Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign and then in the speeches he’s given during his first few months in office, President Obama has gone out of his way to distance himself from the policies of the Bush administration on everything from the economy to diplomacy and the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. Yet, on a variety of issues, perhaps most notably the people being held in that facility, Obama’s position has been far closer to his predecessor’s than his campaign promises seemed to suggest.
The same now appears to be true for Obama’s pledge to create a more transparent White House. The Obama team is refusing to comply with a request to disclose a list of health industry officials who have visited the White House. In doing so, they’re embracing an argument previously employed by the Bush administration.
The catalyst for the refusal was a letter that government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent to the Secret Service asking to see the White House visiting records. In question were visits made by 18 health industry executives, including Billy Tauzin, a former congressman who’s now president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and William Weldon, the chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. CREW wanted to assess the impact these visits might be having on the current debate over healthcare reform.
In response, the organization received a letter from the Secret Service claiming that White House visitor logs are exempt from public disclosure laws. That’s the same argument the Bush administration used to block public access to the names of oil and coal industry players who came to the White House to meet with then-Vice President Cheney in 2001. CREW has now said it will file suit against the Obama administration in order to get the records released.
As the Plum Line’s Greg Sargent observes, the situation’s made all the more ironic by the fact that the Obama campaign Web site still boasts the president’s vow to make the government less secretive. It reads, “Release Presidential Records: Obama and Biden will nullify the Bush attempts to make the timely release of presidential records more difficult.”
Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.More Vincent Rossmeier.
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.
On March 21, 2010, the House voted to approve a healthcare bill intended to overhaul the system and guarantee Americans access to health insurance. The vote was 219 to 213. Problem solved? Hardly.