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Noted and passed - Feb. 10 , 2014

Posted: February 7, 2014 3:48 p.m.
Updated: February 10, 2014 5:00 a.m.

• With the Wichita State Shockers headed into last weekend unbeaten, there are probably a significant number of people in the Palmetto State dismayed by the fact that the South Carolina Gamecocks didn’t go after coach Gregg Marshall when he was at Winthrop. USC turned thumbs down on Marshall on a couple occasions, but it’s looking now as if hiring him would have been a smart move.

• Kudos to CVS, the nation’s second largest pharmaceutical chain, for its decision to stop selling all cigarettes and tobacco products nationwide. CVS officials say that as the company tries to become more of a full-scale health-care provider, tobacco products have no place on their shelves. That is a decision that in the short term will cost the chain about $2 billion in annual revenue, and it is a courageous move.

• Norwegian Air Shuttle, a Europe-based airline, plans to start offering discount fares between the U.S. and major European cities, and guess what? American-based airlines are crying foul, throwing up all sorts of objections. Given what domestic carriers have done over the past few years -- raising prices, cramming planes, charging for baggage and a host of other services -- there will probably be little sympathy for them in this country. We wish the new operation the best and hope its efforts will create new competition on transatlantic flights.

• Green Mountain Coffee and its partner organization, Keurig, have succeeded in putting a coffee maker in millions of American homes; the single-serve machines have taken the nation by storm. Now, Green Mountain and Coca-Cola are teaming up to create home soda fountains, with new machines that will make soda at home. The move is a fundamental shift in the way beverages are delivered, and it caused the stock of Green Mountain to shoot up. Who knows what’s next -- curb service?

• Labor unions and wealthy liberals are pouring money into left-wing super PACs in record amounts; they have passed conservative billionaires in raising money to influence the 2016 elections. No matter what political views these PACs espouse, it means one thing for Americans: an overload of negative political ads on television, further polarizing the country.

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