Andy Warhol's 'Moon Walk' from the NASA collection
"Robert Rauschenberg is kept there, and Norman Rockwell too. In their vast vault you can find Andy Warhol stored alongside Annie Leibovitz in an Indiana Jones style seemingly random warehouse of 3000 art treasures of invaluable worth. The trove of treasure has been growing for fifty years, and it was one of Washington's best kept secrets up until two weeks ago when NASA made the foolish mistake of temporarily going public with their priceless collection. Now following an opening salvo by Michele Bachman at this weekend's RightOnLine conservative gathering, all hell has broken loose.
"Forget the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting," Bachmann told the adoring throng. "This is an art crime of a much more insidious nature. As opposed to the NEA, which at least purports to be doing something in the public interest, NASA is actually using scarce taxpayer dollars to purchase art for their own private enjoyment. And even more disturbing is the fact that word is starting to leak out that they are not the only agency engaging in this illegitimate practice. Works by high priced painters and photographers, and for all we know at this point, there might even be sculpture involved. In reality, this is the people's art and the people demand that it all be hauled down to Sotheby's for immediate liquidation."
"We've got a little saying in Texas," Texas Governor Rick Perry, said at the final day of the Republican Leadership Conference, picking up on Bachmann's lead. "A man who spends money on art is a man to keep an eye on, if he's a man at all. The fact is that NASA isn't a man, and they seem intent on proving that by squandering our money on a bunch of pictures. A picture has never met a payroll. Not one American job has ever been created by a picture, although as Anthony Weiner can tell you, one sure as heck has been lost by a picture. And if I run for president, I'm going to see to it that a lot more jobs are lost because of pictures, starting with these bobbleheads who have been bankrupting NASA."
"There are a lot of American people who can't afford their own Rauschenberg," Mitt Romney responded reasonably. "I myself never owned one up until about seven years ago, and let me tell you quite honestly, America cannot afford a habit of this nature. Now I'm going to make a charitable assumption and say that NASA has been buying these items as an investment, because everybody knows that art is an excellent investment. Perhaps they anticipated the dire financial crisis that lay ahead, and realize that now would be the right time to sell, allowing these pieces to pass into the hands of wealthy personal collectors who have sufficient funds to squander and into corporate boardroom where they can do a lot to brighten up a room. That would be the proper thing for NASA to do, because I'd love to get my hands on that Warhol moon man."
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