305 集

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

KCRW's Left, Right & Center KCRW

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

    Delta, Omicron, beyond

    Delta, Omicron, beyond

    A new Greek letter is on the mind this week: Omicron. New cases of the variant have been popping up all over the world, prompting travel restrictions and renewed calls for eligible adults to get their COVID booster shots.

    We’ve been through this at least a couple of times already with the Beta and Delta variants – so how should the Biden administration react to this latest variant? What’s in his power to change? Can he effectively work with a slow-moving FDA and CDC and return to the back-to-normal politics that made him popular at the beginning of the year? And is it really that big of a deal that we might have to get booster shots to be considered fully vaccinated? We discuss.

    Next: the pandemic has a huge political cost, which Democrats are desperately trying to avoid in the midterms next year. How can they get to some semblance of normal without alienating people who prefer to be more cautious? Does the answer lie in extending pandemic safety measures or is it in quickly approving antiviral pills, which have lots of potential to reduce hospitalizations? And why does this pandemic feel like a really bad episode of House?

    Emily Bazelon joins the panel this week to talk about oral argument at the Supreme Court on Mississippi’s ban on abortion after the fifteenth week of pregnancy. After this week, it looks like the court is likely to overturn Roe. What did we learn at oral argument and what’s the future of abortion law in the US?

    And finally: why Fauci really should be talking to Fox News, the discovery of diseases needs to be separate from moral judgment, and why “affordable fourplexes” just mean zero housing.

    • 1 小時
    Symptoms

    Symptoms

    Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all counts in a Kenosha courtroom this week, successfully asserting self-defense against two counts of murder. Whether Rittenhouse committed a crime and whether he acted in a morally acceptable manner are two separate questions. Are Americans separating them appropriately? Josh Barro, Elizabeth Bruenig and Ross Douthat discuss the discourse: why have conservatives been rallying around Rittenhouse? Is vigilante justice conservative? Have certain voices on the left come to regret defending rioting and property damage last summer?

    Then: Serge Schmemann joins the panel to talk about Havana Syndrome, the mysterious illness affecting more than 200 U.S. service personnel, mostly posted abroad. Sufferers say they’re experiencing ringing in the ears and a feeling of pressure in the head, among various other symptoms. Could this be the product of some secret Russian microwave gun? Or is it actually just a mass psychogenic illness caused by stress? And is the political infighting around the illness just a distraction from finding a way to help the afflicted?

    Finally: we take a deep dive into Ross Douthat’s new book about his experience with chronic Lyme disease. Why has the disease become so controversial?

    All that plus why turkeys are bad, why too-long blockbuster movies are even worse, and why it’s good Jerome Powell will stay at the Fed.

    • 50 分鐘
    Concrete infrastructure

    Concrete infrastructure

    New infrastructure law just dropped. President Biden got to celebrate one of the biggest infrastructure spending bills of the past decade, while Republicans vented at each other about giving Democrats a (very expensive) win. Political showmanship aside, Biden’s poll numbers aren’t budging. Josh Barro, Elizabeth Bruenig and Tim Carney discuss the deal, if it will help Democrats, and how much will it help American households and the economy?

    Next on the show: who should get COVID booster shots? Some states are doing away with eligibility requirements entirely and asking everybody past that six-month mark to get a booster. On the federal level, guidelines remain convoluted – for example, you qualify for one if you were ever a smoker, depressed, or work in education, among other factors. What makes sense for guidance on this and mask mandates, and how does Pfizer’s new antiviral pill change the pandemic response?

    Our special guest this week is Ali Wyne, a senior analyst at Eurasia Group’s Global Macro Practice. He’s on the show to help us understand the implications of President Biden’s summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Monday (if you can call a Zoom meeting a summit). The meeting comes at a time of high tension between the two countries over human rights, trade and Taiwan – and also as they try to figure out how to work together on climate change.

    Finally, a very special announcement from Josh.

    • 57 分鐘
    Inflation!

    Inflation!

    Inflation is at its highest in nearly three decades and that has big potential costs, but how much is it really under his control? Josh Barro, Elizabeth Bruenig and Ross Douthat kick around some ideas the president could try, whether it’s a good idea to try them now, and how to fix the persistent weirdness in the American economy since the pandemic.

    Next: already it seems Democrats are recalibrating some positions since Glenn Youngkin’s win in Virginia. The panel discusses voters’ skepticism for politics and politicians when it seems like they’re holding the ball on their true policy views, and if Republicans have picked a sustainable position on education.

    Our special guest this week is Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has a new book, “Integrity Counts,” about the now-famous phone call he received from President Trump about “finding” votes to put him ahead of Biden in Georgia. He tells the panel why he thinks the system isn’t as broken as the right and left claim. Secretary Raffensperger also talks about Georgia’s new voting law.

    Finally: devastating conspiracy theories about an already devastating tragedy in Houston; a rant about reactions to the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial, and why you should leave your very personal aspects of your life in the private sphere...not in a national publication.

    • 52 分鐘
    It wasn’t just critical race theory

    It wasn’t just critical race theory

    It’s been a rough week for Democrats. They lost a governor’s race in Virginia and just barely held on in New Jersey – and even in New York City, Democrats lost city council seats to Republicans. What does this national rejection mean for the midterm elections, and how did things go so wrong for them?

    First, we discuss why Glenn Youngkin won in a remarkably high turnout election in Virginia, and what was behind his gains in the suburbs and in diverse, historically Democratic cities. Did Donald Trump’s endorsement play into it? Was it a bad strategic move for his Democratic opponent to compare him to the former president? Also on the show: why Youngkin’s more centrist than the media says he is, and how his campaign on education was about a lot more than critical race theory. 

    The panel talks through local races across the country and what they say about the issues voters care about. Voters in Minneapolis and St. Paul voted to establish rent control, and Boston elected a progressive mayor. Are places that aren’t seeing a surge in crime and unrest actually more likely to want progressive policies? What does this mixed bag of results mean for the left?

    Plus, your weekly infrastructure update: Congress is very, very close to passing this bill (again). There’s also a new (Liz says worse) resurrection of a paid leave program. But with the scores from this week’s election, how much are voters counting on Democrats and President Biden to “build back better”?

    Finally: Sean Trende wants you to read Ulysses and if you’re incensed by “let’s go, Brandon,” Liz and Josh implore you to chill out.

    • 54 分鐘
    BIDEN SPENDING PROPOSAL final final FINAL dot docx

    BIDEN SPENDING PROPOSAL final final FINAL dot docx

    President Biden returned to Capitol Hill one more time...with a framework of what’s supposed to be in the big spending package, for real this time.

    What’s in: child care, universal pre-kindergarten and a tax credit for parents, big spending on climate change policies and more subsidies for people to buy health insurance.

    What’s out: a heavily hacked-at paid leave program.

    Is this the final-final-final deal? Will Democrats agree on it? And what about the pay-fors? Who’s rich enough to face a higher tax rate under this plan? And what about the cliffs and sunsets in this package? Many of these programs are currently temporary programs. Democrats are betting they’ll be popular and Republicans will have no choice but to extend them. Josh Barro, Tim Carney, Liz Bruenig and special guest Matt Bruenig (it’s Take Your Husband On LRC today) look at the big picture of this proposed social safety net.

    Then: national attention has turned to the Virginia governor’s race next week, and much of that attention and local attention has revolved around schools: mask mandates, vaccine mandates, curriculum, assigned books and more.

    Finally: subsidizing the wealthiest, which end-of-the-year holiday Liz considers a bump in the road, and $5 gas in West Hollywood.

    • 57 分鐘

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