Tag: Ralph Nader

“America’s Lawless Empire: The Constitutional Crimes of Bush and Obama,”

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein and former presidential candidate and consumer advocate, Ralph Nader visited Harvard Law School to  discuss the constitutional crimes of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H.Obama It is well worth the hour to watch if you love this country and respect the Constitution and our laws.

February 10, 2012

Ralph Nader ’58 and Bruce Fein ’72 visited Harvard Law School for a talk sponsored by the HLS Forum and the Harvard Law Record. At the event, “America’s Lawless Empire: The Constitutional Crimes of Bush and Obama,” both men discussed what they called lawless, violent practices by the White House and its agencies that have become institutionalized by both political parties. [..]

Both men took issue with the National Defense Authorization Act, which sets the budget and policies of the Department of Defense and generally expands the power of the government to fight the war on terror. The Act permits, among other practices, the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without trial. Fein encouraged those in attendance to contact their members of congress about repealing it.

Bruce Fein has been my “hero” since he called for the simultaneous impeachment of both Bush and Cheney as a requirement of congress mandated by the Constitution and then drafted articles of impeachment of Barack Obama for the same reasons. The Constitution and its enforcement is not a spectator sport.

Leveraging the Ron Paul – Ralph Nader Mutual Admiration Society in 2011-20

( cross posted at ronpaulforums.com)

An encouraging video with Ralph Nader and Ron Paul, showing the considerable overlap on MULTIPLE, MAJOR issues, was posted some months ago at youtube, and recently written about here at MyFDL.

Now, while I would expect him to avoid being too upfront about it, I have to believe that Ron Paul knows that he’s extremely unlikely to win the Presidency in 2012. So, why is he running? I believe he’s running because he’s a patriotic American who wants to alter the political climate in America, and he realizes that a run for Presidecy gives his ideas a large forum, from which those ideas can germinate and further grow in the American mind. Such a calculus is not totally unlike the efforts of the New Progressive Alliance (NPA) to run a challenger against Obama in the Democratic Primary. Beating Obama isn’t the point. Fighting back against Obama’s corporatism and banksterism is.

Good on Ron Paul. However, I want to make a couple of suggestions that, I believe, would both help maximize Ron Paul’s efforts to build up a libertarian-ish Republican faction, but that would also help make the sort of coalition that Ron Paul calls for, in Congress, larger and more effective. As an added bonus, these suggestions might help prepare the groundwork for a fusion party.

The Only Hope We Have Left

As The State Of The Union approaches, it is interesting that just recently Dick Cheney endorsed President Obama’s conduct of U.S. Foreign Policy:   Endless Bloodshed, Endless Futile Foreign Occupations, Prediator Drone Mass-Murder, Indefinite Gulag Detentions, CIA Torture Renditions, No Legal system (termination of Habeas Corpus), Criminalizing Whistleblowers, Assassinations, War Profiteering Corruption, etc. — the final proof of the depths of treachery, depravity, and global tyranny that Obama has aggressively promoted and protected.


You’d think that giving us a Dick Cheney Foreign Policy, and a Mitt-Romney Health Insurance sentence, and a reverse robin-hood Bush-Reagan Tax Policy would be enough rightward, reactionary policy betrayal by Obama, but no.  We will soon hear about Obama’s coming plans for stripping away at Social Security, as he continues to appoint and surround himself with Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Robber Barons when formulating his “public policy” on economics.

Cutting the Debt is, in truth, an important priority for a Country awash in runaway $16 Trillion Dollar Debt — a number impossible to repay — and which threatens the solvency and legitmacy of the U.S. Dollar. But there is a right way to do that, and a wrong way to do that.  

If Obama had any brains, he would stop wasting away Trillions of Dollars on futile, corrupt Foreign Occupations and U.S. mass murder (which has also directly killed more Americans than any “terrorist” ever did, ever could, or ever would).

Instead Obama is going to strip away at Social Security — something that George W. Bush could not do, but under the cover of “bipartisanship” Obama will do.

What hope does this Country have left?   None whatsoever, if we keep supporting Corporatist-Neocon Democrats like Obama, and their unholy GOP counterparts (God Bless America).

But as the 2011-2012 Presidential process begins to get underway, there is one coalition that could offer some real honesty, and some real solutions to our very real problems:

The Only Hope We Have Left

While neither man could win on his own, the combination of Nader and Paul together represent a true left-right “bipartisan” coalition that would be based finally on putting the priorities of ordinary people first, and the priorities of Corporate Oligarchs where they belong — dead on arrival.

It’s time to back such a coalition.

Ralph Nader was right!

While it is true that our system has a winner take all voting system, which means the candidate with the most votes wins irrespective of whether they have even 50% of the vote, and it is true that by voting 3rd party the candidate you least like might win, it doesn’t mean you are not having any effect. You can still use your third party vote to purify the major party of a corrupt candidates, which can make a difference in the long run. Also if enough people vote for the third party it can replace one of the two major parties which is what happened in the 1850’s with the republicans replacing the whigs. Third parties can also win. Look at Jessie Ventura.

It is true that you can agitate to change the voting system, but you must go through politicians that were successful with the old way to get something new. Not a likely prospect in my view.

It is true that you can technically run primary challenges, and get some changes, but if those are so easy to run, why hasn’t anyone run them on a mass scale, that I believe is needed to get reall changes? In reality there are tremendous structural barriers to runnng any kind of primary fight, otherwise people would do more than talk and threaten them. This talk of running primaries has been happening for ten years, and nobody in the final analysis does them.

The people who voted Nader in 2000 may not have helped but they didn’t hurt anything either. The war probably would have happened either way. Lieberman was Al Gore’s pick for vp. Martin Peretz was Al Gore’s mentor. Many dlcers like Gore voted for the Iraq war resolution including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and John Edwards. Obama claimed he would have voted against the resolution, but Obama has claimed to be for, or against many things, that didn’t pan out in reality, because of his commitment to dlc policies. For instance, during the campaign, Obama claimed to be against mandates and excise taxes on cadillac plans. How did that work out in reality. He claimed to be against fisa but voted for it. He claimed to oppose corporate lobbying, and the revolving door, but hired a bunch of Goldman Sachs employees to serve him in his administration. He also claimed to be against the Iraq war, but never missed an opportunity to vote for war funding.

Nader voting changed nothing, in my view, but it did offer and opportunity to vote for someone who told the truth. I so wish I hadn’t bought the lesser evil bs and wasted my vote on Gore, than Kerry and now Obama. The democrats have mislead people for far too long. Obama proves Nader was completely correct, and those of us who sympathized with Nader literally wasted 8-9 years working our butts off for democrats who hate us, and think we are idiots.

While it is true that Lieberman is a leader of these bad dems, it is not true, that lessor dems like Coakley who take money from the insurance companies, and who support mandates bare no responsibility. By only targeting the big sharks, you let little sharks like her off the hook and they continue to vote for the wrong things. You partisans claim that not giving them a 60th seat will be permission to move to the right, but they are already moving to the right so it looks like the mere act of putting right leaning dems in office is permission enough. You claim we don’t vote for Coakley we wont’ have another shot at reform for a generation, yet we are suppose to believe you will come back and improve the bill later on? Come on! We aren’t self-defeating. We are beaten down by corruption! Beating us more won’t help!

reposted from my blog http://dameocrat.blogspot.com

The Awful Truth

Original article, by Ralph Nader and subtitled Liberals Begin to Bail on Obama, via counterpunch.com:

Those long-hoping, long-enduring members of the liberal intelligentsia are starting to break away from the least-worst mindset that muted their criticisms of Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign.

Election News Roundup: 5/27/09 – 6/3/09

Election reform is one of the most important issues facing our country and our world right now, even if it doesn’t get the coverage of torture or abortion.  The way that we run our elections and initiative processes determines who makes policy, the type of policy made, and the tone of our political discourse.  If we ignore it or take advantage of the electoral system, we our doing ourselves and our country a disservice.

This week:  Voter ID bill (aka poll tax) foiled in Texas by Democrats, corrupt Bush officials leading the charge for unsafe online voting, instant runoff voting’s failures, Ralph Nader accuses Terry McAuliffe of bribery, McAuliffe’s history of disenfranchising voters, FOX lies about Eric Holder, and more!

Terry McAuliffe a fraud? No…

I apologize for the short and rushed essay, but I just wanted to get this story up as it’s breaking.  It might turn into some kind of bigger scandal for McAuliffe because people were convicted, in part, because of the things he apparently ordered them to do.

No More Excuses: By Ralph Nader

Read it here: http://rjones2818.blogspot.com…

Nader: Wither Wall Street

Original article, by Ralph Nader, via nader.org:

Soon after the passage in 1999 of the Clinton-Rubin-Summers-P. Graham deregulation of the financial industry, I boarded a US Air flight to Boston and discovered none other than then-Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers a few seats away. He was speaking loudly and constantly on his cell phone. When the plane took off he invited me to sit by him and talk.

“Strategic” voting doesn’t work.

Also available in teal.

Every time I state my intention to vote, or that I have voted, for a write-in candidate for president I am blasted with vitriol about how I’ve wasted my vote, or that I’ve helped the Republicans win.  To that I say, “bullshit.”  Why do I say this?  I say it because it’s true.

We are told that our options are limited to a choice between “bad” and “worse.”  “Good” is denounced as “perfect,” the “enemy” of the “good,” but this overlooks the fact that no one expects or asks for “perfect.”  We want good politicians who will represent our interests in public office – that’s it.  We don’t expect miracles, or even success 100% of the time, but we do expect and demand that those we elect to power try their best.

It is a sick joke to be told that our votes for third party, independent, or write-in candidates are a waste, and it’s nothing short of fear-mongering to threaten a Republican victory if we don’t throw our principles out the window.  We’re lectured about how there is “too much at stake” in the current election cycle to vote our principles now, that we can vote our principles next time.  The best we can do, or so we’re told, is to vote for Democrats and hope they’re not as bad as the Republicans.

Again, this overlooks certain facts, chief among them being that there’s always going to be “too much at stake.”  That mythical “next” election cycle during which we shall be free to vote our beliefs and principles isn’t going to come as long as we continue to throw our votes away on politicians who represent the establishment and maintain the current regime.  What good does it do us on the left to compromise our principles if the result is always the same: bad politicians who support the status quo?

The strategy of electing “more and better” Democrats doesn’t work because we keep voting for the same corrupt politicians who say one thing but do another, namely, alienating progressives and disenfranchising voters.  As the last two years have shown us, we cannot hope to reform the Democratic Party from within because it has been thoroughly compromised by the lure of money and power.  The number of actual progressive Democrats shrinks every cycle, as the base wakes up to this fact and leaves the party.  It doesn’t help that the duopoly has the assistance of the corporate-owned media, which actively suppresses dissenting voices during campaign coverage.  This is illustrated by the marginalization and elimination of Democrats Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and John Edwards in last year’s debates.

This inevitably leads to weak corporate candidates such as Al Gore, John Kerry, and now Barack Obama for president.  Each of these politicians ran right-leaning campaigns against their hard right Republican counterparts, thus ensuring that voters would see little or no fundamental difference between them.  This, combined with weak campaigns that allowed the opposition to define the candidates, allowed the GOPhers to get just enough of the vote to steal the elections.  That the votes were so close in the first place speaks volumes about how low the Democrats have sunk in terms of putting up viable candidates; Gore and Kerry should have soundly defeated the shrub, by double digits, in their respective campaigns.  Instead, they ran so far to the political right that they turned off their party’s base.

Finally, there is the imperious attitude among partisan Democrats that none of this matters – it is up to the voters to shut up and go along, rather than the politicians listening to their employers and running effective, progressive campaigns.  That this turns off the base and drives it to look elsewhere for representation should have been a harsh wakeup call to Democrats to re-evaluate their core beliefs, failed strategies and tactics, and unearned sense of entitlement to non-Republican votes, but this hasn’t happened.

So we end up back where we began, on the losing end of elections that should have been in the bag.  If progressives are to break the cycle and have a chance of competing with the corporate duopoly, we must recognize that failed strategies must be abandoned.

Many Don’t Like Ralph, but……….

Ralph Nader {center}

October 27, 1969

Ralph Nader set up a consumer organization with young lawyers and researchers {often called “Nader’s Raiders”} who produced systematic exposés of industrial hazards, pollution, unsafe products, and governmental neglect of consumer safety laws.

Nader is widely recognized as the founder of the consumer rights movement. He played a key role in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Freedom of Information Act, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Let me ask you something:

Why, in a presidential election that has at least half a dozen candidates running, are only the two most right-wing politicians receiving any coverage in the corporate-owned press?

Here’s Ralph Nader speaking September 29th on the bailout.

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