President Trump is very upset about Obamagate. It seems to have to do with his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn — who the president fired after he lied to Vice President Pence and the FBI, and who pleaded guilty to charges that the Department of Justice is now seeking to drop. Is this a really important political issue? Or is this just President Trump’s effort to talk about anything besides the pandemic? Plus: Will Joe Biden leave his basement? Or, does laying low draw the contrast with President Trump that works for his campaign? Does either candidate need to be worried about their campaign right now? Then: Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations joins the panel to grade the American and international response to the coronavirus pandemic. What happens when international institutions atrophy? This isn’t all President Trump’s fault: so far, the pandemic has highlighted changes to the international order that have put the US in a weaker position...

55 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Obamagate! Wait, what’s Obamagate?

Twenty million jobs lost in April

More than 20 million jobs were lost in April and it keeps getting worse. Millions of Americans continue to file for new unemployment benefits every week. Is there and end in sight? And what does a plan look like to keep Americans afloat through the rest of the crisis and ensure that business is there to employ them again? Former top Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling joins the panel to talk about economic dignity in a pandemic and after. Will there be significant policy changes to match this recognition of the importance of essential workers, so many of whom are low paid? Even Mitt Romney has a bill for federally funded hazard pay for essential workers in this crisis. But will America’s relationship to low-paid essential workers change permanently, or will our economy go back to its precarious normal? Plus: the Justice Department wants to drop the charge against Michael Flynn for lying to federal agents, a charge he already pleaded guilty to. Ken White joins the panel to talk abo...

50 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Twenty million jobs lost in April

When and what, but what about how?

Joe Biden says it never happened. Biden spoke publicly for the first time in response to an accusation from former Senate staffer Tara Reade, who says Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. How should voters evaluate this allegation? And how does Democratic support for Biden square with Biden’s own expressed standard from the Brett Kavanaugh fight that “you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence” of these sorts of allegations is real. Dr. Ashish Jha of the Harvard Global Health Institute talks about states easing stay-at-home orders and trying to reopen the economy. We have to do it sooner than later, but do we have what it needs to make that reopening sustainable? Dr. Jha talks about the level of testing we need and if states are ready to trace the contacts of people who test positive for Covid-19. Plus: Justin Amash’s Libertarian bid for president, stay-at-home protests in Michigan, and how hard it can be to access unemployment insurance in certain ...

54 MINMAY 2
Comments
When and what, but what about how?

LIBERATE some states but not others?

Congress agreed this week to replenish money for the Paycheck Protection Program, which makes loans to certain kinds of businesses that are hurt by the pandemic and then forgives those loans if businesses keep their workers on payroll. But there are some problems. There wasn’t enough money, smaller businesses without really deep banking relationships have been left behind, and some bigger “small” businesses have gotten the money while mom-and-pop businesses haven’t gotten any. Even with new money, the PPP is likely to run out of money again, and the dispute at the center of the next bailout package will be assistance to state and local governments. Mitch McConnell says states should be able to file for bankruptcy. Does that make sense? Then Samuel Brannen gives us a check up on the US coronavirus response. Sam was part of a pandemic simulation just a few months ago — how is the real-life response tracking with that simulation? Unfortunately: he doesn’t have good news. The pane...

50 MINAPR 25
Comments
LIBERATE some states but not others?

Total authority? Not really

Regardless of who has the ‘total authority,’ the Left, Right & Center panel agrees we need a lot more to actually reopen the country: more testing, more hospital capacity, and other things that will inspire confidence in the public. And isn’t all this reopening talk a little premature? No public official can reopen the economy if the public is afraid to leave their homes. (Though some Michiganders protested Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders this week.) Another announcement President Trump made this week is that he’s withdrawing funding for the World Health Organization, which has been widely criticized for its handling of the pandemic and being too solicitous of the concerns of the Chinese government. In defunding the WHO, will the US have more influence and leverage, or will the WHO just turn more toward China, strengthening China’s hand? Dan Drezner talks about the threat to defund the organization and what can be done to counter China’s influence in internati...

56 MINAPR 18
Comments
Total authority? Not really

It's Biden

Bernie Sanders announced the suspension of his presidential campaign this week, making Joe Biden the official presumptive Democratic nominee. What is the legacy of his campaign? Does it signal a complete lack of interest in very left policies and a major win for conservatives in the US, or does it show gradual change? Wisconsin’s primary election went ahead this week as scheduled, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Is this a preview of future primaries and the general election in November? Should both Democrats and Republicans favor voting by mail? President Trump is being criticized for taking too much of the spotlight during daily coronavirus briefings at the expense of medical experts. Is it time for that to change? Is President Trump capable of changing that? Finally: one concerning theme of this pandemic is the political polarization of attitudes about it, but polling suggests that even though Democrats and Republicans might be saying opposite things, they’re pretty much behav...

51 MINAPR 11
Comments
It's Biden

Front row at the Trump show

At least ten million Americans filed for unemployment in the last two weeks of March, and that’s not the end of it. Has the federal government done enough to support Americans financially through this crisis? Is there a missed opportunity for reform and bigger, longer term ideas in the response? And what will the government have to do more of as this crisis continues? Rich Lowry argues this real crisis puts previous crises in perspective, like impeachment and the Mueller investigation. Elizabeth Bruenig brings up the moral questions that underly a pandemic and our responses to it. Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News, has a new book called Front Row At The Trump Show. Jon talks about President Trump’s long coronavirus briefings and what it’s like to cover them, the similarities between his reaction to the pandemic and to Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Dorian, how the president actually feels about reporters (and vice versa), and what we can expect to see fro...

54 MINAPR 3
Comments
Front row at the Trump show

What’s our prognosis?

The US now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, but it appears we haven’t reached the worst yet.President Trump signed a $2 trillion economic relief package for Americans and businesses. How much relief is in the relief bill? And will it be enough? The president is also eager to reopen the country, which could be a disaster if it’s done too early. Is President Trump wrong to say he doesn’t think New York will need tens of thousands of ventilators? How is the American healthcare system responding so far? Aaron Carroll and Betsey Stevenson join the panel for this week’s episode.

59 MINMAR 28
Comments
What’s our prognosis?

Latest Episodes

George Floyd

The death of George Floyd — who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for seven minutes in the process of arresting him — has reignited outrage over police treatment of black Americans. There have been protests in cities across the country in response to Floyd’s death and the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and in Minneapolis, a level of unrest led the governor to call in the National Guard. The panel discusses what’s driving the protests and what governments can do to gain the public’s trust that justice will be done when police abuse power. Also on the show: Joe Biden has a plan for that. That’s what Matt Yglesias says: that Biden is the most progressive Democratic nominee ever with a long list of plans for progressive policy change. But will progressives believe that? And will conservatives be able to convince anyone that Biden is a radical? The United States Postal Service, like many institutions, faces financial trouble due to the pandemic. What’s the social purpose of the post office? And what does that say about how Congress should help it out?

53 MIN6 d ago
Comments
George Floyd

Will President Trump ever wear a mask in public?

President Trump really doesn’t want to be photographed wearing a mask (even though he has a cool one with the Presidential Seal on it). But 72% of Americans say that they’re wearing masks all or most of the time when they’re out of the house. So why have masks become a political symbol? And will that interfere with efforts to contain the virus? Plus: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had a relative light touch when it came to lockdown orders and many critics warned of dire outcomes from that. Was Governor DeSantis right all along? Or has he just been lucky? Then: Frederick Hess, resident scholar and director of the Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, joins the panel to look at how the coronavirus is affecting education. Are students actually learning at home right now? Will schools be ready to open in the fall? And is there even enough money to pay for all the changes needed to make it work?

54 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Will President Trump ever wear a mask in public?

Obamagate! Wait, what’s Obamagate?

President Trump is very upset about Obamagate. It seems to have to do with his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn — who the president fired after he lied to Vice President Pence and the FBI, and who pleaded guilty to charges that the Department of Justice is now seeking to drop. Is this a really important political issue? Or is this just President Trump’s effort to talk about anything besides the pandemic? Plus: Will Joe Biden leave his basement? Or, does laying low draw the contrast with President Trump that works for his campaign? Does either candidate need to be worried about their campaign right now? Then: Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations joins the panel to grade the American and international response to the coronavirus pandemic. What happens when international institutions atrophy? This isn’t all President Trump’s fault: so far, the pandemic has highlighted changes to the international order that have put the US in a weaker position...

55 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Obamagate! Wait, what’s Obamagate?

Twenty million jobs lost in April

More than 20 million jobs were lost in April and it keeps getting worse. Millions of Americans continue to file for new unemployment benefits every week. Is there and end in sight? And what does a plan look like to keep Americans afloat through the rest of the crisis and ensure that business is there to employ them again? Former top Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling joins the panel to talk about economic dignity in a pandemic and after. Will there be significant policy changes to match this recognition of the importance of essential workers, so many of whom are low paid? Even Mitt Romney has a bill for federally funded hazard pay for essential workers in this crisis. But will America’s relationship to low-paid essential workers change permanently, or will our economy go back to its precarious normal? Plus: the Justice Department wants to drop the charge against Michael Flynn for lying to federal agents, a charge he already pleaded guilty to. Ken White joins the panel to talk abo...

50 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Twenty million jobs lost in April

When and what, but what about how?

Joe Biden says it never happened. Biden spoke publicly for the first time in response to an accusation from former Senate staffer Tara Reade, who says Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. How should voters evaluate this allegation? And how does Democratic support for Biden square with Biden’s own expressed standard from the Brett Kavanaugh fight that “you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence” of these sorts of allegations is real. Dr. Ashish Jha of the Harvard Global Health Institute talks about states easing stay-at-home orders and trying to reopen the economy. We have to do it sooner than later, but do we have what it needs to make that reopening sustainable? Dr. Jha talks about the level of testing we need and if states are ready to trace the contacts of people who test positive for Covid-19. Plus: Justin Amash’s Libertarian bid for president, stay-at-home protests in Michigan, and how hard it can be to access unemployment insurance in certain ...

54 MINMAY 2
Comments
When and what, but what about how?

LIBERATE some states but not others?

Congress agreed this week to replenish money for the Paycheck Protection Program, which makes loans to certain kinds of businesses that are hurt by the pandemic and then forgives those loans if businesses keep their workers on payroll. But there are some problems. There wasn’t enough money, smaller businesses without really deep banking relationships have been left behind, and some bigger “small” businesses have gotten the money while mom-and-pop businesses haven’t gotten any. Even with new money, the PPP is likely to run out of money again, and the dispute at the center of the next bailout package will be assistance to state and local governments. Mitch McConnell says states should be able to file for bankruptcy. Does that make sense? Then Samuel Brannen gives us a check up on the US coronavirus response. Sam was part of a pandemic simulation just a few months ago — how is the real-life response tracking with that simulation? Unfortunately: he doesn’t have good news. The pane...

50 MINAPR 25
Comments
LIBERATE some states but not others?

Total authority? Not really

Regardless of who has the ‘total authority,’ the Left, Right & Center panel agrees we need a lot more to actually reopen the country: more testing, more hospital capacity, and other things that will inspire confidence in the public. And isn’t all this reopening talk a little premature? No public official can reopen the economy if the public is afraid to leave their homes. (Though some Michiganders protested Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders this week.) Another announcement President Trump made this week is that he’s withdrawing funding for the World Health Organization, which has been widely criticized for its handling of the pandemic and being too solicitous of the concerns of the Chinese government. In defunding the WHO, will the US have more influence and leverage, or will the WHO just turn more toward China, strengthening China’s hand? Dan Drezner talks about the threat to defund the organization and what can be done to counter China’s influence in internati...

56 MINAPR 18
Comments
Total authority? Not really

It's Biden

Bernie Sanders announced the suspension of his presidential campaign this week, making Joe Biden the official presumptive Democratic nominee. What is the legacy of his campaign? Does it signal a complete lack of interest in very left policies and a major win for conservatives in the US, or does it show gradual change? Wisconsin’s primary election went ahead this week as scheduled, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Is this a preview of future primaries and the general election in November? Should both Democrats and Republicans favor voting by mail? President Trump is being criticized for taking too much of the spotlight during daily coronavirus briefings at the expense of medical experts. Is it time for that to change? Is President Trump capable of changing that? Finally: one concerning theme of this pandemic is the political polarization of attitudes about it, but polling suggests that even though Democrats and Republicans might be saying opposite things, they’re pretty much behav...

51 MINAPR 11
Comments
It's Biden

Front row at the Trump show

At least ten million Americans filed for unemployment in the last two weeks of March, and that’s not the end of it. Has the federal government done enough to support Americans financially through this crisis? Is there a missed opportunity for reform and bigger, longer term ideas in the response? And what will the government have to do more of as this crisis continues? Rich Lowry argues this real crisis puts previous crises in perspective, like impeachment and the Mueller investigation. Elizabeth Bruenig brings up the moral questions that underly a pandemic and our responses to it. Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News, has a new book called Front Row At The Trump Show. Jon talks about President Trump’s long coronavirus briefings and what it’s like to cover them, the similarities between his reaction to the pandemic and to Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Dorian, how the president actually feels about reporters (and vice versa), and what we can expect to see fro...

54 MINAPR 3
Comments
Front row at the Trump show

What’s our prognosis?

The US now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, but it appears we haven’t reached the worst yet.President Trump signed a $2 trillion economic relief package for Americans and businesses. How much relief is in the relief bill? And will it be enough? The president is also eager to reopen the country, which could be a disaster if it’s done too early. Is President Trump wrong to say he doesn’t think New York will need tens of thousands of ventilators? How is the American healthcare system responding so far? Aaron Carroll and Betsey Stevenson join the panel for this week’s episode.

59 MINMAR 28
Comments
What’s our prognosis?
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