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After the election, without warning, the GOP in a party line vote failed to support a bill that had NRA written all over it. It's doubtful this signals a full fledged separation of the two organisations that have seemingly been joined at the hip for time immemorial. More likely a lovers spat complete with broken crockery and thrown silverware. But like any hurtful quarrel words have been spoken, trusts have been broken, oh they'll kiss and make up for sure, but things will never be the same again, those first few years of marital bliss might be a thing of the past.

More below the twisted entrails.

Every post needs a bullet right? As I remember this is a 223 WSSM, that's short for barrel burner.
Where was I?

Oh ya, the Sportsmen's Act also known as S. 3525 contained a few good things hunting and shooting related and also some really great things conservation related. Seventeen different parts altogether without any of the ambiguity of it's less well received second cousin that was the house version.

The NRA has been endorsing many portions of this bill for a long time and was one of it's biggest supporters from the right side of the spectrum. Crazed anti gun / anti hunting types have tried to eliminate lead in bullets via the EPA. Science via the Center for Disease control tells us the health affects of lead bullets are too small to even consider http://www.nssf.org/... and ammo for waterfowl which did affect wildlife is no longer sold. No it's not killing condors or raptor populations are increasing not declining. The act would have moved regulation of amo over to the US Fish and Wildlife Service where it rightly belongs.

Environmentalists and conservationists who like getting things done loved the investment in new wetlands especially and there were even some sweeteners for overseas endangered species. 98% of the monies from the duck stamp, which is the major source of funds for this act, goes to purchasing wetlands. Ecologically, a lot is happening in wetlands.

On the extreme right there were some who didn't like the idea of the government buying more public land and allowing greater access to existing lands. Truth be told they also maybe hate anything a bird watcher might like.

On the extreme left were the lovely folks who just hate anything hunting, fishing, or shooting related. No matter how much this bill would help to alleviate user conflicts at National Forests and BLM some are just reactionary on both ends of the political spectrum.

Before last month's election the bill was put on hold, so as not to give any assistance to Democratic sponsor of the bill Senator Testor who was in a close re election battle royale. Montana is the last great place for hunting and fishing in the lower 48, and people take these kinds of things real serious there. The NRA which always gives their support to the Republican if both contestants are anywhere near parity on things gun noticeably didn't take a stand on the Montana senate race.

Testor won by a little more than a whisker and the Republicans were not amused. So what did they do? They killed the Testor sponsored bill on a technicality. Claiming congress had no right to raise spending that wasn't offset through cuts elsewhere. The cost of acquiring wetlands was to be raised by raising the cost of the duck stamp all migrating waterfowl hunters purchase. A cost borne willingly by hunters, if we don't pay for conservation and protecting species no one else will.

Not only did the Republicans kill the bill they killed it without warning. Everyone was already popping the corks Monday afternoon, planning out how to marry the house and senate bill as quickly as possible. Was this a reaction of a pissed off GOP senate? Some think so.  What better way to fling a little poo around than to throw a wrench in the works of the signature bill of that fat farmer from eastern Montana with the funny haircut.
Senator John Testor, one of the best buds the hook and bullet crowd ever had.

Will hunters and shooters remember all this come election day? I doubt it, but the NRA might. They'll still be BFF, but they'll be looking at each other in a different way.

Originally posted to ban nock at DKos on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Hunting and Fishing Kos and Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oil etc. trumps guns every time. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, IndieGuy, BlackSheep1, ER Doc

    This wasn't about the huntin and fishin and stuff.  It was about Big Oil and Big Gas etc. taking over and raping the land to make as much money as possible.

    They have more money than the NRA, so they win.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:10:16 AM PST

  •  Republicans had "cover," so to speak... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Dogs are fuzzy, ban nock, ER Doc

    ...they can simply tell the NRA that, with the results of the election and all (i.e. a "hostile" White House and more "hostile" Senate)...it was unrealistic to pursue this.

    Don't forget...Republicans are expert con artists. They know how to twist and turn everything to their tactical advantage (fortunately for us Democrats, they're not as equally adept at twisting everything to their long-term strategic advanted...but it's in the nature of con men to think short-term anyway, isn't it?)

  •  Having worked with a pro-hunting group, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, Dogs are fuzzy

    I got the distinct impression the NRA is a lot more about handguns and militias. Sportsmen and -women are far down their list, and they never help out with issues that aren't directly gun-related such as land use and access, CRP, anti-hunting bills, and such.

    It wasn't uncommon for the NRA to endorse the candidate we opposed; many times it seemed simply because of the (R).

    •  Actually they are the largest most powerful (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, Robobagpiper, KVoimakas, ER Doc

      supporter of issues hunting. They work more on defeating anti hunting laws than on land access.

      There is also a large recreational shooter crowd that aren't necessarily self defenders that cross over into hunting too.

      I don't like the NRA's support of Rs, and how that affects health care, gay rights, income inequality, etc. but on most issues hunting they are right on. Similarly people like the Safari Club, I mean high fence shooting is something most public land wilderness hunters abhor, but if they support public land hunting I see no benefit on turning away assistance.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:54:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The NRA is about shooting, not habitat, etc (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        Here in Maine, the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine (SAM) is the 800 lb gorilla when it comes to sportsmen's issues.  It is very active in all phases of what I think of as support for hunting: advocacy, hunter training, shooting, access, and habitat protection/enhancement.  The guys (and a few women) that are manning the various events or testifying at the state and local level are generally NRA members, but they are there as representative of some other organization.  The NRA really should not get the credit.  Similarly, my DU committee members are mostly NRA members too, but when we hold fundraisers, work on habitat, testify, etc. we are not there representing the NRA in any respect.  Clearly, the NRA isn't anti-hunting, but the full package of what it takes to support hunting is not where they are putting their effort.  Even the training work that they did when I was a kid seems to have gone by the wayside.  

        •  ban noc, salmo's got it nailed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldpunk, PavePusher

          sorry for the late reply, your diary just hit "my page".

          I think there's a lot of validity to the GOP hit at Tester, due as-much if not more to John and the stalled Farm Bill, and the prior session's Tester Amendment.
          The Sportsmen's Act was just the convenient "weapon of opportunity" and they can point to "environmental concerns" and "fiscal responsibility".
          Odd from the pro-Keystone XL, subsidize Corn Ethanol crowd, no?  As you pointed out, Duck Stamp and Pittman-Robertson Act excise tax money FUNDS conservation - not Congress.

          The Tester and Hagan Amendments were opposed by Big Ag, as it removed thousands of dollars of compliance fees from small family farms, who don't co-mingle products, and sell within a regional market area.  Thus, product accountability is a matter of reading a label and knowing where the product is sourced.  Don't fix, whut ain't broke.

          "UNFAIR!" cried Big Ag, and you have a lot of major corporations (who've been linked to food borne illnesses) hating on John and Kay because of this.
          The wikipedia synopsis (far shorter than legislation):

          Senators Jon Tester and Kay Hagan sponsored two amendments that removed vital local food growers and processors from federal oversight, leaving them –as they currently are – within the existing regulatory framework of state and local health and sanitation laws and rules.[23]
          The amendment will offer protections for operations (a.k.a. “qualified facilities”) that make less than $500,000 a year and sell most (greater than 50%) of their products directly to consumers in the same state and within a 400-mile radius.[24] The amendment also applies to all operations that the FDA classified as a "very small business." Small, local farmers would not necessarily need to comply with some of the requirements and produce safety regulations implemented under S. 510.[24] Instead, these small-scale producers (like those who sell their goods at farmers' markets or roadside stands) would continue to be regulated by local and state entities. In addition, consumers would know whom they are buying from either by direct sales or clear labeling .[24]
          Farmers who qualify must provide documentation that the farm is in compliance with state regulations.Documentation may include licenses, inspection reports, or other evidence that the farm is in compliance with State, local, county, or other applicable non-Federal food safety law.[25] The farm must also prominently and conspicuously display the name and address of farm/facility on its label. For foods without a label then by poster, sign, or placard, at the point of purchase or, in the case of Internet sales, in an electronic notice, or in the case of sales to stores and restaurants, on the invoice.[25]
    •  NRA's about militias? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      Since when?

  •  Halted for now. (6+ / 0-)

    Not dead.  If S 3525 passes, all will be forgiven and forgotten.  On the other hand, I am impressed that 49 Senate Democrats came together to expand gun rights.

  •  What is it, the week for dickishness? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, Robobagpiper

    You've got the GOP bound and determine to piss off 2 million gun owners over $14 million and now you've got this guy who literally comes out and says that he's in favor of screwing over an oyster farmer because...well...not doing so would set a precedent for not being a dick.

    •  The oyster farm post you linked is extremely (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pete Cortez, KenBee, ER Doc

      interesting, and I'd urge all to go read it.

      The reason R L Miller is against the farm is that it would set a precedent for private business on Wilderness.

      For me what is far more interesting is the strong split amongst the left side of the political spectrum. Usually all Californians are strongly in favor of any and all Wilderness areas. They care little if some family ranch or guiding operation or whatever is hurt. Yet in this case, when it's close to home, and producing the oysters they like to eat, they see things differently.

      I like the issue in hopes that it will cause people to give pause and think about how their decisions about public land use might have severe affects on local human populations. I am generally in favor of Wilderness designations, but I think doing so can be overly restrictive. I'd rather see issues reviewed periodically and changed if situations warrant it.

      Should my support of Wilderness dictate what is done in a place I'll never see? Shouldn't someone who lives down the road and spends time in that bay daily and who knows far more about the situation than I do have greater influence in the discussion?

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 10:10:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, Pete Cortez, a precedent letting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      ag industrial operations into national sanctuaries. Different kettle of fish, and I hope that @$$h0l3 loses his Koch-buddy-lawyer's suit, forthwith and with all possible prejudice.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 12:14:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

        The operation was already present; had been since before the creation of seashore.  It enjoyed immense popularity and it's impact on the environment was manageable.  And more importantly, Congress gave Interior the power to make exceptions on a case by case basis in this one reserve.  All this talk about precedents is a crock, an attempt by people to justify a despicable act of overreach.

        •  Bullshit. The operation SOLD after the FIRST (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock

          license ended -- the buyer bet on an extension then didn't get it.
          Sux to be him.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 12:26:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, ain't that something. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock

            Man bets his government won't screw him over.  Government screws him over.  What a rube.

            You keep obsessing over the fact that Lunny purchased the operation recently.  As if that has shit to do with anything.  Why is that?

          •  That came off harsh is probably undeserved. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock

            But I do have to ask you put yourself in this guy's shoes.  You buy a business that's popular locally and politically; popular enough that your senior Senator seeks and wins a 10 year exemption contingent upon an EIR that finds your presence to be of no substantial risk to the ecology.  You run it pretty well, you have thirty employees, and presumably the belief that your government is fair and flexible enough to work with you.

            And then they come back and say "pack it up."

            So far, the most poignant arguments coming from the people defending this decision are:

            1. "Well, he hired a Koch lawyer!"
            2. "Koch wants to move in on nature reserves!"
            3. He knew that government was bound to screw him over one day, so sucks to be him.

            Is that the sort of image of government we want to project?  We both live or have lived in Western states.  Remember that some of the most regular complaints we  hear from conservatives--our neighbors, fellow hunters, colleagues--are about DC meddling in Western land matters.  Wouldn't it go a long way to show that Washington can be flexible?  Do you think anything about this incident does anything to improve the image of Washington and Democrats out here?

          •  In any case, I'm derailing ban nock's diary. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock

            Let's continue this over in the appropriate one.

      •  It is to be Wilderness, not a national sanctuary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1, ER Doc

        I'm not aware of a designation called sanctuary. There is a Wildlife Refuge System that is federal and does allow some commercial use through a permitting process.

        Wilderness is a more stringent designation which doesn't permit any sort of mechanized use, like wheel barrows, or mountain bikes.

        The current DOI especially it's director Salazar has been perhaps more protective of these areas than other administrations, not allowing bike road races for instance on hard surface road in the newly monumented CO monument.

        I'm sympathetic to the opinions of locals that run strongly in favor of the oyster farm, yet I understand the reasoning behind strict rules for Wilderness. I only wish people were as sensitive to the concerns of locals for other Wilderness designations such as the current Arkansas River area in southern Colorado.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 12:42:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hunring and Fishing are a very important part of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, ER Doc

    my life.  I belong to Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever.
    The NRA can go fuck themselves

    The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

    by bgblcklab1 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 04:19:53 PM PST

    •  I just realized tonight after hearing from a duck (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, bgblcklab1

      hunter over on mindful carnivore that the act would have added quite a bit to a duck stamp. Increase from 10 to 25 or something. Not insignificant for regular people. Mostly it would  have been you bird folks paying the price for a lot of the wetland and endangered species sweeteners in the act. Never heard a word of complaint from the duck folks, which I think is kind of generous, and I'd just like to say thank you to a bird hunter. I know it's not going to pass but your generosity is appreciated.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:17:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Definition of a fanatic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    "One who redoubles his efforts having forgotten his aims".

    The NRA actively opposes candidates who are the better choice for the NRA's stated aims.

    •  Was odd that NRA didn't endorse Tester (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, we made no endorsement in the Senate race in 2012, despite the fact that both Tester and his opponent were A-ranked and NRA-PVF has a clear incumbent policy.

      But what's really odd is the lack of reporting in the weeks leading up to the election and afterwards on this.  

      •  yes, the NRA has been noticeably silent over (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PavePusher

        quite a few things of late. I think they and other portions of the GOP are having a quiet behind the scened re assessment of just what the heck is going on.

        The right side of the political spectrum has been kind of nutty of late, they probably are finding that detrimental to them in many ways they hadn't considered.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 06:27:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Only thing I can think of is the nomination record (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PavePusher

        A senator's nomination vote record is considered, but not given much weight.  Even if Baucus and Tester were instrumental in getting the Administration to back off further restrictions, that would carry even less weight than their votes to nominate the usual suspects.  In fact, this may explain NRA's lower rate of endorsement of Democratic incumbents in the Senate this cycle (more precisely, the significantly higher rate of withholding  endorsement altogether).

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