President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address last night. During yesterday's program, I said to expect him to call for more bipartisan cooperation. He did. I said, pay close attention to how he delivers a message that most likely was not written by him and will be in direct conflict with his rhetoric and actions up to this point. I think that was correct. And I said pay very close attention to his tenor, tone and delivery. Overall, I thought it was well written and well delivered. There were numerous factual issues, but overall, I think he accomplished what he set out to accomplish. We'll turn to our guests for their assessments.
According to the New York Times, four of America's largest cities (Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago) are under the dark clouds of major federal corruption investigations. Residents, politicians and power brokers in all of them are holding their breath, waiting for signs of how deeply their civic cultures will be shaken. How serious of a problem are we facing here? When we say corruption, most think of simple pay-to-play schemes. Is it just that simple, or are there deeper issues than just paying for construction contracts, the use of city-issued credit cards and lucrative concessions at the cities' international airports?
Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) said today he dressed in blackface during college in 1980 at UVA, as Gov. Ralph Northam (D) continues to resist calls for his resignation after a photo emerged from his 1984 medical school yearbook page featuring someone in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan robes. After acknowledging that he was one of the people in the photo, Northam retracted that admission and apology and now says neither person is him. He said it was not him in the yearbook photo, but he did use shoe polish to "blacken up" during a Michael Jackson dance contest. We are now coming to grips with another example of how our history is not that far back in our past. Last week, Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigned from office after photos surfaced of him wearing blackface and mocking Hurricane Katrina survivors. Anthony Sabatini, a 30-year-old Florida state representative and former city commissioner, also has a damning blackface photo on his record. While a sophomore at Eustis High School, he dressed up as one of his African American friends, complete with blackface, do-rag and gold chains. Should we forgive AND forget?
Carmine Sabia — Journalist and writer for Citizen Truth.
Eugene Craig — Republican strategist, former vice-chair of the Maryland Republican Party and grassroots activist.
Dr. Dick W. Simpson — Author or co-author of more than 20 books on political action, ethics and politics, including Winning Elections in the 21st Century.
Ebony McMorris — Producer for The Critical Hour on Sputnik News Radio.
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