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Need More Coffee…

Today’s starting out with a bang. A little too much bang before coffee was made, in my opinion.

Google has shut down John Richardson’s blog for the time being, claiming that he sells a regulated product. He doesn’t. He simply offers commentary on political issues that Google doesn’t support. Here’s his Twitter account for those interested in keeping up while he’s down.

More drama comes out of the NRA & AckMac lawsuits with accusations about Wayne supposedly wanting a $6 million mansion in the Dallas area funded by AckMac who would then bill NRA, according to WaPo. NRA says it was all AckMac’s idea. Honestly, I don’t trust either one and can easily see either party (or both!) being responsible for proposing for this kind of crap when the organization was already struggling financially.

I’m seriously considering offering some very sarcastic commentary on the house they were considering for Wayne & Susan. I really can’t stand fake old houses – those done in the style of older homes, but that are brand new and ridiculously furnished so far removed from what they were supposed to be inspired by. (There’s seating for 6-8 people surrounding the master bathtub. Questions, I have them.) Between my efforts to focus on positive things and lack of time, I’m going to resist for now. For now; I have screenshots in case I change my mind.

And then there’s the news that NRA and its Foundation are being sued by one of their big donors today. And that gets more interesting coming not long after the rumor that the board and other leaders lost their insurance to cover such situations. They are still indemnified, so NRA is picking up the tab no matter what the insurance situation is today. But since the Board has decided to fight indemnification for Oliver North, it’s pretty easy to understand why the best move for some was to resign since chances are good with that the board would make the same moves against anyone outside of the inner circle.

So, yeah, I think it’s time for more coffee. Or just maybe move straight to whiskey today. Either way, it’s a better way to get through the afternoon.


John Richardson finds some very interesting material. Granted, I’ve known in my life people who were decent folks, but who had horrible judgement in the kind of people they surrounded themselves with. That’s the best case scenario here.

Also, this is a huge deal if it turns out to be true:

This is a good time to start developing local networks in the issue, because none of this is good for RKBA. In fact, it might be disastrous. We might have to do a lot of that self-organizing while NRA is going through all this.

Joel Friedman Comes out in Favor of Wayne

Article here at The Gun Writer. Much of it I don’t take issue with. Read the whole thing. I’ll quote the relevant parts and comment:

After 38 years of working hand-in-hand with the NRA, it is MY BELIEF that one of our vendors attempted to take over NRA leadership in order to preserve its own lucrative contracts. It is also MY BELIEF that this vendor had, for some time, believed that the NRA’s entire success was due to its efforts alone.

OK, I get that. I’ll take that as a given for the sake of argument. There are some who have argued the coup narrative is a smokescreen, even many here in these comments. I don’t really have an opinion on that, because I can believe either. But for the sake of argument, we’ll agree Ollie’s failed revolt was an Ack-Mac planned operation.

Show me that the people who are being retaliated against were also Ack-Mac stooges, were part of the conspiracy, and were not just Directors exercising their prerogative to have an opinion on the EVP who they hire. I don’t just mean they joined Ollie. I mean they joined Ollie at the behest of Ackerman McQueen.

For those who have had negative things to say about the law firm representing us, I ask one simple question: Name one thing the firm has done that has hurt the NRA? Thus far, no one has been able to answer that question.

Some people have legit concerns over the amount of money being spent and Brewer’s background as a Dem donor. For me the jury is still out on Brewer. I haven’t railed against his firm or his fees because he is involved in a good deal of complex litigation on NRA’s behalf at the federal level and that isn’t going to come cheap. But I would not dismiss the concerns of others so readily.

The rest of Joel Friedman’s article is defending the revelations about the clothes, travel, etc, that came out. I agree with him here. I think given the long time period, the proximity to Sandy Hook to some of the travel expenses, these issues amount to a big nothing burger. What is a bigger issue, if you ask me, is that the dissolution of the Ack-Mac relationship, and house keeping that is now needing to be done, happened on Wayne’s watch while he was actively supportive of the parasitic arrangement with the PR firm.

I’m with Michael Bane on this one: I won’t deny Wayne credit for his accomplishments over the years. I don’t begrudge him his parachute. I would hope he has an enjoyable retirement. But no one is giving me a good reason he shouldn’t be falling on his own sword like I would expect of any other Chief Executive in this kind of position.

I ask you to consider this for a moment – do you think that there’s anyone better equipped to guide the NRA during these challenging times?  The neophytes who are agitating would get their clocks cleaned in about 2 hours! 

There was, but you guys drove him the hell off. And I think anyone who can manage Trump the way Chris has can’t also manage the NYAG? I don’t take serious issue with this letter when it sticks to facts, but this one bit is the same kind of over-the-top nonsense I’ve seen from other Board Members, and smacks of a cult of personality I can’t really abide by.

I’m not a Wayne hater, and I’ve spent a lot of time here defending NRA and it’s leadership when I think they are right. I don’t think Wayne is right here. The removal of insufficiently loyal board members from key committees has to stop. If you want unity from the membership, you ought to be driving unity within.

I accept my outside status, and given the plethora of lawsuits afoot, I accept I can’t have all the information. But insiders should have a lot more, and I’m still seeing division from within. It’s not just the usual Wayne haters. The punishments that are now happening are not the actions of an EVP with strong arguments and who is in an unassailable position.

The fact that I see little internal unity tells me the EVP needs to go and be replaced by someone most everyone has confidence in. It doesn’t really matter if Wayne is a good guy and doing the right thing now. Taking one for the team, even when it’s not really your fault, is part of being a CEO. That’s why they have golden parachutes.

I’m open to the possibility that I might be wrong, but if I am wrong, I want to see better arguments being presented than mindless cheerleading.

Do I Dare Say Anything?

Millions Mourn As Rocker/Activist Ted Nugent, Age 68, Found Alive

Not that I’m complaining, but I feel like I’m not really seeing Ted Nugent’s name in the news lately. Not that I want to jinx it. Maybe it’s like Beetlejuice: don’t say his name three times.

I Guess I’m Not the Only One


And make no mistake: there is a snitch or working enemy operative inside the NRA.  There is no way that all the records would suddenly go from the NRA HQ in Virginia, somehow bypass the Washington Post which is basically next door, and land in the desk of  Bloomberg’s The Trace/NYT.  I am almost willing to bet that two decades from now, we will see in Bloomberg’s bio that he managed to buy/insert somebody inside the NRA and create its downfall from the inside and the same time to pay or convince other organizations to badmouth the NRA to create dissension within the ranks and proving that Fifth Column works every time.  

I disagree with the last part. You don’t have to pay most of those orgs to badmouth NRA. They were willing to do that long before this shit started up. But I’m starting to seriously consider that the possibility that Bloomberg has a plant in Wayne’s inner circle. What would look different if he did?

A reader commented a few days ago, I and I think it’s very true, that when things go this sideways, the CEO has to go even if it’s just to restore confidence. This is the case here.


If you managed to travel back in time to 2015:

Time Traveler: “In just a year, Chris will announce NRA’s endorsement a well-known Manhattan socialite.”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but do I need to have you fitted for a straight jacket? I’m happy to testify at your commitment hearing.”

Time Traveler: “It gets better.”

Me: “How can you possible top this tall tale?”

Time Traveler: “Well, Sebastian, you see, in 2019, Ack-Mac will be gone. Wayne will kick Ack-Mac to the curb after Chris Cox is accused of conspiring with Ack-Mac to oust Wayne.”

Me: “Well, now I know you’re nuts. There’s no way Wayne would ever kick Ack-Mac to the curb. And it’s no real secret that Cox isn’t a big fan of that relationship.”

Time Traveler: “The Board will back Wayne. Chris will be out, accused of being an Ack-Mac stooge.”

Me: “I think you need to take your meds.”

Time Traveler: “NRA will further consolidate their Public Relations. ILA will no longer have a separate PR outfit.”

Me: “Well, I’ve always thought they should do that, really. Once Ack-Mac is out of the picture.”

Time Traveler: “No, you won’t think it’s a good thing in 2019”

Me: “OK Buddy, I’ve had just about enough of you and your psychotic delusions.”

Time Traveler: “Whatevs, I speak the truth from 2019. You can believe me or not believe me.”

Seriously, I’m starting to wonder if I’m checking out from reality. Because this one is frankly too bizarre for me to believe.


Angus McQueen has died, Angus’s death really is the end of an era for NRA. I’ve always been of the opinion that NRA’s relationship with Ack-Mac had become an unhealthy one, but it’s hard to argue they didn’t have a huge impact on the organization and the direction. This is the end of an era, for sure. And should be a caution to Wayne’s apparent sense of indispensability: the cemeteries are filled with indispensable men, and Angus wasn’t much older than Wayne. The Board needs to be thinking about the future now. Not allowing it to be sacrificed so Wayne can bitterly cling on for a few more years.

I expected that ILA would have a brain drain when Chris was pushed out, so I wasn’t surprised to learn that Jennifer Baker has left NRA. Keeping in mind I haven’t really been talking to NRA people for several years now, so my first-hand experience is dated, but people who worked under Chris always seemed happier than people in other NRA divisions. I usually will take that to mean the boss is well-liked if I see it in an organization. No organization is perfect, but ILA always seemed to me to be pretty well run.

Can NRA Be Saved Without Being Destroyed?

Miguel asks a poignant question: “Can LaPierre be removed without destrying the NRA from the inside? Apparently nobody cares.”

For me pushing out Chris Cox and the committee purges that seem to be reaching well beyond the supposed Ack-Mac lead conspiracy is were where I part ways with the Wayne supporting crowd. But I do not think Wayne is a dictator, and I think change is possible from within if enough people can be convinced. I also do back Wayne to the extent that he’s really committed to righting the ship and not just covering up past misdeeds. But I do not view the late actions to be of righting the ship but instead vengeance.

We were told Ack-Mac lead an attempt to take over NRA. But how many of the Board members being removed from key committees have ties to Ack-Mac? Why is Julie Golob, who apparently does have ties to Ack-Mac, still retaining her committee assignments? We’ve also heard in Ollie North’s response to NRA’s lawsuit the allegation that Wayne not only knew about North’s contract with Ack-Mac, but helped arrange it.

LaPierre helped negotiate that contract and signed off on the contract in May 2018. Indeed, it was LaPierre who encouraged and authorized North to be hired by Ackerman McQueen to work on the NRATV show “American Heroes,” and it was LaPierre who at the same time urged North to accept the role as President of the NRA. LaPierre urged and convinced North to leave his job at Fox News to take on these assignments for the NRA.

Also denied is that there was ever any ultimatum. That’s a bombshell if true. This is going to be the lawsuit to keep an eye on for NRA watchers. It’s where all the dirty laundry is going to come out.

I get being on a non-profit Board because I’ve done it a few times. I get having to deal with keeping a ship sailing in a productive direction while everyone is at each other’s throats. But to me, retaliating against other Board members in the way Wayne is doing has to have a pretty dire justification. Preserving your own hide is not one of them. In my view, a board has several overriding priorities, but I would argue two are of top importance:

  • Keep thieves away from money.
  • Compliance with the rules and regulations that govern the industry in which you operate. I’m not talking about the arcane stuff here like installing the wrong kind of light bulb, or redoing a cafeteria without the right permit, but the major stuff where everyone knows and understands violations can cost the organization gravely and risk its mission.

So show me that the Board members being retaliated against are OK with robbing the Association or flagrantly ignoring the law. Maybe you can justify some. But maybe it’s also that they just didn’t pass the test of being sufficiently loyal to the regime.

And what pisses me off is we’re just getting fluff from Wayne boosters. As I’ve said numerous times, no matter what you think about Wayne, he is 70 years old. He is not the future of the NRA, because generously, he has maybe a 5-10 of working life left in him before he’s either spent from old age or kicks it. This looks to me like something struggling to hold on to power and destroying the future to accomplish that. And for what? That’s the question I can’t seem to find answers for.

Big NRA Donors Outed by New York Times

I always figured the NY and now DC Attorney General’s fishing expedition was partly to get a list of big NRA donors and accidentally leak them to the press so they could be hunted down and shamed by online mobs. That shoe has seemingly begun to drop, with a New York Times article outing big donors.

They name several people, not just the dead guy. I believe this is intended to intimidate people out of donating large sums to the NRA. The article notes that grassroots support for NRA is waning. I’d note that my support for NRA is not waning. My support for Wayne is. There’s a substantial difference between those two things.

This just might be the sensible reform movement I’ve been looking for. It’s not tremendously ambitious, but that’s probably smart. I also don’t see they are rallying around a cult of personality, which is also a good thing. Stick to the issues, and don’t mix it with hardline bullshit a lot of people aren’t going to agree with.

Chris Cox Starts Own Consulting Firm

I’ve said for a while, most of the ILA folks can make better money somewhere else, and it’s not looking to me like Chris Cox is planning on leading any kind of revolution but rather making better money somewhere else. This is basically what James Baker did when he left ILA, and he made a lot of money doing it. Of course Baker came back, but I wouldn’t count on that here. John Richardson is covering the purges.

I understand that Jason Ouimet, Chris’ replacement, is well liked and considered a good choice to lead ILA. I’m sure I’ve probably met him but I don’t know him. He will have big shoes to fill, and I wish him luck.

I am still lacking in optimism for the future of the RKBA cause. We’re pretty much now dependent on the courts to save us long term, and I’m not sure they are really willing. Any state where Dems have a shot at control is not a safe state at this point.

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