Think Tank 2013

Disabled Vets: How Well do we Treat Them? Brian Manciini, Wounded Combat Veteran and founder of “Honor House” and Larry Villano, CEO of Terros discuss how we treat our wounded vets and what they are doing about it.  Podcast.

The Kennedy Assassination. I remember the day President Kennedy got shot like it was yesterday, though I was just a kid. It was probably even more life-changing for most Americans then alive than 9/11 was for a current generation of Americans. The facts have been argued for decades. I learned more about the assassination from this week’s guest than I have over the last 50 years. Robert Tanenbaum was Deputy Chief Counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations (and chief investigator for the JFK component of that investigation) between 1976-78. He interviewed many of the principals personally and speaks as authoritatively as anyone I have ever heard on the subject. Will we ever know the truth?  Tune in and draw your own conclusions.  Podcast.

Civil Rights in America 1962-2013 – A Personal Retrospective.  What was it like for a northern student to go to Mississippi to help register black voters in 1962?   Some were killed; all were intimidated. Our guest this week is Dave Tierney, a prominent local attorney and community activist.  Over 50 years ago, Dave was one of these young students.  Hear his riveting personal story in the context of recent American history on this week’s Think Tank. Podcast.

The Federal Government Shutdown, the Debt Ceiling and Other Insanity.  Congress shut down our federal government for almost three weeks and threatened to simply not pay our bills for things we had already purchased, sending financial markets into a fear-driven frenzy.  How could this have been avoided? What’s next?  Guest: Art Hinshaw, ASU Law Professor and expert on negotiation. Podcast.

“Can’t We All Just Get Along?” What do our conflicts with the Muslim World, the George Zimmerman/Travon Martin case, and the resentments of the Tea Party all have in common? Dr. J’Lein Liese is an expert in leadership and conflict resolution with 20 years experience working in conflict resolution. She has special expertise in the Middle East and does training to support resolving the sectarian conflict in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.  Tune in and find out. Podcast.

Congressional War Powers. John Shu was a White House attorney under both President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush. He is an expert in constitutional law.  He discusses the legality of bombing Syria without congressional approval.  Podcast.

Post Speech Analysis of President Obama’s speech to the nation on Syria. Podcast.

Crime and Punishment: three expert views.

  • Mona Lynch is a University of California author who has written a scathing critique of criminal justice in Arizona.
  • Bill Montgomery, as Maricopa County Attorney is the chief law enforcement officer for most of Arizona.
  • And Cecil Ash has been described by one knowledgeable observer as “probably the most knowledgeable person in the state about good corrections public policy.” Podcast.

Obamacare.  Is the Affordd Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) the End of Western Civilization? Or the greatest thing since sliced bread?  Most people have strong opinions on this, but few have many of the facts.  Our guest is a healthcare expert, not a politician. We will attempt to discuss what the this law will actually do and not do. No politics, just the facts.  Or, at least we will try to keep it that way. Podcast

Terry Goddard has been involved in much of Phoenix and Arizona history for nearly 40 years.  He was elected Attorney General of Arizona, twice elected Mayor of Phoenix and was twice a Democratic nominee for Governor. Before assuming elected office he ran initiatives that resulted in killing a gas tax and electing Phoenix City Council members by district. He has been intimately involved in issues of urban redevelopment, transportation, and housing. If you want to understand how Arizona has developed over the last four decades, you could do a lot worse than listening his take. Podcast

Education in ArizonaJohn Huppenthal, Arizonal Superintentant of Public Instruction and Andrew Morril, President, Arizona Education Association discuss: How are we doing as a state? Are we still at the bottom of national rankings of educational attainment?  What is the impact of Charter Schools (we have almost twice as many as any other state) on educational quality?  Does testing hold schools and teachers accountable?  Or is it largely a waste of time? Podcast

Candidate DebateThe Phoenix City Council district 6 race between Sal DeCicio and Karlene Keogh Parks is the most contentious race in Phoenix. Podcast

Changing the Electoral Rules of the GameThink that the most important time in elections is when you vote in November?  Think again.  Change the rules of the game and you can change the outcome.  The Arizona legislature changed several election rules this session.  Were these to prevent voter fraud?  Or were these to ensure partisan advantage?  Listen and form your own opinion. Podcast

What about that Mexican border?  And, for that matter, how safe is Mexico?  These issues, the Travon Martin/George Zimmerman case, and other issues dominate this week’s discussion. Podcast

Is Arizona Politics Irreparably Broken? The recently completed legislative session was one of the most rancorous in Arizona history.  Will the Republican Party turn on itself?  Will legislative Republican leaders be able to mend fences with Governor Brewer? Longtime Capitol reporter Howard Fischer and KTAR veteran reporter Jim Cross discuss prospects. Podcast

Homeless? Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton once spent time as a homeless person to understand the issues. Mark Holleran is executive director of Central Arizona Shelter Services, Arizona’s largest provider of services to the homeless. Podcast

National Press Views of Arizona. New York Times Reporter New York Times Phoenix Bureau Chief Fernanda Santos and chief Political Reporter for the Washington Times Ralph Hallow discuss. Podcast

Security, Terrorism and Privacy RightsHow much privacy are we willing to give up for promises of greater security? Has government surveillance helped the government thwart dozens of terrorist attacks (as the Director of the NSA has claimed)?  Or has it unnecessarily intruded on our liberties? Podcast

Economic Outlook. The worst of the Great Recession is clearly over. Are Boom Times ahead? Or are we in a temporary bubble headed for a crash? Hear Dennis Hoffman, the state’s premier economic forecaster and Wayne Stutzer, a financial advisor. Podcast

All Things Legal. Issues concerning the IRS? The AP? WillArizona’s voter ID law be declared unconstitutional?  Former Principal Deputy Solicitor General of theUnited States and ASU Law Dean Paul Bender provides insight on pending legal matters. Podcast

Understanding the Federal Budget from the perspective of someone who was inside the room– the former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation provides an insider’s perspective. Podcast

The Political Persuaders. Meet the “men behind the curtain,” leading political consultants who craft candidate messages we see. Podcast Legislative update. Political roundtable with some of the most astute observers of legislative machinations. Podcast

Guns, Gun Safety and Gun Control. Gun safety expert, NRA board member, and an expert on the relevant statistics to mediate. Podcast

Illegal! Listen to first-hand stories of undocumented immigrants.  Gripping personal stories — some surprising. Podcast

Expand Medicaid? The Pros and Cons of the Governor’s Proposal.  $1.6 Billion at stake.  Podcast