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Statistical Voodoo Practitioner Tapped for Census Post

Posted on April 13 2009 11:20 am
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A practitioner of the statistical voodoo known as “sampling” has been selected by President Obama to head the Census Bureau, which is poised to carry out the decennial census next year with ACORN’s help.

Aggressive left-wing activist groups including ACORN and Media Matters for America, have long favored using this kind of statistical modeling, a practice controversial because it’s flagrantly unconstitutional and because it opens up the counting process to political manipulation. Of course, both ACORN and Media Matters are funded by George Soros and his billionaires’ club, the Democracy Alliance.

Writing in the leftist Huffington Post, Karl Frisch of Media Matters dismisses the concerns of critics. Frisch acknowledged that even liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews has described the statistical sampling method as the “loosey-goosey census approach.” Nevertheless, Frisch presses on arguing that sampling is “more accurate.” Never mind that the Constitution requires that Americans actually be counted every 10 years, not estimated.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) is dead set against sampling. “A sampling process would open the census to the worst kind of political manipulation,” he recently said. “The Constitution clearly requires a count of every person, not a best guess that could be influenced by political rather than empirical considerations.”

The president’s nominee is Robert M. Groves, a professor of the alleged discipline known as sociology at the University of Michigan.

Republican lawmakers are alarmed, the New York Times reports.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said the nomination “is an incredibly troubling selection that contradicts the administration’s assurances that the census process would not be used to advance an ulterior political agenda.”

During his confirmation hearing, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke testified that “It is my understanding that there are no plans to use any type of statistical sampling with respect to population count.”

Perhaps Locke was telling the truth. Maybe the Obama administration didn’t brief him on its Census pick. You can’t lie about what you don’t know.

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