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Recession or Recovery?

In a packed program, Ralph first speaks to our resident constitutional scholar, Bruce Fein, about the latest Trump-anigans from Mar a Lago, then Washington Post business reporter, Allan Sloan, joins to talk about the Federal Reserve and answers the question of  whether we are headed for an economic recession or a recovery. And finally, Steve Silberstein of National Popular Vote comes by to update us on their latest efforts to ensure that the candidate for president who wins the popular vote actually wins the election.

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.




[The recent search at Mar-a-Lago is] a material step forward. It reinforces the conviction that [Trump] is a pathological liar…Why is that important? Because in a case of investigating the crimes that have been alleged against him, his corrupt intent is very critical.  And this reinforces what I think is overwhelming evidence that he has a corrupt motive behind virtually everything that he does and says.

Bruce Fein, Constitutional scholar


Allan Sloan is a business columnist at the Washington Post. He has been writing about business for over 50 years, including work at ProPublica, the Detroit Free Press, and Forbes. He has won seven Loeb Awards, business journalism’s highest honor, in four different categories (including a lifetime achievement award).



My bet is recovery… I don’t think we’re in a recession. I don’t think we’re heading for one.

Allan Sloan, business columnist at the Washington Post


The Fed in many ways is a paper tiger (or a financial tiger) because the only thing it really has is interest rates… The Fed isn’t all powerful and almighty. It can’t fix people’s student loans. If you want that fixed go ask Biden and his crew, to abolish them or reset the interest rates.

Allan Sloan, business columnist at the Washington Post


I’ve always thought that giving the Fed credit for the good things and blame for all the bad things was sort of childish. Because when you’re writing stories, and you’re writing them every day, every action has to have a reason. And there are a lot of times when there is no reason— stuff is going up because it’s going up, it’s going down because it’s going down. But nobody wants to hear this. Everybody wants a rational reason for everything.

Allan Sloan, business columnist at the Washington Post


A key question that the official-source journalists covering the Fed haven’t seemed to ask Chairman Powell or other members of the Board [of the Fed] is that, for decades, business has been perfectly adapted to invest when interest rates were 5% 4% 3% 2%. So why did [Powell] have to go all the way down to near zero?… and drive 150 million savers into penury?

Ralph Nader


​​Stephen M. Silberstein founded and served as the first President of Innovative Interfaces Inc., a leading supplier of computer software for the automation of college and city libraries. Mr. Silberstein sold his interest in the company in 2001 and now devotes his time to philanthropic and civic matters, one of which is sitting on the Board of Directors of National Popular Vote.



I remind people that the major consequence [of a National Popular Vote] —besides the winner winning—is that we will have a national campaign. The presidential candidates and the Presidency will pay attention to every state, every voter will be looked at and sought after and talked to, as opposed to the present system where 80% of the country is just spectators and wondering “What the hell is going on in Wisconsin and Michigan?”

Steve Silberstein, National Popular Vote


[The National Popular Vote] seems to be a real grassroots invitation, and listeners would be well advised to look at recent history and see what we got from repudiating the popular vote

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 441 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. John Puma says:

    Once again, we are reminded that the Dems are reluctant to take meaningful legal action to expose and prosecute the crimes they allege against Trump for fear of achieving an historic precedent that might result in their own criminal activities being exposed and prosecuted in the future. (You can be sure however they are cultivating the media coverage for donations … the same way they did during the Roe v. Wade saga.)

    Well, there may be “crazy” countries, as Fein grossly unprofessionally called them, to whom we don’t want nuclear secrets divulged but, as usual, the real problem is the clear, profound corruption of the country that holds those secrets … and controls the nuclear arsenal behind them.

    To wit, Sen. Sinema may have taken $1 million from the financial lobby to quash her party’s bill to tax financial transaction of the rich. The question is, however, how much did she also get from the DNC to act as this bill’s Democratic senate “villain” to allow the other Dem senators cover from criticism while still ensuring legislative death of the bill the Dems had NO intention of ever seeing passed. Glen Greenwald, years ago, accurately identified the Dems’ treacherous strategy of senate “rotating villains” as the explanation for so many Democratic “shocking an unexpected” congressional defeats.

  2. Don Klepack says:

    Looks like Trump is playing chess while Merrick Garland and the entire Department of Justice is playing checkers. From the Washington Post, Trump made millions in donatons after the raid. Many liberals from Alan Dershowitz, Bernie Sanders and even Noam Chomsky critized the way FBI conducted the raid. Merrick Garland speech made a weak argument by focusing the Rank and File of the FBI and not the leadership and secretive nature of the raid. Thank god the Secrete Service was their to open the doors and let the FBI in. If nothing susbstantial is gained from the unprecidented raid on a X-President and possible candidate is found, wouldn’t this give Trump a huge advantage if he runs for President?

  3. Beth Hayes says:

    What do you think of the current attempts to call for a constitutional convention. I understand that it is 6 votes away from a 2/3 required vote.

  4. Don Harris says:

    Once again you have not addressed my objection to the NPVC.

    Currently, in the states that award all their electoral votes to the winner of the state the votes from citizens that do not vote for the winner have their votes changed to an electoral vote for a candidate they did not vote for. A candidate with 45% of the vote gets all the electoral votes while a candidate with 35% of the vote and a candidate with 20% of the vote get zero electoral votes.

    The NPVC does not fix this problem, it just transfers the problem from the state level to the national level, possibly even making the problem worse. There could be a state where a candidate with 10-20% of the vote in the state wins the national popular vote and gets all of the state’s electoral votes

    Please stop promoting this horrible non-solution and bring on someone promoting proportional allocation of electoral votes. It is not a perfect solution but it is far better than states awarding all their electoral votes to the winner of the state or the NPVC as the electoral votes from each state would be closer to and more representative of the votes cast in that state with proportional allocation of electoral votes.

    The reason the Deathocrats only support the NPVC as individuals/candidates and not as a party is the same reason the NPVC will never happen- it will make it possible for a third party candidate to be competitive because that candidate doesn’t have to win states to get electoral votes. Both the Deathocrats and Republikillers only support something like this until it becomes possible, then they find excuses to not do it. (For example, a Deathocrat controlled Congress passing a medicare for all bill when they know it will not be passed by the Republikller controlled Senate and/or vetoed by a Republikiller president and Deathocrats not bringing it up for a vote when in control of all three branches.)

  5. Nicholas Donofrio says:

    Regarding the national popular vote compact;
    Why does this automatically become the law for the whole country when 270 electoral votes are collected? As far as I can tell it’s not an amendment, and a state that didn’t enact this law wouldn’t be bound by it.

  6. Tara Carreon says:

    Allan Sloan, business columnist at the Washington Post: The most useless speaker you’ve had on so far: difficult and obsructive in all ways. A no-nothing, believer in the status quo, insulter of Ralph Nader over and over again, not one bit pleasant to speak to or listen to

  7. Tara Carreon says:

    I would like to add my voice to that of Bonita, whose letter you read online, explaining how she suffers from the fear that opioid pain relievers will be taken away from her due to the criminal conduct of Purdue and its ilk, that flooded the nation with addictive pills. I am in a similar position — stuck in an endless series of alternative treatments that fail to heal my pain, while physicians avoid prescribing opioids based on CDC Guidelines that have been hardened into state law, putting legislators in control of medical care, and leaving persons like Bonita and I deprived of beneficial treatment. All because some robber barons who gamed the DEA regulatory system and undermined medical care in this country by marketing addiction. We are the silent victims, who are shamed and ignored. Please dig into this important topic, and get behind legal changes like the statutory changes in Minnesota that are returning opioid dosing authority to physicians. See this article entitled “Minnesota law change now in effect could be lifesaving for chronic pain patients”

  8. NooN says:

    ExcellenT ShoW

  9. John Puma says:

    Re National Popular Vote: it must be noted that relying upon the SCOTUS, in its current configuration, for rulings of logic and justice is a futile hope, and will continue to be, for at lease 2 generations. (For this predicament one must thank the DNC for its 2016 presidential nomination choice of history’s second most hated candidate … actively passing over history’s MOST popular candidate … to face history’s MOST hated candidate, Trump, in the election.)

    In support of Tara Carreon, above, I implore you to invite onto the show an actual economist, Michael Hudson, (and/or Jack Rasmus) as much-needed contrast to the multiply self-avowed know-nothing Mr Sloan.

  10. margaret walsh says:

    i have an idea ..

    perhaps we can convince the TOP TWO states to go TOP THREE ..

    image what that would do for rank choice states ..

    no evidence that THEY want to give voters a choice ..

    it might have to come straight from the voters ..

    old adage ..

    miracles are not contrary to nature ..