Saturday, January 15, 2022

Last Call For The National Miscount

The Trump regime's sabotage of the 2020 Census was so far-reaching that Census officials kept a long list of unprecedented interference from the White House and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, all in the service of harming blue states and making political and economic gains for Republican one-party rule states like Texas and Florida.

A newly disclosed memorandum citing “unprecedented” meddling by the Trump administration in the 2020 census and circulated among top Census Bureau officials indicates how strongly they sought to resist efforts by the administration to manipulate the count for Republican political gain.

The document was shared among three senior executives including Ron S. Jarmin, a deputy director and the agency’s day-to-day head. It was written in September 2020 as the administration was pressing the bureau to end the count weeks early so that if President Donald J. Trump lost the election in November, he could receive population estimates used to reapportion the House of Representatives before leaving office.

The memo laid out a string of instances of political interference that senior census officials planned to raise with Wilbur Ross, who was then the secretary of the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau. The issues involved crucial technical aspects of the count, including the privacy of census respondents, the use of estimates to fill in missing population data, pressure to take shortcuts to produce population totals quickly and political pressure on a crash program that was seeking to identify and count unauthorized immigrants.

Most of those issues directly affected the population estimates used for reapportionment. In particular, the administration was adamant that — for the first time ever — the bureau separately tally the number of undocumented immigrants in each state. Mr. Trump had ordered the tally in a July 2020 presidential memorandum, saying he wanted to subtract them from House reapportionment population estimates.

The census officials’ memorandum pushed back especially forcefully, complaining of “direct engagement” by political appointees with the methods that experts were using to find and count unauthorized noncitizens.

“While the presidential memorandum may be a statement of the administration’s policy,” the memo stated, “the Census Bureau views the development of the methodology and processes as its responsibility as an independent statistical agency.”

The memorandum was among hundreds of documents that the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school obtained in a lawsuit seeking details of the Trump administration’s plans for calculating the allotment of House seats. The suit was concluded in October, but none of the documents had been made public until now.

Kenneth Prewitt, a Columbia University public-affairs scholar who ran the Census Bureau from 1998 to 2001, said in an interview that the careful bureaucratic language belied an extraordinary pushback against political interference.

“This was a very, very strong commitment to independence on their part,” he said. “They said, ‘We’re going to run the technical matters in the way we think we ought to.’”

The officials’ objections, he said, only underscored the need for legislation to shield the Census Bureau from political interference well before the 2030 census gets underway. “I’m very worried about that,” he said.

Reached by email, Mr. Ross said he neither recalled seeing the memorandum nor discussing its contents with the bureau’s executives. A spokesman for the Census Bureau, Michael C. Cook, said he could not immediately say whether census officials actually raised the issues with Mr. Ross or, if so, what his response was.

The Trump administration had long been open about its intention to change the formula for divvying up House seats among the states by excluding noncitizens from the population counts. That would leave an older and whiter population base in states with large immigrant populations, something that was presumed to work to Republican advantage.

Mr. Trump’s presidential memorandum ordering the Census Bureau to compile a list of noncitizens for that purpose prompted a far-reaching plan to scour billions of government records for hints of foreigners living here, illegally or not. The bureau proved unable to produce the noncitizen count before Mr. Trump left office, and noncitizens were counted in the allocation of House seats, just as they had been in every census since 1790.

But as the documents show, that was not for lack of effort on the part of the Commerce Department and its leader at the time.

Among other disclosures, undated documents show that Mr. Ross was enlisted to lobby 10 Republican governors whose states had been reluctant to turn over driver’s license records and lists of people enrolled in public assistance programs so that they could be screened for potential noncitizens
Trump absolutely wanted a detailed list of undocumented citizens in order to supply ICE facilities with millions of detainees at immense taxpayer cost while they were slowly deported, with Republicans at every step of the way making tens of billions in a never-ending revenue stream.
The plan only failed because the courts stopped Trump.  I'm imagining how a ruling that only counted US citizens in the Census would have been catastrophic.

The federal courts are improving as Biden has appointed judges at a breakneck pace, but the Supreme Court is going to be a mess for the rest of my lifetime.

Unless the laws are changed ahead of 2030 the Supreme Court will eventually side with whatever horrific Republican administration is in charge, and like updating the Civil Rights act, the Voting Rights Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and more, nothing will change as long as the filibuster remains.


Next time we won't be so lucky.

School Of Hard-Right Knocks, Con't

Once again, the goal of Republicans is to completely destroy public education, and the easiest way to do that is to make teaching so awful that nobody in their right minds would want to do it.

Florida lawmakers are debating a bill that would allow schools districts to put cameras in classrooms and microphones on teachers.

The measure was proposed by state Representative Bob Rommel, a Republican from Naples.

"I think if we can do it in a safe way to protect the privacy of students and teachers, I think we should do it," he told CBS Miami. "I haven't heard a response good or bad from any teachers, but … it's not their private space. It's our children's space, too."

But Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco told the station a handful of Broward County Public Schools already has them.

"That is happening right now," she said, though under limited circumstances.

According to the Broward County Public Schools website, parents of a student can request that a camera system with visual and audio capability be placed in a classroom if the student has a disability and is an individualized program in which the majority of students has a disability. That's permitted under Florida House Bill 149, which was passed in July.

"Everything that happens in the classroom is monitored, watched and heard all day. There is absolutely zero privacy for anybody, even when … the teacher needs to do a parent-conference on the phone," Fusco said.
The majority of us are already monitored at work, and you LIBTARDS made us put CAMERAS on HONEST COPS of course.
So the retaliation is they put cameras on teachers, and then they have asshole parents sift through the video so that they can "catch them in the act" and sue teachers and schools in civil court, bankrupting the system to the point where public education simply stops because there's no teachers anymore. No teachers, no unions, and the Dems lose even more support.

That was always the plan.

Bye-Bye Bibi, Baby, Con't

After months of legal wrangling over corruption and bribery charges and being booted out of office by voters, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu may finally be taking a plea deal that gets him out of politics.

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has for several weeks been negotiating a plea agreement with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, according to Israeli media reports.

Why it matters: One key sticking point is whether the deal, which would require Netanyahu to plead guilty to corruption charges, would also require the former prime minister to step away from politics. Any deal would create a political firestorm in Israeli and could bring down the current government. 
That's because Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government — which includes left-wing, centrist and right-wing parties — was formed seven months ago mainly to oust Netanyahu from power. It excluded the largest party, Likud (led by Netanyahu), because of the corruption charges. Netanyahu is the “glue” that holds the current government together. If he exits the stage, Israel could either head for new elections or a new government under new Likud leadership.

Driving the news: On Jan. 12, Israeli journalist Ben Caspit first reported about the negotiations, which were held secretly between Netanyahu’s lawyer and the attorney general.
Several other reports have followed, outlining the proposed terms of the deal. Neither Netanyahu nor the Ministry of Justice has denied them. Netanyahu hasn't commented publicly, but many of his supporters in Likud are continuing to call on him to fight. 
The allegations against Netanyahu include that he systematically demanded gifts from businesspeople worth in excess of $250,000 in total and offered regulatory benefits in exchange for favorable media coverage.
Netanyahu wants to walk away from all this with no real consequences, but the Attorney General wants at the minimum community service time and seven years out of politics.

We'll see where this goes.
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