A sordid fairy tale

Expert on numbers fixing nominated for head of Census Bureau. I’ve pretty much already washed my hands of next year’s census, for reasons I’ve discussed previously, but this isn’t making things any easier. President Obama has nominated Professor Robert Groves, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan to head the Census Bureau. Sounds fine so far, right?

Mr. Groves, who served as associate director of statistical design at the Census Bureau from 1990 to 1992, is an expert on “sampling,” the practice of adjusting statistics in order to compensate for undercounting. This tends to bolster the number of people counted in urban areas that are typically Democratic strongholds. The census, which takes place next April, is used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives and disburse billions in federal dollars

Yes, so statistics should be based on “approximations” and fuzzy logic, apparently? I don’t think so. The only sample we’ll have then is that of the sampler. Not representative of the whole country methinks. Of course, the GOP is screaming – not because of funny numbers which clearly they don’t have a problem with *koff*Florida*koff* but because they think it will increase the number of democratic votes in the inner cities. This despite the Supreme Court having already ruled that such sampling is not useful for apportionment purposes*.

Tell you what guys – let ye who have never gerrymandered cast the first stone, ‘kay? Hear that buzzer? That means you’ve been disqualified so quit your bitching.

No, the issue with sampling is that it flies in the face of what the census is supposed to be doing in the first place. In a statistics class, how many times are the students allowed to just shrug and go for the make-shit-up button? Why should it apply in the real world?
It gets better.
Professor Groves worked as director of statistical design with the US Census in 1990. 1990? Yes, the 1990 which gave us hits like the “1990 census vastly undercounted minority populations in large cities”. Yet his experience with “sampling” is going to correct this problem? Please Democrats, break out the new math and graph this for me.

Speaking of corruption and adjusted numbers, the TARP math is already being fully muddied – to the tune of a 100 million $ discrepancy. Oops, someone forgot to carry the two. It’s getting to the point now that every time I hear TARP or FIRREA or any of those “acronyms that mean you’re getting screwed” I start making up primary school word problems in my head – for the betterment of children’s education of course.

“If the democratic senator takes one campaign contribution of 5,000 $, and another contribution for 16,000 $, and is appointed to the finance subcommitte, when will the recession be?”

On a wholly unrelated note, will someone please tell me who Ted Stevens had to blow to get the charges dismissed? In fine and upstanding criminal form, as the ink cools on the dismissal, the Alaskan GOP is calling for a special election. Why? Because

Alaska GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich said a special election should be held “so Alaskans may have the chance to vote for a senator without the improper influence of the corrupt Department of Justice.”

My brain collapses under the weight of all of the absolute bullshit in that sentence. On the flip side, it’s taken this long to finally indict Rod Blagojevich but it has finally happened.

with 16 felony counts, among them racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion conspiracy in a wide-ranging scheme to deprive residents of “honest government,” prosecutors said

Okay, firstly, prosecutors accusing him (or…anyone) of depriving residents of “honest government”? Please. Twelve year old kids can see through that one faster than Michelle Malkin speed dialing Homeland Security during Food Network reruns. Lose the high and mighty – we know you’re dirty too, okay?

* which is itself contradictory; one of the big uses the US census is put to (and the only reason politicians care about the US census at all) is because “the results are used to allocate Congressional seats (congressional apportionment), electoral votes, and government program funding”. source

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~ by Auntie Ranty on April 2, 2009.

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