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Left, Right & Center

KCRW

363
Followers
2.8K
Plays
Left, Right & Center

Left, Right & Center

KCRW

363
Followers
2.8K
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

Lagging behind

The coronavirus pandemic crisis is stretching on and the United States is in dire straits. Infections are surging in the south and west and there's doubt about whether schools can open safely for the new school year. Megan McArdle says the lags of this disease are contributing to serious policy disasters and many states are falling victim to normalcy bias, where, if it doesn't look like chaos, it's harder to persuade people and public officials to take appropriate action to prevent the situation from deteriorating. Dorian Warren says it is ultimately shameful that the United States is failing at virus mitigation. Then, Helen Alvare joins the panel to talk about the Supreme Court's final decisions. Was this term a major disappointment for conservatives? Chief Justice John Roberts promised to call balls and strikes, but might he be working towards a more long-sighted goal? Finally: Mexico's president visited President Trump in Washington this week, and Jose Diaz Briseno of Reforma talks about the state of their relationship. Is it correct to call President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador a leftist? And is he, like many other world leaders, doing his best just to appease and not influence President Trump?

50 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Lagging behind

Will it change us?

Halfway through an extremely eventful 2020, what is the outlook for persistent change? In this special midyear episode, Josh Barro speaks with Dorian Warren and Megan McArdle about whether this year’s events — in policing and racial justice, the economy, and public health — will make change in these areas more possible and more necessary. A lot of change is happening quickly. The government has spent trillions to support the economy, Americans’ lives are barely recognizable, and public opinion has moved faster than we’ve ever seen on issues related to race and policing. Will it change the country permanently? Positively? And what are we learning from these extraordinary months? Megan notes that many trends appear revolutionary in the short term but less so in the long term, citing how little changed after the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. She also says there are examples in our history of police reform and “defunding” actually backfiring, and reform may be more difficult in the ...

54 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Will it change us?

The Center is right again

How’s this for a civilized yet provocative start to the show? This week, people finally started admitting Josh Barro has been right about Joe Biden. Though, for the record, a lot of people have been agreeing with him all along: voters. Now, many others are realizing maybe what America needs next in a president is a broadly acceptable leader with unifying messages that can make people feel good about the country again, and one who adopts broadly popular reform positions while resisting the pressure to be on the unpopular side of wedge issues. Well, on this show, we do a lot of disagreeing, and Megan McArdle and Christine Emba have some things to say about Josh’s victory lap. What everyone does agree on is that President Trump’s handling of national crises grew even more grim and it’s definitely not helping him in the polls. The sparsely attended Tulsa rally didn’t help either, nor do the spikes in covid-19 cases in the south and west. Progressives had a strong showing in Tuesday...

59 MIN2 w ago
Comments
The Center is right again

A big week at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court delivered two major opinions this week and conservatives are not very happy with two Republican-appointed justices. Justice Neil Gorsuch — often held up as the example of why Republicans should tolerate President Trump’s antics — wrote the opinion in a 6-3 decision that said employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity because, well, Gorsuch argues that’s what the text of the law says. Might conservatives abandon textualism? Later in the week, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 the Trump administration improperly tried to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation many unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the country as minors. One way to read Chief Justice John Roberts’s opinion, Emily Bazelon says, is that he’s offended by the Trump administration’s sloppy lawyering. They should have been more clear about why they wanted to toss protections for Dreamers....

51 MIN3 w ago
Comments
A big week at the Supreme Court

Biden’s lead widens

Lots of people in Washington seem to want more distance from President Trump as his actions have grown even more erratic and his poll numbers have deteriorated. This week, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff apologized for appearing with President Trump in that infamous church photo opp. Mitt Romney got a lot of attention for marching in support of Black Lives Matter. Michael Steele says it was partially political because the senator is unlikely to face retribution from his party or his constituents but it’s an important moral and personal move too. This week, there was a pretty big contrast between President Trump’s calls for “law and order” and Joe Biden’s empathy, and the polls show Biden with a growing lead over the president. It appears Biden is more open and interested in policies further to the left. He might not be a full-blown leftist, but he appears to be open to influence, Christine Emba says. Protests about policing are yielding government...

50 MINJUN 13
Comments
Biden’s lead widens

Will waves of protest bring waves of change?

The killing of George Floyd by a white police officer who now faces murder charges set off a wave of peaceful protests nationwide. It also resulted in incidents of violence, with police officers blamed for using unnecessarily brutal methods to clear activists, while others have been accused of using the guise of activism to destroy and steal property. Meanwhile the president’s response has elicited criticism from some surprising sources, including the military community. The panel considers this moment: Does it represent a seismic shift? Will either party advocate real reform? The panel reacts with a mix of hope and reality. Plus: The Left has been clamoring for General Jim Mattis, President Trump’s former defense secretary, to speak out. Did he choose the right time? Will it matter what he’s said? And how much does it matter who Joe Biden picks to be his running mate? This episode of Left, Right & Center has an all-black panel:Keli Goffis the Center withChristine Embaon the Left...

64 MINJUN 6
Comments
Will waves of protest bring waves of change?

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...

53 MINMAY 30
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 MINMAY 23
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 MINMAY 16
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 MINMAY 9
Comments
Twenty million jobs lost in April

Latest Episodes

Lagging behind

The coronavirus pandemic crisis is stretching on and the United States is in dire straits. Infections are surging in the south and west and there's doubt about whether schools can open safely for the new school year. Megan McArdle says the lags of this disease are contributing to serious policy disasters and many states are falling victim to normalcy bias, where, if it doesn't look like chaos, it's harder to persuade people and public officials to take appropriate action to prevent the situation from deteriorating. Dorian Warren says it is ultimately shameful that the United States is failing at virus mitigation. Then, Helen Alvare joins the panel to talk about the Supreme Court's final decisions. Was this term a major disappointment for conservatives? Chief Justice John Roberts promised to call balls and strikes, but might he be working towards a more long-sighted goal? Finally: Mexico's president visited President Trump in Washington this week, and Jose Diaz Briseno of Reforma talks about the state of their relationship. Is it correct to call President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador a leftist? And is he, like many other world leaders, doing his best just to appease and not influence President Trump?

50 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Lagging behind

Will it change us?

Halfway through an extremely eventful 2020, what is the outlook for persistent change? In this special midyear episode, Josh Barro speaks with Dorian Warren and Megan McArdle about whether this year’s events — in policing and racial justice, the economy, and public health — will make change in these areas more possible and more necessary. A lot of change is happening quickly. The government has spent trillions to support the economy, Americans’ lives are barely recognizable, and public opinion has moved faster than we’ve ever seen on issues related to race and policing. Will it change the country permanently? Positively? And what are we learning from these extraordinary months? Megan notes that many trends appear revolutionary in the short term but less so in the long term, citing how little changed after the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. She also says there are examples in our history of police reform and “defunding” actually backfiring, and reform may be more difficult in the ...

54 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Will it change us?

The Center is right again

How’s this for a civilized yet provocative start to the show? This week, people finally started admitting Josh Barro has been right about Joe Biden. Though, for the record, a lot of people have been agreeing with him all along: voters. Now, many others are realizing maybe what America needs next in a president is a broadly acceptable leader with unifying messages that can make people feel good about the country again, and one who adopts broadly popular reform positions while resisting the pressure to be on the unpopular side of wedge issues. Well, on this show, we do a lot of disagreeing, and Megan McArdle and Christine Emba have some things to say about Josh’s victory lap. What everyone does agree on is that President Trump’s handling of national crises grew even more grim and it’s definitely not helping him in the polls. The sparsely attended Tulsa rally didn’t help either, nor do the spikes in covid-19 cases in the south and west. Progressives had a strong showing in Tuesday...

59 MIN2 w ago
Comments
The Center is right again

A big week at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court delivered two major opinions this week and conservatives are not very happy with two Republican-appointed justices. Justice Neil Gorsuch — often held up as the example of why Republicans should tolerate President Trump’s antics — wrote the opinion in a 6-3 decision that said employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity because, well, Gorsuch argues that’s what the text of the law says. Might conservatives abandon textualism? Later in the week, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 the Trump administration improperly tried to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation many unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the country as minors. One way to read Chief Justice John Roberts’s opinion, Emily Bazelon says, is that he’s offended by the Trump administration’s sloppy lawyering. They should have been more clear about why they wanted to toss protections for Dreamers....

51 MIN3 w ago
Comments
A big week at the Supreme Court

Biden’s lead widens

Lots of people in Washington seem to want more distance from President Trump as his actions have grown even more erratic and his poll numbers have deteriorated. This week, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff apologized for appearing with President Trump in that infamous church photo opp. Mitt Romney got a lot of attention for marching in support of Black Lives Matter. Michael Steele says it was partially political because the senator is unlikely to face retribution from his party or his constituents but it’s an important moral and personal move too. This week, there was a pretty big contrast between President Trump’s calls for “law and order” and Joe Biden’s empathy, and the polls show Biden with a growing lead over the president. It appears Biden is more open and interested in policies further to the left. He might not be a full-blown leftist, but he appears to be open to influence, Christine Emba says. Protests about policing are yielding government...

50 MINJUN 13
Comments
Biden’s lead widens

Will waves of protest bring waves of change?

The killing of George Floyd by a white police officer who now faces murder charges set off a wave of peaceful protests nationwide. It also resulted in incidents of violence, with police officers blamed for using unnecessarily brutal methods to clear activists, while others have been accused of using the guise of activism to destroy and steal property. Meanwhile the president’s response has elicited criticism from some surprising sources, including the military community. The panel considers this moment: Does it represent a seismic shift? Will either party advocate real reform? The panel reacts with a mix of hope and reality. Plus: The Left has been clamoring for General Jim Mattis, President Trump’s former defense secretary, to speak out. Did he choose the right time? Will it matter what he’s said? And how much does it matter who Joe Biden picks to be his running mate? This episode of Left, Right & Center has an all-black panel:Keli Goffis the Center withChristine Embaon the Left...

64 MINJUN 6
Comments
Will waves of protest bring waves of change?

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...

53 MINMAY 30
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 MINMAY 23
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 MINMAY 16
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 MINMAY 9
Comments
Twenty million jobs lost in April
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