The Brian Lehrer Show

The Brian Lehrer Show

United States

Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.


On Reagan Introducing the Blue-Collar Republican  

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center, contributor to National Review and Weekly Standard, and author of the new book, The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism (Broadside Books, 2017).

He explains that while the GOP often invokes Reagan's legacy, they're overlooking fundamental aspects of Reagan's politics. He loved the working class and even as he moved to right, he accepted and pushed the social safety net. Olsen believes that Republicans need to embrace the heart of Reagan's ideals of fulfilling the New Deal.

Opening Up About Your Student Debt  

In the latest episode of WNYC's podcast Death, Sex & Money, host Anna Sale speaks with many people whose student loan debt has affected their relationships, careers, and families. She'll also talk about the show's ongoing project, Our Student Loan Secrets, that aims to show people that they aren't alone in their struggles to talk about and pay off their debt for higher education.

In an episode, one story Sale follows is from "Beth," who graduated law school in 2006 with about $155,000 in student loans. She is currently on track to pay them off, hopefully, by the end of this year. She explains, "I've been paying thousands of month for the past three months... and it comes down to extreme budgeting." But once she pays them off completely, she feels like she'll finally be able to get her life back.

The Rent Freeze is Over  

Affordable housing is a very real issue that affects all New Yorkers. And now that the rent freeze is over, rents are going to increase: 1.25% increase for 1-year leases and 2% increases for 2-year leases. So the endless quest for affordable housing goes on. 

Laura Nahmias, reporter on City Hall for POLITICO New York, talks about the recent rent guidelines vote and the new proposal to extend housing assistance. She explains, that there's only about 850,000 rent stabilized units in New York City and that's just a small piece of the pie. But there's a new proposal, "Living in Communities" (LINC) that is intended to make the city's rent subsidy programs more effective. 

TRussia Daily: While Trump Was Tweeting About 'Fake News'  

Spencer AckermanThe Daily Beast's senior national security correspondent, discusses the latest news from the Trump-Russia investigations, including how the President is consumed with investigation news instead of potential further military action in Syria. On Monday, the White House issued a warning that Syria "would pay a heavy price," if they launched a new chemical attack. And Ackerman reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave a similar warning to Russia through Bashar al-Assad's patron there. Meanwhile, Trump was tweeting about fake news in the wake of the CNN snafu

Experimenting With Love  

Mandy Len Catron, the author of the acclaimed and viral New York Times essay, "To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This," discusses her take on love now and her new book, How to Fall in Love with Anyone: A Memoir in Essays(Simon & Schuster, 2017). Her 36-question progressive intimacy map went viral and she's learned a lot since then. Like for example, Catron explains what's wrong with the notion of "falling" in love with someone. Plus, she helps facilitate the questioning of two random strangers on air. 

EVENT: Mandy Len Catron will be doing a reading Tuesday, June 27 at 7:30 PM  at GREENLIGHT BOOKSTORE, 686 Fulton Street in Fort Greene Brooklyn. 

Why Trump Still Won't Say Anything Definitive About Russia  

Maggie HabermanNew York Times White House correspondent, and Julia IoffeThe Atlantic national security and foreign policy staff writer, on Donald Trump's refusal to say anything definitive about Russia's involvement in the U.S. elections, a tactic which is beginning to frustrate the president's supporters. Haberman explains that President Trump is a real estate guy and he treats everything as if it is an open ended negotiation. "And that's very very dangerous when you're dealing with matters of national security," she says. 

Can Albany and New York City See Eye to Eye?  

Ken Lovett, Albany bureau chief for The Daily News, and Brigid Bergin, WNYC's City Hall and politics reporter, talk about the Albany/NYC relationship when it comes to the issues plaguing the MTA and mayoral control of the schools, and the increased presence of state troopers in the city. 

Breaking Down the Health Care Bill  

Will the Senate health care plan pass? The two parties are predicting very different outcomes. But even more so, will there even be a debate to begin with? And who will be hit with the highest premiums? And why will the bill cut Planned Parenthood funding for just one year?

Jennifer Haberkorn, senior health care reporter for POLITICO Pro, and Susan Page, USA TODAY's Washington bureau chief, give updates on where things are with Senate health care bill, the plan's newly released C.B.O. score, and what's at stake if the bill is passed.  


Rep. Rosa DeLauro's Fight For Working America  

Rosa DeLauro, Congresswoman and Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Dem. (CT) and the author of The Least Among Us: Waging the Battle for the Vulnerable (The New Press, 2017) talks about what Republicans get wrong about a social safety net and how the GOP healthcare bill just provides a massive tax break for the wealthy and will wreak havoc for working America.

Responding to LGBTQ Discrimination  

New York City is arguably the epicenter of gay culture, but there's been a rise in discrimination claims of sexual orientation and gender identity. Carmelyn Malalis, chair and commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, talks about how the office is responding to this uptick and how they promote equal rights in the wake of harassment. For example, the office launched a campaign in 2016 to expand bathroom access after controversial issues of a "Bathroom Bill" arose last year in North Carolina. "We in New York City are going to resist that," and promote inclusiveness, says Malalis.


Al Franken: From SNL to the U.S. Senate  

Al Franken, U.S. Senator (D MN) former comedy writer and actor, and the author of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate talks about his improbable path from Saturday Night Live to the U.S. Senate, plus the latest on the news on the health care bill and where things are with Trump world and the Russia investigation. 

On his childhood Franken says, "I felt like the luckiest kid in the world," growing up in suburban Minnesota, part of the middle class. It's what helped him decide to be a Democrat. But people don't feel that way anymore. "In America, they tell you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. But first you have to have the boots." And when it came to his political career, Franken has made a point of not being funny. How did he make the switch? With the help of "the de-humanizer, an Israeli-made machine that de-contextualized and took out the irony of every thing I did." 

ICE Agents Are Showing Up In Human Trafficking Courts  

Beth Fertig, WNYC Senior Reporter covering courts and legal affairs, and and Tina Luongo, attorney-in-charge of criminal practice at the Legal Aid Society talk about the fact that since President Donald Trump took office, immigration advocates across the country have claimed that there is a rise of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents showing up in courthouses trying to detain people. Fertig details how ICE agents have even showed up at the Human Trafficking Intervention Court in Queens to arrest human trafficking victims, which was the focus of her latest feature for WNYC



Silver Alerts:  When Seniors Go Missing  

Over-65's are the fastest growing segment of NYC's population and the number of "silver alerts" issued when a senior suffering from dementia goes missing are on the rise. Jim O’Grady, WNYC features reporter, reports on one case and at the systems in place to help them find home in his new story.

Brian Lehrer Weekend: Senator Elizabeth Warren, Author Arundhati Roy, Amtrak's CEO on 'The Summer of Hell'  

In case you missed them, hear three of our favorite segments from the week:

Senator Elizabeth Warren (First) | Author Arundhati Roy (Starts 20:32) | Amtrak's CEO on 'Summer of Hell' (Starts 48:30)

TRussia Daily: Mueller Separates Fact from Fake News  

 David Von Drehle, Time editor-at-large, discusses the latest news from the Trump-Russia investigations and his latest profile on the investigation’s special prosecutor, Robert Mueller.

Plus WNYC’s business and culture editor Charlie Hermanlooks at how Watergate history can inform today’s investigations into President Trump and his campaign.


Senate Healthcare Bill Makes Major Cuts to Medicaid  

The Senate healthcare bill, which was released Thursday, promised to revamp the health bill passed by the House last month, making it more agreeable to democrats and most recently, to the president. However, the new bill keeps much of the old bill's key components, like making deep cuts to Medicaid and eliminating Obamacare's mandate. The bill also comes does come with some notable differences like offering more financial assistance to some lower-income people.

Mary Agnes Carey, partnerships editor and senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News, and Liz Benjamin,host of Capital Tonight on Spectrum News talk about what’s inside the new health care bill and who it serves.


SCOTUS Decisions Come Down  

Elie Mystal, editor-at-large of Above the Law and legal editor for WNYC's podcast More Perfect, on the latest Supreme Court decisions and previews what is to come on Monday.

Event: See Elie Mystal live in the Greene Space with with Radiolab and More Perfect host Jad Abumrad, Monday July 10th at 7:00 PM. BUY TICKETS HERE
Fascinated by Boredom  

Mary Mann, freelance writer and the author of Yawn: Adventures in Boredom shares what she learned from her research into why she was bored even when busy at work (as a researcher).

Senate Reveals New Draft Of Health Care Bill  

The Senate unveiled a new draft of the healthcare bill Thursday, which aims to make deep cuts to Medicaid and end Obamacare's individual mandate.  Politico health editor Adriel Bettelheim and WNYC Congress reporter John O'Connor explain what we know so far, as reporters speed-read the newly released bill.

It's Supreme Court Decision Time  

Elie Mystal, editor-at-large of Above the Law and legal editor for WNYC's podcast More Perfect, dissects the latest and future Supreme Court decisions, including cases on trademark law, civil liberties and partisan gerrymandering.

Event: See Elie Mystal live in the Greene Space with with Radiolab and More Perfect host Jad Abumrad, Monday July 10th at 7:00 PM. BUY TICKETS HERE
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