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Noted and passed -- Nov. 21, 2011
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• NBC is hiring former First Child Chelsea Clinton to do news projects. She will join Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of ex-President George W. Bush, in doing work for the network, including the “Today” show. Looking at the kids of a former Democratic and Republican president, it strikes us that the duo might comprise the only semblance of political neutrality that left-leaning NBC has ever shown.

• Mitt Romney might win the Republican presidential nomination by default as other challengers continue to make missteps and gaffes. Herman Cain appeared befuddled recently in trying to answer a question about Libya, and Newt Gingrich is stutter-stepping around the fact that his consulting firm got paid nearly $2 million by beleaguered mortgage giant Freddie Mac. The wisest course of action for Romney might be to simply keep his mouth shut.

• With NASCAR support flagging in the last couple of years, race drivers have started to behave more like professional wrestlers when it comes to hyping an event with strong words. Prior to Sunday’s championship-deciding race in Florida, drivers Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards took part in verbal jousting, Stewart saying “I’d wreck my mom to win a championship” and Edwards noting Stewart had “the talking part figured out.” We don’t know if it kindled further interest in the race, but it was entertaining.

• As our politicians in Washington continue to fail to do their work, they are instead coming up with new terms to disguise old practices. “Increasing taxes” is now taboo, so “raising revenues” has become the mantra of those who want to choke a few more dollars out of each American family. We also notice that “liberals” are no longer calling themselves that; “progressives” is their new term.