Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
Anna V. Smith at High Country News writes—An inaccurate census has major implications for Indian Country. Indigenous people are frequently undercounted, undermining political power and representation:
The first place the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed for the 2020 census was Tooksook Bay, Alaska, part of the agency’s long tradition of conducting early counts in the state’s remote villages. In March, with about half of rural Alaska still uncounted, enumerators were pulled out of the field because of COVID-19, as the bureau shifted its schedule to accommodate the barriers the pandemic presented. Then, in August, the Census Bureau quietly released an updated deadline for the census, moving it from Oct. 31 to Sept. 30, eliminating four weeks of critical outreach. September is moose-hunting season in Alaska, so people are generally harder to reach; it’s also the beginning of storm season, which means power outages and delays for mail delivery by plane. As a result, despite the early start, Alaskans in general and Native Alaskans in particular are still lagging behind the national average in their response rates.
“In terms of wrapping up the census, there’s not a worst time for rural Alaska and Alaska Natives,” Nicole Borromeo (McGrath Native Village), executive vice president and general counsel of the Alaska Federation of Natives. This is the first time the census has been available to complete online or by phone in Alaska, a necessary option given the pandemic, but the process has run into issues of internet and phone connectivity. Meanwhile, many Alaska Natives are still waiting for someone to show up at their door, questionnaire in hand, though Borromeo has warned, “A numerator in rural Alaska is not coming. Do not wait a second longer.”
“We’re living in a whole new social and economic order with a whole new set of problems and challenges. Old assumptions and old programs don’t work in this new society and the more we try to stretch them to make them fit, the more we will be seen as running away from what is reality.”
~~Ann Richards (1985)
At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—At Countrywide, protecting mortgage fraud involved firing whistleblowers:
The thing about a corporation committing widespread fraud is that it tends to involve a lot of people, some of whom will not be enthusiastic about committing fraud and may even try to stop it. Michael Hudson at iWatch News reports on how Countrywide Financial Corp. protected its ability to commit fraud by firing whistleblowers, behavior that continued after Countrywide was bought by Bank of America. In fact, they fired the person in charge of fraud investigations; recently, “the U.S. Department of Labor ruled that Bank of America had illegally fired her as payback for exposing fraud and retaliation against whistleblowers. It ordered the bank to reinstate her and pay her some $930,000.”
But Countrywide/Bank of America didn’t just get in the way of investigations at the top. At least 17 other former employees allege that they were demoted or fired for raising the alarm about fraud they witnessed.