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Noted and passed - Nov. 25, 2013

Posted: November 22, 2013 9:36 a.m.
Updated: November 25, 2013 5:00 a.m.

• If you’re planning to visit family members in another area of the country and dread facing huge crowds in airports during Thanksgiving, consider this: within a decade, 24 of the busiest 30 airports in the nation will become as congested twice each week as they are on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. That’s the prediction from a travel-industry study, and Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport is among those included. So if you’re flying next week, console yourself with the fact that soon, the bedlam you’re facing will be an everyday affair.

• A new rule in college basketball that is intended to cut down on contact between players is working. The rule against hand-checking (a defensive player putting both hands on an offensive player or continually jabbing him) is intended to open up offenses, and indeed, teams are averaging almost 10 points a game more than last year. Some of it involves going to the foul line more, but the extra free throws are not making games last longer. This rule is working and creating a more fluid game, which is good for basketball. It had gotten far too physical.

• Political endorsements occasionally are effective, as when Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin came to South Carolina in 2010 and anointed Nikki Haley in her race for governor, vaulting Haley from an also-ran into front-runner and eventual winner. But usually, pols patting each other on the back doesn’t do that much good, so don’t read too much into the fact that neither Haley nor appointed U.S. Sen. Tim Scott would give an “endorsement” to Sen. Lindsey Graham. Neither wants to alienate their base on the right, but we doubt it will cost Graham many votes.

• Seldom have we seen a more blatantly political move than last week’s decision to delay the second round of Obamacare sign-ups until after next November’s elections. A government official said it was “good news for consumers, who will have more time to learn about plans before enrolling.” That’s their story and they’re sticking to it, but it’s not fooling anyone.

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