Hunter Biden artwork attracts ethics scrutiny

Of course the Pubbies are going to fling shit around and their moronic base will eat it up.
But there are also swing voters who can distinguish between bullshit and real scandals.

And I’ve lost track of who’s said what in this thread, but what would you propose as a remedy? Nobody related to the President should ever be allowed to earn any money? How far out does that go? Second cousins? What about close friends? How about if you were the President’s best friend in second grade but haven’t spoken to him since? Are you allowed to have a job then? Maybe everyone from the President’s home State should be forbidden to engage in any form of commerce, just to avoid any appearance of impropriety?

Like, not to be snarky (well, not just to be snarky), what are you asking for here? Are you saying that Hunter had bad judgment in doing this thing that Fox can spin into looking corrupt? Well, that’s arguable. Are you saying Joe should have advised him not to do it? Maybe he did; we have no way of knowing.

Are you suggesting that, instead of pointing out that this manufactured “scandal” is complete BS, it would be better political strategy for Democrats to join in attacking the President over this issue? I respectfully disagree.

The price of art depends greatly on who the artist is. Famous artists get to sell their stuff for more money, even if what they’re famous for has nothing to do with art. This is not news.

Check out this John Lennon doodle that sold for $109,000. It’s pretty crappy. I wouldn’t pay $109,000 for it, and if I found it lying in the street and didn’t know who’d done it, I wouldn’t bother to pick it up.

But if you gave it to me as a gift, I would be totally stoked, put in a nice frame and display it prominently, because John Lennon was awesome and I would be happy to have this small tangible connection to him.

I confess that, like you, I find it hard to imagine who would feel that kind of enthusiasm for Hunter Biden. But there are a lot of rich liberals out there, and he only needs to find a few of them who are that particular type of weird. Maybe they think it is an investment and will appreciate in value? Doubtful IMO, but people make bad investments all day every day.

Unless you START from the assumption that the Bidens are crooks, I don’t see any reason to think this is some sort of scam to violate campaign finance laws. Sure, it potentially could be, but so could literally any instance of anyone associated with the President earning money.

I’m curious, do the people who have a problem with this think Chelsea Clinton’s book deal for a nondisclosed but presumably very large sum of money was a problem? Or do you think she got that based solely on the objective quality of her writing?

Why are folks in this thread going on about theoretical influence peddling instead of actually doing it? You have a once in a lifetime opportunity here folks! For somewhere south of $100k you can own a piece of mediocre art that has the bonus effect of making the current President of the United States absolutely beholden to your wishes! When has there ever been such a bargain? (I mean, Trump would sell the whole damn country out for a cheeseburger from McDonalds but with his ADD he can’t be counted on to actually get stuff done so you’d have wasted a dollar and a cheeseburger for nothing.) Good old Sleepy Joe has nothing better to do than fulfill your wishes! One painting, at a price far less than that of a single Tomahawk missile and you can get Biden to overthrow the regime of your choice! Got political opponents? He’ll sic Killary on them! All you have to do is buy the painting! You could even tell Biden you’re going to piss on it after you leave the White House (which is partially yours now because of your generous “donation” to the Failson Fund) and he’s just going to have to nod sagely in abject humiliation! What a deal!

Again, I don’t want to get back into the circular arguments in this thread about ethics and influence peddling, but I am curious about the actual mechanics of the sales, which has been kind of glossed over by everybody. To get back to this,

How, exactly, does the “blind sales” arrangement differ from the usual practice of private art sales?

You’ve also claimed,

In what way are the “donors names” being “kept secret”? If Hunter Biden were selling his artwork through normal private sales practices, would there be a public record of the buyers’ names? How, exactly, does the “blind sales” arrangement shield buyers’ identity from the public - and how, exactly, does that differ from normal private art sales practice?

Now this is a work of art!

Well, the emails turned out to be not that bad, although it was a very real issue. Turned out that a LOT of congressmen, etc all did the same thing. Not that give Mrs. Clinton a pass.

But what is the solution? Besides of course lining up all the Fox news and Conservative Radio talk show hosts against the wall?

I think the Dems should deal with the reality of the situation. Nitpicking about rules and laws are for the lawyers to do in the courtroom. Politicians are elected by the court of public opinion. The Dems need to placate the public as much as possible. Obviously they can’t convince all the morons and conspiracy nuts, but they can come up with messages that address the concerns of the general public rather than some things that a lawyer might present in a court case.

For the paintings, I think the WH should have messaging like:

  • “We have directed the ethics office to proactively look for conflict of interests with regards to buyers and WH policies”
  • “Should any WH staff learn of any buyer attempting to curry favor with this administration, the staff has been directed to inform the ethics office immediately. The President himself set this policy and will do the same if anyone approaches him directly or indirectly.”
  • “If any buyer is hoping to buy influence with their purchase, all they’re going to end up with is a beautiful painting to hang on the wall.”

Things like that will show that they are taking the potential for influence buying seriously. They should not try to get the public to forget about it because the politicians said it’s nothing to worry about and the public should just trust the politicians. They should show that they do worry about undue influence and are actively working to prevent it. It won’t prevent all morons from latching onto it, but it can help lessen the impact and limit how long the RW can churn over it.

Yeah, I see no reason to attribute any motivation to Hillary more nefarious than “I’m old and don’t want to figure out how computers work”. And as you point out she was far from the only offender. Still, it was an actual security risk.

I think that’s exactly what they’ve done with the blind sale arrangement. Sure, it could theoretically be circumvented fairly easily, but I think they’ve done all they reasonably can in that area.

The messaging you suggest – acknowledging the potential for conflicts of interest and explaining how you’re addressing them – would be helpful if this became a real issue. So far, I haven’t heard anything about this issue anywhere other than this thread. I think the WH making an official statement right now would only draw attention to the “controversy” and increase the risk that it will spread from the Breitbart bubble into the mainstream population.

Yes, and a black mark against her, no doubt. Compared to the 10000 black marks on trump.

I heard someone that’s involved in this made-up controversy interviewed on NBC last night. When Lester Holt asked the money question ………how do you think this situation should be handled - do you have a better idea?….all he could come up with was “Joe should tell his son he can’t sell his artwork until he leaves office.

The idea of “blinding” the sales is based on the idea of the blind trust, the time-honored method in which businesspeople who go into public service manage their portfolios. I agree that the concept doesn’t translate well to non-monetary portfolios — but to hear Republicans complain that the “blind trust” concept is corrupt, that’s the height of gaslighting.

Have any of ever considered that Joe Biden has been in public service for 50 years, and no one ever questioned his son’s qualifications for his livelihood until Donald Trump conspired to have him imprisoned and tortured in a foreign country?

The same nonsensical idea was advanced in this thread as well.

This is threadshitting. This is an official warning.

[This warning has been reversed]

Who the hell knows what artwork deserves what price? Barnet Newman would paint a stripe on a solid color background and sell it for millions.

People often forget that artists who are currently recognized as being successful and whose art work fetches astronomical prices from collectors, never experienced the recognition or wealth in their own lifetime. Newman wasn’t recognized for his contributions to art until his 60’s, in the last years of his life.

But there are also a very large number of highly successful artists alive today who command prices far higher than what Hunter is expected to get. Koons, Banksy, Donnelly, Hockney, Cecily Brown, Hirst, Oehlen, Wool, Mehretu, Saville, and hundreds of others are still breathing and making money and some of them aren’t even particularly old. Hell, even Richter and Johns are still alive and kicking.

That is certainly true. And I’m not sure how long Hunter Biden has been making art. Certainly he benefits from name recognition so art galleries and brokers would have expressed an interest in his work if it was available and worthy of attention before now. Perhaps they have been and we simply don’t know the full story about his artistic endeavors and merits.

Or, maybe, just maybe, and I’m just spit-balling here, the art dealer who is marketing Hunter Biden’s artwork on commission is ever so slightly inflating the proposed asking prices, to pump up the artworks’ value and his own importance before the artwork hits the market? I mean, I know pre-sales hype and price pumping almost never happen, but maybe just this once it might be the case?
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