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Left, Right & Center

Updated 8 days ago

Rank #64 in News category

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

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

iTunes Ratings

2803 Ratings
Average Ratings
1753
467
203
150
230

Center, center right and right

By Nathaniel C. - May 18 2020
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For a brief period of time this show was unique and great, truly representing the actual ideological spectrum of political thought. But Josh Barro throws a fit and abuses Liz Bruenig when she dares stick to her principles and suddenly we’re back to a show that represents the right wing and centrists only. Barro clearly put his ego before the intellectual honesty of the show and it’s greatly suffering for it. Christine Emba is great though. Dump Barro, keep Emba as a centrist and bring back Liz!

Bring back Liz

By Salubrious Spring - May 18 2020
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I am a big fan of the program and think the notion of honest, thoughtful and civil dialogue across the ideological spectrum is critical. I seldom agreed with Elizabeth (I’m a capitalist) but I thought she brought an interestingly nuanced left wing view to the program. Christine seems to offer mostly predictable left wing talking points and ad hominem attacks on her ideological foes. Seems incapable of applying a universal set of standards in her arguments. She does not appear to have the heft, depth or nuance to debate with Josh and Rich. Sorry to say, I’d prefer a different left wing champion for the show.

iTunes Ratings

2803 Ratings
Average Ratings
1753
467
203
150
230

Center, center right and right

By Nathaniel C. - May 18 2020
Read more
For a brief period of time this show was unique and great, truly representing the actual ideological spectrum of political thought. But Josh Barro throws a fit and abuses Liz Bruenig when she dares stick to her principles and suddenly we’re back to a show that represents the right wing and centrists only. Barro clearly put his ego before the intellectual honesty of the show and it’s greatly suffering for it. Christine Emba is great though. Dump Barro, keep Emba as a centrist and bring back Liz!

Bring back Liz

By Salubrious Spring - May 18 2020
Read more
I am a big fan of the program and think the notion of honest, thoughtful and civil dialogue across the ideological spectrum is critical. I seldom agreed with Elizabeth (I’m a capitalist) but I thought she brought an interestingly nuanced left wing view to the program. Christine seems to offer mostly predictable left wing talking points and ad hominem attacks on her ideological foes. Seems incapable of applying a universal set of standards in her arguments. She does not appear to have the heft, depth or nuance to debate with Josh and Rich. Sorry to say, I’d prefer a different left wing champion for the show.
Cover image of Left, Right & Center

Left, Right & Center

Latest release on May 22, 2020

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

Rank #1: It's Biden

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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 behaving the same way: staying home, avoiding social contact, following guidelines. But this pandemic also feels like a crisis that could also be the nexus of other American crises: low trust in government, fake news and motivated reasoning. Cognitive scientist Hugo Mercier says people are relatively good at distinguishing good information from bad information, especially when their lives depend on it.

Apr 10 2020

51mins

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Rank #2: Iranian general killed in US airstrike

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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 Singh of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy joins the panel to analyze the attack and the aftermath so far. 

Then: Natahsha Sarin of the University of Pennsylvania joins the panel to talk about California utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric, the troubled utility whose aging infrastructure has sparked wildfires, required widespread blackouts and driven the company into bankruptcy for the second time in two decades. Does the US succeed or fail at holding companies like PG&E accountable? Natasha also talk about the debate over wealth taxes proposed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and whether they will generate as much revenue as the candidates claim.

Jan 04 2020

1hr 2mins

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Rank #3: Where is the Center?

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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.

Dec 27 2019

50mins

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Rank #4: Front row at the Trump show

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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 from him as the pandemic crisis bears down on the general election.

Also: the Democratic presidential primary is technically still going on. Is Joe Biden doing the right thing by laying (somewhat) low?

Apr 03 2020

54mins

Play

Rank #5: Laughed out of Europe

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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

Rank #6: Impeached

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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.

Dec 21 2019

56mins

Play

Rank #7: Iran, Iraq and impeachment

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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 Blanc of 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?

Jan 10 2020

50mins

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Rank #8: What’s our prognosis?

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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.

Mar 27 2020

59mins

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Rank #9: Impeach and cooperate

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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 Sullivan joins 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.

Dec 14 2019

51mins

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Will President Trump ever wear a mask in public?

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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?

May 22 2020

54mins

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Obamagate! Wait, what’s Obamagate?

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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 to lead through the crisis.

May 15 2020

55mins

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Twenty million jobs lost in April

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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 about the justification for that, and what it means for other criminal defendants.

May 09 2020

50mins

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When and what, but what about how?

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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 states

May 01 2020

54mins

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LIBERATE some states but not others?

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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 panel points to President Trump’s increasingly unhelpful and absurd coronavirus briefings. Is he intentionally weakening his presidency so he can’t be blamed for anything? Should the response to a crisis like this be centered in the federal government or the states? Or does it make more sense for states and localities to decide certain measures while the federal government concentrates on the bigger picture issues, like testing and sharing of resources? Sam says government and governments have never mattered more than our lifetime than right now.

Apr 24 2020

50mins

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Total authority? Not really

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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 international organizations.

Then: the program to support small business payrolls has already run out of money. Economist Jason Furman joins the panel to talk about how the operation to keep the American economy on ice is going.

Apr 18 2020

56mins

Play

It's Biden

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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 behaving the same way: staying home, avoiding social contact, following guidelines. But this pandemic also feels like a crisis that could also be the nexus of other American crises: low trust in government, fake news and motivated reasoning. Cognitive scientist Hugo Mercier says people are relatively good at distinguishing good information from bad information, especially when their lives depend on it.

Apr 10 2020

51mins

Play

Front row at the Trump show

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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 from him as the pandemic crisis bears down on the general election.

Also: the Democratic presidential primary is technically still going on. Is Joe Biden doing the right thing by laying (somewhat) low?

Apr 03 2020

54mins

Play

What’s our prognosis?

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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.

Mar 27 2020

59mins

Play

Stay at home

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Californians and New Yorkers and people in many other jurisdictions are being ordered to stay at home, and it’s advised across the whole country. Is this going to work to stop the coronavirus outbreak? And are our hospitals ready for the surge of patients they are sure to see over the coming weeks? Dr.Kavita Patel will join us to discuss hospital preparedness, the shortage of coronavirus tests, and the prognosis for our fight against the epidemic.Conor Dougherty (economics reporter for the New York Times) will join us to discuss the crushing impact that epidemic-fighting measures are having on the economy and on workers. What can the federal government do, and whatmustit do to address that aspect of the crisis?

And what does a stay-at-home order mean if you don’t have a home? The coronavirus crisis creates new urgency for California to address its homelessness crisis. Will these extraordinary circumstances help the state muster solutions to a very complicated issue?

Mar 20 2020

50mins

Play

The coronavirus response gets real

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The public health crisis response to the coronavirus pandemic is finally happening in the United States, but it’s not enough and it’s too late. President Trump has politicized the crisis. He’s minimized it, called out the “fake” media, worried about the wrong things, and not said the right things to prepare the public. Will Americans do what they’ve done in the face of a crisis before: fumble at the beginning but ultimately muster the response and resources needed? Samuel Brannen of the Center for Strategic and International Studies joins the panel to talk about a pandemic simulation he took part in just a few months ago. He shares the lessons learned, what’s playing out differently in real life, and what’s still in our control.

House Democrats have been negotiating with the White House on a coronavirus aid package. What’s in it? Is this a big opportunity for the left to go for traditionally left objectives like paid sick leave? And do they run the risk of politicizing the pandemic too?

Then: Joe Biden had another strong week. It seems like the central question of the primary race has been whether voters want massive change or for things to go back to normal, and there also seems to be a clear answer.

Mar 13 2020

50mins

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The right and wrong responses to the coronavirus outbreak

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The coronavirus outbreak in the US is intensifying with hundreds of known cases and 14 deaths as of Friday afternoon. The stats on cases in China are a little better than a few weeks ago, but can we believe them? And beyond the $8.3 billion emergency spending package President Trump signed Friday, is our government taking the preparations that it needs to? Donald McNeil of the New York Times joins the panel.

Then: Joe Biden came back in a huge way on Super Tuesday after a strong victory in the South Carolina primary. He’s in position to lock up the Democratic nomination. Voters turned out to support him — wasn’t that supposed to be the story for Bernie Sanders? Ezra Klein joins to talk about Biden’s big week, why Elizabeth Warren dropped out, and why we’re polarized, which is the topic of his new book. Ezra explains his argument and what it would mean to nominate Joe Biden, who has explicitly pushed back on polarization. Will he have any luck if elected?

Mar 07 2020

56mins

Play

Super Tuesday is days away

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The coronavirus is bearing down on the United States. Is President Trump saying the right things? He tapped Vice President Pence to lead coronavirus task force. What of then-Indiana Governor Pence’s record during an HIV outbreak there? And as stocks nose-dived as the coronavirus news got worse, fears of economic tumult became more real.

Meanwhile, Super Tuesday is mere days away. Where do the candidates stand after the Nevada caucuses and a chaotic South Carolina debate? What makes a good debate anyways? Then, lawyer and legal scholar Linda Hirshman talks with Keli Goff about the Harvey Weinstein verdict and what it represents for the #MeToo movement.

Plus: Bernie Sanders’ universal childcare proposal, Alaska’s governor faces a recall campaign, and lynching may become a federal hate crime.

Feb 29 2020

50mins

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Finally, a real debate

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Now that’s what we call a debate. The candidates stopped being polite and started getting real, and all it took was getting Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage. Though, with all the fighting and several direct hits from Elizabeth Warren on his company’s nondisclosure agreements, he didn’t really fight back that much. Is the Bloomberg bubble about to pop? Can anyone dislodge Bernie from the lead? Are we headed to a contested Democratic convention?

The panel breaks down the Democratic debate: fights over stop and frisk, sexual harassment, health care, and the name of Mexico’s president. Should President Trump be eager to face Bernie Sanders? And Trump says he’s the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. Weren’t Republicans supposed to be against that sort of thing?

Feb 22 2020

1hr 10mins

Play

From impeachment acquittal to taking revenge

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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.

Feb 15 2020

56mins

Play

Iowa

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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 **and Olivia Nuzzi talk about what they witnessed in Iowa and how the campaigns are taking it as they head to New Hampshire. Election law expert Rick Hasen lays 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 voted to convict and remove the president on one of the articles.

Feb 08 2020

57mins

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No witnesses

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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.

Feb 01 2020

57mins

Play

Does anyone change their mind anymore?

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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?

Jan 24 2020

54mins

Play

The eleventh hour

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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 project from the Roosevelt Institute on the failures of neoliberalism and what comes after for progressives.

Jan 17 2020

57mins

Play

Iran, Iraq and impeachment

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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 Blanc of 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?

Jan 10 2020

50mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

2803 Ratings
Average Ratings
1753
467
203
150
230

Center, center right and right

By Nathaniel C. - May 18 2020
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For a brief period of time this show was unique and great, truly representing the actual ideological spectrum of political thought. But Josh Barro throws a fit and abuses Liz Bruenig when she dares stick to her principles and suddenly we’re back to a show that represents the right wing and centrists only. Barro clearly put his ego before the intellectual honesty of the show and it’s greatly suffering for it. Christine Emba is great though. Dump Barro, keep Emba as a centrist and bring back Liz!

Bring back Liz

By Salubrious Spring - May 18 2020
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I am a big fan of the program and think the notion of honest, thoughtful and civil dialogue across the ideological spectrum is critical. I seldom agreed with Elizabeth (I’m a capitalist) but I thought she brought an interestingly nuanced left wing view to the program. Christine seems to offer mostly predictable left wing talking points and ad hominem attacks on her ideological foes. Seems incapable of applying a universal set of standards in her arguments. She does not appear to have the heft, depth or nuance to debate with Josh and Rich. Sorry to say, I’d prefer a different left wing champion for the show.