458 episodes

Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.

www.ralphnaderradiohour.com

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ralph Nader

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    • 4.8 • 970 Ratings

Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.

www.ralphnaderradiohour.com

    Ukraine: Senseless Conflict

    Ukraine: Senseless Conflict

    On this week of Thanksgiving, Ralph welcomes two distinguished anti-war activists and Nobel Peace Prize nominees, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODE Pink to discuss her book “War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict” and David Swanson of World Beyond War to not only put the conflict in Ukraine in context but also to reveal the financial incentives that drive endless war.
    Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. Her most recent book, coauthored with Nicolas J.S. Davies, is War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict.
    I remember everybody was talking about the peace dividend: “Hey, the Soviet Union collapsed. Now, we can shrink the military budget. We can disarm more. We can put the money back into communities. We can rebuild and restore America’s public works— our so-called infrastructure.” We didn’t count on the profit motive of the determined, deliberate, limitless greed and power of the military industrial complex.
    Ralph Nader
    We have a history of the US making coups in countries around the world. And it’s oftentimes decades after those coups that we find out the information about the extent of US involvement. That will be the case in [Ukraine] as well.
    Medea Benjamin
    We are looking sector by sector about how to mobilize and put pressure on our Congress and directly on the White House. Because I think that it’s the only way that we, in this country, can use our influence. And we must do it.
    Medea Benjamin
    David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, radio host and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. He is executive director of World BEYOND War and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. His books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War.
    When you see these videos contrasting “all the money going to Ukraine” and the homelessness problem and the poverty problem in the United States, we shouldn’t imagine this money as benefiting the people of Ukraine at the expense of benefiting the people of the United States. It’s exacerbating and prolonging a war that is devastating the people of Ukraine.
    David Swanson
    They’ve made war something that involves no US lives— or very, very few, and not officially a US war—and they’ve made it all about assisting a “struggling little democracy” against a “brutal authoritarian dictatorship”. And it has been the most phenomenal propaganda success I can recall or have read about in history.
    David Swanson
    Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law.  Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall.
    NATO expansion only happened because the Senate ratified the inclusion of all of these new countries in amending the NATO treaty. So, Congress is a partner with the President in flouting the pledges to Gorbachev (at the time) against further NATO expansion east after the collapse and dissolution of the Soviet Union. Just another example of congressional dereliction.
    Bruce Fein


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    • 1 hr 35 min
    Populism! The Good Kind.

    Populism! The Good Kind.

    Ralph welcomes back old friend and America’s Number One Populist, Jim Hightower to hash out a whole range of topics including what happened with Beto O’Rourke in the recent governor’s race in Texas, the battle between corporate Dems vs. progressive Dems and much, much more. Plus, Ralph warns again about falling for the relentless corporate pitch for Medicare (Dis)Advantage and gives us an update on the ongoing Boeing Max 8 litigation.
    Jim Hightower is a syndicated columnist, national radio commentator, and America’s Number One populist.  He has written many books including Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Mr. Hightower is a board member of Public Citizen. He is also a founding member of Our Revolution, an organization inspired by the issues brought up in the Bernie Sanders campaign. Along with that, he writes a monthly newsletter called the Hightower Lowdown.
    Shakespeare said “First, kill all the lawyers,” but I think first, kill all the consultants.
    Jim Hightower
    [To see what’s gone wrong], you’ve got to go back… to when the Democratic Party didn’t just abandon Texas, they abandoned grassroots politics. They went with the money.
    Jim Hightower
    If you don’t show up, you’re not gonna win. And we’re not going to win just by going to cities and the inner suburbs. Yes, we have to be strongly active there. Yes, we have to be totally committed to women’s right to control their own bodies. All of that is a given. But you’ve got to have something in addition to that.
    Jim Hightower
    Republican attorneys general, Republican congressional leaders when they’re in charge, they use power. And they use it to change the structure of the system… And we tend to fumble around with it and say we’ve got to be cautious, we don’t want to offend anybody, and we need to pursue the law carefully. That’s why we have to have grassroots movements that build power at a local level.
    Jim Hightower




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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Midterm Postmortem

    Midterm Postmortem

    Ralph invites political psychologist Dr. Drew Westen back to the program to give his analysis of what happened in the midterm elections. What the Dems did right and what they still do wrong. And we also welcome back labor journalist, Steve Early, co-author of “Our Veterans: Winners, Losers, Friends, and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs.”
    Dr. Drew Westen  is a clinical, personality, and political psychologist and neuroscientist, and Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Emory University. Dr. Westen is the author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation and is the founder of Westen Strategies, a strategic messaging consulting firm. He has advised a range of candidates and organizations, from presidential and congressional campaigns to major progressive organizations to the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses.
    Normally, within the first couple of years of a president’s administration, he’s usually picking up from where the last president left things— which is usually with a bad economy. And voters blame the new president for it, and that’s why you see these historic midterm effects where the party in power usually gets killed. And this time, the Democrats didn’t get killed. Let’s give them that first.
    Dr. Drew Westen
    Democrats have trouble figuring out that if you just speak honestly as a populist, you can win anywhere… Because people know when they’re getting screwed. And they know when somebody has their back. And they know when someone is speaking honestly to them. 
    Dr. Drew Westen
    All politicians—with very few exceptions— flatter the voters. When do we say, “It’s the voter’s responsibility”? That they have exerted a wave of masochistic voting against their own interest?
    Ralph Nader
    Steve Early is a lawyer, organizer, union representative, and labor journalist. He is the author of Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City, and co-author, with Suzanne Gordon and Jasper Craven, of Our Veterans: Winners, Losers, Friends, and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs.
    One of the great things about the VA is that a third of the VA caregiving workforce is veterans themselves. So you have this unique culture of solidarity and empathy, connection between patients and providers. You don’t find that at Kaiser, or Sutter, or UnitedHealth, or any of the other big for-profit or nonprofit healthcare chains. So this is a real national treasure that needs to be defended.
    Steve Early, author of Our Veterans: Winners, Losers, Friends, and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs




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    • 1 hr 19 min
    The Most Toxic Place in America

    The Most Toxic Place in America

    Counterpunch’s Joshua Frank joins Ralph to discuss his new book, “Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America” about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State— the Cold War plutonium manufacturing facility that even after a $677 billion taxpayer clean-up bill still leaks radioactivity. And immigration lawyer extraordinaire, Susan Cohen, regales us about her experience representing asylum seekers and refugees as chronicled in her book “Journey From There to Here: Stories of Immigrant Trials, Triumphs and Contributions.” Plus, Ralph makes one final pitch before the midterms for “Winning America.”
    Joshua Frank is an investigative journalist and the managing editor of the political magazine CounterPunch. He is also an author— his latest book is Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America.”
    Everyone would agree that any amount of money should be spent to clean this place up (Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State), but if it’s lining the pockets of private corporations and the job’s not getting done, then something’s wrong.
    Joshua Frank, author of Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America
    That’s their answer (to radioactive waste)—tarps. They don’t have an answer. Because it’s a very technical, very laborious process. And, I would argue, takes more ingenuity in figuring out how to clean this up than it did to produce it in the first place.
    Joshua Frank, author of Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America
    Susan Cohen is an immigration attorney and founding Chair of Mintz Levin’s Immigration Practice. She is president of the board of the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project, and led a team working with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts to obtain a temporary restraining order on Trump’s 2017 Travel Ban. She is the author of Journeys From There to Here: Stories of Immigrant Trials, Triumphs and Contributions.
    The fact that there are so many authoritarian regimes and corrupt regimes that we have had a hand in supporting over the years—where people can’t get justice when they’ve been egregiously harmed, or where the facts are evident and there’s not a question about what happened— is just another indication of the kinds of intolerable life situations that people face in these countries where they truly have to escape for their very lives.
    Susan Cohen, author of Journeys From There to Here: Stories of Immigrant Trials, Triumphs and Contributions
    The stark choice on November 8th is between a fascist/autocratic party and one that supports a major social safety net for tens of millions of Americans and their children. For anybody who says, “What about third parties?” I say, “Go for it.” But you know what’s going to happen on November 8th— it’s either going to be the Republican or the Democratic candidates for the duopoly. And there's never been a bigger gap in domestic policy— they’re very similar on empire— than at the present time.
    Ralph Nader




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    • 1 hr 38 min
    Chris Hedges/Mark Green

    Chris Hedges/Mark Green

    Ralph invites back award-winning war correspondent and author, Chris Hedges, to discuss his new book “The Greatest Evil is War” in which he points out that war is not only a racket but - no matter what its causes - a moral obscenity. And Mark Green joins us to elaborate on “Winning America” a compendium of rhetorical strategies and concrete policies Democrats should be running on to win the midterm elections. Plus, we plug Tort Law Education Day!
    Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He is the host of The Chris Hedges Report, and he is a prolific author— his latest book is The Greatest Evil Is War.
    Unchecked militarism is cancerous to a civilization. And it overreaches in the end. So, as it decays— as we have decayed — it engages in more forms of military adventurism in an attempt to reclaim a lost hegemony and a lost glory and a lost power.
    Chris Hedges, author of The Greatest Evil Is War
    Democratic administrations are wholly in lockstep with the Republicans on militarism. In some cases, even worse, because they provide more cover… So, we have to hold those who prosecute permanent war— Democrat or Republican— accountable. And I think that by surrendering to a Democratic administration in the idea that it's “the least worst,” we weaken our power and our credibility.
    Chris Hedges, author of The Greatest Evil Is War
    Bloodthirsty military action books sell far more than books that challenge the grizzly evil and crimes of war. It's books of aggression, violence, military prowess that gained the bestseller list
    Ralph Nader
    Mark Green is a former Nader’s Raider, who ran Public Citizen’s Congress Watch for ten years and was elected New York City’s first Public Advocate. He’s a prolific author, and has collaborated with Ralph Nader on Fake President: Decoding Trump’s Gaslighting, Corruption, and General B******t, and Wrecking America: How Trump's Lawbreaking and Lies Betray All. He is co-founder, with Ralph Nader of Winning America.
    To summarize, dangerous extremists are trying to steal our votes and our wallets. [Progressive candidates] have to get in both: “They’re destroying democracy,” and “That economically hurts our families.”
    Mark Green, co-founder of Winning America
    Trump’s GOP— they want to be lawmakers to break the law, violate the Constitution and crush our democracy, and put the plutocrats in charge. Behind all these Trumpsters is the corporate state… turning the government against its own people.
    Ralph Nader




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    • 1 hr 7 min
    How the Right Wing Captured the Supreme Court

    How the Right Wing Captured the Supreme Court

    Ralph and Rhode Island Senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, dive into his new book “The Scheme: How the Right Wing Used Dark Money to Capture the Supreme Court.” And Ralph takes the opportunity with the Senator to pitch his "Winning America" strategy for the Democrats to use in the midterms.  In addition, our resident constitutional expert, Bruce Fein, stops by to argue that so many of the books about Trump and other American presidents emphasize personality and ignore the constitutional implications of their decisions. Plus, Ralph urges listeners to sign up for Tort Law Day, Saturday October 29th to celebrate our constitutional right to have our day in court.
    Sheldon Whitehouse represents Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate. He has served as his state’s United States Attorney and as the state Attorney General, as well as its top business regulator. He is the author of Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy, and the new book The Scheme: How the Right Wing Used Dark Money to Capture the Supreme Court.
    We just had a vote on [the DISCLOSE Act] in the Senate, and every single Republican voted against it. They voted— to a person—to protect dark money. Despite not only 80% of Republican voters feeling opposed and hostile to dark money and all this corporate influence, but really angrily opposed to it. These are people that come in with a very high sense of frustration and fury. It's a very salient and even emotional issue, and yet they all voted— to a person— against it.  Because, in my view, they've become as dependent on dark money as a deep-sea diver is on an air hose.
    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, author of The Scheme: How the Right Wing Used Dark Money to Capture the Supreme Court
    Imagine blaming Joe Biden for high gas prices when the fossil fuel industry actually sets the gas prices. If they actually let Joe Biden set gas prices when they were high, he could have knocked a dollar per gallon off like that. But of course, you can’t. We’ve got a market economy. But they blame him for it.
    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, author of The Scheme: How the Right Wing Used Dark Money to Capture the Supreme Court
    Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law.  Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall.
    There's only one oath that all of our members of Congress and the President and the judiciary take— the one oath to hold and support the Constitution of the United States. They don't take an oath to support their political party. They don’t take an oath to get re-elected. They don't take an oath for any other purpose other than to uphold and defend the Constitution.
    Bruce Fein
    The crux of our Republic is process— following process as prescribed in the Constitution, and if you lose, you go back and you make a better argument, or if you think the Constitution is defective, you propose an amendment…that is what makes us different from other countries. And this preoccupation with personalities is leading us off of a cliff very fast.
    Bruce Fein
    Your broader point, Bruce, is truly being occluded by people who engage in the public press and Congressional activities. Your broadest point is that we are living in an age of massive serial violations of our Constitution by our elected representatives, and of course, by implication, government officials who are working under these elected representatives in the branches of government. And this breeds a culture of lawlessness all the way down to the corporate crime wave to violations of consumers’ rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, civil liberties.
    Ralph Nader


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    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
970 Ratings

970 Ratings

LOTUS8861 ,

Under Republicans, man exploits man; Under Democrats, it’s just the opposite

Nader gives us the straight scoop and he would’ve made a great president. How much farther? How much longer?

Syncyclist98 ,

Ralph keeps us honest

When we start falling under the spell of the Democratic Party, listening to Ralph keeps us honest and true to our progressive ideals. Interview with David Gelles on Jack Welch was very educational (and I have not heard about this book anywhere else -- just ordered it!). Looking forward to Ralph's commentary on the Inflation Reduction Act (we'll see if he can pop my happy bubble).

Medccare651 ,

Such an un creative COVID update

I wonder how many people Michael has treated?

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