Joshua A. Barro is a journalist who currently contributes to New York magazine as a business columnist. He is currently the host and moderator of the weekly political radio show Left, Right & Center.
Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan has stretched the definition of infrastructure. One component is over $200 billion for housing. Home prices are rising around the country and affordability is a bigger issue than ever, but will incentivizing local governments to make zoning less restrictive and build more housing actually get more Americans into the homes they want? Then: Josh Barro and panelists Jamelle Bouie and Lanhee Chen discuss how governors have handled the pandemic and how they’ve fared politically. For all the national criticism Florida and its governor, Ron DeSantis, has gotten, Florida’s been an average performer at fighting the spread of Covid-19. Did Governor DeSantis get a bad rap? And how did Governor Cuomo in New York get so overrated? Can all of this be explained by our hyper-partisan times? Georgia’s new voting law might be explained by that too — the panel analyzes critiques of this law and its projected effects on future elections.
Josh Barro and Ken White discuss reports of a federal investigation into Congressman Matt Gaetz. What are the legal issues here? Was it smart for Gaetz to give a prime time interview about it on television? And why was this news apparently leaked? Plus: the Trump campaign set some donors up for recurring donations in a way that was dense and confusing. Is that fraud, and could some donors have a good case to sue the campaign? Recently, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals set a standard for pretrial detention for those arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. How’s that working out? Due to a filing error, we know prosecutors might be close to a plea deal with at least one person. Was that accidental filing a major blunder?
It’s finally Infrastructure Week! Maybe for real this time? Josh Barro and panelists Christine Emba and Lanhee Chen discuss President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure package that includes funding for more traditional infrastructure, like transportation, water and utilities and more. But there’s also something Biden’s calling “infrastructure at home”: affordable housing, school upgrades, broadband and more. Is this a Democrat’s wishlist, or are there aspects of this bill that can gain Republican support? Is it really an infrastructure bill or a big spending bill? Is it the right political strategy to put all of these priorities in one proposal? President Biden wants to increase the corporate tax rate to pay for this major 8-year spending project, taking aim at the centerpiece of President Trump’s 2017 tax package. The panel agrees that might be a broadly popular move that could be challenging for Republicans to oppose.
For the past three years, All The Presidents’ Lawyers has focused a lot on defamation cases, and there’s an obvious reason for that: former President Trump has been (and still is) the target of defamation cases and he has also invoked or actually used defamation suits as strategy for years. Remember when Stormy Daniels sued former President Trump, saying he defamed her by calling her accusation that she threatened in a Las Vegas parking lot not to talk about her affair with him a “con job”? Her argument did not hold up in court. Trump’s statement was protected opinion and not a provable statement of fact, and Daniels was ordered to pay his legal fees. Defamation lawsuits are difficult to win by design: balancing free speech and the need for remedies for damaged reputations is a challenge. But as the years went on, stakes in defamation suits got a lot higher than they were with the “con job” tweet. Dominion Voting Systems has filed many lawsuits against parties, including Fox News, seeking billions of dollars in damages. They say these media companies and individuals aired wild claims about the voting machine company and these allegations seriously damaged its business interests. But even its defamation suits aren’t a slam dunk. Special guest RonNell Andersen Jones, an expert in First Amendment, media and defamation law talks with Josh Barro (Ken White is taking this week off the show) about the history of defamation law in the United States, current challenges and scholarship, if defamation suits are just the cost of doing business for media organizations, and more.
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Creator Details

Jul 17th, 1984
New York, New York, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 week, 2 days
Podchaser Creator ID logo 746416