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Noted and passed - Nov. 11, 2013

Posted: November 8, 2013 8:15 a.m.
Updated: November 11, 2013 5:00 a.m.

• When Blockbuster started its video rental stores in the 1980s, it was a marvel of technology -- movies available immediately, with a wide choice. Dish Network, which bought the company out of bankruptcy  in 2011, announced last week it would close all remaining company-owned stores, finalizing a signal change in how people get their entertainment. Streaming video and other more modern technologies have made the video rental business obsolete. Indeed, we live in a changing world.

• Evangelist Billy Graham, perhaps the most visible Christian in the world for decades, turned 95 last week. His has been an exemplary life. With the exception of a period in the 1970s when he ventured into political observations, Graham has concentrated on evangelism and has avoided the many pitfalls that have bedeviled so many evangelists, including Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and a host of others. Failing in health, Graham still commands an extraordinary presence.

• It appears all is forgiven for Hillary Clinton in Hollywood, where ultra-left movie moguls abandoned her in 2008 for Barack Obama, some of them doing so with quite critical comments. But time apparently heals all wounds, and such Tinseltown bigwigs as David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Speilberg -- three of the biggest names in the entertainment industry -- are now ready to throw their weight behind Clinton should she decide to run for the White House. Some things never change, one of them being the enthusiasm in Hollywood for anyone Democratic.

• Ten Republicans in the U.S. Senate crossed the aisle to support a bill banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Among them were a number of Mormons, including Sen. Orrin Hatch, who said of his decision to support the legislation, “It’s just the right thing. Religion should be respected, and so should people.” He’s right; people should not suffer lack of respect or protection because they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled house, but the sooner the GOP tosses aside its social prejudices and concentrates on fiscal issues, the better off it will be.

• President Obama insists, with a straight face, that he knew absolutely nothing about his aides investigating the possibility of dumping Vice President Joe Biden for the 2012 campaign. He knew nothing at all. Yes, wink, wink.

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