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Republicans Use Gibson Guitars To Mock Obama For Enforcing Import Laws

Well, this is charming. Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn is bringing Henry Juszkiewicz, the chief executive of Gibson Guitars, as her plus-one to President Obama’s jobs’ address tonight. In the absence of controversy, it might be an entertainingly quirky choice of a small businessman. But Gibson got raided on suspicion of illegally importing rosewood and ivory, and was raided in 2009 (the case hasn’t produced charges yet, but it’s ongoing), and Juszkiewicz has insisted that he’s the victim of an “outrageous abuse of federal power,” parlaying his business problems into a round of talk-radio appearances. Overregulation, as my esteemed colleage regularly points out, can be a problem. But I think super-restrictive occupational licensing, or say, zoning restrictions may restrict the American economy more than Henry Juszkiewicz’s desire to manufacture rosewood fretboards.

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