Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Senate Majority leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is itching to go all in — force a showdown over a handful of stalled judicial nominees, play the nuclear option and eliminate the filibuster. After some D.C. chatter last week that Frist was rethinking the radical strategy (a Washington Post/ABC poll showed it’s a loser with most voters), Frist, waving off talk of a compromise, announced the showdown is all but certain for next week, and that Texas Supreme court justice Priscilla Owen will likely serve as the nominee who will set the confrontation in motion.
“We need to turn to 100 United States senators and move to the issue surrounding judges,” Dr. Frist told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It is just wrong that we do not allow her, after four years, that courtesy of an up-or-down vote,” Frist told reporters. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., shot back, ”I want to be clear: We are prepared for a vote on the nuclear option. Democrats will join responsible Republicans in a vote to uphold the constitutional principle of checks and balances.”
Indeed, it’s still unclear if Frist has the votes to push the nuclear option through as a handful of the Senate’s 55 Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have already peeled away from the party over the nuclear option. According to the Associated Press, “McCain told fellow GOP senators at their closed-door weekly lunch that he believes Democrats will agree to a deal allowing confirmation votes on nearly all of the seven judicial candidates they blocked during Bush’s first term. Democrats want their right to filibuster judicial appointees as part of any compromise.”
As today’s Christian Science Monitor notes, “Bill Frist is heading into defining days for his leadership of the US Senate — and future in politics — as he decides when, and if, to pull the trigger on the so-called ‘nuclear option’ on judicial nominees.”
Of course, how the showdown is portrayed in the press will be crucial to determining the political winner over filibusters. With that in mind, the GOP has to be happy with today’s New York Times’ take on the news. The paper’s headline “Democrats Reject a Compromise on Judicial Nominees,” clearly casts the Democrats as the obstructionists, even though the compromise the Times trumpeted as being rejected was actually floated by Republicans — and dismissed by Democrats as meaningless — last month. (It apparently became the subject of the headline because yesterday Reid “formally” rejected it in a letter to Frist.) And while the Times quotes Frist high up in the story saying it’s wrong not to have up-or-down votes in the Senate, the Times waits ten paragraphs before referencing the fact that dozens of President Clinton’s judicial picks were denied that very courtesy.
Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for Salon, is the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."More Eric Boehlert.
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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