Israel and the Palestinians: the Fulcrum of Conflict in the Middle East — Podcast December 15, 2014


The U.S. As Honest Broker, the Oslo Accords, the Peace Process, the Two-State Solution: Does ANY of This Still Make Sense Today? Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson consider the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and what appear to be the diminishing prospects for a just peace, and the final resolution of a 66 year-old stalemate.

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Relations, Military Policy, National Politics, Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Think Globally, Act Locally: The Benefits of Local Businesses — Podcast December 08, 2014


Product Diversity and Local Business Support Networks: A Promising New Alternative to the Big-Box and Franchise Model of Retailing. Democratic Perspective’s Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson talk about the benefits of buying locally with Meg Williams Jamison, Northern Arizona Director of Local First Arizona, Justin Ove, National Sales Manager for Arizona Stronghold Wines, and Kelsey Melvin, Local First Arizona’s Community Outreach Coordinator for Northern Arizona. As it turns out,those benefits can often outweigh the lower unit prices that are supposedly the great advantage of the corporate business model.

For example, local businesses keep more of our money in our own communities than large retail outlets like Walmart, or franchises like Applebees or McDonalds do. They also don’t require the tax breaks or infrastructure support large corporations extract from local governments in exchange for locating in our communities. Finally, because the local sourcing of the products they offer for sale is less energy intensive than transporting them from across the country, or across the world, they tend to contribute in the aggregate to more sustainable long-term economic development than the big box stores do.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Business, Interviews, Localist Movement, Oenology, Podcasts, Small Business, Sustainable Development, Viticulture | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

President Obama and Edward Snowden: Two Perspectives On the State of the Nation — Podcast December 1, 2014


American Dream or American Nightmare? It Depends On Who You Ask: Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino reflects on the story of the United States in the Twenty-First Century as told from two very different viewpoints: first, that of Laura Poitras’s film Citizenfour, about the fugitive NSA analyst Edward Snowden, and second, that of his own dismay at the gap between what Candidate Obama once promised, and what President Obama has since delivered.

Posted in Bigotry, Capitalism, Class Conflict, Constitutional Issues, Corrections Policy, Democratic Governance, Economic Policy, Financial Sector, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Homeland Securoty, Immigration, Income Inequality, Intelligence Agencies, International Relations, Jobs and Employment, Justice System, Law Enforcement, Mass Incarceration, Military Policy, Minimum Wage, National Politics, National Security, Penology, Podcasts, Policing, Poverty, Public Education, Racism, Renewable Energy, Surveillance Programs, Unemployment | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

If Not Now, When? Immigration Reform in the U.S. — Podcast November 24. 2014


Comprehensive Immigration Reform: A Review of Congressional Inaction and President Obama’s Executive Orders. Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson discuss the impact of President Obama’s controversial executive orders temporarily regularizing the status of some four million undocumented immigrants. What happens next, and where do the President’s actions fit into the context of our historical ambivalence toward the immigrants who’ve been coming here since well before the United States itself was established as an independent nation?

Posted in Agribusiness, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Securoty, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barbara Litrell and Judy Maloney Interview — Podcast November 17, 2014


The Verde Valley Mental Health Coalition: Community Involvement Makes a Difference. Democratic Perspective hosts Mike Cosentino and Gary LaMaster welcome Barbara Litrell and Judy Maloney, members of the steering committee of the Verde Valley Mental Health Coalition, for a discussion of the mental health issues facing Arizona and the Verde Valley today. Suicide hotlines, support for mental health care for our veterans and in our jails and post-release follow-up programs, innovative partnerships with local government, education and outreach activities at both local and state levels — it’s hard not to be impressed by what these committed volunteers and activists have accomplished, and the great example they’ve set for all of us in the Verde Valley.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Arizona Budget, Child Protection, Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Care, Health Care Delivery, Health Insurance, Interviews, Medicaid, Medicare, Mental Health Programs, Podcasts, Veterans' Issues | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dark Money: Did Pinnacle West Buy Itself a More Favorable Regulatory Environment? — Podcast November 10, 2014


Arizona Public Service, Pinnacle West, and the Arizona Elections: A Case Study in the Influence of Dark Money. Democratic Perspective’s Gary LaMaster and Steve Williamson take on the effect of dark money in the recent Arizona elections. How a private corporation, operating a monopoly public utility, was enabled by a questionable Supreme Court decision to buy itself a regulatory agency which prefers its interests over those of the public it is required by law to serve.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Citizens United, Elections, Energy Policy, Environmental Issues, Global Warming, Podcasts, Political Action Committees, Political Contributions, Regulatory Agencies, Renewable Energy, Special Interest Legislation | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Jim Holway and Mikel Weisser Interviews — Podcast November 3, 2014


Campaigning on the Issues: Jim Holway, Democratic Candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission, and Mikel Weisser, Democratic Candidate for the Arizona State House of Representatives, Legislative District 4. Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson round out Democratic Perspective’s 2014 Arizona election interviews by welcoming Jim Holway and Mikel Weisser for a discussion of their respective races. Hear who they are, where they stand on the issues, and how their races look just one day before the voters go to the polls.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Elections, Energy Policy, Income Inequality, Interviews, Paul Gosar, Podcasts, Political Action Committees, Political Lies, Political Polarization, Regulatory Agencies, Renewable Energy, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off