The Brian Lehrer Show

The Brian Lehrer Show

From WNYC Radio

Brian Lehrer and his guests take on the issues dominating conversation in New York and around the world. This daily program from WNYC, New York Public Radio cuts through the usual talk radio punditry and brings a smart, humane approach to the day's events.More from The Brian Lehrer Show »

Most Recent Episodes

The "Bag Bill" Gets a Vote

The City Council votes Thursday on a bill to require a 5-cent surcharge for "single-use" paper and plastic shopping bags. One of the sponsors of the bill City Councilman Brad Lander said that 5-cent fee is meant to incentivise shoppers to use reusable bags, instead of having to purchase a new one. While critics have said this fee will adversely impact poorer communities, Lander said studies have debunked that claim. "What the data all shows, there's this great survey from Washington DC and another from Buenos Aries, it doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor, black or white, young or old, no one wants to pay the fee, everyone can remember to bring reusable bags, and that's what people will do."

A Community Grows in Yonkers

A new pilot program called "Let's Grow Together" brings officers from the Yonkers Police Department together with local foster youth in an effort to build community relationships. Here to talk about how the program is going: Alan Mucatel, Executive Director of Leake & Watts, the non-profit that started the program; Officers Leshannon Hogue and Eric Guisto of the Yonkers Police Department; and Local Yonkers teenagers Christian Hurtado and Andrew Perez Now: 2 police officers, 2 teens and a non-profit head discuss the "Let's Grow Together" program in Yonkers. — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 4, 2016

A Counter-Narrative to Bin Laden's Killing

Seymour Hersh, award-winning investigative journalist and the author of The Killing of Osama Bin Laden (Verso, 2016), first reported his version of tracking and killing of Osama bin Laden last year in the London Review of Books. He expands his story that runs counter to the version told by the government and reported by other journalists. The key to his story is a disaffected Pakistani colonel who walked into the American embassy and revealed that bin Laden had been living a mere 50 miles away in the foothills of the mountains in Abbotabad.

30 Issues: Paid Family Leave Around the World

If you're a new mom in Estonia you can bank on 25 weeks of paid maternity leave. Same in Italy. In the U.K. you can bet on 40 weeks. From Bulgaria? Go ahead take a year. But a US citizen? See you at work tomorrow. Danielle Kurtzleben, a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk, talked about paid maternity leave as it's offered around the world. And Agneta Furvik, the US Correspondent & NY Bureau Chief for Swedish National Public Radio (NPR), explained why Sweden is such an exception: parental leave in Sweden is 480 days. That's 16 months! Here's a glance at how many paid weeks off new mothers get in other countries. Discussing w/ @titonka now! #30Issues — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 4, 2016 @BrianLehrer in Canada, 2 weeks at 93% salary and 15 weeks at 80%, plus EI for 35 weeks. And my job was held for me for the full year! — Nisha Patel (@nishapatel) May 4, 2016 @BrianLehrer Morocco offers 14 weeks before birth and 7 weeks maternity leave — Kathleen Tipton (@livesensible) May 4, 2016 @BrianLehrer Cuba allows 18 weeks at full pay, 40 more weeks at 60% of pay — CJaye (@CeeJ24) May 4, 2016 Also worth thinking about: how the U.S. compares to other countries on vacation days... #30Issues @titonka — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 4, 2016

With Cruz Out, Trump Forges Ahead

That's it for Ted. After losing in Indiana by a wide margin last night, Ted Cruz has officially suspended his campaign. New York Times political correspondent Patrick Healy, Jennifer Rubin, who writes for the "Right Turn" blog for The Washington Post, Christina Greer, assistant professor of political science at Fordham University and POLITICO's chief political correspondent Glenn Thrush discuss Donald Trump's presumed GOP nomination and Senator Bernie Sanders' strong showing in Indiana. .@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton — Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 4, 2016 @BrianLehrer What happened to "country before party"? — Brendan McBryan (@BrendanMcBryan) May 4, 2016 @BrianLehrer I'm a volunteer for Sanders's revolution--- we the people. I couldn't be more proud of the work my fellow berners did. — Ian Hosein, MBA (@_IanHosein) May 4, 2016 @BrianLehrer IMO, both parties are going to fracture, as they're going to be A LOT of GOP's voting Democratic. Maybe 2 new parties? — antonio (@antonio_ortiz) May 4, 2016 @BrianLehrer please tell your guest that @BernieSanders supporters do care about the future of the country, and they shouldn't pack up — nicole (@newsbynicole) May 4, 2016 @AfroStateOfMind That's @Dr_CMGreer! — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 4, 2016 "Everyone keeps saying that Donald Trump is a joke. He clearly is not a joke...He is a very dangerous person." -@Dr_CMGreer — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 4, 2016

What Was Your Down-to-the-Wire College Decision?

College-bound high school seniors had to make their final college decisions this past weekend. High school seniors talk about their "close call" decisions about which college to attend in the fall, or whether they've decided to take a gap year. @BrianLehrer there's no time like the year between HS and college to do a #gapyear. Life gets in the way, not possible again til retirement! — Davin Sweeney (@davinsweeney) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer to previous caller's sister: I went to Hampshire after 3 "gap" years and my experience was more fruitful than some peers — Strawberita Dreams (@grownupusername) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer who pays for a gap year? It seems exclusive to a certain group, unless it's a gap year to earn $ — nicole (@newsbynicole) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer kids should take a gap year and work in the food (or service) industry for a while. Nothing prepares or humbles a person more. — mihow (@mihow) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer Gap years are well organized in the UK, not just backpacking around Europe!! — MTM (@MTM130) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer no but my nephew spent 6 mts in India working for a charity and then 6 mts at an ironmongers! — MTM (@MTM130) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer Then back to St Andrews for a degree in physics but he had a chance to see the real world — MTM (@MTM130) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer hope this trend takes off. as a newly poor parent, I'm thrilled to have another year to make money. — Julie Raimondi (@JulieRaimondi) May 3, 2016

Measuring True Grit

Angela Duckworth, professor of psychology at UPenn, founder and scientific director of UPenn's Character Lab, and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (Scribner, 2016), discusses her claim that success is less about talent, and more about character. Here's how Duckworth defines "grit" — passion and perseverance, not necessarily in that order. Now: ever heard of "grit" as a measure of character and talent? @Penn professor @angeladuckw explains. — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 3, 2016 → Take the test: Where do you land on the "grit" scale? Take this test, developed by Professor Duckworth, and tell us your score below. → Hear more: Duckworth will be doing a reading at Chappaqua Library tonight at 7pm. Click here for more details. Depth versus breadth. We all face this trade-off says @angeladuckw. To be "gritty" is to choose to sacrifice other interests + excel at one. — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer @angeladuckw I wonder if the last ten years of growing social media obsession has diminished overall "stick-to-it-ivness." — Kristin Wald (@kdwald) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer passion for me started with admiration, came from exposure to role models and seeing others' achievements in arts — JJ (@j_j____jjjj) May 3, 2016 @BrianLehrer thanks for taking my call on grit. Interestingly my parents divorce inspired my own. I surrounded myself with gritty people. — ELBOW-TOE (@elbowtoe) May 3, 2016

30 Issues | A (Lack of) History of Paid Family Leave

Out of 185 countries, the United States is one of just three that doesn't guarantee paid maternity leave. Ruth Milkman, sociology professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, author of Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy (ILR Press, 2013) and On Gender, Labor, and Inequality (University of Illinois Press, 2016), looks at the history behind America's resistance to providing the employee benefit. Listen to the first few minutes of the audio above for an audio tour of the history of paid family leave in this country, leading up to Governor Cuomo's recent State of the State in which he made an emotional pledge to bring paid leave to New York.

When the 1 Percent Leaves Town

When the super-wealthy leave the state, where does their tax revenue end up? In the case of hedge fund manager David Tepper, his move from New Jersey to Florida last month will cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Robert Frank, CNBC wealth reporter, host of "Secret Lives of the Super Rich," columnist for The New York Times "Inside Wealth" column and author of The High-Beta Rich: How the Manic Wealthy Will Take Us to the Next Boom, Bubble, and Bust (Crown Business, 2011) discusses his latest story about how tax collection changes when a small segment of the population owns a majority of the wealth. Frank said the fact that one person can move out of New Jersey and prompt a legislative analyst to declare a potential revenue risk is unprecedented, and he expects to see similar scenarios in other states where the top one percent provide a significant amount of tax revenue. "We might see in New Jersey or Connecticut or California...more David Teppers leaving," Frank said. "And then the states will have to sort of grapple with 'are we too reliant on this small group of taxpayers or do we just need to do a better job at tracking their movements and somehow planning ahead for the eventuality or possibility that they could leave.' And I think it's more the latter." From 2006 - 2015: -NJ gained 30,000 millionaires -NY gained 69,500 -CA gained 100,000+ via @robtfrank/@nytimes More: — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 3, 2016 See how your taxes would change under a President Trump, Clinton, Cruz or Sanders: #30Issues — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 3, 2016

Investigations into Former Cuomo Aide and de Blasio

Ken Lovett, Albany bureau chief for The Daily News, talked the investigations into the governor's Buffalo Billion program and Mayor de Blasio's fund-raising for the 2014 state senate races. Lovett explained what he knows about Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to the governor who was "like a brother" to him and who's now being investigated. .@nygovcuomo says percoco told him he "might" take on consulting clients while managing gov campaign. — ken lovett (@klnynews) May 3, 2016 We know Percoco got paid by two groups, even though one of them claims they've never hired or paid him, said Lovett. As for Mayor de Blasio, Lovett said he doesn't know where the investigations will end up, but ultimately the DA and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will determine that. Nobody comes to you with a story because they just want to give you a good story. -@klnynews, who received the leaked BOE memo re: de Blasio — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 3, 2016

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