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• Obesity expanded in North Dakota as the battle of the bulges continued. According to unofficial estimates, residents gained 1,030,000 pounds and increased 279,000 inches of girth. Obesity advocates want to add girth to gender, age and race as protected persons and outlaw the Body Mass Index. The estimates will be sent to the White House for official release in five days.

• By a vote of 19-1, the Alabama state Senate passed a bill to eliminate marriage licenses. They’re playing catchup to modern lifestyles.

• New York is increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13. The tax in New Jersey is $2.70, so all the smoke over Newark is New York smokers taking a cigarette break in New Jersey. Over 55 percent of New York cigarettes are bootlegged in from North Carolina where tax is 45 cents. (North Dakota has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation at 44 cents.)

• In large print, one company claims it has trained its chickens to lay eggs that have six times the Vitamin D, 10 times the vitamin E and 25 percent less saturated fat. The small print says these claims are comparisons with a golf ball.

• In Ohio, Judge Timothy Black struck down a state statute that made false statements about political candidates illegal. Not only was the law unconstitutional but it left candidates speechless.

• The Flat Earth Society, an organization in which a number of North Dakotans hold membership, is awaiting the announcement of the rocket launch by limo driver Mike Hughes that his homemade rocket will take him 1,800 feet in the air, where he will determine whether or not the Earth is round or it is just fake news.

• According to the Washington Post, President Trump Executive Order 3,406 on immigration will require bureaucrats to figure out who are Christians and who are not. Many pastors would like to know the same thing and have asked for copies of the listings by church.

• Among other little-known facts, the tax reform bill included a provision that made it legal for pastors to endorse political candidates from the pulpit. Apparently, some clergy are bored with Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount.

• A survey by Lifeway Research found 79 percent of Americans are against the idea of preachers making this theological change and a survey by the National Association of Evangelicals indicated that 90 percent of evangelical leadership also opposed politics in the pulpit. Will there be First Lutheran Political Action Committees, or First Baptist Endorsing Conventions, or candidates sharing bingo receipts at St. Phillips?

• Some anonymous person who didn’t want to get involved presented a solution to the issue of Christian bakeries refusing to make cakes for same sex couples. Bake the cake in two parts with one person on each side and let the customers put the pieces together by themselves.

• The Washington Post reported that white evangelicals are skeptical about Earth warming. They are claiming that if God wanted us to regulate the temperature of the Earth, he would have provided a thermostat.

• Gallup also did a poll of other countries on this question: “Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States?” As shocking as it may be, the country with the highest disapproval rating was Norway with 83 percent. After all the nice things Donald Trump said about Norwegians, you would think his highest favorable ratings would be in Norway.

But Norway is mad. They want their Norwegians back, a third of who came to the U.S. fed up with lutefisk and searching for potatoes to make lefse.

May all of your news be real.

Lloyd Omdahl is a political scientist and former North Dakota lieutenant governor. His column appears Sundays.