Bezos to Lift Off – WSJ

This undated handout photo, courtesy of Blue Origin on May 19, 2021, shows a close-up of the New Shepard rocket launching in west Texas.


Photo:

Handout / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

What’s the fun of being the richest person in the world if you can’t build a rocket and launch into space? say what you want

Jeff Bezosbut he is surely ready to eat his own kitchen. Matt Grossman of the Journal Reports:

Jeff Bezos plans to venture into space next month as part of the first crew of Blue Origin, the space company of the founder of Amazon.com Inc. Mr Bezos said in an Instagram post on Monday that he will be one of the first passengers on Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft during its first manned flight, which is scheduled to depart from West Texas on July 20. Mr Bezos, 57 years old, said that his brother, Mark Bezos, will also be on board … Blue Origins New Shepard has conducted 15 unmanned test flights which, according to the company, demonstrate the safety of the mission. Most commercial aircraft will not carry passengers until they have undergone an intense series of hundreds of piloted flights. “I want to do this flight because I’ve wanted to do it all my life,” said Mr Bezos in a video posted on Instagram. “It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me. ”

It’ll also be a big deal for the June 12th charity auction winner to get a ride. The Bezos brothers and their charitable guest can take comfort in the fact that although the ship has undergone relatively few test missions, its performance has been near perfect. Darrell Etherington at TechCrunch writes that “except for the first flight in which the reusable booster was lost, [New Shepard] was a complete success for each of these 15 missions, including landing the booster (except the first time) and recovering the capsule (for all takeoffs).

It seems likely that the charity auction winner will enjoy the company. Avery Hartmans at Business Insider Remarks:

Jeff described his brother as “the funniest guy in my life” and said that when they are together – often drinking bourbon – “I always laugh”.

On the maiden voyage for people in a vehicle traveling 100 kilometers above sea level, the brothers may think this is one of those times for the bourbon, and let’s hope the laughs too. Back on Earth, quite a few observers are likely to toast the creativity and courage of one of America’s great entrepreneurs.

The moment may also remind some of these watchers the irony that Mr. Bezos, a kind of living American freedom testimony and American exceptionalism, owns a Beltway newspaper that loves central planning. When viewed from space or here on earth, the Washington Post may seem small, but its owner’s accomplishments are not.

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Speaking of soaring

Ryan Grabinski of Strategas Research notes the rising profits of American companies:

With 99% of the S&P reporting 500, it’s fair to say that Q1 21 was a profitable season. 87.5% of companies exceeded their earnings estimates for the quarter, a record high from the mid-1990s and well above the long-term historical average of 65%.

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Speaking of Beltway Swamp

This seems like a day to celebrate achievement, and believe it or not, Washington has even made it happen. Amazing, the good news comes one of the most politicized and dangerous bureaucracies in Washington in a press release:

The Justice Department announced today that it has seized 63.7 bitcoins, currently valued at around $ 2.3 million. These funds allegedly represent the proceeds of a May 8 ransom payment to individuals in a group called DarkSide that targeted the Colonial Pipeline, which resulted in the decommissioning of critical infrastructure. The confiscation order was approved today by the Honorable Laurel Beeler, U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of California … On or about May 7th, Colonial Pipeline was the victim of a high-profile ransomware attack that resulted in the company splitting its infrastructure out of order. Colonial Pipeline reported to the FBI that its computer network was accessed by an organization called DarkSide and that it had received and paid a ransom note for approximately 75 bitcoins.

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OK, let’s not stop praising bureaucracies

Remember when Senator Elizabeth Warren, D., Massachusetts, pretended that the federal student loan program was a godsend for taxpayers? Your Democrats at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue are starting to acknowledge reality. Josh Mitchell of the Journal Reports from Washington:

The Biden administration increased losses on the federal government’s student loan portfolio by $ 53 billion, driven by lower repayment rates and efforts to alleviate the pandemic … student debt, which currently stands at $ 1.6 trillion. The government’s proposed $ 6 trillion budget now predicts that long-term losses will reach $ 68 billion. Those estimates are still far less than the losses projected in an internal analysis led by officials from Betsy DeVos, the education minister under the president

Donald Trump, which showed that taxpayers would ultimately be liable for about two-thirds of the student debt portfolio of $ 1.6 trillion.

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James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China, and the Revival of the US.”

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(Lisa Rossi helps put Best of the Web together.)

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