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Noted and passed -- Dec. 19, 2011

Posted: December 16, 2011 2:38 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2011 5:00 a.m.

• We observed last week that Republican candidates for president had no reason to subject themselves to a debate moderated by Donald Trump, who has continually threatened to run for the White House himself. They all apparently decided the same thing, and the debate has now been cancelled. Trump, meanwhile, says he’s keeping his options open to mount a third-party presidential bid. If he does, we predict it will be met with the same lack of enthusiasm as his proposed debate.

• It’s ironic that Meryl Streep, one of the great actresses of our time, had never appeared on a Vogue magazine cover, but she now graces the front of that publication at age 62. Over the years, she has grown as an actress, and her ability in front of a motion picture camera is remarkable. It’s nice to see that she’s also favorably captured by a still cover, and by no less prestigious a publication as Vogue.

• Tired of hearing how members of Congress exempt themselves from laws and rules that they require everyone else to follow? Think it can’t get worse? It can. Following a recent “60 Minutes” segment that revealed how some members of Congress were enriching themselves by trading on insider information, which is banned for all other Americans, a bill was introduced to outlaw the practice in Congress. It has already run into problems, however, with some members who complain it’s just a too-quick reaction to media pressure. Too quick? Not for the American people.

• Gov. Nikki Haley and some of her staffers apparently believe there’s nothing wrong with deleting -- “destroying” would be an appropriate synonym -- documents that relate to state government actions. This, advocates of open government argue, is a violation of the state’s Freedom of Information Act. If Haley continues to hold that opinion, then legislators need to tighten the law to make sure the governor can’t weasel out of its provisions.

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