Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Remember the IRS scandal? How the tax agency improperly singled out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny in a nefarious political vendetta against conservatives because the agency is either inherently liberal or was acting on orders from the Democratic President? Remember how it cost even Mitt Romney the election?
Well, as it turns out, that whole scandal is entirely bogus. False. A fiction. The entire notion that the agency singled out groups with “Tea Party” in their name in simply wrong, we learn today, thanks to new documents revealed by the Associated Press. The documents, and confirmation from officials, show the IRS targeted groups with other keywords in their names, including “Progressive” and “Occupy.”
“There was a wide-ranging set of categories and cases that spanned a broad spectrum” on the lists, newly appointed IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said on a conference call with reporters.
So the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups, but it was also targeting progressive groups, which means it wasn’t really singling out anyone. And remember the only group actually denied tax-exempt status was a progressive one.
This should put this matter to bed forever. All along, everyone agreed that the problem with the IRS’ behavior was that the agency seemed to be giving extra scrutiny to groups of one political affiliation, and not the other. Now we know that it targeted groups on both sides.
The IRS still considers some of the criteria “inappropriate,” but this seems to deescalate the controversy to an wonky internal agency matter, rather than a national political scandal.
Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.More Alex Seitz-Wald.
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.