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  1. #1
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    Default Obama/Rahm Emanuel taking contol of Census

    Making my rounds in today's news cycle, apparently the census will now be reporting directly to the white house. All that information about you and I, the number of homeless homeless, what and how many places need aid, population numbers, redistricting, the electoral college, etc. All this information will now be siphoned directly to the white house instead of through the commerce secretary, as its always been done. In my opinion, this is another move on the agenda of growing government, increasing government power (in a panaoptical fashion) and centralizing its power. This was all done on a Friday when the public is not paying attention and it doesn't have an opportunity to make headlines until the following week (today).

    John Fund Explains Why Barack Obama Wants Control of the U.S. Census - WSJ.com


    Why Obama Wants Control of the Census
    Counting citizens is a powerful political tool.

    * Article

    more in Opinion ╗

    By JOHN FUND

    President Obama said in his inaugural address that he planned to "restore science to its rightful place" in government. That's a worthy goal. But statisticians at the Commerce Department didn't think it would mean having the director of next year's Census report directly to the White House rather than to the Commerce secretary, as is customary. "There's only one reason to have that high level of White House involvement," a career professional at the Census Bureau tells me. "And it's called politics, not science."

    The decision was made last week after California Rep. Barbara Lee, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Hispanic groups complained to the White House that Judd Gregg, the Republican senator from New Hampshire slated to head Commerce, couldn't be trusted to conduct a complete Census. The National Association of Latino Officials said it had "serious questions about his willingness to ensure that the 2010 Census produces the most accurate possible count."
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    Anything that threatens the integrity of the Census has profound implications. Not only is it the basis for congressional redistricting, it provides the raw data by which government spending is allocated on everything from roads to schools. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also uses the Census to prepare the economic data that so much of business relies upon. "If the original numbers aren't as hard as possible, the uses they're put to get fuzzier and fuzzier," says Bruce Chapman, who was director of the Census in the 1980s.

    Mr. Chapman worries about a revival of the effort led by minority groups after the 2000 Census to adjust the totals for states and cities using statistical sampling and computer models. In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Department of Commerce v. U.S. House that sampling could not be used to reapportion congressional seats. But it left open the possibility that sampling could be used to redraw political boundaries within the states.

    Such a move would prove controversial. "Sampling potentially has the kind of margin of error an opinion poll has and the same subjectivity a voter-intent standard in a recount has," says Mr. Chapman.

    Starting in 2000, the Census Bureau conducted three years of studies with the help of many outside statistical experts. According to then Census director Louis Kincannon, the Bureau concluded that "adjustment based on sampling didn't produce improved figures" and could damage Census credibility.

    The reason? In theory, statisticians can identify general numbers of people missed in a head count. But it cannot then place those abstract "missing people" into specific neighborhoods, let alone blocks. And anyone could go door to door and find out such people don't exist. There can be other anomalies. "The adjusted numbers told us the head count had overcounted the number of Indians on reservations," Mr. Kincannon told me. "That made no sense."

    The problem of counting minorities and the homeless has long been known. Census Bureau statisticians believe that a vigorous hard count, supplemented by adding in the names of actual people missed by head counters but still found in public records, is likely to lead to a far more defensible count than sampling-based adjustment.

    The larger debate prompted seven former Census directors -- serving every president from Nixon to George W. Bush -- to sign a letter last year supporting a bill to turn the Census Bureau into an independent agency after the 2010 Census. "It is vitally important that the American public have confidence that the census results have been produced by an independent, non-partisan, apolitical, and scientific Census Bureau," it read.

    The directors also noted that "each of us experienced times when we could have made much more timely and thorough responses to Congressional requests and oversight if we had dealt directly with Congress." The bill's chief sponsor is New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents Manhattan's Upper East Side.

    "The real issue is who directs the Census, the pros or the pols," says Mr. Chapman. "You would think an administration that's thumping its chest about respecting science would show a little respect for scientists in the statistical field." He worries that a Census director reporting to a hyperpartisan such as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel increases the chances of a presidential order that would override the consensus of statisticians.

    The Obama administration is downplaying how closely the White House will oversee the Census Bureau. But Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insists there is "historical precedent" for the Census director to be "working closely with the White House."

    It would be nice to know what Sen. Gregg thinks about all this, but he's refusing comment. And that, says Mr. Chapman, the former Census director, is damaging his credibility. "He will look neutered with oversight of the most important function of his department over the next two years shipped over to the West Wing," he says. "If I were him, I wouldn't take the job unless I had that changed."

    Mr. Fund is a columnist for WSJ.com.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Maabus1999's Avatar
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    All Your Base Are Belong To Us

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    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maabus1999 View Post
    All Your Base Are Belong To Us
    Yes, inded. We contol ALL !!!
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    Reichsfuhrer Herman Goering at the Nuremburg trials.

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    The commerce secretary has now resigned. He is a republican, and I'm sure he found Obama's decision to remove the census from being subject to the forces of the judiciary and legislative branches through the commerce department had a lot to do with his resignation.

    Ben Smith's Blog: Political News and Analysis - Politico.com


    Gregg pulls out

    Judd Gregg abruptly pulls out of the process of becoming Commerce Secretary.

    The statement from his office:

    I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

    However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.

    Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives.

    I greatly admire President Obama and know our country will benefit from his leadership, but at this time I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.

    As we move forward, I expect there will be many issues and initiatives where I can and will work to assure the success of the Presidentĺs proposals. This will certainly be a goal of mine.

    Kathy and I also want to specifically thank Governor Lynch and Bonnie Newman for their friendship and assistance during this period. In addition we wish to thank all the people, especially in New Hampshire, who have been so kind and generous in their supportive comments.

    As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision. I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.

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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Making my rounds in today's news cycle, apparently the census will now be reporting directly to the white house.
    I'm not understanding what's so significant here. The Secretary of Commerce has always been part of the executive branch. But the census hasn't always been directed through the Secretary of Commerce because that was a post that didn't even exist until the early 20th century.
    "We grow up thinking that´╗┐ beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are´╗┐ easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of´╗┐ a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    I knew you were going to post about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I'm not understanding what's so significant here. The Secretary of Commerce has always been part of the executive branch. And the census hasn't always been directed through the Secretary of Commerce because that was a post that didn't even exist until the early 20th century.
    It's mostly wrong because the dems want to use statistical methods rather than allow allowing 'gerry' to decide.

    Not everyone is happy with that result, since after many years of preference, re-alignment would cost many political jobs. It's a non-story for the most part. Depends on what actually is done with the closer relationship.

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    [youtube="VAztbCa76Kc"] VAztbCa76Kc [/youtube]

    The white house will have the option not to count heads, but to use computer models to come up with the numbers. This means the white house will be determining the numbers themselves. The process would not be transparent through the white house, unlike through commerce dept where their counting must be published and public. How many congress representatives a city gets, what kind of federal aid they get, what the electoral votes are all decided through the Census numbers. For this who don't trust the government farther than they can throw them, this is concerning. Anyone who does trust them has poor judgment, in my opinion.

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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    This doesn't look like something that would require them to run everything directly through the White House. The commerce department derives its power from the President. All Obama would have to do is tell the commerce department to perform the census a different way.

    This story looks like a bunch of hot air to me.
    "We grow up thinking that´╗┐ beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are´╗┐ easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of´╗┐ a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    This doesn't look like something that would require them to run everything directly through the White House. The commerce department derives its power from the President. All Obama would have to do is tell the commerce department to perform the census a different way.

    This story looks like a bunch of hot air to me.
    Then why would they bother to change the process at all? Why would it become one of the driving factors for the commerce secretary to resign? Honestly, I don't trust that their motives for doing this are virtuous. The whitehouse ALONE will be in charge of the oversight, and I don't trust that the administration will use it responsibly. When people like Rahm Emanuel espouse the belief that "a crisis is an opportunity to do things you could never get done before, and should not be wasted", I don't trust them.

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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I wouldn't trust anyone in that office (except myself, of course). I'm not going to just assume there's some conspiracy with ulterior motives. I need more information before I come to that sort of conclusion.
    "We grow up thinking that´╗┐ beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are´╗┐ easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of´╗┐ a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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