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Noted and passed

Posted: January 7, 2011 1:03 p.m.
Updated: January 10, 2011 5:00 a.m.

• Sometimes we just have to wonder, “What were they thinking?” That’s the case with Capt. Owen Honors, the highly regarded Navy officer who was recently relieve of his command after inappropriate videos turned up on the Internet. As commander of the USS Enterprise, Honors was popular among the sailors serving under him, and it’s difficult to determine what could have motivated him to make videos that were considered lewd. The Navy had no choice but to relieve him because of poor judgment.

• Many Camden golfers will fondly remember Billy Jo Patton, the Morganton, N.C., amateur golfer who could have won the 1954 Masters if he had just played safely to protect his lead on the last day rather than taking chances. But playing safely wasn’t Patton’s way; he was a swashbuckler all the way, and that made him popular with galleries. Patton, who had a lightning-quick backswing not found among many skilled players, died recently at age 88, and he’ll be missed by all who love golf.

• We don’t think 2011 will see a more heartwarming story than that of Ted Williams, who went from panhandling one day to national media star three days later. The golden-voiced former radio announcer was the subject of a video that was viewed by millions, and as the national media focused on him, he was deluged with job offers. He seems a kind and decent man who’s made more than his share of mistakes; we hope his new start in life leads to nothing but success.

• Lots of people who had doubts about Rep. John Boehner, the new Speaker of the House in Washington, have seen them melt away as they’ve watched Boehner take over his leadership position. He’s shown himself to be a regular guy, someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously, and a man who claims he’s going to give more voice to the opposition party, as opposed to Nancy Pelosi’s heavy-handed ways. We hope his tenure will be the start of a new spirit of cooperation in Washington, with Republicans still holding to the fiscally conservative positions that got them elected in the first place.

• The National Football League is modifying its outdated sudden-death playoff system, but the league still won’t keep up with college football, which has the best playoff system and the most exciting one. In college, both teams in an overtime game have a chance to get the ball and score, while in the NFL, a team can lose without ever touching the ball in overtime. The new system, in which the first team to get the ball must score a touchdown to win outright -- a field goal won’t be good enough -- is a step in the right direction, but not enough.

• Could President Obama have learned a lesson from Bill Clinton, who moved to the political center after his party was creamed in mid-term election? Obama has named as his new chief of staff William Daley, a centrist Democrat with a business background but at the same time a man who’s well versed in the way government works. Daley’s appointment probably won’t sit well with the far-left wing of the president’s party, but it will serve the chief executive well.

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