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Noted and passed
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• We’re glad to see that the U.S. Marine Corps has lifted its ban on bracelets which honor U.S. troops killed in combat. Top officials announced last week that Marines in uniform are now authorized to wear killed-in-action bracelets recognizing friends who have died in combat or from battlefield wounds. The change was made after an uproar from Marines when top officers recently began enforcing a ban on the bracelets. Marine brass widely decided the former rule was an outdated one and changed it.

• We can’t say we’re surprised but we’re nevertheless discouraged that a 12-person Congressional committee designated to come up with ways to cut the U.S. deficit doesn’t seem to be making much progress. The committee’s work has been done primarily in secret -- that’s bad in itself -- but those familiar with the process say it’s been burdened by the same partisan deadlock that seems to grip all of Washington. We’d like to say kick them out and come up with a new committee, but it doesn’t seem there are many in Washington who are up to the task.

• Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’ll introduce a flat tax plan this week; Perry’s campaign has floundered since entering the race, and he badly needs something to boost his fortune. Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan has created lots of interest but is considered by many as unworkable. A flat tax could be structured to avoid the regressive nature of Cain’s plan, and it would scrap the unwieldy and unworkable IRS statues currently in place. The tax system in this country is broken; it will be interesting to see what Perry comes up with.

• Cowards are cowards until they die, and proof can be found in the recent death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was found hiding in a drainage pipe before being jostled and apparently killed by an angry crowd. It was similar to the capture of Saddam Hussein, who also was cowering when discovered by authorities. Murderers of thousands and perhaps millions, they didn’t swagger when their own lives were at risk, and there are certainly legions of people throughout the world thinking that at last, both men got exactly what they deserved.