Cover image of Left, Right & Center
(2434)
News

Left, Right & Center

Updated 1 day ago

News
Read more

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

Read more

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

iTunes Ratings

2434 Ratings
Average Ratings
1551
430
167
114
172

Laughed out of Europe

By Lseaq321 - Dec 07 2019
Read more
Jonathan spoke too softly. Didn’t get to hear what he said. I’ve noticed this before. Can the sound be leveled?

Left Left & Left

By JAC2848 - Dec 05 2019
Read more
i’ve listened to several episodes of this show and this is 100% biased to the left. There’re is a cohost who claims to be right but the way questions are formatted and presented are clearly favorable to leftist POV

iTunes Ratings

2434 Ratings
Average Ratings
1551
430
167
114
172

Laughed out of Europe

By Lseaq321 - Dec 07 2019
Read more
Jonathan spoke too softly. Didn’t get to hear what he said. I’ve noticed this before. Can the sound be leveled?

Left Left & Left

By JAC2848 - Dec 05 2019
Read more
i’ve listened to several episodes of this show and this is 100% biased to the left. There’re is a cohost who claims to be right but the way questions are formatted and presented are clearly favorable to leftist POV

Listen to:

Cover image of Left, Right & Center

Left, Right & Center

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

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

It’s a quid pro quo. Is it impeachable?

Podcast cover
Read more

Ambassador William Taylor described a quid pro quo — military aid in exchange for a Ukrainian announcement of an investigation into Burisma — in his testimony to Congress. He says a top national security official told him that, and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland confirmed it, saying he’d made a mistake when he said only a White House meeting depended on such an announcement. In fact, “everything” depended on it. President Trump usurped Congress’ constitutional spending powers for personal use. Is this impeachable. Rich Lowry, Linette Lopez and Josh Barro debate.

Plus: The situation in Syria heats up, Democrats and Republicans take unlikely positions on tax policy, and could Congress do anything to prevent another WeWork mess? And what’s the status of the “phase one” trade deal with China? Have we agreed to anything?

Oct 25 2019

50mins

Play

The al-Baghdadi raid

Podcast cover
Read more

In a near party line vote, the impeachment inquiry is now a formal inquiry. Once divided, all but two Democrats voted for the resolution. How did the party coalesce so quickly?

On Sunday morning, President Trump announced a special forces mission, in conjunction with local partners, that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. But this isn’t the end of ISIS. Michael Singh, Washington Institute Managing Director and former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council, says that while the news is certainly a blow to the group and its efforts, it is just temporary. “This probably throws ISIS into a bit of disarray. But, still, you have 11,000, maybe more, ISIS members at large, in addition to those in prisons, who are probably still committed to conducting acts of terrorism. And at the end of the day, the underlying conditions that helped give rise to ISIS are arguably worse now than they were then.” So what is next for ISIS? How much did oil factor into this mission? And what can we gather from the way President Trump thanked partners in the aftermath?

Then, Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax plan is in the news again — this time because it’s part of her plan to fund single-payer healthcare. Gabriel Zucman, one of the economists who advised Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax plan, joins the show to talk about the plan and the optimal tax rate billionaires should pay. What’s the viability of that wealth tax plan? Similar plans have faltered in other countries. What’s different about the US? Should we all dream of becoming billionaires? Does a higher tax rate throw water on that dream?

Nov 01 2019

56mins

Play

Impeachment

Podcast cover
Read more

Nancy Pelosi says the inquiry is on, and it now has the support from nearly every Democrat and therefore, a majority of the House. This may be a rapid impeachment — just two months and just about the new Ukraine scandal. Should this be quick and easy? Or should there be more hearings and more charges? Spoiler alert: no one on the show expects the Senate to actually remove President Trump if he is indeed impeached, so what then is the strategic reason to impeach him? And how might this affect Democrats, including those running for president against Trump and those running for down-ballot races in 2020?

President Trump railed against the whistleblower, insinuating that people who passed along information to that person were spies and spies should be executed. Bradley Moss, a lawyer specializing in national security issues and whistleblower protections, joins the panel to talk about President Trump’s comments, protocols for whistleblowers, and how this story saw daylight in the first place. 

Finally, what is going on with Brexit? Tom Nuttall updates the panel on the mayhem across the pond.

Sep 27 2019

57mins

Play

A birthday check-up

Podcast cover
Read more

Well, it’s a long story. But it’s a healthy discussion to have with different political perspectives present.

 We’ve seen an ebb and flow in the power of the three branches of government. Special guest Matt Yglesias wrote in 2015 that American constitutional democracy as we know it will collapse because it creates too many pressure points, inherently creates gridlock, and often runs against policy making even when there’s popular will. Obviously, a lot has happened since then. Today, the judiciary and executive branches are stronger than the legislative. Rich Lowry notes the plasticicity of the system, built around tensions and competing centers of power, which allows for such swings.

Liz Bruenig says the shear difficulty of making any change to the Constitution is itself a pressure point. And what about states? Why haven’t we seen states experimenting with something other than the presidential-style government?

Then Michael Brendan Dougherty joins the panel to discuss his memoir My Father Left Me Ireland and themes of nationalism, homeland and identity.

Jul 05 2019

55mins

Play

Who won the second debate?

Podcast cover
Read more

If you think one candidate won, be honest: was it the same person you liked most before the debate? With so many candidates (still twenty over two nights), the debates almost turned into team fights: progressives who say the party needs to stand for bold change, and moderates who say that's unpopular and impractical, and that you need unifying messages that can build a clear anti-Trump majority. Who's right?

Plus: a discussion of new tariffs and ongoing trade negotiations with China, the Fed's rate cut, Democrats inching towards impeachment, Will Hurd announces he won't seek reelection, and more of the week's news. Megan Mcardle and Helaine Olen represent the right and left with special guest Linette Lopez.

Aug 02 2019

53mins

Play

The secret memo

Podcast cover
Read more

There’s a whistleblower complaint from a member of the intelligence community that has something to do with President Trump communicating an inappropriate promise to a foreign leader. Multiple outlets are reporting the memo is about Ukraine and the president’s efforts to lean on the Ukranian government to investigate Joe Biden. But the acting director of national intelligence won’t share the complaint with Congress even though they are ordinarily legally entitled to see it. So, information about the complaint has been leaking. What could the president have said to prompt the whistleblower complaint? Evelyn Farkas joins the panel to discuss that, and the attack on a Saudi oil facility, what it means for the American economy and what had looked like hopes for a Trump thaw with Iran.

Then: like many politicians in Washington, we will revisit the fight over Brett Kavanaugh, plus the fight between supporters of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. 

Finally: Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post will make the case for moving your family to rural Minnesota, like he did.

Sep 20 2019

51mins

Play

A resignation under pressure

Podcast cover
Read more

Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested and everyone wants to know: what will we learn about the wealthy and powerful people who hung out with him as he oversaw an alleged child sex ring? And what does his having apparently gotten away with it for so long say about our legal system and our society? 

President Trump announced his labor secretary Alex Acosta would resign. Acosta was then the US Attorney when Epstein took a plea deal more than 10 years ago. President Trump also admitted defeat this week in his effort to get a question about citizenship on the 2020 census. Nick Bagley  of the University of Michigan School of Law joins the panel to discuss that and another lawsuit that threatens the Affordable Care Act.

And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is making the Federal Reserve interesting again. Her critique of monetary policy is shared by Larry Kudlow, Donald Trump’s top economic adviser. Cardiff Garcia  from Planet Money helps us understand how the left-right push for easy money will affect the economy.

Jul 12 2019

57mins

Play

Debating the Debates

Podcast cover
Read more

Now that the dust has settled after the first major democratic debates, who will be left standing on the next stage? 

While Kamala Harris distinguished herself with a particularly strong performance on the second night, host Josh Barro thinks Joe Biden might still be OK. Did the candidates give President Trump a gift for the campaign by raising their hands to offer up healthcare to undocumented immigrants? We talk about how the candidates barely talked about why so many immigrants are coming to the United States. The Daily Beast columnist and special guest Keli Goff wondered why Marianne Williamson was even on the stage, but Josh says he found her delightful. And we look at the Supreme Court’s ruling on gerrymandering.  

Jun 28 2019

52mins

Play

Who Wins from the Syria Cease-fire?

Podcast cover
Read more

The situation in Syria changed quickly this week. A five-day cease-fire, which Turkey is calling a “pause,” negotiated by Vice President Mike Pence, seemed to be barely holding up less than 24 hours after it was announced. President Trump considers the agreement a victory, but some members of the GOP disagree. Mike Singh of the Washington Institute joins the panel to talk about who the winners were from the agreement. Hint: it wasn’t the Kurds.

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney this week said withholding aid from Ukraine unless they investigated Democrats was a quid pro quo... and then he said it wasn’t. And we should just “get over it.” Democrats stormed out of a meeting with Trump at the White House about Syria policy after Trump insulted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Next year’s G7 summit will be held at Trump’s Doral resort in Miami, which everyone agrees doesn’t look too good, and not just because Miami is humid in June. Keli Goff joins the discussion.

The Democratic candidates held their fourth debate this week. Joe Biden addressed the elephant in the room: his son, Hunter’s role on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma. But was his answer good enough? While the candidates seemed to all agree that billionaires shouldn’t exist, even Tom Steyer, the actual billionaire, the wealth tax that Elizabeth Warren is proposing doesn’t appeal to all of them. But, can we at least all agree that millionaires are well off? Maybe not.

Oct 19 2019

55mins

Play

Let’s call the whole thing off

Podcast cover
Read more

Tensions with Iran escalated this week and then, Thursday evening, President Trump apparently signed off on airstrikes in Iran only to cancel them. According to reports and an interview the president gave to NBC’s Meet The Press, the estimate of people that would die in the strikes changed his mind and he tweeted that it would not be “proportionate.” CHRIS DOUGHTERY of the Center for a New American Security discusses the events this week and whether we’d be at war with Iran if the strikes had occurred.

Then: EMILY BAZELON joins the panel to discuss an in-depth profile she wrote about Elizabeth Warren, Biden’s follies on the campaign trail, and her book Charged on how the criminal justice system can be reformed by making criminal changes to prosecution.

Jun 21 2019

57mins

Play

Laughed out of Europe

Podcast cover
Read more

President Trump was in the UK earlier in the week for the annual NATO summit, where he fought openly with French President Emmanuel Macron about policy toward ISIS.

Macron was caught on camera having an incredulous conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. They were laughing about Trump’s rambling press conferences. So Trump cancelled his final press conference at the summit and left early to head back to Washington.

Jonathan Katz, senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund, discusses what the President’s odd diplomacy means for U.S. relationships and alliances.

Plus, the impeachment process moved to a new phase with law professors making the case for or against Impeachment to the House Judiciary Committee. But did the professors add anything useful? Jonathan Adler, Case Western Reserve law professor explains.

Dec 06 2019

56mins

Play

Pragmatic but still undecided

Podcast cover
Read more

If you think about it, the Iowa caucuses aren’t THAT far away. This week, Josh Barro interviews two political scientists who have been studying major trends and shifts. First,Lara Putnamfrom the University of Pittsburgh updates us on the Resistance groups: middle-aged, college-educated women in American suburbs who became politically active after the 2016 election. Where is the Resistance now ahead of the 2020 primaries?

Then, Davin Phoenix explains his work studying the “anger gap”: why anger moves voters, why white voters can channel it more readily than black voters, and how that gap shapes the choice Democrats will make this winter.

Then, we put it all together with two campaign trail reporters.Astead Herndon andCharlotte Alter talk about the field, what they’re seeing on the ground and the inroads the candidates are making into these voting blocs.

Nov 28 2019

52mins

Play

Should Democrats go for it?

Podcast cover
Read more

It’s been two weeks of dramatic public testimony in the impeachment inquiry.

The House, almost certainly, will move forward with articles of impeachment and it seems Democrats are hell bent on finishing the impeachment process by Christmas. But the inquiry hasn’t swayed public opinion of President Trump, and as a result, Republicans don’t feel political pressure to support impeachment. As for the White House, President Trump is calling for a Senate trial, so it seems he’s eager to present his case.

So what will impeachment actually accomplish? And what should the articles of impeachment be?

Plus, this week, President Trump intervened in three military justice cases, pardoning or vacating charges against three military service members who were accused of war crimes. How does that square with Trump’s law-and-order hardline?

And, oh, by the way, the fifth Democratic debate was this week. Was it a snooze? How are things looking for the candidates?

Nov 22 2019

52mins

Play

The impeachment hearings begin

Podcast cover
Read more

The impeachment hearings have begun. Thirteen million Americans tuned in on Wednesday, and President Trump himself was angry tweeting about them on Friday. Will they change minds as the House heads toward what could be a near party line vote to impeach President Trump before Christmas? On the first day of impeachment hearings, President Trump met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. What explains their cozy relationship, even as the US and Turkey drift apart?

Top White House adviser Stephen Miller’s emails leaked and we know he was sending around links from white-supremacist websites.

Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is promoting her book. Is she promoting herself as a possible vice president? And Deval Patrick is running for president. Does anyone care?

Nov 16 2019

50mins

Play

The polls, one year out

Podcast cover
Read more

This week, a few polls in key battleground states made a lot of liberals nervous. The polls show signs of a close 2020 election, a departure from the picture we often see in national polling. Part of the message is that President Trump’s electoral college advantage is widening, and with critical wins in swing states, it’s possible he could be re-elected with an even smaller margin than in 2016. What’s the key message for Democrats here? What do the numbers say about the field of candidates?

Democrats did have a good night in Tuesday’s elections. Republicans held onto the governorship in Mississippi by about six points, but in Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear defeated the Republican incumbent with enduring support from Appalachian eastern Kentucky and new support in the Louisville and Cincinnati suburbs. The suburbs also delivered a win for Democrats in Virginia: the party now controls both chambers of the state legislature in addition to the governorship. And Michael Bloomberg is reportedly considering a run for president. Does he fill a void in the field? And what do the numbers say? Ariel Edwards-Levy joins the panel to talk through all of the numbers.

Then, Rich Lowry discusses the arguments in his new book, The Case For Nationalism, why nationalism shouldn’t be a dirty word, and the cultural ties that bind Americans.

Nov 09 2019

58mins

Play

The al-Baghdadi raid

Podcast cover
Read more

In a near party line vote, the impeachment inquiry is now a formal inquiry. Once divided, all but two Democrats voted for the resolution. How did the party coalesce so quickly?

On Sunday morning, President Trump announced a special forces mission, in conjunction with local partners, that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. But this isn’t the end of ISIS. Michael Singh, Washington Institute Managing Director and former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council, says that while the news is certainly a blow to the group and its efforts, it is just temporary. “This probably throws ISIS into a bit of disarray. But, still, you have 11,000, maybe more, ISIS members at large, in addition to those in prisons, who are probably still committed to conducting acts of terrorism. And at the end of the day, the underlying conditions that helped give rise to ISIS are arguably worse now than they were then.” So what is next for ISIS? How much did oil factor into this mission? And what can we gather from the way President Trump thanked partners in the aftermath?

Then, Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax plan is in the news again — this time because it’s part of her plan to fund single-payer healthcare. Gabriel Zucman, one of the economists who advised Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax plan, joins the show to talk about the plan and the optimal tax rate billionaires should pay. What’s the viability of that wealth tax plan? Similar plans have faltered in other countries. What’s different about the US? Should we all dream of becoming billionaires? Does a higher tax rate throw water on that dream?

Nov 01 2019

56mins

Play

It’s a quid pro quo. Is it impeachable?

Podcast cover
Read more

Ambassador William Taylor described a quid pro quo — military aid in exchange for a Ukrainian announcement of an investigation into Burisma — in his testimony to Congress. He says a top national security official told him that, and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland confirmed it, saying he’d made a mistake when he said only a White House meeting depended on such an announcement. In fact, “everything” depended on it. President Trump usurped Congress’ constitutional spending powers for personal use. Is this impeachable. Rich Lowry, Linette Lopez and Josh Barro debate.

Plus: The situation in Syria heats up, Democrats and Republicans take unlikely positions on tax policy, and could Congress do anything to prevent another WeWork mess? And what’s the status of the “phase one” trade deal with China? Have we agreed to anything?

Oct 25 2019

50mins

Play

Who Wins from the Syria Cease-fire?

Podcast cover
Read more

The situation in Syria changed quickly this week. A five-day cease-fire, which Turkey is calling a “pause,” negotiated by Vice President Mike Pence, seemed to be barely holding up less than 24 hours after it was announced. President Trump considers the agreement a victory, but some members of the GOP disagree. Mike Singh of the Washington Institute joins the panel to talk about who the winners were from the agreement. Hint: it wasn’t the Kurds.

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney this week said withholding aid from Ukraine unless they investigated Democrats was a quid pro quo... and then he said it wasn’t. And we should just “get over it.” Democrats stormed out of a meeting with Trump at the White House about Syria policy after Trump insulted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Next year’s G7 summit will be held at Trump’s Doral resort in Miami, which everyone agrees doesn’t look too good, and not just because Miami is humid in June. Keli Goff joins the discussion.

The Democratic candidates held their fourth debate this week. Joe Biden addressed the elephant in the room: his son, Hunter’s role on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma. But was his answer good enough? While the candidates seemed to all agree that billionaires shouldn’t exist, even Tom Steyer, the actual billionaire, the wealth tax that Elizabeth Warren is proposing doesn’t appeal to all of them. But, can we at least all agree that millionaires are well off? Maybe not.

Oct 19 2019

55mins

Play

Impeachment, Ukraine, China, the Kurds

Podcast cover
Read more

The Ukraine story got a lot bigger this week. Can a lot of this mess be explained by pointing to the departure of the people in President Trump’s circle who contained his worst instincts?

The impeachment story and a health scare have shaken up the Democratic primary. Joe Biden struggles to hit back at the president’s unfair attacks on him. Not much attention has been paid to Bernie Sanders suffering a heart attack, but Elizabeth Warren has gotten quite a bit of attention for saying she was fired from her teaching job for being pregnant.

Then: China is really mad at the NBA for a tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters from the Houston Rockets general manager. The panel discusses how the Chinese Communist Party uses global capitalism to their advantage, and what the US can do to export ideas of freedom to China and not import their restrictions on speech.

Finally: President Trump made a seemingly rash decision to withdraw American military support of the Kurdish forces that control much of the north of Syria. This paved the way for a Turkish invasion. Turkey has a long and hostile relationship with the Kurds. Both are allies of the United States, and the move got a bipartisan backlash from Congress. What motivated this decision? And where does it leave American security interests in the region, particularly with ISIS? Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations joins to discuss.

Oct 11 2019

51mins

Play

It’s looking pretty quid pro quo-y

Podcast cover
Read more

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” That was a text message from our top diplomat in Ukraine last month, just before this whole mess about President Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden became public. Ukraine was wondering what was going on with the $400 million in militar aid it was owed, and it’s looking more and more like a quid pro quo. Trump says his key focus is corruption.  

Democratic pollster Margie Omero joins the panel to discuss public polling on impeachment and how much Republicans and Democrats should worry about what it will mean for the next election.

Nick Miroff talks about how President Trump has and hasn’t changed immigration policy, and why many fewer people are trying to illegally cross the southern border.

Oct 04 2019

52mins

Play

Impeachment

Podcast cover
Read more

Nancy Pelosi says the inquiry is on, and it now has the support from nearly every Democrat and therefore, a majority of the House. This may be a rapid impeachment — just two months and just about the new Ukraine scandal. Should this be quick and easy? Or should there be more hearings and more charges? Spoiler alert: no one on the show expects the Senate to actually remove President Trump if he is indeed impeached, so what then is the strategic reason to impeach him? And how might this affect Democrats, including those running for president against Trump and those running for down-ballot races in 2020?

President Trump railed against the whistleblower, insinuating that people who passed along information to that person were spies and spies should be executed. Bradley Moss, a lawyer specializing in national security issues and whistleblower protections, joins the panel to talk about President Trump’s comments, protocols for whistleblowers, and how this story saw daylight in the first place. 

Finally, what is going on with Brexit? Tom Nuttall updates the panel on the mayhem across the pond.

Sep 27 2019

57mins

Play

The secret memo

Podcast cover
Read more

There’s a whistleblower complaint from a member of the intelligence community that has something to do with President Trump communicating an inappropriate promise to a foreign leader. Multiple outlets are reporting the memo is about Ukraine and the president’s efforts to lean on the Ukranian government to investigate Joe Biden. But the acting director of national intelligence won’t share the complaint with Congress even though they are ordinarily legally entitled to see it. So, information about the complaint has been leaking. What could the president have said to prompt the whistleblower complaint? Evelyn Farkas joins the panel to discuss that, and the attack on a Saudi oil facility, what it means for the American economy and what had looked like hopes for a Trump thaw with Iran.

Then: like many politicians in Washington, we will revisit the fight over Brett Kavanaugh, plus the fight between supporters of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. 

Finally: Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post will make the case for moving your family to rural Minnesota, like he did.

Sep 20 2019

51mins

Play

Let me be clear...

Podcast cover
Read more

Ten Democratic presidential candidates took the stage Thursday night at Texas Southern University. There were a lot of predictions for the debate, and well, not all of them came to be. For one, we didn’t really get the Biden-Warren showdown many people were expecting. Maybe it was because Julian Castro lashed out at Biden, implying that he’s too old to be president. Josh Barro, Rich Lowry, Christine Emba and Dorian Warren discuss that exchange, plus Elizabeth Warren’s performance on health care, and the on-stage disagreements over guns, trade, China, criminal justice system, and whether it’s a good idea to announce a sweepstakes giveaway of $12,000 from your campaign. Yeah, that’s one actual thing Andrew Yang announced during the debate.

Then: Jarrett Blanc, a former coordinator for the Iran nuclear deal and a State Department official focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan, joins the panel to discuss the outlook after President Trump canceled peace talks with the Taliban and indicated he wants to meet with Iranian President Rouhani without preconditions. Those don’t sound like things John Bolton would propose -- which is maybe why he got fired this week.

Sep 14 2019

1hr 6mins

Play

A hurricane and a tweetstorm

Podcast cover
Read more

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas and battered the Carolinas, but what dominated the news cycle? President Trump’s insistence that Alabama would “most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by the hurricane. He spent the week trying to justify the claim. Did the president put residents at risk?

Then: Brexit politics boiled over in the UK this week. David Henig from the European Centre for International Political Economy joins the panel to discuss the outlook for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a no-deal Brexit, and a trade deal between the UK and the US.

Finally: WalMart’s getting out of much of the gun business after a very deadly shooting at one of its Texas stores, and it will ask customers not to open carry guns in its stores unless they are law enforcement officers. How should we think about actions like this by private companies? Is this social change by corporations? Is it really for their employees? And is there a God-given right to bear arms?

Sep 06 2019

55mins

Play

To the Heartland, from Hollywood

Podcast cover
Read more

The week started with news from the G7 summit and headline-grabbing fires in the Amazon. Then, new polls this week seemed to indicate the Democratic primary race was tightening around Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Other new polls showed mixed messages. Did the media just hype the it-might-not-be-Biden possibility? Meanwhile, other candidates are shut out of the September debate but vowed to press on while others decided to throw in the towel. And is the love affair between President Trump and Fox News over? Elizabeth Bruenig talks about her reporting on Texas evangelicals and their faith in President Trump.

Keli Goff interviews screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz on his efforts to teach Democratic candidates how to rise above the noise of Twitter and tell stories that connect better with voters in the heartland.

Aug 31 2019

51mins

Play

Two chairmen

Podcast cover
Read more

Clearly, it’s still August. Let’s review.

President Trump was told he couldn’t buy Greenland from Denmark, so he canceled a visit to Denmark.

The White House floats trial balloons of policies to address recession fears, while the president calls concerns about a recession a ploy by the Democrats and “Fake News Media.”

The markets were on a rollercoaster Friday, spurred by tweets from President Trump, public comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell, and then more tweets from President Trump in response.

Earlier this week, President Trump said American Jews who vote for Democrats are disloyal.

The Amazon is on fire, and French President Emmanuel Macron wants to talk about it at the G7.

By the way, President Trump still wants Vladimir Putin to be invited back to that meeting of the world’s largest advanced economies.

Automakers are aligning with California to oppose the Trump administration’s rollback of emissions standards.

More Democrats — 130 at Friday’s count — are lining up in support of impeachment.

Aug 23 2019

54mins

Play

Recession fears, immigration rules and ‘electability’

Podcast cover
Read more

It was a wild week in the financial markets, driven by increasing worries about the global economy. President Trump delayed some tariffs on China so they won’t affect the holiday shopping season — an implicit admission that his trade policy is hurting the economy and his political standing. 

Plus: visas for Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to visit Israel are denied, and the panel discusses the “electability” narrative around the women in the 2020 Democratic field. A new immigration rule from the Trump administration that could make it a lot harder to get a green card, especially if you’re poor. Randy Capps from the Migration Policy Institute talks the panel through the numbers and whether the rule is even legal.Then Michael C. Davis discusses the risks in Hong Kong that could escalate the crisis in the United States’ relationship to China.

Aug 16 2019

52mins

Play

Trump says he’s ready for gun measures

Podcast cover
Read more

After last weekend’s deadly mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, President Trump said Friday morning he and Congressional Republicans intend to do something on gun background checks. He said Mitch McConnell is even on board. Republican strategists told the Washington Post they’re concerned that gun issues have hurt their ability to win in the suburbs and contributed to their loss of the House in the 2018 midterms. Is there something genuine here? Might Republicans feel compelled to be seen “doing something” about guns? And what kind of regulation or policy might be possible?

Then, Jane Coaston of Vox joins the panel to discuss the white nationalist movement and mass shootings, the role of national law enforcement in preventing them, and the possibility of a new law on domestic terrorism.

After a dramatic escalation in the trade war with China — it’s now a currency war too — Brad Setser explains why it matters in the United States if the yuan is weakened.

Aug 09 2019

56mins

Play

Who won the second debate?

Podcast cover
Read more

If you think one candidate won, be honest: was it the same person you liked most before the debate? With so many candidates (still twenty over two nights), the debates almost turned into team fights: progressives who say the party needs to stand for bold change, and moderates who say that's unpopular and impractical, and that you need unifying messages that can build a clear anti-Trump majority. Who's right?

Plus: a discussion of new tariffs and ongoing trade negotiations with China, the Fed's rate cut, Democrats inching towards impeachment, Will Hurd announces he won't seek reelection, and more of the week's news. Megan Mcardle and Helaine Olen represent the right and left with special guest Linette Lopez.

Aug 02 2019

53mins

Play

Mueller says little, but was that the point?

Podcast cover
Read more

It was finally Mueller time this week, and some say the Special Counsel’s tight-lipped low energy approach was intentional to avoid creating a soundbite for the news cycle. Robert Mueller did confirm that there was significant Russian interference in the 2016 US election, and that the country continues to interfere with our election system. The Democrats seemed to get the better part of the budget deal struck this week ahead of Congress’ long summer break. But some of the Democratic presidential candidates are focusing on issues like medicare for all and healthcare for undocumented immigrants, which a recent poll shows, is not what the majority of voters actually want.

Special guests J.W. Mason *of the Roosevelt Institute and *Joseph Majkut of the Niskanen Center join the panel to do a deep dive into the macroeconomic case for the Green New Deal. Evelyn Farkas of the German Marshall Fund gives her take on what to do about tension with Iran (hint-it involves getting back into the nuclear deal President Trump pulled out of). And we talk about whether Trump’s demand that Sweden release rapper ASAP Rocky is a good idea.

Jul 26 2019

56mins

Play