The Post Office thing is worse than you know, and you need to pay attention

By Mike McGann, Editor, the Times @mikemcgannpa

POCATELLO, ID — Donald J. Trump doesn’t want you to vote this fall.

Why? He knows unless turnout is awful, he’ll lose and lose badly. He figures if he stops vote by mail — although he’s voting that way — people won’t want to risk standing in long lines at their polling place during a pandemic so he and his appointed troll Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are murdering the United States Postal Service.

On the off chance that you think the stories about the USPS seeing massive mail delays and Trump being partially behind them are “fake news” — they’re not — stop watching Fox News Channel and/or OANN, they cause stupid cancer. Too much watching and you become terminally stupid.

Trump, not being the sharpest tool in the shed, admitted it this week in an interview:

“(Democrats) want 3½ billion dollars for something that will turn out to be fraudulent, that’s election money, basically. They want 3½ billion dollars for the mail-in votes, OK, universal mail-in ballots,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, spiking about the next coronavirus relief package. “They want 25 billion dollars — billion — for the Post Office.

“Now they need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” he continued. “By the way, those are just two items, but if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

The kicker? While we’re all getting screwed, Trump is too stupid to realize he’s getting rolled — slowing the USPS won’t save him, it will hurt his election chances by additionally tanking the economy. DeJoy seems to be motivated to cripple the USPS and reportedly owns $75 million in investments in competing private companies.

There’s a lot going on here, from the removal of high-speed sorting machines (more than 600) and sorted something like 567 million pieces of mail a day, to ending overtime and intentionally delaying large swaths of mail from being delivered.

But it’s not just about — or maybe even mostly about — the election. DeJoy is looking to cash in when Trump is long gone by wrecking the USPS.

I think we know about the delays, but more nefarious things are afoot — and FedEx, UPS and Amazon better start paying attention because this will hurt their bottom line. I speak from personal experience.

Let me tell you a tale of two packages — both using USPS as their “final mile” carrier. One was from Amazon, another from an independent Web retailer.

The first item, shipping from overseas (from the independent retailer) cleared customs in Los Angeles and was trucked across the country, ending up in Aston. It sat in Aston for days, rather than being transferred to the West Chester office — our delivery office — and then went to New York City. From there, after a few more days, it went to Wilmington, Del., before finally going to West Chester for delivery. It was a month late.

The Amazon package, which should have been delivered on Aug. 9 — reached the West Chester Post Office the day before and was supposed to be part of the Sunday delivery. No dice. It got sent to the Malvern office, instead. It finally went back to West Chester and was delivered days late.

Magnify my experience over 330 million people and you’re seeing not cost-saving moves, but intentional delay of the mail and parcels by routing them all over hell and back — and it is wasting money, in my opinion, intentionally. There are similar accounts all over social media — we can track these parcels and know what is going on.

That of course, doesn’t cover the economic impact — we are in a recession (and it could be getting worse) and the impact on businesses great and small by losing dependable, affordable delivery will be massive. Reduced orders, job layoffs and a deeper drop in the Gross Domestic Product will start to be come evident by September and worsen in October — awful economic news that will hurt Trump’s reelection effort (people will be angry enough to crawl over broken glass to vote, just to get him out of office).

And then of course, there’s the criminal issue.

In case you were wondering, it’s a felony under both 18 U.S. Code § 1701 and 18 U.S. Code § 1703. Under 1701, it is also a First Amendment issue, as it involves delay and failure to deliver newspapers and magazines in a timely fashion (an out of date newspaper has no value). It is also fraud — these publishers (I know, I’ve done it in the past) pay a specific amount for delivery under certain conditions. Those publishers are being robbed, including virtually every newspaper in the country.

Now, the USPS is telling 46 states including Pennsylvania that it cannot meet the delivery deadlines for election ballots. Shocking.

I suppose you can blame Trump — but, let’s be frank (and I do not say this lightly), he’s just not that bright and doesn’t care about you in the slightest. You probably can blame Sen. Pat Toomey, one of Trump’s criminal enterprise enablers, but since he’s on course to badly lose the 2022 gubernatorial election (he’d get slaughtered if he seeks his Senate seat again), he doesn’t much care — probably measuring curtains in his new office at The Club For Growth (a slimier, less effective version of Hair Club For Men).

So where to unleash your righteous anger?

State legislators — the Republican ones in Chester County. Sen. Tom Killion is about 700 points behind Democrat John Kane (alright, about 12 based on polling I’ve seen), State Rep. John Lawrence (one of the few GOP candidates who appears to have a polling lead of some sort) and State Rep. Tim Hennessey who is in deep elective trouble. State Rep. Steve Barrar? He’s retiring and the GOP candidate to replace him, Craig Williams is down about 15 points and will likely get crushed on election day by Anton Andrew.

So — pressure on Killion, Lawrence and Hennessy. Republicans have to suffer for these shenanigans from the bottom up for there to be any impact — the DC types just don’t care. But those three (and equally electively endangered collar county legislators) can call quickly for expanded in person voting in October. Or they can face angry voters. Angry voters show up — and stay and vote. And not for you if you’re part of the reason they’re angry.

***

Fun trivia fact: Kamala Harris and I were both born in California in 1964. She was in Oakland, in the north, and I was in Orange County in the south. We are both equally eligible to run for President or Vice President — based on my elective history, she’s an odds on favorite to be our next Vice President, while I retire with a perfect 0-4 record electorally.

Anyone who is claiming — somehow — she is ineligible is not doing so out of concern from whether she is a natural-born citizen, but out of race.

Much like we saw with the “Birther” movement — where some claimed Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. — this is about one thing and one thing only: these people feel strongly that people of color are not eligible to be President or Vice President.

In short, they are racists.

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With Chester County Health recommending that schools not open for in-person instruction until Oct. 9, it’s hard to see how any district can open before that — although at least a couple in the county are scheduled to do so as of now.

Aside from the health issues — it’s tough to know how the next few weeks will play out in Pennsylvania — there is a liability issue. Open in defiance of a county health recommendation and I suspect insurers will not be willing to pay for any claims by staff or students.

Again, these district have impossible choices to make — caused entirely by the awful national response to the COVID-19 virus. But it seems hard to justify opening schools at all before Oct. 9 in Chester County.

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