Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama And The NEA - Corruption As Art

Andrew Breitbart promised us another scoop 'from out of left field' and he appears to have delivered.

This was telegraphed about two weeks ago as highlighted in Must Reads on this site.

What we have here, essentially, is pay for play, utilizing grant money provided by the taxpayers through the NEA to coerce and/or reward artists willing to push a partisan agenda.

As you listen to the audio Breitbart has collected, one thing becomes crystal clear. The NEA and the White House found themselves a handpicked, pro-Obama arts group and encouraged them to create art that supported the Obama Administration's agenda on national issues such a health care.

Back when Breitbart first broke this in the beginning of September, both the NEA and the Obama Administration issued choreographed denials.

Both of them stated that the conference call 'was not intended to promote any legislative agenda.'

At that point,the dinosaur media might have been expected to investigate further,if they had even a semblance of ethics or professionalism. If they had, Breitbart wouldn't have had his scoop.But then, he obviously knew whom he was dealing with.

As the full transcript and the audio reveal, the NEA participated in what was definitely an attempt to nudge and influence artists to use NEA grant money to create art that amounted to propaganda for Obama's political agenda.

So...were any laws broken? Maybe.

The obvious one is the same principle involved with Obama's covert deal with Big Pharma, the campaign finance laws involved that regulate campaign finance reporting and sources. In the case of the pharmaceutical companies, Obama essentially received $150 million in unreported campaign donations in exchange for prohibiting his government run healthcare from bargaining with the drug companies to get lower volume prices on drugs for the American people, import drugs from Canada or pursue Medicare rebates or to shift some drugs from to different Medicare plans, saving Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.

In the case of the NEA,it appears that the White House received contributions in kind ( the artist's output) which were in turn subsidized by the taxpayers...again,without reporting it as campaign contributions in violation of the law.

These's also the matter of federal criminal law, 18 U.S.C. 600:

Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

If a federal agency (the NEA) is implicitly promising government funding for artists in exchange for “art” promoting the President’s political agenda, this would apply.

There also is a decent case for a violation of the Hatch Act. Section B of 5 U.S.C. 7323 states that:

(a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b), an employee may take an active part in political management or in political campaigns, except an employee may not— . . . (4) knowingly solicit or discourage the participation in any political activity of any person who – (A) has an application for any compensation, grant, contract, ruling, license, permit, or certificate pending before the employing office of such employee.

There's also 5 U.S.C. 7324 which says : “(a) An employee may not engage in political activity – (1) while the employee is on duty.”

Of course. a broken law is like the proverbial tree falling in the forest. If nobody investigates or prosecutes anyone, it's like it never happened. And the odds of Eric Holder looking into this particular matter or the ACORN scandal are non-existent unless Congress demands a real prosecutor with teeth to determine who knew what and when they knew it.

Obama’s campaign deliberately sabotaged the VISA verification software for his campaign website and appears to have received millions in illegal foreign donations - they weren't even audited by the Federal Election Commission and absolutely nothing happened.

The Obama administration subverted bankruptcy laws by taking over two large corporations and passing the assets over to their political allies. Again, nothing happened.

And there's the still undefined,murky connection between Rahm Emmanuel, ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and the apparent selling of Obama's vacant Senate seat to Roland Burris, one of his fundraisers. Blagojevich was impeached, but is still out of jail and likely to remain so since he's more or less keeping his mouth shut about any dealings with the White House and the chief federal witness against him just died of - wait for it - a sudden aspirin overdose.

As tasty as Andrew Breitbart's assaults on ACORN, the NEA, Obama and big media have been, the real story is whether Congress is going to be so repulsed by what's going on in this administration that they're going to demand some real answers and accountability.

I wouldn't count on it, at least until the midterms are over next year.

When Richard Nixon was suspected of obstruction of justice for trying to cover up a simple breaking and entering bust that happened without his knowledge, it was the Republicans, led by Barry Goldwater who marched in a body to the White House and forced him to resign.

When Bill Clinton was actually indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice and actually impeached by the House, it was the Senate Democrats that refused to vote for an impeachment under any circumstances and allowed him to be the first felon ever to finish his term in the White House.

It sometimes seems like there isn't much difference between the two parties, I'll grant you. But every now and then, the difference makes itself known.

1 comment:

ahrcanum said...

Maybe Congress will repulsed during the next election when many of the voters realize that President Obama's agenda has been far from his promise of transparency. A great post here connecting the dots on our deteriorating political and jucicial systems.