News Clips Jan 6, 2010

Census Bureau employs new technology in centuries-old practice

Social media and a national road tour are part of the plan to drum up interest. The campaign will stress the importance and secrecy of the count.
The U.S. Census Bureau launched a national road tour Monday to drum up participation in the decennial population count, bringing Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other 21st century technology to the centuries-old exercise.

The road tour, billed as the largest civic outreach campaign in the bureau’s history, features 13 vans that will bring census information and interactive displays across 150,000 miles for 1,547 days with 800 publicity stops at parades, festivals and major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four basketball tournament.,0,842867.story

Immigration’s New Year

The quest for overhauling immigration received two very welcome lifts on New Year’s Day.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, at his inauguration, pledged to help the Obama administration pass immigration reform. Mr. Bloomberg is a force to reckon with, as he proved with his national campaign against illegal guns. On the same day, four young people in Miami, current or former students at Miami Dade College, began their own determined march to Washington in an effort to bring pressure from the grass roots.

Opponents on immigration reform gear up for forthcoming battle

Obama has signaled he’ll take up immigration reform soon. As a result, both sides are mobilizing their forces.

Immigration reform is far down on Washington’s “to do” list, after healthcare reform, the Afghanistan war, and job creation. But outside the Beltway, in America’s community centers and protest venues, you’d think someone had already pushed the hot button to bring this always-simmering issue to a boil.

Though the Obama administration and the Democrats who control Congress are not expected to take up immigration reform until later this year – and possibly not till the midterm elections are over – both sides are already rallying their grass roots in anticipation of a fight that, some say, could make the great immigration debate of 2007 look like a playground spat.

House Democrats to Pursue Health Bill Changes

WASHINGTON — House Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they would insist on changes to the Senate health care legislation to make coverage more affordable for middle-class Americans and to tighten control over the insurance industry.

But it remains unclear how much leverage the House will have in negotiations given that Senate Democrats cannot spare a single vote without jeopardizing the bill’s chances. The White House will also have a big role in the final product.

The Nation: Fox News Health Care Scare Tactics

“They’ll send me to jail if I don’t sign up for Obama’s health care,” an 89-year-old woman said at my family holiday gathering last week. She was agitated and angry. “Imagine sending someone to jail — at my age!”

Even the Republicans in the room rushed to reassure her: “You’re covered by Medicare. You’re already signed up. Nobody is going to jail.”

The Struggle Over Health Care

President Obama scored a victory as the Senate voted to approve sweeping health care legislation. The vote, 60-39, was along straight party lines underlining the sharply partisan nature of the debate. Republican senators had voiced fierce opposition to the bill.

Democrats cinched the crucial vote needed to pass the bill after negotiations with Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska led to a compromise provision affecting abortion coverage. But deep internal divisions remain over the issue that may complicate their efforts to merge the Senate and House bills and send final legislation to Mr. Obama, who has called health reform his top domestic issue.

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N.J. Latino pastor urges undocumented immigrants to boycott U.S. Census

In the past, when the Rev. Miguel Rivera of Ridgefield Park came out publicly in support of illegal immigrants, he could count on widespread support from other national Latino leaders.

Not this time.
As president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, Rivera, 56, is urging illegal immigrants nationwide to boycott the upcoming U.S. Census unless comprehensive immigration reform is passed before the census count begins in April. But many in Latino circles say the pastor’s call is irresponsible and ultimately damaging to those it purports to help.


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