Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today's NEA: LBJ Would Be Proud!

Most people who know LBJ, know he was successful [at getting his way] because he managed through intimation. We often hear about a new era of FDR and JFK. I believe there is the shadow of LBJ, not JFK nor FDR taking shape here. However, I wonder how LBJ would have liked the idea of using his NEA as a tool? The NEA? Always, a curious observation, many of us in this county kick and scream when we see tyranny and abuse of power. An old cliche comes to mind: The ends justify the means. Too often, the problem is people only consider the opposing side tyrannical. They cannot fathom the idea that their own action may itself be an abuse of power. When President George W. Bush reduced the liberties afforded by the Constitution, which is the law, there was outcry by some. There was indifference by others. Some people would trade security for liberty. Ben Franklin suggested that if you gave up the first, you deserved neither. However, these safety minded soccer moms could sleep knowing Big Brother was protecting them from evil doers. Whether or not this was actually true or not, or whether one could actually determine this, or if one could even ask was beside the point. One simply felt better and that was all that mattered. Today, in our current administration, we are building and establishing of state owned enterprises, state sponsorships, and even state owned student loans. Irritate the government and risk your entitlement and future. It's a damn slippery slope. We have the current administration with two standards. One for their own outreach of information and one that will investigate those that will oppose it. Equal and fair enforcement of the law is not occurring. Ironic. However, under the previous administration in 2003, congress did make changes to Medicare for prescription drugs, which are unfunded to the tune of something in the neighborhood $725 billion for 10 years, depending on who's numbers are to believed. Ten Years. How will we cut costs and increase benefits simultaneously? Yet this administration is investigating Humana for scaring seniors? Perhaps more than seniors should be outraged rather than scared for not being leveled with in the first place? At least the insurance companies, such as Humana are compelled by law to set aside cash reserves to pay for their obligations. Does the treasury do this for Medicare? Who will pay for these programs and how? But on to the truth police and the dispensing of information and how best to do it. There was this conference call and some things were said.

Consider Buffy Wicks — former Obama campaign activist, now White House staffer:

We won and that’s exciting and now we have to take all that energy and make it really meaningful. I’m in the White House now and what I’ve learned is that change doesn't come easy, but now that I’m actually in the White House and working towards furthering this agenda, this very aggressive agenda, I’m really realizing that… we’re going to need your help, and we’re going to come at you with some specific asks here.

We wanted folks to connect with local nonprofit organizations in their community. We wanted them to connect with local city council members or local elected officials. We wanted them to connect with federal agencies, with labor unions, progressive groups, face groups, women’s groups, you name it.

Then we have Yosi Sergant, the NEA offical who is perfectly in sync with our President's pledge of no lobbyists. If this is not illegal, it is at least sleazy. But he was apparently the sacrificed lamb so to speak, and as a result of this call? Well, he got re-assigned. You can read this link. All that effective work doing community outreach with MoveOn, RockTheVote - gone. Apparently over a conference call. Makes you wonder who is not corrupt. Those means are being justified.

We fought for a chance to be at the table and not only at the table but we’re setting the table. And now [we're setting] the official rule of the National Endowment for the Arts, as director of communication and say, we here at the NEA are extremely proud to participate in the president’s United We Serve initiative.

This is a chance to partner with the White House. … This is just the beginning. … We are just now leaning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government. What this looks like legally, we’re still trying to figure out the laws...

Whether it is an Evangelical christian visiting the White House for prayer or an artist receiving funding and being shaken down, there has to be limits. There is right from wrong after all? Where have our standards gone?

You can read the transcript here.

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