Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dion & Layton - The Destruction of Canada’s Economy at the Hands of Opportunists

Markets do not love uncertainty. They do not gravitate toward it. In fact, they abhor it. At the beginning of this decade, the Western world watched on in horror as Argentina collapsed under a series what seemed to be Governments of the Week. When stability returned, so did much of the Argentine economy, though of course the previous instability still took its toll. Now, as we head toward the close of this decade, Canada's economy may well become undone, not because of underlying economic factors (as was partially the case with Argentina), but because of a climate of political instability brought about by a small group of power hungry individuals who in the past week have shown just how little they care for the welfare of the nation.

Canada’s economy is diverse and heavily bolstered by natural resources that are true staples of economic activity. Canada, as a nation, has the potential to be resilient even in times of worldwide economic crises. Diverse regions of the country are, in turn, an energy powerhouse, a prime resource of pulp and paper, a plentiful bastion of vital food supplies and a warehouse of precious metals. If political stability continues, Canada can be a rare light during what may be dark financial years for the West. That’s if other countries have faith in the stability of the government that they are trading and negotiating with.

The Liberals, NDP and the Bloc originally spoke of establishing their proposed junta for a minimum of two and a half years. The Bloc then decided to sign on for only 18 months. If history is to provide any true indicators, as history so invariably does, of such a coalition’s longevity, six months should be considered an optimistic stretch. After all, it won’t take much for the Liberals to resort to the arrogant tactics that so alienated the NDP from them in the past, Jack Layton is hardly a bedrock of stability and the Bloc may last mere weeks, if not days, with Dion before it decides that his Maytime replacement can’t come soon enough.

At the height of absurdity is he Liberals’ claim that the Conservatives ignored the demands of the economy. How? By asking all federal parties to forego taxpayer subsidies, a move that would have hurt their own party the most?! And in case anyone has any doubt as to the nature of this blatantly Machiavellian grab at power, the Conservatives were willing to meet all of the Liberal economic demands to avoid what will no doubt be the ensuing economic chaos. The answer they received: “Sorry, no thanks, we’re power hungry!”

Political turmoil doesn’t bolster the value of a nation's currency, it ruins it, causing mass inflation at home. Political turmoil isn’t conducive to the negotiation of needed treaties, it precludes them from coming about. Political turmoil doesn’t strengthen Canada’s voice in international affairs, it all but renders it impotent on the world stage. And as is always the case during an economic meltdown, the damage will be most felt by the middle class. Canadians must ask themselves: Is all this worth going through just to give Dion his coveted title of Prime Minister and Liberals their coveted “entitlement” to power?

Stephane Dion has been openly musing about bringing down the government since Oct. 14th and Jack Layton spent part of this summer attending dirty trick seminars hosted by Howard Dean, a fact that we were recently reminded of in a piece by Judi McLeod. Their plans are not in Canada’s interest and Canadians should not be forced to pay the price.

Today, Judi McLeod and Arthur Weinreb wrote a Canada Free Press op-ed on why the Tories must call an election. They make a compelling case. It is also vital to Canada’s economic interest that this suggestion be acted upon.

Please Write to The Governor General and your MP

(Canada Free Press, Dec. 2)

Rescuing Democracy While Standing Up to Liberal Fraud Artists

In case anyone’s forgotten why the Liberal Party of Canada is so despised, to the point that its campaign airplane was dubbed “Air-o-gant” during the their most recent era of dominance by the usually sympathetic and ideologically paired media, Jean Chretien is back to remind us. What’s more, he’s brought along Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae to boot, in a move that will forever tarnish, if not altogether ruin, their political reputations.

There was no doubt that Stephane Dion was up to something right after the election. When he heard that he’d lost it actually came as a surprise to him. The fact that his defeat was as much of a surprise as that of Joe Clark (or Jimmy Carter’s for US readers) in 1980 did nothing to soften the blow. He may have been the only one in the country to be dumbfounded, but he was dumbfounded nonetheless.

At the time, I expected him to try to mull over a non-confidence motion against the federal budget in February, be talked out of it by his caucus (as they’d threaten to withhold support), and move on. This would have been an insane move in and of itself, but he all but said that this was his plan, as smacking of desperation as it may be. But the stunt he pulled today is truly surprising for the magnitude of its depravity. It’s one thing to be desperate. It’s another to be clinically insane.

Now, just six weeks after garnering the lowest percentage of the vote in Liberal history, Dion is trying to unseat what is only the second Conservative government to win back to back mandates since 1962. What’s more, it’s not going to work in his favor. Even if he succeeds, the Bloc has demanded that Rae or Ignatieff be named leader before any coalition deal is executed. Thankfully for those two, Jean Chretien’s back to push through their scheme and personally anoint one of the two to take the place of Dion with or without the latter’s agreement; a sad fate for this escapade’s most notable instigator.

So the Liberals are not only willing to usurp the will of the people just six weeks after an election. (Hey, what else is new?) They’re also willing to silence the voices of their own party members, those who actually pay for the privilege, without whom the Liberal Party would be forced to apply to their Democratic cousins in the US Congress for a chunk of the bailout. The membership will not get a chance to elect their leader. Why, there’s Jean Chretien for that. It kind of reminds one of how Chretien ran the country for a decade.

And if that’s all they were doing it would be bad enough. But this is the Liberal Party of Canada we’re talking about. So wait, there’s more!

The non-confidence motion being tabled offers the following reason for the overthrow of the recently reelected Tories: “The government’s failure to recognize the seriousness of Canada’s economic situation and its failure in particular to present any credible plan to stimulate the Canadian economy.” Now that’s just Liberal-speak. Here’s the true reason. All of the opposition parties, all leftists by the way, are mad that the Tories want to cut the $1.95 per vote of the public’s money that each party gets to spend according to their political heart’s desire. It doesn’t matter that the Tories, who received the greatest share of votes, are hurting themselves first and foremost by doing so. The pampered members of the leftist elite are upset that their perks are getting cut too. That’s what happens when you try to take back a lollypop that’s been snatched by a baby, literally.

So as the Tories try to do the fiscally responsible thing, and cut back public funding to all parties, cutting more from their own coffers than from the funding of any other party, the others cry, scream and holler that it’s the Tories who don’t understand the “seriousness of Canada’s economic situation.” What exactly does that mean? That the Tories don’t understand how Liberal, NDP, Bloc and even some unelected Green politicians (yes, the Greens still get money even though they don’t have any seats) are having a harder time affording luxury yacht cruises and five course steak dinners? Oh, the horror. That’s definitely worth overturning the will of the people for. If only they knew how bad things really were.

On a serious note, here’s what Prime Minister Harper needs to do:

  • Decry the usurpation of Canada’s democracy at the hands of a few greedy pols. Put them on defense. They don’t want to tarnish their brand forever, so maybe they wont act.
  • Use procedural moves, even call new elections if necessary “to avoid the opposition’s usurpation of Canada’s democracy for the narrow interests of a handful of politicians.” (Use that line - It’s the truth, and it’s good for a few seats too.)
  • Develop some of the suggestions outlined in Lessons for Canada’s Conservatives – Building a Lasting Base – a strong and lasting base will be needed to alert public opinion to the magnitude of the insanity now underway in the nation’s Capital. The piece also contains some crucial policy suggestions that will be needed to build a large base of reasonable voters.

As for the Liberals, what does the Ignatieff camp have to say about their leading role in the latest blatant attempt to usurp democracy and not just cancel out the votes of the Canadian public, but even take the decision making power away from grassroots members of their own party?

Well this is just a tidbit from an Ignatieff campaign email that discusses the current fiasco. It reads: “Save Canada’s Democracy - Stephen Harper is trying to undermine Canada’s fair and open political system. Take action now!” Now that’s someone on pot calling the kettle a drug addict. Either that, or it’s just more Liberal-speak.

(Canada Free Press, Nov. 28)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lessons for Canada’s Conservatives – Building a Lasting Base

As Conservatives in Canada have just completed a three day policy convention, certain strategic points must be raised. In short, today’s Conservatives must learn from past mistakes. Today’s Conservatives must take a look both at their own past as well as at similar movements in other countries to avoid the pitfalls of their past and of their foreign brethren.

Consider the Mulroney years. Even the Liberals eventually realized that from a policy standpoint, the platform he initiated (and that they so fervently opposed at the time) needs to serve as a bedrock of Canadian economic policy. Few doubt that had Free Trade not been implemented between the United States and Canada, the current Canadian economy would be a fraction of its strength. In retrospect, the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords are seen as noble attempts to bring Quebec into the Canadian constitutional fold, and thereby fully unite two peoples as one nation. Even environmental activists can find much to favor about the Mulroney years. Just ask Elizabeth May, who sat on a panel that named him “Greenest Prime Minister Ever” a mere three years ago.

But none of the above stopped the venomous hatred of the left from being spewed at him. His government, much as is the case with any administration not deemed worthy of endorsement by the left, was set aside for tar and feather treatment; smeared, administered and glued on by the media of the time. The resulting effect on public opinion needs to be considered by today’s Conservatives. Today’s party must learn from yesterday’s mistakes.

The same phenomenon of all out media attack turning into baseless public loathing was seen more recently in the recent American elections. While Canadian Conservatives, overall, have more differences than similarities with American conservatism, both are the same in one regard (one that they share with British Tories and indeed with the conservative movements of all Western countries): Intense and constant opposition on the part of the left with complete complicity on the part of the media.

Liberals do not temper criticism of American conservatives with acknowledgement that conservative policy has kept the country safe for seven years, nor do they point to the economic incentives (i.e. “tax cuts”), that staved off the recession of 2000-2001 and that created millions of jobs for the middle class in the aftermath of the tech bust and after 2 million jobs were wiped out in one day (9/11). Indeed, liberals do not point out that the economic collapse happened after Democrats took charge of fiscal spending and energy policy and mere months before the capital gains tax rate is set to increase. Everything is the fault of the conservative, as was the case with gas prices, which were reported every hour on the hour in the run up to the 2006 midterms but were never mentioned again as they increased almost exponentially during the first 18 months of Democratic Party fiscal rule.

The media onslaught of the Mulroney years and the over the top criticism of American conservatives (to the point of ridiculous insinuations that offend logic if said of anyone short of Pol Pot) took its toll on public perception. And what is painfully evident is that it doesn’t matter how right or left leaning the conservatives in question are. Your platform can be made up mostly of policies that Liberals favor (or otherwise would if their raison d’ĂȘtre while not in power wasn’t to oppose for opposition sake – a practice that does nothing more than a great disservice to the public). Your platform can include points that the media would enthusiastically rally around so long as they weren’t introduced by your party. If you’re a Canadian conservative, a British Tory or part of the Alliance for Sweden, you are set aside for destruction at the hands of the left and their sycophants in the media.

If coverage of the Conservative convention is any hint, the media masses are at it again. Every party holds strategic meetings and unless their members are insane, those meetings are held behind closed doors. It’s what prevents minute by minute internal debate possibly peppered with insults from being reported on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, You Name It campaigns. It’s what prevents any strategy session from being twisted to sound like a gathering of fools when only the salient parts are reported. Yet only the National Post ridiculed the typical media coverage given to this convention, with commentator Kelly McParland asking the Ignatieff and Rae camps to sit in on their private sessions too.

It doesn’t matter that at the same time as the media is trying to portray the entire event as a closed door session, they somehow manage to report on every aspect of the floor debate, where key policy is formed. The irony of reporting on every nuance of the critical part of a gathering while decrying its lack of access is lost on them.

But Conservatives need to point this out. They need to call a spade a spade, a Liberal lacking, and a reporter a hypocrite.

Countering a media onslaught requires more than this. Even if the party constantly calls out every case of media idiocy, they who control the message are more powerful. Direct addresses to the nation works somewhat, but must be extremely limited, especially in a country where such messages are not the norm.

Conservatives need to do much more if they are not to suffer the same fate that they have met before. Specifically:

· Whenever a pressing issue arises, do find a way to address the public directly. While few will take kindly to their primetime programming or sports game being interrupted, many would be willing to watch at a time when relatively little else is on. Do this in tandem with a radio address. You won’t get most people, but you will get many. Far more will be aware (and will share your points with their friends) than are now. As well, the media will be harder pressed not to ignore your side of the issue. After all, there’s only so much distortion that can be done repeatedly to publicly aired press conferences. If mass distortion does take place, appeal to the public to watch one for themselves and decide.

· Shock the nation – Look for bold alternatives that the public can rally around. Want to get tough on crime? Great. Decry harsh sentencing as counterproductive and a method that has only led to the breeding of violent criminals, sometimes out of first time offenders. Instead, introduce hard work programs in which convicts are sentenced to perform harsh tasks. Study after study has shown such a system to be exponentially more productive at reducing crime and at bringing about rehabilitation. Similarly, announce funding for research in natural medicine and dietary health. Both of those measures will surprise people and show the Conservative Party to be bold, innovative and made up of true leaders that truly benefit the nation.

· *This one is key – Mobilize a grassroots movement of supporters to refute the insanity of the other side. Get them to spread key counterpoints to their friends and to local media. This is done more easily today than ever before.

The last point needs to be comprised of several activities:

  • Organize lists of supporters by riding. Call them (direct contact is needed, and this task can be accomplished by riding boards, with national direction) and ask each of them to learn the reasons for conservative policy from the points outlined in emails to supporters. Ask them to share those points with friends.

  • Provide each person recruited by their riding board with a list of emails (or submission websites) to their local print, radio and TV media. Include contact info for national media as well. Appeal to them strongly to take action and to write letters. Even most supporters won’t do so unless urged repeatedly.

  • Concentrate this effort on large metropolitan ridings where national media can be reached, but don’t forget or leave out the smaller ridings in any way, even those ridings where Conservatives haven’t traditionally done well.

  • Reach out to college students and form active college groups. Share your talking points with them and encourage the officers of each group to spread the message to all who are interested. Fund this effort with gatherings/parties that will attract new members or questioning undecideds. It will pay off in the short as well as long term.

  • Reach out to all ethnic groups individually. Start a dialogue with their leaders and explain how Conservative solutions are best for society and for their communities. Solicit the support of those who are receptive and guide them with talking points and events planning (such as a meet and greet with their local candidate and with national leaders) for their community.

Conservatives have to cultivate a broad base of supporters who understand the reason for their positions and who know better than to be influenced by games played by the media. The above steps are crucial in this effort. Simply put, they are necessary for the long term well being of the party.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why Conservative Policies are Better for the Middle Class

People can’t afford to fall prey to false rhetoric, no matter how favored it is by the mainstream media or how often it is repeated. When it comes to a nation’s economic future, facts must dictate one’s choices.

When it comes to what’s best for working people, for the struggling middle class and for those who are not yet at that level, Conservative policy is head and shoulders above that of the Liberals. It is more sensible and designed to work. Conservatives understand the need for a strong middle class, and most conservatives are members of that financial category.

By contrast, the failed platform of Liberals has been discredited and rejected in every country that’s had to endure its results. Just look at Western Europe, where every country has gone conservative in order for the average person to have a better life. Liberal policies simply don’t work and actually harm those they’re designed to help the most.

Here’s why:

On the simplest level: when you bite the hand that feeds the economy, you bite the hand that feeds the economy. In other words, when you tax small business excessively, you prevent this sector from being able to hire workers or develop/distribute products that would fuel the economy. Tax rates that are low allow businesses to hire workers, pay them satisfactorily (a key element in getting good results) and reinvest in product development, which in turn fuels more jobs and overall business.

Take unemployment numbers as a measure of economic effectiveness. The United States is reeling from a shockingly high unemployment rate of 6.1% (which was expected, based on normal economic cycles; but that’s for another column). Until just two years ago, such a rate would have been shockingly good in Canada. In Western Europe, liberal high taxation policies led to permanent double digit unemployment and total economic stagnation, something that is only beginning to change as more conservative leaders have recently been elected.

It’s time to stop believing hype and to examine the facts as they are and as they work in any economy.

Which brings us to the Dion Liberals:

The Chretien and Martin governments had the results of both the US and North America free trade deals, the significant reduction in personal income tax and other measures handed to them from the Conservative policy years. True, the personal tax reductions were offset by the unpopular but needed GST, but the sales tax put the burden on spending, encouraged personal savings and promoted business development (which is, again, synonymous with jobs) to Canada, as income tax levels are far greater consideration for companies in deciding where to locate than sales tax ever is. For further details on the extent of the benefits of the economic policies handed to the Chretien Liberals from the Mulroney years, I’d encourage all to read Professor Stephen Gordon’s detailed account, available here.

The Chretien Liberals knew what they were handed, and they knew well enough to leave things alone. Dion would make no such “mistake.”

Stephen Dion is by far the most radically left leader the Liberals have ever had. He is also among the most clueless on the economy. What’s worse, unlike past leaders who recognized their lack of knowledge in this area, and deferred to more qualified ministers in this area, Dion fails to acknowledge his own limitations. And such a failure would no doubt be fraught with disaster.

Which is why it’s important to encourage one’s friends to vote for the party that will truly have the best interests of the middle class and the poor (who also need jobs, more so than anyone else), in mind. It’s a primary reason to vote Conservative.

Overcoming Illusion with Reality

On another note, the Conservative’s biggest problems are PR, i.e. public perception. Prime Minister Harper has done much since he took office to defuse this perception, but the idea that Conservatives are only “good for the rich” and other commonly held fallacies are still prevalent.

The only real way to overcome this is to educate, to clearly and succinctly explain the benefits of Conservative policy and how the Conservatives do in fact look out for the middle class (and are much better at doing so than any of the other parties). Moreover, the best time to do this is during a campaign.

Still, new and bold actions will speak louder still. If Conservatives want to rebrand their image, and shock the Liberals in so doing, they will propose, and run on, each of the following:

  • Implementing financial literacy education in high schools, so that teens know the difference between responsible use of credit and wasteful spending and the tangible benefits that good credit and accumulating savings can mean in their lives. Such a course should also cover how to balance a checkbook, when to buy, lease or finance a car, the difference between safe and risky investments and clearly outline the real benefits of staying in school and avoiding crime.
  • Implementing a life skills training course for middle schools in which students learn confidence building skills, good social interaction, how to stand up to peer pressure, the tangible benefits of doing so and how to function in the workplace.
  • Promotion of an alternative sentencing program that reforms non-violent criminals and all who don’t present a significant risk to society as an alternative to incarceration. Such a program would be labor oriented, much shorter and tougher. Study after study shows short labor sentences to be exponentially more effective than incarceration. It is also a far more humane alternative. As a side benefit, it would cost no jobs as existing prisons and their staff would oversee the labor programs and bid on public works contracts.

The above proposals will show the Conservatives to be the most cognizant party and the only one with fresh ideas that truly benefit society. This is change public misperceptions and embodies the spirit of good government.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Black and Radler, Victims of Fitzgeraldian Injustice – And They Should be Pardoned

Imagine if someone operated a business in a certain country according to the laws of its land and then decided to take their company public in another country with similar rules and regulations. In doing so, they made sure to follow all statutes and laws listed on the books, that precluded nothing about business practices that were the norm in their native land, although somewhat less common in their new one, uncommon but not illegal.

Then imagine that a prosecutor with a history of seeking high profile indictments decided to charge the company owners for acting against the interest of the shareholders (even though they were unaffected by the business dealings, none of which broke any written laws or precedents or caused them any actual harm). As a result they were threatened with prison sentences.

The above scenario is preposterous, but, unfortunately, you can stop imagining. It is exactly what happened in the Conrad Black and David Radler cases. The situation is egregious and needs to be rectified.

For those who want a basic overview of what transpired, read the italicized text. For those who are already familiar with the miscarriage of justice, feel free to skip this part:

The main issue of contention was that Conrad Black and associates received payment for non-compete agreements instead of bonuses. Being that they lived and filed taxes in Canada, these non-compete payments were tax free. They are often used in Canada for this very reason.

There is no law against payment for a non-compete agreement in the United States (they are just subject to taxation in the US, an issue that was not violated by Black or Radler, making them uncommon but not by any means illegal), yet Black and his business partners were charged for receiving non-compete payments instead of bonuses. The prosecution lost its ridiculous case on most of the non-competes, but won on one non-compete in which Black and Radler agreed not to compete against another company that they owned.

Now, on face value, agreeing not to compete against another company you own seems over the top. But in actuality it has a very specific meaning:

A) It prevents one company, with one group of staff, from competing against the company with other interested parties.

B) It lasts longer than the time you sell the first company – In other words, Conrad Black and David Radler are still bound not to compete against newspapers they no longer hold ownership in precisely because they signed the agreement that prosecutors characterized as ruthless and a farce.

C) Identical deals have been done almost regularly in Canada and have always been allowed and there is no law against it in the United States.

Although several members of the jury leaned toward acquittal, they formed a compromise, something that is the antithesis of the principal of unanimous verdict. Those who favored conviction seemed to do so without regard for the case, with intense bias against corporate executives in general (which is unfair to those like Black and Radler, who stewarded their corporations well and earned much for the shareholders until baseless allegations and a hostile takeover ate the equity, none of which was caused by Black or by his associates).

On one day one of the members stormed out of the jury room angry, while other members were seen leaving their deliberations in groups. Most egregious of all, one of those pushing conviction said that her mind was made up when she her Black complain about shareholder sentiments.

Now, an executive who’s doing a good job will receive many complaints, many of which generally express anger over the fact that he didn’t do something that would have been detrimental to the company in the long term, even if it seems like a good idea at first glance. His frustrations are akin to a manager venting about employee complaints, a customer service rep expressing dismay at a large number of customer complaints or any other position in which one hears negative reaction from the public, even concerning matters that are beyond their control. I’m not saying that we should pity executives. I am saying that their occasional frustration at the number of complaints, often made without analyzing the issues, will naturally lead to frustration.

The tape showing Conrad Black’s frustration, which had nothing to do with the criminal charges against him, but was simply shown by the prosecution to inflame some of the jurors. To even allow it into evidence, the prosecution claimed that the tape supported a tendency relating charges that he was later acquitted of. But while the tape showed no lawbreaking, it did bias the jury with regard to the case in general. At least one juror, by her own admission (in interviews after the verdict), convicted based on a disdain for Black resulting from this tape and frustration at shareholders. She used this to convict him of charges not relating to the tape. That is wrong and an injustice. It needs to be corrected.

The same juror raised another troubling issue. The judge clearly instructed the jury that in order to convict on obstruction, they needed to decide with certainty which investigation Black had allegedly obstructed. But in the same interview days after the verdict, the juror admitted that she hadn’t (and implied that neither had most of the jury). This was a clear violation of the judge’s instructions. It was a violation of legal tenets used to determine innocence or guilt. Yet it was done, and it needs to be corrected.

The decision of the jury wrongheaded and judge had to throw out one of the convictions as there was no possible way that one of the defendants had committed the wrong the jury had convicted him of. This too shows that the jury engaged in faulty reasoning and is another reason that their entire verdict should be scrutinized. It seems that the Illinois judge was unaware of the Toronto Star interview in which the juror tacitly admitted bias and disregard for jury instructions. Had she known I can only hope that she would have vacated the ruling.

That admission may only be that of one juror, but even if she weren’t expressing the sentiments of many of the others, as most certainly seems to be the case, a unanimous verdict is needed in establishment of guilt and in this case, her actions negate that. For this reason justice demands that Black and his associates, including David Radler, who pled guilty to avoid the jury bias that appeared all too likely and that resulted in the above errors, should never have been convicted. They should certainly not suffer for having committed no actual crime. Such suffering is inhumane.

There is a compelling reason for Black, Radler and associates to be pardoned. Justice demands it. Patrick Fitzgerald has prosecuted numerous high profile cases with the flimsiest of evidence and has built his reputation on same. Even the most vocal Bush critics, as well as numerous former prosecutors, were amazed that White House aide Libby was charged while Richard Armitage freely admitted that he was the leaker (acting on his own accord and not breaking any formal laws, as Plame was not a covert foreign agent within 5 years of the leak). Jurors who convicted Libby felt that Fitzgerald could not get his target so he found someone, anyone he could reach, to keep what was a high profile case going. One even asked that Libby be pardoned (which he was not, having so far only received a commutation).

Yet Fitzgerald’s penchant for high profile cases in which he turns and twists facts, as was seen in the Black case, has gone unchallenged. Light needs to be shed on his actions and the harm that they have caused. The President, by rightly showing a pattern and exposing Fitzgerald’s tactics will also shed light on the Libby case. He needs to do the right thing and prevent innocent such as Mssrs. Black and Radler from going to prison based on emotional manipulations of the jury in a case where no crime was committed.

Conrad Black and David Radler, in their journalistic careers, have done more to improve relations between the US and Canada than anyone else. They have fought vigorously for freedom of the press. But most of all, they committed no crime. They should petition the President to do the right thing and right the egregious wrong brought on by a grandstanding attorney who has harmed many people in his rise to fame. Regardless of what they do, the President should do the right thing and pardon them, preventing needless human suffering that is uncalled for in this case.