Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
We’re not economists, but none of this sounds very good. Faced with growing deficits, ballooning costs of Social Security, and a fixation on reckless tax cuts, Republicans have apparently devised a new have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too scheme that sounds too smoke and mirrors to be sound fiscal policy. According to the Washington Post, “Republican budget writers” think they’ve found a way to cut the deficit and also borrow billions more dollars to overhaul Social Security — just don’t count the billions of additional debt and move them “off-budget.”
Democratic senator Kent Conrad calls it “the theater of the absurd, where you spend money, but it doesn’t count, you borrow money, but you deny it. Republicans are becoming further and further detached from reality,” he told the Post.
” … Already, there are concerns that foreign creditors in particular are growing tired of the U.S. government’s constant need for cash, Conrad said. If lenders are reluctant to finance the president’s Social Security plan, interest rates may have to rise sharply to entice them to do so. That could harm the overall economy. ‘This is more than political blather,’ Conrad said. ‘This gets to the markets, and people who are in the markets can add and subtract.’”
Paul Krugman, who actually is an economist, has an even scarier warning: We’re turning into Argentina. In an interview, Krugman told Reuters he’s most concerned Bush will ignore the advice of economists and push through more tax cuts while also trying to privatize Social Security. ‘If you go back and you look at the sources of the blow-up of Argentine debt during the 1990s, one little-appreciated thing is that social security privatization was a important source of that expansion of debt,’ said Krugman. ‘So if you ask the question do we look like Argentina, the answer is a whole lot more than anyone is quite willing to admit at this point. We’ve become a banana republic.’”
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.More Geraldine Sealey.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.
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