Nation not part of "Democratic Revolt" international media story presumptuously holds election

A nation that does not fit into the media narrative on the Worldwide or Arab-wide Democratic Revolution went ahead and held an election today. Leading media representatives complained that there was no room for media attention to the historic, pivotal election in the nation of 74 million registered voters. "I mean there are no Arabs in Niger, are there?" said leading journalist Woodscott Tarleton. "We can barely keep up remembering the capitals of all those Arab countries like Iran."

Voters in the largest nation in sub-Saharan Africa expressed keen interest in the fragile fortunes of the ruling party, but no international reporters were able to be present in the country. "We are already overstretched sending reporters to cover the Arab Revolt from Morocco to Azerbaijan," said news executive Barnaby Cotswold, " not to mention the Japan earthquake and  Tiger Woods' play in the Masters. If  they really wanted the international press to judge whether the elections were free and fair,  couldn't they have waited a little?"

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UN Revealed to be Gigantic 66-year-old Hoax

“I can’t believe it lasted this long,” said “US Ambassador to the UN” Susan Rice, laughing, “Who would really believe that there is this magical agency that would, like, be responsible for solving all the problems in the whole world?  That nobody else can solve? Or even wants to?” “I really thought it would come out when that prankster Ban Ki Moon put Libya on the "reformed" Human Rights Council in 2010,” said Rice, “after there was a backlash against Libya CHAIRING the old Human Rights Commission. Who would fall for that?”

Ban, who in real life is a much-loved writer for 30 Rock, also bet “UNCTAD Secretary-General” Supachai Panitchpakdi three shots of Glenlivet that he would never get more than 15 crisscrossing arrows into one UN diagram. He lost the bet.

A team of investigative reporters finally broke the story after receiving a tip from a group of concerned Azerbaijani citizens who recognized their “Ambassador” as a child soap opera star from the 1970s. As details began to emerge, Ban and Supachai locked themselves in the General Assembly Complex, which was discovered to be 30 floors of luxury condos, restaurants, and health spas.

Reporters found in the rest of the UN building the remains of old mainframe computers.  These computers, manned by a few technicians, were created to run programs like the UN Automatic Document Software, which produced for many decades 300-page documents with language like:

As part of the efforts to strengthen the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Member States, …mandated the Council to convene a high level biennial Development Cooperation Forum to review trends in international development cooperation, …. promote greater coherence among the development activities of different development partners; ….as a key venue for global dialogue and policy review of the effectiveness and coherence of international development cooperation. … Forum also reaffirmed the demand for an inclusive and universally recognized space for discussions on international development cooperation…

UN Computers also ran the revolutionary Promise ReMaker Software, which every 15 years reiterates and reaffirms in stirring language the International Goals made 15 years earlier. Other programs issued new batches of imaginary data every year on per capita income, employment, gender, income distribution, and nutrition.

Josette Sheeran, the “World Food Program Executive Director,” who is really a heavily tattooed computer hacker from Boulder, Colorado, said “It’s amazing all these programs can now fit onto a single MacBook.” She sighed, “we didn’t want to move the huge mainframes out of the building for fear we would get caught.”

“Now the hoax is over,” said Rice sadly, “it’s a bit of a shame.” Sir Mark Lyall Grant KCMG, Her Britannic Majesty's Permanent Representative from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations, agreed: “Now where are we going to send those problems we are too cowardly to address ourselves?”

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What if NCAA Basketball Tournament Teams were coached by Development Economists?

Tomorrow night is the next round of March Madness, the annual NCAA tournament that started off with 64 college basketball teams, now reduced to the "Sweet Sixteen" . It is not widely known that some lower seeded teams in the tournament, who had to play much better teams, desperately sought advice from leading Development Economists.

A Columbia Professor said we already know the successful ingredients for a championship, just get lots of funding for the inputs to a victory. Each of his players was given a beautfiul new basketball but had no incentive to pass it or shoot it.

An Oxford Professor distributed “peacekeeping equipment” to his team, saying it was critical for his Good Team backed by the UN Security Council and the G-7 to win. The other team fled in panic, but was declared the winner by default by tournament officials.

An NYU Professor said a lower seed had never won the tournament and he saw no reason why it would be possible now. He and his team left for a vacation in Cancún.

Other Professors such as Duflo, Banerjee, and Karlan set up randomized trials for which plays work. Treatments included 3-point shots, driving layups, pick and roll, and passing to the open player, compared to a control group holding the ball still. The results were of considerable interest, but players got very confused trying to remember which study to cite and apply in each pressure-packed moment of the game. They did not make the Sweet Sixteen.

Hernando de Soto said the only thing that mattered was property rights. He called for secure titles to his team's land. This team defended its own half-court successfully, but they were forced to recognize the other team's rights also. There was not a lot of scoring.

Mohammed Yunus said it's all about microcredit. He suggested empowering his team's players with micro loans. This was a great success, as players all left the court to start small businesses selling beer and pretzels in the stands.

Finally,the team asking advice from George Mason Professor of Economics Peter Boettke made a Cinderella run into the Sweet Sixteen. What was his brilliant economics advice? Well, he chose not to give any, but he had actually played and coached basketball in high school and college.

Were the above characterizations inaccurate? Everybody can participate in the usual heavy betting on this tournament -- fill out your own brackets below to determine who will advance to the semifinals and then the finals, and who the final winner will be.

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Congressional Muslim Terrorism Hearings: the Mathematical Witness Transcript

UPDATE 11am response to commentator: is there an association between inability to understand Bayes' theorem with ethnic prejudice?UPDATE 3:30PM explaining risk of false positives to congressmen and commentators

Congressman Chairman: Muslims! Terrorists! Muslims! Terrorists!

Witness: Let A be the event of terrorism, and B be the event of Muslimism. Then P(A|B)≠P(B|A)

Congressman: What are you talking about?

Witness: You seem to be confusing the probability that a Muslim person will be a terrorist with the probability that a terrorist person will be a Muslim

Congressman: And you seem to be confusing everyone in this hearing, smartass.

bayes rule
bayes rule


Congressman:  What did you just call me?

Witness: it’s simple, the probability that a Muslim will be a terrorist will be 13,000 times lower than the probability that a terrorist will be a Muslim. That is, the ratio of the probability of being a terrorist to the probability of being a Muslim is about 1 over 13,000 (P(A)/P(B)).

Congressman:  so even the math department has been taken over by politically correct academic radicals who hate America?

Witness: even if you think that the Probability of a Terrorist being a Muslim is 95.3%, the probability of a Muslim being a Terrorist is only 0.0007%. That is less than the probability of a left-handed octogenarian Olympic discus-thrower being struck by lightning.

Congressman: or maybe even less than the probability that anyone is listening to you?

Witness: maybe this picture will help.

terrorist muslims
terrorist muslims

Congressman: I’m calling your state legislature right now to fire your radical butt.

POSTCRIPT: response to commentator:

Mr. McKinney, perhaps your prejudices led you to mis-read the piece. 13,000 was how much larger one conditional probability was than another, which is helpful for understanding Bayes' Theorem but not for policy. The policy-relevant probability is that of a Muslim being a terrorist, which based on a Rand report was calculated here as 0.007 percent.

If you still don't get this, then why don't you also start targeting white males, since 80% of serial killers fit that description, and these serial killers kill about 100 people a year.

Regards, Bill Easterly


To the Congressman and Mr. McKinney (again):

One other probability you may want to consider is that Al-Qaeda's recruiting will become more successful by a δ >= 0.0007 percent after you have persecuted the 99.9993 percent of Muslims who are innocent.

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Twitter Klout of Development Folk

We were pleased at Aid Watch to discover Klout, an online Twitter “influence” scorecard. Could this help us settle some scores left over from the Twitter War we just had? We plan to use this as a rigorous new metric with which we will evaluate our efficacy in aid criticism and progress towards achieving our Meme Development Goals (MDGs), which were arbitrarily and haphazardly made up designed at the 2011 Laura-Freschi-and-Vivek-Nemana-Sitting-In-the-DRI-Office Summit (2011 LFVNSIDRIO Summit). Klout employs such measures as followers, list memberships and retweets to present a comprehensive global metric of Twitter and social media effectiveness. Table 1 lists the Klout scores of various thought leaders in development:

Twitter Handle Klout Score
justinbieber 100
nickkristof 85
ONECampaign 71
viewfromthecave 68
bill_easterly 65
dambisamoyo 61
m_clem 61
paul_hewson 60
earthinstitute 58
jeffdsachs 54
aidwatch 53
endofpoverty 49
mcarthur 48
vnemana 10

We regret the low positioning of Aid Watch, with a Klout score of 53. This fact is partially – but not entirely – offset by Bill Easterly’s higher placement of 65. (Please don’t tell him that @viewfromthecave is way higher).

Nevertheless, Aid Watch will implement a 4-point comprehensive plan of reform to achieve 3 indicators on the way to the MDGs: 1) enhance our social media influence 2) improve our Klout metric and 3) elevate progress towards the MDGs:

  • Intensive Social Mediafication: We will increase investment in our twitter account in order to promote intensive tweeting in an effort to “shock” the Klout metric into growth
  • Retweet incentivizing: Drawing upon pledged support from imaginary donors, Aid Watch will offer a free multicolor wristband to anyone who retweets our tweets
  • Aggressive List Creation: We will establish an independent commission to create and monitor Twitter lists in which Aid Watch may claim membership
  • Randomized experiments on tweets: Tweets will be subjects to RCTs in which the popularity-potential of tweets is rigorously assessed

On a side note, Vivek Nemana’s disappointingly low Klout score of 10 has elicited reactions including “angst,” “shame,” and “humiliation.” We recommend an intensive “shock therapy” regiment of savvy Tweets and follower-count obsession in order for Vivek to escape the Klout trap.

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Does bad taste indicate dictators' vulnerability to overthrow?

UPDATE: an enterprising reader offered another intriguing datapoint Bill noticed it on ubiquitous billboards during a trip to Libya. Laura found more examples. So we think we have found an intriguing phenomenon: autocrats and outré pop stars look alike. Photographic evidence:

And one last uncanny visual correlation:

There are many directions we could go with this, but we choose for now the point that many dictators look ridiculous, and ridiculously unaware of how ridiculous.

A plausible explanation: when you rule by terror, you wind up surrounded by sycophants and yes-men,  so you lack even the most rudimentary check: don't look like a bad parody of yourself.

Which makes dictators vulnerable to some day the population waking up and noticing the Emperor has No Taste. This is of course just a jokey symbol of a much broader disconnect between the dictator and their society's real needs.

We wrote this post before the happy news of Tunisians overthrowing their dictator, and don't intend the post to have any particular relevance to that event (the ex-dictator's taste level is depicted below), but we do hope that more and more peoples can get rid of rulers who are a bad joke.

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Aid Watch Rerun: African leaders advise Bono on reform of U2

Bono_Mandela NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Over the holidays, we'll be publishing reruns of some of our posts from the first 2 years of Aid Watch. This post originally ran on November 23, 2009.

An expert commission of African leaders today announced their plan for comprehensive reform of music band U2. Saying that U2’s rock had lost touch with its African roots, the commission called for urgent measures to halt U2’s slide towards impending crisis.

“Our youth today are imperiled by low quality music,” said Commission chairman Nelson Mandela. “We will be lending African musicians to U2 to try to refurbish their sound to satisfy the urgent and growing needs for diversionary entertainment at a time of crisis in the global music and financial sectors.”

Concerns about U2 have been growing in Africa for a while. One Western aid blogger testified to the Commission that his teenage kids found U2’s music “cheesy.” The Mandela Commission proposed that U2 follow a series of steps to recover its Edge:

1) Hire African consultants to analyze U2’s “poverty of music trap”

2) Prepare a Band-owned and Commission-approved Comprehensive U2 Reform Strategy Design (CURSD)

3) Undertake a rehabilitation tour of African capitals to field-test and ground-truth proposed reforms

4) Subject all songs to randomized experiments in which the effect on wellbeing of control and treatment groups is rigorously assessed.

Mandela expressed optimism that the Commission’s report and proposed reforms had come in time to stave off terminal crisis in U2, and restore its effectiveness in the 80s arena rock field.

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Once upon a Professor: the Christmas Debate Story

Once upon a time, four Professors met to agree upon a Christmas Gift Policy. 'Twas fortunate for the world that they met thus, for they were the world's foremost Gift Experts. Professor A said he already knew what everybody wanted, and wanted to massively increase financing for the International Fund for Christmas and Development, which will come up with a comprehensive plan for all the complementary technical inputs to deliver the correct gifts to all individuals.

Professor B was worried about the lack of child security inside homes, and wanted a G8 rapid response force to intervene and take custody of the children, after which their needs for Christmas gifts will be identified and met.

Professor C called for a randomized trial of the leading 3 types of Christmas gifts, relative to a control group who received no gifts. The results will not be available in time for December 25, so Christmas should be postponed until the results are published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Professor D said that Christmas gifts never gave people what they really wanted, money spent on Christmas gifts was always one hundred percent wasted, and each person should just buy their own Christmas gift for themselves.

The Professors’ fierce debate went on and on, deep into the wintry night, whilst the fire burned low.

Meanwhile, unaware of the debate, individuals around the world went ahead and bought gifts for their loved ones based on nothing other than emotions and guesswork.

And everyone was happy, except perhaps the four Professors.

Merry Christmas!

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US Government asks all governments to respect World Press & Internet Freedom except for US Government

From wonkette (HT David Zetland), the State Department has announced with impeccable timing (what is that Wikileaks thing?) and deafness to irony:

The theme for next year’s commemoration {of World Press Freedom Day} will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals’ right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.

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Generalized Automatic Email Response

UPDATE: Thank you all so much for the wonderful responses to this post on Twitter,  which I will appreciate so much after never reading them. I have been having a lot of trouble managing my email. This causes some people who email me to get very upset. I was thinking I would try to automate the response so as to leave people who email me smiling, happy, satisfied, and in love with me. Here goes:

Thank you for your wonderful email – hearing from you is one of the best things to happen to me today.

Allow me to elaborate further:

1. If you are an automatic mass mailing to a huge number of people, THEN:

  1. I will never read your email.
  2. That’s OK, because you will never read this reply.
  3. Almost everyone else on your list will respond likewise.

2. If I don’t know you, and you are asking me for help or advice on something, THEN:

  1. I love what you're doing! You are great!!
  2. Please read the part of my  writings where I argue the aid of poorly informed strangers is often not very helpful.
  3. This applies very much to the likelihood that I would be of any use to you whatsoever.

3. If I do know you, but somehow I have failed to answer your previous email, it is because:

  1. I hate you.
  2. I am an arrogant prima donna jerk who is ignoring you.
  3. I am disorganized, absent-minded, forgetful, and indecisive, and so have already forgotten whether I answered you already, what the answer was, and what the answer should have been, and I’m really sorry and always will be.
  4. The only correct answer in this case is (c)

4. If you invited me to something very noble and honorable, and I have failed to respond, it is because:

  1. Consider possibilities (a) through (c) in 3 above.
  2. The only correct answer in this case is (c)

Thanks again for your lovely email! Please write again soon!

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OK let's get really rigorous about using local knowledge on US regions

One great response to Friday's post on David Brooks' less-than-perfect-knowledge about the Midwest was a Discover Magazine blog post by Razib Khan that provided the following evidence-based map:

and for those who missed it in the comments section, here's a story from my favorite news source:

'Midwest' Discovered Between East And West Coasts

"I long suspected something was there," said Franklin Eldred, a Manhattan native and leader of the 200-man exploratory force. "I'd flown between New York and L.A. on business many times, and the unusually long duration of my flights seemed to indicate that some sort of large area was being traversed, an area of unknown composition."

Though the Midwest territory is still largely unexplored, early reports describe a region as backwards as it is vast. "Many of the basic aspects of a civilized culture appear to be entirely absent," said Gina Strauch, a Los Angeles-based anthropologist. "There is no theater to speak of, and their knowledge of posh restaurants is sketchy at best. Further, their agricentric lives seem to prevent them from pursuing high fashion to any degree, and, as a result, their mode of dress is largely restricted to sweatpants and sweatshirts

"We must remember that these people are not at all like us," Conde Nast publisher and Manhattan socialite Lucille Randolph Snowdon said. "They are crude and provincial, bewildered by our tall buildings and our art galleries, our books and our coffee shops."

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The Juan Williams Logic Test Edition

UPDATE: some of my dear satirically-challenged readers did not quite pick up on the ironic tone of this post, so I have made a few changes. Others seemed to be missing the point that I am mocking fallacious logical arguments, so let me just clarify that I am mocking fallacious logical arguments.

UPDATE 2: some of you have helpfully explained that Juan Williams was just talking about feelings. OK. Just wondering whether we should deny equal rights to an ethnic group based on feelings?

Multiple choice test!

1. Juan Williams' emotions seemed to say: "most terrorists are Muslim, therefore I deduce that most Muslims are terrorists." This is: (a) an elementary logical error, (b) a valid reason not to take a flight with people wearing "Muslim garb," (c) implies if Juan is afraid of the risks of a terrorist attack, he should never have braved the dangerous drive to the airport.

2. Some nut somewhere is a fan of the economist Friedrich Hayek. Therefore it follows that : (a) since I like Hayek, I am a nut, (b) you can logically prove that Hayek  is a talk show host (c) Hayek's ideas make possible a free society in which nuts say nutty things, but you can ignore them.

3.  The Nazis liked Wagner. James Levine recently conducted  Wagner's Das Rheingold at the Met. Therefore (a) James Levine is a Nazi, (b) Wagner is a Nazi, (c) the overture to Lohengrin is one of the most beautiful pieces of music of all time.

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The plight of the African intellectual – a moral fable

Once upon a time, there were two great lands: Donorlandia and Africa. Donorlandia had many intellectuals who opined about the solutions for Africa, who received much attention in the media of Donorlandia. Few African intellectuals received as much, or even any, such attention when they discussed their own land. Donorlandia’s intellectuals could work for great universities, or for think tanks, or for aid agencies. What’s more the aid agencies and charitable foundations often gave no-strings-attached funding to the independent intellectuals at think tanks or universities who worked on Africa, or created new Research Centers on Africa. Independent African intellectuals had small cash-starved African universities or think tanks, and they received hardly any no-strings-attached funding from Donorlandia’s aid agencies or charitable foundations.

The main option for African intellectuals was to work for aid agencies, where they would no longer be independent, be reporting to non-African bosses, and where their insider perspectives on Africa were seldom appreciated. Independent African intellectuals who criticized aid agencies were vilified and marginalized.

Intellectuals from Donorlandia led individual aid projects or research studies for Africa. Intellectuals from Africa could work for these projects or studies or research centers, but they had little hope that their insights about local culture or conditions would be respected or reflected in the projects and studies. Projects or studies or research centers led by independent African intellectuals did not receive funding from aid agencies or charitable foundations.

Some of the very best African intellectuals left Africa and became independent in the great universities or think tanks or research centers of Donorlandia. But the aid agencies and charitable foundations disqualified these African intellectuals from leading projects or research centers, due to Fear of the evil spirit called Brain Drain.

Donorlandia had once given international scholarships to encourage even more intellectuals in other lands like America-Latina -- so much so that by later times, such intellectuals were now making policy and dealing as equals with aid agencies in America-Latina. But Fear of Brain Drain had paralyzed aid agencies and charitable foundations in Africa in later times, and there were few or no international scholarships to encourage African intellectuals.

African intellectuals bravely persisted under such adverse conditions, believing that one day many more of them also could be independent, that one day they could lead their own projects, think tanks, and research centers, that one day they could be the ones to comment on their own continent and receive the attention they deserved.

Editorial note: This fable is based on many informal discussions I have had over many years with African intellectuals, who for obvious reasons do not want their names used (with the occasional rare exception). I use the literary form of a fable precisely because of this restriction, which means none of the statements can be verified. If it resonates with you the reader, then maybe it’s of some use. If not, then feel free to dismiss it for lack of verifiable proof.

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Knowledgeable, powerful expert in charge of development strategy admits he is fictional

Just a day after completing the country’s Comprehensive Development Strategy, the expert in charge of Development admitted that he does not actually exist. The expert had done a superb job prioritizing the needs of the poor across 9 major sectors and hundreds of development interventions, not to mention mainstreaming gender and the environment. He had calculated the country’s financing requirements to attain the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the country’s needs for neutral, humanitarian peacekeeping forces to end the civil war, along with a post-conflict strategy to re-integrate combatants, and a timetable for fair, competitive elections. The regrettably fictional expert had drawn upon a large body of country and sector work to identify best practices to successfully treat a range of development challenges facing the country, such as AIDS, malnutrition, malaria, lack of infrastructure, illiteracy, war, rule of law, governance, the fragility of the state, and the absence of economic growth. The expert had coordinated the actions of the 37 Development partners operating in the 9 major sectors and 147 sub-sectors within a Public Sector Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.

The knowledgeable and powerful but nonexistent expert had also integrated into the country’s Comprehensive Development Strategy the Human Resources Strategy, the Empowerment of the Poor Strategy, the Gender Framework, the Post-Conflict Strategy, the Climate Change Response Program, the Governance Framework, the Capacity-Building Initiative, the Country Ownership and Participation Strategy, and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The expert had inclusive participation by all stakeholders, including Development Partners, government officials, and civil society, in designing the Comprehensive Development Strategy.

Leading aid agencies expressed doubts that the expert’s claims to be nonexistent were valid, and promised to address the issue of expert fictionality in the next donor meetings in Geneva.

Postscript: the Onion recently reported a similar problem with US Homeland Security.

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18th century wetbacks

Update: see end of post

Why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion. (Benjamin Franklin (1751)).

In the first half of the 18th century, there was a lot of immigration from the Palatinate region of German (southwestern region around Mannheim and Heidelberg) to the US, mainly through Philadelphia. The Palatinate had been devastated by repeated wars since the Thirty Years War a century earlier, so migrants sought better economic opportunities across the water. They shipped up the Rhine to Rotterdam, then sailed for Philadelphia, often paying for their passage with indentured servitude. Ben Franklin was apparently not a big fan of these immigrants, whom he also labeled "stupid" and "swarthy" (as compared to the genuine "whites," the English, hence the reference above to "our Complexion").

And now for yet another one of those embarrassingly self-indulgent personal connections. One swarthy stupid German migrant who arrived in Philly in 1742 was named Conrad Oesterlen; his last name was later Anglicized to Easterly.

UPDATE : Arizona announces ban on all immigrants who arrived after 1840.

(API) Arizona governor Bobby Lee Jones-Scott announced today that the Arizona law had been fixed to eliminate all inconsistencies by banning any immigrants who arrived after 1840. Jones-Scott explained that after 1840, immigrants started deviating from America's Protestant heritage: "in the 1840s, we started getting them people who was Papists, Jews, Syrian Orthodox, Shinto, Muslim, and all those other religions that I can hardly keep head or tail of, and they had all these weird rules about shellfish, pork, and eating only fish on Fridays." Unconfirmed and frankly fictional sources confirmed that all candidates for public office in Arizona had endorsed the new fully consistent legal framework for Arizona, although a few candidates were rumored to have had to make last-minute conversions to Anglicanism.

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Easterly appointed to Eliot Spitzer Chair in Gender Empowerment

The NYT revealed today a new way to launder contributions to Congress for purposes of influencing legislation. Corporate lobbyists help fund a chair or research institute at a university, naming it after the Congressperson they want to influence. This naturally excited the fundraising department of Aid Watch. We welcome suggestions from readers on which corporate lobbies we could suck up to for funding and which politicians can be bought honored with these funds. Right now we are conducting a search for the new Sarah Palin Professorship in Geographical Studies.

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Aid Watch offers free PR advice to prime satire target

As experienced satirists, maybe we can do our part helping Aid CEOs avoid ridicule. For example, if you are the CEO of the (RED) campaign fighting AIDS afflicting the desperately poor in Africa, you might not want to appear in today's FT Power Dressing column (not available online) with quotes like these:

Suit by Gucci There are certain things that I am really particular about with my wardrobe..I like my suits to fit incredibly well; for example, I always have a little cut made of the inside of my trousers at the ankle so they sit better on my shoes....

...My shirts are tailor-made by Turnbull & Asser. Ready-made shirts tend to be too baggy around the waist and then you lose the sharpness of the suit.

Tie by Hermes ...I don't like fussy ties.

Socks by Gap ...if you are going to make the effort to have you suit cut impeccably, why ruin it by having socks that don't match?

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