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Mon Apr 16, 2018, 10:40 AM

Trump Moves to Gut the Post Office

What else can he damage or destroy for profit??

http://prospect.org/article/trump-moves-gut-post-office

Trump Moves to Gut the Post Office
David Dayen
April 16, 2018
His war on Amazon expands to include the right-wing’s campaign to abolish America’s oldest—and still successful—public service.


Some may be inclined to think that Donald Trump’s executive order Thursday night establishing a task force to recommend reforms for the U.S. Postal Service reflects another salvo in the president’s war against Amazon. Trump’s attack on Amazon, a clear byproduct of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s ownership of The Washington Post, included the suggestion that the online retailer was “ripping off the post office” by securing a special deal for the USPS to ship packages the last mile. By reviewing the finances of the post office, Trump’s task force could demand increases to that shipping contract, possibly costing Amazon billions of dollars.

Whether Amazon actually is getting a special deal on shipping is open to intense debate. The company also happens to enjoy a discount on stamps, which they then mark up to their own marketplace sellers, a pure arbitrage deal to earn profits from a publicly issued product.

But these issues have almost nothing to do with the Trump executive order. The Amazon spat is a cover for the formal unveiling of a long-wished right-wing project to destroy the post office and have private industry take over its infrastructure, which taxpayers funded long ago. All the executive order really does is create a report; it would take a willing Congress to deliver the final hammer blow. But that report, with a government imprimatur, will become part of that right-wing wish list, living on for decades in think tanks and private shipping company boardrooms as a fervent dream.

And sometimes dreams become reality.

snip//

The solutions here are obvious. The post office has the advantage of 30,000 locations, universal service, and a wider reach than for-profit companies could ever cast, paid for by taxpayers. Returning to the postal banking system we had from 1911 to 1967, which offers financial services to the unbanked with simple accounts and even small loans, would fit the agency’s mission of expanding commerce and save billions for vulnerable populations—all the while shoring up postal finances. The author of a 2014 white paper on postal banking, then-USPS Inspector General David Williams, is one of the nominees for the Board of Governors, and if allowed to do his job, Williams could fix up a system that would solve numerous problems at once.

This is one of a many ideas to maintain the Postal Service’s strong position at the center of American life, where it’s been since before the Constitution was written. Instead, Donald Trump, while claiming fake concern for the USPS getting “ripped off” by Amazon, wants to empower a gang of cretins bent on selling off the agency for parts.

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Arrow 58 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trump Moves to Gut the Post Office (Original post)
babylonsister Apr 2018 OP
dchill Apr 2018 #1
spanone Apr 2018 #2
dalton99a Apr 2018 #3
DeminPennswoods Apr 2018 #4
erronis Apr 2018 #12
Moostache Apr 2018 #5
world wide wally Apr 2018 #6
erronis Apr 2018 #14
MFM008 Apr 2018 #26
randr Apr 2018 #7
Maggiemayhem Apr 2018 #21
RainCaster Apr 2018 #43
Rebl2 Apr 2018 #44
BigmanPigman Apr 2018 #8
Cryptoad Apr 2018 #9
Hortensis Apr 2018 #10
alarimer Apr 2018 #16
Hortensis Apr 2018 #18
Caliman73 Apr 2018 #11
TheBlackAdder Apr 2018 #23
Caliman73 Apr 2018 #28
Rebl2 Apr 2018 #46
Caliman73 Apr 2018 #55
onecent Apr 2018 #13
Angry Dragon Apr 2018 #15
IronLionZion Apr 2018 #17
Hulk Apr 2018 #19
oasis Apr 2018 #39
Rebl2 Apr 2018 #47
SHRED Apr 2018 #20
Eliot Rosewater Apr 2018 #27
Achilleaze Apr 2018 #22
blake2012 Apr 2018 #24
FairDemocrat Apr 2018 #58
politicaljunkie41910 Apr 2018 #25
A HERETIC I AM Apr 2018 #57
matt819 Apr 2018 #29
Lifelong Protester Apr 2018 #30
Hortensis Apr 2018 #32
Rebl2 Apr 2018 #48
Demovictory9 Apr 2018 #31
JI7 Apr 2018 #33
Hortensis Apr 2018 #34
Rebl2 Apr 2018 #50
Hortensis Apr 2018 #53
oberliner Apr 2018 #35
RainCaster Apr 2018 #36
duforsure Apr 2018 #37
watoos Apr 2018 #38
alfredo Apr 2018 #40
sarcasmo Apr 2018 #41
Crutchez_CuiBono Apr 2018 #42
Ilsa Apr 2018 #45
PatSeg Apr 2018 #49
riversedge Apr 2018 #51
elocs Apr 2018 #52
democratisphere Apr 2018 #54
FairDemocrat Apr 2018 #56

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 10:45 AM

1. Why doesn't Simon Legree want us to have nice things?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 10:46 AM

2. K&R...

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 10:47 AM

3. Everything he touches disappears into a shithole

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 10:48 AM

4. Private industry does not want to do what USPS does

That's why they've gotten out of door-to-door delivery and contracted with USPS for that function.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:19 PM

12. Oh, they'd do it. But it'll cost a whole lot more. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 10:52 AM

5. I do not wish to be a "countryman" with the GOP agenda as a basis for society.

Seriously.

This is not hyperbolic or reflex reaction. I want nothing to do with any part of their desires, philosophy or hideous agenda. I believe in a country that cares for its people, not its corporations alone. I believe in public responsibilities like educating our children and populace, defending our families and communities, incarcerating and rehabilitating criminals as a SOCIAL cost (NOT a profit center), roads and infrastructure upkeep and improvements, and caring for the sick and the aged as a part of the social contract.

I believe in regulation to control the baser instincts and pulls of a purely capitalist system.
I believe in equality under the law for EVERYONE - full stop...no qualifiers, no special exclusions. NO EXCEPTIONS.
I believe in a public good and a right to privacy in my effects and papers and home.
I believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the system of checks and balances.
I believe in the scientific method, and the data-based, peer-reviewed opinions of scientists in all areas of their expertise.
I believe that one can have religious beliefs or no beliefs and should be treated equally in private and public.

As near as I can tell, NONE of these positions or beliefs is reflected back at me from the right. Their core is servitude to the corporate and wealthy overlords and subservience in quest of a bit of extra crumbs from the master's table. Their representatives and congressional appointees and judicial appointees are abhorrent and malignant. Their lack of compassion and desire to punish the poor for their circumstances and plight is disgusting and base.

In short, I have no desire to label such monsters as "countrymen". I cannot find the grace of RFK to forgive and to seek deeper bonds with such people. I cannot excuse the hurt and the anguish and destruction they have wrought on this nation since 1981.

I want them to secede. I want them to leave. I want to start over with a nation of like minded individuals who may disagree on principles and specifics, but not on fundamentals. We in the Democratic Party can ALWAYS find things we disagree about internally, but those disagreements are not whether or not we should inflict more unnecessary pain on citizens to benefit a tiny minority of the populace.

I just want this to all end already, before it turns bloody, before more lives are lost and sacrificed to the egos of tiny men with enormous bellies and bankrupt souls. I just want OUR country back. I want to see America be "America" again.

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Response to Moostache (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 11:07 AM

6. Great rant and totally spot on

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Response to Moostache (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:24 PM

14. I agree. Great rant. My slightly different perspective yield two major responsibilities.

- Support the free flow of information without ownership or costs.
- Regulate activities that are for the common good and activities that can harm the common good.

Simplistic, I know.

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Response to Moostache (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:50 PM

26. And I want to see maggot

Laying in State.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 11:07 AM

7. Republicans have been drooling over USPO properties for decades

Our postal system owns some of the most valuable properties in the country. Centrally located edifices in every town that would bring maximum profits if sold to the private sector.
One of our most beautiful treasures has already fallen to this greed and is presently called the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC.
Republicans see every asset of the nation as their own personal piggy bank or something they want to privatize for their own use.

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Response to randr (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:36 PM

21. Around here the Post Offices are leased

The old post office a half mile away has never sold. I don’t know about a historical post office like Charles Town WV.


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Response to Maggiemayhem (Reply #21)

Thu Apr 19, 2018, 11:47 PM

43. and the employees are temps

Contract work workers, might as well be Uber drivers.

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Response to Maggiemayhem (Reply #21)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 09:31 AM

44. Same here

in the Kansas City area. Several are leased.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 11:09 AM

8. He probably wants to make the buildings into tRump properties

like he did with the old DC post office bldg. He can make 30,000 tRump "No Tell" Motels.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:01 PM

9. That will put a smile on the face of all his,,,,

Oligarch buds overs at Fed-Ex

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:03 PM

10. Say "Trump" but think dark-money Republican donors.

We can't win this war if we don't know who and what we're fighting.

The plot to profit-ize our national postal delivery system started long before Trump was elected.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:26 PM

16. This dark money machine is worse than any Russian plot.

It's been going on for decades but really accelerated after Citizens United. The Koch brothers, the Mercers and others have orchestrated the rightwing takeover of this country. The Kochs have done by bankrolling ALEC and developing "model legislation" for all the worst kinds of bills like right to work, voter suppression, and worse.

And now the post office. Despite the fact that Fedex, etc are simply not willing to go the last mile to every single address, the way the USPS is required by law to do.

And I don't know how they will get around the fact that the Post Office is in the Constitution as one of Congress' duties. Oh, they will parse the language like nobody's business. So much for the originalists.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:30 PM

18. + A MILLION. :)

Terms like "originalism" and "judicial activism" are used interchangeably as tools by these kleptocrats to achieve their goals.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:07 PM

11. Will this report address the STUPID mandate that USPS fund retirement 75 years into the future?

That particular dick move by congress was a serious blow to USPS and is not required by any other public or private entity. USPS had to start making 5 billion dollar a year contributions into the pension system.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:45 PM

23. That mandate is why a Private Equity wants it. Billions to steal and leave taxpayers on the hook.

They'll borrow against it, go bankrupt and leave taxpayers on the hook to replenish the funds.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #23)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 02:11 PM

28. Yep. I sure Bain Capital is salivating right now.

NT.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 09:42 AM

46. What business

does that? My feeling is they did this to steal the money away from the P.O. to use elsewhere. Nobody funds pensions 75 years in advance! If they didn’t have to do that they would actually be making money. I’m sure many here know this, but much of the public doesn’t, the post office isn’t funded by taxpayers money.

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Response to Rebl2 (Reply #46)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 06:24 PM

55. Exactly!

It was a despicable act of sabotage that the Republicans foisted onto the post office in order to bankrupt the organization, crush the single largest public union in the country, and get their hands on public property to give to their financial benefactors.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:23 PM

13. NO he is NOT MORALLY a President......just taking all the things us poor people want,

and take them away. I hate HIM so much!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:25 PM

15. Kick------nothing else to say

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:29 PM

17. We had to destroy the village in order to save it.

Trump is destroying the postal service to save it from evil liberals like Amazon who use it as a delivery boy. It's unacceptable to have liberal pay money to the post office to deliver things. Everyone knows their job is to fund retirement 75 years into the future. Get a brain morans!

Trump and his people will always try to destroy every American institution and it's disgusting that we have to defend the frickin post office. It's rural and elderly people who depend on it the most. Trump's own voters in the red states are the ones who depend on the post office when they don't have commercial options like the cities. It's Grandma sending letters and birthday gifts to her grandkids who gets screwed.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:33 PM

19. The gop has been trying to gut the US Postal System for decades.

This is another one of those "privatise everything" so they can suck the profit out of it and leave rural America high and dry.

The gop is responsible..TOTALLY...for requiring the US Postal system to provide FUTURE FUNDING for their pension plan...something NO OTHER INDUSTRY is required to do. As if they really give a shit about the retiring postal worker.

Give me a g'damned break!

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Response to Hulk (Reply #19)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 07:29 AM

39. Yup, The Cato Institute and House Speaker, Newt Gingrich have long dreamed

of postal privitization.

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Response to Hulk (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 09:48 AM

47. There is no

other government agency required to do this. Why make the post office do it. They get no money from the government. Any money they have they make through sales of postage, packing materials, and around here they sell greeting cards. They would be making money if they didn’t have this ridiculous funding requirement!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:36 PM

20. That is a violation of The Constitution

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Response to SHRED (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:50 PM

27. Yes it is, but the GOP no longer cares about that. Those of us who do have a tough problem or

choice.

Do we defend our constitution which could mean our physical or economic deaths, or do we let them do what they want?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:40 PM

22. republicans further weakening America

disgusting

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:46 PM

24. Fuck that asshole. The real reason he went after Amazon

 

Going after more well compensated union employees.

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Response to blake2012 (Reply #24)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 06:40 PM

58. That was the first thing I thought too

 

How will my father pay his bills and many other people that can not afford to do it any other way?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 01:47 PM

25. Private industry uses USPS for express delivery because it's cheaper and FEDEX uses USPS planes

because it's cheaper. I know because I've used it and a clerk at FedEx told me about it. Many years ago, my son was on a school trip on the east coast (we live on the west coast) and needed his birth certificate to go on a trip and I needed to overnight it to him. I went to FedEx and they were going to charge me about $25 to make sure that it was there the next morning. (There are different rates for next day delivery depending on when it has to be there by. Early morning is more expensive than late afternoon for example. I'm including that just so we're comparing apples to apples.) The clerk at FedEx whispered to me that if I went down the street to the USPS that it would be cheaper. I explained to her that it had to be there by the next morning. She said it would be. I said, but you don't understand, it absolutely, positively had to be there the next morning. She said, trust me. Now I had already waited in line at FedEx and didn't want to now leave and go down the road a couple of miles and get into another line and in the end pay the same amount, or worse and have to come back. But I decided to trust her.

I went to the USPS and not only was the line short that morning, I ended up using the same form, and envelope that I had completed down at FedEx. When I went to pay for it, it was about $16. I explained to the USPS clerk that this absolutely, positively had to be their tomorrow morning. She said it would be. She even gave me the tracking info. I asked her how can they ship theirs cheaper than FedEx? She told me that FedEx often ships their stuff through USPS. So after I finished up, I went back to FedEx and whispering, thanked the clerk there again for the information and apologized for my skepticism. She said that's okay, but if everybody knew that, she wouldn't have a job. So I want everybody to know that so people will quite with the myth that the private sector is always better than the government. Now this happened about a decade ago so the actual amounts may have changed since then, but on the one occasion since, when I had to send something overnight, I went straight to the Post Office, and I tell everyone I can, my story when I get the opportunity.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 06:38 PM

57. The United States Postal Service does not operate any aircraft

The planes painted like the one below were operated by contractors, NOT the US Postal Service and the program ended in 2001



http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=415543


https://www.quora.com/Does-the-U-S-Postal-Service-maintain-a-fleet-of-airplanes

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 02:24 PM

29. From the USPS website

The Constitution and the Post Office
In June 1788, the ninth state ratified the Constitution, which gave Congress the power “To establish Post Offices and post Roads” in Article I, Section 8. A year later, the Act of September 22, 1789 (1 Stat. 70), continued the Post Office and made the Postmaster General subject to the direction of the President. Four days later, President Washington appointed Samuel Osgood as the first Postmaster General under the Constitution. A population of almost four million was served by 75 Post Offices and about 2,400 miles of post roads.

The Post Office received two one-year extensions by the Acts of August 4, 1790 (1 Stat. 178), and March 3, 1791 (1 Stat. 218). The Act of February 20, 1792 (1 Stat. 232), continued the Post Office for another two years and formally admitted newspapers to the mails, gave Congress the power to establish post routes, and prohibited postal officials from opening letters. Later legislation enlarged the duties of the Post Office, strengthened and unified its organization, and provided rules for its development. The Act of May 8, 1794 (1 Stat. 354), continued the Post Office indefinitely.

The Post Office moved from Philadelphia in 1800 when Washington, D.C., became the seat of government. Two horse-drawn wagons carried all postal records, furniture, and supplies.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 10:27 PM

30. K & R!

I have nothing to add, except our post office is one place where "old folks" meet.

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Response to Lifelong Protester (Reply #30)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 05:26 AM

32. Still, huh? That's nice.

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Response to Lifelong Protester (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 09:51 AM

48. This is

true in a lot of rural areas. A few years ago there was an outcry when they planned to shut down some of the rural PO in Missouri.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 12:17 AM

31. kick

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 05:30 AM

33. he is trash

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 05:37 AM

34. Its deal with Amazon has actually helped keep the USPS afloat,

countering dark-money efforts to destroy it.

A little history of the USPS's recent battle history and why Trump's audit is going to disappoint him, and possibly backfire:

Trump is right that the Postal Service needs reform

... Congress, however, continued to wield authority over the Postal Service — and that's been the big problem. With the rise of the internet in the early 2000s, the use of first-class mail began to decline. One way the Postal Service hoped to save money was by ending Saturday delivery. Congress said no. At a time when it was losing billions in 2011 and 2012, it proposed closing rural post offices and moving mail delivery to local stores. Congress said no.

A few years ago, the Postal Service suggested offering banking services, especially to people of moderate means. Congress said no. It suggested a series of other proposals to move into other lines of business. This is something postal services in Europe have done with great success. Congress said no.

And one more thing: In 2006, Congress imposed an insane mandate on the Postal Service: It was required by law to prepay, over 10 years, all future expected retiree health care benefits. That has cost the Postal Service somewhere on the order of $50 billion. It also guaranteed that the Postal Service would lose billions.

Which it has. In 2006, the Postal Service had a $900 million surplus. Every year since, it has lost billions, including a staggering $15.9 billion in 2012. Last year, it lost $2.7 billion, an improvement from the $5.5 billion loss in 2016. And you wonder why the Postal Service is pleading for reform?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-perspec-postal-office-reform-amazon-jeff-bezos-0416-story.html

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #34)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 09:58 AM

50. Are you sure

it is retiree health benefits? My husband retired from the P.O. and we kept our health insurance. Pretty sure we pay the whole premium ourselves. I thought it was to prefund pensions a ridiculous 75 years into the future. No other part of the government has to do this.

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Response to Rebl2 (Reply #50)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 10:23 AM

53. No, I took the Chicago Tribune at its word on that.

My half sister is a retired postmaster also, but we've never discussed the details of her retirement, only that they worked hard to push her to early retirement because she was undesirably far up the pay scale.

The outrageous, blatant attempt to destroy our USPS by requiring prefunding of pensions is the big thing everyone (except those who refuse to) remembers, of course. Villains.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 05:41 AM

35. So there was no feud with Jeff Bezos?

That's not what the Amazon thing was about?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 10:13 PM

36. This has far more to do with the WaPo than privatizing the USPO

Small Hands Magoo wants to strike back at the owner of the Washington Post, who just happens to be the CEO of Amazon. Wonder how that works? Why is this small minded tiny fingered Tangerine Douche Bag using our government to fight his own petty battles?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:31 AM

37. Privatization

Going after the Post Office, teachers, and soon the police so they , and only they have control over them is there goal now, and anyone in those professions should be alarmed at what he's doing to them, or trying to.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 07:19 AM

38. I talked to my local postmaster

and he told me that the USPS delivers 30% of Fed Ex and UPS ground mail.
I asked him who he voted for and he said Trump.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:42 PM

40. Its also about busting the unions. If they do, id Lose my healthcare and pension.

Both fought for and guaranteed by the union

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 03:28 PM

41. 200,000 employees and the GOP could give a F**K.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 05:05 PM

42. Privatization

Doesn't work. Zero cost control for consumers bc shareholders need ever more. Maybe Postal Workers can start showing up w Teachers. Wouldn't want to tick off a group of folks who walk and get outside everyday. Unfortunately the protesting can't all be done by state unions etc. Fed employees need to get angry and fight back as well. He's everybody's problem.
P.s...How far do you think a determined group of mail carriers...could carry a protest sign? Long way I'd wager.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 09:39 AM

45. We have to make sure this never happens.

I don't know how, but this will destroy mail order of any kind, especially for people in rural areas who won't be able to afford jacked up prices.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 09:56 AM

49. He must wake up every morning

and ask himself, "What can I destroy or dismember today?" He is like a Saturday morning cartoon villain.

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Response to PatSeg (Reply #49)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 10:00 AM

51. The word-evil, enters my mind when I hear the name of Trump

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 10:07 AM

52. It will take decades to repair the damage Trump has done or will do to this nation, if ever.

But the only chance if for the Left to remain vigilant and not become lazy and complacent with mistaking the successes of winning battles with winning the war. The tens of millions of Americans who support Trump beyond all reason are going nowhere and they are betting that the Left will relax and give them the opportunity to take control or expand control from the local level up. We cannot weary of fighting the battles because this is a war without end.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 12:52 PM

54. The men with the straight jackets need to intercede and escort him from the oval office.

Permanently.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 06:37 PM

56. Trump just said Amazon was the post office's problem

 

Was that all a sham donkey and pony show..smoke and mirrors to keep this all behind closed doors?

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