It turns out that all the paranoid screeching by people like Michelle Bachmann about the evil census-takers who will secretly register you at nefarious government donkey-rape camps is going to have some delicious side effects:
WASHINGTON — Texas is counting on the 2010 Census to deliver four new congressional districts, four new Electoral College votes in presidential elections, and millions of dollars in additional federal aid. But, as some elected officials are starting to worry, Uncle Sam can’t deliver anything to the rapidly growing Sun Belt state unless Texas residents deliver their forms back to the government.
As of Friday afternoon, only 27 percent of Texas households had filled in and returned their census forms — well below the national average of 34 percent — according to computer data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In Harris County, the response rate is 23 percent. Houston’s returns are running at 21 percent.
Contrary to historical trends, some of the toughest challenges facing the agency responsible for measuring the nation’s population are not from counting the traditionally undercounted groups such as African-Americans and Latinos. Instead, a new and growing threat to an accurate national head count is coming from anti-government conservatives who may not fill out their forms to protest against “Big Brother” in Washington. [...]
“People are concerned about the apparent intrusive nature of the census,” said Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble. “People are very concerned that the government is going too far.” [...]
What’s more, he added, “it’s very important for people to fill out the census because of reapportionment and redistricting — and Texas stands to gain four (House) seats.”
But Texas can only get those seats, and the congressional clout that comes with it, if Texans stand up to be counted. Any conservative revolt would only reduce the representation in conservative areas of the state, such as rural Texas and the outer rings of suburbs surrounding its largest cities. [...][A]n under-count in Texas could cost the state more than just representation.
For every Texan missed, the state will lose an estimated $12,000 over the next decade in federal funding for transportation, agriculture, health, education, and housing, said Frances Deviney, director of Texas Kids Count, a nonpartisan group in Austin.
Deviney says Texas could lose “hundreds of millions of dollars in lost opportunities” because of uncounted residents.
“We’ve got that hard-to-count element, along with these fringe (anti-government) groups that are advocating resistance,” she said. “They think they are hurting the government. They are really hurting themselves and their communities.”
Good job shooting yourselves in the foot again, fucktards.
Do us all a favor and, next time, aim for the head.
Amy Townsend, 38, of Hurst was preparing last week for yet another round of treatments in her battle against breast cancer.
In addition to steeling herself for possible side effects, she and husband Jesse, 43, were preparing for the possibility that they might have to pay hundreds of dollars, up front, before radiation treatment can begin.
With both Amy and Jesse unemployed, the family buys health insurance through COBRA with a $5,500 yearly maximum for out-of-pocket expenses — a threshold the family has not yet met. COBRA coverage generally lasts up to 18 months.
“We’ve got to come up with some money for next week,” she said.
Though she still faces medical bills, Amy said she was against the health care act, fearing so-called death panels and government inefficiency. [emphasis added]
“I think it’s the hint of exasperation that makes this wonderful.” —Radley Balko
This coming November’s mid-term election is going to have major implications for cannabis law reform.
If approved by voters, Measure 13 would exempt state criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or six plants by authorized patients — making South Dakota the fifteenth state to legalize medicinal cannabis use. Proponents of the measure, the grassroots South Dakota Coalition for Compassion, collected over twice the number of signatures necessary to place the proposal on the 2010 ballot — a feat that they believe is indicative of medical marijuana’s growing support in the Great Plains. In 2006, voters narrowly rejected a similar proposal – marking the only time that citizens have rejected a statewide medical marijuana legalization proposal.
The stakes are arguably even higher in California, where election officials last night confirmed that the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 will appear on the November ballot.
If approved, the measure will allow adults 21 years or older to possess, share or transport up to one ounce of cannabis for personal consumption, and/or cultivate the plant in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence. It will also permit local governments the option to authorize the retail sale of marijuana and/or commercial cultivation of cannabis to adults and to impose taxes on such sales. Personal marijuana cultivation or not-for-profit sales of marijuana would not be taxed under the measure.
The measure will not alter or amend any aspect of the California Health and Safety code pertaining to the use of marijuana for medical purposes, when such use is authorized by a physician.
You can read more about this proposal here.
According to an April 2009 California Field Poll, 56 percent of state voters back legalizing and regulating the adult use and sale of cannabis.
Other states are in play as well. Ballot drives in Washington and Oregon are ongoing, and numerous municipal measures are also pending. Meanwhile, in the nation’s Capitol, DC council members are discussing allowing authorized patients to grow their own marijuana legally — despite the federal ban.
No matter how you look at it, this November is shaping up to be the most important month for marijuana law reform ever.
Let the battles begin.
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