Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

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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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
U.S. media have been busy painting a very rosy picture of former president George H.W. Bush since his death last week. While he did stand up to the gun lobby, sign the Americans with Disabilities Act, and peacefully end the Cold War, he also ordered the Desert Storm operation in which 88,000 tons of U.S. bombs were dropped on Iraq, killing tens of thousands of Iraqis and destroying civilian infrastructure. The Intercept’s co-founder Glenn Greenwald joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the difference between hagiography and journalism — and to produce a more accurate and fair obituary of the late former-president George H.W. Bush.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The most important, historic, and consequential midterm election of our lives is over. It wasn’t quite a blue wave, but the Democrats, while unable to win the Senate, did, as predicted, take back control of the House for the first time since 2010. Mehdi Hasan is joined by Rep. Barbara Lee, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, and Women’s March Co-Chair Tamika Mallory to digest the election results and discuss voter suppression — and where the democrats go from here.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The presidential primary season kicks off next year and there is one big question hanging over the Democratic party: the rust belt. For the last quarter century, it was solid blue, but Donald Trump changed that. And as 2020 approaches, the Democrats find themselves wondering, is there a candidate who can take it back? Could Sen. Sherrod Brown, a left-wing, pro-labor Ohio senator who won a third term these past midterms, be the Democrats’ answer to Donald Trump in 2020? Mehdi Hasan is joined by Sen. Sherrod Brown himself to discuss his presidential ambitions, and then with The Intercept’s DC bureau chief Ryan Grim and Bernie Sanders’ former organizing director Claire Sandberg to analyze the rust belt and the 2020 electoral field.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
After decisively beating five other candidates in last month’s primary race to represent Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional district, Ilhan Omar is on her way to becoming the first African refugee and hijab-wearing Muslim woman to serve in Congress. She joins Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib in a wave of progressive women taking the Democratic Party establishment by storm. Before coming to the U.S., Omar spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp, having fled the civil war in Somalia. She immigrated to America at the age of 12. Ilhan Omar joins Mehdi Hasan to explain how she went from those humble origins to a congressional seat.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Since a Saudi-led coalition began bombarding Yemen in March 2015, more than 10,000 people have been killed and over 2 million displaced. While most U.S. politicians would prefer to pretend otherwise, all of this is happening with the cooperation and direct support of the United States. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is one of the few lawmakers who has taken a loud and consistent stand against the war. He joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the ongoing conflict — and whether it can be ended.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Over the past few days, 11 people were massacred in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the country’s top Democrats have been targeted with pipe bombs, and two black people were executed in a grocery store in Kentucky. Contrary to Donald Trump’s warnings, terrorists weren’t coming from Mexico or Syria; they were here in America, and some of them attended his rallies. Trump, of all people, shouldn’t be shocked by the rise of white nationalism and antisemitism in America: he has repeatedly retweeted white supremacist Twitter accounts and praised neo Nazis in Charlottesville as “very fine people.” On this special episode of Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan is joined by former Department of Homeland Security senior domestic terrorism analyst Daryl Johnson and Christian Picciolini, a former neo Nazi who left the movement and devoted his life to peace advocacy and deradicalization, to discuss America’s descent into far right terror.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Two Palestinians join Mehdi Hasan to discuss U.S. coverage of Jerusalem and how to get prominent Democratic politicians to take the Palestinian struggle for freedom seriously. Rula Jebreal was raised in East Jerusalem and is an academic and foreign policy analyst. Linda Sarsour, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Occupied West Bank, is the co-chair of the Women’s March and the former director of the Arab American Association of New York.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The war in Syria has seen seven long years of bloodshed, terror, and foreign interventions. And now, once again, the alleged use of chemical weapons has prompted president Donald Trump to threaten bombing the Assad regime. But on what authority, and with what plan? This week on Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan speaks to Rep. Barbara Lee, one of the most consistent voices against U.S. military interventions on Capitol Hill. And with former Obama adviser Ilan Goldenberg about whether Trump is following in Obama’s footsteps by going to war without congressional approval.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Hundreds of millions of Muslims the world over live in democracies of some shape or form, yet a narrative persists in the West that Islam and democracy are incompatible. On this week’s show, Mehdi Hasan is joined by the man expected to become Malaysia’s next Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, and by Dalia Mogahed, the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, to discuss Islam, Muslims, and democracy.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this special, live-recorded episode of Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan is joined by a panel of leftist lawmakers and advocates, Sen. Jeff Merkley, California Congressman Ro Khanna, CNN political commentator Symone Sanders, and Nina Turner, the founder of Our Revolution. Together, these panelists discuss whether the Democrats will take a left turn and use their impending House majority to not just restrain or even impeach Donald Trump, but to push for a bolder, more progressive agenda?   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Podcast Details

Started
Mar 1st, 2018
Latest Episode
Jul 9th, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
95
Avg. Episode Length
33 minutes
Explicit
No

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