Top Headline News Podcast-Sept 30, 2019

Top Headline News Podcast-Sept 30, 2019

Michigan Election Official Charged With Six Counts of Voter Fraud 

A Michigan official has now been charged with six felony counts of voter fraud in connection with the November 2018 elections.  There was a felony complaint filed against Southfield City Clerk Sherikia Lavette Hawkins, 38, a Democrat first elected to her post in November of 2017.  Hawkins was seen as a ‘rising star’ in Democratic circles and at the Michigan Democratic Party’s Legacy

Dinner she received the Dingell/Levin Award.

Michigan police say they found 193 absentee voter files altered in Southfield’s computer system which indicated they either did not have a signature or a return date. Oakland County Election Director, Joseph Rozell said Hawkins filed altered reports and his staff found the originals discarded in the trash.  Hawkins was charged with falsifying returns/records, forgery of a public record and misconduct in office.  If convicted she could receive a prison term of up to five years. Other offenses include three counts of using a computer to commit a crime. The computer charges carry prison terms of up to 7 years.

 

Ukrainian official appears to cast doubt on quid pro quo claim 

An unnamed Ukrainian official has told the NYT that Kiev was not aware that the U.S. suspended security funds until a month after President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This then calls into question the Whistleblower’s account and the Democrat’s arguments that there was a quid pro quo for the aid.

The Republicans are now scrutinizing the apparent inconsistencies with the timeline and claim that if quid pro quo was in place for the roughly $391 million in frozen aid, Ukrainian officials would have known about it.  Zelensky also said earlier that he never felt pressured by Trump to investigate the Bidens. Democrats insist that Trump was wrong to bring up a political opponent to a foreign leader and argue that even if he didn’t explicitly make a demand, the innuendo was there.

President Trump has responded with his concerns about who the person is that gave the whistleblower the information. The President responded, “ Who’s the person that gave the whistleblower the information? Because that is close to a spy.”  The Trump administration reportedly began placing transcripts of Trump’s calls with foreign leaders in a highly classified repository after leakers publicly divulged the contents of President Trump’s private calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia in 2017.

Later on Thursday, CBS reported that the whistleblower complaint further inaccurately claimed that a State Department official was on the call with Zelensky.

 

Trump administration imposes 18K limit on refugees, the lowest ever!

The Trump administration is set now on reducing the number of refugee admissions into the United States to just 18K for the fiscal year 2020, it would mark a record low total since the program began in 1980. The administration said it is necessary to reduce the number of refugee admissions in order to focus on addressing the flow of migrants at the U.S. southern border with Mexico and reduce the huge backlog of asylum claims.

A senior official told reporters on Thursday that the administration would prioritize admission to those persecuted for their beliefs, Iraqis who have assisted the U.S., and nationals from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The official further stated that the policy, “ links refugee administrations to U.S. national security and foreign policy priorities.”

In a statement from the office of the State Department, spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus stated, “ The current burdens on the U.S. immigration system must be alleviated before it is again possible to resettle large numbers of refugees.  Prioritizing the humanitarian protection cases of those already in our country is simply a matter of fairness and common sense.”  The reduction announcement was immediately condemned by Democrats and labeled as outrageous and representative of Trump’s racist policies.

Marijuana vape sales lag as lung illness rise in the US

E-cigarettes and vaping are one of the fastest-growing segments of the legal marijuana industry.  Sales have now taken a big hit across the country as there has been a rise in mysterious and sometimes fatal lung disease among users of e-cigarettes.  The ailment has sickened at least 805 people and killed 13. Some of the people affected had vaped nicotine but a number reported using oil containing THC marijuana’s high-inducing ingredient. These they reported were bought from pop-up shops and other illegal sellers. The only death linked to THC vaping was in Portland, Oregon.

Amid the nation’s health scare the amount of ‘legal pot revenue’ that comes from vape products has dropped by 15% nationwide, with some states seeing a decrease of more than 60%. Analysts are watching to see if vape sales erode further after the US Centers for Disease Control announced Thursday that the number of suspected vaping-related illnesses had grown by 52% in the past week. Doctors say the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury with the lungs apparently reacting to a caustic substance. So far, no single vaping product has been linked to the illnesses.

 

Today’s quote is from Hubert Humphrey,

“ What we need are critical lovers of America–patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it.”