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The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a beautiful galaxy that, with its reddish and yellow central area, looks rather like an explosion from a Hollywood movie. The galaxy, called NGC 5010, is in a period of transition. The aging galaxy is movin
Remember the mock hearings being held at the National Press Club this week on whether the government is engaged in a massive coverup of extraterrestrial visitations? The one held by a group of conspiracy-believers, paying six ex-lawmakers $20,000 to listen to a week of testimony and decide these things? Yeah, that was a thing. So how'd it go?

That depends on who you ask, it seems. Earlier reporting had the judges expressing skepticism. As reporter Josh Dzieza dryly notes, "Even with the former members of Congress dancing around the word 'aliens,' making air-quotes, and occasionally looking bored, there will probably be enough footage of them asking questions about ETs and crash sites in 30 hours of testimony for Bassett and Paradigm to get what they want for their documentary." Some, like Reps. Lynn Woolsey and Carolyn Kilpatrick, used it as a vehicle for prodding for more government "transparency" and calling for Congress to hold hearings on the matter for the sake of that "transparency," which is actually a pretty good idea because it's not like Congress is doing a damned thing else right now.

Ex-Sen. Mike Gravel, on the other hand, seems more full-throated in his position:

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) says the White House has helped keep the truth about the “extraterrestrial influence that is investigating our planet” from the public.

“It goes right to the White House, and of course, once the White House takes a position, ‘well there's nothing going on’ just goes down the chain of command, everyone stands toe,” Gravel tells Top Line.

Bless you, Mike Gravel. I needed that.

Congress, in the meantime, may actually be interested in exploring the rather more proven dangers facing the planet. No, not climate change, but the danger of asteroids and solar flares and the like, since the Russia meteor reminded them that being hit with a meteor can really wreck your day. It probably won't raise anybody's confidence level to hear that they mainly seem to be doing it out of boredom:

"I know cleaning up sewage spills is very important, how you deal with your local sewage treatment center is important, but it could be a little hum drum compared to developing a strategy to prevent a meteorite or asteroid from destroying half the planet," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. "Space technology and dealing with space is exciting because it takes you out of the ordinary and puts you into a situation that doesn't occur everyday."
But damn it, it's something, right? Rep. Bill Posey has even taken the lead on a bill to direct NASA to build a moon base by 2022, and it probably has almost nothing to do with the fact that his Florida district houses the Kennedy Space Center. By all means, let's do it. As long as we give the money to NASA and don't just subcontract it to British Petroleum or something, I'm all for it. (You might also want to get on that sequestration-hurting-children-and-cancer-patients-thing while you're at it, though. Just a thought.)

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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