tv The Mehdi Hasan Show MSNBC October 24, 2021 5:00pm-5:50pm PDT
the go without the temptation of being sucked into the other distraction a phone tempts us with. happy 20th, ipod. maybe like bootleg jeans and center parts the zoomers will bring you back. that is all the time i have for today. i will see you back here next weekend 6:00 p.m. eastern for more "american voices." now i hand it over to mehdi hasan. mehdi, i want to know what was on your ipod in 2000 >> i had a feeling you'd ask me that and i'm pleading the fifth and taking it to my grave. what are you talking about? i love the idea of always being on the twitter and not an ipod. i love the distractions. i am aducted. >> this is what distinguishes you and me. thank you so much. >> who needs music when you have twitter? see you later. go listen to something cool while i tweet and do a tv show. tonight on the mehdi hasan show, the qanon crazies take las vegas but they're also taking over the republican party.
it is no joke. i'll talk to two experts about the threat posed to american democracy right now. plus democrats are perhaps days away from finally striking a deal on biden's build back better plan but which policies will make it into the final deal and which won't? i'll ask democratic senator tina smith. i speak to iconic activist about the importance of the health care fight not only for his own life but for all americans. good evening, i'm mehdi hasan. have you checked what is happening in vegas this weekend? qanon is in town under the name for god and country patriot doubledown a conference held in sin city featuring quite the list of republican candidates and elected officials who have one thing in common. they have pledged their undying loyalty to donald trump and the big lie and the donald has returned the love. you remember qanon the bizarre
conspiracy theorists who believe trump is secretly saving the world from an evil, liberal group of devil worshiping pedophiles. we can laugh at them but seriously it is no laughing matter. hard core qanon believers say a storm is coming that will kill all democrats. qanon linked people have been involved in violent crimes. the fbi regards qanon as domestic terror threat. it should worry us just how many republican officials are attending this conference of loons and extremists. in las vegas one of the featured speakers led the effort to overturn trump's 2020 loss in that state. he was in washington, d.c. on january 6th and even gave a speech the day before pushing the big lie. something he continues to do until today. here he is speaking at trump's iowa rally earlier this month. >> the lord's got a message here on this whole audit thing. with all the evidence of incompetence and criminality
that's been presented to the arizona senate, to congress, now to the arizona attorney general, the maricopa county 2020 election cannot be allowed to stand. it must be decertified and set aside. >> his anti-democratic efforts, trump endorsed finchem for arizona secretary of state despite the fact he has ridiculous qanon-ish views and seems to think i kid you not that clinton killed the fast and furious actor paul walker. despite the fact he is a self-proclaimed oath keeper. you remember the far right militia group the oath keepers who on january 6th proudly marched up to the steps of the capitol and many have since been marching straight into lawyers' offices. at least 18 people connected to the oath keepers have been indicted in relation to the insurrection including on conspiracy charges. you think mark finchem, oath keeper, qanon guy, big lie guy is going to allow a democratic candidate to be certified as the
winner of arizona come the 2024 presidential election if he is the secretary of state? see, while democrats focus on manchin and sinema and build back better republicans are making sure the coup that failed in 2020 doesn't fail again in 2024. january 6 was a warmup and has become a rallying cry from on high. on thursday trump released a statement that read, the insurrection took place on november 3rd, election day. january 6th was the protest. take a moment to think about how crazy and how dangerous that statement is from the twice impeached former president. it is a major escalation from trump. he's gone from dipping his toes in the facism pool by suggesting january 6th was a love fest that ashley babbitt was a martyr, to diving in head first openly saying the real insurrection was joe biden's election victory. what the fbi calls the domestic terrorism on january 6th was a
legitimate protest. i am a muslim. and for the past 20 years since 9/11 we muslims were told especially by republicans if you don't condemn terrorism you're complicit in it. today that should apply to republicans who refuse to condemn trump and his pro insurrection remarks. otherwise they are all complicit in domestic terrorism even the supposedly moderate ones. listen to gop senator roy blunt of missouri on "meet the press" this morning. >> an insurrection? >> i think the election was what it was. there is a process you go through that determines whether or not the early reports were the right reports and we went through that process and i'm of the view the best thing president trump could do to help us win majorities in 2022 is talk about the future. >> an amazing and shameful lack of back bone there. look, it is our obligation as journalists to make it clear to you the public that one of the country's two main political
parties is now a coalition of qanon believers, oath keepers, insurrectionists, and apologists for qanon believers, oath keepers, and insurrectionists. just yesterday "the washington post" ran an exhaustive profile of kevin mccarthy the gop leader in the house and in all those thousands of words there was no mention of him giving a pass to qanon and other crazies in his ranks. in fact, gop congresswoman marjorie taylor green's unhinged statements was labeled old, offensive views by "the post." to be crystal clear american democracy is on the line. the gop has been radicalized and taken over by extremists and con st. pierre cysts. at a time like this we in the supposedly liberal media cannot be white washing or normalizing what is basically far right facism at our door. for more on this let's turn to the washington bureau chief for "mother jones" and msnbc
political contributor and david let me start with you. you are a veteran of covering washington politics. you've been covering the gop for decades now. did you ever imagine you would see someone like arizona's mark finchem being main streamed by that party, endorsed by the former president for a post that could help decide the next presidential election? >> you know, i gave up wondering what i would see in the future a couple yoers ago. you know, once the party nominated donald trump who was a conspiracy theorist, got there by birtherism, and once they embraced him after the "access hollywood" tape it was clear there was no bottom. we've been waiting for the bottom and it doesn't exist. now we are a few years later and he's been playing footsie with qanon and now is endorsing a fellow speaking at a qanon friendly event in las vegas and it is not just anyone.
it's someone who will control if he wins how to count the votes, how to certify the votes in a key swing state, arizona. >> yes. >> i'm glad you showed the roy blunt tape earlier today on "meet the press" because i can't say i was surprised or astounded by that but i think it really shows where the republican party is. there's the trumpers and the crazies out there but anyone who wants to think of himself as responsible member of the american community who can't disavow this, can't criticize this, they cannot be taken seriously. they are as much a threat. silence as you noted is complicity. >> well said. you and i are both muslim. when i see sun like gop senator roy blunt refuse to condemn the big lie and domestic terrorism and insurrection i can't help but think how we were denounced by people like roy blunt.
>> it is good to be a white conservative in america. you can be a radical extremist and will be seen as a moderate. amazing. the gop and the modern conservative movement is now a radicalized, weaponized death cult that wants minority rule specifically white christian minority by any means necessary. i said a lot. let me break it down. radicalized because they are radicalized by conspiracy theories and right wing information network that promotes the big lie that trump supposedly won. a majority of republican voters believe this. they also believe in qanon a domestic terror threat that the fbi says will radicalize people like ashley babbitt who went as a violent insurrectionist and was killed and now donald trump called her a martyr. they are weaponized because they will use violence to get their means. look at the january 6th violent insurrection, the fact that 28 elected officials many republicans are part of the oath keepers, far right group that you mentioned and look at the fact they are now threatening school boards and teachers to the point where the national school board association has to ask the fbi to protect them and
how also they're a death cult because during a pandemic that has killed over 700,000 americans and 4 million people they have weaponized masks, mehdi, and vaccines, and weaponized the cultural war just to inflame their base. can you manning if you and me as brown skinned men, south asian men, muslim men went and did any of this what would happen? there would be a full scale war on terror part two. war on terror harder against muslims but right now these people are going to get elected to office and i'm glad you focus on mark finchem because arizona is where it's at. this man has been tabbed by trump to be the next secretary of state. he might win and if he wins and biden wins arizona in 2024 or the democrat wins what is going to happen? they've given you a sneak preview and told you. it is like a bonneville telling you the plan in the first act. it is a coup. there is going to be a coup. >> david, the republicans are running people with the most deranged, unhinged,
anti-democratic, violent views to key elected offices across the country while democrats argue how much to spend on community college. i feel like i'm losing my mind. why can't democrats see the extremist threat we face right now? not just democrats but prominent members of the, quote-unquote, liberal media still doing both sides normalizing coverage of the two political parties? >> i think we are living in a democracy crisis. it is quite clear the republican plan when they don't have the population of voters with them is for a form of political apartheid, where the minority has majority rule and institutions and controlling the leverage, the power in states where it comes to counting and tail ig and certifying the vote. i think it is really hard for the media and even democrats to wrap their minds around. it was hard to wrap their minds around the russian attack and in 2016 hard for them to wrap their minds around how much trump would lie. took a long time to say he is a
liar. or to, you know, deal with his inept response to the pandemic. these are really big things and when you want to think grown ups are in charge even on the republican side and it is very disconcerting to realize it is not true and then you see someone like glen youngkin running for governor in virginia and he is trying to distance himself a little bit from trump but at the same time campaigning with people who are apoll psychologists for january 6th and stop the steal advocates and has a pac giving money to these people locally. there is no escape for the republican party at this point. if you are a member of the republican party, running for republican office, you are part of the trump conspiracy to undermine democracy. and i do think, you know, biden is focused on the spending bill and social infrastructure bill. i get that. but if he doesn't start telling the larger tale of what the republicans are up to beyond just the voting rights bill, if he doesn't give a bigger
narrative, and it is his job to do this, enough americans are not going to pay close enough attention especially at the local races and the democrats will find themselves totally in a bad position and a bad corner and it will be their own fault. >> not just big d democrats but small d democrats. anybody who cares about democracy will be in trouble if we don't stand up to this. extremist parties in europe are covered very differently. even though germany's afd or italy's northern league are considered fringe parties their extremism is made clear. we talk about neo fascist and yet the american far right is no longer fringe. it is one of our two main parties right now. a lot of very serious people in washington, d.c. seem in denial about that. don't want to call the gop what it's become when it has become what we would call a far right party in any european country. >> david, it is an incestuous ecosystem. they are all friends, date each other, have sex, get married,
get divorced, slap each other on the back. i remember a day before a white house press conference a couple years ago there was a big party. producers, hosts, reporters. you know who else was there? sean spicer. remember the man who literally lied to the press from the pulpit? he was having the best time mehdi back slapping someone. so it is a failure of the washington, d.c., new york incessuous press network that looks for access, looks for the bottom line. look, you come from the british press. you know this. you guys actually go after politicians. they are actually scared of you. you ask the tough questions. we hold our punches in america. it is pathetic. to the point where literally you're calling people moderate like senator blunt who was unable on "meet the press" today to answer whether or not joe biden won the election. in europe at least they go after them. and so the problem here is the overton window shifts. stuff like the replacement theory which is a white
supremacist, anti-semitic conspiracy theory from the swamp of the nazis is literally now on fox news. amazing. >> and it will be main stream beyond fox news very quickly sadly. we have to leave it there. i appreciate you both speaking so plainly and bluntly about the threat we face. thank you for your time. next, how close are democrats to a deal following the unusual sunday meeting at president biden's home with senators chuck schumer and joe manchin himself? democratic senator from minnesota tina smith is here. i'll ask her. voting rights bill is blocked again this week but why do we only talk about senators joe manchin and krysten sinema? why aren't we also talking about republicans here? stick around. i will be. derriere discomfort. we try to soothe it with this. cool it with this. and relieve it with this. but new preparation h soothing relief spray is the 21st century way to do all three. even touch free.
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earlier today president biden met with senator manchin and chuck schumer at his home in wilmington, delaware. serious stuff meeting at home. the white house called it a, quote, productive discussion and said the three of them continued to make progress. back in washington speaker nancy pelosi seemed pretty confident democrats were nearing the finish line. sources tell msnbc news she is planning a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure framework on wednesday but that vote could be pushed if they fail to reach a deal on the bigger spending bill, social spending bill. build back better. here was pelosi talking about that time line this morning. >> this is a senate proposal and they are supposedly writing it today and tomorrow would introduce it. >> the framework will be agreed to. there will be a deal -- >> let's call it an agreement. >> an agreement on that and you will also vote for bipartisan infrastructure bill. both of those things will happen in the next week. >> that's the plan. >> fingers and toes crossed. joining me now to talk about where negotiations stand
democratic senator from acetaminophen tina smith. welcome back to the show. you have the president meeting with joe manchin today at home in delaware, nancy pelosi talking timelines for votes on live television. what do you know about where we are in terms of a deal? how confident are you, a house vote on the bipartisan framework at least will take place this week? thank you, mehdi. great to be back with you again. i am actually optimistic that we are going to get this all worked out. we need to. americans are waiting for us to deliver on the promises we all made in the elections in 2020. i did. president biden did. about making child care more affordable. making prescription drugs more affordable. biggest tax cut for working families we've seen in a generation. this is what we have to get done. i'm actually feeling pretty good we're going to get this resolved and find the 50 votes in the senate and the votes we need in the house to pass this and get it out.
>> those are important issues you mentioned. i want to come back to which actually survived. before i do i mentioned chuck schumer, joe manchin, joe biden all meeting in delaware. sounds like the start of a bad joke. someone who is missing from the meeting was kyrsten sinema. noticeably missing in delaware today. it does seem like she answers to no one your colleague from arizona. i mean, here she is dodging reporters on the hill as ever. she doesn't speak to journalists. she doesn't speak to her constituents. i believe she has not held a town hall since 2018. she doesn't speak to her own colleagues. correct me if i'm wrong. is it clear to you or any of your fellow democratic senators where she stands on this bill? would you treat the people of minnesota the way she treats the people of arizona? >> mehdi, i thought you were going to say i was missing from the meeting in delaware. you know, there were two senators there. >> fair point. you haven't been the block thankfully that she has.
that's the caveat. >> that's right. i think that the point i'm making here is not everybody is there in delaware but all of us are weighing in. i have to say i had a productive conversation with my colleague senator sinema last week about climate which is the thing that i have been working on the hardest to include in this build back better budget. so, you know, at the end of the day i have been reminding people as much attention as there has been on senator manchin and sinema there are 50 of us and all 50 of us have an important voice and a very important role in getting this all done. i'm really grateful for the partnership i've been building with the house progressive caucus particularly on climate to keep on getting those issues raised to the level they need to be so this bill includes the strong climate action that we have to have to reduce emissions. we have to reduce them in order to keep our country and our globe going in the right
direction. >> so, senator smith, you've said two things that lead to my next question, prescription drug prices and you mentioned there are 48 other democrats aside from sinema and manchin. let's talk about that. senator sinema has told the white house she is against letting medicare negotiate drug prices. but just within the last few days politico is reporting the administration and party leaders are also trying to court other drug industry allies in the senate like democratic senators bob menendez and tom carper. the american people have been clear about where they stand. polls suggest medicare negotiating drug prices is more popular with americans than even apple pie according to one poll. and yet you have top democrats in the senate like sinema, like menendez, like carper basically doing the bidding of their donors, big pharma. that is outrageous, isn't it? >> well, we have to get provisions in this build back better budget that are going to help us bring down the cost of prescription drugs. as you say, this is broadly popular with the american public. in minnesota it was one of the
things that i talked about the most when i was running for re-election just last year. when americans are paying three times, four times as much for prescription drugs sometimes many multitudes more than folks in other places around the world that is completely unacceptable. i think honestly, mehdi, this is a lot of the conversation that has been happening over the last couple days. i hope we get again the strongest possible legislation that we can get in order to bring prescription drugs down. there are things we have to do afterwards, too. i for example have been working on the issue of why we are blocking generic drugs and biosimilars like the generic versions of biologics from getting to market quicker. the big companies are blocking them. causing them to park themself. that is what we have to get done >> i have to jump in. you can't just say big drug companies are blocking this stuff. they block it by funding many of
your colleagues, many of you guys in congress. that is a reality. everyone watching the show knows this. you know it. i know it. you look at bob menendez and you see he is one of the biggest recipients of big pharma money. kyrsten sinema you see the same thing. there is a direct line from corporate funding and lobbying of congress and these measures being left out of bills. >> well, could i say that this is why we have to get campaign finance reform done in our country. this is why we have to pass the freedom to vote act. you know, we often as we talk about the freedom to vote act focused on the provisions to set basic national standards for voting but a big part of that bill is also to root out the corrupt, secret money that get poured into our elections without any transparency or anybody even knowing where it is coming from. i think we have to change that if we want to change the way washington works and get the kind of results we really have
to get. >> yes we do. let's talk about voting rights. last week the freedom to vote right failed in the senate disastrously for democracy. i interviewed you in september when senator manchin was still trying to get bipartisan support for that bill. let's listen to what you said last month on the show. he is not going to get ten republicans. we know that. you know that. everybody watching the show knows that. is that the moment where you and your colleagues say that's it, joe. we gave you eight, nine, ten months and waited for your republican friends to come through. now we have the numbers to do it on our own. >> i agree. i don't think we'll find some 60 republicans. i think it is great joe is trying to do that, trying to find common ground but the question is then if that common ground can't be found and the democracy that we need to protect is truly at stake --? >> senator smith, that happened. the common ground couldn't be found as you and i both knew. joe manchin failed to get any republican support for his own compromised voting rights bill.
we went down this path. it failed. do you now say to him, we're reforming the filibuster, time is up, or are you worried about him defecting? >> i can't look into joe's heart and mind right now but what i can tell you is that it is inexcusable that we use senate rules as an excuse for not doing our job. our number one job is protecting our democracy in the united states senate and that is what is at stake right now. we cannot let these old senate rules that are based on, you know, minority -- based on old jim crow and minority rules in the senate, we cannot allow that to happen. it is our job to stand up for the constitution. and that is what this is about right now. so this is the next phase we're going to go into. and i appreciated what you said earlier in the program, you know, you said we focus a lot on the democrats here. we have a majority of people in the united states senate that want to protect our elections and want to set basic national
standards for voting. we have not a single republican who is willing to help us get that done and that is the problem that we have to overcome by changing senate rules. we cannot let them block our jobs of protecting our democracy. >> that is very, very true. i'll be talking about that in a moment but we are out of time. senator tina smith thank you so much for coming on the show tonight. >> great to be with you. thank you. >> thanks. coming up the roll call of shame. why republican politicians need to stop hiding behind senators joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. first richard lui is here with the headlines. some stories we're watching severe winter like weather could impact up to 108 million people in the united states through tuesday with northern california taking the first hit today. it is expected to bring heavy rains, high wind, up to 3 feet of snow in some areas. officials say gusty winds and rain and minor flooding in southern california.
migrants marched out of a city in mexico today and walked toward the u.s. border pushing past the line of state police trying to stop them. this demonstration comes after tens of thousands of migrants continue to face delays in the asylum process. james michael tyler best known for his role as gunther on "friends" has died at the age of 59. the actor was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018. tyler's other acting credits include tv series like "sabrina the teenage witch" and "scrubs." he died peacefully in his home. more of the mehdi hasan show right after this. lyriq. it's a sunny day. nah, a stormy day. classical music plays. um uh, brass band, new orleans. ♪ ♪ she drives hands free... along the coast. make it palm springs. ♪ cadillac is going electric.
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outrageously they both support the flubt. let's not always be distracted by two annoying democrats and let 50 republican senators off free because the reason the freedom to vote act did not pass directly failed because of 50 republicans who shamelessly voted against it and whom we don't talk about. let's talk about them. let's name them. ted cruz, steve dane, chuck grassley, jim inhoff, roger marshall, jerry moran, lisa murkowski. rand paul, rob portman. rick scott. tim scott. richard shelby. dan sullivan. john thums. yes. all of them. next, a man's inspirational fight for his own life while also fighting for the lives and
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which can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette democrats are nearing a deal on president biden's build back better plan. this morning speaker nancy pelosi said they expect to introduce an actual bill tomorrow as debate continues over the final price tag, key programs are at risk of being eliminated. when we talk about the proposals they may seem abstract, but for many americans health care and
especially programs like home health care can be the difference between life and death. my guest is one of those people. in 2016 he was diagnosed with als. since his diagnosis he has dedicated his life to fighting for health care for all americans and last year interviewed then candidate biden about medicare for all. >> so my question is do you see a future where health insurance is no longer tied to employment? will america ever have a single payor system where health care is guaranteed as a human right? >> health care guaranteed as a human right but taking away the right to have a private plan if you want a private plan i disagree with. >> i spoke with him earlier today about his struggle with a.l.s., his political journey, and inspiring activism chronicled in the new documentary film "not going quietly." was there a moment when you were diagnosed with als where you thought, i have to focus on my health now, on myself? i simply can't pull off doing what i've always done.
how tough has it been to manage with this devastating illness and still fight the good fight? >> of course. especially in the first year after my diagnosis i found it very hard to focus on activism and politics. even now moments of despair come and go because als is a hell of an illness and complicates every aspect of my life but unlike most others with als i have access to 24-hour home care and so i get to live a beautiful and full life with my family at home. and continue the work of securing health justice in america with my team at being a hero. i can only afford home care because i successfully forced my health insurance company to pay for most of the costs. otherwise i would be forced into a nursing home separated from my family in order to stay alive. to be honest, i don't know if that would be a quality of life
that i would be willing to tolerate. nursing homes are a dangerous institutions where seniors and disabled people are merely warehoused. since the pandemic began, 138,000 disabled children and adults in nursing homes have died from the coronavirus. that's why i and other advocates are pushing congress to fully fund home and community based services. providing care for people we love isn't a republican issue or a democratic issue. it's an american issue and a moral one to ensure that everyone gets to live safely with dignity and respect. >> well said. you interviewed joe biden during the election campaign. it was an emotional conversation. you challenged him on medicare for all. we just played a clip from that. do you believe joe biden can fix the health care system in this country in the way you believe it needs to be fixed not just for you but for all americans? >> thanks for playing that.
i was grateful to speak with president biden during the campaign. and to your question, i do believe there is a lot he can do to help fix our broken health care system. right now president biden can put pressure on congress to back his proposal to fully fund home and commune based services. this investment would go a long way toward providing the nearly 1 million disabled people and seniors on the waiting lists with the home care they need to live safely and with dignity. this funding will also give a truly living wage to professional care givers the majority of whom are women of color. we also need this legislation to guarantee coverage for hearing, vision, and dental care under medicare. there is no reason why seniors should not receive the care they need for their whole body. we also need this legislation to finally fulfill the democrats' promise to lower drug prices for the american people. we can't let the pharmaceutical industry continue to buy members
of congress to keep their absurd profits. these are the important changes congress and president biden can make this year to improve health care for all people in america and then in the coming years we need to go further and guarantee high quality health care for everyone. that means replacing our current health insurance system with one that treats everyone with dignity and gives everyone the care they need regardless of their job situation or how much money they have. i hope that president biden will one day sign medicare for all into law but to get there we need to build a movement for health care justice. that is why i need all of your viewers to join this fight. >> what is your message ady to young people in america who may feel beaten down by the pandemic, by the economic situation, by the rise of the far right, the worsening climate, and feel defeated. what is your message to them based on your unique situation
as an activist? >> i would say two things. first, you are right. forces blocking the path toward justice are great. they always have been thus. and yet american history and world history is filled with stories of people overcoming those forces through their hope, determination, and solidarity. progress is hard. but it is necessary not just for ourselves but for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. we have a responsibility to be engaged citizens and be active in the struggles for justice. the second point is we have more than a responsibility to be engaged. we have the opportunity. action is antidote to despair. solidarity can help us find hope in the dark. i have found great meaning being part of the progressive movement. it's allowed me to transcend my dying body to hitch my future to yours and i know the same is true for countless other people
who have found meaning and purpose in the face of great personal difficulty through solidarity. >> lastly, what is your message to senators joe manchin and kyrsten sinema the two democrats who are holding up the budget reconciliation bill saying we don't need to spend so much on health care or education or child care and the rest? >> well, that is an important and difficult question because the two of them have seemed so impervious to actionable argumentation and emotional appeals. i guess i might try to persuade them they could be much more popular and powerful if they took a different approach. joe manchin would win many more supporters in west virginia if he showed them he was taxing the -- from wall street and sill convalley and used the money to create thousands of new jobs for his constituents. imagine how many joe manchin child care centers and community health care clinics we could build in west virginia. wouldn't that be a better way to
use his power? and the same goes for senator sinema. instead of doing the bidding of the pharmaceutical industry what if she delivered great vision, hearing, and dental benefits to the millions of seniors in arizona? what if she got the federal government to pay for installation of so many solar panels in the arizona desert that everybody's electricity bill dropped to zero? that seems like the winning political move to me. that would be my message i think. >> well, i hope they're listening. we're listening tonight. we have to leave it there. you are an inspiration. we appreciate your time tonight. thank you so much. >> thanks very much. my honor. this week the israeli government banned palestinian human rights groups unilaterally. why isn't the u.s. government which says it cares so much about human rights holding israel accountable? that's next. we gave new zzzquil pure zzzs
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