“For his friends, no explanation was ever necessary; for his enemies, none would ever have sufficed.”

Conrad Black receives A Full Presidential Pardon. I paid close attention to the case at the time, partly because we are almost contemporaries and even remember him – not personally – from my university days in Canada. Also because Mark Steyn was covering the story so closely. And if ever you have seen an example of injustice meted out by some leftist judge, that was it. This is from his article, up to the moment when the President comes on the line.

The two counts for which I have just received a presidential pardon, and of which I was “convicted” in 2011, after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously vacated them, only to have a self-serving appellate judge reinstate them, were for wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

The alleged fraud was reception of $285,000 in my office in Toronto while I was in England, from our American company, which was approved by independent directors, referred to in public filings of the corporation, but which the company secretary had not completely formalized, in what the trial judge correctly regarded, in the secretary’s case, as a clerical error. The reinvention of this crime enabled the appellate panel—to whom the Supreme Court remanded the vacated counts “to assess the gravity of their own errors”—to resuscitate a count of obstruction of justice against me. This consisted of my removal of boxes of personal papers and material that already had been furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission—which I took out under security cameras I had had installed, with the approval of the acting president of the company and the principal member present of the court-appointed inspector—as I vacated my office of 27 years from a building I chiefly owned, on an unjust local court order of a publicity-seeking judge.

The local jurisdiction found no cause of action nor any violation of a document retention order. I was always presumptively innocent in the initial jurisdiction. It was nonsense, all of it; there was never a word of truth to any of it. And now it is over, after 16 years, including three years and two weeks in U.S. federal prisons.

Only once before, 18 years ago, had I received a telephone call from an incumbent president of the United States, prior to Monday of last week, and I had not spoken to the current president since he took office. When my assistant said there was a call from the White House, I picked up, said “Hello” and started to ask if this was a prank, (suspecting my friends in the British tabloid media), but the caller spoke politely over me: “Please hold for the president,” and two seconds later probably the best known voice in the world said “Is that the great Lord Black?” I said “Mr. President, you do me great honor telephoning me.”

Now do read on. And then this, unrelated in any way to the above other than it is the same person writing: Conrad Black on Democrats Start To Perceive Debacle They Face, being how almost impregnable PDT’s current election prospects are. But of particular interest are Black’s comments on China-US trade.

In the trade dispute with China, where even the Democratic Senate leader, Chuck Schumer, sides with the president, the United States cannot lose. China’s tremendous economic progress is based on debt-financed infrastructure, dumping cheap goods abroad, especially in the United States, and requiring industrial-intelligence disclosure from sophisticated foreign companies that seek access to Chinese markets.

Everyone agrees that China cheats and ignores World Trade Organization rulings, and practically every trading nation in the world applauds the U.S. president’s stance in this dispute. Eighty percent of the U.S. GDP is domestic commerce, and with a year to reorient itself, it could practically end all imports. China is a debt-ridden house of cards built on what is still a 40% command economy, rotten with official corruption in a country with few natural resources and 300 million people who still live as their ancestors did a thousand years ago.

One more example showing how centralised economies do not and cannot work. The kinds of things perhaps only those who have run large businesses can really understand.

Did McCain and Romney purposely lose to Obama?

It’s a thought that has always stayed at the back of my mind but never gone away. McCain was ahead early on, and then decided to put his campaign on hold. Remember this: McCain Suspends Campaign, Shocks Republicans?

The sound of jaws hitting the floor reverberated in Washington this afternoon when Republican presidential nominee John McCain announced that he would suspend his campaign and asked that Friday’s debate be postponed. Why? Because of the “historic crisis in our financial system,” said McCain, who intends to return to Washington tomorrow to participate in Wall Street bailout negotiations on the Hill.

He then selected as his running mate, the untried and untested Governor of Alaska, who no one would have thought would have been much of a political asset, until she was. And then, when she became the sensation of the season, he cut her dead and pushed her away rather than drawing her in. And as Palin said not long ago: Sarah Palin: McCain admitting he’d rather have had Lieberman as running mate was ‘gut punch’.

Speaking with NBC News and the Daily Mail, Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate, talked about her relationship with the Arizona Republican who is battling terminal brain cancer.

McCain’s new book, which chronicles his career and bid for president in 2008, reportedly includes his regret with not choosing Joe Lieberman, then an independent senator from Connecticut, as his running mate in the 2008 race, which he lost to Barack Obama.

McCain writes in the book that advisers counseled him against choosing Lieberman because of his past as a Democrat.

He cuts dead a star in the making and regrets he didn’t choose a Democrat! He really did not want to win.

Then Romney in 2016. Beats Obama pointless in the first debate without even trying. Still almost wins after lying down in the next two debates and is even ahead at the turn when along comes “Superstorm Sandy”. This is his self-assessment seven months after the election:

Among the things Romney thinks might have actually changed the election appears to be his own comments. He repeatedly referenced his own “mistakes” in the CNN interview. He said he “regrets” his comment about 47 percent of Americans refusing to take responsibility for their lives. He said of Clint Eastwood’s empty-chair moment, “Clint didn’t hurt my campaign, I hurt my campaign a couple times.” He said dealing with the press is hard. “Jokes, for instance, will get you in trouble,” Romney said. “Any time you’re trying to be funny.”

But I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until this: Romney casts lone GOP vote against Trump judicial pick because of a ‘disparaging’ comment about Obama.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Michael J. Truncale of Texas as the United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas by a vote of 49-46.

The vote was mostly along party lines in the upper chamber, with Sens. Cassidy, R-La., Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Hirono, D-Hawaii, Kennedy, R-La., Rounds, R-S.D., not voting; there was, however, one party defection, as Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, voted with Democrats against the nominee.

For Romney, it wasn’t a matter of jurisprudence or legal qualifications, but remarks made about former Democratic President Obama Truncale made in 2011, calling him an “un-American imposter.”

He must be the last man alive on the Republican side not to know that this is absolutely true. And it does make me think he really didn’t want to win the election since he never even came close to taking a hard line on Obama and the horrors of his first four years as president. The comments thread at Instapundit says it all.

“Everyone agrees China cheats and ignores WTO rulings”

Conrad Black on Democrats Start To Perceive Debacle They Face, being how almost impregnable PDT’s current election prospects are. But of particular interest are Black’s comments on China-US trade.

In the trade dispute with China, where even the Democratic Senate leader, Chuck Schumer, sides with the president, the United States cannot lose. China’s tremendous economic progress is based on debt-financed infrastructure, dumping cheap goods abroad, especially in the United States, and requiring industrial-intelligence disclosure from sophisticated foreign companies that seek access to Chinese markets.

Everyone agrees that China cheats and ignores World Trade Organization rulings, and practically every trading nation in the world applauds the U.S. president’s stance in this dispute. Eighty percent of the U.S. GDP is domestic commerce, and with a year to reorient itself, it could practically end all imports. China is a debt-ridden house of cards built on what is still a 40% command economy, rotten with official corruption in a country with few natural resources and 300 million people who still live as their ancestors did a thousand years ago.

One more example showing how centralised economies do not and cannot work.

War zones

This is the minor story of the moment at Drudge.

White House reviews military plans against Iran...
'Deploy 120,000 troops'...
SAUDI: OIL PIPELINE ATTACKED BY DRONES...
Mystery shrouds 'sabotage' of tankers...

This is the major story.

CHINA STRIKES BACK
DUMP TREASURIES?
FARMERS FEEL PAIN 
APPLE IN CROSSHAIRS

With the media, it’s hard to tell if it’s World War III, or a day in which there was nothing else about Mueller to beat up. But for me, if a tariff war with China is more newsworthy than a potential hot war in the Middle East, there really isn’t much going on.

The Eurovision Song Contest will be live from Tel Aviv

The only way the Eurovision Song Contest could have ended up in Israel was that enough Europeans voted for the Israeli contestant last year. An absolutely positive sign in its own right. The video is from Andrew Bolt, with this from the comments.

The logic of some of the Left over ‘occupied Palestine’ has always been interesting.

First, there is an assumption that a global economic conspiracy led by some Jewish Americans and Europeans keeps working people poor in the developed world.

Then, there is the contrasting narrative that Palestinians in the early 20th Century were mainly poor farmers, honestly tilling the soil and growing crops to feed their families.

Next, we come to the proposition that a few weird European politicians foisted millions of Jewish diaspora back into the same territories where Palestinians lived.

And then, the inevitable happened, in the ongoing struggle between the two groups.

What is missing is that there have always been Jews in Israel, the geopolitical construction of the entire Middle East was a 20th Century back-of-the-envelope fudge, Israel now gets on well with its rational Arab neighbours in Egypt and Jordan, and encourages Palestinians to live and work peacefully alongside Jews.

What is dangerous is that heavily-armed extremist groups, based in Lebanon, Syria and Iran particularly, are itching to wipe not just Israel but all Jews off the map.

Is that proposition really OK with some hard Leftists?

A boy with a broad, vacant smile revealing a missing tooth

“Me — Worry?” cartoon, Stuff & Wilson print, 1914

 
That’s right, the date on that picture, along with the caption, are correct: 1914! The illustrator was Harry S. Stuff and that was his real name. For more, read here, which includes this:

Of all Stuff’s graphic design works, the one that that he is best remembered for was a poster he called “The Eternal Optimist.” On June 24, 1914, a federal Register of Copyright was granted to “Stuff and Wilson” for this illustration of what would later be described as: a “picture of a boy with a broad, vacant smile revealing a missing tooth, and large outstanding ears and uncombed hair, which make him appear half-witted. The words ‘Me — Worry?’ appear directly underneath the illustration”

This has all come out because PDT compared one of the Democrats running for President to Alfred E. Neuman.

POLITICO: What do you think about [South Bend Mayor] Pete Buttigieg? I know you mentioned him once in your rally, but do you think he’s a threat in any way?

TRUMP: Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States.

Weirdly, when asked, Buttigieg [pronunciation unknown] said he had never heard of A.E.N. which led to this comment:

“Not having heard of Alfred E. Neuman is arguably more disqualifying than resembling him.”

Absolutely un-American.

Mark Steyn on Mueller’s conscious sham

Mark Steyn on village and other forms of idiot. It wasn’t Alexander Downer after all.

The Mueller investigation was a conscious sham: an investigation into foreign interference in the 2016 US election created to cover up high-level domestic interference in the 2016 US election. Which is far more serious. Mueller’s report dutifully did its part, asserting belatedly that it was the so-called tip from a friendly ally (ie, Alexander Downer’s g&t with George Papadopoulos in the Kensington Wine Rooms) that led to the unprecedented “counter-intelligence” operation against a major-party candidate in the presidential election.

The ever expanding FBI/DoJ paper trail suggests otherwise. The FISA applications relied on Christopher Steele, and the FBI knew the Steele dossier was a crock even as they laid its garbage before the FISA judge. It’s not just a lack of candor before the tribunal, but outright perjury. Ten days before the Feds obtained their first warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, the Deputy Secretary of State, Kathleen Kavalec, had Steele’s number, and put it in writing:

Kavalec’s handwritten notes clearly flagged in multiple places that Steele might be talking to the media.

“June — reporting started,” she wrote. “NYT and WP have,” she added, in an apparent reference to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Later she quoted Steele as suggesting he was “managing” four priorities — “Client needs, FBI, WashPo/NYT, source protection,” her handwritten notes show.

Indeed. He was a hopelessly conflicted MI6 guy. But a foreign spook obsessed with Trump was vital to the FBI – because they had nothing else. Perhaps the most pitiful yet damning part of Ms Kavalec’s memo is this:

She quoted Steele as saying, “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” according to a copy of her summary memo obtained under open records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Kavalec bluntly debunked that assertion in a bracketed comment: “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.”

We shall have more on this in the days ahead.

Global stocks have tumbled to a six-week low

taming_the_dragon

It’s the American president being quoted: ‘THEY BROKE THE DEAL’.

He pledged to hike tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from Friday – rocking equity markets across the world.

US negotiators also want China to clamp down on the alleged theft of US technology.

“For 10 months, China has been paying tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 billion dollars of high tech, and 10% on 200 billion dollars of other goods,” Mr Trump said in his tweet.

“These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 billions dollars of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%.

“The tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The trade deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!”

Analysts have now pointed out that the President’s message cost the markets more than $13bn for each of the 102 words in the tweet.

Global stocks have tumbled to a six-week low.

A six-week low. Not quite the end of the world. Free trade must work on both sides, not just on one. That’s what the WTO is there to remind us of. And while you consider the above, you might add this into the equation: China’s Communist Dictatorship Targets American Creativity. And no doubt all of the above is related to this.


ROCKETMAN

 

Trump and his tax returns

Losing money in business is part of the risk of entrepreneurship. For the left in America to raise tax losses as an example of anything only shows their ignorance, and the ignorance of the people who follow them.

This is Rush Limbaugh: Trump Discussed His Business Losses on The Apprentice!. In fact, he wrote them up in one of his books where he discussed the importance of luck in getting things to turn out right. The left are repulsive in so many ways, with this just one more. The video, by the way, is a treat.

RUSH: I have here a show open from Donald Trump on The Apprentice. I want you to listen to how Trump introduced himself as The Apprentice debuted on the NBC network.

TRUMP: My name is Donald Trump, and I’m the largest real estate developer in New York. I own buildings all over the place, model agencies, the Miss Universe pageant, jetliners, golf courses, casinos, and private resorts like Mar-a-Lago, one of the most spectacular estates anywhere in the world. But it wasn’t always so easy. About 13 years ago, I was seriously in trouble. I was billions of dollars in debt. But I fought back, and I won, big league. I used my brain. I used my negotiating skills, and I worked it all out. Now my company’s bigger than it ever was and stronger than it ever was, and I’m having more fun than I ever had.

RUSH: So the New York Times is breaking these news stories three years ago and then yesterday that Trump lost a billion dollars, that Trump didn’t pay any taxes, that Trump’s a lousy businessman. Trump admitted it all! He admitted it all when doing his intro to the TV show The Apprentice. Trump has never hidden this, by the way.

And yet the New York Times twice now has acted like they have uncovered and discovered the biggest secret Donald Trump wants no one to know, when in fact Donald Trump has bragged about it, talked about it, written books about it. The New York Times has hailed him as the comeback kid. I’ll tell you, folks, the desperation on the part of the left is getting tough to watch here.

RUSH: By the way, that Trump sound bite we just played from The Apprentice in 2004, like 15 years ago. People are making fools of themselves and don’t know it yet, so they’re gonna keep doing it. And we’ll keep monitoring and pointing it out to you.

There is also a discussion of this same idiocy at Ace of Spades: New York Times Bombshell Nothingburger: During the Period When Four of Trump’s Businesses Notoriously Declared Bankruptcy, Trump Himself Suffered Losses and Paid Little Income Tax on the Money He Was Not Actually Making (Due to the Bankruptcies). This comes at the end:

If memory serves, when Twitter and FaceBook-approved Conspiracy Theorist Rachel Maddow announced her BLOCKBUSTER! (nothingburger) Trump tax leak, it turned out that much of the losses in some years was just carried-forward losses from earlier YUGE years of losses.

The idea of this is simple: Let’s say in one year you are absolutely wiped out. You lose one hundred million, and pay no tax.

The next year you earn $100 million.

How should you be taxed? You weren’t taxed that one year you lost $100 million. But should you pay normal tax rates for the next year — say, $50 million in federal taxes.

Or would a rational tax code look at these two years together and say that really, for both years combined, you actually made about zero dollars cumulatively?

Legislators have decided taxing half your money that second year wouldn’t be a fair representation of your actual multiyear-term income, and so they let you take the losses from that one year and carry them over to reduce your income in later years.

But you know, we’re in the End Times now, the Time of Chaos, and Democrats and their media masters (yeah, it’s the media calling the shots now, especially social media tech monsters) will decide that following the law is now against the law.