Gently Weeping Guitars (And Republicans)

Nashville’s Gibson Guitars finally admitted it violated the Lacey Act when it imported endangered wood. They will pay $350,000 in fines and penalties, forfeit their claim to endangered wood seized by the Feds, and hopefully go and sin no more.

What I really want is for Republicans to be held accountable for their baseless claim that CEO Henry Juszkiewicz was targeted by the Obama Administration because he donated to Republicans. It was a completely crazy (and baseless) allegation that got picked up by Fox and went around the wingnut wurlitzer, the kind of stuff Teanuts just want to believe is true. Apparently the federal government is just too inept and incompetent to do anything but take out petty vendettas on a local businessman who, it turned out, donated a paltry $2,000 to local Democratic congressman Jim Cooper. Woopsies.

Juszkiewicz, of course, never bothered to correct anyone. Indeed, he seemed to relish in his useful idiocy for the Republican cause, whining in the press and showing up at Tea Party rallies to let everyone know how oppressed he was. He’s always been one of Nashville’s more unstable characters. Gibson Guitars is a notorious revolving door of overworked and underpaid employees at all levels; word on the street is that a disgruntled employee, tired of Juszkiewicz’s craziness, turned the company in to the Feds. Didn’t hear that on Fox News, didja?

I wrote about the case here last year. When the Feds raided Gibson Guitars’ Nashville warehouse, it was the perfect opportunity for Republicans to grandstand about “oppressive environmental laws hurting job creators,” blahbeddy blah. Congress Critter Marsha Blackburn (R-Wingnuttia) held rallies, and the House Energy & Commerce Committee issued this ridiculous statement sarcastically accusing the Obama Administration of capriciously defending “the signature legislative accomplishment of President McKinley” at the expensive of modern American job creators. Oh, it was a delightful spectacle of political theater, especially in Tennessee. There was even a petition filed over at Change.org by a Tea Party group, full of Republican lies and distortions about the case. This is when I knew never to trust those stupid Change.org petitions, by the way.

Anyway, Juszkiewicz seems to have been abandoned by his Republican friends. The “poster boy” for the American job creator unfairly hurt by big, mean ol’ Obama is going to be out over $500,000 when it’s all said and done. And you just know that $50,000 he has to donate to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation to promote conservation of endangered trees has gotta hurt.

Now that this case is closed and Juszkiewicz is paying his fines, I wonder how Republicans are going to spin it? Will they continue to trot it out as a case of environmental laws hurting “job creators”? Probably. Facts have never stood in the way of a good Republican talking point before.

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12 thoughts on “Gently Weeping Guitars (And Republicans)

  1. Dee Loralei says:

    As of Aug 1, the odious Marsha Blackburn was no longer my congresscritter. Now I have the amazing and liberal Steve Cohen! YAY!
    And I’m glad Gibson is paying up.

  2. As of Aug 1, the odious Marsha Blackburn was no longer my congresscritter. Now I have the amazing and liberal Steve Cohen! YAY!
    I haz big JEALOUS!
    We got redistricted the other way. I went to sleep in a Democratic district and woke up with Republican cooties.

  3. … er, I mean on the state level. Cooper is still our rep in Congress.

  4. Henry Holland says:

    At least Gibson still makes guitars in the US, my Fender Jazz Bass and Telecaster were made in Mexico.

  5. democommie says:

    When we are making iconic implements of teh Rock’n’Rollers in China–the terraists have already WON!

  6. At least Gibson still makes guitars in the US …
    Well, they have major factories in China, too. Their entire Epiphone line is made in China. * sigh *

  7. pansypoo says:

    i am sorry, environmental crimes really need o up the ante. like add the death penalty. poachers should be shot on site. etc etc. waste of oxygen.

  8. Samuel Dijk says:

    It would help if you would actually read the actual agreement, which can be found here:http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/gibson.pdf
    Gibson did not use “illegally harvested” wood in its frets. Instead, it used wood which had been legally harvested, but was not “finished” in Madagascar. (See page 6 of the agreement.)
    This is not an “environmental crimes” action, it is the U.S. DOJ enforcing another country’s trade restrictions–which is bizarre.

  9. Gibson did not use “illegally harvested” wood in its frets. Instead, it used wood which had been legally harvested, but was not “finished” in Madagascar. (See page 6 of the agreement.)
    That is their wholly unsubstantiated defense. But then there’s the whistleblower who came forward and said invoiced were forged and other nefarious activities took place.

  10. democommie says:

    Samuel Dijk:
    IANAL but I can fucking read–something that you and other reiKKKwing morons seems to have trouble doing.
    Thanks for playing so ineptly, return to the hive.

  11. MichaelF says:

    They’ll claim Obama’s trying to close down the Grand Ole Opry or at least turn it into some sort of venue for “other kinds of music,” and I think we know what “other” means in this case.

  12. deep says:

    Environmental crimes: All you need is one idiot to fuck it up for everyone else.

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