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Noted and passed for Oct. 3, 2011
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• We’ve commented all along that a pending bill to require South Carolina voters to present a photo ID at the polls was no big deal, though some opponents claimed it would be unfair because some people don’t have ready access to such identification cards. The state has offered the estimated 178,000 Palmetto State residents without a card free transportation to a DMV center to have one made at no cost. Only 600 people have taken the state up on the offer, indicating to us that the rest don’t have much interest in voting, anyway.

• The Washington Monument is closed indefinitely as engineers assess the damage that occurred in the Aug. 23 earthquake that shook the nation’s capital. Dozens of pieces of stone fell inside the monument during and after the quake, and intensive efforts are being made to determine the effect. The obelisk is perhaps the country’s best-known symbol, and we hope it is “up and running” soon.

• We can’t help but chuckle at the political spin coming out of Washington these days, the latest being the comments by President Obama’s top political advisor, David Axelrod, who’s pushing the fact that the president is an underdog in his re-election bid, in large part because he’s having to deal with problems left behind by the Bush administration. Any sitting president who goes into a re-election bid as an underdog has only one finger to point in blame, and it should be at himself.

• Not to be picking on the president, but his proposed new airline “fee” structure is one more example of his answer to most problems: higher taxes. At a time when the economy is still stagnant and airlines are struggling, the president is proposing new taxes on airlines and passengers; of course, the fees aimed at airlines will eventually be paid by passengers. That’s a new tax any way you figure it.

• Andy Rooney of CBS, a fixture on the network’s “60 Minutes” show for decades, is stepping down, and viewers will be the poorer for it. Rooney, who played the curmudgeon perfectly in talking about a host of topics, was always entertaining and often controversial. We don’t know who CBS plans to tap to fill his spot, but we’d hate to have to follow him.