Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
There is going to be a lot of focus on Sarah Palin in War Room today because — let’s be honest — talking about the nation’s financial situation is far too depressing and, of course, it’s not every day that we have a vice-presidential debate featuring Sarah Palin!
As an opening salvo, consider this surreal possibility: By now, in the wake of the release of the Katie Couric interviews, expectations for Palin’s performance Thursday night are so low that the Alaska governor will have to really muck things up to fail to meet such low expectations. In case you have been living in a cave the past 24 hours and haven’t seen it already, here is the video of Palin failing to name a single Supreme Court case other than Roe v. Wade to which she objects:
Watching her response makes one wonder if Palin could have cited a single case if Couric had followed up by asking, conversely, if the moose-dressing governor could name a Supreme Court ruling with which she agreed. (Perhaps Palin would have cited Bush v. Gore, the decision that catapulted another incurious person who knows little to nothing about public affairs into national office.)
At the risk of coming to Palin’s aid, here is a more charitable view of her answer: In the post-William Rehnquist era in which Palin has come of age, there just aren’t that many recent Supreme Court rulings for conservatives to oppose. Indeed, though conservatives whine about “judge-made” law and the “liberal, activist” court, as scholars like Thomas Keck have chronicled, the fact is that the court these past three decades has been an activist but conservative court — overturning legislative precedents at “unprecedented” rates.
Though they will continue to whine anyway, facts be damned, there just aren’t many Supreme Court rulings of late that conservatives like Palin can complain about.
Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.More Thomas Schaller.
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.