02:46 GMT +315 November 2019
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    The Critical Hour

    As America Mourns the 18th Anniversary of 9/11, Are We Focused on the Right Things?

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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by David Schultz, professor of political science at Hamline University and author of "Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter."

    Wednesday marks the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States. But as the Washington Post states, "That was thrown into sharp relief this week when President Trump abruptly announced Saturday that he was canceling months of negotiations with the Taliban, even as he aims to fulfill a promise of ending America’s endless wars. The US war in Afghanistan has led to the deaths of about 2,400 American service members, including 16 in combat action this year. Some 20,000 more have been wounded, many grievously." So will we ever pull out, and why are we still there?  

    The Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights released a startling new report titled "Democracy Diverted: Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote." It states, "We found 1,688 polling place closures between 2012 and 2018, almost double the 868 closures found in our 2016 report. Additionally, Democracy Diverted analyzes the reduction of polling places in the formerly covered Section 5 jurisdictions in the years between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections. We found 1,173 fewer polling places in 2018 — despite a significant increase in voter turnout. To understand the discriminatory impact of these closures, we analyzed how voters of color were impacted at the precinct level. This analysis — precisely the kind that the US Department of Justice conducted under preclearance — takes time and resources." What does this all mean, and what's being done about it?

    Republicans are celebrating wins in two big races in North Carolina. Republican state Senator Dan Bishop won a close race against Democrat Dan McCready in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District Tuesday. The seat's been open because of allegations of election fraud after the November 2018 elections. In the other race, Republican Greg Murphy easily beat Democrat Allen Thomas in North Carolina's 3rd congressional district. That seat opened up when Republican state Rep. Walter Jones died earlier this year. He thanked US President Donald Trump for his support. Do these wins point to the influence of Trump and a 2020 re-election?

    The Trump administration is reportedly launching an effort to address homelessness in California, but is the proposal humane? A recent Common Dreams article, titled "'Internment Camps for the Homeless': Housing Advocates Horrified by Trump Push for 'Crackdown' on California Homelessness," says, "Further efforts to criminalize or otherwise harm people experiencing homelessness are unconscionable ... Following reports that President Donald Trump is pushing for a "major crackdown" on homelessness in California that could include destroying existing encampments and moving homeless people into government-backed facilities, state lawmakers and progressive housing advocates said the administration's proposed steps are cruel, politically motivated, and would do nothing to address the very real crisis Trump has exacerbated." What's going on here?

    House lawmakers on Wednesday will look at legislation designed to prevent mass shootings. The Judiciary Committee will consider measures to restrict access to high capacity magazines and prevent people convicted of hate crimes from owning firearms. Red flag laws are also up for discussion, which would let the government prevent people in crisis from getting guns. While the House moves forward with possible legislation, it's unclear what reaction there will be in the GOP-controlled Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won't bring anything to a vote unless it has the support of President Trump.   

    After more than a hundred evacuees from the Bahamas were kicked off a ferry boat to Florida, President Trump says "very bad" gang members and drug dealers could be trying to get in. Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, leaving an estimated 70,000 people homeless, and the death toll is still rising. Speaking to reporters outside the White House Monday, Trump said that the Bahamas was having problems with dangerous people who weren't supposed to be there, and he didn't want those people in the US. He added that everyone needs proper documentation to enter the country. Bahamian citizens need a valid passport to enter the US, but don't usually need a visa. In an interview with a Florida news station, customs officials blamed the ferry operator and said they would have accepted the evacuees.  

    GUESTS:

    David Schultz — Professor of political science at Hamline University and author of "Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter."  

    Diane Yentel — President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition

    Joia Jefferson Nuri — Communications specialist for In The Public Eye Communications.

    Rev. Delonte Gholston — Pastor of Peace Fellowship Church and lead organizer of PeaceWalks DC.

    Zina Precht-Rodriguez — Activist with the youth-led environmental organization Sunrise Movement.      

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

    Tags:
    Terrorism, Voting Rights, internment camps, California, September 11, Afghanistan, hurricane Dorian
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