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tv   The Mehdi Hasan Show  MSNBC  March 27, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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. time and again history shows that from the darkest moments that the greatest progress follows. history shows this is the task of our time, the task of this generation. president biden was talking about ukraine specifically. but when i hear that, i can't help think what about here in america? right here in the u.s., the darkness seems to be prevailing. there is no good news on the american dom si front --
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democracy front. sorry. earlier president biden started his address about his trip to ukraine. but then he didn't link the fight for democracy for ukraine as to voting rights here in the u.s. why didn't he link them together? why didn't he point out trumpism at home is the flip side of-- putinism at home. president biden seems more comfortable talking about the problems that other nations are having holding on to their forms of democratic governments than their own.
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they are perilously close to slipping into hypocrisy. what would you call it when the wife of a supreme court is sending memos to the chief of staff. and chief justice thomas was the lone dissenter, including what role his wife had in it. joe biden would know to hold a summit about it. americans like to think of the u.s. as the shiniest example of a democracy when today it is a flawed democracy. last year we were dropped to number 26 in the world as
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political and cultural divisions have become more entrenched. ouch. and this year it was said -- legislators have carried over bills. and this doesn't include the new bill in georgia that would allow state police to launch voting fraud investigations without a referral from the attorney general's office. it is probably no accident that the latest stop for the donald trump grievances tour was in atlanta where he criticized the governor of that state for refusing to overturn the 2020
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election results. >> we are just eight months away from maybe the most important midterm victory. we need a landslide so big we can't let them rig it or steal it. this country cannot take another election like we just had. >> i agree with trump. we cannot suffer through another election like the one we just had, but not for the crazy and dishonest reasons he thinks. there is not that much difference between putin-ism and trump-ism. but democracy was in trouble long before he came on the scene. just look at the supreme court hearings in a dysfunctional senate. every branch of the government is broken.
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american democracy is being destroyed, in broad daylight without a war or invasion. for more on where things stand and where we go from here i am joined by jason, professor off philosophy, and also the author of the book "strongmen." jason, let me start with you. what accounts for this disparity that joe biden talks about democracy abroad and at home. why can't democrats clearly draw a line between what is happening in ukraine and what needs to be done here at home. >> you can't lead internationally when at home you have this crisis. joe biden is trying to lead
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internationally. putin is the leader of this attack on democracy. the links of trump and trump-ism is clear. in order to lead biden has to pretend we are a better democracy than we currently are. >> eddie, in addition to georgia, black voters are having their vote suppressed, they fear how difficult to have their vote suppressed. there is also texas where voters are being disenfranchised. some 23,000 mail-in ballots were tossed out, almost all of them from failing to meet the voter i.d. requirements. i feel it is being ignored and only partly because of ukraine. >> well, it has a lot to do with the difficulty around passing the john lewis voting bill and
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the other voting bill with sinema and manchin and not having a way forward. and then voters may not be satisfied with judge brown-jackson. maybe the constituency will be satisfied. it seems to me that he had the perfect opportunity to join -- in some ways to have another campaign. remember the naacp campaign's campaign. he had an opportunity to talk
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about defending democracy abroad and at home. but instead he slipped into that worry, that jimmy carter worry. we can't be too dark and glum about the american domestic situation or me way jeopardize our american electorate. >> there is one line that always sticks in my mind, ruth. when donald trump made known he had covid, and the debate with joe biden, and the reporter says what did he think and biden says he tries not to think about trump too often. trump went into a self exiled place in florida where he continues to undermine democracy at a state level. we know what joe biden would
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call it in another country. but when he sees it in america, i am not sure it is the same thing. >> biden ran as a unifier. i think perhaps he thinks he can reach crossover or independent votershe can reach crossover voters or independent voters by taking this political stance by not mentioning trump so perhaps he would will him away. he has to strongmen, they don't disappear, they kind of remain there, so, i think that he is trying to straddle the line between not giving this person who dominated the media more oxygen. there is evidence the trump release are less attended. his social media isn't going anywhere. perhaps biden thinks it's a
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good counter propaganda strategy. but it is dangerous because day after day our rights are taken away at home and there is a plan that dates back to trump to try to overturn the election with judge thomas and his wife at the center of it. we have to pay attention to it because it is not going away. >> certainly it is not going away. let me ask you this. if you and i had spoken this time last week i think we would have agreed the critical race theory was going to raise its head for the senate confirmation hearing of just a touch of projects. i am not sure either of us would have anticipated the extent and nature of the way here. >> do you agree with the book that babies are racist? >> senator.
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>> senator. i do not believe any child should be made to feel as though they are racist. to serve on the board of a school that teaches kindergartners. 5-year-old children that they can choose their gender and teaches them about so-called white privilege. it is made clear that you believe judges must consider critical race theory when deciding how to sentence criminal defendants. your personal hidden and jenna to incorporate critical race theory into our legal system. >> it gets worse each time i hear it. they don't pretend anymore there is substance to any of this nonsense. explain to me what you think the republicans were doing there and how it fits into the
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broader discussion about democracy and liberalism. >> so, liberal democracy is a system that guarantees minority rights. that is the liberal democracy. what we are seeing now in the united states at across the world with the far right attack of liberal democracy is this fear mongering that minorities are going to take over. that minorities are going to go after your children. liberalism is going to give minorities an equal role in society and takeover. so, they also liken this to child pornography, so, connecting to qanon. what we are seeing is this kind of fear mongering about schools and children and the liberals are trying to replace white dominance. we have to be clear this threatens america's standing in the world is a democracy
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because the rest of the world knows that america is kelly's heel is white supremacy. what putin wants to do is say it is not a democracy, it is really a white supremacist thing. this is just falling right into the line internationally. >> it is so important to hear you say that because i worry. i was just speaking to a member of congress in the last hour. that elected representatives do not want to draw these lines. they do not want to connect the dots. everything is treated in isolation rather than as you pointed out part of a big vision. the nonsense about pedophiles and critical race theory. liberalism. the democracy. i want to make it obvious a point others have made. >> i want to play clip from vladimir putin speaking the other day on issues that sound familiar speaking for the american right, have a listen.
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>> [ speaking foreign language ] >> so cool the gender freedom and cancellation. putin could be a member of the house republican caucus speaking like that, could he not? >> yes. you know, as the world globalize is against russia in favor of ukraine, it's makes the gop alignment in so many things with global autocracy all the more. in the hearings, judge jackson as jason mentioned, trying to say there were talks on child pornography. not only connected to qanon. we have the conspiracy theories now advanced by coley and senator graham but, also this
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is a global right talking point. not just pizza gait with clinton etc. this is a way to tell democrats in the united states and in hungary, now election is in a few days so there is a referendum also trying to impose more stringent and see lgbtq laws. one of the main arguments is homosexuality is links to pedophilia. so, it is very important for americans to see the connection between biden drying on more strongly that these are you able right talking points autocrats have and the gop every single day with political practice furthers them in america. >> yes. making those connections is so important and i'm so glad to have you here. did we see democracy in america
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go backwards just in this last week? just in senate hearings? we never really had a true democracy. we never had a true democracy until the 1960s. a multiracial democracy where everyone was equal until the 1960s. we talked about the history of american democracy. i feel like multiracial democracy goes backwards in the country right now. can we be a democracy if we are not a multiracial democracy? >> right. to echo your point we have become a multiracial democracy and the passage of the voting rights act of 1965. we know immediately we were forced to organize to undo it so 16 years later reagan re- authorizes but says section 5 needs to be removed and 2013 fulfilling his vision. i do not want to say the hearings represented a kind of backwards turn i think that
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hearings represented the moment with another example of the fact we are in the midst of right now a betrayal. the promise of hundreds of thousands of people showing up at george floyd's murderer. cross race and class and ethnicity in the middle of a pandemic. reckoning contained within it betrayal and we are in the midst of the betrayal right now. we are seeing it's not only in terms of debate around american history but in terms of kind of efforts to defend the vote and we saw the supreme court hearings with judge ketanji brown jackson. >> please stick around, there is much more to discuss it i want to talk about one republican member of the house and a plan to bring back donald trump as speaker, believe it or not. still ahead, more on the fight against trump right here at home, don't go away. go away.
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we are back with our panel. we talk about democracy in america. let me ask you this. donald trump continues to purge the republican party of anyone who does not buy into his big lie. he continues to obsess over the 2020 election. yesterday in georgia he started his lies and conspiracy, they
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were plans for his return to national politics even sooner than 2024. have a listen to something that is very controversial with matt gaetz. >> of us the ability to fire nancy pelosi. take back the majority, impeach joe biden and i will nominate donald trump for speaker of the united states house of representatives. >> i am not sure how kevin mccarthy feels about that. what congressman gaetz said sounded kind of insane? we can laugh and he shakes his head, i don't blame him. but it is legal. it is actually impossible to bring donald trump in. to say that is crazy that will not happen. which we have done before. i know something you and i have discussed before is an idea of right wing far right ideologies, autocrats with crazy ideas and the rest
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laughing. i worry that is happening here. >> in fact yes. it can seem crazy because the last person to be interested in any rules of the house or anything is donald trump. he has no interest in learning about anything but the constitution. i think he is above it. what is really scary is if you immerse yourself for years in the heads of autocrats like i have what is scary is the idea he would be there and they would not think he would be there very long. as speaker the line of succession to the head of state is very short. they would start immediately impeaching or god knows what. the key thing with people who think like donald trump who were completely lawless, nothing is beyond the bounds of imagination. that has been what hindered
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people for 100 years, the destruction that people like autocrats can cause. you have to go in their mentality and realize nothing is off limits for them. so i would be very frightened if donald trump became speaker of the house. >> i think we all would be. let me ask you this. we talk about these crazy ideas as the future of american democracy. a pushback not just for people on the right but a lot of liberals and moderate centrist or whatever words you want to use. as they say come down. american democracy survive 2020. the guardrails held. turnout increased. what are we worried about? it is fine. what do you say to that argument? >> i come out of a tradition that has not been so tethered to the idea american has an example of democracy.
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i come from a tradition experiencing the brunt of america's failure to live up to the principles. so the idea american democracy is so strong and resilient presumes that has always been the case when we know we had a democracy for much of our existence. so, part of what i think we need to understand, i responded because we are awash in stupidity. i am clear about that. that is not precluding these folks are not dangerous. the most toxic combination when it comes to matters such as these about race and democracy is the combination of the kind of rabbits race and white liberal moderates afraid of going too far. the combination of those two that typically change and
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typically keep us from actually aggressively defending her democracy that we currently face now. >> yes indeed. let me ask you a version of what i just saw is you and i have been speaking to each other about the issues several years now. we spoke about this many years ago before i even joined the station. we talked about your book on fascism. a time when only a few people like you and me with say the f4 out loud. do you think we are in a different place equal 2022 given all that we have seen? everything we learned? this week we are discovering the wife of a sitting supreme court justice was a vote in donald trump's favor in terms of protecting the investigation? sending text to the trump white house chief of staff not just overturning the election but putting the biden family in guantanamo bay on trial? like really crazy authoritarian
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stuff. are we in a different place in the country? or still too much complacency? >> i think there is too much complacency. first of all, we have to see fascism has a legal phase which we are now seeing. anti-protest laws sweeping across the nation, electoral laws disenfranchising large numbers of voters, a special police force for a nonexistent problem of voter fraud, so, when things become legal, when the fascist framework becomes legal and stealing elections becomes legal as these laws will make it so, that will heed complacency. secondly, we have a history that hitler actually looks to for inspiration which is the racist jim crow history. when you look at what is happening with laws attacking schools and elections we harken
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back to an american past. that feels familiar to many americans. that feeds complacency as well. >> it's does indeed and i worry at a time like this. the modern democratic party. is biden up to the fight? i'm not sure. i appreciate your time tonight and analysis. a fascinating important revelation . thank you all. still ahead, what we know about the russian missile attack in lviv. but first the headlines. hi richard. >> reporter: a wildfire broke out in the south, south of the city. the fire forced nearly 20,000 people to flee their homes but fortunately, conditions started
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to improve the fire is already 35% contained. the second black box from an eastern airline boeing 737 the crash last week was found on sunday the box contained the flights data that will help investigators determine why the plane went down, all 132 on board died. the fda is expected to authorize a second covid-19 booster vaccine with early signs of another covid wave as the ba.2 omicron subvariant spreads worldwide. two officials tell nbc news the authorization could happen as early as next week. more after the break. the brea shingles doesn't care. t because 1 in 3 people will get shingles, you need protection. but, no matter how healthy you feel, your immune system declines as you age increasing your risk for getting shingles. so, what can protect you? shingrix protects. you can protect yourself from shingles
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have been there, what can you tell us? >> it has become quite a normality here, they go off at alarming regularity. then a few hours after that we got the all clear. that does not necessarily mean when an alarm goes off this places targeted. a wide range of areas are covered where we heard reports of a neighboring province but we can't confirm it. that may trigger alarms here. as you know, lviv was hit yesterday. not many people here are anxious. the biggest hit closer to the city center two miles from where they landed and where the russians heads with another government building it. they hit them with long-range precision missiles causing extensive damage. fires were burning for hours.
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they say they did that because they took fuel to ukrainian troops on the east of ukraine. that made people very anxious. we spoke to a lot of people here in lviv. they would not say it was shattered but the security was certainly punctured and it made a lot of people wonder how long could lviv remain a safe haven for all of the people displaced from the east of the country and felt relatively safe in the west. i have to tell you it does still feel safe but many ukrainians you speak to say putin is capable of doing anything with churches, children's hospitals, apartment buildings, so, displaced may not be safe going forward as well. >> thank you for your reporting
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and please do so safely. coming up, justice clarence thomas should be impeached to will democrats go through with it? not likely. i share my thoughts and all of that next, stay with us. us. does daily stress leave you feeling out of sync? new dove men stress-relief body wash... with a plant-based adaptogen, helps alleviate stress on skin. so you can get back in sync. new dove men. a restorative shower for body and mind. ♪ it's the most wonderful time of the year ♪ get fast relief of your worst allergy symptoms, new dove men. including nasal congestion, with powerful claritin d, so you can breathe better. feel the clarity
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the main character of
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american politics. she secured the unenviable position after the bombshell report uncovered text messages that detailed the extent to which she colluded with a white house chief of staff to try to overthrow the government of the united states. a source for with the materials with nbc news, release the crack and she said to mark meadows. save us from the left taking america down. he did release the crack and as trumpet his allies filed dozens of ridiculous lawsuits targeting election results across the country. as many as possible hopes to reach the supreme court and justice clarence thomas. now, if you thought her conservative activism or more accurately her efforts to undermine american democracy might push justice thomas to consider recusing himself with any and all stop the steal cases before the court, well, you see glaring conflict of interest with the reactionary madhouse that is our
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conservative dominated house court. justice roberts was happy in february 2021 with the case filed by pennsylvania republicans to disqualify some 2020 mail-in ballots. then in january of this year the loan vote against efforts to obtain records from the trump white house related to the january 6th attack. in my view, the refusal to recuse means he should be impeached to put aside for a moment the fact justice thomas has been accused of sexual harassment. that he is a radical spreading his career in order to bolster his own bizarre interpretation of the constitution. his refusal to recuse himself almost certainly knowing what his wife was up to behind the scenes, that alone requires impeachment. demands impeachment. remember there is no alternative to impeachment here.
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supreme court judges are exempt from the usual competent interest in ethical guidelines of other federal judges because there are no cute slips of the wrist available here. the kind that accredits are so fond of using. impeachment is the sole remedial measure laid out by the constitution and to the defeatist moderates who answered that we do not have to vote if convicted, i say who cares? impeachment happens in the house and democrats have a majority to do that. they could do it tomorrow morning if they wanted. conviction in the senate with two trump impeachment efforts all for not. of course not. impeachment is a moral stain on one's character and reputation. one that will sit there forever as a warning to successes. the only tool of accountability we have. clarence thomas needs to be held to account and yet where are the democrats on
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impeachment. a while. in the last few days a bunch of top congressional democrats have released strongly worded letters with ethical lapses calling on him to recuse himself from future cases. how quaint. i am sorry to be the one to break it to them, when democracy is literally under attack, when there is a really cool carried out by the right, strongly worded leftists aren't enough. if congressional republicans equal 2024 discover justice ketanji brown jackson husband was texting the biden white house chief of staff urging him to prevent the reelection of donald trump and calling in him to send the trump failing to trial, what you think they would do? because democrats, i can bet you this, based on performance this week at the senate judiciary committee, republicans would do more than send a strongly worded letter.
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today ukraine's top military officials accused vladimir putin of trying to create a north and south korea in ukraine. this comes as russian officials claim they are shifting their
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focus away from overtaking the ukrainian capital and towards the eastern donbas region where separatists have been fighting the last eight years. president zelenskyy admitted it is impossible to force russia out of the country completely. across the world the undermining of democracy goes hand-in-hand with internal division that we have seen with political polarization including in the united states. much of the authoritarian trend at home was driven by a minority of white conservative people angry about the browning of america. and targets of black and brown communities. how is our divided democracy too violent in conflict? my next guest has been around the globe over 30 years. the professor of the university of san diego california and also how civil wars start and how to stop them . thank you so much for joining me this
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evening. how much has ethnic division and civil conflict in your view contributing to the undermining of democracy on a global level? how much is it about internal faultlines within countries like russia or ukraine or india or brazil in the u.s.? >> it is lines. if you think about the civil wars in the '60s and the '70s in anything nicaragua, that was over a left-right divide. that has been changing to where now in the 21st century wars are fought amongst ethnic or racial groups. it's not because countries are ethnically necessarily ethnically divided. it's because what political scientists call ethnic entrepreneurs. these are politicians who have figured out that they can actually catapult themselves to power if they begin to play on
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fears, on insecurities. if they begin to create the perception of threat. under those conditions, people tend to gravitate toward their own ethnic, religious or racial group for reasons we don't entirely understand. so it's more the fact that ethnic entrepreneurs have figured out that this is a really good tool for them to use. >> so professor walter, can there be any long-term solution to the conflict in ukraine without depleting the divisions. >> it had all the risk factors that we know tend to lead toward civil war. ukraine was a country whose government was only partially
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democratic. in fact, it had been a full democracy, but it had been backsliding. it also had a population who had divided itself politically. so their political parties were divided not only along ethnic lines but to some degree, linguistic lines. that's not going away in ukraine. western ukraine will always be much more heavily russia leaning. it contains a large proportion of its population who came from russia over the last 50 years who are russian speakers and that's eastern ukraine, and western ukraine is going to be much more heavily ethnically ukrainian and they want to join more with the west and europe. and in some respects i can
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imagine a scenario where the war ends, and you're already seeing a little bit of this now. putin just decided that he's going to shift what seemed to be his war aims from trying to capture the capital and instead having more limited aims of retaining control of the donbas region, which is this eastern, very heavily-russian speaking, ethnically russian area of eastern ukraine, and i think his aims are now going to be not only to gain control of that but to incorporate it into russia. and, in some respects, that might not be a bad outcome, where ethnic ukrainians, ukrainians who live this western ukraine, which is the wealthier, more western-leaning part of ukraine say okay. you can have that. like they said with crimea, and then, in some respects, they get rid of a troublesome pro-russian
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part of their country. so it's going, like it's going to be very, very hard for them to push russian soldiers out of ukraine entirely. but that part of ukraine might be -- >> okay, so -- >> might be expendable. >> and whether the ukrainians sign off on that is correct we talked earlier in the show about what a referendum would look like. what ukrainians would agree to. you say in your new book that we closer to a civil war here in america than ever of about, since the last actual civil war that we had in the 19th century. i've got to ask. how close is close? >> well, if the task force that i was on was allowed to look at the united states, countries that had these two risk factors. country whose had a partial democracy and whose conflicts divided along ethnic, religious or racial lines, if they had those two feature, we put them on a watch list, we call it a watch list, and we consider them
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a high risk of political violence, and the united states reached that point by the end of 2021. our democracy had been downgraded prior to that. and one of our two major parties was behaving very much like an ethnic faction. >> when you say we're close to civil war, you don't mean the 1860s civil war of armies fighting in battlefields? >> no, absolutely not, one of the reasons americans have a hard time believing that a second civil war is possible is they're thinking of that type of civil war. and the 21st century civil war, especially in the united states where you have a powerful central government with a very powerful military, they don't look like that at all.
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they look instead like insurgencies, decentralized, fought by multiple factions operating clandestinely around the country, whether they are militias or paramilitargroups, they have no desire to engage the u.s. military and will use unconventional tactics like terrorism and guerilla warfare. >> it's scary what you're saying, but i'm glad you're ringing the alarm bell. we don't want complacency on this show. >> it's my pleasure, thank you very much. thanks for watching the global fight for democracy. tonight each and every one of you has a role to play in that fight for democracy. i'll be right back here next sunday. you can watch monday through thursday on peacock on "the choice". for now, for me, goodnight.
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don't address insulin resistance. that's why they don't work. now, there's golo. golo helps with insulin resistance, getting rid of sugar cravings, helps control stress and emotional eating, and losing weight. go to and see how golo can change your life. that's welcome to a new hour of "american voices". i'm alicia menendez. we begin with breaking news. president biden spoking moments ago about his comments in poland about what most people are thinking, putin cannot stay in power. >> mr. president, were you calling for regime change? >> no! >> meanwhile, new hope for a peace deal in ukraine. president zelenskyy says the ukraine is ready to


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