Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Senator Ben Nelson has not yet decided whether or not to run for reelection. Consider this my open letter to the distinguished Democrat from Nebraska: Please, please, I beg you, Senator Ben Nelson, do not run for reelection.
“I’ll sit down with my family to discuss the future,” Nelson said Tuesday during a telephone interview. “They are my sounding board. I value what they say.”
Nelson said he will weigh his family’s views along with a personal judgment on “whether I believe I have a role to play in dealing with a very divided Congress in a very divided country, whether I could be constructive in finding some solutions, whether I am convinced I can be a positive force for the following six years.”
Senator Nelson, you have never been a “positive force” during your time in office thus far, and it seems unlikely that you will become one at any point in the next six years.
Please, retire quietly, or even with an alternately self-righteous and self-pitying editorial about the death of “bipartisanship” and “civility” and “Senate decorum.” Promise to devote yourself to good deeds outside of office and then get rich lobbying for the corporate interests that currently sponsor you, I don’t care. Just get out of office, because you are horrible. You’re a miserable excuse for a senator. You have made millions of people’s lives worse in real and tangible ways, and you will continue to do so as long as you remain in the United States Senate.
You opposed capping ATM fees because you are so old and rich and stupid that you have never used an ATM. “I know about the holograms,” you said in your defense, because you’re a useless fool.
You joined the cadre of “centrist” Democrats who attempted to sabotage every major legislative priority of the Democratic Congressional majority, and you went back and forth on the public option before definitively coming out against it and the hugely popular “Medicare buy-in” compromise. Then you won a sweetheart Medicaid funding deal solely for Nebraska that almost killed the entire healthcare reform bill and led to everyone in the country calling you venal and corrupt.
And you opposed a measure to stop federally subsidizing usurious private student loan providers — calling a money-saving anti-corporate welfare proposal “a government takeover of student lending” — because you think representing the interests of usurious lending institutions that donate millions to your campaigns is actually an example “being constructive” and “finding solutions.”
You supported the Stupak Amendment, voted for the anti-gay marriage amendment, and supported the Iraq war. You supported both horrible, wasteful Bush tax cuts.
You have no major legislative accomplishments, either. Not one! I can’t name a single important bill you ever sponsored or co-sponsored and I suspect most other longtime Senate observers could, either. You are a failure as a Senator with no legacy to speak of beyond trolling your own party, repeatedly.
Consider this an official endorsement of your retirement from politics. Please go crawl into a hole.
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @pareeneMore Alex Pareene.
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.