…will be Barack Obama’s Iraq:

The best medicine for the exchanges? It might involve letting the insurance industry offer pared back, cheap coverage at prices that reflect the risk profile of patients. This would bring back the young invincibles, but jack up prices for sicker patients. That problem could be solved by targeting subsidies on these patients on a strict means-tested basis rather than showering them on everyone up to 400 percent of the poverty level. The crucial upside to this approach is that it would allow the insurance marketplace to function again. However, market pricing based on health is against the religion of liberals. Clinton won’t go there. She could twist the screws on opt-outs by raising their penalty to something close to the price of the coverage they are refusing. But that would require Congress to override the statutory limits on these penalties in ObamaCare. And so long as the House remains in Republican hands, that ain’t going to happen.

Not really fair to compare it to Iraq. Iraq was a bi-partisan project. This disaster is all on the Democrats.

A Suborbital Flight To Space

Everyone’s been paying attention to the “race” between Virgin Galactic and XCOR (a story that got more complicated yesterday), but Blue Origin apparently had the first successful private flight to a hundred kilometers since the X-Prize was won, over eleven years ago. It will be interesting to see when their next one is, to see what kind of turnaround capability they have. It’s now clearly possible that they’ll be offering passenger flights sooner than either of the horizontal approaches.

[Update a few minutes later]

As someone over at Arocket points out, this wasn’t just the first trip to space since 2004, but the first-ever vertical landing of a ship that had been to space (even if SpaceX lands a Falcon 9 first stage, I’m not sure what its apogee is). It was a big milestone.

[Update a couple minutes later]

OK, on rereading, it’s not clear that the booster went all the way to space, just the capsule, so maybe that hasn’t happened yet.

[Update a while later]

Jeff Bezos issues his first tweet ever.

[Late-morning update]

Jeff Foust has the story now, including the Q&A with Bezos.

[Update a few minutes later]

And here’s Chris Bergin’s story.

[Early-afternoon update]

[Update a while later]

Ashlee Vance has an amusing take on the pissing contest between Musk and Bezos.

BTW, it seems to be confirmed that there was only a 120-meter difference in apogee between booster and capsule, so it definitely made it into space.

[Update a few more minutes later]

For those new to the topic, I wrote an explainer about orbits and suborbits a little over a year ago.

Top Nutritionists Attempt To Reach A Consensus

…and end up in a food fight. This would be funnier if it didn’t have such profound implications for health. I don’t know why anyone pays attention to that quack Dean Ornish. It was low-fat recommendations like his that almost surely killed my father thirty-five years ago. I enjoyed this, too:

In the spirit of the conference, he did make a concession: Red meat, a staple of a Paleolithic diet, “is a real problem” due to its carbon footprint, said Eaton, and he proposed a more sustainable Paleo diet that instead derives its protein from plant sources, poultry, and seafood.

Because nothing is more important when it comes to nutrition than carbon footprint. And this:

Those who follow a low-glycemic diet might eat, for instance, pasta but not bagels, parsnips but not potatoes, grapes but not raisins.

Bagels are worse than pasta? Who knew?

Obama And Syria

No, calling people names from overseas won’t distract from what a huge mess (with Hillary’s help) you’ve created.

Ron Fournier (a slow learner) has thrown in the towel on him:

Klain didn’t say this but I will: On IS­IS, Obama breaks every rule. He min­im­izes the threat and dis­misses our fears, which raises doubts about his candor and cap­ab­il­ity. An over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans dis­ap­prove of his hand­ling of IS­IS, a new poll shows, and 81 per­cent think IS­IS will strike the United States.

In Ju­ly 2013, six months in­to his second term, I wrote a column that ques­tioned wheth­er Obama would ful­fill his enorm­ous po­ten­tial, wheth­er he even cared any­more about his prom­ises to change Wash­ing­ton, wheth­er he could write the mod­ern rules of the pres­id­ency and build a new bully pul­pit. I asked, “What if Obama can’t lead?”

I now have my an­swer.

The answer was pretty visible eight years ago, really, to those less blinded by the supposed charisma, and the fantasy “potential.”

And it’s obvious from his demeanor whom Obama considers the enemy. It’s not in the Middle East.

[Update a while later]

First link was wrong but fixed now. Sorry!

From Hunting/Gathering To Farming

Yes, humans evolved in the age of agriculture.

Per the end of the piece, this doesn’t really invalidate the paleo diet theory. It makes sense that we would have adapted to milk; it’s a useful high-protein food source. There would have been less evolutionary pressure to be able to handle grain, because the ill effects don’t occur until later in life, past child-bearing age.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!