The Buckeyes of The Ohio State University may tip the election in President Obama’s favor. When they beat Illinois on November 3, they may subconsciously encourage the Ohio electorate to vote for the incumbent.

Economists Andrew J. Healy, Neil Malhotra, and Cecilia Hyunjung Mo show that wins by the local college football team increase the votes for an incumbent (president/governor/senator) by about 1.5%, in their article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The ~read more~

vm: Barack Obama

This week we celebrate the birthday of President Barack Obama, who said, “what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people, and do our best to help them find their own grace.” So may we be.

Sex-Positive Religion (worship; 120212)

Sex-Positive Religion Service celebrated at the First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana, on 12 February 2012


OPENING WORDS Denver Butson was born in Maryland, in 1965; this is his poem, “Tuesday 9:00am”

A man standing at the bus stop reading the newspaper is on fire Flames are peeking out from beneath his collar and cuffs His shoes have begun to melt

The woman next to him wants to mention it to him that he ~read more~

SOTU hugging game

While there are already several drinking games prepared for tonight’s State of the Union address, including some creative rules (e.g., borrow a drink from your buddy if/when President Obama uses the word “debt” or drink a shot of coffee at the word “stimulus”), I am proposing a different game for myself: a SOTU hugging game.  Every time Mr. Obama, or Rep. Paul Ryan, or a commentator–or even Rep. Bachmann–says something with which I disagree, I ~read more~

Obama the *pragmatic* progressive

President Obama took aim at liberal purists during last Tuesday’s press conference, and defended his pragmatic approach to progressive policies.  As a person who once voted for Nader because Gore was not pure enough, I appreciate Mr. Obama’s reminder.

John Avlon called it a “striking moment of defiance and self-definition,” deserving of a “a place on the Obama administration highlight reel.”

Questioned about his “core values,” and whether he has a “line in the sand,” ~read more~

church, state, “toasterless masses”

President Obama allows social services to be delivered in religious environments–and requires non-religious alternatives, according to an executive order signed yesterday.  Religous organizations that parnter with the revamped White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships may have religious words in their names, and they may have religious iconography in the places they deliver services–as long as they keep the social services and their religious services separate.

However, the order does not go far enough, ~read more~