Ted Cruz and Jupiter are both destructive

Well, it finally happened. Five months of posting religiously to this blog each Tuesday and Friday (plus the occasional special update!) and I missed a post. I've been behind in a great many things the past month, and it was inevitably going to spill over here eventually. For the few people actually browsing the Internet on a Sunday evening, here's a few things I dug up this past week:

Ted Cruz can't win
Ted Cruz is just the worst. He plays into the most extreme caricatures of Republicans, and makes negotiation, governing and national campaigning impossible. To top it off, he sounds like a complete jerk. Vox used his announcement this week as a chance to look at his changes and assure us that he's likely an also-ran before the race even begins. Thank goodness.

The world's first bald eagle scout
You know any positive story about Scouting is going to end up here! This piece is from a journalist and Cub Scout drop-out who decided he wanted to revisit his youth in Scouting as an adult. What he found, unsurprisingly, was a program that brought back the young person in him, excited his interests and was full of kids who enjoy the outdoors and learning. It's a shame that so much noise gets in the way of families hearing this message: Scouting is great! 

Hospitals are robbing us blind
I've long been an advocate of the idea that the root of most problems in the American healthcare system is chargemaster, and the ridiculous way we determine the "cost" of healthcare. Slate goes a little far in this piece (I'm not sure the system is the result of a conspiracy between politicians and healthcare systems), but it correctly identifies the major issue and some proposed remedies. 

Jupiter may have destroyed our original solar system
Space is so cool. According to the National Academy of Sciences, our solar system's unique structure (which, in turn, made our planet capable of supporting life) may owe itself to Jupiter's ancient migratory pattern. The theory is that Jupiter moved first toward the Sun, and then back out to its current orbit, and in the process destroyed many planets. This removed a large amount of mass from the solar system and created our current orbits, the asteroid belt, and allowed for the formation of Earth. Thanks, Jupiter!

The Middle East is in freefall
It ought to be a bigger story that virtually everyone from both sides of the aisle who's not currently on the White House payroll is decrying our Middle East strategy - or lack thereof - at each turn. Reading the administration's assessment of things is embarrassing; can our lack of feel for Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Egypt or anywhere else give us confidence in the Iranian negotiations? It's clear that the Obama administration is having its lunch handed to them in the Middle East, and that the vacancy of American leadership is having terrible effects on the whole region.