Three Things: They Look Like Phones [UPDATE-1]
[NB: Check the byline, thanks! Updates will appear at the bottom of the post. /~Rayne *]
Those three things sure look like phones — like something you should be using to make phone calls ASAP.
Call about what, you might ask?
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You’re already aware there’s a mounting crisis related to the U.S. Post Office. Yesterday Trump just came right out and said the quiet part out loud, that he’s stealing the election by messing with the post office.
No, really, he’s that damaged cognitively that he’ll admit his impeachable offense.
Speaking with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network on Thursday morning, Trump appeared to confirm that he opposes Democrats’ proposed funding for mail-in balloting and the U.S. Postal Service in order to make it more difficult to expand voting by mail.
“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,” he said. “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.”
It’s not the first time he’s said something to this effect, that Republicans lose when it’s easier to vote. He said it in March so you know he’s been thinking about this and working on it since at least first quarter this year.
But this time Trump’s pointedly refusing to assent to funding the U.S. Post Office. His slack-jawed flabby-assed flunky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, offered an economic aid bill 10 weeks late and then dismissed the Senate for a month rather than allow senators to work with the House Dems to negotiate adding USPS funding to their pork-laden HEALS Act.
That’s right, the HEALS Act has no funding for the USPS though the House Dems’ HEROES Act passed in mid-May contains $25 billion. The Center for Responsible Federal Budget offers a comparison of the two bills — there’s nothing in the Senate bill for USPS though it contains money to improve airports (when air travel has fallen dramatically) and transferred money to private schools (though public schools are already underfunded and in need of money to address COVID-19 mitigation).
Meanwhile, Americans across the country have already been damaged by Trump’s overt attacks on the USPS through his corrupt appointee, Louis DeJoy. You’ll recall that DeJoy was a Trump donor; he’s basically bought his appointment through campaign contributions, which isn’t unusual. But he owned and still owned stock in competitors with the USPS. Every decision he makes which cuts USPS’s services and responsiveness is self-dealing.
Worse, since his appointment, DeJoy bought stock in Amazon which has its own shipping service — yet another conflict of interest.
DeJoy could and should be removed. The chances the House Dems would impeach him AND the slack-jawed Senate Majority Leader would allow the Senate to convict and remove him before the election are slim to none. You know Trump damned well won’t have a change of heart or mind about DeJoy (having neither heart nor mind to change).
But there’s another possibility. The USPS Board of Governors could remove DeJoy and name another among their ranks to serve as the Postmaster General.
Here’s the current board:
|Louis DeJoy||Postmaster General (PMG) and CEO||Republican||June 15, 2020||No Term Limit||75th United States Postmaster General|
|Robert M. Duncan||Chairman of the Board of Governors||Republican||August 2018||December 8, 2025||Re-elected as chairman in November 2019|
|Ron A. Bloom||Governor||Democratic||August 20, 2019||December 8, 2020||Chair of Strategy and Innovation Committee|
|Roman Martinez IV||Governor||Republican||August 1, 2019||December 8, 2024||Chair of Audit and Finance Committee|
|John McLeod Barger||Governor||Republican||August 1, 2019||December 8, 2021||Chair of Compensation and Governance Committee|
|Donald L. Moak||Governor||Democrat||June 18, 2020||December 8, 2022||Replacing Alan C. Kessler|
|William D. Zollars||Governor||Republican||June 18, 2020||December 8, 2022||Replacing James H. Bilbray|
What we need are contact methods including phone numbers for these individuals because you know mailing anything to these board members won’t be timely. Heck, sending a letter via FedEx or UPS could work, too — find out what Brown can do for you, amirite?
These board members need to know they are on notice and will be held accountable for failing their fiduciary AND legal responsibilities.
Like 18 U.S. Code § 1701.Obstruction of mails generally —
Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
And should any American not receive essential medication on time as many have reported, causing harm or even death? These board members should be named in any suit against the U.S. Postal Service.
But what about the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) limiting lawsuits by individuals against federal services?
See Dolan v. United States Postal Service — the deliberate removal of post office equipment to slow down and impede delivery of mail is not negligence. It’s malicious.
And the president explained what was intended. Hurting Americans’ health and commerce is just collateral damage to him.
There’s probably a case to be made for 18 U.S. Code § 371 Conspiracy to Defraud the U.S., and possibly 18 U.S. Code § 1346 Honest Services Fraud.
VICE reported on documents they obtained showing the reductions to equipment were set in motion months ago — what a coincidence that the “Equipment Reduction” presentation document VICE shared is dated May 15, 2020, the same day the House Democrats passed the HEROES Act containing $25 billion for USPS funding.
DeJoy was appointed by Trump on May 7, one week before that presentation’s date.
The document VICE obtained refers to “proposed plan” throughout, meaning it was not the final plan. There’s no indication this was intended to reduce costs to operate, only reduce equipment.
And there’s zero indication in the “Equipment Reduction” document or in other reporting to date that DeJoy would recover any costs of the equipment by selling any removed for scrap. Instead there are reports the equipment removed has been destroyed and tossed in dumpsters.
Imagine the scrap value lost to the U.S. Treasury. What’s the chances somebody has made off with this?
Wondering if there’s also U.S. code somewhere which addresses deliberate impediment or interference with the operations of the U.S. Census because that’s still underway and there are likely replies also being delayed.
If you find phone numbers for the members of the Board of Governors, please share in comments. Thanks!
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It’s not just individuals who rely on timely delivery of mail for all manner of essentials like medication; it’s not just businesses which rely on timely, secure delivery of mail for transmission of payments and legal documents.
It’s states and local government relying on mail for the conduct of governance. States’ attorneys general should sue the U.S. Post Office and the entire Board of Governors if the states and local governments are harmed by this deliberate sabotage of the U.S. Post Office.
Here’s the National Association of Attorneys General’s website — click on the photo of your state’s attorney general to find their contact information including telephone number. Or check with your state’s government website for your AG.
Ask your state’s AG to look into damages to the state caused by the deliberate delay of mail by the U.S. Post Office.
You may see your state’s Secretary of State writing sternly worded letters of concern, as California’s Alex Padilla did today. But stern letters from a state to the U.S. Postmaster aren’t likely to produce anything but spin from DeJoy.
Attorneys general filing lawsuits? That might get something done.
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Rep. Ted Lieu tweeted that it’s unlikely the USPS will be funded because of Trump and Senate Republicans.
He’s right — unless the GOP senators get panicky about their grip on a majority, they will continue to obstruct as they have been. Perhaps they’ve been persuaded by Team Trump that DeJoy’s trashing of the USPS will work in their favor.
We know, though, the Republicans have been twitchy about their ties to Trump for some time now. The White House’s handling of COVID-19 has been disastrous for their constituents. Lying or spinning can’t hide the body count. That body count may worsen, taking their voters should their essential medications not arrive by mail on a timely basis.
So make these GOP senators — especially this list up for re-election — panicky. If one of these is your senator, call them and get into their grill about the crappy HEALS Act which provides zero funding for the USPS but doles out pork like money for the bloated F-35 fighter jet.
|Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)||McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)|
|Cassidy, Bill (R-LA)||McSally, Martha (R-AZ)|
|Collins, Susan M. (R-ME)||Perdue, David (R-GA)|
|Cornyn, John (R-TX)||Risch, James E. (R-ID)|
|Cotton, Tom (R-AR)||Rounds, Mike (R-SD)|
|Daines, Steve (R-MT)||Sasse, Ben (R-NE)|
|Enzi, Michael B. (R-WY)||Sullivan, Dan (R-AK)|
|Ernst, Joni (R-IA)||Tillis, Thom (R-NC)|
|Gardner, Cory (R-CO)|
|Graham, Lindsey (R-SC)||Retiring:|
|Hyde-Smith, Cindy (R-MS)||Alexander, Lamar (R-TN) open seat|
|Inhofe, James M. (R-OK)||Roberts, Pat (R-KS) open seat|
Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121 — or use Resist.bot to text them.
If you have one or more Democratic senators, call and thank them for their work and ask them to ensure they support USPS funding if the GOP senators come to the table to negotiate HEALS Act.
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I want to point out I am not a lawyer. If you think there’s other angles of approach which work better apart from what I’ve written here, or if there’s a flaw in what I’ve laid out, share in comments so we all can take a better tack.
Above all, make sure your friends, family, neighbors know to plan ahead to vote as early as possible. Check voter registration status, look into absentee or mail-in ballots and ensure they are mailed as early as possible under state law or dropped off at the closest secured ballot drop box.
Let’s try to keep this thread focused on the U.S. Post Office, thanks.
UPDATE-1 — 5:25 P.M. ET —
Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has reached out to the AZ Attorney General:
Keep up the pressure.