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George Will slays the myth that electing Trump to the U.S. presidency is necessary to protect the courts.  (Yes, yes, yes – I understand that a Pres. H. Clinton is unlikely to appoint good judges, but I see zero reason to suppose that a Pres. Trump is likely to be any better on this front than is a Pres. Clinton.  Let’s face it: come noon EST next January 20th, the executive branch of the U.S. national government will be led either by an especially treacherous and megalomaniacal knave or by an especially ignorant and megalomaniacal buffoon.)

Barton Swaim draws an important lesson from the calamitous 2016 U.S. election year.  A slice:

An effective politician, let’s remember, is someone who has found success at convincing large numbers of people that he or she, rather than someone else, possesses sufficient sagacity and strength of character to solve some complicated set of problems. Give me power, the politician says to us, because I am honest and compassionate and capable. Without ever making it so crassly explicit, that is what it takes to win elections.

Which ought to make us ask ourselves: What sort of person would do that? And why on Earth would I trust him with more power or put her name on my bumper? If this year’s all-around atrociousness prompts us to ask those questions of ourselves and one another, maybe we can redeem it after all.

Timothy Taylor summarizes the findings of the new study on Seattle’s minimum wage – legislation that appears to be Seattle slewing economic opportunities for some people.  (HT Warren Smith and Tyler Cowen)

Mark Perry’s Venn diagrams are an Olympian achievement!

Bart Madden argues for greater freedom in health care.

My colleague Chris Coyne explains that capitalism and property rights are good for the environment.