Have we gloated about the hardships besetting the death merchant sector and their industry lobbying group lately?
After NRA reports massive drop in contributions, gun stocks take a hit https://t.co/wR7HN83rSs
— FORTUNE (@FortuneMagazine) December 3, 2018
From the Fortune article:
Share prices for some gun manufacturers dropped after the National Rifle Association released that it had lost more than half a billion dollars in income last year.
The gun-rights organization reported $98 million in contributions in 2017, down $55 million from the year prior, according to a report on the organization’s tax records by the Daily Beast.
In the wake of the news, stock prices for gun companies fell…
These companies have typically seen a bump in stock after mass shootings, including a February shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school that left 17 dead and a shooting at a concert venue in Las Vegas in October 2017 that left more than 50 dead.
But many are also reporting a drop in sales during the Trump presidency…
And as gun manufacturers are seeing a decrease in sales, the NRA is hurting from a loss in dues. The $55 million drop in contributions during 2017 includes a $35 million downturn in dues collected, a sign that hints at dwindling support, the Daily Beast reports.
Looks like at least some NRA execs are riding the grift all the way down. From an 11/28 report at The Trace:
The National Rifle Association paid more than $100,000 in personal expenses for an official who is now leading an austerity campaign within the organization, new tax filings show.
The official, Josh Powell, is the NRA’s executive director for general operations. The Trace and Mother Jones reported two weeks ago that Powell, along with the NRA’s new treasurer, Craig Spray, is seeking to impose steep cuts to the gun group’s budget. The effort is so stringent that the NRA did away with free coffee and water coolers at its Fairfax, Virginia, headquarters, causing consternation among NRA staffers. Today, NRATV staffer Cameron Gray announced on Twitter that he and “several colleagues” had been laid off.
We’re ass-deep in guns in America, and our twisted gun culture will continue to be a deadly problem for the rest of our lives — and probably our children’s and grandchildren’s lives too. A drop in NRA contributions and decline in gun maker profits won’t change that, at least not right away.
But did anyone see this coming — NRA contributions tanking and House Republicans driven from power in a wave election, inspired in part by activists young folks who demand sensible gun safety regulations? The Parkland kids believed they could change things — and they were right. Let us savor the NRA’s cordite-scented tears, comrades.
The NRA will surely bounce back the moment we have a Democratic President to frighten the gun people.
The NRA Treasurer’s name is Spray? Really? Gives new meaning to the phrase “Spray and pray”.
The irony is that if HRC had won the election, the NRA would have ginned up the paranoia and they’d be selling guns and fear in record numbers.
I read Charles Blow’s article posted in the Morning Thread.
And, I understand his thoughts.
But, there was a guy on MSNBC AM Joy on Sunday who was like,
” Fox didn’t have a spin for the happenings this week. They couldn’t spin Manafort and Cohen.”
Please check out this Maddow segment from last week where she lays it all out. It’s quite good.
And those company CEOs all go to bed at night praying some terrorist lunatic will do some spectacle murdering again asap. Then they sleep deeply and well, the sleep of the just.
Sorry, but I’d say we are over our heads. Maybe you got confused, Betty, because on Republicans the head is usually placed firmly in the ass.
@germy: Pretty sweet! Though “Leave bearing false witness to your daughter” would have been extra spicy.
Savoring. Thank you Parkland Kids, and all your supporters. We should enjoy and savor our victories when they arrive. They are hard fought.
The NRA’s problems are unexpected good news. I would not have guessed that their donations would ever decline.
But doesn’t a lot of their money come from a few plutocrats? These people could ride to the rescue if they wanted.
Meanwhile, my main thoughts will be to pray for the NRAs demise.
ETA. Wasn’t there some recent noise about Trump seeking to ban some weapon add on? Whatever happened with that?
Dorothy A. Winsor
@rikyrah: I saw that AM Joy piece too and took comfort from it. I’m hoping he’s right and the Fox audience is being driven into a smaller and smaller corner.
Merriam-Webster throws the best shade.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Brachiator: Bump stocks. I don’t know where that proposal is. With Trump, who can tell?
I wish I could find the tweet of the laid-off NRA staff begging for DC jobs. As Betty said, thoughts and prayers.
This. Goes double if it’s a POC. Triple if it happens to be a Hispanic (are there any Hispanics in line?). Talk about morally conflicted for the poor tearing dears.
If I can steal the phrase, fuck ’em.
ETA: SoCal’ers, SpaceX set to launch 10:31a. If on time, I’ll share video from Pismo area later. Weather looks OK from my first cup of coffee check.
I agree. The NRA was boosted to new heights by Obama’s presidency.
Mom Says I*m Handsome
Keep it coming! We’ll know our work is done when Dana Loesch (aka Exit Wound Barbie*) shares a pair of handcuffs with Laura Loomer.
* a propos of nothing, is this “[xxx] Barbie” construct sexist? Asking for a less-woke friend.
BC in Illinois
This is true.
I would also give a lot of credit to the “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense” people. In the St Louis area, they are active, vocal, visible — and one of the few organizations working with advocates and survivors in both the city and the county. (My invitation to their monthly meetings includes both city and county locations. I can’t tell you how rare that is.)
In Missouri, a gun-sense organization is mostly on defense, but 2018 was actually a successful year in keeping bad bills from making it through the MO Legislature. When a bill shows up, there will be women in red “Moms Demand” shirts in the room.
Two weeks after the Parkland shootings, a thousand people showed up for the monthly Moms Demand meeting. The students were there — and have kept coming — and the Moms had a place and a structure to show their support and provide a platform. That doesn’t happen without a lot of work.
Also, apropos of nothing, but Dick van Dyke pretty much won the internet yesterday going after Repulsive Morgan:
As much as I’d like to see it, $55 million isn’t a half billion dollars.
But a half billion dollars is a good target.
@TaMara (HFG): Scott Free Productions is Ridley Scott’s production company.
Mattis breaks new ground, claims Russian interference in midterms
12/03/18 08:40 AM
By Steve Benen
Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke over the weekend at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California, where the Pentagon chief conceded that the relationship between the United States and Russia has deteriorated over the last two years. As the Associated Press reported, however, that’s not all Mattis said.
Moscow’s interest in this year’s U.S. elections is neither new nor surprising. On the contrary, this is exactly what intelligence officials and agencies warned us about for months.
There are, however, a couple of important angles to Mattis’ public comments. For one thing, they appear to be the first time since Election Day that a high-ranking official in the Trump administration has confirmed the Kremlin’s attempts to interfere not only with the 2016 cycle, but also the 2018 cycle
West of the Rockies
@Mom Says I*m Handsome:
I’m going to say “xxx-Barbie” is not sexist because it is exclusively applied to women who manifestly see their physical appearance as a major factor in their personal-power persona.
Fraud allegations jolt election results in key North Carolina race
12/03/18 09:20 AM
By Steve Benen
Up and down the Atlantic coast, this year’s midterm elections brought up significant changes in nearly every state. The exception was North Carolina, where, thanks to Republican gerrymandering, Republicans received roughly 50% the vote, but ended up with roughly 77% of the power.
The rigged electoral system in the Tar Heel State all but guaranteed that North Carolinians wouldn’t have any interesting U.S. House races at all – or so we thought.
The only contest that appeared even remotely competitive was in the state’s 9th congressional district, where former far-right pastor Mark Harris (R) managed to pull off an upset over an incumbent congressman in a Republican May primary, and where Harris apparently won a very close contest on Election Day over Dan McCready (D). The Republican’s record of highly provocative rhetoric, especially about women and religious minorities, made his candidacy one of the nation’s most controversial, but local voters, by a 905-vote margin, elected him anyway.
Except, maybe they didn’t.
The first sign of trouble emerged last week, when the state board of elections unanimously agreed not to certify the results, citing what one board member described as “unfortunate activities.” As the Washington Post reported, we’re starting to understand what those “activities” allegedly entailed.
Wisconsin Republicans scramble to rig the game before they lose power
12/03/18 10:00 AM—UPDATED 12/03/18 10:05 AM
By Steve Benen
In 2016, only one incumbent Republican governor lost: North Carolina’s Pat McCrory. After the race was called, the GOP-led state legislature gathered for a special session, ostensibly to work on disaster relief for hurricane victims, but instead launched a “legislative coup” to undermine the new Democratic governor’s powers before he could take office.
It was banana-republic style governance. It was also, evidently, a model for other Republicans willing to exercise maximalist partisanship.
Last month, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) narrowly lost his bid for a third term, his Republican allies in the state legislature immediately started talking about stripping Gov.-elect Tony Evers (D) of some of his authority.
It was not just idle chatter. After an election in which Wisconsin voters elected a Democratic governor, re-elected a Democratic U.S. senator, re-elected a Democratic secretary of state, and elected a Democratic state attorney general, Republicans are suddenly scrambling to overhaul the state government in the GOP’s favor. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:
Michigan Republicans scramble to rig the game before they lose power
12/03/18 10:40 AM—UPDATED 12/03/18 11:02 AM
By Steve Benen
We talked earlier about Wisconsin Republicans, after suffering a series of losses, scrambling to overhaul state government, rigging the game in their favor, before they’re forced to relinquish power in the new year. As it happens, an eerily similar situation is unfolding in a state next door.
For the first time in nearly three decades, voters in Michigan elected a Democratic governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. As the Detroit Free Press reported the other day, GOP state legislators don’t appear to be taking it well:
Trump met with Putin at the G-20 summit after all
12/03/18 11:20 AM
By Steve Benen
The drama surrounding a possible Trump-Putin discussion at the G-20 summit became needlessly confusing. There was a resolution, though it wasn’t an entirely satisfying one.
To recap, on Thursday morning, the Kremlin announced that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin would have a one-on-one meeting in Argentina. Russian officials said that U.S. officials had “confirmed” that the presidential encounter would happen, and the American leader told reporters soon after, “I think it’s a very good time to have the meeting.”
An hour later, Trump reversed course, announcing by way of a tweet that he’d canceled the meeting, blaming “the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia.” Russian officials and media publicly mocked the explanation, largely because it was literally unbelievable.
As the summit got underway, a Kremlin spokesperson claimed the two leaders would have an impromptu meeting in Argentina, though a White House official denied it. So, what ended up happening? If you guessed that the two would have a private chat despite all the drama, give yourself a prize. USA Today reported:
That’s OK. CNN has their back…
@Brachiator: Aren’t we already pretty sure that a lot of their money has come from Russia? Maybe Russia has stopped laundering $$ through the NRA?
@TaMara (HFG): As some of the Twitter people pointed out, Scott Free is Mr. Miracle, a superhero specializing in escaping from things.
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
Spy Girl, anyone?
@rikyrah: The Spy Girls of Athens on public access tv many years ago.
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
How can they possibly justify these power grabs without simply saying, openly and in these words, “We’re doing this to destroy the evil socialists. We will do whatever it takes to save America. We’re a republic, not a democracy. Besides, what are you going to do about it? Revolt? You’re too invested in the system and we all know you libtards love “fair” play. You’ll cave and you’ll like it. One-party GOP rule forever. This is America, not some banana republic”.
@TaMara (HFG): @VOR: @Matt McIrvin: Was just about to respond to TaMara and VOR and then Matt beat me to it.
Probably best for me not to dwell too long on how much space comics-related trivia takes up in my brain.
Also, the president* is live-tweeting his witness tampering and obstruction of justice as we speak/type
It’s lovely to see Air Force “One” up in the air without any Trumps on it.
I hope they fumigated it. It bothers me so much that he and his ilk have use of that beautiful aircraft.
Yes, Julian Castro has made a stronger declaration that he will be running than anyone else.
Incidentally, there is a clip of Castro speaking the other day which was preceded by a clip of Kerry waffling about whether he would run in 2020. The contrast is brutal: Castro is focused and alert, and Kerry is slow, plodding and waffly.
Kerry is certainly a decent human being, and has a ton of experience, but he is 74, and that is just too old for anyone wanting to run for president. He had his chance.
A Ghost To Most
Yep. It would have been business as usual for all the right-wing grifters. Shit Hitler stealing the election revealed the corruption for all to see.
A Ghost To Most
Both Kerry and Biden are too old.
Draft Adam Schiff.
J R in WV
There are several USAF modified 747 aircraft. AF One is the one with a president on board, and one with a former president’s corpse is not AF One.
More importantly, I want the NRA reduced to nothing by a RICO prosecution for laundering illegal campaign donations and other funding from illegal sources. Their facilities, buildings, bank accounts both foreign and domestic, the pension funds, everything confiscated by prosecutors. Also jail terms for management and staff who knew anything about the dirty money flowing.
Screw waiting for a natural death, kill it now!!
Trump is just confessing his crimes right and right.
@J R in WV:
@A Ghost To Most:
And Warren and Clinton and Sanders. All of them Katie.
If he has to be persuaded then he shouldn’t run, and he still has time on his side. Lightweight losers such as Perry, Huckabee and Santorum weren’t remotely qualified to become president, but they did at least get over the first hurdle: they really WANTED the job.
A Ghost To Most
@J R in WV:
As someone who grew up in the clutches of the NRA and escaped, turning down a free NRA Life Membership along the way, I heartily concur.
I disagree. They didn’t want the actual job, they wanted the power of the job, because they could get paid and have a lifetime stipend from both the government and their owners, as well as secure their concept of the power of white.
A Ghost To Most
If they want to run, I have to question why. We see what big egos have gotten us. I’d rather have competence and quiet leadership.
@TenguPhule: It’s really quite remarkable – I didn’t think I could be surprised by his stupidity at this point.
Tomorrow it will just be a flat out “IDIDITSOWHAT?” So what indeed, GOP? You want another electoral bloodbath like you just got last month? Oooooookay then…
Call whine-one-one, the NRA needs a whaambulance!
@Matt McIrvin: Exactly. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NRA works behind the scenes to elect a Corporadem (TM) the next election
@Jeffro: There are times when I think we’re trapped in a really twisted version of the saturday morning cartoons from the 80s.
@A Ghost To Most: the presidency will destroy a person under even the best of circumstances. If they don’t want it they will not get it.
Mike in NC
Sadly, odds are we will have at least one more mass shooting in this country before the end of the year.
Big Tobacco was gone overnight. They were one good lawsuit away from bankruptcy and knew it. It probably took longer to get rid of their lobbying power than it will take to get rid of the NRA, and they probably killed a lot more people and will continue to kill know-nothings for a good long while. but one minute we had cigarette butts everywhere and couldn’t go out to eat or drink without coming home smelling like an ashtray. next minute it was pretty much gone and the politicians who depended on their campaign donations were gone too.
Interesting how the implicit admission there, that the success of the arms industry relies on its advertising agency remaining healthy, is just taken for granted and doesn’t need to be spelled out.
@artem1s: That’s true. Although Big Tobacco switched a lot of their sales to China and other countries, didn’t they?
Still, you are correct about the sea change in dealing with smokers. Nonsmokers have rights too.
I have often said that the worst thing that could ever happen to the NRA is to have Republicans win, esp the WH.
That’s a distinction without a difference. Power comes with the job.
They wanted the rights, not the duties.
@A Ghost To Most:
That’s fine, and any serious candidate has to answer that question many times.
But any candidate who doesn’t really want the job is a lost cause. That shone through loud and clear when Al Gore ran. His campaign was limp and weak, and he didn’t seem especially interested in winning at times, and voters saw that. In contrast, Dubya seemed gung ho, and hellbent on winning. I thought Bill Bradley and Paul Tsongas would both have been good presidents, but they acted like it was beneath their dignity to scrap and fight for the job.
And yet again, that that’s a distinction without a difference: they wanted to be president, however pure or impure their motives might be. In contrast, Schiff has shown no sign that he is interested in being president. Whether he would actually be any good as president is beside the point.
Actually, there have been a few stories saying that Russia was sending dark money to the NRA for at least a decade. And now suddenly the NRA is pleading poverty and Republican candidates didn’t have their usual deep pockets in this year’s election. ?
My suspicion is that folks working inside Ye Olde Deep State managed to quietly turn off the spigot of Russian money. The Kochs and Mercers have limited resources compared to Putin and what he can direct from Russia, so I suspect that a lot of their “activities” were really laundering or at least camouflaging the money from Russia.
55 million is more than half a billion?
Fuckin’ orders of magnitude. How do they work?
@J R in WV: My first thought was that the pension fund should be safe, but then I realized everyone who would get an NRA pension should die in prison. If the taxpayers are on the hook anyway, might as well pay it with seized funds.
Also isn’t there a small thing about the elder Mercer owing the IRS 7 billion?
And I’d bet a lot of assets for at least some of these sleazes is not all that liquid, meaning they are very wealthy on paper but not all that much at the bank. Seeing as how a lot of people seem to be getting into rather deep financial trouble, I’d bet that a lot of the money is just moved from hand to hand and really doesn’t amount to as much as the BS makes it sound like.
Just wait one minute.
This is from Forbes? Really?
It’s no wonder Supply-Side Economics and other Reichwingnut Chicago-School crackpot theories are so popular amongst the conservatist economists when the biggest names in economic journalism cannot do even basic arithmetic.
$50M != “half a billion”. Pure and simple. Forbes is off here by a factor of ten.