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KCRW's Left Right & Center 3.20.09

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Iran; AIG; Should Geithner Go? Trillions for T-Bonds

A sober sided, substantive show with a few lighthearted moments. We begin with a discussion of the messages President Obama and Israel's Shimon Peres sent to the people and government of Iran on the first day of its New Year. Bob commends Hillary Clinton and Obama for their foreign policy ventures, while Tony thinks Obama's no Bismarck, and that the effort may appear commendable but will "end in tears." He worries they'll develop nuclear weapons while all this chatter is going on. Everyone on the panel is wondering: with TRILLIONS in bailout money, how has the media and the Congress become so focused on the relatively small proportion that's gone to pay bonuses AIG executives? Lawrence says it's unconstitutional to create a tax on an individual and notes that even no-tax Republicans are jumping on the vengeance bandwagon. Tony sees evidence of mob mentality at work. Is it time for Geithner to go? No resolution, but Tony offers some political advice: it's too soon for the new Administration to allow that to happen. Lawrence also pays tribute to the late Ron Silver - whom, I might add, was a reader for KCRW's Jewish Stories series. He will be missed.