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Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

Journalist Mehdi Hasan is known around the world for his televised takedowns of presidents and prime ministers. In this new podcast from The Intercept, Mehdi unpacks a game-changing news event of the week while challenging the conventional wisdom. As a Brit, a Muslim and an immigrant based in Donald Trump's Washington D.C., Mehdi offers a provocative perspective on the ups and downs of American?and global?politics.

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Episodes

The Trump Child Abuse Scandal

It?s been two years since the peak of public outcry over the Trump administration?s decision to begin separating the children of unauthorized migrant families from their parents. Yet the massive crisis that policy spawned remains arguably the darkest chapter in Donald Trump?s very dark presidency. MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff has been back and forth from the border and central America covering the family separation saga since it began, a story he chronicles in his new book Separated.

 

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2020-07-09
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Can We Build a Politics of Hope?

Deep down, are humans really selfish, brutal, and cruel? For much of the last century the most famous experiments in social science, from the Stanford prison experiment to the Stanley Milgram electric shock study have purported to prove that we all have a monster lurking just behind a carefully crafted social veneer.

In his new book Humankind: A Hopeful History, Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman aims to shed new light on this idea by examining the latest social science research, knocking over some of the discipline?s sacred cows in the process. The book offers hopeful answers to anyone looking for a way forward in this era of political turmoil and confusion.

 

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2020-07-02
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The Rise of the Left (with Mondaire Jones)

This week?s Democratic primaries in Kentucky, New York, and Virginia saw a number of progressive challengers defeating moderate or establishment rivals. Of particular note were the victories of two insurgent candidates in New York: Jamaal Bowman, who defeated 16-term incumbent Eliot Engel, and Mondaire Jones, who triumphed over a crowded field in the 17th district to become one of the first openly gay black men ever elected to congress. Jones joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss his victory. Then, Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi to place this week?s elections in historical context.

 

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2020-06-25
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Let?s Defund The Military, Too

The United States has by far the world?s largest military budget, accounting for 15% of all federal spending, and nearly half of all discretionary spending. Presidents of both parties have repeatedly failed to bring the Pentagon budget under control. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been one of the loudest voices in congress arguing for substantial cuts; his senior foreign policy adviser, Matt Duss, joins Mehdi Hasan to make the case for defunding the Pentagon.

 

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2020-06-18
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Is It Time To Defund the Police?

In the wake of global protests over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, a movement to redirect public resources away from traditional policing and towards community-oriented systems of public safety has taken hold around the country. What are advocates of ?defunding the police? really arguing for, and could it work? Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the future of policing in the United States.

 

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2020-06-11
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Is This Trump?s Reichstag Fire Moment?

President Trump has seized on the nationwide protest movement that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer to advance his most authoritarian political instincts. This week he threatened to deploy the military to cities whose leaders were unable to contain the violence themselves. Could this be an inflection point in his presidency? And is it time to finally use the F-word in discussing Trump? Fascism scholar Ruth Ben-Ghiat joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss.

 

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2020-06-04
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One Hundred Thousand Dead From The Coronavirus. What Happens Next?

The U.S. passed a tragic milestone this week, becoming the first country in the world to record 100,000 deaths from Covid-19. Is there an end in sight? Is this the new normal? Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss where we go from here.

 

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2020-05-28
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Is Bill Barr the Most Dangerous Member of the Trump Administration?

Attorney General William Barr has emerged as the shrewdest and most effective member of the Trump administration, weaponizing the Department of Justice to protect the president and his allies while threatening his enemies with legal retribution. He has made it clear that in sharp contrast to the traditionally independent role of the AG, he is willing to serve as Trump?s enforcer, providing a facade of legal propriety to the president?s election-year political maneuverings. What does this mean for the future of American politics? How bad could things get if Trump secures a second term this November? Emily Bazelon ? Yale research fellow, staff writer for New York Times magazine, and host of Slate?s Political Gabfest ? joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss.

 

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2020-05-21
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Is Elon Musk a Fraud?

Over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to voice his frustrations about the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown in Alameda County, California. The billionaire entrepreneur threatened that he would take his auto factory to another state if it was not allowed to reopen immediately. On Monday he announced that he would be resuming production at the facility in contravention of the lockdown. By Wednesday morning, the county had caved to Musk, announcing that his factory would be allowed to resume production under government supervision. After Musk?s initial tweet threatening to leave the state, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez took to Twitter herself, saying succinctly, ?F*ck Elon Musk.? She added: ?So much of the clash our state is experiencing with the tech/Silicon Valley companies is of our own making. We let gig companies violate labor laws for over a decade. We subsidized Tesla as they operated with severe safety issues & actively union busted. They got used to it? It?s time that all companies, no matter how cool, abide by the same laws.?

Lorena Gonzalez discusses the situation with Musk and Tesla. Then, tech and labor reporter Jack Crosbie joins Mehdi to give the backstory on the cultish billionaire.

 

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2020-05-14
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Are Trump and the Anti-Lockdown Militias Itching For Violence?

Protests have broken out in and around several state capitols, with demonstrators, among them armed right-wing militia members, attempting to pressure their state governments to end the Covid-19 lockdowns. Could this end in violence, and what does it portend for the presidential election? Scholar of right-wing extremism Nicole Hemmer joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the protests.

 

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2020-05-07
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Joe Biden Thinks We Should Believe Women?Just Not Tara Reade

In March, former Joe Biden staffer Tara Reade went public with the explosive allegation that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had sexually assaulted her in 1993. Since then, Democrats, in particular surrogates of the Biden campaign, have struggled to deal with the allegation. The Biden camp has categorically denied that any wrongdoing took place, but in the first presidential election of the #MeToo era, can he really afford to dismiss Tara Reade? The Intercept?s Ryan Grim, who recently broke new revelations in the story, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss.

 

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2020-04-30
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Has The Coronavirus Made The Ultimate Case For Medicare For All?

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed gaping holes in the United States? medical system, and the lack of access to tests and treatment has many wondering if fundamental reforms to the system might be necessary after all. CNN commentator and medical doctor Abdul El-Sayed joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether universal healthcare ? Medicare for All ? could be the cure for the ills of our ailing system.

 

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2020-04-23
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The Media Helped Elect Trump in 2016. Are they Doing it Again?

The president?s nightly Coronavirus Task Force briefings are increasingly coming to resemble campaign rallies without the crowds: excuses for Trump to showboat in front of TV cameras, praise his own managerial brilliance, and gratuitously insult reporters. So why are they still being taken seriously by cable news? Veteran broadcast journalist Soledad O?Brien joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether the media are repeating the mistakes of 2016.

 

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2020-04-16
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Is Donald Trump Criminally Responsible for Coronavirus Deaths?

Deaths from Covid-19 continued to mount this week as the U.S. surpassed 200,000 confirmed cases, more than any other country in the world. Experts increasingly point to President Trump?s willful negligence as a primary cause of the pandemic?s intensity, but MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner takes things a step further, arguing controversially that Trump could be legally liable for coronavirus deaths after he leaves office. He makes the case to Mehdi Hasan on this week?s podcast.

 

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2020-04-02
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Introducing Somebody

Reporter Alison Flowers attempts to discover the truth about the shooting death of a young man on Chicago?s south side in 2016, teaming up with the young man?s mother, Shapearl Wells, who launched her own investigation into her son?s murder after doubting the official police narrative. Coming March 31st.

 

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2020-03-30
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Is the Trump Cult a Death Cult?

This week President Trump began asserting that the United States would once again be ?open for business? by Easter, on April 12th. He provided no scientific or medical justification for that timeline, which Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force has emphasized is ?flexible?. The Atlantic?s Adam Serwer joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the President?s continuing refusal to take the Covid-19 pandemic seriously.

 

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2020-03-25
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How to Save the U.S. Economy, With AOC and Stephanie Kelton

Border Closures. Economic meltdown. Skyrocketing unemployment claims. Every day brings new news of the COVID-19 pandemic?s unprecedented impact on American life. Will the federal government find the political will to enact the kinds of radical measures necessary to help Americans keep their heads above water during this crisis? New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and economist Stephanie Kelton join Mehdi Hasan to discuss what needs to be done.

 

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2020-03-20
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Bernie Versus Biden: Who Won the Debate?

The 11th Democratic primary debate on Sunday was an unusual one. It was a one-on-one encounter between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, held without an audience in Washington D.C. due to mounting fears surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. The two sparred over healthcare, social security, the Iraq War, and the 2005 bankruptcy bill. Intercept D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi Hasan to break down the debate.

 

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2020-03-16
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Capitalism Versus Coronavirus

From just a handful of cases a few weeks ago, the COVID-19 outbreak in the US has ballooned to over a thousand cases nationwide. The Trump administration?s public response has ranged from incoherent to incomprehensible: denialism about the scale of the problem, failure to test in sufficient numbers, a reluctance to take coordinated, large-scale government action. It?s also raised questions about the US healthcare system?s capacity to respond effectively to a health crisis on this scale. Columbia professor and economist Jeffrey Sachs joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss American capitalism?s failure to deal effectively with the coronavirus.

 

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2020-03-12
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Can Biden Still Be Stopped?

It?s being described as one of the biggest turnarounds in presidential primary history. After disappointing results in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, Joe Biden appeared to be fading in Bernie Sanders? rearview mirror. Then came his crushing win in South Carolina, after which Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg all dropped out of the race. Klobuchar and Buttigieg, along with former candidate Beto O?Rourke, then endorsed Biden, cementing the growing consensus among establishment Democrats that the former Vice President is the best positioned candidate to stop Bernie. Where does all this leave the Democratic race? Mehdi talks to Intercept DC bureau chief Ryan Grim and to Larry Cohen of Our Revolution about Biden's big night and about Bernie?s path forward. 

 

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2020-03-04
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Debate Special: The One Where Everyone Attacks Bernie

With victories in New Hampshire and Nevada and a firm lead in the national polls, Bernie Sanders is now unquestionably the frontrunner in the Democratic race. On Tuesday night the top contenders met for their final debate before the South Carolina and Super Tuesday primaries, and all of his opponents had their sights set firmly on the senator from Vermont. Mehdi Hasan talks to writer, activist, and Sanders surrogate Shaun King about Bernie?s performance and his groundbreaking answers to questions on foreign policy.

Deconstructed interviews a variety of guests who share their views in order to educate and inform our listeners on the most pressing issues of the day and on the democratic process. Our guests? views on the issues, and how elected officials and candidates approach those issues, do not reflect the views of First Look Media Works.

 

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2020-02-26
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How Bloomberg Blew it In Las Vegas

On Wednesday night, 6 of the remaining Democratic candidates faced off in Las Vegas ahead of the Nevada caucuses. All eyes were on former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, despite sitting out the early contests and appearing in none of the previous debates, has surged in many polls thanks to a relentless self-funded ad campaign. Would he live up to his own hype?

In a word, no. Bloomberg was unprepared for the barrage of attacks he faced from all sides, and suffered especially from a set of withering takedowns at the hands of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Intercept DC bureau chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss Bloomberg?s debut performance and how the debate might affect the race going forward.

 

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2020-02-20
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Live from L.A. with John Legend and Patrisse Cullors

The United States has the biggest prison population of any country on the planet. The crime rate is down, but the incarceration rate continues to soar. With the 2020 presidential election around the corner, what hope is there for fixing the system? Mehdi Hasan sits down with John Legend and Patrisse Cullors in Los Angeles for a live conversation about criminal justice.

Deconstructed interviews a variety of guests who share their views in order to educate and inform our listeners on the most pressing issues of the day and on the democratic process. Our guests? views on the issues and on elected officials? and candidates? approaches to them are their own, and do not reflect of the views of First Look Media Works.

 

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2020-02-13
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Rigged: The Acquittal of Donald J Trump

As predicted, the Republican-controlled Senate voted on Wednesday to find President Donald J. Trump not guilty on both articles of impeachment brought by the House of Representatives. It was a party-line vote, with one notable exception: Utah Senator Mitt Romney became the first Senator in U.S. history to vote to remove a president of his own party. Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, who both voted to remove the President, joined Mehdi Hasan by phone shortly after the vote to discuss the implications of Trump?s acquittal for the future of the Senate.

 

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2020-02-06
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Does Joe Biden Have a Corruption Problem?

On January 20th, The Guardian published an op-ed by New York attorney and law professor Zephyr Teachout entitled ??Middle Class? Joe Biden has a corruption problem ? it makes him a weak candidate?. In it, Teachout argues that Biden?s history of taking big donations from the credit card, healthcare, and fossil fuel industries and then voting on their behalf makes him a poor choice against Trump in the Fall: ?a lot of the voters we need,? wrote Teachout, ?independents and people who might stay home ? will look at Biden and Trump and say: ?They?re all dirty.?? Teachout is a public supporter of Bernie Sanders and when the Biden camp took umbrage at the piece, Sanders publicly apologized for it. ?It is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way,? said the Vermont Senator. ?And I'm sorry that that op-ed appeared.? But was that really the right reply from a candidate who has made the fight against big money in politics one of the cornerstones of his campaign? Zephyr Teachout joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss Joe Biden and the culture of corruption in Washington.

 

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2020-01-30
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Why is Billionaire Tom Steyer Running for President?

With the Iowa caucuses less than two weeks away, the Democratic primary increasingly seems like a two-way contest between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The latest polls show Biden leading in Iowa and Sanders leading nationally, and calls are getting louder for the lower-tier candidates to drop out and allow support to coalesce around the leaders. Despite failing to poll above 4% nationally, California billionaire and philanthropist Tom Steyer insists he still has a path to the nomination, citing relatively strong recent polls in Nevada and South Carolina. Analysts estimate that Steyer?s campaign has already spent over $100 million on radio, TV, and digital advertising since launching back in July. Mehdi Hasan talks to the candidate about what he?s getting for all that money, and whether it might be better spent on house and Senate races around the country.

 

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2020-01-23
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Truth, Lies, and the Democratic Debate

Six of the remaining Democratic candidates met in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday night for their final debate before the state holds its first-in-the-nation caucuses on February 3rd. With the state of the race still fluid, the top contenders were all looking for a moment that might help them to distinguish themselves from the field. In the runup to the debate, much of the media focus was on the apparent breakdown of the de facto non-aggression pact between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, with the latter claiming that Sanders had told her in a 2018 meeting that a woman couldn?t win a US presidential election. The two clashed over Warren?s claim during the debate; Sanders repeated his denial that such an exchange took place, while Warren declined to retract the accusation. Meanwhile, the moderators once again allowed Joe Biden to avoid serious or detailed scrutiny of his record in the Senate?in particular his vociferous early support for the Iraq War.

 

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2020-01-15
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Why Don?t We Care About China?s Uighur Muslims?

It?s been described as the worst human rights crisis in the world ? the arbitrary detention in sprawling camps of a million or more Uighur Muslims in China?s northwestern Xinjiang province. The Chinese government has claimed that the camps are merely vocational training centers, but in November a trove of leaked documents, dubbed the China Cables, confirmed what the world had long suspected: the camps are Communist Party re-education centers in which Uighurs are forced to abandon their traditional religion and language. Nury Turkel is a U.S.-based attorney and Uighur rights advocate and he joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the situation in Xinjiang ? and why so much of the world doesn?t seem to care about it.

 

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2019-12-29
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Nixon, Clinton, and What the Right Gets Wrong About Impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee held its first impeachment hearing on Wednesday, with testimony from a quartet of legal scholars from major Universities. Republicans on the committee repeatedly attempted to slow down the proceedings using parliamentary stall tactics, and continued to focus on the perceived partisan motivations of the impeachment process rather than the facts of the case against the President ? while Democrats used the hearing to build up the constitutional case for removing him from office. But while the minutiae of the legal case against Trump are important, so is the political history of the country?s three previous impeachment efforts. Princeton history professor Kevin Kruse joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss what the current congress can learn from the historical examples of Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, and Andrew Johnson.

 

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2019-12-05
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It's Giving Tuesday!

If you're one of the many listeners who enjoys Deconstructed every week, we have a special favor to ask you. Today is Giving Tuesday - a day to celebrate and support the causes and organizations you believe in. The Intercept relies on readers and listeners like you to support the journalism we do here every day. Right now, you can head to theintercept.com/give and do just that.

 

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2019-12-03
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Who Won Last Night?s Democratic Debate?

In the days leading up to the November Democratic debate in Atlanta, everyone seemed to agree that attacks on Pete Buttigieg would be the order of the night. The South Bend Mayor had lept to the top of the pack in the latest Iowa polls, and the conventional wisdom was that other candidates hoping for a caucus victory there ? Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden ? would be directing their fire his way. But the rest of field was surprisingly cordial to Mayor Pete, with the real fireworks coming courtesy of a heated exchange between Kamala Harris and Tulsi Gabbard. Cory Booker also earned some good reviews for his joke that Joe Biden ?might have been high? for opposing marijuana legalization. Intercept politics reporter Akela Lacy and Waleed Shahid of the activist group Justice Democrats join Mehdi Hasan to break down the debate.

 

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2019-11-21
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Does Liberal Canada Have a Dark Side?

Liberals across the West often imagine Canada as a progressive paradise ? a tolerant land, welcoming to immigrants, where marijuana is legal and everyone gets free healthcare. But how accurate is that picture? In the wake of last month?s federal elections, in which Justin Trudeau held onto the Prime Minister's post but lost his majority in parliament, Deconstructed headed to Toronto for the HotDocs Podcast Festival. There, Mehdi Hasan talked to two of Canada?s leading politicians. Ahmed Hussen is the Immigration Minister in Trudeau?s cabinet, and is himself an immigrant who arrived in Canada from war-torn Somalia in the 90s. Jagmeet Singh is the leader of the New Democratic Party, or NDP, and the first Sikh to head a major political party in Canada. Hasan sat down with Singh and Hussen to discuss Canada?s reputation as a shining beacon of Western multiculturalism ? and whether it?s truly deserved.

 

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2019-11-14
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The Bernie Sanders Interview

With three months to go until the Iowa caucuses, Bernie Sanders finds himself fighting to make headway against the other frontrunners in the Democratic primary. While he appears to have bounced back from his recent heart attack?putting in a convincing performance in the last debate and picking up a coveted endorsement from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?the democratic socialist from Vermont has struggled to recapture the old 2016 magic in a more crowded 2020 field. Mehdi Hasan talks to Bernie about his campaign strategy, what separates him from his chief progressive rival Elizabeth Warren, and whether he?d be comfortable with an all-white?or all-male?ticket in 2020. Then, Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to discuss the prospects for the Sanders campaign.

 

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2019-11-07
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Deconstructed Special: The Noam Chomsky Interview

Linguist, activist, and political theorist Noam Chomsky has been speaking out against U.S. interventionism from Vietnam to Latin America and the Middle East since the 1960s. He?s the most cited author alive, but you won?t see him on the nightly news, or in the pages of most major newspapers. On this week?s Deconstructed, Chomsky sits down with Mehdi Hasan to discuss the impeachment inquiry, the 2020 Democratic field, and why he opposed Trump?s Syria troop withdrawal.

 

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2019-10-31
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How to Resist: Live with Ilhan Omar and Michael Moore

In a live taping of The Intercept?s Deconstructed podcast, host Mehdi Hasan is joined by two of America?s leading progressive voices: first-term Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, and documentarian Michael Moore, whose latest film, ?Fahrenheit 11/9", takes an incisive look at the 2016 election and the crisis of American democracy in the Trump era.

 

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2019-10-24
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Is It Time for Democrats to Fight Dirty?

The twelve leading Democratic candidates met in Westerville, Ohio on Tuesday for the fourth debate of the 2020 primary season. The usual topics?healthcare, taxes, the impeachment inquiry?dominated the discussion, but the CNN moderators also asked the candidates to weigh in on a controversial proposal, gaining currency of late on the left, to expand the Supreme Court. So-called ?court packing? is normally a taboo in U.S. politics, and predictably the top contenders were reluctant to endorse it. David Faris, professor of political science at Roosevelt University and author of It?s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics, believes that court packing is precisely the type of radical structural reform that Democrats and progressives need to pursue if they want a chance at defeating the right in years to come. He joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss what the left can do to overcome minority rule in Washington.

 

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2019-10-17
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Beto O?Rourke to Democrats: Go Big On Impeachment

Texas Congressman Beto O?Rourke became the Democratic Party?s golden boy in 2018 thanks to his near-miss campaign against Senator Ted Cruz. Yet since declaring his campaign for the presidency back in March, his poll numbers have steadily declined. In recent weeks Beto has earned glowing reviews for his fiery rhetoric on gun control and Trump?s racism?and for his support for the Democrats? nascent impeachment effort?but will it be enough to reinvigorate his bid for the White House? Mehdi Hasan talks to the candidate ahead of next week?s crucial debate. Then, Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to break down Beto?s campaign.

 

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2019-10-10
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The Silencing of Kashmir: Arundhati Roy on India, Modi, and Fascism

India?s clampdown on the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir is entering its third month, and while the right-wing government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exerted tight control over the flow of information out of the region, a bleak picture has nonetheless emerged. Thousands have been imprisoned, including political leaders. Movement is tightly restricted. Phone lines have been cut off. Modi appears set on ending Jammu and Kashmir?s special semi-autonomous status and bringing it fully under the control of New Delhi, a move which residents of the Muslim-majority region strongly reject. Arundhati Roy, India?s most famous novelist and a passionate voice for Kashmiri self-determination, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the Kashmir crisis and India?s troubling rightward tilt.

 

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2019-10-03
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Finally, Impeachment: Julián Castro on Trump and Ukraine

It finally happened: on Tuesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the beginning of a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The final straw was a July phone call in which Trump pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden, and appeared to suggest that US aid to Ukraine might be contingent upon his compliance. Nearly all of the 2020 Democratic candidates have come out in support of impeachment proceedings. On this week?s Deconstructed, one of those candidates, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the week?s developments. Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to break down the political prospects for impeachment.

 

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2019-09-26
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Israel: Democracy or Apartheid?

Israeli voters returned to the polls this week for the second time in five months to elect the 120 members of the Knesset, the country?s legislative body. The outcome remains too close to call, but it looks like Benjamin Netanyahu, the country?s longest serving Prime Minister, may be denied a majority. His likely successor is former army chief of staff Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party. Yet missing from so much of the international conversation is the fact that five million Palestinian residents of the occupied territories remain unable to vote in elections that could determine their future. Given that Gantz, like Netanyahu, has adopted bellicose rhetoric toward Palestine in the past, can they really expect things to change? Noura Erakat, Palestinian American legal scholar and author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether it?s fair to describe Israel as an apartheid state.

 

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2019-09-19
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Democratic Debate: Is Joe Biden OK?

The Democratic candidates met in Houston on Thursday night for a third round of televised debates. This time the format was limited to a single night with 10 participants, which meant that for the first time, all the top-tier candidates were onstage together. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren defended their respective healthcare plans, but the center of attention was frontrunner Joe Biden, who spent the night fending off attacks from his rivals. As the evening wore on, Biden's answers became increasingly difficult to decipher. Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi Hasan to breakdown the latest debate, as do Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas and Pod Save the World host Tommy Vietor.

 

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2019-09-13
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Who Won the First Democratic Debates?

A whopping 20 Democratic presidential candidates met in Miami, Florida this week for the first in what promises to be a very long season of primary debates. Pre-debate buzz centered around frontrunners like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren?or Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, who let the fireworks fly on the second night in a heated exchange over the ex-Vice President?s record on school bussing. One surprise standout was former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, who made headlines on the first night for his radical immigration proposals and for clashing with fellow Texan Beto O?Rourke. Castro joins Mehdi to talk about his big night, and Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to analyze the debates.

 

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2019-06-28
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Iran Crisis: Have We Learned Nothing from The Iraq War?

Calls for military action against Iran grew louder this week in response to the Trump Administration?s claims that the Islamic Republic was responsible for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Many analysts and politicians, both in the US and abroad, expressed skepticism of those claims. But the US media appears to be falling into a familiar pattern, providing a sympathetic platform for the administration without fundamentally questioning its premises. What can we learn from the last push for a war in the Middle East 17 years ago? Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Chief of Staff to then Secretary of State Colin Powell during the runup to the Iraq War, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the lessons of recent history.

 

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2019-06-20
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Why Won't the Democratic Candidates Move to the Left on Foreign Policy?

The Democratic candidates have introduced a raft of radical progressive proposals on the domestic policy front, from Medicare for All to free public college to universal basic income. Yet that appetite for radicalism has been sorely lacking on the foreign policy front, with the candidates mostly mouthing the same noncommittal platitudes we?ve come to expect from cautious presidential contenders. Why is it that the policy area in which American presidents have the most power and the most freedom to shape world events is so often overlooked in our political campaigns? Atlantic contributor and CUNY professor Peter Beinart joins Mehdi Hasan to talk about why Democrats are so timid on foreign policy.

 

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2019-06-13
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Why is Andrew Yang Running for President?

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a 44-year-old former businessman and philanthropist, has garnered a devoted fanbase (dubbed the ?Yang Gang?) for his unique raft of progressive and technocratic reform proposals. His signature policy, the ?freedom dividend?, would see every American receive $1000 every month, no strings attached. Yang has garnered enough support to secure a spot on the Democratic debate stage later this month, in spite of his total lack of political or government experience. On this week?s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan sits down with the candidate to talk about his platform, his qualifications, and why he seems to have attracted online interest from the alt-right.

 

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2019-06-06
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Brexit and the Rise of the British Trumps

This week?s EU Parliament elections sent political shockwaves across Europe, with far-right nationalist parties racking up major victories in France, Italy, and even the UK. Established parties in Britain took a pounding as voters flocked to Nigel Farage?s newly-founded Brexit Party. Only days earlier, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May resigned in the wake of repeated failures to secure a deal on Brexit. Where does all this leave the UK?s effort to withdraw from the European Union? And what can the US, in the midst of its own anti-immigrant populist moment, learn from the turmoil across the Atlantic? Guardian columnist Owen Jones joins Mehdi Hasan to talk about the rise of British Trumpism.

 

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2019-05-30
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Joe Biden Would Be a Disaster

Former Vice President Joe Biden has jumped to a surprisingly large lead in the Democratic race. But in an era when Democrats are increasingly young, racially diverse, and socialist-leaning, are they really about to nominate a 76-year-old white male from the establishment wing of the party? The bigger problem with Biden of course is his political record?from his role in the Anita Hill hearings to his vote for the 1994 crime bill to his cozy relationship with the credit card industry. On this week?s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan is joined by author and political commentator Rebecca Traister to discuss the trouble with ?Uncle Joe?.

 

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2019-05-23
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Will John Bolton Finally Get His War With Iran?

U.S. officials this week accused Iran of orchestrating ?sabotage? attacks on Saudi tankers near the Persian Gulf, escalating an already tense situation between the two countries. President Trump ramped up his own rhetoric, telling reporters that ?It's going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens? they're not going to be happy." With the notoriously hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton whispering in Trump?s ear, are these signs that the administration is putting the U.S. on a path to war? On this week?s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan discusses the prospects for another illegal and bloody regime change war in the Middle East with National Iranian American Council president Trita Parsi, and with Rob Malley, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group.

 

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2019-05-16
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Is Trump a Fascist?

The F-word gets thrown around a lot these days. But with the president fear-mongering about immigrants, turning a blind eye to political violence from the far right, and embracing white nationalism, is it time to ask the question in earnest? On a daily basis Donald Trump can be heard dismissing the legitimacy of judges or the press, praising authoritarians like Kim Jong-Un, or trying to undermine congressional oversight of his administration. On this week?s show, Mehdi Hasan speaks with Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley about the history of fascism and what it can teach us about our current president.

 

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2019-05-09
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The Case For (and Against) Impeaching Trump

Special Counsel Robert Mueller?s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election didn?t provide the smoking gun on collusion with Russia that many were expecting, but it did paint a picture of a President willing to repeatedly, brazenly, and unashamedly obstruct justice at every opportunity. It also suggests that Trump was restrained from more serious criminality only by the timely intervention of underlings and cabinet officials determined to save him from his own worst impulses. So where does all this leave the conversation on impeachment? With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, calls are escalating for action to remove Trump for office. While some see a moral imperative for Congress to act, others point out the unlikelihood of a Republican-controlled Senate taking such action seriously. On this week?s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan talks with Tom Steyer, the hedge fund Billionaire who launched the ?Need to Impeach? campaign in 2017, and with Vox.com editor Ezra Klein, who thinks political considerations make impeachment a bad idea.

 

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2019-05-02
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