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Yale University law professor Jonathan Macey – a scholar whose work I cite too infrequently here at Cafe Hayek – reflects on the rise of crony capitalism.  (HT Warren Smith)  A slice:

We may think that corruption is a problem of poor nations, but there is a great deal of crony capitalism in the United States. Affirmative action is one form of wholesale corruption that is prominent in the United States. By definition, affirmative action involves tipping the scales in hiring or admissions decisions in favor of particular favored groups at the expense of others.

It no longer is possible to argue that affirmative action is defensible because the groups making the hiring or admissions decisions are not members of the groups benefitting from those decisions. This sometimes, though not always, is the case. Minority set-asides and other manifestations of affirmative action occur with even more frequency in municipalities in which the mayor and members of the city council belong to the group that is benefitting from the practice. As one pundit observed years ago with respect to the massive affirmative action programs administered by the city of Atlanta, Georgia, “Atlanta needs an affirmative-action program like the Vatican needs a program to protect its Catholic residents from religious persecution.”

I agree with EconLog’s David Henderson: David Brooks’s recent column on the Obama administration has in it a great deal with which to disagree – and to do so strongly.  And here’s Arnold Kling on the same.

Trevor Burrus remembers Antonin Scalia.  (HT Alberto Mingardi)

Jeff Jacoby remembers John Tyler – who, as presidents go, wasn’t the worst.  Confession: I open myself to legitimate criticism whenever I offer or imply even only the mildest praise for any successful politician – especially a U.S. president.  Each president, past and present, including (especially?) all of the most revered, has committed offenses against the rule of law, economic sanity, and, not infrequently, humanity itself – some quite heinous.  Not being a deep scholar of American history, I know that there is a great deal about the machinations and compromises of these men, each to one degree or another hungry for power and status, that I am unaware of.  And so I know that even those U.S. presidents who I hold in least scorn – Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Van Buren, Cleveland, and Coolidge – is each guilty of offenses that are inexcusable in a free society.

Ilya Somin, one of my many excellent GMU colleagues from over in the law school, calls for abolishing draft registration completely.

George Leef rightly calls for abolishing the Jones Act.

Jason Kuznicki highlights one of the great civilizing and peace-furthering features of free markets.

Johan Norberg’s new film, The Real Adam Smith is coming soon.  I can’t wait!