Okay, so to me this is a wee bit more concerning than whatever partisan bickering is undoubtedly filling the cable-news-sphere today. Check out this story from Gizmodo.com: The Day All Life on Earth Almost Ended.
The lead sentence sums it up pretty well: "On August 12th, 1883, a pack of life-extinguishing comets came within a few hundred miles of slamming into the Earth, nearly killing everything on the planet...."
Kinda puts into perspective the hubbub over Ron Paul's right eyebrow toupee, shortages of the iPhone 4s, the latest photos of Kim Kardashian's booty, or whatever's occupying the chattering class today, doesn't it?
This is going to sound like a nerdy rant, but among the things that irritate me about our nation's declining space program and general turn away from science is that for the first time in the history of the Earth we could soon have the technologically to prevent our own extinction at the hands of a dinosaur killer. Although I have my occasional misanthropic moments, I by and large rather like humanity and don't want to see us wiped out entirely. So it would hearten me to see us continuing to develop that capacity.
Of course, for the first time in the history of the Earth we're already capable of inflicting a dinosaur-killer-level conflagration on ourselves, courtesy of much the same rocket and nuclear technology that got us into space. So there's a yin-and-yang with everything, I suppose.