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Chapter 6: Patient Priorities

[…]others that need revelation – and are probably ready for it now – are Wayne LaPierre and Grover Norquist,” I added.   “You bet,” Jay smiled: “The NRA and Americans for Tax Reform.”   “Yes – flush the government down the toilet, Norquist preaches.”   “Let’s not forget the guy advocating lung cancer around the world,” I said.   “Who’s that,” Bill asked.   “The tobacco wars are not over,” I said. “A U.S. group is advocating uncontrolled cigarette sales and consumption around the world – the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, headed by Thomas J. Donohue.”   “I did read about him. What they’re doing is criminal,” Jay said.   “Evil,” Bill added.   “We need to include some of the presidential candidates – they get large audiences, much press,” I suggested.   “Yes, especially those with staying power who are likely to be in the running at the party conventions – although all the GOP wannabes need treatment,” Jay said.   “For now, I’m betting on Rubio, although Trump, Bush, and Cruz may get more press,” I said.   “They all need attention,” Bill said. “Say, I know this is a digression, but did you see that cool piece […]

Chapter 10: Plutocrats – and Others

[…]lives, eats and breathes politics,’ says friend and former chief NRA lobbyist James Jay Baker. Grover Norquist has said, ‘He’s a guy who will never fold.’ He devotes himself to the NRA, serving as spokesman but also top administrator. He spends his weekends traveling to NRA gatherings across the country, sometimes making multiple stops in a single weekend.   He works very hard, saying You don’t have any time in this town. I mean you work from 7 in the morning until 11 at night, night after night, you end up working weekends . . . and your life goes by.     “Maybe he’s thinking of retiring,” Jay said. “He’s been very quiet after the recent shootings.”   “You mean in Oregon and San Bernardino?” Bill asked.   “Yes – and even after the Paris terrorist actions, he seemed to be relatively quiet,” Jay added.   “Since he basically works for the gun manufacturers, he doesn’t have to say anything. Their stock and sales keep going up – after every shooting,” I fumed.     LaPierre won’t say when or if he might leave the job. But when asked what a former NRA chief might do with his life, […]

Chapter 12: Outcomes and Tomorrow

[…]that. But Chaffetz apparently supports it, together with several state legislators. In any event Norquist how has his eyes and hands on Utah.”   “After Norquist, I got on the Metro in the direction of Fairfax – to the NRA Headquarters. Norquist’s location and space seemed relatively modest. Donohue’s was more palatial – even ostentatious. But LaPierre’s! Wow.”   “I was near the NRA Building in Fairfax several years ago – I wanted to see what the National Firearms Museum looked like, ” Bill said. “Quite an edifice.”   “I did manage to find a Protect the Second Amendment button for the NRA visit,” I said. “Interesting that they screened everyone entering the building. You can’t carry guns into the NRA facility – but their employees can carry them in – it’s the law in Virginia!”   “Isn’t that hypocritical?” Jay smiled. “And the chocolates?”   “No sweat – their concern was with guns, cameras, cell phones – I did have to check my phone, but they let me in with my computer.”   “Didn’t LaPierre say ‘those with the guns make the rules’?” Bill asked.   “I think you’re confusing that with the plutocrat’s Golden Rule – those with […]

Chapter 11: Delivery and Treatment

[…]has three children, went to University of Denver, and is also Presbyterian. He’s signed the Norquist no taxes pledge, is a strong supporter of the coal industry, against alternative energy, very anti-abortion, and against gay marriage. He’s also ranked very highly by the NRA.   “They’re both about as conservative as they can be,” Jay said, referring to Enzi and Barrasso.   “Casper and Cheyenne are easy to get to,” Bill said, ‘and holiday parties are coming up.”   “Just watch out for winds and ice on I-80,” I said.   Cynthia Lummis is Wyoming’s single at large representative, elected in 2009. She is very far to the right, with an average leadership core. Her district offices are in Casper, Cheyenne, and Sheridan.   “Looks like a visit to Cheyenne gets us all three,” Peter said. “I’m on it.”     We understood that the collateral people are secondary priorities. The goal is to get to the primary 29, with the hope that their treatment will be sufficient to help facilitate a political tipping point. The more of the collaterals we can treat, the greater the probability of achieving a more significant transformation – a substantive tipping point. We discussed […]

Chapter 9: Congress

[…]His climate denialism seems to be intact and perhaps has hardened in more recent years. He’s a Norquist pledge signer.   Issa began dogging Obama from the moment Issa became chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2010. He spent four years holding hearings on everything from an IRS training fiesta at Disneyland to an attack at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. According to House rules, the Committee may at any time conduct investigations on any matter, which gave him, via the Committee, the power to subpoena, investigate, and harass the Obama Administration. During his time as chairman, Issa held 128 hearings; Congressional leadership was happy to see him go when term limits forced him out. He developed a reputation for brash behavior and dramatic remarks that overshadowed his own hearings.   Then another Issa emerges, a forceful advocate for government transparency, capable of working with Democrats and negotiating with the administration to pass open government legislation and whistleblower protections. Issa says he has a solid relationship with House leadership, calling Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, ‘a dear friend’.     “A ‘dear friend’, until Issa undercut him a bit by offering to be Speaker of […]

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