By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis urged countries in his Easter message on Sunday to quicken distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly to the world's poor, and called armed conflict and military spending during a pandemic "scandalous". Coronavirus has meant this has been the second year in a row that Easter papal services have been attended by small gatherings at a secondary altar of St. Peter's Basilica, instead of by crowds in the church or in the square outside. After saying Mass, Francis read his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message, in which he t...
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By Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune
May 19, 2022
Tripped up by politics and the pandemic — and with only a last-minute investment in promotion by the state — the 2020 census likely undercounted the Texas population by roughly 2%, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.
The once-a-decade national count put Texas’ official population at 29,145,505 after it gained the most residents of any state in the last decade, earning two additional congressional seats. In a post-count analysis using survey results from households, the bureau estimated that the count for people living in Texas households — a slightly smaller population than the total population — failed to find more than half a million residents. That’s the equivalent of missing the entire populations of Lubbock, Laredo and then some.
The undercount means that many residents were missing from the data used by state lawmakers last year to redraw congressional and legislative districts to distribute political power. For the next decade, the undercount will also be baked into the data used by governments and industry to plan and provide for communities.
Texas is just one of six states that the bureau determined had a statistically significant undercount. The others were Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi and Tennessee.
The census flows down to Texans’ daily lives, helping to determine the distribution of millions of dollars in funding and services. It plays a role in decisions on where grocery stores are built, how many dollars are needed to adequately fund early childhood programs, which roads are built or repaired and whether schools will be large enough.
The undercount follows state Republican leadership’s refusal ahead of the census to put significant funding toward chasing an accurate count, rejecting proposals by Democratic lawmakers to create a statewide outreach committee and set aside millions of dollars in grants for local outreach efforts.
Even as other states poured millions of dollars into census campaigns, Texas left local governments, nonprofits and even churches to try to reach the millions of Texans who fall into the categories of people that have been historically missed by the count — immigrants, people living in poverty and non-English speakers, to name a few.
Already without state funds, the local canvassing and outreach efforts relying on in-person contact were shut down by the coronavirus pandemic just as they were ramping up in the spring of 2020. The bureau extended time for counting by a few months, but the Trump administration later accelerated the deadline.
As Texas fell behind in the counting compared to other states, organizers struggled to reach groups at the highest risk of being missed as the pandemic continued to ravage their communities. It wasn’t until the 11th hour that Texas quietly launched a sudden pursuit of a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to promote the count using federal COVID relief dollars.
By then, with just a month of counting to go, the self-response rate for Texas households had barely topped 60%. As census workers followed up in person with households that hadn’t responded, the share of households accounted rose, but Texas remained far behind several other states and several percentage points behind the national average.
The governor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Census Bureau's analysis also uncovered a statistically significant overcount in eight states — Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Utah.
Because it’s based on comparing the 2020 census to a followup population survey, the Texas undercount is more of a statistical guess and carries a margin of error. In the case of Texas, the bureau estimates the undercount could have been as large as 3.27% or as small as .57%. By limiting its analysis to people living in households, it leaves off people living in college dorms, prisons and other group quarters.
The bureau did not report any statistically significant undercounts after the 2010 census.
The bureau will not be providing more detailed undercount figures to determine which areas of the state or residents were missed in the census. But earlier this year, it reported the communities were not equally left off. Nationally, the census significantly undercounted communities of color, missing Hispanic residents at a rate of 4.99% — more than triple the rate from the 2010 census. Black residents were undercounted at a rate of 3.3% and Native Americans at a rate of 5.64%.
The 2020 Census also had a larger undercount of children under the age of 5 than every other census since 1970.
Even with the undercount data in hand, remedying the results of the census will be a tall order and no changes will be allowed for political redistricting. States and municipalities have until next year to file challenges with the bureau, but no Texas municipalities have contested their local count so far.
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/05/19/census-2020-texas-undercount/.
The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.
While CNN reported that she was testifying for the second time, there was little information about why and what was being asked. But on "The View" Thursday, Grisham revealed some of what happened without giving details.
"It was stressful," she told the women at the table. "It was my second time doing it. This time was much, much longer. This was just yesterday right after the show, actually. So, it was much longer."
She said that she wouldn't "get ahead" of the committee's plans for public testimony, but she did say that the committee's line of questioning had grown sharper.
"Questions were much more pointed. I'll say that," Grisham explained. "I'm very hopeful, but I'm really mindful of the clock as you well know. Subpoenas have been put out for people. They're being ignored, and if the Republicans take over in the midterms, they're going to completely eradicate the committee so nothing will come of it, but I'm hopeful. A couple of the people on the panel had some really pointed questions for me that made me feel like they were headed in a good direction."
"Really? What direction do you mean?" asked Sunny Hostin, a former federal prosecutor.
"I can't go into — just that perhaps they've got some information that will be --"
"Helpful," Whoopi Goldberg suggested.
"Very helpful in holding people accountable," she agreed.
"Don't compromise the testimony, guys!" Sara Haines said.
"I have to be careful in holding the appropriate people accountable and just more important, showing the country what really went on behind the scenes," Grisham explained.
"If they do it in time though," said Joy Behar.
"If they do it in time," Grisham agreed. "I'm very, very nervous about that. The Trump World is very good at ignoring --"
"Running down the clock," Behar said.
"Subpoenas and running down the clock," Grisham agreed.
The conversation then turned to talk about why the Justice Department isn't doing their own investigation and hasn't pressed charges against multiple Trump officials who have been hit with criminal contempt referrals.
"I talked about before, especially the Trump World, they don't -- it doesn't matter," Grisham explained. "He used to tell me all the time, it doesn't matter.... And I'm very confused by this. I'm just talking about the ignoring of the subpoena."
"Donald Trump, the president, the, you know, the former president —" Hostin began.
"Twice impeached," Behar cut in.
"Didn't he say that the Hatch Act did not apply to him?" asked Hostin.
"To me. He said, I'm the boss. Go out on TV. Say whatever you want to say — because I would be worried about doing campaign things. And he would say, 'I'm the boss of the Hatch Act.' Who cares?" Grisham noted.
See the full conversation below:
Embattled Dem Cuellar rushes to distance himself from billboard labeling his opponent as a 'home wrecker'
As the San Antonio Express News reports, the billboard in question is apparently in reference to a New York Post article published earlier this year that claimed Cisneros had an affair with a 40-year-old teacher when she was 18 years old.
In addition to the billboard, residents in the district have also been receiving text messages accusing Cisneros of having "no integrity knowingly sleeping with a married man."
Cisneros slammed Cuellar and his allies for trying to "bully" her out of the race by making salacious accusations.
“My opponent and his supporters are so desperate to hold on to power that they have resorted to bullying me in hopes that they’ll be able to win,” she said. “I’m here to say that I will not be intimidated.”
Cuellar, however, quickly distanced himself from the billboard, which he said he does "not condone."
“I’m running an issues based campaign focused on delivering for the people of South Texas,” he said.
The primary challenge to Cuellar has drawn heightened scrutiny in the wake of the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.
Democratic leaders have stood by the incumbent lawmaker even though he is a rare Democrat who has taken stances against abortion rights.