Monday, July 22, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (7/19/19)

What's Going Wrong In America? Real Talk: Puerto Rico, Sex Offenders & Iran

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California; Jim Kavanagh, political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist; and Caleb Maupin, journalist, and political analyst. 

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time. 

Disputes between the Trump administration and Puerto Rican leaders over rebuilding costs and the unsteady implementation of a new process to approve project funding have severely hamstrung recovery from Hurricane Maria. Out of some 10,000 schools, bridges and other damaged sites dotting the island, funds for only nine have gotten the green light from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as of Wednesday. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló faces calls to resign over two separate scandals: a fraudulent scheme involving federal funds that ensnared two former top aides; and the release of private chat messages between the governor and other top aides that were insulting and inflammatory.

US President Donald Trump is confident that the drone the US took down in the Strait of Hormuz this week was Iranian. Speaking at the White House Friday, Trump said the US is prepared to respond to other provocations from Iran and warned them not to do anything foolish. The US Navy warship USS Boxer brought down the drone as it came within 1,000 yards of the vessel. Pentagon officials say numerous calls to "stand down" were ignored. Iranian officials say the drone wasn't theirs. However, Iran claims it seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. State media reports the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps captured the oil tanker Stena Impero on Friday for violating international regulations. The move comes a day after Trump said US forces took down the Iranian drone. Where do we go from here?
[My related article: Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back]

Convicted sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein is staying behind bars for now after he was denied bail. He is awaiting a trial on new charges in New York that he sex trafficked and abused underage women. Prosecutors argued Epstein's wealth, access to a private jet and motive to flee were reasons he should remain locked up. Epstein's attorneys were pushing to have him out on bail living in his Manhattan mansion under heavy supervision. Epstein, already a registered sex offender, is accused of sex trafficking dozens of girls from 2002 to 2005. 

Listen to "What's Going Wrong In America? Real Talk: Puerto Rico, Sex Offenders & Iran" on Spreaker.

The Critical Hour is a daily 60-minute news analysis and talk radio program on Radio Sputnik hosted by Dr. Wilmer Leon. Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.

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