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Last night, in Washington, on the eve of a likely acquittal vote in his Senate impeachment trial, President Donald Trump delivered his annual State of the Union address.

E.J. Dionne joins us now to discuss the speech.

He’s a columnist for The Washington Post, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and the author of several best-selling books. His latest book,  just out yesterday, is called Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country.

Courtesy of T.J. Smith for Mayor Campaign

T.J. Smith, the former Baltimore Police Department spokesman, is Tom’s guest today -- part of our Conversations With the Candidates series.  He is one of 19 announced Democratic candidates running for Baltimore mayor.

Mr. Smith joined the police department with the arrival of Commissioner Kevin Davis and served as the chief of communications from 2015 until 2018. After leaving the Police Department, Mr. Smith served as Press Secretary and Communications Advisor to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr.

Mr. Smith lives in Northwest Baltimore. He grew up in the Dolfield neighborhood, and attended Poly High School before graduating from Woodlawn.

He holds two master’s degrees — one in Strategic Communication from Washington State University and another in Management and Leadership from Johns Hopkins University, where he also earned his undergraduate degree.

He is 42 years old and the father of a young son. If elected Mayor, Mr. Smith says that he will change what he calls the culture of gun violence in our city — with a crime plan that he says will make a difference on Day One.

We livestreamed this conversation on the WYPR Facebook page.  Click here to watch.  

The number one challenge facing lawmakers in Annapolis this year is how to pay for a sweeping proposal from the Kirwan Commission aimed at improving Maryland's K-12 public education.

Rushern Baker was the Prince George’s County Executive from 2010 until 2018. From 1994 until 2003, Mr. Baker represented District 22B in the Maryland House of Delegates. He ran for governor of Maryland in 2018, but he lost in the Democratic primary to Ben Jealous.

Don Mohler was appointed Baltimore County Executive upon the death of then-County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in May 2018. Mohler served the final seven months of Kamenetz’s term.  Mr. Mohler had served as a spokesman and chief of staff to Kamenetz and his predecessor, Jim Smith.  Mohler began his career as an educator, working for 30 years in the Baltimore County public school system as a teacher, an administrator and then the assistant superintendent of schools.

We livestreamed this conversation on the WYPR Facebook page.  Click here to watch. 

John Lee

Earlier this month, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. signed the HOME Act into law, ending a years-long dispute about equity and affordable housing in the County. The law says that landlords cannot refuse to rent to a potential tenant based on a person’s source of income, which means, for example, if a tenant wants to use a government housing voucher to help her rent, the landlord can’t refuse her.

Baltimore County now joins Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Howard and Frederick Counties in prohibiting discrimination based on source of income. The legislation, introduced by Olszewski, is part of a legal mandate in what’s known as the Voluntary Compliance Agreement with the federal government, arising from discrimination complaints about the County’s housing and zoning policies that were brought against the County in 2011.

Joining Tom to explain what it means for tenants and landlords are John Lee, who covers Baltimore County for WYPR, Baltimore County Council member Julian Jones and Ben Frederick, III, the president of Ben Frederick Realty.

The great jazz singer Tierney Sutton joined Tom today.  She has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album eight times – that’s a Grammy nomination for every CD she has released in the last 10 years.

She’s been touring and recording with her band for the past 20 years.  Her latest CD, Screenplay, is a collection of great songs from movies.  Tierney Sutton will be appearing this Saturday and Sunday at Baltimore’s newest, wonderful jazz club, Keystone Korner in Baltimore’s Harbor East. 

She joined Tom on the line from Minneapolis, where she is appearing before she makes the trip to Baltimore.

Harford Community College

Today, another in our occasional series, Midday on Higher Education. From time to time, Tom sits down with the presidents of Maryland colleges and universities to talk about the challenges that each of their institutions face, and how those institutions are connected to the fabric of the communities in which they are located. 

Today, Tom's guest is Dr. Dianna G. Phillips. In 2016, she became the 9th president of Harford Community College in Bel Air. HCC has more than 18,000 students enrolled in credit and non-credit degree and certificate programs. Before taking the reins at Harford Community College, Dr. Phillips was the CEO of the University of the District of Columbia Community College. 

We livestreamed this conversation on the WYPR Facebook page. Click here to watch.

News Wrap 11.16.18

Nov 16, 2018
Associated Press

It's another Midday newswrap.  

British Prime Minister Theresa May proposed a new plan for the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union, a process commonly known as Brexit. Several cabinet members, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, quit in response to what they see as a failure of her leadership. NPR international correspondent Frank Langfitt joins Tom live from London.

Later, Baltimore Sun City Hall Reporter Ian Duncan joins Tom in Studio A to discuss the Baltimore Health Department's 'waste' of $170,000 in  funds, the closing of the Benneker Black Academy charter school and other news.

Paul Muldoon

Tom is joined by Paul Muldoon.  He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, as well as an editor, critic, playwright and translator, who has taught at Princeton University since 1987. He is the author of 12 major collections of poetry and was the poetry editor of The New Yorker for a decade.

He also writes lyrics and spoken word pieces for the band Rogue Oliphant, which is a loose affiliation of well-known musicians who set Muldoon’s lyrics to music. They will perform with Muldoon at the Creative Alliance here in Baltimore tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Check here for more information about that event.

And on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m., Paul Muldoon will host a workshop titled "How To Edit Your Own Poem" at Creative Alliance. Check here for more information.

Associated Press

Today, Tom examines recent developments in the University of Maryland football controversy.

Since the heatstroke-related death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair in June, many people have accused head coach D.J. Durkin of fostering an abusive and toxic environment in the University's football program.

On Tuesday, after two independent reviews of the incident that led to McNair’s death and the culture of the program itself, the University's Board of Regents announced it would not recommend the firing of Coach Durkin or his boss, Athletic Director Damon Evans.  

On Wednesday, after the Regents' move provoked strong criticism  from College Park students, the media, and state political leaders, University President Wallace Loh fired Coach Durkin.  The Chairman of the University's Board of Regents, Jim Brady, did not reply to Midday's request for comment.

Tom is joined on the line by State Sen. Jim Rosapepe, whose District includes College Park.  Sen. Rosapepe is a former Regents Board member, and has been a vocal supporter of Wallace Loh.

This conversation with Derek Thompson originally aired on May 25, 2018.  

Today, Tom speaks with Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about business and technology, and hosts the new podcast Crazy/Genius. He is also the author of Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in the Age of Distraction.

In his best-selling book,  Thompson takes a scientific approach to understanding why certain things in our culture become "cool," at least for a while, and whether or not there are commonalities between them across creative and cultural disciplines. Thompson examines the hidden psychological and market forces that make a song, a movie or a politician popular, and how those forces are constantly reshaping our cultural landscape.


On this Pledge Drive edition of Foreman and Wolf on Food and Wine, it’s a cocktail party! Tony and Chef Cindy share some ideas and recipes for the booze and food you need to keep your guests in high spirits. They will also give some tips on party logistics to keep the flow moving and easy to navigate so you spend less time worrying  and more time enjoying relaxing with your friends and neighbors.

Summer Wrap

Aug 31, 2017

As we enter into the last weeks of summer, Tony and Chef Cindy discuss they're favorite recipes and products for the end of the season.

France vs. Italy

Aug 21, 2017

Tony and Chef Cindy face-off with a discussion about French vs. Italian cooking styles.

Rose Roundup

Jul 31, 2017

This week, we take a look at the world through rosé colored glasses. Rosé has experienced an explosion in popularity recently. As we enter the peak time to enjoy this refreshing pink potion, Tony and Chef Cindy take a moment to check in with three rosé producers for different regions around the world. They give insight into their production process and shed light on why this wine has become so popular. We’ll hear from Brad Potter of Airfield Estates in Prosser, Washington - Justine Soard of Domaine de Fenouillet in Beaumes de Venise, France and Francesca Vaira of Varja of G.D. Varja in Barolo, Italy.


Jul 10, 2017

Tony and Chef Cindy discuss what to pack for your picnic. And Cindy tells us how she makes pickles!


Madison Bistro/flickr

On today's episode, Chef Wolf and Tony dive into the world of fried foods: How to do it correctly and what to drink with it. 

At exactly 5pm on New Year's Eve, 1938, Captain Leon Joyce took the ferry Howard Jackson across the harbor to the foot of Haubert Street in Locust Point for the very last time in the service's 114 years of existence. The service was costing the city $25,000 a year and Mayor Jackson had resolved to shut it down. And he did - which was probably the first of his New Year's resolutions that year that he kept.

The Great Baltimore World Series of Jump Rope, 1960 edition, was going to be different. In that year's contest, the boys were invited to compete along with the girls. The girls protested - they said it wasn't fair, what with the boys reputed to be stronger. But when the contest ended, there was a big surprise. Not a single boy finished in the running.

In the heart of the Great Depression, Baltimoreans looked to escape from its harsh realities by going to the movies, in particular the Century Theatre. There, an organist named Harvey Hammond, seated at the huge Wurlitzer organ, conducted sing-a-longs. The audience "followed the bouncing ball" on the silver screen, singing their cares away. But the sing-a-long came to an end and life in the real world began anew.

On Sunday morning, February 7, 1904, the great Baltimore fire swept through downtown. It turned everything in its path to ashes. The only way to stop the fire's continuing destruction, firemen concluded, was to knock down whatever lay in the fire's path--thus giving it nothing to burn. The strategy put Thomas O'Neill's department store in line to be destroyed, but the Irishman had other plans.

On the night of January 6, 1965, the great Count Basie gave a performance at the Royal Theatre on Pennsylvania Avenue, then the most popular movie and stage show theater serving the African American community. The audience cheered and clapped and danced in the aisles and when the show was over, drifted out onto the street. They knew they had just heard the end of another of the Royal's big band stage shows. They also heard the end of an era.

On the night of December 1, 1939, regulars of Baltimore's once-famous Rennert Hotel, then at Liberty and Saratoga streets, gathered at the bar to say goodbye to the old place. Among the group was H. L. Mencken. Though they had many fond memories of the Rennert, the farewell evening didn't work out quite the way the regulars had planned.

Baltimoreans in 1936, walking about downtown, could sense that there was something different about the city.

Biggest Crab Ever!!

Jan 24, 2014

Learn why the biggest crab ever caught in Maryland waters goes into the record book with an asterick and an explanation!

Moonlighters taking the moonlight excursions down The Bay got more moon than they figured on! 

Digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong, a technology commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition.