04:54 GMT +316 January 2019
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    The Critical Hour

    Divided Government: Nancy Pelosi Reclaims Gavel, as Dems Take the House

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    Wilmer Leon
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    On this issue of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Dr. Clarence Lusane, an African American author, activist, lecturer and chair of the political science department at Howard University.

    We now have a divided government. The House controlled by Democrats, Senate and Executive Branch controlled by Republicans. Do you see legislative movement on the horizon? If so, what does this mean? Will these ethnic caucuses be relevant? Is the diversity quantitative vs. qualitative? I find it interesting, in the Rules Package that Speaker Pelosi has put forth, there's an AUSTERITY PROVISION OVER OBJECTIONS OF PROGRESSIVES. Pelosi has promised for months to restore the pay-go rule, which she instituted when first taking over the speaker's gavel in 2007. She ran into resistance from progressives, who believe that the rule would make it more difficult for Democrats to pass a host of liberal agenda items, from "Medicare for All" to a Green New Deal to tuition-free public college. Critics also argue that pay-go creates an unlevel playing field, where Republicans get to blow giant holes in the tax code, as they did with the 2017 tax cuts, while Democrats must pay fealty to the deficit.

    In today's New York Times there's a story entitled Sexism Claims From Bernie Sanders's 2016 Run: Paid Less, Treated Worse. In today's Washington Post there's a story entitled, Can Romney chart a course that has eluded other GOP critics of Trump? In our production meeting today we had this conversation, is mainstream media trying to fan the flames of intra-party conflict?

    The Sander's article opens with "In February 2016, Giulianna Di Lauro, a Latino outreach strategist for Senator Bernie Sanders's presidential operation, complained to her supervisor that she had been harassed by a campaign surrogate whom she drove to events ahead of the Democratic primary in Nevada… When she reported the incident to Bill Velazquez, a manager on the Latino outreach team, he told her, "I bet you would have liked it if he were younger," according to her account and another woman who witnessed the exchange. Then he laughed." In an interview Wednesday night on CNN, Mr. Sanders said he was proud of his 2016 campaign and attributed any missteps with staff members to the explosive growth that was sometimes overwhelming. "I'm not going to sit here and tell you that we did everything right, in terms of human resources," he told Anderson Cooper.
    "I certainly apologize to any woman who felt she was not treated appropriately, and of course if I run we will do better the next time," he said. Asked if he knew about the staff complaints, he said, "I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case."

    Now, on the Romney side, 2 days ago Romney wrote, "The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump's character falls short." What did Romney say in this piece that we don't know? Basically, "It is not that all of the president's policies have been misguided. He was right to align US. corporate taxes with those of global competitors, to strip out excessive regulations, to crack down on China's unfair trade practices, to reform criminal justice and to appoint conservative judges. These are policies mainstream Republicans have promoted for years. But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency." So, I read this to say, it's style over substance. Romney is the poster child for political opportunist. The article set off Washington's nonstop speculative machinery, with the conversation quickly pivoting to whether Romney might possibly challenge Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020 or make one more likely. The 2012 nominee tried to put to rest his intentions: "No, I'm not running again," he told CNN's Jake Tapper, noting that his previous run did not end well, in contrast, he said, to Trump's victory in 2016.

    Chinese lunar rover landed on the dark side of the moon at 10:26 am on Thursday, Beijing time, marking the start of the first exploration of a place that cannot be seen from Earth. What does this mean geo-politically? Has China just sent a message to the US. Houston, do we have a problem?
    For those who may not know, unlike the near side of the moon that always faces the earth and offers many flat areas to touch down on, the far side, or dark side, is mountainous, rugged and posed until now a problem with communicating. This portion of the moon has never been reached by a man-made probe before. Beijing has been pouring billions into its lofty space program, whose technologies can easily be tapped by the Chinese military. Key goals include catapulting a permanent space station into orbit by 2022 and eventually sending men to the moon. Chris, am I overstating this when I say, Houston, do we have a problem? As the US and scientists from all over the world celebrated the New Horizons spacecraft sent back a photo of MU69, or "Ultima Thule" a billion miles past Pluto. The Chinese get to the dark side of the moon. What are the areas or technologies that surprise you about this? Do you see any linkage between the issue of China and the 5G issue we discussed a few weeks ago and this?

    GUESTS:

    Dr. Clarence Lusane — African American author, activist, lecturer and chair of the political science department at Howard University.

    Jackie Luqman — Co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, and the co-hosts of the Facebook Livestream Coffee, Current Events & Politics.

    Chris Garaffa — Web developer and technologist.

     

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

    Tags:
    Chinese Rover, US Congress, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, United States
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