Impeach Trump!
October 5, 2019
Rashida Tlaib
October 19, 2019
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Constitutional Crisis

With a Constitutional crisis afoot, we continue our discussion of impeachment with Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein. And, Ralph welcomes Middle East policy expert, Hassan El-Tayyab, to fill us in on what’s going on with the humanitarian tragedy that is the war in Yemen.

Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar, who was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan. Mr. Fein has been a visiting Fellow for Constitutional Studies at the Heritage Foundation and an adjunct scholar at American Enterprise Institute. He has advised numerous countries on constitutional reform, including South Africa, Hungary and Russia. He is author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall.

“It’s not just the conservatives who are in my judgment derelict here. I think the entire political class now has conceded that we no longer have a Constitutional dispensation. Both parties, if their guy is in the White House, say ‘do whatever you want to do.’”

Bruce Fein, attorney and Constitutional scholar

Hassan El-Tayyab is the lead lobbyist on Middle East policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Previously, he was co-director of the national advocacy group Just Foreign Policy, where he led their lobbying work to advance a more progressive foreign policy in the Middle East and Latin America. He played a major role in the successful passage of the War Powers Resolution to end US military aid to the Saudi-UAE coalition’s war in Yemen.

“As far as what people can do: they need to reach out to their legislators. Their Rep and their two Senators need to hear from you. And let them know that you don’t want the U.S. to be participating in the Yemen War any longer.”

Hassan El-Tayyab, lead lobbyist on Middle East policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

RALPH NADER RADIO HOUR EP 292 TRANSCRIPT (Right click to download)

7 Comments

  1. Bruce K. says:

    In other words. we are a nation of men/people, not a nation of laws. The arrival of so many billionaires with so much power has corrupted the country right before our eyes and because most people do not get informed or educated sufficiently anymore, it’s like someone hit the reset button and we have to go back the 1700’s.

  2. Mark Hughes says:

    At the risk of this being TLDR, right, wrong or indifferent here goes anyway.

    If a president commits treason, s/he’s “impeached” and becomes a statesman. Regardless if they commit war crimes per the Constitution, as Fein pointed out among other major violations, or are embroiled in corruption (name a president who hasn’t). They have to merely step down, as every exec gets to do when they commit clear crimes against the people and endanger society (Purdue Pharma, Wells Fargo, etc) and get a golden parachute to boot.

    However if a regular citizen commits it, s/he risks prison and likely the death penalty.

    Because all “that’s too low a standard.” Of course this mess might have long been mitigated had Congress had members who had work ethic and were committed to doing their jobs right. Because right now they don’t even write laws anymore, they get templates of bills given to them by ALEC and other major corporate lobbies and they just rubberstamp them through. Not only is that true for Congress, that’s also true for many state legislatures. We always talk about federal level politics, but rarely state level. When one branch abdicates its responsibility, that power and authority gravitates to another. That’s why the exec branch has encroached on separation of powers. It’s because Congress is sloppy and lazy. And I’ve not gotten near the true power of our political economy – Capital.

    As far as somehow not wanting Congress to be distracted from “kitchen table issues“ in lieu of this theatrical impeachment, they’re already distracted – by major corporate lobbies and donations. And this is a distraction that Congress embraces. So maybe I’m now touching on the power of Capital. Nevertheless, congressional “distraction” is a moot point.

    Chris Hedges is precisely correct when he states that if Trump is impeached but our deep social & economic failures are not addressed and corrected, things in this country will get markedly worse.

    In Pari Delicto sums up our political swamp perfectly. And Fein’s term “the mandarin class” should be a total meme.

    ***

    On the Russell Mokhiber morning minute, I find it incredibly sad that it is the Southwest Airlines pilots union that sues Boeing, and not Southwest Airlines.

    ***

    On the Hassan El-Tayyab/Yemen segment, nothing stood out as surprising re our wars. Other than perhaps the most revered and best president of the 20th century, FDR who had his warts for sure (Japanese concentration camps come to mind), is the one who essentially founded the petrodollar. Another global economic term that never gets discussed.

    And once again Ralph proved he has some comedic chops with his slap at the Quakers for giving us Nixon. Anything that gives professional comedians such as Steve and David belly-laughs is a great thing. As I posted in a comment a few weeks ago, the light-hearted, off-beat show every now and then is a hit.

    ***

    As we approach the T – 1 year mark of election day, I think with all these constitutional scholars on the show there needs to be a serious discussion about electors. Who are they, how do they get there, etc. I’m no lawyer but I’ve read the Constitution and the amendments up one side and down the other, and while this particular term is used it is nowhere clearly defined. It will be nice to know who we the voters are up against.

    If this all happens to resemble crazy ranting, you can blame the bottle of Tempranillo that forced its way into my stomach. That’s what I’m doing.

  3. Isabella says:

    I must assume Ralph is unaware of Fein’s murky, disturbing, and hypocritical past which is detailed in links below. I hope Ralph or his producer’s read these carefully and do not continue to give him a platform. He wrote the minority report for Iran contra committee to defend limitless executive power, lobbied for big tobacco, murderous dictators, and Armenian genocide. There’s more:
    https://italkyoubored.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/bruce-fein-interviewed-by-ian-masters-a-transcript-with-interruptions/
    https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/libertarian-bum-fights/

    • Ian says:

      italkyoubored says it all. It is a rambaling discombobulated mess. I came to Ralph Nader from a recomendation by Bernard Moitessier, The Long Way.
      I beg you to read this book, which effortlessly weaves passion, emotion, poetry and reality into a concise, informative read – focused through the prism of practical action and survival. This book was a major inspiration to me as a young man, now at 50 it makes me cry.

  4. Richard B McLaughlin says:

    I have never missed one of your podcasts, but have never been more excited to hear about a guest than I am now after hearing about next weeks congresswoman! WOW!!! Great show-you guys never disappoint. Thanks again for making this country great(as opposed to making this country great again). Your friend, Richard McLaughlin

  5. Terence Irwin says:

    A chara,
    The Quakers played a blinder here in Cork during and after the Irish Holocaust midC19. Still fighting the good fight I’m delighted to hear. I’ve been enjoying your show for some time now,, even if I must wait a week for the latest program.
    It occurs to me that Ireland is a disgraceful thereby a prime candidate for a case study for many of the themes and issues you discuss.
    E.g. When the world was first enthralled by the ‘smart bomb’, watching from our living rooms the destruction of a.n.others; RTE, Ireland’s public service broadcaster (who sell advertising as well as demand licence to watch/listen fees from every household) gifted one of USofA’s most prominent sabre-rattling media outlets their down time. Prior to 24/7 programming hours between 1:30-5:30am, once silent, were now filled with the cacophony of war, if not quite in real-time, then close enough. By 1997 90+% of Irish airwaves were filled with US generated drivel.
    The media, although a fascinating example of corporate takeover, is far from isolated. Our pharmaceutical dependency on many levels mimics the US. The Apple fiasco, still ongoing as the value of the €14bn, owing but refused, drops steadily in value.
    https://www.thejournal.ie/apple-tax-fund-4831661-Oct2019/

    At their time of their construction the contract for both these projects was traced to Haliburton. The PPP, which essentially is corpo gain/taxpayer cost, guarentees profits for 20 years. Not to shore up losses, protect jobs or maintain services, but after shouldering the entire infrastructural costs, to guarentee profits. In theory then the operations and tolls revert to the taxpayer. But the contract can be renewed, sure why wouldn’t you?
    https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/405m-paid-by-state-to-toll-operators-since-2010-447473.html

    The financial institutions are also running this country; gentrification/homelessness live cheek-by-jowl a stone’s throw from my relatively comfortable but tenuous bed-sit; the water privatisation issue will reemerge and we have the infamous Violia chomping at the bit; the resource (oil gas and minerals) giveaways; the trees and forestry…you get the picture. The lipservice to the climate crisis whilst continuing to grant exploration licences with apparently no material, energy security nor financial benefits to the public. The issues are bacon sliced but the pattern is the same.

    I don’t know what a case study of corporate Ireland would look like but it would be instructive for us living here to get a migrating birds view.

    Is mise, le meas
    Tirlagh

  6. Chris Dlugosz says:

    Thank you Ralph for very insightful podcasts and great work you are doing to educate and energize people around the country.
    You and Your guest, Bruce Fein, made it clear to what extend President Trump is violating our Constitution, but I would like also to hear a little more about broader context of law neglecting and law breaking behavior of our current president. It seems to me that most of the media commentators attribute this behavior to personal flaws of Donald Trump, forgetting about simple fact that he spent most of his life among people like him. I would hope that at least some of us are aware to what extend our social milieu shape our behavior.
    There is no question that President Trump is a man of many flaws, but we also should realize that his presidency gives us unique opportunity into the world of business. Through his behavior we see how, at least some, high level executives and business people treat the law. I do not want to imply that all executives and all businessmen are like Donald Trump, but I also have no doubt that significant part of that community shares his disdain for the law. I hope that You would be able and willing to present his criminal behavior in this context.

    Sincerely,

    Chris Dlugosz

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