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Left, Right & Center

KCRW

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1.8K
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Left, Right & Center

Left, Right & Center

KCRW

305
Followers
1.8K
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

The revenge tour

President Trump is on a revenge tour, firing administration officials who cooperated with the impeachment probe, using Twitter to rail against the prosecutions of his allies, and demanding to know why the Justice Department doesn't prosecute more of his enemies. Attorney General William Barr says he wants the president to back off and stop tweeting, but Barr has also been taking extraordinary interventions in criminal cases of interest to the president. Then: Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary but with the smallest vote share ever for a New Hampshire winner. Will the Democratic field ever winnow? Is there a real possibility of a contested convention? Is it Mike Bloomberg's fault? Are all the candidates being too nice to each other? Speaking of Bloomberg, he's soaring in the national polls on the back of an enormous television campaign, and speaking of being too nice, should we be seeing more attack ads? Erika Franklin Fowler of the Wesleyan Media Project talks about the power of those ads and whether they make a difference for voters.

56 MIN3 d ago
Comments
The revenge tour

Iowa

It was a full week. On Monday, the Iowa caucuses were a bit of a meltdown for Democrats, but did the mess sort of, maybe help some of the candidates? Kind of. What happened to Joe Biden? And what happens when you’re a reporter covering a caucus and you see things obviously going wrong?**Tim Carney**andOlivia Nuzzitalk about what they witnessed in Iowa and how the campaigns are taking it as they head to New Hampshire. Election law expertRick Hasenlays out the damage done in Iowa and what he’s concerned about as the primary season continues. President Trump gave his state of the union address on Tuesday and it was a three-in-one kind of speech with all the reality show trimmings we’ve come to expect. The panel discusses that and analyzes the Democrats’ messaging about the economy in Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s response. And on Wednesday, the Senate acquitted President Trump in the impeachment inquiry. Mitt Romney was the only Republican — this time and in history — who...

57 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Iowa

No witnesses

As the impeachment trial of President Trump draws to a close, has this been a useful exercise? What did we learn? Who were the friends we made along the way? And will the result of the trial matter for future presidencies, or for the November election? Susan Hennessey of the Lawfare blog will tell us what may (or may not) be stopping John Bolton from talking, with the Senate declining to seek his testimony. Paul Krugman will join us to talk about his new book Arguing With Zombies where the zombies are ideas like “tax cuts pay for themselves” and “budget deficits are hurting the economy.” And Juliette Kayyem gives her analysis of the US response so far to the Wuhan coronavirus. All that plus a look ahead to the Iowa caucuses — hello, that’s on Monday — is in this episode.

57 MIN2 w ago
Comments
No witnesses

Does anyone change their mind anymore?

Forty-eight hours of presentations for the prosecution and the defense, and senators are watching it all silently, with only water and milk to drink. But will the trial change any minds, inside the senate chamber or in the country as a whole? The Left, Right & Center panel discusses eerily stable public opinion: on impeachment, on Donald Trump, and on the Democratic primary candidates. Why doesn’t anybody change their mind anymore? But: when people do change their minds, lately it’s been toward Bernie Sanders or Mike Bloomberg. Is Joe Biden’s perpetual poll lead as stable as it looks? Ariel Edwards-Levy talks polling with the panel. Plus: is the primary too nice? Where are the attack ads? Is it just civil, or does it deny voters the contrasting information about the candidates they deserve?

54 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Does anyone change their mind anymore?

The eleventh hour

The Senate impeachment trial has officially begun, and yet...new information is still coming out and senators are still divided about witness testimony. Do the Lev Parnas documents released this week change anything? What about the Government Accountability Office determination that the Trump administration broke the law in withholding the Ukraine aid? If some Republican senators mount a campaign for witness testimony, what might that fight look like? Even so, don’t we already know how this is going to end? This week, in a moment of bipartisan cooperation, the Senate approved the USMCA trade agreement. It’s a victory for President Trump. And then there’s the phase one trade deal with China. President Trump signed it this week. Is it also a victory? Or is a bit weak? There was a debate this week in Iowa ahead of the caucuses. The candidates talked trade, foreign policy, and then there was that moment between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Felicia Wong talks about a new proje...

57 MINJAN 18
Comments
The eleventh hour

Iran, Iraq and impeachment

Iran’s response to our attack that killed Qassem Soleimani looks like a climbdown, for now. Is it time for President Trump to take a victory lap? Should we be watching for unconventional reprisals from Iran? Much of the coverage this week has centered around Iran, but what impact has this had on our already-fragile relationship with Iraq?Jarrett Blancof the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace talks about the way forward with Iran, including what remains of the Iran nuclear deal and if there’s any way more sanctions could have an impact on Iran. Plus: lawmakers’ reaction to the strike, flashbacks to 2002, and impeachment -- is that still happening?

50 MINJAN 11
Comments
Iran, Iraq and impeachment

Iranian general killed in US airstrike

Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was killed in an American airstrike at the Baghdad airport. General Soleimani was arguably the second most powerful person in Iran and a destabilizing force in the Middle East for decades. He led Iran’s interventions in other countries in the region, including support for militias in Iraq that killed hundreds of American soldiers. The targeted killing of Soleimani was a major escalation in the conflict with Iran. Lawmakers are debating over whether the strike was wise, and what the costs to American interests will be. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the attack on Soleimani was based on intelligence that he was imminently going to undertake an attack that could have killed Americans. What Iran will do now that Soleimani is dead? And could the US be drawn into a broader war?Michael Singhof the Washington Institute for Near East Policy joins the panel to analyze the attack and the aftermath so far. Then:Natahsha Sarinof the University of Pennsylvan...

62 MINJAN 4
Comments
Iranian general killed in US airstrike

Where is the Center?

Who is the center? Are there swing voters anymore, and what do they want? How did Donald Trump succeed at appealing at enough of the center to win the 2016 election, and what kind of candidate do Democrats need to pick to win the center back over? Political scientist Lee Drutman will tell us who these voters are, and how being a swing voter doesn’t necessarily mean being an ideological moderate. Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and Erin McPike talk about policy making, what’s misunderstood about voters in the center, and what centrist voters are looking for in the 2020 field. Then, Josh talks with two Left, Right & Center regulars, Kelli Goff and Tom Nichols, about their difficulty figuring out where we can fit in this increasingly polarized political system. They talk about the road to political independence and Josh makes the case for being in a political party, even if you don’t like it very much.

50 MIN2019 DEC 27
Comments
Where is the Center?

Impeached

Donald Trump is officially the third president to be impeached. The Democrats held together, with just one defection to the GOP and one “present” vote than they had a few weeks ago to open the impeachment inquiry. After the impeachment vote, Nancy Pelosi surprised everyone by saying she wouldn’t send the impeachment articles to the Senate for now. What’s up with that? Then, the Democratic presidential candidates had their liveliest debate yet. They fought over who has the necessary experience to win, Afghanistan policy, trade, health care, and who’s been spending too much in wine caves, and more. Josh Barro, Rich Lowry, Liz Bruenig and Gustavo Arellano discuss.

56 MIN2019 DEC 21
Comments
Impeached

Impeach and cooperate

The House of Representatives is almost ready to impeach President Trump, but they’re also working weirdly closely with him. This week they’ve approved a spending deal, signing off on his Space Force in exchange for federal employee parental leave, getting ready to approve his signature Nafta update. And the president’s phase one trade deal with China is maybe sorta done? On the other side of the pond, Boris Johnson won a resounding victory in the United Kingdom and is somehow set to be the most politically successful conservative prime minister since Margaret Thatcher. How the bloody hell did that happen?Andrew Sullivanjoins the panel to talk about Johnson’s strange appeal, how the British Left went so wrong, and what lessons (if any) there are for the United States.

51 MIN2019 DEC 14
Comments
Impeach and cooperate

Latest Episodes

The revenge tour

President Trump is on a revenge tour, firing administration officials who cooperated with the impeachment probe, using Twitter to rail against the prosecutions of his allies, and demanding to know why the Justice Department doesn't prosecute more of his enemies. Attorney General William Barr says he wants the president to back off and stop tweeting, but Barr has also been taking extraordinary interventions in criminal cases of interest to the president. Then: Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary but with the smallest vote share ever for a New Hampshire winner. Will the Democratic field ever winnow? Is there a real possibility of a contested convention? Is it Mike Bloomberg's fault? Are all the candidates being too nice to each other? Speaking of Bloomberg, he's soaring in the national polls on the back of an enormous television campaign, and speaking of being too nice, should we be seeing more attack ads? Erika Franklin Fowler of the Wesleyan Media Project talks about the power of those ads and whether they make a difference for voters.

56 MIN3 d ago
Comments
The revenge tour

Iowa

It was a full week. On Monday, the Iowa caucuses were a bit of a meltdown for Democrats, but did the mess sort of, maybe help some of the candidates? Kind of. What happened to Joe Biden? And what happens when you’re a reporter covering a caucus and you see things obviously going wrong?**Tim Carney**andOlivia Nuzzitalk about what they witnessed in Iowa and how the campaigns are taking it as they head to New Hampshire. Election law expertRick Hasenlays out the damage done in Iowa and what he’s concerned about as the primary season continues. President Trump gave his state of the union address on Tuesday and it was a three-in-one kind of speech with all the reality show trimmings we’ve come to expect. The panel discusses that and analyzes the Democrats’ messaging about the economy in Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s response. And on Wednesday, the Senate acquitted President Trump in the impeachment inquiry. Mitt Romney was the only Republican — this time and in history — who...

57 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Iowa

No witnesses

As the impeachment trial of President Trump draws to a close, has this been a useful exercise? What did we learn? Who were the friends we made along the way? And will the result of the trial matter for future presidencies, or for the November election? Susan Hennessey of the Lawfare blog will tell us what may (or may not) be stopping John Bolton from talking, with the Senate declining to seek his testimony. Paul Krugman will join us to talk about his new book Arguing With Zombies where the zombies are ideas like “tax cuts pay for themselves” and “budget deficits are hurting the economy.” And Juliette Kayyem gives her analysis of the US response so far to the Wuhan coronavirus. All that plus a look ahead to the Iowa caucuses — hello, that’s on Monday — is in this episode.

57 MIN2 w ago
Comments
No witnesses

Does anyone change their mind anymore?

Forty-eight hours of presentations for the prosecution and the defense, and senators are watching it all silently, with only water and milk to drink. But will the trial change any minds, inside the senate chamber or in the country as a whole? The Left, Right & Center panel discusses eerily stable public opinion: on impeachment, on Donald Trump, and on the Democratic primary candidates. Why doesn’t anybody change their mind anymore? But: when people do change their minds, lately it’s been toward Bernie Sanders or Mike Bloomberg. Is Joe Biden’s perpetual poll lead as stable as it looks? Ariel Edwards-Levy talks polling with the panel. Plus: is the primary too nice? Where are the attack ads? Is it just civil, or does it deny voters the contrasting information about the candidates they deserve?

54 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Does anyone change their mind anymore?

The eleventh hour

The Senate impeachment trial has officially begun, and yet...new information is still coming out and senators are still divided about witness testimony. Do the Lev Parnas documents released this week change anything? What about the Government Accountability Office determination that the Trump administration broke the law in withholding the Ukraine aid? If some Republican senators mount a campaign for witness testimony, what might that fight look like? Even so, don’t we already know how this is going to end? This week, in a moment of bipartisan cooperation, the Senate approved the USMCA trade agreement. It’s a victory for President Trump. And then there’s the phase one trade deal with China. President Trump signed it this week. Is it also a victory? Or is a bit weak? There was a debate this week in Iowa ahead of the caucuses. The candidates talked trade, foreign policy, and then there was that moment between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Felicia Wong talks about a new proje...

57 MINJAN 18
Comments
The eleventh hour

Iran, Iraq and impeachment

Iran’s response to our attack that killed Qassem Soleimani looks like a climbdown, for now. Is it time for President Trump to take a victory lap? Should we be watching for unconventional reprisals from Iran? Much of the coverage this week has centered around Iran, but what impact has this had on our already-fragile relationship with Iraq?Jarrett Blancof the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace talks about the way forward with Iran, including what remains of the Iran nuclear deal and if there’s any way more sanctions could have an impact on Iran. Plus: lawmakers’ reaction to the strike, flashbacks to 2002, and impeachment -- is that still happening?

50 MINJAN 11
Comments
Iran, Iraq and impeachment

Iranian general killed in US airstrike

Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was killed in an American airstrike at the Baghdad airport. General Soleimani was arguably the second most powerful person in Iran and a destabilizing force in the Middle East for decades. He led Iran’s interventions in other countries in the region, including support for militias in Iraq that killed hundreds of American soldiers. The targeted killing of Soleimani was a major escalation in the conflict with Iran. Lawmakers are debating over whether the strike was wise, and what the costs to American interests will be. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the attack on Soleimani was based on intelligence that he was imminently going to undertake an attack that could have killed Americans. What Iran will do now that Soleimani is dead? And could the US be drawn into a broader war?Michael Singhof the Washington Institute for Near East Policy joins the panel to analyze the attack and the aftermath so far. Then:Natahsha Sarinof the University of Pennsylvan...

62 MINJAN 4
Comments
Iranian general killed in US airstrike

Where is the Center?

Who is the center? Are there swing voters anymore, and what do they want? How did Donald Trump succeed at appealing at enough of the center to win the 2016 election, and what kind of candidate do Democrats need to pick to win the center back over? Political scientist Lee Drutman will tell us who these voters are, and how being a swing voter doesn’t necessarily mean being an ideological moderate. Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and Erin McPike talk about policy making, what’s misunderstood about voters in the center, and what centrist voters are looking for in the 2020 field. Then, Josh talks with two Left, Right & Center regulars, Kelli Goff and Tom Nichols, about their difficulty figuring out where we can fit in this increasingly polarized political system. They talk about the road to political independence and Josh makes the case for being in a political party, even if you don’t like it very much.

50 MIN2019 DEC 27
Comments
Where is the Center?

Impeached

Donald Trump is officially the third president to be impeached. The Democrats held together, with just one defection to the GOP and one “present” vote than they had a few weeks ago to open the impeachment inquiry. After the impeachment vote, Nancy Pelosi surprised everyone by saying she wouldn’t send the impeachment articles to the Senate for now. What’s up with that? Then, the Democratic presidential candidates had their liveliest debate yet. They fought over who has the necessary experience to win, Afghanistan policy, trade, health care, and who’s been spending too much in wine caves, and more. Josh Barro, Rich Lowry, Liz Bruenig and Gustavo Arellano discuss.

56 MIN2019 DEC 21
Comments
Impeached

Impeach and cooperate

The House of Representatives is almost ready to impeach President Trump, but they’re also working weirdly closely with him. This week they’ve approved a spending deal, signing off on his Space Force in exchange for federal employee parental leave, getting ready to approve his signature Nafta update. And the president’s phase one trade deal with China is maybe sorta done? On the other side of the pond, Boris Johnson won a resounding victory in the United Kingdom and is somehow set to be the most politically successful conservative prime minister since Margaret Thatcher. How the bloody hell did that happen?Andrew Sullivanjoins the panel to talk about Johnson’s strange appeal, how the British Left went so wrong, and what lessons (if any) there are for the United States.

51 MIN2019 DEC 14
Comments
Impeach and cooperate
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