Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
The (Newark) Star-Ledger is reporting that New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg was diagnosed with stomach cancer “within the last 24 hours” and that the 86-year-old Democrat expects to make a recovery and return to work quickly — and to seek re-election in 2014.
Lautenberg’s health has been the subject of considerable chatter and speculation in Garden State political circles since 2002, when he made an unexpected return to the Senate. (After three terms in office, he’d retired in 2000 — fearing a rough general election battle with then-Gov. Christine Todd Whitman — only to be tapped by state Democrats as their emergency replacement candidate when Sen. Robert Torricelli dropped out five weeks before the ’02 election.)
If he were to vacate his seat, the state’s new Republican governor, Christopher J. Christie, would appoint a successor, who would serve until a special election (which would coincide with the next regularly scheduled general election). The assumption among New Jersey insiders is that Christie would pick his lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, a former sheriff and federal prosecutor. Guadagno is the state’s first-ever lieutenant governor. Christie chose her to run with him after last June’s GOP primary, and her name appeared with his on the November ballot — so she’s yet to win a statewide primary or general election in her own right.
After Christie won last November, some Democrats in the state legislature made noise about changing the Senate succession law to either strip Christie of the ability to pick a successor or to speed up the special election after any appointment was made. Christie strongly opposed the move and it quickly fizzled, with Democrats fearing it would incite a voter backlash.
New Jersey’s last Republican senator was Nicholas Brady, who was appointed by Governor Tom Kean to replace Democrat Harrison Williams in 1982. Kean appointed Brady as a caretaker; he did not run for a full term that fall, when Lautenberg won the seat by defeating Republican Millicent Fenwick. The last Republican to win a Senate election in New Jersey was Clifford Case, back in 1972.
After Lautenberg returned to the Senate in ’02, several Democrats — including Reps. Steve Rothman and then-state Senator (and now Congressman) John Adler — began making moves to succeed him in 2008, believing he would be too old to run again. But Lautenberg thumbed his nose at them and ran anyway, drawing a last-minute primary challenge from Rep. Rob Andrews. But, with an assist from Sen. Bob Menendez, Lautenberg kept the state’s powerful county Democratic organizations in line and beat back Andrews’ challenge with ease.
Steve Kornacki writes about politics for Salon. Reach him by email at SKornacki@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @SteveKornackiMore Steve Kornacki.
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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