War on the United States Postal Service

Postmaster general Louis DeJoy is an RNC megadonor.

United States Postal ServiceThere has been a war on the United States Postal Service. It did not start this year, or with this regime, or even in the past decade.

Back in 2006, the Republican Congress passed legislation to impose extraordinary new financial burdens on the USPS. It required that the entity prepay retirement health benefits 75 years in advance. According to the American Postal Workers Union, the mandate is responsible for more than 90 percent of Postal Service net losses since 2007. It is a threat to its economic viability. Check out John Oliver’s piece from May 2020.

That said, the attack on the USPS has escalated this year. As many outlets have reported, IMPOTUS has confirmed it. He’s killing the Post Office to also destroy the election.

The postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, was appointed in May 2020. He is a megadonor of the regime but has no prior expertise pertaining to the Postal Service. He has disrupted the mission of the United States Postal Service, which is to deliver mail to Americans in a timely fashion.

In the last couple of months, mail delivery has dramatically slowed down. “The efforts to sabotage the United States Postal Service are anything but subtle.” It includes mail sorting machines removed without reason, shelves detached to slow down hand sorting, and postal drop boxes being taken away.” Fortunately, in the short term, due to the outcry, these measures have been temporarily stopped. Still, the handpicked postmaster general isn’t threatening to destroy the Post Office; he’s destroying the Post Office.

Reorganization?

This month, there was a major shake-up at the Postal Service. Twenty-three executives were reassigned or displaced, taking out those who might complain. As The Washington Post reported, Postal Service employees with decades of experience have disappeared from the organizational chart. “DeJoy has created a whole new structure, with all new people, to execute his inside attack on the service.” This isn’t coincidental. Or subtle.

“The reshuffling threatens to heighten tensions between postal officials and lawmakers, who are troubled by delivery delays. The Postal Service banned employees from working overtime and making extra trips to deliver mail.” They are “wary of the administration’s influence on the Postal Service.” As well they should.

Last week, djt “made it clear that he was attacking the Post Office explicitly to destroy its ability to handle mail-in ballots. “They want $25 billion for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.”

In fact, the United States Postal Service has notified 46 states and the District of Columbia that they may be unable to deliver some ballots cast by mail for the November election in time to be counted. IMPOTUS is publicly opposing any effort to strengthen the Postal Service because he’s afraid it will enable more voters to vote safely by mail in November.

RNC cronies

“This isn’t just a Trump effort… Not only are Republicans meeting with DeJoy to plan the destruction of the Postal Service, but this also isn’t the first time most of these Republicans have met DeJoy.” He was a top National Republican Committee money guy who was actually in charge of fundraising before being handed the keys to one of the nation’s most vital institutions.

The NRC is engaged in a massive campaign to limit mail-in ballots. They are spending tens of millions of dollars on lawsuits to limit the franchise. They fight against states attempting to expand mail-in ballots and for ballot restrictions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done nothing to defend the Postal Service, allowing the Senate to fill the board of governors with IMPOTUS appointees. By extension, he has limited Americans’ ability to vote in the most important election of our lifetimes. (Note: he’s yup for re-election in 2020.)

The post office was codified in Article 1. Section 8 of the US Constitution. Why destroy a public service? These efforts delay not only elections but the delivery of checks, bill payments, legal documents, Census forms, and vital medications in the midst of a pandemic. And yes, with millions of people planning to vote by mail, we need to ensure that our ballots arrive and are counted.

An odd sidebar: IMPOTUS Suddenly Urged Florida Voters To Use Mail Ballots. Perhaps he is afraid of losing in his newly-adopted state. He’s done so himself, with some difficulty. “It may be the tactically correct move. But it just comes at the cost of completely undermining his attempt to delegitimize the process. He began with such little credibility outside his support base that he may not care.”

This should happen

I’m happy to see the USPS inspector general is investigating changes at post offices. The story notes: “The Democrats also requested that the IG assess whether DeJoy and his wife – who ‘reportedly own assets worth tens of millions of dollars in Postal Service competitors and contractors have fully complied with ethics requirements.” This is according to a statement from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office.

Also, Louis DeJoy has agreed to testify at a Congressional hearing on August 24.

The Senate should pass H.R.2382, the USPS Fairness Act. This legislation would specifically repeal the harmful and costly requirement that the U.S. Postal Service prepay retirement health benefits 75 years in advance. This bill would unsaddle the USPS of an immense and unnecessary financial burden.

The USPS board of governors should require the Postmaster General to permanently reverse this assault on America’s Postal Service, or else remove Louis DeJoy from the position.

“Hey, Maybe We *Should* Postpone The Election”

A crony running USPS

postpone the election.Abe LincolnJust the other day, I was kvetching to my wife. I said, “You know, I’d rather NOT write about him. But then he keeps doing worse crap.” To wit, suggesting, on Twitter, naturally, that perhaps the United States should postpone the election of November 3 until we can get everyone to the polls safely.

This was so egregiously wrong that Steven Calabresi called for a second impeachment inquiry into him. He is the co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society, This was in a New York Times opinion piece in late July, “where he falsely characterized mail-in voting and proposed the delay of the 2020 presidential election in November, which the executive branch cannot enact.”

Please understand the weight of the complainant. Calabresi has “he’s voted Republican in the presidential election since 1980.” He also “opposed the investigation into Russian election interference by Robert Mueller and was against the impeachment into Trump regarding withholding aid to Ukraine.

As for the Federalist Society, it is “a right-wing organization with 60,000 lawyers, law students and scholars.” It has been “characterized as a ‘conservative pipeline to the Supreme Court'” by the Atlantic. Recently confirmed judge Brett Kavanaugh joined the group while at Yale.

Calabresi wrote, “Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic. And it is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.” Which won’t happen, mind you.

Preciscient?

Ed Morrissey in Red State: “Good grief. For months, Donald Trump’s allies and even a few of his critics have blasted Democrats and a handful of media figures for their baseless theories that the president would cancel or delay the national election. [Presumptive Democratic candidate Joe] Biden got ridiculed for saying that in April. ‘Mark my words: I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,’ even though the law and the constitution are clear that presidents can’t do that.

“And then…

“The best that could be said for this tweet is that Trump’s just spitballing, but even that’s an indictment of its own. No president should just be spitballing a suggestion like this, not in public and not even in private, where it would leak to the press quickly enough anyway. The US held an election in the middle of its Civil War in 1864. We can hold an election in the middle of a pandemic, especially when the president himself keeps insisting we can and should reopen for business.

“Rather than recognize those [Constitutional] impossibilities and leave it as a paranoid-conspiracy theory for the Left, he has essentially vindicated Biden and the paranoids. And for what purpose? Trump can’t do what he’s suggesting, Congress wouldn’t entertain the thought for one hot second… and it won’t work anyway. What could possibly be gained from tweeting out this absurd idea, other than perhaps distracting from the bad GDP report everyone was more or less expecting anyway?”

Of course, the tweet was sent the same day it was announced that the U.S. gross domestic product dropped at an annual rate of 32.9%. Reports of polling putting Biden far ahead of him in the November election.

Properly, securely and safely vote

The argument for delaying has to do with people being able to get to the polls without risking their lives. During this primary season, we’ve seen people standing in long lines during a pandemic. Of course, those were almost always DEMOCRATIC primaries, so it didn’t seem to matter to IMPOTUS.

A real problem, even prior to COVID-19, but certainly exacerbated by it, is a dearth of poll workers. There is a national effort to recruit more poll workers. These are healthy people “to ensure that those workers most susceptible to the coronavirus are given the space to take care of their health, while still keeping polling sites open and available for efficient in-person voting.”

“We can also demand change from our local officials, who in most cases can take needed steps without waiting for the federal government to help. New voting technologies, training standards, polling place opening and closing hours, and poll worker recruitment practices are all decided at the state or local levels.

“State legislatures and state secretaries can expand, rather than shrink, the number of polling places, reversing the harmful trend of polling-place closures in recent years. They can also invest in more early voting sites, and keep them open for longer, reducing the number of voters who cast ballots on Election Day itself.”

Undermining the Postal Service

Meanwhile, the US Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail across the country. It is after a top djt donor running the agency put in place new procedures “described as cost-cutting efforts, alarming postal workers who warn that the policies could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for the November election…

“Postal employees and union officials say the changes implemented by the Trump fund-raiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy are contributing to a growing perception that mail delays are the result of a political effort to undermine absentee voting.”

One recent study found mail-in voting doesn’t benefit one party over another.

Still, since every state has its own deadline for when you need to request an absentee or mail-in ballot, start looking into the options now. Verify that you’re registered to vote and if you’re not, do so right away.

With more voting options this year, the US Postal Service is encouraging voters to plan ahead. If you wait until the last minute to decide how to vote, you could be cutting it close, or even become disenfranchised. We’re now less than 90 days away from the election – time to make a game plan.

Finally, since IMPOTUS’ bogus call for postponing the election took place on the same day as John Lewis’ funeral, tell your members of Congress to support The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. For it is voter suppression that is the real threat to democracy in the United States.

Your government (not) at work

Reduce MY energy

governmentYour government (not) at work are a few stories that engaged my interest:

There was a terrible report about a young driver who killed seven motorcyclists in a New Hampshire crash this spring. In light of that, Massachusetts suspended more than 500 drivers licenses.

“The [Massachusetts] Registry of Motor Vehicles failed to act on information sent from other states that called for the suspension of some drivers’ licenses… The dismal driving history of the man charged with [the horrific accident] — coupled with bureaucratic failures in Massachusetts that allowed him to keep his license — highlight weaknesses in the state and federal systems designed to keep unsafe drivers off the road.

“The case of 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy has exposed a patchwork system of oversight that’s reliant on the actions of individual states, many of which use a slow-moving, paper-driven communication network.”


There were primaries in New York State in late June, and I noted these results in a town in Albany County.
KNOX COUNCILMAN (VOTE FOR) 2
(WITH 3 OF 3 EDs COUNTED)
Earl H. Barcomb . . . . . . . . 179 34.82
Dennis P. Barber . . . . . . . . 178 34.63
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 157 30.54
Of course, the two candidates won. But if the write-in count had exceeded 178 votes, the Board of Elections would have had to start differentiating WHO got those write-ins.


Last month, I got this message at work: “This is a reminder to turn your lights off today as a participant in this year’s ‘2019 Daylight Hour’, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. Daylight Hour is an effort to raise awareness of energy savings and the impact humans can have on saving energy. This message is to encourage all SUNY System Administration, SUCF, and RF employees to join this effort by shutting off all unnecessary lights from noon to 1 pm today.

“Many of our campuses have already signed up for this event. Plaza Operations will be lowering corridor and lobby lighting during this time period. We ask that all participants turn off their work space and office lighting where possible. Behavioral impact can be much greater than most people recognize. This event will help illustrate the impact our decisions have on our overall energy costs.”

I dutifully complied. I couldn’t get much done at work that hour because I couldn’t really read my keyboard. The dimmed lighting also made me sleepy. I wrote to a colleague: “Reduce energy AND kill productivity!”

Suggestions: work for/be a candidate

At least two of them are from Colorado

dems
This is what happens when I ask for suggestions for retirement.

Tom the Mayor said: Howz about picking a good person, and making them the next POTUS! Volunteer, My friend! Make a difference!

My problem is that I’m not ready to pick a candidate yet. See all those people pictured? Who ARE they?

Which is what people obviously said about Steve Bullock, governor of Montana; Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida; and Sean Moulton, congressman from Massachusetts’ 6th district. None of them got enough support to get on the debate stage this week. Neither is 89-year-old Mike Gravel, former U.S. Senator from Alaska, but he’s running a different type of campaign.

Beyond them, I know little enough about John Delaney, Marianne Williamson, Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan, Michael Bennet, and John Hickenlooper to say, je ne sais pas. I do know the latter two are both from Colorado and that I love saying Hickenlooper.

Maybe after the debates (and maybe not yet). Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Julian Castro, Tim Ryan, Bill de Blasio, and Jay Inslee will debate Wednesday, June 26. The second group, who will debate Thursday, June 27, will feature Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, Marianne Williamson, Eric Swalwell, Andrew Yang, and John Hickenlooper.

Kevin, from my hometown, with whom I went to college, suggested: run for a local office. Show the world what a good politician looks like. Probably not happening. I was going to suggest that I have too many skeletons in the closet, but then I looked at the guy living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I now realize I have NBO idea what that threshold is anymore.

Alison, my ex-SIL, recommended: Try to see all the annual meteor showers. Now THAT’s a swell idea! Here’s a calendar. “The meteor showers listed are the easiest to observe and provide the most activity. Particular attention should be noted to the time and moonlight conditions. All these showers are best seen after midnight. Some are not even visible until after midnight.”

For reasons too complicated to explain, listen to Midnight At The Oasis – Maria Muldaur.

I’m still taking your suggestions, which, as noted, I can totally ignore.

New York State primary June 25

7 candidates for 2 Family Court Judge slots

Election 2019Back in January, the Governor signed a bill that moves all New York State primary elections, federal, state, and local races, to June.

In many ways, this is a very good thing, one I’ve supported. In previous years, the federal races – Congress, US Senator – were in June, with the others in September. The autumnal primaries were too late, giving the incumbent an unfair advantage.

To the surprise of many, the change went into effect right away. This has meant that the petitioning to get on the ballot took place in April rather than July.

One of the candidates for Family Court Judge, a countywide race, showed up at my door recently. I was thinking she wanted my signature on her petition. No, she wanted me to support her in the actual race. Given her door-to-door effort and her record, I think I will vote for her.

Yikes, there are SEVEN candidates for Family Court Judge for two slots. Of the other six, one I won’t vote for is the lawyer who screwed up the amount I needed for closing on the house we live in, leaving me $1800 short. He may be qualified for the court position, but it’s my one chance for vengeance.

Additionally, there are two candidates for one county court judge, and three candidates for one city court judge on June 25.

Finally, there’s a contentious race between two candidates for Albany County Comptroller. I know one of them personally. A supporter from the other camp Instant Messaged me to tout the qualifications and non-racist bona fides of his candidate.

The candidate I spoke with indicates that, in all of these Democratic primaries, the winner of those races will almost certainly be elected in November, because that’s the way it is in Albany County. That’s why I’m enrolled in a party.

I remain irritable that we in upstate New York can only vote from noon until 9 p.m., quite possibly the shortest primary slot in the country. Yet people in New York City, Long Island, some NYC suburbs, and Erie County (Buffalo) can vote from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.