Going to the post office, quickly

cozy relationships

post officeWhen I read the story about Albany officials fighting to keep the New Scotland Avenue post office, I was slackjawed by the advice. “The U.S. Postal Service directed customers who normally used the Academy Station to the Fort Orange post office [at Central Avenue and Partridge Street], 2 miles away on Central Avenue…”

Well, I’ve gone to the Fort Orange station twice in the past couple of months, most recently last week. It’s almost exactly one mile from my home. Both times, the lines were out the door, with only five people allowed inside for COVID reasons. While there were two service windows, only one was staffed. I ended up bailing after 10 minutes.

Then, each time, I went to the post office downtown at 45 Hudson, between South Pearl and Broadway. No one was in line. Moreover, if there WERE people waiting, the room is constructed to allow more folks inside. It used to be busier. COVID closed down businesses, and, more importantly, state workers were often working from home.

And it’s very close – about a tenth of a mile – from the Greyhound bus station. Most of the CDTA buses start/end there, so if you don’t have a car, and/or if you are as impatient as I am, it’s not as onerous as you might think.

This example is specific to Albany, but I gather that this sort of nonsense is happening all over the country. How’s the service where you live?

Louis DeJoy, still

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is still in charge of the USPS. His really awful plan to “save” the Postal Service by slowing down deliveries and hiking postage prices—including special price gouging specifically for holiday deliveries is onerous to those

DeJoy was corrupt from the jump. He’d have one believe that his $600,000+ donation to the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee in the time between the Postmaster-General vacancy and his appointment had absolutely nothing to do with his getting the job.

The Washington Post reports that from last fall until April, “DeJoy purchased 11 bonds from Brookfield Asset Management each worth between $1,000 and $15,000, or $15,000 and $50,000, according to DeJoy’s financial disclosure paperwork.” Ron Bloom just happens to be “a Brookfield senior executive who manages the firm’s private equity division.” And also the chair of the Board of Governors that determines DeJoy’s tenure.

DeJoy’s relationship with XPO Logistics is in question. It is getting a $120 million contract from the Postal Service over the next five years. DeJoy and his family foundation “have divested somewhere between $65 million and $156 million in XPO shares, according to filings and tax documents. But his family businesses still have ties to XPO in the form of four office buildings in North Carolina that they lease to the company. That’s where DeJoy will get those millions, in the form of lease payments.”

But the President cannot remove him, only the Board of Governors can, and they’e largely insulated as well. Postmasters General Benjamin Franklin, the first appointed by the Continental Congress, and Samuel Osgood, appointed by George Washington, would be appalled.

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.

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