Friday, May 12, 2017

The GOP Cheats to Win Again!


The 2020 Census!

So, while we've been all incessantly distracted by James Comey's firing, meanwhile...
Given the sudden canning of FBI head James Comey on Tuesday, don’t feel bad if you didn’t hear that US Census Bureau director John H. Thompson announced his resignation the same day.
__________
The census plays an essential role in a fair and functional democracy by making sure communities get the right number of representatives in government — and that government builds schools and roads in the right places. The survey’s current woes are an entirely predictable, and predicted, result of congressional shortsightedness. Congress told the bureau it must spend no more on the 2020 operation than it spent in 2010 — $12.5 billion. With a bigger population to count, a better compensated workforce to pay and an outmoded pen-and-paper operation to reinvent, any director would have struggled with that mandate. It does not help that, so far this cycle, Congress has been funding the survey at historic lows.
__________
Ken Prewitt, who led the agency from 1998 to 2001, worries that a long delay in naming a well-qualified replacement for Thompson could be the first step of a long, steep decline in the quality of the federal statistic system, which spans 13 agencies. “That system is fragile, and it wouldn’t take much to damage it severely,” says Prewitt, a professor of social affairs at Columbia University. “My real fear is that they don’t care enough to do a good job with the 2020 census. And then after doing a bad job, they decide to let the private sector take over.”
Get ready folks.  Expect a poorly run census, and yet another round of GOP Gerrymandering to follow unless we as a people wake up and realize what's happening here.  The GOP is already over-represented, thanks to geography and the nature of the Senate - and gerrymandering.  This could be their last chance to retain their unbalance of power before the demographics simply won't allow it anymore.  Given the positions of the GOP, it is clear they have no moral quandary cheating to get what they want.

Three things to do...

Make sure you and everyone you know are counted in the 2020 census.

Tell your representatives and senators that you demand a quality census that counts everyone.

Vote for people of good moral character, whatever their party.  (If you can find a Republican that can be described as such, and you prefer Republicans, then good for you!  But please don't let your morality take a backseat to your partisanship).

JMJ

28 comments:

  1. The anti-Census attitude from many Americans has been going on since the beginning of our Republic. Census takers were the original government workers that have been held in resentment since 1789. The Census bureau is not just a Republican whipping post. Hopefully Americans are starting to regret another government process they have neglected and even vilified, to their own detriment. Another 225 year old Constitution law the people have allowed to be abused only to find out they should have been protecting it all along. Are Republicans to blame, or the people? Democrats have a history of abusing the Census numbers also.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I worked for the Census in 2010. It was a lot of fun. I did three assignments as a crew leader and supervisor, in quality control, group housing, and non-response follow-up. My efficiency and percentages were among the very best in the state.

    My numbers were good, and there were lots of good people out there, but I can tell you for a fact that in general we are not nearly paying enough attention to this vital constitutional task, and we're about to get jacked by that again.

    In the Bad Ol' Days, southern Democrats (now all Republicans) used gerrymandering to marginalize the black vote. Meanwhile, in the big cities, the local bosses would draw up the districts by the old ward system, and the parties were arbitrarily nominal entities.

    A hundred years ago, there were about 200,000 people per US House district. It is now well over 700,000 per district. There are now four states with populations below that number - Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Three of the four of them are extremely Republican, and one is extremely liberal.

    The larger the population per district, the easier to marginalize voting blocs and the GOP has mastered this to the absurd after the past few censuses. They have disconnected the districts in such a way as to separate the political interests of the suburbs with the urban areas where they work and shop, and it just so happens minorities populate those urban areas and work in the service sector peripheral to those suburban commuters jobs there. By separating those interests, the GOP can marginalize minorities and the working poor, suppress demand for upkeep of those areas, and so forth. That is today's reality.

    I hope people pay attention to this, and Net Neutrality, and Wall Street deregulation, etc. Trump keeps feeding the sensationalism, the media eats it up, while our future is being undermined by a GOP desperate to keep it's grip on power.

    He's about to nominate a pile of conservative judges too... gee... how lovely. More Coporatist/Statist stooges on the bench. Just what we really don't need.

    JMJ

    ReplyDelete
  3. In short what you're saying Jersey is that republicans have successfully set up an unethical and immoral, yet legal system of discrimination. One that insured continuation of white privilege.

    Then there is the disparate impact of The War on Drugs on certain communities relative to prison population.

    We now have Sessions firing up The War on Drugs again and Trump appointing conservative judges.

    Prepare for the worst.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh God, yeah, that f'n War on Drugs, and the f'n Sessions. One 'giant leap backwards for mankind.'

      JMJ

      Delete
  4. Jersey, People who live in cities are Democrats. The "geography" of a city makes providing "central services" very efficient. The same is not true of rural areas like Alaska with the populations widely dispersed. To "unite" the "interests" of the city dweller and suburbanite is an oxy-moron. They have "opposing" interests when it comes to centralized decision making and government.

    In Maryland, the city of Baltimore is divided into 5 Congressional Districts so as to gerrymander Democrat representation across the state. But does it serve the city or just state Democrat party? I argue it only serves the latter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why would I "justify" the Dems doing the same sort of thing in MD (which is a more complex situation than you realize, and the Dems would actually gain a seat if the geography of the districts were more compact)?

      When it comes to states like Alaska, Wyoming, and North Dakota, where the populations are so small they only have one Representative, Gerrymandering is not the issue. The problem is the nature of the Senate.

      The Founders hadn't counted on "states" being drawn up just for a handful of ranchers, railroads, or mining operations - extractors and speculators, who also are a sort of people who tend to be Republican, "conservative." Dick Cheney comes to mind. Fun guy.

      JMJ

      JMJ

      Delete
    2. and the Dems would actually gain a seat if the geography of the districts were more compact.

      They own seven of eight seats now. They Dem's would definitely lose another seat or three if they made the districts more comp[act.

      Delete
    3. I read there are three possible outcomes from various redistrict ideas for Maryland, in one, they lose one more seat, in another they gain one (complete control), in another the balance stays the same.

      JMJ

      Delete
    4. Maryland had two "Republic" districts, until the 6th was gerrymandered by Democrats (again) in 2013 to add a few more "suburban Democrats" into a once safe "rural" Republican seat and push many formerly happy Republicans into a district with the DC Democrat loving 8th.

      Delete
    5. My ass. The 6th doesn't have enough people without adding part of the Capital region.

      JMJ

      Delete
    6. They did before the Democratic legislature shifted all the Republicans living in Caroll and Baltimore Counties into the 1st District...

      Delete
    7. It would have made more sense to combine the 6th with Baltimore City, an area that was actually losing population...

      Delete
  5. Baltimore (/ˈbɔːltᵻˌmɔːr/, locally: [ˈbɔɫ.mɔɻ]) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland, and the 29th-most populous city in the country. It was established by the Constitution of Maryland[9] and is not part of any county; thus, it is the largest independent city in the United States, with a population of 621,849 as of 2015. As of 2016, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.8 million making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Again, with MD? Are you are bot, GGG. Please tell me you're not a bot...

      JMJ

      Delete
    2. That you and Speedy are morally equivocating?

      JMJ

      Delete
  6. That Maryland is more consistently gerrymandered?

    Your point is what exactly? That both sides do it? That this negates the fact republicans on a nationwide basis are in fact more efficient and successful at it?

    Please elaborate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. omg...

      I've never conversed more about Maryland in my entire life!

      JMJ

      Delete
    2. My point is that Jersey is delusional if he thinks that the residents of Oakland in Western Maryland, or the Eastern Shore have the "same interests" as those of inner city Baltimore, all Democrat attempts to gerrymander it so, notwithstanding. And if ANYONE is likely to get "undercounted" in a census, it sure ain't the residents of urban areas, who are much more "efficiently" counted.

      Delete
    3. Well, speaking as someone who trained and supervised crews in three phases of the last census, there are a few things I learned.

      There is both under- and over-counting that happens in the census. Here's a pretty fair assessment from them in 2012: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/2010_census/cb12-95.html

      There are various reasons for these. But for the most part it's just sloppy work. Last time around, the job was done pretty well. I'm not surprised by this. It was pretty well organized and run. Functionally constructed by the Bush administration and quite faithfully carried out by his successor.

      I am proud to say that my work was among the very best in my state. For the most part, I was surrounded by very good people. The census lucked out with the Great Recession when it came to labor (and the labor market really needed it). A lot of high-skill people were out of work. A lot of Boomers were retiring from the professional lives but were still young enough and willing to work. Got a lot of high skill from them. Heck, one of my guys was a friggin' brain surgeon! Sephardic guy from Turkey, in his early 80's. It so impressed him that I surmised his background with just his name and accent, we became very friendly until he passes a couple years ago. I had all sorts of retired military brass too. It was fun.

      Your notion of over-counting in urban areas is incorrect. If anything, it's very difficult to get people to even want to work certain sorts of areas. And it's not just the cities. We have plenty more underclass living in trailer parks and various sorts of housing all over the country. It's hard to get good counts among them too.

      It was common to have half a class walk out of an assignment when they found out it was poor or black or what have you. The census intentionally sends in people from one area to another to help avoid over-counting. As well, after the Recession, the numbers of over-qualified workers flooded the taker jobs, so the takers were mostly educated, middle-class, white men and women in their 30's on up. Poor people from bad areas didn't do very well on the tests, and the curve was really high.

      As for how districts should be drawn - you're silly and ridiculous example is not what anyone is talking about. Take MD, there are three districts that look really weird on the map, the 2nd, the 3rd, and the 4th. If you redrew them just for geographical reasons, all 8 seats would probably belong to the Dems. Otherwise, you wouldn't redraw MD much at all. The 6th District is drawn that way because otherwise it would not contain enough people.

      But besides that pesky ol' Constitution, you just argued for not having states or districts at all! And interests? The average income in the western part of the state is well below the national average, while the incomes in the corridor are 2-3 times what they are along the Corridor. I'm quite certain the western part of the state is quite dependent on those tax dollars coming in from those cities.

      JMJ

      Delete
    4. Oops!

      "while the incomes in the corridor are 2-3 times what they are in the west."

      JMJ

      Delete
    5. Funny, the 6th District had plenty of people until they elected Roscoe...

      And the rich people deserve the poor people's votes because they pay their taxes (which in DC pay THEIR salaries)?

      Delete
    6. The district had long been a Republican stronghold, but it had been significantly reconfigured. The Maryland General Assembly shifted heavily Republican Carroll County and a mostly Republican section of Frederick County to the heavily Democratic 8th district. It shifted Republican-tilting sections of Harford and Baltimore counties into the already heavily Republican 1st district. Taking their place was a heavily Democratic section of Montgomery County.

      Delete