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Left, Right & Center


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


Santa Monica, CA





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




1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-450-5183


Are the charges against Trump enough to indict him?

Donald Trump is facing a possible indictment over the alleged hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. What will happen if Trump is arrested? Plus, climate deniers aside, are liberals and conservatives really that far apart in terms of climate solutions? We talk to a conservative environmentalist who has spent decades in the field. And, a physician talks about whether voters should take age into account when deciding on a president.


Can private companies no longer avoid political fights?

The debate over abortion rights has entered a new phase. Last year’s Supreme Court decision to strike down the federal right to the health procedure and leave it up to states is now playing out with private companies. The country’s second-largest pharmacy chain, Walgreens, is facing criticism from both sides of the aisle after announcing it would not ship or sell mifepristone in 21 states. The medication is used to terminate a pregnancy or treat a miscarriage. This came after Republican...


Will the lawsuit against Fox News burden other media outlets?

Dozens of incriminating texts and email chains between leadership and top anchors at Fox News were revealed this week as part of the defamation lawsuit Dominion Voting Systems brought against the news station. The filings show that Fox hosts and executives knew former President Donald Trump had lost the 2020 election and that claims of voter fraud were false. But they promoted this narrative on-air because it was what their audience wanted and it was good for ratings. This is a rare case...


Was it harmful to label the COVID lab leak theory as conspiracy?

It’s been three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread and completely shut down most of the world. But there are still many unanswered questions surrounding the virus, including where did COVID actually come from? The argument over the virus’ origins almost instantly became political. Democrats and many scientists suggested it likely emerged from nature. But Republicans insisted it emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China, which was labeled misinformation by the left. But this week,...


Can Biden get Americans to support Ukraine long-term?

Host David Greene discusses with Mo Elleithee, executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, and Sarah Isgur, senior editor at The Dispatch. And special guest Evelyn Farkas, executive director of the McCain Institute and former deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Defense, shares her thoughts on the future implications of Biden’s Europe trip. Plus, the Supreme Court is weighing a case that could have major implications for online...


Are criminal charges coming for Trump allies over 2020 election probe?

The Fulton County, Georgia special grand jury investigating efforts by former President Donald Trump and his supporters to overturn the 2020 election released a portion of its final report this week. The grand jury interviewed 75 witnesses as part of its investigation and said it found no evidence of election fraud. The report also recommended prosecutors pursue indictments against witnesses they believe committed perjury during their testimonies. Though, the report did not list any names...


Will war-torn Syria restrict aid after a devastating earthquake?

A 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria this week, leaving at least 20,000 people dead and tens of thousands injured or stuck under rubble. It was particularly devastating because many buildings were not built to withstand this level of disaster, and it hit a region already torn apart by war. It left millions of Syrians, who are already displaced by the war and neglected by the Assad regime, suffering with little way to access help. The Syrian regime’s relationship with countries like the...


Are personality politics distracting from the GOP’s agenda?

During his first month in Congress, Republican Representative George Santos from New York has been a giant distraction for the new House leadership. He was caught lying about parts of his job experience, education and even his heritage. He’s now facing multiple state and federal investigations into his personal and campaign finances. Members from both parties and the majority of his constituents want him to resign. And he announced this week he’s temporarily declining his committee...


Can we change the gun reform conversation?

Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay, and Oakland, California are all reeling from mass shootings in their communities this past week that left at least 19 people dead. In Monterey Park, a city east of downtown Los Angeles, the shooter opened fire in a dance hall during Lunar New Year celebrations. The next day’s festival, which was set to draw thousands of people, was canceled. Special guest Elise Hu, journalist and host for NPR, was supposed to take her three young daughters to perform at the...


What will it cost Dems to raise the debt ceiling?

The Biden administration and House Republicans are already in a potentially months-long standoff over raising the national debt ceiling. The Treasury Department started to enact “extraordinary measures” this week in order to keep paying the federal government’s bills after hitting the debt ceiling, or the borrowing cap set by law, at $31.4 trillion. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen must now suspend some investments and exchange other types of debt to keep the cash flowing, but she predicts...


Did Jan. 6 inspire Brazil’s rioters?

Brazil experienced what looked eerily similar to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Rioters protested outside Brazil’s congress and stormed government buildings, bolstered by the false claim their recent election was stolen. The rally was organized online by far-right groups who supported former President Jair Bolsonaro. Similar to January 6, the disinformation campaign was brewing for months, but security still wasn’t able to prevent the surge. However, there were key differences...


Are House speaker negotiations good for the country?

It’s a new year but the incoming Congress has not been able to start work yet. With a slim House majority, California Republican Kevin McCarthy has faced failed vote after failed vote to try and become speaker of the House without success. This is the first time a bid for speaker has failed multiple times in more than a century. How high are the stakes to elect a speaker? McCarthy is facing a rebellion from around 20 Republicans, many of whom are backed by former President Trump including...


Rants and raves of 2022

In a special show to end the year, Left, Right & Center recaps some of the most important political moments of 2022, and what it all means as we head into the new year. The midterm elections revealed the declining support for former President Donald Trump amid losses for many of the candidates he backed. Is there a growing part of the electorate that’s craving less chaos? How are both parties responding to lessons learned? And the Democratic party found some success by donating money to...


Reforming immigration amid the end of Title 42

The controversial policy to turn away asylum seekers from crossing the country’s southern border, Title 42, is getting another life. At least for now. First invoked during the Trump administration in March 2020, Title 42 is a portion of the U.S. Public Health code that allows immigration officials to stop asylum seekers from entering America in the name of public health. The policy was set to end on Wednesday after a federal judge said in November the rule was unlawful. But Republican...


Did extremists and social media weaken our political parties?

In yet another alteration to the new balance of power in the Senate, Arizona’s Krysten Sinema announced she is leaving the Democratic Party and is now an Independent. Sinema claims this move will help her represent her constituents. But her approval ratings among Democrats in Arizona have been dropping for months because many voters feel she betrayed them for her own interests. She’s vulnerable to a primary challenge in two years if she runs. Was going Independent her only option? This...


Are the Georgia runoffs a precursor to 2024?

After the recent win by Raphael Warnock in Georgia, Democrats will hang onto control of the Senate by a slightly larger margin. Warnock beat Republican Hershel Walker in Georgia’s runoff with a 51% to 49% lead…giving Democrats a 51-49 edge in the Senate. Though Democrats had already secured the Senate majority, this race may have bolstered the narrative that former President Donald Trump is losing influence on the right. Walker was yet another one of Trump’s hand-picked candidates to be...


Can law enforcement be reformed from the inside?

Despite protests and promises of change, violent acts from police officers and scandals in law enforcement agencies seem to continuously dot the headlines. That’s according to Christy E. Lopez, columnist at the Washington Post, in her recent LA Times column, “A dismissal at Customs and Border Protection shows how hard law enforcement reform can be.” She joins as this week’s special guest to discuss U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus’ departure from his position...


Is Russia’s war endangering democracy?

It’s been nine months since Russia invaded Ukraine, starting a war that has killed at least 200,000 military personnel and approximately 40,000 civilians, according to U.S. officials. Winter is fast approaching, and it seems like both sides might be gearing up to fight well into next year. At the Group of Twenty (G20) Summit, world leaders issued a statement saying they “deplore in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.” They demanded a “complete...


Dems make final push during lame duck session

The balance of power in the nation’s capital has finally been decided — Democrats will keep control of the Senate and Republicans grabbed the majority in the House, though by slim margins. And as both sides decide their party’s leaders, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced she would not seek reelection for Democratic leadership. But before a new Congress begins its work next year, the lame duck season has begun. The Democrats have already secured bipartisan support for the Respect...


Republicans didn’t get a red wave. What does it mean for 2024?

Millions of people cast their ballots in the 2022 midterm elections this week — though votes are still being counted — and neither Democrats nor Republicans saw the results they expected. A sitting president’s party often takes a beating in a midterm election, so Democrats were preparing to lose their majorities in the House and Senate. Despite sky-high inflation and sinking approval ratings for President Biden, Republicans won far fewer seats in the House than anyone predicted. And some...