Kansas

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearings begin this week.

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So why did it take so long for Obama to decide on Kathleen Sebelius for HHS Secretary? Several factors were at play, including political considerations about taking her out of the running for the Kansas Senate seat up for election in 2010. But it's even more clear today that, as several media outlets have been reporting, the administration was weighing the pros and cons of a fight over abortion rights--and then preparing to fight it. Admittedly, Obama was never going to appoint an HHS Secretary opposed to abortion rights.

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Seeing and Believing

Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution By Karl W. Giberson (HarperOne, 248 pp., $24.95) Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul By Kenneth R. Miller (Viking, 244 pp., $25.95) I. Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809--the same day as Abraham Lincoln--and published his magnum opus, On the Origin of Species, fifty years later.

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House Broker

Nancy Pelosi believes in being direct. With the Democratic presidential contest running hot, in March a reporter with Boston TV station NECN asked the House speaker about the possibility of a dream ticket uniting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Doe eyes wide, the nation's highest-ranking Democrat flashed her trademark smile ominously. "I think that the Clinton administration [sic] has fairly ruled that out by proclaiming that Senator McCain would be a better [long pause, dismayed half- laugh] commander-in-chief than Obama.

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I'm usually a sucker for race-based arguments about college basketball.

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I know it's crazy, but is it that crazy that Obama could make a run at Kansas in November? Not only does he have a family connection there, and not only did he stir up a lot of excitement there on February 5, but now McCain is on the wrong side of a big local issue: It looks like several McCain campaign aides have lobbied for the parent company of Airbus, the Boeing rival that was just awarded a major contract by the Pentagon.

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Phantom Menace

John B. Judis: The psychology behind America's immigration hysteria.

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Super Tuesday Primer: Kansas

The next stop on TNR's Super Tuesday Primer is the lovely state of Kansas: "There may be no state with deeper historical ties to the GOP than Kansas, which has not elected a Democratic senator since 1932. Yet, in recent years, the Sunflower State--partly out of disgust with the increasingly right-wing state GOP--has been trending slightly Democratic, electing and re-electing a Democratic governor and sending a new Democratic congresswoman to Washington in 2006.

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Angry White Man

If you are a critic of the Bush administration, chances are that, at some point over the past six months, Ron Paul has said something that appealed to you. Paul describes himself as a libertarian, but, since his presidential campaign took off earlier this year, the Republican congressman has attracted donations and plaudits from across the ideological spectrum.

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Angry White Man

Kirchick: Ron Paul's bigoted past.

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