The Spectacle Blog

Statistical Voodoo Witch Doctor Tapped for Census Post

By on 4.3.09 | 11:16AM

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. Liberal pressure groups and Democrats have long favored using statistical modeling, a practice controversial because it's flagrantly unconstitutional and because it opens up the counting process to political manipulation.

"A sampling process would open the census to the worst kind of political manipulation," Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) 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 justifiably alarmed, the New York Times reports.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), senior Republican 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.

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