Rock history, nostalgia, sarcasm, snark, omens, revelations, lessons, predictions and probably several other things I neglected to mention at this point all wrapped around the biggest political story of last week. I promise you a lot to ponder. Let’s explore.
Last week President Trump admitted that he was trying to sabotage the USPS (United States Postal Service) in order to gain an electoral advantage; perhaps not in so many words, (speaking English has never been one of Trump’s strong suits), but effectively.
Recently Trump named Louis DeJoy as the Postmaster General and things began to change; not for the good. First a little background on DeJoy. The original Trump-era RNC Finance Committee leadership was Steve Wynn along with Elliott Broidy, Michael Cohen and DeJoy. If those other names are unfamiliar I suggest you google them; while you are at it google DeJoy’s wife, Aldona Wos. If you haven’t lived in North Carolina recently that name might not mean much to you. Hint: They are all big Trump-GOP donors and they all have some very dirty laundry.
The Republicans have been trying to put the USPS broke and punish its union members for their political activates since the lame duck session of 2006. The goal is to break the unions while privatizing the profitable postal functions leaving the money losers for the public to subsidize. It’s the now old GOP gambit of privatizing the profits and socializing the losses. When evaluating all this do not lose sight of the fact that the USPS is the largest employer of American military veterans. Simply put if you want to protect the vets; protect the Postal Service.
The Postal Service, like many other industries, has suffered from the coronavirus. Understandably absenteeism is up. I’ll use the example of your letter carrier. If he or she is out most often their route is split up among several other carriers who get an hour’s overtime to deliver a “cut” (that was the postal term for a portion of a route back in my father’s day anyway). Under “business genius” DeJoy overtime is forbidden so the mail sits. (This principle also applies to the crucial sorting and moving functions.)
Without fanfare or public notice 671 sorting machines (over 500 of them capable of sorting in excess of 35,000 pieces of mail per hour) suddenly disappeared. Doing a little math this reduced the USPS’s ability to move over 180 million pieces of mail in a single eight hour shift. Do you see where a serious backlog that increases daily could accumulate quickly?
One dedicated reporter in Montana discovered that mail collection boxes were suddenly disappearing. In some Montana cities it amounted to between 40 and 50% of the boxes. They just so happened to be in more densely populated area including across the street from a nursing home and a college campus. Both are places where the residents are more likely to vote by mail. While the problem was not isolated to Montana I find that state interesting. I assume Trump will win Montana comfortably but the Senate race is much more an open question and a very good Democratic pickup opportunity. Could Trump be attempting to reward a loyalist?
Speaking of the Senate, the first part of today’s title is aimed at Susan Collins in Maine. In 1958 The Everly Brothers had a major hit with Wake Up Little Susie. In the aftermath of being among the innocent voters in Trump’s impeachment Collins stated that she thought Trump had learned his lesson. To paraphrase the song Senator Collins, with that and the vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh your reputation is shot and it’s time to go home to Maine; Sara Gideon will take your seat in DC.
Returning to Montana the USPS has announced they will stop removing mail collection boxes at least until after the election. Whether they keep their word or not only time will tell. Also note that they said nothing about returning the removed ones; in Montana they already did sufficient damage. How about elsewhere?
I’ll end this article with another rock reference, the Bachman-Turner Overdrive 1974 hit, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet. Not only am I certain more shenanigans are to come; I did not cover several associated with this story. VOTE and vote early (my mail in ballot request is already in even though North Carolina doesn’t start mailing the ballots out until September 4th) hand deliver your completed ballot to the Board of Elections if legal in your state.
FULL DISCLOSURE: My late father retired from the Postal Service and was a member of the National Association of Letter Carriers which formally endorsed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Friday
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