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President takes responsability of Census away from Commerce.

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ABQCOWBOY, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/fir...unds-alarm-obama-decision-census-white-house/

    GOP Sounds Alarm Over Obama Decision to Move Census to White House
    A number of Republicans are joining the fight to put the census issue into the political spotlight "before it's too late."

    FOXNews.com
    Monday, February 09, 2009

    Utah's congressional delegation is calling President Obama's decision to move the U.S. census into the White House a purely partisan move and potentially dangerous to congressional redistricting around the country.

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told FOX News on Monday that he finds it hard to believe the Obama administration felt the need to place re-evaluation of the inner workings of the census so high on his to-do list, just three weeks into his presidency.

    "This is nothing more than a political land grab," Chaffetz said.

    Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, told the Salt Lake Tribune that the move "shouldn't happen." He and Chaffetz are trying to rally Republicans "before its too late."

    "It takes something that is supposedly apolitical like the census, and gives it to a guy who is infamously political," Bishop said of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who would be tasked with overseeing the census at the White House.

    The U.S. census -- a counting of the U.S. population -- is conducted every 10 years by the Commerce Department. Its results determine the decennial redrawing of congressional districts

    As a matter of impact, the census has tremendous political significance. Political parties are always eager to have a hand in redrawing districts so that they can maximize their own party's clout while minimizing the opposition, often through gerrymandering.

    The census also determines the composition of the Electoral College, which chooses the president. If one party were to control the census, it could arguably try to perpetuate its hold on political power.

    The results of the census are also enormously important in another way -- the allocation of federal funds. Theoretically, a political party could disproportionately steer federal funding to areas dominated by its own members through a skewing of census numbers.

    At this point the White House doesn't seem willing to say what Emanuel's role will be in overseeing the census, and White House officials say census managers will work closely with top-level White House staffers, but will technically remain part of the Commerce Department.

    But critics say the White House chief of staff can't be expected to handle the census in a neutral manner. Emanuel ran the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 election, and he was instrumental in getting Democrats elected into the majority.

    "The last thing the census needs is for any hard-bitten partisan (either a Karl Rove or a Rahm Emanuel) to manipulate these critical numbers. Many federal funding formulas depend on them, as well as the whole fabric of federal and state representation. Partisans have a natural impulse to tilt the playing field in their favor, and this has to be resisted," Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, told FOX News in an e-mail.

    Critics note that the method of counting can skew the census. Democrats have long advocated using mathematical estimates, a practice known as "sampling," to count urban residents and immigrants. Republicans say the Constitution requires a physical head count, which entails going door-to-door.

    In 2000, Utah, which has three congressmen, was extremely close to landing a fourth House seat based on U.S. Census numbers, but the nation's most conservative state fell short by a few hundred votes because the Census Bureau wouldn't count Mormon missionaries from Utah serving temporarily overseas.

    The GOP took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Utah leaders had hoped the 2010 census would rectify the problem, but now worry that they will lose again if the census is managed by partisans.

    When Obama nominated New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be commerce secretary -- he was later forced to withdraw -- he indicated that Richardson would be in charge of the census.

    The decision to move the census into the White House was announced just days after Obama named New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, a Republican, to be his commerce secretary. Gregg has long opposed "sampling" by the census and has voted against funding increases for the bureau.

    Sabato said moving the census "in-house" will likely set up a situation where neither the Commerce Department nor the White House will know exactly what is going on in the Census Bureau. He said the process is "too critical to politics for both parties not to pay close attention."

    "I've always remembered what Joseph Stalin said: 'Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.' The same principle applies to the census. Since one or the other party will always be in power at the time of the census, it is vital that the out-of-power party at least be able to observe the process to make sure it isn't being stacked in favor of the party in power. This will be difficult for the GOP since I suspect Democrats will control both houses of Congress for the entire Obama first term," Sabato said.

    FOX News' Bill Sammon and Shannon Bream contributed to this report.

    -----------------------

    Those who do not trust this Administration will view this with an eye of distrust. Those who believe in this Adminstration will justify this, although I must admit, I'm not certain how. In any case, surely this is not the most important thing on the agenda is it? Why now?
  2. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Repost. And to this I say, Obama took responsibility for the Census away from one department under his control and gave it to another department under his control?!?!?!?!?!

    The audacity!
  3. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Untrue. The Census Department reports into Commerce, who is responsible to, among other things, Congress, Judicial and Executive. This move would put the reporting directly to the President, which is not how it's supposed to work but again, I did say that it would be explained away.

    I'm not surprised but I'm also not enlightened as to why this is a good thing.

    However, you have my appoligies for the repost.
  4. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Uh...the Department of Commerce is a part of the executive branch and as such the President appoints the Secretary of Commerce, among other positions within the department, which then exercise control over the department.
  5. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Their is a difference between appointing somebody to head up a Branch of the Government and reporting directly to somebody. The President appoints members to the Supreme Court as well but they do not report directly to him.
  6. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    then since you seem to have all the answers, tell me this.

    why? why do it?
  7. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    This question is asked with regards to many areas of President Obama's plans but it's never answered.

    Why attach all these extra projects to the Stimulus Project? You have the votes to pass them as independant legislation if they are solid. Nobody ever answers that question.

    "One last question, before I call
    Airmen O'Malley and Rodriguez.

    If you ordered that Santiago wasn't
    to be touched, -

    - and your orders
    are always followed, -

    - then why was Santiago in danger?

    Why would it be necessary
    to transfer him off the base?



    :)
  8. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    I guess you missed the distinction between EXECUTIVE BRANCH and JUDICIAL BRANCH when thinking of that analogy. The Department of Commerce is part of the executive branch. The President appoints the senior leaders in the department. Everyone in the department reports to the senior leaders who report to the President. The Supreme Court doesn't report to the President.

    I have no idea and I don't have all (or any) of the answers. Just pointing out why I think it's a non-issue.
  9. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    fair enough - but i want to understand more about it. seems odd he'll want to redistrict then he wants the census.

    don't we have more important matters these days?

    like resodding the national mall...
  10. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    But you still did not address the issue. The fact of the matter is that a seperate buruau was created to manage information, which is used by all branches. Their funding is approved by Congress and they are answerable to Congress for appropriations etc. They are also answerable to Security agencies as well. All parts of our Government, in theory, are answerable to Judicial. So again, it doesn't matter if they are part of the Executive Branch or not. They were designed to be autonomous because amoung other things, they also collect very select data ranging from economic status to political affiliations. While the President can certainly ask for any information from Census, it has to be done through a formal request. A record of it has to exist. By bringing it in house, the President can then review any information on anybody anytime for any reason.

    In addition to this, as was discussed in the previous thread, which you obviously read and are aware of, they are also responsible for the following.

    http://www.ask.com/bar?q=What Is th...ikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Census_Bureau


    Main article: United States Census
    The Constitution of the United States directs that the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College. In addition, Census data directly affect how more than $300 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation and much more. The Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, and economy. The Census Bureau's legal authority is codified in Title 13 of the United States Code. The first population census taken was in 1790. The Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every 10 years in years ending with a 0 (zero) and uses the term "decennial" to describe the operation. Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population estimates and projections.[1]

    In addition, the Census Bureau also conducts surveys on behalf of various Federal Government and local government agencies on topics such as employment, crime, health, consumer expenditures, and housing. Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial (10-year) population counts. The Census Bureau also conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail, service, and other establishments and of domestic governments.



    It is wise of you to admit to ingnorance of why this must be done in a time such as this. So many problems face our nation yet this one is amoung the very first that is delt with by President Obama.

    I think the Lawyer in you is coming out. No point in trying to defend a position that is undefensable. Better to just plead ignorance of the subject matter and live to fight another day.

    :)
  11. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Congress funds all of the executive branch, and the judicial branch. It's called the 'power of the purse.' Every year you see the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court head on up to Congress and beg for more money to be spent on the judiciary, but that doesn't make him anymore answerable to Congress than it does the Census Bureau.

    They were not designed to be autonomous. They answer to the Commerce Secretary who answers to the President.

    http://www.commerce.gov/About_Us/ssLINK/PROD01_004984

    Check out the organizational flow chart on the first page of document. Yup, answers to the Commerce Secretary. You don't see Congress in that flow chart do you? Now, tell me again, who's holding the ignorant, indefensible position?
  12. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    This is not accurate. What's more, I explained to you the difference between how the Census used to work and how it could work if moved into the direct responsability (direct report) of the President.

    Your first post was to inform me of the fact that this was a re-post. I read that thread, as did you apparently, yet you say that you have no idea why the POTUS might want this to happen.

    OK. If it makes you feel better to believe this, OK. In the end, we will all be on the for these decision.
  13. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Yes, it is.
  14. ThaBigP

    ThaBigP New Member

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    Two points...first, Obama reached across the aisle to appoint a Republican over Commerce...you know, in an olive branch of bipartisanship. Then, promptly cut Commerce out of the census loop.

    Furthermore, this has HUGE ramifications in regards to apportionment. What if they decide (since they are now demanding the authority to) that California suddenly had a huge uptick in population? This could come any number of ways, but most likely by changing the methodology by which the homeless/addressless are counted, as well as illegal aliens. Up until now it has been required to physically count an individual to include them in the census. The wonderful new Progressive idea kicked around the last few counts is to simply "guess" as to the number of homeless. How easy it would be to simply "guess" inflated populations where such fuzzy math would help the party in power? And, that's the point. What about Texas? Suddenly our homeless population could be found to be highly inflated, and our population in the census reduced as a result (as well as the compantion reduction of representation in the House).
  15. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    does that answer the question of "why" he would do it?

    theogt - i don't want to get into the smoke and mirror argument and get the 'why" lost.

    WHY is this is a non-move, did it get moved? you think a politicians just does things for the heck of it w/o a plan?

    i wanna know why he's doing this.
  16. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Oh, I agree that there could be a significant funny business going on with the census, but that could happen regardless of whether this recent move happens or not. That's my point.

    I have no idea why. I don't read minds. Maybe there's some sinister motive, I don't know.
  17. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Its not even a month into his term yet he pushes this. Tell me there is not something pretty big involved? Those saying this is nothing are frankly either STUPID or know what it is and want it.
  18. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    and don't seem to care.
  19. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Like I said, anything mischievous could happen regardless of this move. So, it's a non-issue.
  20. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    maybe.

    but i won't blow it off. if a non-issue, nothing has changed -

    why?

    you ever take your underwear out of the drawer just to move it around and put them all back?

    this was done for a reason and i'm curious as to why.

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