21:28 GMT +315 November 2018
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    The Critical Hour

    Going Slightly Mad: When Liberals Cheer for Sessions

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    Wilmer Leon
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Margaret Flowers, co-director of Popular Resistance, co-host of Clearing the FOG and former candidate for US Senate; and Alex Rubinstein, Sputnik writer and news analyst.

    "Nobody Is Above The Law." The coalition of progressive activists led by the group MoveOn called for a nationwide protest today at 5 p.m. in response to the president firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn Civic Action, gave the following statement: "By firing Jeff Sessions and putting in place a loyalist like Matthew Whitaker, Donald Trump is trying to take over a Special Counsel investigation that has already led to multiple guilty pleas and convictions. Trump's attempt to be his own judge and jury is inconsistent with the rule of law and democracy… Whitaker has made clear that he can't be an impartial overseer of this critical investigation… Congress must immediately move to protect the independence of Special Counsel Mueller and put in protections that prevent Trump from firing him or undercutting his investigation or having his new acting attorney general or eventual replacement obstruct Mueller's work. The people will not stand for this: Within hours, we will take to the streets in ‘#ProtectMueller' rapid-response protests around the country." For much of the past two months prior to Wednesday, Mueller's probe into Russian electoral interference and possible ties between Trump's campaign and Moscow went quiet, as had been expected. Department of Justice guidelines recommend not taking any law enforcement actions within 60 days of an election to avoid influencing voters or even giving the appearance of swaying them.

    As we come out of the midterm elections, most Americans focused on domestic policy, while the rest of the world observed and observes through a different lens. In a recent article by Vijay Prashad, he states, "It is evident from the atmosphere in the United Nations that the countries of the world-even close U.S. allies-fear US policy on a number of issues." Let's look at this in the context of today's announcement by acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of an Interim Final Rule declaring that "those aliens who contravene a presidential suspension or limitation on entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico will be rendered ineligible for asylum." Meaning, immigrants who illegally cross the border will be stripped of their eligibility to receive asylum in the US. What does this all mean when it comes to China, Cuba, Russia and Mexico?

    Itchy fingers in the Trump administration are eager to start a shooting war somewhere in South America-either Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela. The appetite for this is not there in the United Nations, nor is it shared in Latin America. But that has never stopped the United States. Disregard for world opinion as well as the opinion of the US citizenry defines the US government. Thirty-six million people around the world, half a million of them in New York City, protested on February 15, 2003, to prevent the US war on Iraq. George W. Bush did not pay attention to them. Nor will Trump.

    With the midterm elections over in the US, there are still several races that have yet to be called. Is the so-called "Blue Wave" actually more of a lava flow, a subtler realignment of the American political landscape?

    Georgia Republican Brian Kemp announced today that he will resign as secretary of state, effective at 11:59 a.m. ET, to begin his transition to the state's top office, despite the gubernatorial race still being undecided. The race could still go to a run-off if Kemp's share of the vote drops below 50 percent. He is currently at 50.3%, with a lead of nearly 63,000 votes. He has engaged in various types of voter suppression, and this issue is still not getting enough attention within the Democratic Party, let alone in mainstream American media. As we look at the race Stacey Abrams is running, Andrew Gillum could benefit from a recount in Florida's gubernatorial election, and Mike Espy is in a runoff in Mississippi for a Senate seat. These are gains that a lot of people who don't follow this stuff like we do would not have expected to come from the South. There's an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal saying, "Just as rural white voters fled the Democratic Party after Mr. Obama took office, educated suburbanites abandoned the GOP after President Trump's election. Those trends continued Tuesday, and will not only alter the governing coalitions in Washington but also will change how and where candidates engage with the American electorate." Is this as a valid assessment of a slow shift in the American electorate?

    GUESTS:

    Margaret Flowers — Co-director of Popular Resistance, co-host of Clearing the FOG and former candidate for US Senate.

    Alex Rubinstein — Sputnik writer and news analyst.

    Vijay Prashad — Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and chief editor of LeftWord Books. He is a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter

    Dr. Kathie Stromile Golden — Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of International Programs at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, where she previously served as Director of the Delta Research and Cultural Institute. Executive Director of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and Director of the Graduate Assistantship Program.

     

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

     

    Tags:
    Georgia Politics, Voter Disenfranchisement, Sanctions, US Midterms 2018, China, Russia
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