14:16 GMT +316 December 2019
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    MS Elects Hyde-Smith as Next Senator; Pelosi Advances in House Speaker Race

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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Dr. Joseph Graves, American scientist who serves as associate dean for research and a professor of biological studies at the Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering at North Carolina A&T and UNC Greensboro.

    Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Mississippi Republican, won the special runoff election yesterday, defeating the Democratic candidate, Mike Espy, who was trying become the state's first black senator since Reconstruction. Hyde-Smith will serve out the final two years of Thad Cochran's term and make history as the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi. This sets the Republican majority in the Senate chamber at 53 to 47 once the new Congress is sworn in, a net pickup of two seats. Do the results in Mississippi provide any additional information about the American political landscape? If so, what?

    House Democrats chose their leadership today. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi carried the vote to be the Democrat nominee for House Speaker, the position she previously held from 2007 to 2011, the last time Democrats held a majority in the chamber. In the upcoming January vote, she must win the support of at least 218 House members. Earlier today, nine Democrats from the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus reached an agreement with Pelosi on rules reforms to advance bipartisan legislation. Those members will now support her bid for speaker. The phony left, represented by the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, mouth the right words but then sign on to Pelosi and the rest of the discredited gang. Are Ocasio-Cortez and some of the others engaging in realpolitik or rolling over? Her connection to Bernie Sanders is tainted by his sheep dogging for the Democrats.

    Opponents of the war in Yemen have picked up momentum heading into a critical Senate vote today on the Yemen amendment, which would end US support for the Saudi-led coalition. In a procedural vote, the Senate voted 55-44 against a similar measure in March, with 10 Democrats voting against it. But five Republicans voted in favor at the time. What's brought about the change in the Senate? The chamber is likely to advance the resolution after several Republicans and Democrats today expressed frustration with the Trump administration for refusing to fully brief lawmakers on Saudi Arabia's war campaign and the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Senators emerging from a closed-door briefing with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said they were furious the session did not also include CIA Director Gina Haspel, whom they want to question about the agency's high-confidence assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman orchestrated Khashoggi's murder. Supporters say the measure is a vital step toward Congress reasserting its authority on matters of war after years of ceding such decisions to the president. It would also rebuke Saudi Arabia for its conduct in Yemen — which has sparked what UN officials say is the world's worst humanitarian crisis and led to thousands of civilian deaths.


    Dr. Joseph Graves — American scientist who serves as associate dean for research and a professor of biological studies at the Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, which is jointly administered by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and UNC Greensboro. He has also written two books that address myths and theories of race in American society. Graves has made appearances in six documentary films on these general topics. He has been a principal investigator on grants from the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation and the Arizona Disease Research Commission. He was named by US Black Engineer Magazine and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Council of Deans as one of the 2017 "Innovators of the Year."

    Gary Flowers — Host of The Gary Flowers Show on Radio 990 WREJ, former vice president for public policy for Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition and former executive director and CEO of the Black Leadership Forum, Inc.

    Mac Hamilton — Executive Manager at STAND: The Student-led Movement to End Mass Atrocities.

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    House Democrats, Racism, reconstruction, Trump administration, Nancy Pelosi, Yemen, Mississippi
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