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Poli-Math Challenge
The truth, by the numbers.


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April is Mathematics Awareness Month, an annual celebration of all things numerical–according to the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. To help kick off this year’s observances, I’ve prepared the following political-math challenge. Remember to show all work. The answer is provided at the end.

Calculate the following sum:

The total number of blacks who were registered and eligible to vote but were prevented from voting by Republicans during the 2000 presidential election.

Plus

The total number of blacks who were registered and eligible to vote but were prevented from voting by Republicans during the 2004 presidential election.

Plus

The total number of times a Bush-administration official has claimed that Saddam Hussein collaborated in, or even knew in advance of, the attacks of September 11th 2001.

Plus
The total number of times a Bush-administration official has called a critic of the war in Iraq “unpatriotic” or has questioned the patriotism of a Democratic politician.

Plus

The total number of times the Bush Administration has utilized the statutes of the Patriot Act to seize someone’s library records.

Plus

43.

All right, pencils down.

The correct answer is . . . 43.

So how did you do?

Mark Goldblatt is author of Africa Speaks, a satire of black urban culture.



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