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Episode 025: Fire and Rouhani

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan take on a cavalcade of topics and try to look past the political theatre of the news cycle surrounding he "explosive" revelations like Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury. We also look at the Iranian protests from the perspective of the domestic triggers and American culpability for some of those triggers. They also take on Raw Water, because once you hear about it, you have to vent about it at least once.


Episode 024: The Donor Ransom Act

Arif and Ben break down the Senate and House versions of the tax bill — the "Donor Relief Act" — and go into detail about what's in it and why it represents a threat to governance and provides the basis for GOP donor payback in a year without many legislative victories. After that, they discuss the rampant problem of sexual harassment and assault in the halls of power.


Episode 023: Chair of the DoNna C

Arif and Ben are back with takes on the Donna Brazile "revelations" about the DNC and potential rigging of the Democratic Primary, as well as more words on gun violence in the United States. They talk about the role of the DNC, what people might mean by the word "rigging" and fundraising loopholes. After that, they talk about the Texas shooting and the history of the second amendment.


Episode 022: Tackling Patriotism (Never Sticking to Sports)

Ben and Arif talk about the "kneeling" controversy brewing in the NFL, a rare opportunity to mix their two passions of sports and politics. Colin Kaepernick's kneeling (or having had kneeled) has intersected with one of Donald Trump's rallies, where he asked owners to fire the "sons of bitches" who kneel for the anthem. The NFL responded with what seemed to be repudiation but is a lot more complicated than that.


Episode 021: The Moment Trump Truly Became a Colonialist

In this episode of the Wide Left Podcast, Ben Natan and Arif Hasan talk about the relief efforts of Hurricane Harvey, discuss the clear connection to climate change and discuss what it means for a government to be understaffed in that scenario. After that, they talk about the troop deployments in Afghanistan and what the Trump administration could possibly hope to accomplish with it.


Episode 020: Tired and Exhausted

Ben Natan and Arif Hasan talk about the only thing dominating the news cycle right now, the Charlottesville demonstration and the administration's poor response. We talk about what can be done, how these things can begin and the thread of white supremacy that runs through American culture and politics.


Episode 019: The Lion's Purr of the Senate

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan return from a two-week break to talk about the ongoing ridiculousness surrounding the health care debate, as well as discuss the hastily constructed ban against trans service members in the military. Then they talk about the least controversial subject of all, Israel.


Episode 018: A Free Press and Korean Mess

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan talk about the nature of a free press and how it's eroding in both structural ways and through deterrence. We discuss different types of press infringements and freedoms before moving onto the recent escalation of words and missiles in North Korea.


Episode 017: Pride Protest and the Broken BCRA

Arif and Ben talk about their experiences at their respective cities' Pride parades as well as some of the issues that have made their way into the headlines when it comes to Pride. After that, they talk about the clearly broken Senate health care bill and it's odds of passing as they see it today.


Episode 016: Sanctioned Slaughter and Misery in the Middle East

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan discuss legalized slaughter from law enforcement officers on people of color and how modern valorization of police leads to holding them to lower standards while holding blacks up to impossible standards. We also discuss the complex divisions forming among the gulf states in the Middle East and how that informs the conflict in Syria.


Episode 015: Covert Congress and Overt Pride with Guest Katelyn Burns

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan discuss the nefarious acts the Senate and House have been up to while the country has had their attention focused on the Comey and Sessions hearings, including a budget reconciliation strategy for health care in the Senate and a repeal of Dodd-Frank having already passed the House. We also cover Labour's surprisingly positive showing in the United Kingdom before we invite our special guest, Katelyn Burns, to talk about the history of pride, what issues come with...


Episode 014: Paris Climate Discords

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan discuss the President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords and what it means for the United States and the world when it comes to climate change. A quick rundown on the realities of climate change precedes a discussion about solutions. They also briefly touch on the politics of terror and the new Wonder Woman movie.


Episode 013: High-Skilled Immigration and Low-Skilled Advisors

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan talk about the most recent Jared Kushner revelations with attempting to establish a backchannel with Russia and then delve into the largely successful H-1B visa program that is now under fire. After that, they briefly discuss the budget once more and talk about why the budget proposed by Donald Trump is both politically and structurally untenable.


Episode 012: All the News That's Fit to Miss

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan do a quick rundown on all the updates with the Trump scandal, but they also cover a bevy of news that's been easy to miss over the past week, including updates in health care news, education policy, prison and criminal justice reform, trade policy, Iran, North Korea, free speech and more.


Episode 011: The Russians Are Comey

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan review a particularly hectic week for the Trump administration that includes three separate (at least) scandals, including a new one involving Israeli intelligence and the old bogey, Russia. That also means talking about the new developments in the Comey scandal and touching briefly on the Flynn scandal.


Episode 010: Cool From ACA

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan return to talk about the AHCA, single-payer and the French elections. Once again, a deep dive into policy analysis for the health care bill is interspersed with a larger philosophical discussion about the nature of government services and an ethic of care. After that, they try to divine potential lessons learned from the Macron victory and Le Pen defeat.


A Brief, One-Week, Hiatus

There's no podcast this week! Arif Hasan and Ben Natan have been swamped covering the NFL Draft in their other job, so they won't be able to provide you with the fully-researched, detailed podcast you deserve. If you missed it, be sure to listen to last week's podcast, where we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of political strategies centered around purity.


Episode 009: Strategic Purity

This week, Arif and Ben talk about the controversy surrounding the late-breaking Bernie Sanders endorsement for Jon Ossof and how it contrasts with the easy endorsement he gave Heath Mello. From there, they engage in a wider discussion about the pragmatic implications of demanding ideological purity and how it relates to primaries and general elections.


Episode 008: The Violence Inherent in the System

Arif Hasan and Ben Natan use the Berkeley protests as a jumping off point to discuss the place violence has in politics and how the lens with which we should view violence should start at the structure of politics. Is it ethical to punch Richard Spencer but protest the violence of Nathan Damigo, and what contexts separate the two acts? They also discuss the conflicting definitions of white supremacy and why that distinction is critical to this discussion.


Episode 007: Syria-s Business

Arif and Ben once again return to the Middle East to talk about the gas attacks by Bashar al-Assad and the retaliatory strikes authorized by Donald Trump at Shayrat airfield. We go through the timeline of the civil war, the nature of deterrence and the importance of policy coherence.