Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Charlottesville aftermath/Journalists bring insight into recent news

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 13, 2017 8:19 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, August 14, 2017:

The largest and most violent white supremacy rally in a decade rocked Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday and it has the whole nation talking.  It was planned as an event to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville park but quickly turned into a violent confrontation between neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, skinheads and counter-protestors.

The melee didn't result in any serious injuries until one of the white supremacists rammed a speeding car into into a crowd killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19 others.

Rallies against racism were held yesterday and last night around the country, including here in the midstate.

On Monday's Smart Talk, we hear about hate groups in Pennsylvania and how rallies like Charlottesville would be handled.  We're joined by JoAnn Edwards, Executive Director and Joshua Bartash, Civil Rights Investigator, both of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

WITF's Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer and Penn Live/Patriot-News Opinion Editor John Micek appear on Monday's Smart Talk to provide insight into a few of the most significant news stories at the State Capitol and in Pennsylvania and the nation.

The state budget is still one of the biggest issues in Harrisburg.  The General Assembly approved a $32 billion spending plan last month.  However, the revenue to pay for it hasn't been finalized.  The Republican-controlled State Senate gave their OK to a proposal that includes news taxes on natural gas drilling, adds a tax on gas, electric and phones bills, expands gambling and borrows.  It awaits action by the Republican majority House and where there doesn't appear to be an appetite for the taxes. Our panel weighs in on where the process stands.

Also, since President Trump came into office in January, there seems to be a bombshell from Washington every day.  The decisions made in Washington obviously are being felt in Pennsylvania.  We'll discuss how and whether Pennsylvania is still Trump country.


Penn Live/Patriot-News Opinion Editor John Micek and WITF's Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer


- On February 2, 2017 I contacted Congressman Smucker's office regarding the renaming of the federal program that targeted violent ideologies in America.

That government program designed to counter all violent ideologies, to be changed to focus solely on Islamist extremism. The program, "Countering Violent Extremism," would be changed to "Countering Islamic Extremism" or "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism," and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.

Congressman Smucker never responded.

Neither Congressman Smucker nor Senator Toomey will denounce white supremacism, its violence, or the to tell these people they are not welcome to the Republican Party.  - Larry, Lancaster

A reminder -- there's a Smart Talk Road Trip Tuesday to the Jigger Shop in Mount Gretna.  We'll talk art, theater and history of the quaint Lebanon County village.

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