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Noted and passed
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• We had hope that the “Gang of Six,” a bipartisan group of U. S. senators which was examining ways to cut the deficit by trying to overcome the political logjam in Washington, could make progress. But Sen. Tom Coburn’s decision to leave the group -- he and other members have been vilified by the far left and right, depending on whose ox was getting gored -- reduces the chance of success. Meanwhile, elected officials in the nation’s capital continue to rail against each other while the deficit grows and threatens the fiscal survival of the nation. It’s pitiful.

• We note with sadness the recent death of Harmon Killebrew, one of the great home-run hitters of all time. Killebrew, who played with the oft-hapless Minnesota Twins, had more 40-homer seasons than any player except Babe Ruth, and he ended his career 11th on the all-time dinger list. He was a genuinely nice guy back in the days when baseball was still the national pastime, and watching him take his big swing was a pleasure.

• High gasoline prices are a burden to millions of Americans, especially considering the fact that demand is down and the country’s refineries are using only about 80 percent of their capacity. Crude prices have been falling, but many believe producers are cutting back their output to keep prices high. Yes, we know all the statistics about increasing oil usage in developing countries, but there has never been much of a supply-and-demand ratio in the oil business.

• Gov. Nikki Haley is right to say she’ll veto any bills which would allow school districts in the state to sell long-term bonds in order to pay for the day-to-day costs of operating schools. Schools across the state, including here in Kershaw County, are having a tough go of it during these difficult financial times, but borrowing money to pay operating costs isn’t a wise choice.