My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Archive for February, 2009

Strong counting on “Strong” Island

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Long Island, affectionately known by some of its own as “Strong Island” or simply “The Strong,” has a long history as a welcoming place for immigrants. Back in the 17th Century, it was settled by Dutch colonists before the British showed up and took over. By the time the 20th Century rolled around,  Eastern European, Italian, and Irish immigrants became the most populous newcomers to this suburban paradise. But by the 1980s, the winds shifted yet again, and people of Latin origins, primarily from The Dominican Republic and Central America, became the dominant immigrant groups. Today, the Census Bureau released its analysis of 2007 survey data outlining characteristics of the foreign-born population, such as the education they’ve attained, their income and employment status. Counting immigrants will surely be one of the most difficult tasks when compiling dating for the 2010 Census, we’re glad that the Bureau has a head start on using strategies to learn more about immigrant populations.

Consequences of DC Voting Rights Could Be Felt After Census

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Washington, DC’s famed “Taxation Without Representation” license plate – almost as epic as New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” – could soon be obsolete.

A bill to give Washington a voting member in the House of Representatives is making strides in the Senate and could possibly become law this year. As the Times wrote this week, the law would give the District of Columbia a House seat and add another seat to Utah; according to the 2000 census, Utah is next in line by population to get another member.

That could all change with the 2010 census, however. Right now the only thing making this bill palatable to Republicans is that the heavily-Democratic DC will be offset by a new GOP stronghold in Utah. After 2010 the seat could be transferred to an entirely different state like Nevada, whose influx of Latinos has turned the rapidly growing state quite blue. If the government taketh away Utah’s seat, Republicans inarguably get the short end of the stick.

More to come on this shortly. In the interim, Stephen Colbert, always ahead of the curve, spoke with DC’s nonvoting Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton last week:

Welcome back!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

To all of our old friends and new, you may not recognize’s new look, but be assured that we spent President’s Day Weekend redesigning this site to make it more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Welcome back!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Love

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Every day, the Census Bureau releases a new “Portrait of America” radio announcement. Today’s announcement gave a brief history of the religious and commercial origins of Valentine’s Day. I imagine that few, if any people besides us here at actually listen to these announcements. Thus, we hereby call on the Census Bureau to release data detailing how many people listen to their broadcasts.

Tribute to David Freedman: His views on fixing the Census

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

David Freedman, a highly regarded statistician and probabilist at the University of California at Berkeley passed away last October. He was a “leading skeptic of the view that the Census could be improved by statistical adjustments. In the New York Times Economix blog, Princeton professor Alan B. Krueger pays tribute to Freedman by implying that though he was initially skeptical of Freedman’s opinions, he eventually came to believe that Freedman made valid points with his argument that Census results should not be artificially adjusted.

*Click here to read the New York Times editorial titled “Census Crunch Time” that led to this Economix blog post from Krueger.


Saturday, February 14th, 2009

If you are searching for data concerning America’s population and demographics, look no further than the “American Factfinder” presented to us by the Census Bureau. As of this posting, you are sharing these beloved 50 states with 305,813,193 other people. However, this statistic doesn’t include the millions of undocumented immigrants known to be sharing this country with us.

Krauthammer: The Census was at the root of Gregg’s departure

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer believes that the Census was a a major concern that led to Gregg’s withdrawal as the nominee for the Secretary of Commerce position. If Gregg became Secretary of Commerce, he would have to wrestle for control over the Census process with White House Chief of Staff (and attack dog) Rahm Emanuel. But Gregg may simply get the heeby-jeebys when he thinks about shaking Rahm Emanuel’s finger stump before and after all Census-related meetings.

Virginia Loses Farmland, Farmers Get Older

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

In a headline to trump all headlines, a story from today’s Washington Post reads: Virginia Loses Farmland, Farmers Get Older. As the results of America’s 2007 Agriculture Census were published today, it became clear that Virginia hasn’t gained any new territory and hasn’t acquired any farmers who have lifetime passes to the Fountain of Youth. In keeping with commenting on statistics immediately after they are published, MSNBC notes that fewer people are turning to farming for a living.

To end our night with a touch of bitterness on the Agriculture Census topic, one North Dakotan feels that the stats published today are an absolute sham, as he’s noticed plenty of abandoned rural homesteads, despite the report’s finding that North Dakota’s agribusiness is doing A-OK.

White House on Gregg’s Withdrawal

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Here is the official White House statement on Judd Gregg’s withdrawal:

“Senator Gregg reached out to the President and offered his name for Secretary of Commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President’s agenda. Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama’s key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart.”

Now, I don’t mean to stoke the fire here, but this statement sounds a little hostile compared to other withdrawals — Tom Daschle, Bill Richardson, Nancy Killifer, and the like. It’s like the White House is outwardly saying, “He turned on us,” or, more implicitly, He screwed us. These press statements are painstakingly crafted so nothing is left to insinuate; every word is deliberate. By using the phrase, “It became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways,” the message is clear — Gregg got dumped, not the other way around.

Gregg Withdraws Commerce Bid Over Census and Stimulus Disagreements

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Looks like there’ll be one less Republican in President Obama’s administration. As if Obama’s Cabinet picks hadn’t been battered enough in recent weeks, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) announced this afternoon that he is no longer seeking the Commerce secretary position the president tapped him for earlier this month, citing “irresolvable conflicts” over the stimulus package and the Census. Lest we forget, Gregg was Obama’s second choice for the Commerce post after Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) withdrew his name a month before over a “pay-to-play” probe in his state.

Below is the statement from Gregg’s 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 President’s 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.”

Live from New York…

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

America’s favorite Big Apple newspaper has finally weighed in on the concerns by the GOP about how the Census will be conducted. Check out this article that appeared in today’s New York Times (written by the Associated Press).

Breaking News: Census jobs available in Kansas City!

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

From the way this news was reported, the availability of Census jobs may be the most exciting thing that’s happened in KC since the Royals won the 1985 World Series…

For new Census data from the KC-based Kauffman Foundation that discusses how entrepreneurship affects job growth, check out this MSNBC report.

Need a job? The Census is hiring.

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

For the millions of Americans who are currently unemployed, short term relief may be found by working for the Census. In towns and cities across America, the Census Bureau is hiring. Ostensibly, competition will be stiff, even in locales nobody’s ever heard of. Check out these local news reports:

Census hiring in Pratt, Kansas

Census hiring in Taylor, Texas

Census hiring in Fresno, California

Census hiring in Pasadena, California

One final post for the night: Gerrymandering…

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Just as we here at Headquarters were heading to sleep, the #1 story on CNN became: Redrawing the lines — almost 200 years of gerrymandering. This article discusses the relationship between historical precedents for drawing politically motivated election territory maps and the gerrymandering crisis that America faces today. We wish our fans sweet dreams, and remind you that when we at we wake up tomorrow, we will continue to fight for our right to have a free, fair, apolitical, accurate Census!

Who will control the Census?

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

At this juncture, with a Democrat in the White House, and Democrats in control of Congress, many Republican and right-wing organizations fear that the Obama Administration’s desire to have more control over the 2010 Census will bring them harm. To learn about these fears, read the following articles that, with the exception of the LA Times, come from right-leaning publications:

FoxNews: Don’t Mess With the Census

LA Times: Growing political battle over the Census: Latinos versus Republicans

Wall Street Journal: Why Obama Wants Control of the Census

Investor’s Business Daily: Head-Count Case

Analysis Of The 2010 Census Promotional Video: "A New Portrait Of America"

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

With only 413 days remaining before “Census Day,” April 1st, 2010, there’s no better time than now to watch a corny video manufactured by the U.S. Government that promotes participating in the Census. Note: At the time of this posting, only 114 people (most likely all from the production company that made it) have viewed this promo.

Remember folks, the results of the 2010 Census will determine how 300 billion of your tax dollars are allocated each year. In the era of 800 billion dollar bailouts, that may not sound like much, but it’s enough money to give many elected officials the jitters.

Just ask Keith Hite, the president of the National Association of Towns & Townships who appears on this video – Come on U.S. government videography team and producers, is he the best celebrity you could find to promote the Census? – and says, “the Census, no matter when it is, is the consummate partnership between local, state, and federal government.” Thanks Keith. We’re glad that from your perch in your Town & Townships Tower (sounds like a Mickey Mouse organization to me) that you still find time to star in promotional videos.

The video goes on to discuss “innovations, like a new, short census form will help to make it even more successful.” I’m familiar with the phrase “less is more,” but how will asking fewer questions (seven in total) yield more accurate data? This “innovation” seems to be a concession to libertarians, most of whom won’t fill out the 2010 Census form anyway.

Only during the video’s photo montage (to the tune of an unknown “hopes and dreams” theme song) do we finally see the microcosm of America as we know it that features brief clips of every racial, ethnic, occupation, ability, class, and age group from sea to shining sea. If you look closely at these pictures, many appear to be stock photos that were likely taken in places other than American soil. Perhaps we at MyTwoCensus are cynics, but this is our job, so we can keep America strong into 2010 and beyond.

My Two Census

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

The purpose of this blog is to discuss the 2010 U.S. Census.

This blog will serve many functions:

1. MyTwoCensus is the only watchdog of the 2010 U.S. Census (and the first blog devoted to The 2010 U.S. Census, period). Professional journalists, scholars, economists, political scientists, statisticians, historians, and census-taking Americans will use MyTwoCensus to report on all issues and problems that may arise from the bureaucratic data collection process that America experiences every decade.

2. MyTwoCensus is a place where partisan and non-partisan opinions representing all political persuasions can be discussed, with an attempt to strike a balance by discussing all arguments.

3. MyTwoCensus will serve as a forum for U.S. Census-takers (i.e. nearly all Americans aged 18 and higher…at least in a perfect world that’s what it would be) to report shortcomings and successes from the data collection process. You are encouraged to make comments, submit guest blog posts, link to other sites, and provide photos/videos related to your opinions about the 2010 Census and your experiences from the 2010 Census.

4. MyTwoCensus will serve as a place for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who will be employed by the government for this census to share their opinions about the processes involved with the 2010 Census. Workers are encouraged to make comments, submit guest blog posts, link to other sites, and provide photos/videos related to your opinions about the 2010 Census and your experiences from the 2010 Census.