25 episodes

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

KCRW's Left, Right & Center KCRW

    • News
    • 3.9 • 4.4K Ratings

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

    Will Navalny’s death motivate the US to act in Ukraine?

    Will Navalny’s death motivate the US to act in Ukraine?

    Mourning continues after the death of Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader and one of Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critics. Navalny, who returned to Russia in 2021 following an attempted poisoning, died in a remote prison last Friday. His widow Yulia vowed to take up his cause and urged the international community to join her as she seeks justice for her husband’s death. Will Putin tightening his hold on power in Russia motivate more direct support for Ukraine from the United States?

    Crime is trending back to pre-pandemic levels in most major U.S. cities, except for Washington, D.C. The district has seen troubling increases in youth offenders committing carjackings, thefts, and gun violence. For our 50 States series, we look at proposed solutions in the nation’s capital, including a controversial crime bill that could extend police powers throughout the city.

    The Senate is considering new legislation to regulate social media. Will the Kids Online Safety Act help protect children from the harmful impacts of being constantly online?

    • 50 min
    Are we failing to put Trump and Biden concerns into proper context?

    Are we failing to put Trump and Biden concerns into proper context?

    Donald Trump made waves with a speech at a campaign rally in South Carolina last week. The former president recalled an encounter with a leader of a NATO country, where he threatened to withhold U.S. protection from Russia if the country didn’t make adequate financial contributions to the alliance. Is it an example of the leading Republican candidate’s flair for the dramatic? Are there more serious concerns about the United States’ credibility with its allies?

    Special Counsel Robert Hur completed a report on President Biden’s handling of classified documents outside of the White House. The report found that Biden committed no wrongdoing, but included concerning statements on the president’s memory and mental sharpness. Democrats have pushed back on Hur’s analysis of the president’s cognition. Skepticism surrounding the age and ability of the president is nothing new. If his age isn’t the weakness critics claim it is, why is the party spending so much time defending it?

    For our 50 states series, we turn to Georgia, where a conservative civil rights group is suing a venture capital fund aimed at increasing women of color’s access to capital. This shifts the affirmative action debate from the classroom to the boardroom. Can we address the difficult realities of disadvantage without focusing on race?

    • 50 min
    Republicans’ horrible, no good, very bad week in Congress

    Republicans’ horrible, no good, very bad week in Congress

    A tumultuous week in Congress centered around the failure of a comprehensive immigration and national security bill. Democrats in the Senate compromised on demands by Republicans for tighter border measures. The hope was that it would help secure more military assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. However, the legislation failed to make it past a procedural vote after pressure from Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson. Johnson faced issues in his own chamber as well, with the failure of a separate funding bill for Israel and an unsuccessful impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Can Republicans save face after a series of embarrassing losses?

    Michigan is home to the largest population of Arab Americans and Muslims in the United States. It’s also a state that is vital to the hopes of any presidential candidate. President Biden relied on the support of these communities in 2020, but his handling of the conflict in Gaza has upset voters and community leaders who are advocating for a permanent cease-fire. His campaign’s efforts to reach out have been met with accusations of playing politics. How can Biden maneuver the political reality of such a deeply personal issue?

    There were mixed feelings when country star Luke Combs covered Tracy Chapman’s hit record “Fast Car” last summer. The pair came together for a moving duet of the smash song at last week’s Grammys. Our panel reflects on the moving lessons they took away from the performance amid a polarizing debate.

    • 50 min
    Who’s in charge at the border?

    Who’s in charge at the border?

    A drone attack on a United States military base in Jordan killed three servicemembers. President Biden announced that a decision had been made on responding to the attack, though details weren’t shared. The White House did say Iranian-backed militias responsible for several other attacks on U.S. troops in the Middle East can expect to be targeted. Will that be enough to deter the growing threat of a wider conflict with Iran?

    The United States sued for the right to take down a nearly three-mile stretch of fencing and razor wire that the Texas National Guard erected last month. The Supreme Court ruled the government had the right to tear down the barriers to access the border, but as of now, the state still has the right to put more up. Will the state’s obstruction of the government at the border push Congress to agree to increased measures on immigration?

    Conservative media had plenty of headlines about a possible Taylor Swift endorsement for President Biden. While it’s confusing on its surface, is there an underlying strategy to stir paranoia on the right?

    • 50 min
    How can Biden, Trump can get voters to believe in their visions?

    How can Biden, Trump can get voters to believe in their visions?

    A rematch of the 2020 presidential election seems unavoidable. Most voters may be disappointed by the choice between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, whose victory in the New Hampshire Republican primary made his nomination a near certainty.

    President Biden and Donald Trump will have to craft clear messages about their visions for 2024. “It’s not really … a solution to an American problem that they’re trying to pitch to voters,” says Sarah Isgur, senior editor at The Dispatch. She argues that winning voters will depend on Biden and Trump’s stances on issues that strike a “cultural nerve.”

    As part of our 50 States series, we discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case in Grants Pass, Oregon, that could determine how western states can address a growing homelessness problem.

    • 50 min
    What did Trump’s Iowa victory reveal about the political landscape?

    What did Trump’s Iowa victory reveal about the political landscape?

    Donald Trump’s path to the GOP nomination kicked off with a win in the Iowa caucus this week, which some media outlets announced early. One key to his victory was outperforming among demographics he struggled with in the 2016 primary. Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are looking to regroup before New Hampshire, but will they be able to overcome the trends that emerged from the decisive results we saw in Iowa?

    Israel’s war against Hamas passed the 100-day milestone. New dangers have emerged along the country’s border with Lebanon and in the Red Sea. The Israel Defense Forces say they are committed to fighting on all fronts, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is against the possibility of a Palestinian state post-war. How receptive are Israeli citizens to Netanyahu’s leadership as regional conflict becomes a greater threat? Haviv Rettig Gur, senior analyst at the Times of Israel, provides an Israeli perspective.

    The Supreme Court will hear a case out of Oregon that could change how local governments address homeless populations in the western United States. Is there a search for compassion in the arguments?

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
4.4K Ratings

4.4K Ratings

APPEAK SCAM ,

Far left, left and center right

Not quite balanced but, OK. I stopped expecting a mainstream conservative opinion on anything other than The Daily Wire. It’s a great addition to my political podcast though. I rarely miss an episode.

AntiB ,

It’s just Left

Some of the discussions are good, but I don’t know if these three honestly believe they’re anything but progressive Dems-maybe they should look for additional hosts. It’s in my rotation but I’m inevitably disappointed because I’m forever seeming to be on the hunt for balanced views.

EricHortkn ,

Need a middle not far left, left and right

Would be nice to see actual balance and for the so-called middle host to stop blaming right for all the problems and ignoring the totalitarian tendencies of current administration.

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