WITF’s Pennsylvania Politics Podcast
Rank #1: Episode 19: Social unrest; fiscal distress.
Violent clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia dominated this week’s news cycle, and have inspired a wave of intense discussions over the way Americans think about hate. In the first half of this week’s podcast, we’ll discuss the partisan differences that have colored the conversation—both in Pennsylvania, and more broadly. And we’ll explain why Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast without explicit protections from hate crimes committed on the basis of sexual and gender orientation, disability, or race. In the second half, we’ll turn to something completely different: the state Treasury’s reluctance to bail the general fund out of fiscal distress. Want to know what’ll happen if the fund runs dry? Trying to make sense of the budget standoff’s tangled politics? Listen on.
Rank #2: Episode 23: In which everyone blames everyone else.
The state House returned to session this week and, after several days of intense budget negotiations, put their cards on the table: a plan—passed narrowly without Democratic support—that relies on monetization of the state’s Tobacco Settlement Fund, internal fund transfers, and very little new revenue. It’s not expected to become law. But it restarts inter-chamber talks and lets the Senate and Governor know where the House stands: they don’t want new taxes, and at least for now, they have the votes to avoid them. Meanwhile, the general fund has hit zero and—because the Treasury won’t authorize any loans until the budget is balanced—Governor Tom Wolf is planning to delay billions of dollars in required payments until there’s enough money in the fund to make them. The PLS Reporter’s Jason Gottesman and PennLive’s Jan Murphy join us to explain what this all means. House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (who really just wanted to buy some coffee) also makes a surprise guest appearance.
Good coffee. Good conversation! Get to know Pennsylvania’s political players and policymakers with host Matt Brouillette, president and CEO of Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs.
Rank #1: Ep26: Aaron Bernstine, Pa. State Representative, farmer, businessman, professor.
Farmer, adjunct professor, lawmaker. Rep. Aaron Bernstine goes by all three. First elected to the Pa. state legislature in 2016, Aaron joins Commonwealth Partners president & CEO Matt Brouillette to share his biggest surprise on joining the legislature, his record of working across the aisle to reach common goals,, and why he believes you can learn everything you need to know in life from Google and YouTube.
Rank #2: Ep14: Jim Christiana, Pa. State Representative & Candidate for U.S. Senate.
Beaver County native Jim Christiana made his first run at elected office at just 21 years old — and won. Now, the five-term state representative is running for U.S. Senate. In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners president and CEO Matt Brouillette, Jim talks about growing up in western PA, becoming the first college graduate in his family, and why he considers his youth an asset, not a liability, when it comes to political leadership.
A podcast of the Commonwealth Foundation tackling issues critical to Pennsylvania's economic future.
Rank #1: Ep. 3: Killing Jobs & Playing Favorites: Meet Pa.’s Tax Code.
Pennsylvania has more than 3,000 taxing authorities—a staggering number that exceeds almost any other state in the nation. Not only does this create confusion and raise costs for job creators, it also enables politicians to manipulate the tax code to benefit special interests. The result? Entrepreneurs and job-seekers are taking their talents to other states. What’s the solution? Jared Walczak of the non-partisan Tax Foundation says simplification and neutrality are the keys to a tax structure that promotes, rather than stymies, business investment. We talk to Jared about what Pennsylvania can learn from North Carolina, which is enjoying a boom after responsibly reforming its tax code.Pennsylvania suffers when politicians try to pick winners and losers, but broadening our tax base and reducing rates for everyone will make us more competitive.Visit www.taxfoundation.org for more from Jared Walzcak.
Rank #2: Ep. 4: Why Charter Schools—and School Choice—Matter.
More than 100,000 kids in Pennsylvania attend charter schools—about 5 percent of schoolchildren.For many of these kids and parents, charter schools are a lifeline to a safer, better future. But charter opponents call them a drain on traditional public schools and give a national spotlight to charters that have failed.In this week's episode of Commonwealth Insight, we talk with Nina Rees, president & CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, about why charter schools matter, what to do about failing charter schools, and the elements that bring success to a charter school.www.publiccharters.orgThen, James Paul, a senior policy analyst and education expert for Commonwealth Foundation, joins to discuss school choice in Pennsylvania—and why claims that choice drains resources from schools don't pass muster.www.commonwealthfoundation.org
State of the State is a weekly podcast from PA Post — designed to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the state Capitol, but with a depth you don’t always get from the daily news.
Rank #1: Episode 7: Pittsburgh.
On Saturday, eleven people were murdered in a Pittsburgh synagogue, and six others were injured. A man named Robert Bowers was arrested and has been charged with anti-Semitic hate crimes. He has pleaded not guilty. In the days since, members of Pittsburgh’s robust Jewish community have been grappling with the sudden deaths of their own, … Continue reading "Episode 7: Pittsburgh"
Rank #2: Episode 3: Does PA owe the poor better criminal defense? An investigation..
When it comes to funding public defense for poor—or indigent—people, Pennsylvania is an outlier. The commonwealth leaves that funding totally up to the counties, and provides no statewide oversight. Reporters Emily Previti, Lindsay Lazarski, Annette John-Hall, and Min Xian join us to explain the situation.
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.
Rank #1: A Mother’s Reckoning; author Sue Klebold.
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives. For the last twenty years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and … Continue reading "A Mother’s Reckoning; author Sue Klebold"
Rank #2: Gettysburg College welcomes new president.
This past summer Robert W. Iuliano began serving as Gettysburg College 15th president. Before arriving at Gettysburg, Iuliano spent 25 years at Harvard University performing different roles as former senior vice president, general counsel, and deputy to the president. Iuliano is a graduate of Harvard College and University of Virginia Law School. During his time … Continue reading "Gettysburg College welcomes new president"
Midstate Pennsylvania news and opinion from PennLive and The Patriot-News.
Rank #1: KaneCast: Live from jury selection for Kathleen Kane.
PennLive reporters Steve Marroni and Wallace McKelvey give you the latest from Day One of Attorney General Kathleen Kane's criminal trial.
Rank #2: Keystone Q&A: A conversation with policy secretary John Hanger.
John Hanger was among the most influential members of Gov. Tom Wolf's Cabinet. His role as policy and planning secretary put him at the center of Pennsylvania's budget impasse. We spoke with him about the behind-the-scenes political wrangling on the eve of his departure from the post.
Activism, politics, and beer from PA-based Raging Chicken Press
Rank #1: Out d’Coup | NZ Assault Ban; #EggBoy; Climate Crisis; Deep Throat?; Bernie Union; Beto Bucks; Nunes’ Mom; PA Anti-Union Bill; Safe Patient Ratios; #PAPromise Rally; PABPC Summit; Space News; Beer!.
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern moves to ban all assault rifles and automatic or semi-automatic weapons. Just like that Vulcan and Moloch are thrown back to the underworld. #EggBoy becomes global hero for egging fascist Australian politician, Fraser Anning. And, predictably, liberal guardians of civility decide to discipline #EggBoy and “both-sides” the issue. Wisconsin Republican’s plan to strip power of incoming Democratic governor shot down as unconstitutional. The flooding in Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa in the aftermath of the latest “Bomb Cyclone” should be shaking us awake about our climate future. We have less than 12 years now folks. Some union leaders from the AFL-CIO come out hard against the Green New Deal and right-wing and corporate media eats it up. PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale hosted a public hearing on Penn State’s campus on the impacts of climate change on the state. DePasquale said, “Every time there’s a disaster in Pennsylvania, it’s a hit to the state’s taxpayers, as opposed to if we were able to do something beforehand to mitigate this.” A report will be forthcoming. Democratic Presidential hopeful former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper makes his primetime campaign debut by telling the world about the time he went to go see Deep Throat with this mom. Then in his recovery, he asks why women candidates aren’t asked if they plan on choosing a male running-mate. Bernie’s campaign makes history as campaign staffers form a union! Wooo. Bernie goes public with his support and uses the moment to advocate for more unionization across the country. Speaking of moms, Devin Nunes is not happy with his Twitter mom, so he’s going to sue her. And her cow. When Devin Nunes’ Cow tweeted, “Devin’s boots are full of manure. “He’s udder-ly worthless and it’s pasture time to mooove him to prison.” Beto O’Rourke brings in some big fundraising numbers, $6.1 million. He’s a little vague on the details, though. Pennsylvania House Republicans failed at fast-tracking an anti-union bill through the chamber this week and it was a call for a roll call vote that killed it, for now. SEIU Healthcare PA, PASNAP and the Coalition of Nurses were in the capitol on Wednesday to lobby for safe patient ratios in hospitals across the state PA Promise Rally in the Capitol next Wednesday. The PA Promise is legislation that would bring tuition-free college to the PA State System of Higher Education. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center held its annual Budget Summit this week. Vice President’s baby, the National Space Council, will be pushing hard to make the June 2020 launch date to return humans to the moon. Better bring the Preparation H because NASA researchers finding that the longer astronauts spend in space, the more like they are to reactivate the herpes virus. Galactic capitalists getting really excited about turning the eighth continent, the Moon, into a mining and rocket fuel operation. For real. Toyota is getting tapped by Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency to develop a big-ass, off-road lunar rover. As expected, Boeing is delaying the test launch of its crew capsule from April to August. Known millennial hater, Mark Price, is popping up in some odd places doing some pithy subtweeting. This Sunday, Free Will is hosting The March Meltdown 5K from 10 am - 1 pm. The Meltdown begins and ends at Free Will Brewing Company in Perkasie, PA. This unique 5k race takes place on the scenic trails in and around Perkasie and along the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek. The Meltdown is open to runners and walkers of all ages, but you must be 21 or older (with a valid ID) to get your free craft brew from Free Will. And Free Will releases Holographic Universe tomorrow, March 23 - Sour Ale with boysenberry, plum, sweet basil, and milk sugar (6.4%) is available in cans and on draft this Saturday, March 23rd in both Perkasie and Peddler’s Village taprooms!
Rank #2: Out d’Coup | Impeachment Ramps Up; UN Climate Warnings; Dem Presidential Polling Rundown; New Directions for the Chicken; Thanksgiving Reflections; Free Will Events and Releases.
We'd love your feedback about new directions for Raging Chicken's Out d'Coup podcast for 2020 and beyond. Can you take a minute to give us your feedback? If you can, click here: RAGING CHICKEN 2020 AND BEYOND FEEDBACK FORM Formal impeachment hearings began in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday with a panel of four Constitutional lawyers discussing grounds for impeachment. It was quite a civics lesson. Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a formal press conference to call on House Committees to draft articles of impeachment. Pelosi was quite serious during her announcement but got pissed when a journalist asked her if she hated Trump. That was apparently one step too far. She’s a Catholic, for Christ’s sake, she don’t hate nobody. The UN Climate Change Summit - aka COP 25 - being held in Madrid got underway this week. A new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ahead of the Summit shows that the world has failed to meet goals set in the Paris Agreement. Instead, there was a 1.5% increase in emissions. The report is frank, “The summary findings are bleak. Countries collectively failed to stop the growth in global [greenhouse gas] emissions, meaning that deeper and faster cuts are now required." We are not on track to 4 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100. The Paris Agreement called for no more than 2 degrees, while last year’s UN climate report stated that anything beyond 1.5 degrees will produce catastrophic results. Emissions must now be cut by 7.6% per year beginning in 2020 to stave off the worst impacts. The latest polling in California shows both Warren and Biden losing some support, while Bernie and Buttigieg gain. Bernie is now edging out Warren by two percentage points (24% to 22%) - a statistical tie. Buttigieg picks up 6 percentage points, while Biden loses 6 points. It looks like the biggest loser in Buttigieg’s surge is Biden. Biden barely edges out Mayor Pete for third place - 14% - 12%. Keep in mind this poll was taken before Kamala Harris’s big announcement that she was dropping out of the race. The latest polls have some good news for Bernie, concerns for Warren, and the sounds of desperation from Biden’s camp. Mayor Pete’s little engine that could is still chugging along. Latest Iowa polls have Buttigieg 26% out front with Sanders at 18%, Warren at 17%, and Biden at 12%; New Hampshire has Bernie in first 26% with Buttigieg next at 22% with Warren and Biden tied at 14% Nevada has Biden ahead with 24% with Bernie and Warren closing at 18%. Buttigieg remains behind at 8%. And in Biden’s one strong state, South Carolina, the latest poll has Biden at 33% - 20 points ahead of Warren at 13%, Sanders at 11%, and Buttigieg at 6%. New directions for Raging Chicken and Out d'Coup in 2020. Podcast changing format a bit. Interviews. Guests. Members Only content on Patreon. Sunday is the Annual Freeze Up 5K hosted by Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy and Free Will Brewing Company 2nd annual Freeze-Up 5K at Free Will Brewing and help us enjoy the last few days of fall. This 5K winds through trails in Perkasie and along the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek. Runners and walkers get a long-sleeve tee with their registration and can look forward to a free craft beer at the end of the race! Monday, Free Will will have its annual Taproom Tree Lighting at the Brewery in Perkasie. The event begins at 7 pm. Tré Locally Sourced food truck will be parked out front. The event will feature Free Will’s annual sour toast by popping open a huge bottle of something out of the cellar. They will also curate a special draft list with some holiday favorites. Everyone is welcome to hang around for the Eagles Monday night game after the festivities.
The Committee of Seventy is Philadelphia's advocate for effective, ethical government, and fair, clean elections.
Rank #1: Episode 38: What the sad tale of Johnny Doc means for Philly.
Few in Philly have inspired more rumors - or fear - than legendary union boss John Dougherty. Two top political journalists - Dave Davies of WHYY and David Gambacorta of philly.com - join us to talk through the twisty implications of the corruption indictment of one of the city's main power brokers.
Rank #2: Episode 16: Our "slay the gerrymander" edition.
Meet Amanda Holt, the Joan of Arc of Pennsylvania politics. Hear about this Allentown-area piano teacher's stubborn, inspiring and victorious (well, partially) quest to stop her state's politicians from gerrymandering. Hear Ben Geffen of the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia make the case for the center's lawsuit against the state's notorious congressional map. If, during this July Fourth week, you care about making democracy work again, take a moment listen to two people who are leading the way.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is one of the nation's premier policy organizations working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals. The Center's podcasts feature policy experts who provide updates and background on key issues in the news. Additional audio and video can be found at http://www.cbpp.org/multimedia
Rank #1: The Food Stamp Program.
The basics of the food stamp program is discussed by the Center's Director of Food Assistance Policy, Stacy Dean.
Rank #2: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go?.
Chuck Marr, the Center's Director of Federal Tax Policy, discusses how our federal tax dollars are spent.
The Confluence is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more at wesa.fm.
Rank #1: Addressing Pittsburgh's Public Health Crisis: Racism.
On today's program: the author of a new book chronicling the history of the Association of Pittsburgh Priests; banking in the marijuana industry is tricky business; the local impact of proposed food stamps changes; and how racism can have a negative impact on health.
Rank #2: Nat Geo Celebrates '50 Greatest' In New Photo Exhibit.
On today's program: What it takes to rebuild relationships after addiction; what Democrats can learn from Franklin Park; Conor Lamb weighs in on Donald Trump’s foreign policy; Good Question! explores the history of Brunot Island; and a new exhibit celebrating the world's 50 greatest nature photos is traveling through Pittsburgh.
Every week, our 30-minute podcast brings you all the environmental news and stories to keep you in the know in Pennsylvania.
Rank #1: Pa.'s fracked gas fuels plastics in Scotland; how the border wall is bad for wildlife.
While fracking is banned in Scotland, fracked gas from Pennsylvania is imported there to make plastic. The FBI is investigating the Wolf administration for its role in permitting of the Mariner East pipeline. The Pa. AG says climate change is costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars. A report from the borderlands: how the wall will impact wildlife.
Rank #2: Who's listening when it comes to fracking in Ohio? .
A special series looks at how fracking is impacting people there, from complaints about strange odors and traffic, to a push to establish a health registry for people who live near gas infrastructure.
From small towns to big cities — Grapple gives voice to people living and working in distressed communities. Through personal narratives and long-form storytelling, you hear conversations that tell the story of America’s profound economic and social changes — including how distressed communities have changed over time, what they’re grappling with today, and how they’re redefining themselves. Grapple’s first season takes you to a series of communities across Pennsylvania that were once vibrant but struggle today. The season also features breakout episodes — to dig deeper into the big issues you’re hearing about — with leading economists, sociologists, writers and more. Grapple is produced by Kouvenda Media and Keystone Crossroads — a public media initiative covering both challenges and solutions for distressed cities. Keystone Crossroads is a collaborative reporting project of partner public media stations: WHYY, WITF, WESA and WPSU.
Rank #1: Episode 03: Chester, A City Working on a New Narrative.
Episode 03 of Grapple takes you to the southeastern Pennsylvania city of Chester, once a thriving industrial center on the Delaware River. Today this small city — which lost nearly half its population — grapples with poverty, failing schools and crime. You’ll hear stories from people who grew up in Chester about how their city has changed over time; a landlord who’s using bright colors to stabilize a neighborhood once overrun with drug trafficking; and a group of investors bringing one of Chester’s oddest-shaped buildings back to life. Plus, you’ll hear how basketball brings the city together and the Chester roots of a rock and roll legend. Check out our photo essay from Chester: http://bit.ly/2d1GZdN
Rank #2: Episode 02: Breaking Down Distress in Coal Country with Adam Davidson and Sheryl Gay Stolberg.
In episode 02, we dig deeper into the loss of coal with Planet Money co-founder Adam Davidson and hear how other coal regions are creating new economic opportunities with The New York Times’ Mid Atlantic bureau chief Sheryl Gay Stolberg.
PA Books features authors of books about Pennsylvania-related topics. These hour-long conversations allow authors to discuss both their subject matter and inspiration behind the books.
Rank #1: “Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right” with Michael Smerconish.
Talk show host and columnist Michael Smerconish has been chronicling local, state, and national events for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer for more than 15 years. He has sounded off on topics as diverse as the hunt for Osama bin Laden and what the color of your Christmas lights says about you. In this collection of 100 of his most memorable columns, Smerconish reflects on American political life with his characteristic feistiness. With a new Afterword for each column, the author provides updates on both facts and feelings, indicating how he has evolved over the years, moving from a conservative political perspective to having more of a centrist view. Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right covers the post-9/11 years, Barack Obama's ascension, and the rise of Donald Trump. Smerconish also recounts meeting Ronald Reagan, having dinner with Fidel Castro, and barbequing with the band YES in his backyard, as well as spending the same night with Pete Rose and Ted Nugent, drinking champagne from the Stanley Cup, and conducting Bill Cosby's only pre-trial interview. Additionally, he writes about local Philadelphia culture, from Sid Mark to the Rizzo statue. Michael A. Smerconish is a SiriusXM radio host, CNN television host and Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper columnist. Description courtesy of Temple University Press.
Rank #2: "First Pennsylvanians" with Kurt W. Carr & Roger Moeller.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission today announced the publication of “First Pennsylvanians: The Archaeology of Native Americans in Pennsylvania.” The first comprehensive review of Native American archaeology in Pennsylvania for a general audience, the book is based on recent findings and previously unpublished research. With more than 240 illustrations of lifestyles, sites and artifacts, “First Pennsylvanians” discusses developments in the cultures of Native Americans who lived in the Delaware, Susquehanna and Ohio River basins from the Paleoindian period of 10,000 to 16,500 years ago to the time of first contact with Europeans. Authors Kurt W. Carr, Ph.D., Senior Curator of Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and Roger W. Moeller, Ph.D., an archaeologist who has conducted significant archaeological research in Pennsylvania and other parts of the country, characterize each period by environmental conditions, tools, food, settlement patterns and social organization.
Commonspace is a collaboration by First Person Arts and WHYY.
Rank #1: Who’s Your Daddy?.
From a cowboy with a secret obsession to a dad called “Mom,” fathers and children share unexpected and heartfelt stories all about dads. Guests: Paul Lyons, Louie Ortiz-Fonseca, Chris Davis, Lori Horvitz, Jared Bilski, Rocco Ritorto Photo: Johanna Austin The post Who’s Your Daddy? appeared first on Commonspace.
Rank #2: What We’ve Gained & What We’ve Lost.
In every Philadelphia neighborhood, the social and architectural history from past generations is still visible. It fills residents with a sense of place and home. But what happens when the old family grocery store is scrapped for a high-rise condominium? The post What We’ve Gained & What We’ve Lost appeared first on Commonspace.
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Rank #1: Redistricting: Partisanship, Politics, Power | OAS Episode 75.
Once every 10 years, America’s political landscape changes. While most people are aware the U.S. census takes place in years that end in zero, a smaller percentage know the data collected helps determine how the nation’s political power is divided. In most states, legislatures are charged with redrawing congressional and state legislative maps following the release of the census data. This means political control of the legislature and the governor’s office will be critical when maps are redrawn in 2021. We invited two guests to explain this process and what legislatures are doing in preparation for the historic event. Wendy Underhill is the director of the Elections and Redistricting Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures. NCSL is producing a series of meetings on redistricting, with the next one taking place Oct. 24-27 in Columbus, Ohio. Future redistricting meetings will be held in Las Vegas, Portland, Ore. and Washington, D.C. For the staff perspective, we talk with Michelle L. Davis, a senior policy analyst on redistricting and election law at the Maryland Department of Legislative Services. She is the editor of the website Redistrictingonline and its Facebook page. Additional Resources Transcription of Episode 75
Rank #2: U.S. Supreme Court: What to Watch This Term | OAS Episode 76.
The U.S. Supreme Court opened its current term on the first Monday of October. The court is considering several cases of direct interest to state legislatures. For starters, the court will decide whether the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is judicially reviewable and lawful.Other potentially charged cases are reviews of state laws on insanity defense, sexual orientation, gun laws, abortion, and the separation of church and state. It could even decide the legal copyright of state law annotations. Our guest is Lisa Soronen, the executive director of the State and Local Legal Center, who watches and analyzes U.S. Supreme Court decisions. She explains these cases and more, and offers insight on how justices are likely to view them.Additional Resources Transcription of Episode 76