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It seems to us: The burden of office, Shkreli’s comeuppance and driving doesn’t go better with coke

Leading a nation may not be a good idea if you hope to enjoy a long retirement. It certainly isn’t good for keeping the gray hairs away.

The largest statistical study of its kind examined elections held in 17 countries from 1722 to 2015 and found that elected heads of government lived 2.7 fewer years and experienced a 23 percent greater risk of premature death than the defeated office seekers, as reported in the New York Times, citing the British medical journal BMJ.

Our own nonscientific observations indicate that presidents begin aging rapidly shortly after being sworn in to office. Take a look at before-and-after photos of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and even Barack Obama. The responsibilities weighed heavily on them. The exception appears to be Ronald Reagan. At 69, he was the oldest president to take office but somehow maintained his youthful good looks. It was Reagan who famously said of his opponent, Walter Mondale, in the 1984 presidential debate: “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

For those people who don’t believe in karma, the principle that our present actions influence our futures, we give you Martin Shkreli. He became notorious in September when his drug company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, bought the U.S. rights to sell Daraprim, a life-saving medication, and then raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. It’s a capitalist society, he said in his defense, and he needed to maximize profits.

Thursday the greedy entrepreneur came back to Earth. He was led away in handcuffs by the FBI, charged with securities fraud and conspiracy in unrelated cases involving his other companies. He’s pleaded not guilty, and faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

That should give him plenty of time to mull over his deplorable assault on human decency.

This one comes from the “people are stupid” file. Earlier this month in Seattle, a police officer pulled over a driver because his headlights were out. The squad car’s dash cam showed the officer politely explaining the stop to the driver, then walking away with his license. The video, distributed by NBC News, then shows the officer back at the car asking, “What is in your left hand?”

“Nothing,” the driver responds without conviction.

What he had was cocaine, which he was about to snort. In front of the cop.

“I just don’t understand,” the incredulous officer said while taking the driver into custody.

“I don’t understand, either,” the doofus driver replied.

Who could?