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Noted and Passed

Posted: October 19, 2012 5:45 p.m.
Updated: October 22, 2012 5:00 a.m.

• Founded in 1933 during the Great Depression, Newsweek became a journalistic force of the 20th century; its weekly wrap-up of the news events affecting the world was required reading for those who wanted to be in the know. When the print woes that have affected the entire magazine industry, and much of the newspaper industry, became too severe, it switched to a sort of combination print-online publication. But last week, facing mounting losses, Newsweek gave up the ghost and cancelled its print edition. It’s a sad occurrence, but a sign of the times in the magazine business.

• When President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney attended last week’s Al Smith Charity Dinner in New York, there were jokes galore, especially from the candidates. It was a welcome departure from the tense, often bitter campaigning that’s been occurring, and we were struck by the thought that if they always had to make their points through comedy, it  might leave everyone in this country feeling a bit better about our presidential candidates.

• Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania might have been irascible and ornery at times, but he was one of the last national lawmakers who was willing to buck up to his own party when he didn’t agree with it, and he wasn’t afraid to work with members of the opposition party. Specter died last week at 82 after fighting cancer for many years. The best thing about Specter is that he often made members of both parties angry, and that’s a good sign he was planted in the middle.

• If you are weary of all the political ads you’re seeing, then pity the poor folks of Las Vegas, Nev., which is the most saturated city in the country when it comes to such pitches. The count last week of TV commercials -- most of them negative, of course -- passed 73,000. So no matter how tired you are of the blurred images and somber announcers, just remember that we here in Kershaw County have it easy compared to people in Vegas.

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