Gibson Guitars CEO to attend Obama’s jobs speech as guest of Marsha Blackburn

posted at 6:45 pm on September 7, 2011 by Allahpundit

A gesture to please everyone on a night marked by partisan differences, with the U.S. having just dropped further down the list of the world’s most competitive economies. Republicans will enjoy the spectacle of The One being confronted by a prominent victim of overregulation and Democrats will enjoy pounding on them for inviting someone to a major presidential speech whose company is under federal investigation . Everybody wins.

In addition to those Republican lawmakers who have announced – motivated, it seems, by disrespect — that they will decline to attend President Obama’s Thursday night jobs address to a joint session of Congress, Republicans are also taking the additional step of inviting a man whose company the Obama administration is investigating for possibly breaking the law.

Henry Juszkiewicz, the CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp., will either sit in the House Gallery as the guest of his member of Congress, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. (members of Congress each get to invite one guest to sit in that balcony), or he will be invited to sit in the speaker of the House’s box for the speech, Republican officials tell ABC News…

Andrea Johnson, director of forest programs for the Environmental Investigation Agency in Washington, told National Public Radio that Gibson “made a decision in the end that they were going to source despite knowing that there was a ban on exports of ebony and rosewood. … The intent here is to reduce illegal logging and send a signal to the markets that you’ve got to be asking questions and sourcing wood in a responsible way.”

If I’m understanding the applicable law correctly, Gibson is as much a victim of Indian protectionism as they are federal meddling. Watch the quickie John Roberts segment below for the gist of it. The wood they use to make guitar keyboards is sufficiently rare/endangered that it can’t be exported legally from India unless it’s already been finished by Indian workers, and under U.S. law, if the export is illegal under Indian law, then it’s illegal here too. The governing statute, the Lacey Act, was passed in 1900, but only in 2008 was it expanded to include plants as well as animals, which is why Gibson’s now being hassled about the wood. All of which is jim dandy — except for the question of why Gibson seems to be getting so much federal attention vis-a-vis other firms. Roberts touches on that.

Incidentally, The One’s speech has already been preempted in the Milwaukee area in favor of the Packers pre-game show. Too bad for Wisconsinites, as now they won’t get to watch him announce that he’s extending the tax break for … corporate jets. Yes, really.


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Awk-ward!

cynccook on September 7, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Nice move, Marsha. I hope Mr. Juszkiewicz stares Scooter down the whole speech.

kingsjester on September 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM

The guy’s got chutzpa! And so does Rep. Blackburn.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM

I don’t know if it is relevant or not, but China is becoming one of the world’s new largest manufacturer of violins and guitars. Naw… it’s not relevant.

Dhuka on September 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Ummm….it’s guitar FRET boards, not keyboards there beta male.

Flyboy on September 7, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Incidentally, The One’s speech has already been preempted in the Milwaukee area in favor of the Packers pre-game show. Too bad for Wisconsinites, as now they won’t get to watch him announce that he’s extending the tax break for … corporate jets. Yes, really.

Paging Jimmy Hoffa…better git ur union thug army marchin’ to Wisconsin & get those racist sons a bitches who control TV stations outta there-lolol!!!

huskerdiva on September 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

So, India allows a shipment to go through, because they believe it’s legal and has passed the standards of their laws.

The United States, in their infinite wisdom, decide India doesn’t know it’s own law well enough and second guesses them?

Really?

This is ludicrous.

ButterflyDragon on September 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Very nice. I love the fact he’s decided to fight back as well. Evil wins when you don’t.

darwin on September 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Playing Barack like a fiddle guitar.

SouthernGent on September 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

hilarious.

rob verdi on September 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Oh what fun….

2nd Ammendment Mother on September 7, 2011 at 6:52 PM

SC needs to bring Boeing.

INC on September 7, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I see the IRS in your future Mr. Juszkiewicz.

Knucklehead on September 7, 2011 at 6:53 PM

You Lie!

carbon_footprint on September 7, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Camera pans to Juszkiewicz, who in the middle of the speech gets up and does a wicked air guitar – why, you might ask? Because they took all of his real guitars away.

John the Libertarian on September 7, 2011 at 6:55 PM

I hope the House Camera zooms in on the Head of Gibson Guitars doing a very awkwardly slow clap while he stares down Obama.

portlandon on September 7, 2011 at 6:55 PM

What’s most significant is that Gibson’s competition use the same wood but are huuuuge Obama/leftie donors. All you need to know.

Schadenfreude on September 7, 2011 at 6:56 PM

So, India allows a shipment to go through, because they believe it’s legal and has passed the standards of their laws.

The United States, in their infinite wisdom, decide India doesn’t know it’s own law well enough and second guesses them?

Really?

This is ludicrous.

ButterflyDragon on September 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Simply politics. Because the Gibson CEO donates to the GOP. The Martin CEO donates to the Dems and also uses illegal wood.
Double standard.

carbon_footprint on September 7, 2011 at 6:56 PM

I hope Juszkiewicz is seated prominently in front of the President where he can’t avoid viewing the effects of his bullying authoritarianism.

Speakup on September 7, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Every R should bring a business person or an Obama victim.

The middle class/taxpayers/small businesses are destroyed by the malicious dummy.

Schadenfreude on September 7, 2011 at 6:57 PM

This Obama Administration has used all of the departments to put forth their agenda and punish their enemies.

I hope Issa nails them all.

carbon_footprint on September 7, 2011 at 6:57 PM

BHO: I country is facing a terrible rosewood problem. DOJ is doing a great job in reining it in. Thanks Eric!

d1carter on September 7, 2011 at 6:57 PM

AH…finally some Alinski style push back!!!

katy on September 7, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Ummm….it’s guitar FRET boards, not keyboards there beta male.

Flyboy on September 7, 2011 at 6:49 PM

AP must be a fan of the keytar.

Mark1971 on September 7, 2011 at 6:58 PM

d1carter on September 7, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Should be: Our instead of I…sheesh.

d1carter on September 7, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Singin’ the Obama man blues…

R E S P E C T… is what you need to give to me (Aretha)

I can’t get me no… satisfaction (Devo)

Poor, poor, pitiful me. (Ronstadt)

Give me just a little more time… (Chairman of the Board)

singlemalt 18 on September 7, 2011 at 6:59 PM

or he will be invited to sit in the speaker of the House’s box for the speech

Holy guitar strings wouldn’t that be nice.

ted c on September 7, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Won’t be shown on television.

bridgetown on September 7, 2011 at 7:00 PM

so does Gibson join Whole Foods on the new progressive enemies list.

rob verdi on September 7, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Maybe Boehner and the Republican’s made a mistake and should have let this guy deliver the rebuttal speech.

Knucklehead on September 7, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Delicious

deedtrader on September 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Incidentally, The One’s speech has already been preempted in the Milwaukee area in favor of the Packers pre-game show.

The downgraded president of a downgraded government.

amerpundit on September 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

He’ll be sitting in the Speaker’s Box. John Boehner tweeted this about an hour ago:

@SpeakerBoehner
Will host Gibson Guitars CEO as guest in Speaker’s box for Joint Session Thurs., courtesy @MarshaBlackburn & @PeterRoskam
1 hour ago via CoTweet
Favorite Retweet Reply

I might actually have to tune in.

Naturally Curly on September 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

AP must be a fan of the keytar.

Mark1971 on September 7, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Ha! That right there is funny.

Anton on September 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

I almost jumped to check out my guitars and find where the heck are the keyboards located; would’ve kept the kids busy for the evening!/

ProudPalinFan on September 7, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I’m sure Obama’ll do fine. He’s used to his mother in law along for the ride everywhere he goes. He’s probably numb to this type of stuff.

ted c on September 7, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Naturally Curly on September 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

LOL. A living, breathing rebuttal. Beautiful.

kingsjester on September 7, 2011 at 7:03 PM

I wish Boehner would’ve gotten the CEO of Boeing in there, too.

John the Libertarian on September 7, 2011 at 7:04 PM

@SpeakerBoehner
Will host Gibson Guitars CEO as guest in Speaker’s box for Joint Session

awwwww Dude!

in the Speaker’s Box? Whoa! No pressure, champ, no pressure…!

ted c on September 7, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Please amp it up by inviting Toby Keith! Even if he’s happy he always looks badass.

ProudPalinFan on September 7, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Naturally Curly on September 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Oh, wow.

That’s terrific.

INC on September 7, 2011 at 7:05 PM

The unspoken rebuttal.

Boehner…nice work, enjoy the game afterwards. You don’t hafta say a thing.

ted c on September 7, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Maybe Trace Adkins could stand there too with his arms crossed and a few nascar drivers as well. BHO’s bony knees would be knockin.

ted c on September 7, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Thousands of “unbiased” reporters are now searching Mr. Juszkiewicz’s closets for skeletons.

warden on September 7, 2011 at 7:06 PM

excellent…

:)

cmsinaz on September 7, 2011 at 7:06 PM

(M)embers of Congress each get to invite one guest to sit in that balcony.

Okay, let’s fill that balcony with owners and CEO’s of businesses have been hurt by ridiculous regulations, restrictions, EPA overreach and executive fiats.

Fallon on September 7, 2011 at 7:07 PM

ProudPalinFan on September 7, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Toby Keith is a Dem.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 7, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Playing Barack like a fiddle guitar.

SouthernGent on September 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Lol! Good one!!

Susanboo on September 7, 2011 at 7:09 PM

The Dems can bring a New Black Panther Party member to stare down Mr. Juszkiewicz. That way we can all be clear on exactly who the DoJ’s winners and losers are.

Cicero43 on September 7, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Somewhat related to this:

I frequent an online discussion forum for recording artists and engineers. A discussion of the Gibson case appeared, and I read it with great interest, seeing how the other members (most of whom are liberal) would address it.

They basically spent the whole thread bashing Gibson for its business practices, the price of its guitars, etc. Someone even managed to bash the Bush administration in some left-field, tangential way.

It essentially confirmed what Rush Limbaugh always says: These people are liberals first.

CurtZHP on September 7, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Incidentally, The One’s speech has already been preempted in the Milwaukee area in favor of the Packers pre-game show.

If I was running a network, he’d be pre-empted by Brady Bunch reruns.

Cicero43 on September 7, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Remember, if you own a Gibson guitar and take it with you to Canada or Mexico or to any foreign country and you try to bring back into to the USA, you too will be arrested for dealing in illegal wood.

Dhuka on September 7, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Simply politics. Because the Gibson CEO donates to the GOP. The Martin CEO donates to the Dems and also uses illegal wood.
Double standard.

carbon_footprint on September 7, 2011 at 6:56 PM

When I was a kid, I lusted after a Martin D-18 Dreadnought but my grandmother got me a Gibson for my birthday..

..thanks, Sophie!

The War Planner on September 7, 2011 at 7:17 PM

No matter what the questions are tonight, the Republicans should answer by including specific examples of all this cr#p Obama and his cronies are pulling: this Gibson Guitar issue, the Hoffa speech, GE paying no taxes, the Solyndra loan and Obama crony issue, etc. Let’s see if any of these candidates can make some points that sting.

GaltBlvnAtty on September 7, 2011 at 7:22 PM

R E S P E C T… is what you need to give to me (Otis Redding)

I can’t get me no… satisfaction (The Rolling Stones)

Poor, poor, pitiful me. (Warren Zevon)

FIFY

jamie gumm on September 7, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Now if Gibson was marketing and selling their guitars to the Mexican drug cartels, I can assure you this would not be an issue.

Koa on September 7, 2011 at 7:29 PM

I hope Mr. Juszkiewicz brings along a Gibson SG, a 100W head amp, a 4×12 double stack and goes into a blistering rendition of “Liar” by Argent the instant Zero faces the teleprompter and opens his ugly mug.

viking01 on September 7, 2011 at 7:31 PM

If I’m understanding the applicable law correctly, Gibson is as much a victim of Indian protectionism as they are federal meddling.

Actually AP listen to the CEO talk directly to a HA favorite MKH on a DC radio show.

The CEO told MKH that the wood imported was legal under Indian law. It is the federal government saying it is illegal yet according to Indian law it is perfectly legal.

F15Mech on September 7, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Democrats will enjoy pounding on them for inviting someone to a major presidential speech whose company is under federal investigation

But will they really? This isn’t the CEO of Exxon or Haliburton, someone who makes a convenient villain and can be accused of some form of atrocity. Do the democrats want to demonize an all-American company whose ultimate goal is harmless fun?

And imagine the potential for a GOP campaign commercial (e.g. feds break open the doors to Gibson, force to the ground and handcuff a guy strumming on a new Les Paul…”Yes we can. Obama 2010.”)

Erich66 on September 7, 2011 at 7:34 PM

er…2012

Erich66 on September 7, 2011 at 7:35 PM

If I were Gibson, I think it would be time to lodge a protest with the US Dept. of the Interior BIA and get this settled once and for all.

Koa on September 7, 2011 at 7:36 PM

R E S P E C T… is what you need to give to me (Otis Redding)

FIFY

jamie gumm on September 7, 2011 at 7:28 PM

..singlemalt was correct. It was Aretha Franklin.

The War Planner on September 7, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Naturally Curly on September 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

This is all well and good, but who is in charge of the Press Pool TV cameras for this speech?

Unless it’s Fox News, the cameras in the chamber will probably never even cut to a shot of this guy, to protect Dear Leader.

Del Dolemonte on September 7, 2011 at 7:44 PM

SC needs to bring Boeing.

INC on September 7, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Bingo!

Love to see that!!

fred5678 on September 7, 2011 at 7:45 PM

singlemalt was correct. It was Aretha Franklin.

The War Planner on September 7, 2011 at 7:38 PM

I beg to differ.

Bigfoot on September 7, 2011 at 7:52 PM

starting Friday morning, with nothing much to attack without a GOP rebuttal, the LSM will be forced to turn on their own and eat. Get your popcorn ready, its gonna be a hoot to watch. DJI down 400 by lunchtime!

maineconservative on September 7, 2011 at 8:05 PM

ted c on September 7, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Id rather see Ted Nugent there with his Gibson Byrdland and a Marshall stack for the ‘Republican Response’ :)

Wolftech on September 7, 2011 at 8:13 PM

singlemalt was correct. It was Aretha Franklin.

The War Planner on September 7, 2011 at 7:38 PM

I beg to differ.

Bigfoot on September 7, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Otis Redding wrote and recorded RESPECT in 1965. Aretha Franklin’s version was released in 1967, I believe. I could be wrong.

Hazzard on September 7, 2011 at 8:32 PM

But will they really? This isn’t the CEO of Exxon or Haliburton, someone who makes a convenient villain and can be accused of some form of atrocity. Do the democrats want to demonize an all-American company whose ultimate goal is harmless fun?

Erich66 on September 7, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Nancy Pelosi really is clueless enough to come out tomorrow before the speech and attack the Republicans for being in bed with “Big Wood”.

jon1979 on September 7, 2011 at 8:32 PM

This is not a job-friendly administration. Mary Katherine Ham on Special Report tonight said ‘most furniture manufacturers use the same wood and are worried that they also could be raided’.

PS Good for Tennessee girl Marsha Blackburn for inviting Gibson Guitar’s CEO :)

TN Mom on September 7, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Well, well, well! I may tune in after all!

Pass the popcorn, please!

Pablo Snooze on September 7, 2011 at 9:19 PM

TN Mom on September 7, 2011 at 9:09 PM

M-Kat is great one of the reasons I listen to WMAL in the morning.

F15Mech on September 7, 2011 at 9:25 PM

In addition to those Republican lawmakers who have announced – motivated, it seems, by disrespect — that they will decline to attend…

Disappointing … Jake Tapper is usually better than this.

KS Rex on September 7, 2011 at 9:59 PM

The finished fretboard is the main interface between the player and the instrument. Having those finished in India for Gibson is like having engine’s finished in India for Harley Davidson. It’s idiotic and would be destructive to the brand.

Django on September 7, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Somewhat related to this:

I frequent an online discussion forum for recording artists and engineers. A discussion of the Gibson case appeared, and I read it with great interest, seeing how the other members (most of whom are liberal) would address it.

They basically spent the whole thread bashing Gibson for its business practices, the price of its guitars, etc. Someone even managed to bash the Bush administration in some left-field, tangential way.

It essentially confirmed what Rush Limbaugh always says: These people are liberals first.

CurtZHP on September 7, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Thanks for answering my question as to why the heck musicians do not support the brand of instruments they use, which have great warranty and are of high quality. I have posted several times about Luna and she’s (the founder) is concerned about the economy because it does affect supplies-therefore no matter how awesome and beautiful they are, it seems musicians and pro artists do not come together and rock it out on DC for a protest.

That would draw some serious crowd.

Also thanks for the video clip it helped me understand the matter better.

ProudPalinFan on September 7, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Environmental Investigation Agency? Sounds like another blob of federal bloat we would be better off without.

novaculus on September 7, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Shameless Repost from the earlier Headline Thread on this

Speaking of Guitar Heroes, please send a healing beam to one of the great ones, Nashville’s Paul Yandell, who underwent lung surgery this morning. For many years Paul was Chet Atkins’ rhythm guitarist (and also his Musical Director), and he plays a mix of Gibsons, Gretschs, and other makes.

Chet Atkins of course played Gretsch guitars until Fred Gretsch sold the company to Baldwin Piano, and he later withdrew his endorsement due to quality control problems. Ironically it was Paul Yandell who would help Fred Gretsch’s nephew (also named Fred) regain control of the company in 1989!

Del Dolemonte on September 7, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Del Dolemonte on September 7, 2011 at 10:39 PM

‘You lie’, Henry J.

Kissmygrits on September 7, 2011 at 10:43 PM

In addition to those Republican lawmakers who have announced – motivated, it seems, by disrespect — that they will decline to attend…

Disappointing … Jake Tapper is usually better than this.

KS Rex on September 7, 2011 at 9:59 PM

I have no problem with that statement because deep down it is the truth and it is a lack of respect that is well deserved and earned. I am not in the habit of showing any respect to individuals who feel entitled to piss on me.

jdkchem on September 7, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Oh, this is going to be GREAT fun tomorrow night!

StarLady on September 7, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Otis Redding wrote and recorded RESPECT in 1965. Aretha Franklin’s version was released in 1967, I believe. I could be wrong.

Hazzard on September 7, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Nope. You are absolutely right. Redding himself was quoted as saying something to the effect that Franklin took the song and made it her own.

gryphon202 on September 7, 2011 at 11:40 PM

Powerful reminders in this story and the Solyndra story — Obama is as corrupt as anyone who has held that office since Nixon.

Jaibones on September 7, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Jaibones on September 7, 2011 at 11:54 PM

I think they are a bit of ahead of Nixon on corruption.

Wolftech on September 8, 2011 at 1:29 AM

Andrea Johnson, director of forest programs for the Environmental Investigation Agency in Washington, told National Public Radio…

I wonder if the airheads that get their info from NPR are capable of asking themselves if Gibson actually did the above, why haven’t they been charged? And why is it that a group of leftist morons, outside government, supposedly has detailed info about the…er…charges?

Nah. Never happen. Blissful stupidity and all.

MNHawk on September 8, 2011 at 7:30 AM

SC needs to bring Boeing.

INC on September 7, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Amen.

Christian Conservative on September 8, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Republicans will enjoy the spectacle of The One being confronted by a prominent victim of overregulation and Democrats will enjoy pounding on them for inviting someone to a major presidential speech whose company is under federal investigation . Everybody wins.

I don’t think Democrats are that proud of what Gibson is undergoing now. Of course they haven’t heard about it yet on either coast. Maybe Brian Williams will explain it to them.

Herb on September 8, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Powerful reminders in this story and the Solyndra story — Obama is as corrupt as anyone who has held that office since Nixon.
Jaibones on September 7, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Nixon at least had the best interest of the country at heart-just got caught up in power shenanigans.

Herb on September 8, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Well, I may have to DVR this!
Each member of congress should invite a small business owner with them. Then let them go into the hall afterwards and let them loose on the media.

mmcnamer1 on September 8, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Air Force One is a Boeing 747 There are two of them. I suspect Obama is shopping Airbus for a replacement.

seven on September 8, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Obama said his speech was urgent. Why didn’t he give it from the White Castle House 2 weeks ago when Congress was on vacation?

seven on September 8, 2011 at 1:24 PM