This Was Supposed To Be The Big Day for Josh Powell

If you had been paying any sort of attention to the mainstream media, you might know that today was the day that Josh Powell’s tell-all book was to be released. The book entitled, Inside the NRA: A Tell-All Account of Corruption, Greed, and Paranoia within the Most Powerful Political Group in America, is supposed to tell us the inside scoop about Wayne and company.

Amazon is running this as the blurb for the book:

A shocking exposé of rampant, decades-long incompetence at the National Rifle Association, as told by a former member of its senior leadership.

Joshua L. Powell is the NRA–a lifelong gun advocate, in 2016, he began his new role as a senior strategist and chief of staff to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.

What Powell uncovered was horrifying: “the waste and dysfunction at the NRA was staggering.”

INSIDE THE NRA reveals for the first time the rise and fall of the most powerful political organization in America–how the NRA became feared as the Death Star of Washington lobbies and so militant and extreme as “to create and fuel the toxicity of the gun debate until it became outright explosive.”

INSIDE THE NRA explains this intentional toxic messaging was wholly the product of LaPierre’s leadership and the extremist branding by his longtime PR puppet master Angus McQueen. In damning detail, Powell exposes the NRA’s plan to “pour gasoline” on the fire in the fight against gun control, to sow discord to fill its coffers, and to secure the presidency for Donald J. Trump.

ABC News’ Pierre Thomas had an exclusive interview with him. It was so earth-shattering that they ran it on Friday on World News Tonight, on Sunday with George Stephanopolous, and again on Monday on GMA.

Powell described himself as a “huge Second Amendment supporter” with a sizable gun collection and a lifelong passion for hunting and shooting. As the NRA’s “No. 2 guy,” he said he “worked side by side” with LaPierre over several years. An NRA spokesperson, in a statement, said that Powell “had zero input or influence on the NRA’s political or legislative strategy,” but Powell says he was involved in “every single important conversation that went on in the NRA.”

But he became disillusioned with the organization and LaPierre’s leadership, he said, as LaPierre’s alleged misuse of members’ money came into focus. Powell says his work became “soul-sucking,” and he now considers it a “low point in [his] life.”

Danny Hakim of the New York Times reported that Powell is now calling for red flag laws and universal background checks.

A hunter since childhood and former Chicago options and derivatives trader, Mr. Powell says that the N.R.A. has fundamentally lost its way, abandoning “its roots as an organization focused on gun safety and education.” That has led it to limit its own long-term membership growth, he argues, by turning its back on the majority of gun owners who support background checks.

With this kind of build up plus dishing all the dirt on Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, you would think the New York Times Review of Books would give it a glowing review just to get Powell’s narrative out there.

And…you would be mistaken.

The review of the book was brutal. It starts off with this:

This is a sad book, and a bad one, and you shouldn’t buy it. The thinking in it is poor; the writing is worse. The author “exposes” evils that, if you’ve been paying even scant attention, you already know. Expect it soon in a Walmart remainder bin near you.

I had always assumed that Powell had a ghostwriter. Given the review of the writing style, I might be mistaken on that. Either that or he had the worst ghostwriter that money could buy.

It gets worse.

The unrelenting barrage of clichés is worse. The N.R.A. has debased the American language, and Powell adds to the sludge. If you only skimmed this book, you would think it was about a fox in a henhouse who caught flak and was thrown under a bus for playing laser-focused hardball like gangbusters and getting the short end of the stick while sensing blood in the water.

It concludes:

Powell’s book is a mea culpa. About the N.R.A.’s Kool-Aid, he writes, “I sold it, stirred it, drank it every day.” He lost his soul, he writes, and became part of the swamp. He’d like, he claims, again unconvincingly, to see the N.R.A. largely return to its roots as an organization dedicated to gun safety.

The N.R.A., in this telling as in others, is an organization in free fall. About New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, who has taken existential aim at the N.R.A., he writes, “I’m not betting against her.”

Bearing in mind that Powell is one of the four named defendants in the suit brought by Letitia James and because he appears to be a sociopath willing to do anything to save his own skin, I’m guessing he has already rolled over and is providing James all the gossip.

You might remember I noted that Powell’s attorney is a partner at Akin Gump. I had wondered how a guy without a job could afford such an expensive attorney. Five years ago the reported partner billing rate for the firm was over $1,200 per hour and undoubtedly is higher now. I might have an explanation for that. A friend who is a DC attorney said that lots of the big DC firms will take cases like this pro bono in exchange for the publicity.

It is either that or perhaps a former big city mayor who hates the NRA enough has decided to foot the bill so that even more dirt about the NRA is released just prior to the election. Nah, that would make me look like a conspiracy theorist or something.

Finally, if you are wondering how such an incompetent grifter ever got hired to a high position at the NRA, my sources say that the blame falls on Pete Brownell and Wayne’s former BFF Tony Makris. Sometime after Powell was elected to the NRA Board of Directors, they pitched him to Wayne as someone for his executive team. The rest is history as the saying goes.

For When It All Goes To Hell

I don’t know how the vote today will turn out. However, I do believe in being prepared for whatever may come from natural disasters to WROL/SHTF/TEOTWAWKI. Food is one of those critical items that sometimes gets forgotten as we accumulate all the cool toys.

I saw this in the deals section of Amazon today and it is a very (very!) good price at $54.86 and Amazon Prime eligible. Sam’s Club is approximately $25 more and full retail is about $35 more.

This stuff has a 30-year shelf life so it might not hurt to order a bucket or two. While I have a case or two of MREs sitting around, they don’t have nearly the shelf life of something like this. I plan to order a couple of these today.

If you order through this link, the commissions go to 2A organizations. They may really need it after today.

Protect Your Hearing At A Reasonable Price

The Howard Leight electronic shooting muffs are an Amazon “Deal of the Day” for Monday. The price is $26.99. I have a pair and checking my receipt I paid $49.40 at Amazon. These are good muffs and slim enough that you can still get a good cheek weld.

If you order them through my Amazon affiliate link, all commissions I earn are donated to Second Amendment 503c3 organizations such as the Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund.

I like having electronic muffs as they allow me to be more aware of range commands as well as my surroundings while all the while protecting my hearing. I already suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and I don’t want it to get any worse.

Amazon Prime Day

I don’t push the affiliate links that much. However, I would like to remind you that all (as in 100%) commissions earned are donated to gun rights organizations such as the Second Amendment Foundation, the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund, Grass Roots North Carolina, and others. If you have a favorite non-profit gun rights group that you’d like me to consider supporting, let me know in the comments section.

Today is Amazon Prime Day with special offers throughout the day for members of Amazon Prime. I use Amazon Prime and like it. It’s nice ordering something and having it here in a couple of days. Just as nice are the movies and videos that are available through it such as the the original TV run of Firefly, all six seasons of Justified, the Amazon Originals like The Man in the High Castle, and much more. You can also pick up an 8 GB Kindle Fire Tablet for $33.33. Think of it as a mini iPad that costs a whole lot less.

You can click on the banner below if you are an Amazon Prime member and be linked to the deals. If you aren’t a member, click where it says “free trial” which will get you the deals and a month to try it out. For every person who is not already a member of Amazon Prime who does try it out, that means $3 will go to support our Second Amendment rights. Think about that.

A Sad Day For North Carolinians – Amazon To Collect NC Sales Tax

It is a sad day for North Carolina consumers who patronize Amazon.com. On Monday, Amazon.com announced that they will be collecting sales tax for purchases in North Carolina effective February 1st.

Amazon.com will begin collecting sales tax in North Carolina beginning Feb. 1, a company official confirmed Monday.

The move will make North Carolina the 20th state in which the online retailer collects sales tax, according to Amazon’s website. It’s unclear why Amazon decided to make the change now. A spokesman didn’t respond to questions about the timing of the move and whether the Seattle-based company would begin collecting sales tax in other states besides North Carolina on Feb. 1.

The North Carolina Department of Revenue was slapped down in 2010 when they tried to force Amazon.com to give them the names of customers residing in North Carolina. This demand was found to violate the First Amendment.

The General Assembly passed a law in 2009 that said if a company had an affiliate program it has “nexus” in the state. When a company has nexus or a physical connection to a state, it can be forced to collect sales tax for that state according to the Supreme Court in Quill v. North Dakota. In response, Amazon.com closed their Amazon Associates program for North Carolinians and it remains closed to this day.

I did speak with a customer service representative with the Amazon Affiliates Program this morning. She said she didn’t know when the Affiliates Program would be reopened to North Carolinians. I probably will apply when it does reopen.

To summarize, we in North Carolina are now going to have to pay sales tax on our Amazon purchases but we might get the opportunity to be Amazon Affiliates again. Frankly, I’d trade the Affiliates Program for not having to pay sales tax anyday.