Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Topics: John Boehner, Debt limit, Immigration Reform, Budget, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Voting Rights Act, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Food Stamps, Acorn, employment non-discrimination act, Editor's Picks, Politics News
Last fall’s debt limit fight was (exciting, terrifying, revealing, interesting, pick your adjective) because many Republicans still believed there was a chance they could scare Obama out of his refusal to negotiate and pocket a ransom of some kind.
Today, Speaker John Boehner announced that the House will pass a clean debt limit bill tomorrow (ed. note: He’s since announced the vote will be Tuesday night). Democrats will provide most of the votes, Republicans will provide the rest. This outcome has been obvious for weeks.
Assuming nothing unexpected happens, it probably also marks the end of purposeful activity on Capitol Hill for the next year at least. Congress has a budget for the next couple of years. The debt limit is going up, and the GOP claim that a clean debt limit bill can’t pass is thoroughly discredited.
But at the same time, Republicans have basically foreclosed on doing anything proactive. They can’t do immigration reform because
Obama is a lawless tyrant it badly divides their members. They won’t pass the Employment Non Discrimination Act because trial lawyers it badly divides their members. They won’t extend emergency unemployment compensation because it’s unpaid for it badly divides their members. They probably won’t even patch the Voting Rights Act because ACORN it badly divides their members.
That means the calendar’s clear for moving smaller initiatives — restoring a military pension cut (after cutting food stamps and refusing to extend emergency UI) — and symbolic anti-Obamacare measures. A lot of this will be very educational. But the fireworks are over.
Brian Beutler is Salon's political writer. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @brianbeutler.More Brian Beutler.
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.