I joined talkRADIO’s Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije on New Year’s Day to consider former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s knighthood, to get perspective on the surge in Omicron Coronavirus cases, and to name my favorite stories of 2021.

Listen from 22:45 in 1700-1730 Segment

I start bluntly about Blair:

I’m going to tell you from the get-go. I would rather talk about a lot of other people who have had achievements in the past year — those who have been vital in the fight against Coronavirus, those who have pursued disability rights, those who rose above adversity — rather than a former Prime Minister getting a certificate of attendance despite the killing of hundreds of thousands around the 2003 Iraq War.

Then we talk cautiously about the status of Omicron in the UK: the 7-day average of Coronavirus cases has doubled in a week, but hospitalizations have not risen as quickly and deaths are at about the level of September.

And favorite stories? I begin with two women who provided inspiration in the US in a turbulent year: the National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman and country music legend and philanthropist Dolly Parton.