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Sat Aug 15, 2020, 07:05 PM

so...I was just looking for a place to park...

Last edited Wed Aug 19, 2020, 03:27 PM - Edit history (1)

some Post Office stuff I found interesting. Maybe I'll find some more that catches my eye

Mail sort machines being shut down in Manchester
By Kevin Landrigan New Hampshire Union Leader Aug 14, 2020 Updated 22 hrs ago
MANCHESTER — Local postal union officials said the U.S. Postal Service at the Goffs Falls Road processing center is putting four of its mail sorting machines out of commission, a move critics charge will slow down the delivery of absentee ballots from New Hampshire voters to town and city clerks.

Dana Colette, president of the American Postal Workers Union, Local 230, said the controversy underscores the need for voters to mail any absentee ballots long before the Sept. 8 primary and Nov. 3 general election.

"We are already seeing the impact of this. If it is going to come down to slowdowns, the only thing I would suggest is do not wait until the last minute; don't procrastinate," Colette said.

Late last week, President Donald Trump told Fox News he hoped changes at USPS would frustrate the efforts of liberal Democrats to mobilize votes against him in states where early, mail-in voting is legal.

The USPS has put out its proposed equipment reduction plan and on page 8, it lists Manchester as one of the sites in 46 states where machines are being mothballed or sold to private entities.

Post Office warns 46 states about mail voting delays, report says
By Associated Press
Published Yesterday
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service has warned 46 states and the District of Columbia it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted, The Washington Post reported Friday. Voters in several states also complained that some curbside mail collection boxes were being removed.

Postal Service spokesperson Ernie Swanson said the Oregon moves were due to declining mail volume and that duplicate mail boxes were taken from places that have multiple boxes. The Postal Service said four mailboxes were removed from Portland this week.

“First-class mail volume has declined significantly in the U.S., especially since the pandemic,” Swanson told the Portland news outlet. “That translates to less mail in collection boxes.”

Union Warns New Post Office Policy, Pandemic Could Impact November Election
United States Postal Service officials confirm several Bay Area employees have contracted the coronavirus.
By Melissa Colorado • Published August 3, 2020 • Updated on August 3, 2020 at 7:59 pm
Taylor said DeJoy put in place new cost-cutting rules, including one that reads extra trips to deliver mail are no longer allowed.

"It's going to backup the mail," Taylor said. "It's going to cause problems when the election comes because voting by mail is a sacred thing."

Voters worry the president is undercutting the postal service for his own political gain.

A spokesperson for the U.S Postal Service tells NBC Bay Area post offices are seeing a huge volume in packages and that is due to the overwhelming number of people ordering things online.

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Reply so...I was just looking for a place to park... (Original post)
stillcool Aug 2020 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Aug 2020 #1
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ProfessorGAC Aug 2020 #11
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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2020, 07:27 PM

1. Thanks for sharing this stuff, my dear stillcool...

These are things we all need to be aware of.

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Sat Aug 15, 2020, 08:11 PM

2. My late, dear "Aunt Margret" was as NH, and as conservative as they made ;em

She was the "Postmistress" of a small NH town for years.

Her observation on similar issues? " If you are going to fix something, you don't have to break it first!"

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Sun Aug 16, 2020, 08:44 PM

3. a little more..

Last edited Wed Aug 19, 2020, 03:26 PM - Edit history (2)

USPS will stop removing letter collection boxes in Western states until after the election, spokesman says
CNN Expansion NYC 2017 PH: JOHN NOWAK Paul Murphy
By Paul P. Murphy, CNN

Updated 10:43 PM ET, Fri August 14, 2020
In a statement Friday night, Rod Spurgeon -- a USPS spokesperson for the service's the Western region -- told CNN that the service will stop the removal of letter collection boxes in 16 states and parts of two others until after the election.
That means, according to Spurgeon, the USPS will stop collecting the letter collection boxes only in: Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Alaska, Nebraska and small parts of Wisconsin and Missouri.
It's not clear if the removal freeze would go into effect across the nation. Kim Frum -- a spokeswoman for USPS based at headquarters -- could not say if the freeze would go into effect across the country and would not comment on the freeze in the Western region.
Officials say that in the last week the USPS has removed letter collection boxes in at least four states: New York, Oregon, Montana and Indiana. The USPS has also begun notifying postal workers in at least three states -- West Virginia, Florida and Missouri -- that they will start to reduce their retail operating hours, according to union officials.

USPS closing some posts offices for lunch, ending extended evening hours
In the St. Louis area, some post offices that had been open until 6:30 p.m. -- specifically to serve people getting off-work -- would start to close at 5:00 p.m, according to Rebecca Livingston, American Postal Workers Union president of the St. Louis Gateway chapter.
Union officials in West Virginia, Florida and Missouri also said workers are being told that post offices must close an hour for lunch.
Lunch "is historically their busier times," Sinikka Melvin, the president of the Clarksburg, West Virginia, local American Postal Worker Union, told CNN.
People often come in during their own lunch hour to send mail or purchase USPS retail products like stamps, according to Melvin. USPS reducing the retail hours worries union officials, who believe it could create long lines at clerk windows during the election season.

The White House says USPS isn’t removing mail-sorting machines. Postal workers say it is.
Mark Meadows denied reports that hundreds of mail-sorting machines are being taken offline as part of a new initiative.

By Zeeshan [email protected] Aug 16, 2020, 3:40pm EDT

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said in an interview on Sunday that US Postal Service mail-sorting machines will not be taken offline between now and Election Day
— a statement at odds with reports that the Postal Service is decommissioning 10 percent of its machines this year under a new policy.

But reports from NBC News, CNN, and the Washington Post indicate that 671 machines are being taken offline under a new policy. NBC reports that, according to internal Postal Service documents it obtained, the new postmaster general appointed by Trump in May, Louis DeJoy, is the one responsible for the decommissioning initiative. And postal workers say the process of taking machines out of service under this initiative began in June.

A Postal Service spokesperson told NBC News that the decommissioning was due to “Normal business adjustments!” and that equipment was being adjusted due to a decline in the volume of mail and an increase in the volume of packages.

But that policy has some postal workers concerned about their ability to process mail-in ballots, which are expected to surge to unprecedented levels this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Washington Post reports that the American Postal Workers Union has filed a grievance claiming that the decommissioning of the machines — which are “concentrated in high-population areas” — could hinder processing of election mail

Voters in North Carolina have received absentee ballot request forms in the mail with Trump's face on them
CNN Expansion, Fernando Alfonso
By Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 4:32 PM ET, Sun August 16, 2020

(CNN)Given the crisis facing the United States Postal Service before a presidential election, the last thing John Herter expected to receive in the mail Saturday was an absentee ballot request form with President Donald Trump's face on it.

"Is this a joke?" Herter said his wife told him as she opened up the mailer to reveal a photo of Trump grinning underneath the words, "Are you going to let the Democrats silence you? Act now to stand with President Trump."
While it is common for candidates and political parties to send mail to voters, especially those who don't have access to TV or the internet, Real Facts NC, a non-profit dedicated to researching and telling the stories about issues facing North Carolinians, has never seen a mailer like this before, messaging director Jazmynne Williams told CNN.

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Sun Aug 16, 2020, 09:16 PM

4. and

Last edited Mon Aug 17, 2020, 01:41 PM - Edit history (1)

US Postal Service leaders can’t keep Trump’s lies — or their own stories — straight
By Joe Maniscalco, DC Report @ Raw Story

Pete Coradi , an American Postal Workers Union [APWU] national business agent, calls the move “disgraceful.” In more than 35 years with the Postal Service, Coradi said that he’s never seen anything like the outright removal of nearly 700 sorting machines from mail processing plants nationwide.

“I’ve been involved with the USPS since 1984,” Coradi told me. “What is currently being done with the massive delays of mail is nothing I’ve ever experienced. This is not ‘routine’ at all.”
The rationale for removing the sorting machines at this time, further appears bogus because the USPS refuses to elaborate on the ultimate disposition of the equipment. If the machines are simply being “moved around the network” — then where are they going? USPS won’t say.

“They’re removing these machines — they’re not replacing them,” Coradi told me. “And it’s only going to slow down service even more.”
-----This past week, people and businesses in at least three cities and towns around Buffalo, New York — Lancaster, Depew, North Tonawanda — saw days when they didn’t get any mail deliveries at all.

“We’ve had entire towns that didn’t get their mail,” on certain days, said Frank Resetarits, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 374, told the Buffalo News. “I’m talking about some of the bigger ones – East Aurora, Lancaster.”

Coradi, the postal union business agent, said this unknown in the history of our mail system, which is older than our Constitution.

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 01:38 PM

5. from crooks and liars

Last edited Wed Aug 19, 2020, 03:22 PM - Edit history (1)

The Postal Service Scandal Doesn't Belong Only To Donald Trump. Mitch McConnell Played A Big Role
8/17/20 3:37am
The Postal Service Scandal Doesn't Belong Only To Donald Trump. Mitch McConnell Played A Big Role
Trump isn’t the only Republican who’s been visiting with DeJoy, and DeJoy isn’t the only Postal Service leader who can thank Republicans for his sudden rise.
By Mark Sumner

Before stepping into the top job in May, DeJoy had a total of zero time with the actual USPS. However, he did have two decades of experience as CEO of a freight company that competed against the Postal Service—making it no surprise that his stock portfolio is full of reasons to destroy the institution where he works. Much more importantly in terms of landing his current position, DeJoy has long been a big fundraiser for the Republican Party in general and for Donald Trump in particular. In fact, DeJoy was named one of four finance chairs for the Republican Party, along with such luminaries as Steve Wynn and Michael Cohen. And DeJoy’s contact with Republican leadership didn’t end with cutting checks for their campaigns.

But Trump isn’t the only Republican who’s been visiting with DeJoy, and DeJoy isn’t the only Postal Service leader who can thank Republicans for his sudden rise. As Yahoo! News reports, DeJoy is in "in frequent contact with top Republican Party officials.” Presumably that means Mitch McConnell. Which is quite the coincidence seeing that every single member of the current all-white, all-male Postal Service board of governors can thank McConnell for that role.
As it turns out, since 1970, members of the board of governors have served in staggered 9-year terms. The idea is to have a board whose membership is spread across multiple administrations and which owes allegiance to no particular White House. That should mean that about half those currently seated on the board are left over from Obama’s term in office, with others appointed by Trump. But that’s not what happened. In 2015, Obama re-nominated most of the existing board members for a second term, including those members appointed under Bush. Those six members should all still be on the board. None of them are.

That’s because McConnell did what he did so often—blocked those nominations. By the time Trump stepped in, the number of remaining Bush- and Obama-appointed board members was exactly zero.
Then, as with federal judges, McConnell abruptly got out of the way. That means that every single current member of the United States Postal Service board of governors was appointed by Donald Trump. That board then officially ousted lifelong Postal Service employee Megan Brennan, and replaced her with Republican fundraiser Louis DeJoy.

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Mon Aug 17, 2020, 02:16 PM

6. Buffalo NY

Why are sorting machines being taken from U.S. Post offices?
Five high-speed machines dismantled at Buffalo's Main Post Office

By: Ed ReillyPosted at 6:29 PM, Aug 14, 2020 and last updated 6:39 PM, Aug 14, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) — The United States Postal Service is now the center of a nationwide debate concerning politics, mail-in voting, and funding. On top of that, complaints about delivery problems are piling up.

That scenario has several Members of Congress very concerned after seeing an internal memo from the U.S. Postal Service indicating 671 sorting machines are being pulled from post offices nationwide - including five from Buffalo's main post office and processing facility on William Street.

"First, we want those machines put back. And number two, we want an explanation about what the 'hell' is going on," said Congressman Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo).

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Response to stillcool (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 19, 2020, 02:02 PM

16. just trying to figure out what a sorting machine looks like

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 02:22 PM

7. don't know about this one..

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 04:50 PM

8. this comes from the Washington Post, August 14

Postal Service warns 46 states their voters could be disenfranchised by delayed mail-in ballots
By Erin Cox, Elise Viebeck, Jacob Bogage and Christopher Ingraham
August 14, 2020 at 4:44 p.m. EDT

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Mon Aug 17, 2020, 05:04 PM

9. oh dear...

By Saraya Wintersmith
August 17, 2020
At Least A Dozen Mail Sorting Machines Have Already Been Removed In Massachusetts, Postal Union Officials Say
“It’s disturbing to see the machinery taken out,” said Scott Hoffman, APWU Boston Local 100 president. Hoffman said nine machines have been removed from Boston’s Dorchester Avenue post office located downtown.

“When you eliminate machinery, you’re eliminating future possibilities to handle certain fluctuating volumes,” he said pointing to the annual busy periods of tax season, Mother’s Day and Christmas.

John Flattery, president of APWU Central Mass Local confirmed to WGBH News Monday that three pieces of sorting equipment were recently removed from his union’s region, which includes Ashburnham, near the New Hampshire border through Worcester, Franklin, and Sturbridge.

Bill Thomas, another Boston union officer and postal clerk said he believes the changes are a deliberate attempt to undermine the postal service.

“It’s intentionally delaying the mail,” Thomas said in an interview with WGBH News.
Documents obtained by WGBH News show a schedule to remove a total of 19 pieces of mail sorting equipment throughout Greater Boston — which includes Providence, R.I. — between the months of June and August. The documents, circulated in June, came along with letters from the Postal Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., that described the move as a response to low mail quantity.
The various machines, which sort mail parcels for distribution, would all contribute to sorting ballots from voters who elect to cast their votes by mail, according to postal workers.

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Mon Aug 17, 2020, 05:23 PM

10. Lawsuit

Last edited Mon Aug 17, 2020, 08:10 PM - Edit history (3)

Donald Trump
Lawsuit against Trump, postal chief seeks proper funding
2 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Several individuals including candidates for public office sued President Donald Trump and the U.S. Postal Service and its new postmaster general in New York on Monday to ensure adequate funding for postal operations.

The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court as multiple lawsuits were threatened across the country as a response to comments the president recently made and actions taken by newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to change operations at post offices nationwide.

The lawsuit alleges that Trump and DeJoy are trying to ensure the postal service cannot reliably deliver election mail

More than dozen U.S. states expected to sue Trump administration over postal cuts
By Karen Freifeld and Sarah N. Lynch 2 hrs ago

United States Postal Service (USPS) mailboxes are seen stored outside a USPS post office facility in the Bronx New York
(Reuters) - More than a dozen states as early as this week are expected to sue the Trump administration over cuts at the United States Postal Service they say could delay mail-in ballots in the November elections, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said on Monday.

Frosh said anywhere between 15 to 20 Democratic attorneys general are reviewing legal arguments, and he expects that the states involved will join in one, or possibly several, lawsuits.
“We are talking with other AG offices and expecting to take action soon,” Frosh said.
Frosh said that in Maryland, the service has pulled six sorting machines. “They pulled four out in one location,” in the Democratic stronghold of Baltimore City, he said.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in an interview that it would be unconstitutional to physically bar someone from voting or block the roads so people could not get to polling stations.
"So, too, it's illegal to intentionally defund the postal service or dismantle close to 700 mail sorting machines in big cities across the country or to remove blue mail boxes, which we've heard about," Tong said.

Berg & Androphy: President Trump, Postmaster General DeJoy Are Accused of Voter Suppression Conspiracy in U.S. Postal Service Lawsuit
Lawsuit seeks restoration of mail sorting machines, lifting of postal worker hiring freeze, and court order preventing interference in Presidential election

Berg & Androphy
Aug 17, 2020, 16:58 ET

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- President Donald J. Trump and his campaign contributor Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are accused in a lawsuit filed today of conspiring to use the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to suppress mail-in votes in the 2020 election, the Berg & Androphy law firm said.

According to David Berg, founder of Berg & Androphy, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is "doing Trump's bidding, slowing mail delivery and putting his thumb on the electoral scales, ensuring chaos during the Fall elections and, along with Trump, sowing doubt in the minds of Americans about the integrity of the outcome. In the name of cost-cutting at USPS, he has instead compromised the constitutional right of Americans to vote, gutting key postal service efficiencies by removing high speed mail sorting machines that sort flat mail like ballots, from post offices nationwide, freezing additional hiring, cutting off overtime and prohibiting postal workers from making extra or later trips to complete deliveries."

The lawsuit seeks replacement of removed USPS high-speed mail sorting machines and restoration of them to normal function and operation, restoration of USPS employee overtime pay, lifting of USPS hiring freeze, and a court order enjoining the President, Postmaster General and USPS from interfering with the plaintiffs' fundamental right to vote in U.S. elections.

The case is "Teresa Richardson, et al., v. Donald J. Trump, Louis DeJoy, and United States Postal Service," Case No. 1:20-cv-02262 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 05:36 PM

11. About This Cost Cutting

This tool De Joy is claiming the move is to cut costs & improve efficiency.
Aside from the political motivations, and the pension funding issue impacting cash flow...
From a purely business standpoint, it's easy to see the cutting of overtime. I don't agree with it, and don't believe it's about money, but pure business economics can explain avoiding 1.5x hourly payouts to save money.
How does removing machines installed to improve efficiency, improve efficiency?
The very fact that the next 2 initiatives were eliminating efficient automation and the boxes that widen distribution efficiency says NONE of these moves were about efficiency.
This tool was the CEO of a logistics company. He clearly knows a tiny something about efficient operations.
Eliminating efficiency tools because they're not efficient enough is transparently phony.
Especially when you look at the map posted above. Big, blue cities in big states being targeted.
This is an obvious political scheme.
DeJoy better be ready because Porter is coming!

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 09:07 PM

12. just because

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 01:03 PM

13. Louis DeJoy statement

he does say equipment, and mail boxes will remain where they are...will be interesting to find out where that is

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Wed Aug 19, 2020, 08:30 AM

14. I see a pattern, and Susan Collins

How Susan Collins engineered the postal service disaster she’s now protesting
Published 1 min ago on August 19, 2020By Eric Cortellessa, The Washington Monthly

As it turns out, Collins is actually one of the members of Congress most responsible for the Postal Service’s devastation. Long before DeJoy started manipulating the USPS, Collins was at the forefront of a bill that crippled the agency’s finances.

In 2005, she sponsored and introduced legislation, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), that required the USPS to pre-pay the next 50 years worth of health and retirement benefits for all of its employees—a rule that no other federal agency must follow. As chair of the Senate oversight panel at the time, she shepherded the bill’s passage, along with her House GOP counterpart Tom Davis, during a lame-duck session of Congress. It passed by a voice vote without any objections—a maneuver that gave members little time to consider what they were doing.

To meet the mandate for prefunding USPS’s health and retirement benefits, the measure required the Postal Service to place roughly $5.5 billion into a pension fund every year between 2007 and 2016, followed by sizable additional payments, making it impossible for the institution to run a profit. To make it even harder for the USPS to make money, the law prohibited the agency from any new activities outside of delivering mail. In an essay for the Washington Monthly last year, New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell, who voted for the bill, called it “one of the worst pieces of legislation Congress has passed in a generation.”

That’s because it saddled the institution with debt that no other government agency—or private company—is responsible for. At the same time, it effectively blocked the USPS from taking advantage of new opportunities to provide services and garner revenue when it needed to make up for losses stemming from declines in first-class mail due to the rise of the Internet and email.

Now, the post currently has $160.9 billion in debt, of which $119.3 billion is the result of pre-funding retiree benefits. That was by design. As Pascrell wrote, “To argue that the Postal Service needs to be privatized, conservatives need to show that it is dysfunctional, and there’s no better way to do that than by weighing the agency down with impossible financial obligations.”

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Wed Aug 19, 2020, 09:13 AM

15. Postal officials as witnesses no more

USPS Quietly Added Rule Prohibiting Workers From Signing Mail-In Ballots As Witnesses
By Cristina Cabrera
August 19, 2020 8:05 a.m.
The U.S. Postal Service enacted a rule this summer banning its clerks from signing mail-in ballots as witnesses while on duty, a restriction that can prevent the ballots from being counted.

The Anchorage Daily News reported on Tuesday that Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai had sent the USPS a letter last Thursday seeking an explanation for complaints that postal workers in her state had been telling voters they were not allowed to sign the ballots.

“This came as surprise to the state because we know in past elections postal officials have served as witnesses,” Fenumiai wrote. “Rural Alaska relies heavily on postal officials as they are often sometimes the only option for a witness.”

In fact, Alaska’s instructions on sending in ballots state that a postal worker counts as an “authorized official” who can sign on as a voter’s witnesses.
Alaska is one of several states that require people who vote by mail to have their ballots signed by a witness, otherwise the ballot will not be considered valid.
Virginia, a key swing state, has the same requirement, though a judge ruled in May that the policy may be waived for Virginians concerned for their safety amid COVID-19.

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Wed Aug 19, 2020, 02:25 PM

17. and the plot keeps on thickening...

BREAKING|Aug 19, 2020,03:10pm EDT
Postmaster General ‘Frankly Admitted’ He Won’t Fully Reverse USPS Changes, Pelosi Says
Alison Durkee Forbes Staff
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy “frankly admitted” to her that he does not intend to fully reverse changes made to the U.S. Postal Service that have resulted in widespread mail delays and sowed fear about the election, despite the postmaster general saying Tuesday he would temporarily pause the controversial changes through the election.

Pelosi said DeJoy told her in a conversation Wednesday that “he had no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed” and would not re-implement “adequate overtime” for mail workers, even though overtime cuts implemented earlier this summer have reportedly exacerbated the mail delays.

The House Speaker reiterated that the House will vote Saturday on legislation aimed at reversing DeJoy’s changes and giving the USPS $25 billion in funding, and the House will also hear testimony Monday from DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors chairman Robert Duncan.

“The Postmaster General’s alleged pause is wholly insufficient and does not reverse damage already wreaked,” Pelosi said, adding that his changes “directly jeopardize the election and disproportionately threaten to disenfranchise voters in communities of color.”

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Wed Aug 19, 2020, 02:36 PM

18. Michigan

Michigan Attorney General Deborah Nessel responded to Walker’s tweet: “When people asked why we were determined to continue our lawsuit against the Postmaster General despite his "promise" to discontinue efforts to dismantle the USPS-this is why.”

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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Wed Aug 19, 2020, 08:30 PM

19. smile

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Thu Aug 20, 2020, 04:59 PM

20. Reconnecting mail sorting machines is a no-no, as are loose lips

Last edited Thu Aug 20, 2020, 05:30 PM - Edit history (1)

USPS Headquarters Tells Managers Not to Reconnect Mail Sorting Machines, Emails Show
"We are not to reconnect any machines that have previously been disconnected."
By Aaron Gordon
August 20, 2020, 11:36am

Shortly after USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued a public statement saying he wanted to "avoid even the appearance" that any of his policies would slow down election mail, USPS instructed all maintenance managers around the country not to reconnect or reinstall any mail sorting machines they had already disconnected, according to emails obtained by Motherboard.

"Please message out to your respective Maintenance Managers tonight. They are not to reconnect / reinstall machines that have previously been disconnected without approval from HQ Maintenance, no matter what direction they are getting from their plant manager," wrote Kevin Couch, Director of Maintenance Operations. "Please have them flow that request through you then on to me for a direction." A subsequent email sent to individual maintenance managers across various regions forwarded that request along with a single sentence: "We are not to reconnect any machines that have previously been disconnected."


USPS employees got an email today telling them not to talk to the press under any circumstances

The Postal Service continuously strives to project a positive image, protect its brand, and present a unified message to the customers and communities it serves," the memo begins. "It is imperative that one person speaks on behalf of the Postal Service to deliver an appropriate, accurate and consistent message to the media."

"Avoid the temptation to 'answer a few questions,'" the memo advises. "Keep in mind that, while most media representatives will identify themselves up front, sometimes they do not. If you are dealing with a customer, especially one who asks a series of questions, it is perfectly appropriate to ask, 'Are you a member of the media?' Asking this specific question will help ensure your interaction is not used as the basis for any kind of 'official' Postal Service statement or position.”

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Sat Aug 22, 2020, 06:06 PM

21. Mnuchin and the Post Office

Mnuchin Paved Way for U.S.P.S. Shake-Up
Kenneth P. Vogel, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Alan Rappeport and Hailey Fuchs 1 hr ago

Since 1970, the Postal Service had been an independent agency, walled off from political influence. The postmaster general is not appointed by the president and is not a cabinet member. Instead, the postal chief is picked by a board of governors, with seats reserved for members of both parties, who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate for seven-year terms.

Now, not only was the Trump administration, through Mr. Mnuchin, involving itself in the process for selecting the next postmaster general, but the two Democratic governors who were then serving on the board were not invited to the Treasury meeting. Since the meeting did not include a quorum of board members, it was not subject to sunshine laws that apply to official board meetings and there is no formal Postal Service record or minutes of what was discussed.

Nearly six months later, that meeting, along with other interactions between Mr. Mnuchin and the postal board, has taken on heightened significance as the Trump administration confronts allegations it sought to politicize the Postal Service and hinder its ability to handle a surge in mail-in ballots in November’s election. In interviews, documents and congressional testimony, Mr. Mnuchin emerges as a key player in selecting the board members who hired the Trump megadonor now leading the Postal Service and in pushing the agenda that he has pursued.

Over the last two years, Mr. Mnuchin met privately on multiple occasions about postal matters with Mr. Duncan, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee who was confirmed by the Senate as a postal board member in August 2018, according to people familiar with the meetings.

Mr. Mnuchin also arranged a meeting with John M. Barger, a California lawyer and financial investment adviser who was recommended to the Treasury secretary by a mutual associate who knew of Mr. Barger’s work as chairman of the board of the Los Angeles County pension fund. After a meeting in Washington, Mr. Mnuchin recommended that Mr. Trump appoint Mr. Barger to the board of governors.

Mr. Barger was confirmed by the Senate last summer, and was tapped to lead the committee to select a new postmaster general. He attended the February meeting in Mr. Mnuchin’s office with Mr. Duncan.
S. David Fineman, a former member and chairman of the Postal Service’s board, called Mr. Mnuchin’s close involvement in the affairs of the Postal Service “absolutely unprecedented.”During his tenure in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, he said the board had minimal interaction with the administrations, and “certainly no communication
regarding the hiring of the postmaster general.”

The board hired two search firms to assist in the selection process by conducting a nationwide search. One of them, Russell Reynolds Associates, compiled a database of prospective candidates and provided a subset of dozens of names it deemed most promising to the board.

Mr. DeJoy’s name was not among those initially provided, according to people familiar with the process. But Mr. Duncan raised Mr. DeJoy’s name during a discussion among board members about other prospective candidates. Mr. Duncan, who has been involved in a super PAC that supports Mr. Trump’s re-election, had met Mr. DeJoy through Mr. DeJoy’s wife, Aldona Wos. Both had been appointed by Mr. Trump to help lead the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Kenneth Vogel, Alan Rappeport and Hailey Fuchs reported from Washington, and Jessica Silver-Greenberg from New York. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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Sat Aug 22, 2020, 06:16 PM

22. Washington State reinstalled sorting machines

Washington Postal Workers Defy USPS Orders And Reinstall Mail Sorting Machines
Daniel Cassady Forbes Staff
BREAKING|56,753 views|Aug 22, 2020,02:29pm EDT
Postal workers in Washington State have reinstalled high-speed mail sorting machines—dismantled after controversial orders from the U.S. Postal Service— despite USPS orders not to put machines back in use.

After embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced he would pause recent controversial changes to U.S. Postal Service protocol, the service told workers not to reinstall removed equipment.

40 percent of the high-speed mail sorting machines in the Seattle-Tacoma area were disconnected or dismantled since the changes went into effect, according to NPR, with workers in the Tacoma, Washington sorting plant saying eight of their 18 machines that sort and postmark letters were disconnected and pushed into a corner.

Sorting machines in Wenatchee, Washington were also reconnected, against the orders of the Postal Service’s head of maintenance, Kevin Couch.

Only two facilities, Seattle-Tacoma and one in Dallas, seem to be ignoring the Postal Service’s directive to leave decommissioned sorting machines out of use.

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Mon Aug 24, 2020, 11:12 AM

23. eau De Joy

Column: DeJoy’s appointment as postmaster general looks even more dishonest than you thought
AUG. 21, 202012:09 PM
But congressional testimony this week by David Williams, a former USPS inspector general and former vice chairman of the service’s board of governors, put some meat on those bare bones.

Williams told the Congressional Progressive Caucus that he resigned from the USPS board when it became clear it was about to appoint DeJoy.

He says DeJoy’s name came to the board outside the normal route, which went through the headhunting firm Russell Reynolds. Instead it came from board member John M. Barger, a Southern California investment executive who was supervising the postmaster search.

Barger told the board he had had lunch with DeJoy and “wanted to move his name forward,” Williams said. “It wasn’t clear how [Barger] had met Mr. DeJoy to me, and I don’t think anyone was clear on it.”

Williams testified that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been steadily injecting himself into USPS operations well before DeJoy’s appointment, though he was unable to say whether Mnuchin played a direct role in the appointment.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer has said he has evidence that Mnuchin interfered in the hiring process, but that the USPS has refused to waive confidentiality about the appointment. Mnuchin has said he played no role, according to Reuters.

Headhunting firm Russell Reynolds had brought forth several candidates who would have been vastly more qualified, he said, but he wasn’t aware that DeJoy was on their list. Although DeJoy had run a logistics company that had held a contract with the USPS, that was “narrow” expertise in terms of the demand on the postmaster general, Williams said.

Williams said that DeJoy did not appear to have received the background check normal for appointees to high government positions. That should have included an audit of a contract his former company had held with the USPS.

“It looked like there were concerns about whether his company was billing correctly and performing fully,” Williams said. “That contract file needs to be examined. ... We didn’t do that.”

A full background check might also have revealed DeJoy holdings worth at least $30 million in USPS competitors and contractors. In June, DeJoy also purchased options on Amazon stock that might rise in value if the USPS’ ability to compete with Amazon is hamstrung.

Williams said that he resigned from the USPS board in April after growing concerned over Mnuchin’s efforts to interfere in USPS operations. Only days later, the board appointed DeJoy as postmaster general.

“It became clear to me,” Williams testified, “that the administration was politicizing the postal service.” Mnuchin “insisted that all Republican appointees to the board of governors and the Postal Regulatory Commission come to his office and ‘kiss the ring’ and receive his blessing before confirmation.”


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Mon Sep 14, 2020, 04:58 PM

24. haven't been paying attention, but this caught my eye

Postal contracts awarded to DeJoy-run company were questioned in 2001 USPS audit
Heidi Przybyla
NBC News•September 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — A two-decade-old audit of mail equipment transport contracts by the U.S. Postal Service's inspector general found that a company previously run by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was awarded multiple noncompetitive contracts by the Postal Service that may have cost consumers as much as $53 million more than if they'd been competitively bid.

The 2001 audit found that New Breed Logistics, a supply chain services provider based in North Carolina, was awarded more than $300 million in Postal Service mail equipment transport contracts that could have come in at a much lower price had they been shopped competitively to a range of vendors.

The audit, reviewed by NBC News, made it clear that the premise for awarding any noncompetitive contracts to a single vendor, such as New Breed, "did not fully meet Postal Service requirements" and "potentially exposed the Postal Service to cost and performance risks."

The contracts awarded to New Breed, beginning in 1992, were to operate a pilot mail transport equipment service center in Greensboro, North Carolina. DeJoy was chief executive of New Breed from 1983 to 2014.
New Breed's financial practices have also been cited in reports to Congress. In a semiannual report in March 1999, the Postal Service inspector general flagged New Breed leasing contracts, saying $33 million paid to New Breed could have been "put to better use." A report in September of that year flagged $9 million more paid to New Breed that could have been "put to better use."

The irregularities cited in the audit, Williams said, underscore why he pressed for a full background check when DeJoy he was nominated for postmaster general.

"I don't understand how an offer could have been extended before a background check was completed," Williams said.

The postmaster general at the time of the New Breed overpayments was William J. Henderson, a former Postal Service official from Greensboro, North Carolina, who was appointed in 1998. Henderson said he didn't recall ever having seen the audit.

"We had tons of logistics partners while I was in the Postal Service, and I really didn't get into selecting particular partners or reviewing those sorts of things since they were done by purchasing," Henderson said. The inspector general at the time, Karla Corcoran, retired in 2003 after a federal investigation found that she had abused her authority, wasted public money and promoted questionable personnel practices. Corcoran's job was to root out waste and fraud.

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