Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Newt Gingrich’s “path to the nomination” is basically a Billy-from-The Family Circus-style dotted line through his rich fantasy life, but he’s remaining in the race for the time being, because he performs well in the Old South, where likely nominee Mitt Romney does not. There is also a weird casino billionaire who keeps funding his campaign, maybe in part because he thinks it aids Mitt Romney by hurting Rick Santorum.
Well, Newt Gingrich remaining in the race might be hurting Rick Santorum, but by no means would Rick Santorum be winning if Gingrich wasn’t around. Give Santorum all of Gingrich’s delegates, he’s still losing to Mitt Romney. More realistically, as Nate Silver wrote earlier this morning, no Newt would mean more delegates for Rick and Mitt.
Still, Newt’s excuse for remaining in the race (besides as a means of confounding the “elite” who are terrified of his multitude of big ideas) is that the GOP nominee needs to win the South, and only he can win the South. He is basically campaigning right now solely to win Mississippi and Alabama next Tuesday.
But polls now show Mitt Romney beating Gingrich in Alabama. Alabama State University’s Center for Leadership and Public Policy has 22.7 percent for Santorum, 18.7 percent for Romney, and 13.8 percent for Gingrich. The Alabama Education Association has Romney winning at 31 percent with Gingrich 10 points back.
I haven’t seen any recent polls in Mississippi, but Rick Santorum’s super PAC is spending big in both states.
Losing either Alabama or Mississippi — or both — would be bad news for what everyone has taken to calling Newt Gingrich’s “Southern Strategy.” (I am guessing half the people mentioning Newt’s “Southern strategy” on Fox every day have no idea what they’re referring to and the other half know perfectly well and think it’s funny.) It would effectively end his campaign, even if for some weird reason Gingrich decided to just keep going for a while longer, because he has some weird point to make.
Gingrich is either exhausted or still enjoying himself, depending on how you read his dancing with his wife to “Rocket Man” last night. (“The song evokes Gingrich’s support for space exploration and desire to develop a colony on the moon,” according to the Post.) He certainly hates Mitt Romney and believes that The People will eventually see the brilliance of Newt Gingrich if only he’s given a national platform. But I’m not sure Gingrich is insane enough to continue past next week. He has already achieved what was arguably his primary goal in running: significantly increasing his earning power.
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.