I wonder what it felt like to be an astronaut aboard the NASA-managed International Space Station when the news came through that the US Federal Government was closing down due to the Congressional impasse over the budget.
“Don’t worry folks. Keep orbiting. Try not to break anything and we’ll be back in a week or two.” You hope these were not the parting words from the scientists at Mission Control as they along with thousands of other federal workers headed home while the politicians in Washington DC remain deadlocked in near-mortal combat.
This is not a good advert for democracy (or indeed space travel) and makes the task of promoting democratic values in the Middle East and elsewhere all the more difficult. With the Russians calling the shots over Syria and the president having to cancel a planned visit to the APEC Forum to stay home and try and sort out the mess, it has been a bad week for Brand America on the world stage. [Read more…]