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Ain't Nothing the Matter with Kansas

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Nothing wrong with Kansas that a new governor can't fix. At least that is the opinion of more than 100 Republican officeholders who have broken ranks and endorsed the Democratic candidate Paul Davis. Politico has the story. Kudos to these Republicans for stepping up and working to take back their party from the crazies. I note in passing that this week, Governor Sam Brownback had Sen. Rick Santorum in to campaign for him.

In Alabama, Guns v. Bibles

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Mark Silk, at RNS, always seems to find news items I miss which is why I check his website at least daily. Today, he writes about the great State of Alabama, where some conservatives are upset that the state's open carry law, allowing people to bring their guns to the polling places with them, cannot be applied to churches, some of which do double duty as polling places on election day. Here is a GOP conundrum of the first order: religious freedom versus Second Amendment.

Obamacare & the Tarheels

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This article at Politico dissects the political disconnect in North Carolina, which saw large numbers of people sign up for health insurance under the terms of Obamacare, but also seem disinclined to reward their state's incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan for supporting the law that made it possible. File this under "Nixon Won Twice" in the cabinet marked "Deep Reservations About Democracy."

Pope Francis, the Environment, & the U.S.

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The controversy over the theory of gravity continues. While most scientists have accepted the theory, a determined, vocal and well-funded group of politicians, armed with studies most scientists dismiss, argue that Newton got it wrong. Corporations that make hydraulic lifts and airplane manufacturers are concerned that the debate could affect their businesses. Journalists, abiding by their own standards, feel compelled to acknowledge both sides of the dispute. The general public, unable to ascertain the veracity of the rival claims, seem inclined to sit this debate out.

Happy Bastille Day!

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I know, I know. The Revolution did not turn out so well for Catholics. But, it did yield the best national anthem of all time. Difficult to choose among the many fine renditions from the great, baroque Berlioz treatment, to the memorable performance of Jessye Norman, wrapped in a giant tricoleur of a dress, singing it at the French bicentennial celebration. (It says a lot about French commitment to culture that they thought nothing of choosing the most statuesque singer of the day, even though she was an American, for a moment that required such stature.

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July 18-31, 2014

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