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The postmaster general's announcement that, as of August, the Postal Service will stop delivering first class mail but continue delivering packages on Saturdays was basically a dare to Congress: You don't like it? Stop me. And it looks like it may have been a safe bet, because while many members of Congress are angry about the move, congressional dysfunction makes it unlikely they'll actually do anything to keep bills and magazines and Netflix DVDs reaching our houses on Saturdays.

The postmaster general's unilateral action raises a number of issues. It's not just whether limited Saturday delivery is the right way to go, but whether this move requires (or should require) congressional approval. On both points, but especially the latter, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was not happy, saying that "The postmaster general’s actions have damaged his reputation with congressional leaders and further complicates congressional efforts to pass comprehensive postal reform legislation in the future." Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins was similarly critical of the move, questioning both its adherence to the law and the damage that might be done to postal business by cutting services.

But nonetheless, the chances Congress will do anything about it are low. For one thing, some members of Congress, like California Republican Darrell Issa, think it's just great. For another thing, this is Congress. It's broken.

Last year, the House and Senate produced competing bills to help staunch the Postal Service’s financial losses. The Senate approved legislation that would have delayed five-day mail delivery for two years while trying out other cost-saving tactics, but the House never voted on the measure. A House bill that would have ended Saturday delivery right away never reached the floor.

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said he had no idea what his committee would do about the postal plan.

Making cuts is, of course, the only thing that gets real attention, despite the efforts of senators like Bernie Sanders and Mary Landrieu to broaden the debate somewhat to how the Postal Service could be successful by expanding its offerings. Too many of their colleagues, though, object to that idea, because while the austeritarians think the post office should be required to be profitable like a business, they don't want it competing with actual businesses that have lobbyists and give campaign contributions. That range of views on what should happen to the Postal Service in the long run, combined with your general everyday congressional dysfunction, mean that however much Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe may have "damaged his reputation with congressional leaders," he's unlikely to face legislative action keeping Saturday first class mail going. Which means 22,500 jobs disappearing from the American economy.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 07:40 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Privatize!! it's the republican way! (5+ / 0-)

    win-win all around - except for us.

    Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    by PHScott on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 07:49:15 AM PST

    •  Never Retreat, Never Surrender, go Post (9+ / 0-)

      Office workers!

       photo FACT_zps95afa5d2.png

      Tired of hearing crazy voices? turn off FOX News. Single Payer: healthcare for all of God's living creatures in America.

      by ca democrat on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 02:46:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cutting their own throats. (7+ / 0-)

        The USPS is the only carrier that can reliably pickup and deliver in hard-to-reach rural areas; that has a full network of service centers in rural areas; and that serves rural needs such as delivery of agricultural animals.  Take a look at the Republican "red state" base.  Where do they get the votes?  URBAN areas?  Are you kidding?  A look at the political map shows that Republicans dominate most of the empty space in this country, not the population centers.  Their rural base depends on the US Postal Service, not FEDEX.

        •  One of the reasons the Republicans resemble the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BYw

          scorpion on the back of a (can't remember) swimming across a river.  It stings its ride, sending both to their doom because that's its nature.  

          We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

          by Observerinvancouver on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:18:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That just shows how stupid their base is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ginny in CO, BYw, Eyesbright

          They will yelp and howl when the USPS no longer delivers their medications.  Yet they keep voting republican.  Couldn't happen to a better base, huh?

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:50:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Subterranean, please read my comment below. It's (0+ / 0-)

            not just the Republican base that is going to be upset, since this is one of the President's recommendations.

            But maybe we can stop this, if we all call the White House and ALL our Congresspersons, over the next several months!

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

            "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

            by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:28:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. n/t (3+ / 0-)

        "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

        by CanisMaximus on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 03:14:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  One of those "facts" seems to be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright

        pretty wrong and so I would suggest not using it in the future because it significantly detracts from the point who ever made it was trying to convey.

        PS It's the one with the grammar/spelling mistakes.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:37:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We started discussing this last year.... (0+ / 0-)

      My prior post is here.

      As background, Kos posted a diary about the idyllic nature of vote-by-mail.  I agree with his underlying premise, that the use of universally-available means of data communication (aka the USPS in his post) are likely the best means of conducting elections.  That said, the USPS has been under attack by Team Red for a long while.  Despite a constitutional obligation to maintain the USPS, Team Red remains eager to do away with the USPS for many reasons.  

      In the context of using the USPS to allow universal voting, the current contraction of mail delivery cannot help but be viewed as a (perhaps minor?) reduction in the ability of citizens to vote by mail.

      Predicted?  Yep.  Avoidable?  Most certainly, since the savings are incidental with respect to the overall budget.  Will it change?  F if I know....

      You think it's hot? Imagine what it would be like if global warming really existed!

      by JSc on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 07:49:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  First they came for Saturday (11+ / 0-)

    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a weekend day.

    Then they came for Monday,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an unpopular day.

    Then they came for Wednesday,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't hump day.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to deliver for me.

    •   Ok, I'm a Letter Carrier... (6+ / 0-)

      ...and I keep thinking about what the banks, credit card companies, anyone using revolving credit, etc are going to do about the loss of a "business day"?

      As it is, you can get your bill on a Saturday, giving you an extra day to send it back. Banks and other corporations consider Saturday as a "business" day.

      Are they going to revamp their systems? The computer code must be re-written to take this change into account, correct? That would cost them millions.

      Besides, there are MILLIONS of people who consider the U.S. Mail their world. Older people still send letters. They get magazines. They don't want or need electronic communication past the telephone.

      Change has to happen, yes. It could start by 4/5ths of all management quitting as they are useless dreck and let the rest of us get back to work. In fact, and I'm pretty sure of this; They could fall off the face of the planet and it would not make even a BLIP in the mailstream.

      "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

      by CanisMaximus on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 03:13:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the bidness of america is bidness (0+ / 0-)

        So the question is do we continue saturday mail delivery so that businesses can get checks and old people can continue to mail things, or should we adjust the size and scope of the service so that it can continue to provide at least some service to those who need it.

        My understanding is that saturday delivery is not going to be cancelled, only limited.  In terms of competing with other services, the USPS has good prices on packages that will be delivered on saturday.  It will just now cost $5 instead of a cheap first class stamp.

        One thing to consider is that old people and businesses tend to be the people who vote conservative and want the post office to close. As has been mentioned, conservatives could adjust the pension plan and solve the problem, yet they don't.  Votes and ideology does have consequences.

        •  Respectfully, I have never heard the charge (0+ / 0-)

          that "old people" want the post office to close.

          Indeed, I would imagine that it is just this group of people (older or senior Americans) who have the least access to internet bill paying, etc., and who most heavily depend upon Postal Service mail pickup and delivery.

          Please see my comment below, regarding the President's own recommendation that the Postal Service discontinue Saturday delivery.  (Or go to five days--same difference.)

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:18:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Didn't ANYONE read my comment above? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musiccitymollie
            Besides, there are MILLIONS of people who consider the U.S. Mail their world. Older people still send letters. They get magazines. They don't want or need electronic communication past the telephone.

            "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

            by CanisMaximus on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 07:49:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Congress broke it, initially... (13+ / 0-)

    ...it's like expecting a petulant child to repair all his broken toys.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 07:52:30 AM PST

  •  It seems like... (6+ / 0-)

    damaging ones reputation with congressional leaders would actually be a really good thing to have on ones curriculum vitae.

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

    by RonV on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 07:53:24 AM PST

  •  As far as I can tell (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, nchristine, RichM, jan4insight, Zinman

    destroying the Postal Service seems to be a feature, not a bug as far as Republicans and some Democrats are concerned. It seems like it would be fairly simple to fix the Postal Service if it wasn't for Congress micro managing from a distance.

    •  I believe many residents feel that way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols

      in the District of Columbia.

      I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 10:46:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Comprehensive postal reform" (5+ / 0-)

    In congress-speak that means fuck it up until it's a useless, worthless shell of its former self.


    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 08:10:15 AM PST

  •  All they have to do (9+ / 0-)

    is repeal the ridiculous law that is forcing the Post Office to fund 75 years worth of pensions in a 10 year period. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act  was forced through by a lame-duck Republican Congress in 2006  and seems to be designed specifically to drive the Post Office into bankruptcy and leave the delivery services soley to private companies. Why are we not focusing on that? I say contact all your Congressional representatives and demand that the law be repealed.

    "Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

    by Annie B on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:45:26 AM PST

    •  Wait! I know! Do it like the private sector, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edrie, nchristine

      where they just default and walk away from their retirement obligations to their employees and former employees.  Or just steal the money...

      I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 10:47:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  PAEA passed Senate by "unanimous consent" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justus, marina

      and it passed in the House on a "voice vote". The Democratic Members of both the Senate and the House were either asleep, not present, or complicit.

      Please see an illuminating article by Renee Parsons which includes her account of how this went down:

      http://trueblueprogressivereport.blogspot.com/...

      As an aside, it is health benefits, not pension funding, which the PAEA required to be pre-funded for 75 years for future retirees.

      Eradicate magical thinking

      by Zinman on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 11:13:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Government is the problem." (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryduck, DuzT

      If that is the sole and entire mythological basis of your political philosophy, it is vital that you destroy any government program that works. Doubly so if the program works well and at low cost, because any government program that works utterly disproves the myth that excuses your strategic intention that there be no PUBLIC good, no PUBLIC works, and no CIVIL Contract; that everything be privatized to better serve private greed.

      Social Security works, so it must be destroyed.
      Medicare works, so it must be destroyed.
      The U.S. Postal System works, so it must be destroyed.
      Obamacare must be destroyed before it starts to work and becomes popular.
      Public Libraries work, so they must be destroyed.
      Public transportation works, so it must be destroyed.

      You name the government program and if it works the revolutionary rightists are trying to destroy it.

      "The case, my friend, is that the world has been over-run with fable and creeds of human invention, with sectaries of whole nations against all other nations, and sectaries of those sectaries in each of them against the other." - Thomas Paine

      by carbonman1950 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:36:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're missing a key issue. (0+ / 0-)

        The USPS is part of the Executive Branch.  They did not ask the Congress' permission.  The President is black.

        Any questions?

        Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

        by Boundegar on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:56:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if the USPS is part of the Executive Branch, (0+ / 0-)

          this may be partly why the Postmaster made this move.

          The recommendation "to reduce mail delivery from six to five days" was proposed by the President in September of 2011.
          Here's the excerpt to his proposal, "Living Within Our Means and Investing in the Future," and the link to the President's proposal.
          Provide Postal Service Financial Relief And Undertake Reform.

          The Administration recognizes the enormous value of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to the Nation’s commerce and communications, as well as the urgent need for reform to ensure its future viability.  

          USPS faces a long-term, structural operating deficit that has been exacerbated by the precipitous drop in mail volume in the last few years due to the economic crisis and the continuing shift toward electronic communication.

          Absent legislative intervention, USPS will be insolvent by the end of September 2011, when it will be unable to make the statutory $5.5 billion Retiree Health Benefit prefunding payment to the Office of Personnel Management, will have exhausted its cash reserves, and will have hit its cumulative statutory Treasury borrowing ceiling of $15 billion.

          Bold action is needed to ensure that USPS can continue to operate in the short-run and achieve viability in the longrun.


          To that end, the President is proposing a comprehensive reform package that would:

          1)  restructure Retiree Health Benefit pre-funding in order to accelerate moving these Postal payments to an accruing cost basis and reduce near-year Postal payments;

           2)  provide USPS with a refund over two years of the $6.9 billion surplus in Postal contributions to the FERS
          program;

          3)  reduce USPS operating costs by giving USPS authority, which it has said it will exercise, to reduce mail delivery from six days to five days;

          4)  allow USPS to offer non-postal products and increase collaboration with State and local governments; and,

          5)  give USPS the ability to better align the costs of postage with the costs of mail delivery while still operating within the current price cap, and  permit USPS to seek the modest one-time increase in postage rates it proposed a year ago.  

          These reforms would provide USPS with over $20 billion in cash relief over the next several years, and in total would reduce the Federal deficit by $19 billion over 10 years.

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:05:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  my 1996 Ford van works... (0+ / 0-)

        ...(as of this posting anyway)but it's a gas hog with a carbon footprint the size of a herd of Blue Whales. Lots of things in this world "work" but have been rendered obsolete because they were no longer relevant by the economic realities in this new age, that didn't exist or nobody considered when they were at the peak of their usefulness.  

        We resist change. I call it social inertia which has led to the demise of USPS, which has, through a lack of leaders with the foresight to read the writing on the wall, who failed to keep up with an ever-changing world economy; i.e., the advancement of technology, the advent of austere economic realities, and its own self-inflicted snail's pace to adapt to lightning fast changes. Its main problem, beside obsolescence, is its inherent unsustainability to consistently and profitably compete in a global economy.

        "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:39:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Snails pace. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ImpeachKingBushII, Zinman

          Oct 1st last fall my sister in Ft Collins put two birthday cards in the mail after 2 pm. She called the next day to apologize for mailing them too late to get to Denver for my birthday (the 2nd). I told her no worries, they had been delivered. 90 cents...

          There are clearly major adjustments that need to be carefully considered, developed, etc. I think the very unique tech explosion necessitating it should also trigger special funding from Congress to accomplish it.

          How are the private sector businesses more carbon efficient than the USPS? I've seen two trucks of both FedEx and UPS in my neighborhoods in one day, routinely. (Ok, technically, I usually heard my dog announce them and I could hear the engines. When I moved from a house to apartment, she could recognize the engines from trucks I could see in a parking lot the other side of a 6 foot fence 50 feet from a basement apartment with no view at her level.)

          While I always respected and appreciated our postal service, living in Juneau and Anchorage really brought me to understand it's value. In all the internet ordering I do, USPS delivery to a major city is more reliable and faster at regular rates. I used to have to wait an extra day for delivery because FedEx would turn some packages over to USPS for final delivery within Denver.

          Transitioning from the huge investment in post offices around the country, to something we have yet to imagine, is going to be one astronomical undertaking.

          Is your gas hog van for sale?

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 06:04:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "everything & everybody has a price" lol... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ginny in CO

            ...actually, (of all the Fords I've owned in my 60 years)I think the Aerostar, except for my 66 and 68 Mustangs, is probably one of the best models Ford ever made. OTOH, the Windstar that replaced it should've went where most of them end up anyway, the nearest scrap yard.

            "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

            by ImpeachKingBushII on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 06:41:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Good summary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jack 1966

        Republican philosophy starts with "Government is bad" and goes from there.  They try to cut spending on successful programs and also try to mess up elections just to prove that government doesn't work.

        Specifically, on the USPS there is plenty of blame to go around.  Postal management never looked forward when the market was changing, Congress has caved to the lobbying efforts of UPS and Fed-Ex, and there have been plenty of poor administrative decisions made.  

        A decision to cut Saturday delivery is more austerity for the sake of austerity and doesn't solve the problems created by Congress.  I worked 25 years for the USPS, getting promoted to Postmaster of a small town.  I was proud of the work we did and never felt like I didn't earn my paycheck.

  •  They saw the legs off the stool one by one (5+ / 0-)

    And then punish the stool for falling over.

    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    by SottoVoce on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:20:38 PM PST

  •  Need a drone attack HERE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ginny in CO
    Because to impede the United State Post Office is not only a violation of the U.S. Constitution that requires it, but also it is a HUGE national security issue.

    What's Plan B when our internet services go down?  

    Hmmm?

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:20:55 PM PST

    •  Trust Borowitz to come up with a twofer. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Einsteinia
      WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Citing budgetary concerns, the United States announced today that it would discontinue regular Saturday drone strikes on U.S. citizens, beginning in 2014.

      In announcing the decision, the White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged that the cutback in drone service was “bound to be controversial.” “In the United States, we’ve always prided ourselves on our ability to target our citizens with drone strikes, Monday through Saturday, regardless of the weather,” he said. “We know that losing Saturday drone service is going to take some getting used to.”

      But the move to cut back drone service drew sharp criticism from a longtime defender of the program, the former Vice-President Dick Cheney. “Like most Americans, I thought I’d never see the day when drones just up and take Saturdays off,” he said. “This would never be happening if I were still President.”

      As if to silence critics, Mr. Carney assured reporters that drones could “still get the job done” Monday through Friday, and reminded U.S. citizens to update the government on any change of address so the drones would know where to reach them.
       http://www.newyorker.com/...

      Great minds Einsteinia  ;)

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 06:12:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Love it! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ginny in CO

        Also, I think it says (or should say) that now that corporations are people that drone attacks for corporations will not be affected by the cut-back.  Aha!  They always get the special treatment!
        #; )))

        Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

        by Einsteinia on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 07:44:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I like that too :) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Einsteinia

          Is Cheney a people or a corporation? He seems to get the MOST SPECIAL TREATMENT.  And it doesn't involve water boarding.  Has he ever given the address of the undisclosed location? WTF???

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:14:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, indeed and HIS Haliburton (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ginny in CO

            was found to have taken millions (or was it billions) to create water utilities that were a sham, and trillions of Pentagon dollars disappeared--but I never saw Cheney on the hot seat. Why?

            Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

            by Einsteinia on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:55:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What pisses me the most is that answering (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Einsteinia

              all the questions, uncovering all the filth, writing it up for distribution, the number of people who need to read it all and come up with the lessons, laws and awareness; is a disgusting waste of human time, effort, energy, expertise.

              Instead of using those talents to learn and implement knowledge into better education, health care, etc. it is funneled into marginal control of the Cheyneys we are cursed with. They do astronomically more harm than isolated criminals, yet we are a long ways from stopping them earlier, or incarcerating; let alone preventing their development.

              In all the horror of climate change and what it might do to human civilization, it could hold the highest possibility that a decimated population of humans who survive in isolated pockets, will have the records of human failure and the wisdom to rebuild civilization-to really be civilized.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:23:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So true (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ginny in CO

                and what a great quote from Audrey Hepburn as well!

                I have hope when I seen whistle blowers like Julian Assange and Anonymous blow the covers off the people behind the curtain.  We can have our return to:  

                innocence before guilt
                right to a speedy trial
                justice no matter what your income
                whistle blowers like Daniel Ellsberg are rewarded not jailed

                Yep, we can do this even in our post-nuke/dirty bomb crazy world.  Because to do otherwise is does not improve things in the long run.

                Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

                by Einsteinia on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:46:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Best move that the Postmaster could've made (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bronx59

    This is another example of the Great Pushback.

    The Post Office has been broken by the Republicans in Congress.

    Time these GOP TeaP's get a scornin' from the real "we the people".

    Hah!

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:27:01 PM PST

  •  Question: What categories of packages will be (0+ / 0-)

    delivered on Saturdays?  Parcel Post, First Class Packages, Media Matter (Books), or only Priority rate and above?

  •  heard on Schultz's show yesterday (6+ / 0-)

    UPS, FedEx and DHL use USPS for delivery to save money for "unprofitable" destinations.

    So USPS, and by proxy we Taxpayers, are subisdizing their privatized competition.

    Anyone else see something wrong with this???

    A little Presidential bully pulpit "leadership" may be helpful here....

    The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

    by ozsea1 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:27:37 PM PST

    •  link? (0+ / 0-)

      I have no doubt that that is true, but do you have a good link? I'd like to share witha libertarian "friend"

    •  I don't understand how this is... (0+ / 0-)

      ..."subsidizing" UPS et al.

      Both parties benefit. The USPS gets the business and gets to use assets that are probably going to the target address anyway - i.e., it's a high profit xaction. UPS et al probably delivered the package with addresses corrected and correctly bar coded to a USPS distribution center - eliminating much of the USPS cost on the shipper interaction side. UPS et al saves some money. Surely the USPS is not carrying these packages at a loss?

      It seems that to call this a "subsidy" is like claiming that a business that uses water (and pays for it) is "subsidized" by the local water department.

      Some people are more comfortable with FedEx and UPS than with the USPS. I am one of those.

      I live in a multifamily complex and when a UPS or FedEx package arrives that requires a signature, the delivery people come to my door and knock - EVERY TIME. If I'm not there, they leave it with building management so I can pick it up if that meets the shipper's and their security requirements, otherwise they will attempt redelivery and, I think, I can even divert the package to another address (such as my workplace) via the web if I won't be home.

      When a USPS package arrives that requires a signature, the USPS delivery person NEVER has come to my door (I suspect they are supposed to, but perhaps they are just too lazy to bother). Instead they leave a slip in my mailbox indicating that I can pick it up at the post office (which is a few miles away and often has horrible lines) or they will attempt redelivery (the wording is not very informative unfortunately). They never leave it with building management (perhaps they are not allowed to). When I go to the post office, it's fairly random if the package is at the post office or has been sent out for redelivery - which is a waste, because the mail carrier really isn't going to run across me randomly and still won't come to my door -- so there's no possibility if it actually being delivered. So, I've learned that I have to adjust my schedule to pick up the package on the first try at the post office (the trick is to wait, inconveniently, until late in the day when the carrier has returned to the post office and dropped undelivered stuff back at the post office -- that way I get it regardless of if was sent for redelivery or not.

      As far as I'm concerned, the USPS is something to avoid and, yes, I would be annoyed if UPS or FedEx used them to deliver a package to me that required a signature (which has never happened) because it's a royal pain in the rear.

      •  this is anecdotal and your opinion only (0+ / 0-)

        and doesn't change the simple fact that the US Mail is Constitutionally mandated.

        Thus, it's up to us to fix it, not let corporate-owned polititians
        destroy it.

        The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

        by ozsea1 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 06:48:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, the USPS is NOT... (0+ / 0-)

          ...constitutionally MANDATED to establish or maintain a US Mail system. Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power "To establish Post Offices" - but they are not obligated to do so.

          They also have the power "To declare War", but they are not required to do so.

          Anyway, there is no talk of eliminating all post offices and the Constitution certainly is silent on how many post offices, delivery dates, and services the postal service should provide in the event Congress decides to maintain a postal service.

  •  Congress set this whole mess up (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, m00finsan, Curt Matlock, DuzT, Zinman

    In 2006, the Republican't Congress passed a law that said the Post Office had to pre-fund 75 years of retirement and medical insurance in just 10 years.  It cost the Post Office $5.5 Billion each of those years.  The Post Office is the only organization on this planet that has had to do this -- have retirement funds set aside for people that aren't even born yet!
    If Congress were rational, this never would have happened.  All congress has to do is release the Post Office from this stupid obligation and the finances would be fine.  The Republican'ts keep running on about fiscal responsibility and yet they created this turd.  

    •  See my comment. This move was not a congressional (0+ / 0-)

      mandate.  [Not to say that I don't agree that Congress helped set this up.]

      We must all contact the White House, and all of our lawmakers to stop this unwarranted stoppage of Saturday service.  We've got time (it would seem), if implementation isn't until August 2013.

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:43:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know much about the USPS pension... (0+ / 0-)

      ...issue. Obviously prepaying for workers that haven't been hired and won't be for years or for years of work not yet done by postal workers is absurd and, if that is the case as has been advertised, that should be fixed.

      However, there's no question that the post office will decline in footprint due to the decline of first class mail volume and, hence, labor needs. That's a given -- there's just no way around that and anyone who thinks otherwise is burying their head in the sand and gazing at a Norman Rockwell painting.

      Therefore, it's essential that the pension fund (and any retiree health care funds if they exist) must get to the point where for every hour actually worked by a postal worker, monies are deposited to funds to cover the eventual (inflation and actuarially adjusted) benefits that hour of work will yield in that worker's retirement.

      Probably the funds also should be paid "in advance" by the average time it takes to lay off or fire a postal worker since the USPS is committed to both the salary of the "average postal worker" and the future pension costs of working for that period of time. As well, the funds should be reimbursed in advance for any "pension sweetners" included in typical layoff packages.

  •  So, if losing money means the PO has to cut (6+ / 0-)

    service, when does the Pentagon start cutting back?

  •  I don't think it will cost that many jobs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftywright

    there are already so many unfilled positions and open routes in the USPS due to a long hiring freeze, that most carriers are working 6 days a week just to cover the bases.  This will reduce overtime to a large extent.

    I guess I'm one of the few who can't seem to hyperventilate over only getting mail 5 days a week.  

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:43:45 PM PST

  •  So much of what I am , I owe to the USPS and NALC (6+ / 0-)

    My parents were middle class and able to afford to buy a nice little house because Dad was a letter carrier to the USPS and a nember of the Union. He was able to give both kids a college education undergraduate degree where we graduated with no debt.  Then when I decided to go to grad school, I was able to get a assistantship and work but to help me out, Dad paid for car insurance and a few other things so I was able to achieve this without taking out oa lot of loans.

    My parents were able to have good health insurance, pay, benefits only because of NALC.  

    My support for the USPS is unwavering and any thoughts of privatizing it get me very upset.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:48:11 PM PST

    •  Similar story here. (3+ / 0-)

      My dad's dad hired in to the post office as a letter carrier after returning from WWII.  
      He was able to put my dad and my uncle through college, afford a nice house in suburbia, take family vacations, save for a comfortable retirement and, after a lifetime of walking for a living, was healthy as a horse until his death at 91.

      I can see Canada from my house. No, really, I can.

      by DuzT on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 03:09:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Junk Mail ! (3+ / 0-)

    I get so much bulk mail why don't they raise the rates on that?
    I'm going to start send junk mail back in the prepaid envelope

    •  Then the advertisers... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftywright

      ...would just reduce their mail volume. Then the remaining advertisers would see rates increase yet more (due to lost volume but many fixed costs) driving yet more advertisers to reduce their volume so the remaining advertisers would see rates increase yet more.... You get the idea -- probably a death spiral.

      Advertisers are very price conscious and many don't need to use the USPS to reach many of their potential customers. They will use the USPS as long as it's cost effective.

      Another problem is that many young adults I know don't even look in their mailboxes more than once every week or two (since they do all their business online) so advertisers won't get as many effective impressions as these people (a prime demographic for many advertisers) likely just throw out, en masse, one or two weeks worth of junk mail (most of the time sensitive ads are out of date so are useless and if one day's worth of junk mail is annoying to look at, two weeks worth is an insurmountable volume).

      I believe the USPS has modeled this quite extensively and I doubt that they are the wrong place on curve - but I could be wrong.

  •  Let the Post Office set up a bank... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zinman, DuzT, Subversive

    like other countries have.

    Kill two birds with one stone.

    •  Lots of things post offices could do... (0+ / 0-)

      that they currently aren't allowed to.  Like selling hunting and fishing licenses and park passes.  
      Why not let them sell tickets to concerts and sporting events and amusement parks?
      Limited-run customized stamps for a fee?  Like for graduation parties or weddings.  Imagine mailing out wedding invites with a picture of the bride and groom right there on the stamp.

      I can see Canada from my house. No, really, I can.

      by DuzT on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 03:23:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Providing photocopying and fax services. And (0+ / 0-)

        wifi?

        We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

        by Observerinvancouver on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:38:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why would someone go to the Post Office... (0+ / 0-)

        ...to buy tickets? It's faster to buy them online, either through resellers (StubHub for example) or conventional ticket providers (TicketMaster for example) and you can easily research seating locations and the like. No driving required, you can do it 7x24, no lines to wait in -- hard to compete there.

        You can already get custom stamps. Again, no driving, no lines, and you can figure out how you want to crop/edit your images on your stamp online.

        Maybe hunting and fishing licenses makes sense (I've never bought one) if there is a requirement for photo id or something like that that precludes buying them online. But, from a quick look, it looks like many states already allow you to buy them online.

        Park passes - again, why not just buy them online? Again, no driving, you can do it 7x24, no lines to wait in -- hard to compete there.

        The customer service training costs for the USPS to sell such a diverse, and unrelated, set of products outside of their domain of expertise would be enormous - esp. since the typical postal worker would probably sell very few of any particular one a year.

  •  Does rural America know that if the USPS fails (3+ / 0-)

    they will be the ones most impacted?
    Maybe the Dims should spend some money on that.

    I worked in very rural Down East Maine for three years, living in a rented trailer on an unplatted lot within about 100 yards of the town's offices and walking distance of the local PO.

    I got no mail service there, even in the PO because the land was not platted and I was not its owner so there was no address to give me even access to a PO Box.  No mail, not UPS or Fed Ex or any other local delivery.  The nearest UPS office was over 60 miles away on some back road that I never found.

    I got my deliveries at work.

    I could not mail or send packages either as I had no return address.

    There was no cable TV or internet without a months income invested in a satellite and set up.  And cell phone connections were iffy and land line phone quality terrible.  AOL on land line was too expensive as all the phone numbers were long distance.

    The Dims could pick (off) up some moderate rural folks from the Repubs by going after some policies that would help rural areas get better communications with the rest of the US and  help them be more connected to the majority of the population both literally and figuratively.

    Who profits when the USPS fails.  Target them, find out if their have been making pay offs to Repubs.  Hurt the Reubs (lots of lost jobs, especially for minorities and women)  for their attack on the USPS and probably they will retreat and rework the retirement deal they created that is causing this issue.

    There is lots of ammunition there, and votes to gain,  if the Dims would just use it.

    •  Absolutely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Observerinvancouver

      Rural Saturday delivery is critical for:

      Weekly newspapers (the typical Thursday deadline, Friday print-and-distribute and Saturday delivery schedule depends on the USPS being able to deliver the papers; otherwise, newspapers would have to choose between costly contract carriers or moving a day earlier and missing many public meetings)

      Distribution of benefit and welfare checks

      PO boxes

      In some cases as a social center.

      Dims indeed, if they don't find a way of making hay of it.  The catch is, so many people seem to have been conditioned to the idea that USPS cuts are rational because big unions and Internet.

    •  Brilliant! (0+ / 0-)

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:40:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Charge a license fee (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    futurebird, DuzT, Observerinvancouver

    for the uniform address system and ZIP code, set up, maintained, and invented by the USPS.  Make the competitors pay to use the commons that was created by public funds.  
    Then see what they think about running it like a private enterprise.

  •  PMG Donahoe may defy Congress (0+ / 0-)

    According to the Postal Employee Network, Fredric Rolando, President of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) reported that the PMG told him that if Congress reinstates a Continuing Resolution next month with a provision barring the USPS from stopping Saturday delivery, he (Donahoe) will not comply. See this link:

    http://postalemployeenetwork.com/...

    Eradicate magical thinking

    by Zinman on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 03:33:10 PM PST

  •  Congress insists that the USPS contribute some (3+ / 0-)

    5 billion dollars annually into the retirement accounts for the postal workers, yet feels no compulsion to assist them financially when it's election season and they demand the Postal Carriers deliver their "franked" junk mailings.  I guess they consider it a "free" service because the postage is "free". This is, IMO, one of the major concerns among some politicians....they don't want to jeopardize their chances of re-election by not having their constituents mail boxes stuffed with their drivel on saturdays.  Savings postal carrier jobs?  Not so much.

    "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarky". - V.P. Joe Biden

    by Taxmancometh on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 03:34:06 PM PST

  •  the2006 Congress (3+ / 0-)

    passed legislation created by the Bush administration to pre-fund 75 years of retiree health benefits in 10 years.  This bill was expressly designed to deal the Postal Service a crippling blow, and it is succeeding beyond their wildest expectations.  Republicans have a low opinion of  any aspect of government that they can't plunder.  Their loathing of unions is also well documented.  These pre-funding requirements are directly responsible for more than 80% of the agency's financial woes, yet are cited in exactly 0% of almost all media coverage of this slow-motion tragedy.  The Republican agenda should be no surprise to anyone, but the journalistic malfeasance on display is a bewildering dereliction of duty.  We're all going down, people.  One by one.

    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity

    by mailman27 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 03:42:11 PM PST

    •  Yes, I've heard about the legislation that you've (0+ / 0-)

      referenced.  But you should check out the President's recommendation in my comment above.

      This is all part of "austerity" that has come to the US.  

      We all need to be calling the White House and all of our lawmakers to object to more austerity measures.  They seem to have no end.

      Please read the President's Fiscal Commission's report entitled, The Moment Of Truth (PDF).  Almost every cut that's "gone done" since 2010 has come straight out of their recommendations.

      Here's the link.

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:27:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No Saqturday Mail? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know if this idea has occurred to anyone else or not, but the postmaster general might have opened the door wide enough for UPS, Fed Ex, or some unknown entreprenneur to waltz right in and seal the doom of the Post Office by offering delivery of first-class mail, catalogs, and magazines.  After all, if one entity cannot or will not provide a product or service, that gives a second entity the opportunity --  and market base -- to provide said product or service.

    Ideally, this would be a source of joy for Republicans because it puts a commodity provided by government into the hands of the private sector.  But given the bunch of moronic clowns now in the House and Senate, all bets are off.  If the above would happen, it would be only a matter of time before some clown in the House or Senate got his knickers in a knot and tried to shoot the whole shebang down.  Could this be another reason to pop a couple of bags of Jolly Time and break the seal on a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke?  Only time will tell.

    •  The USPS... (0+ / 0-)

      ...has a protected monopoly on your mailbox (even though you paid for it if you have an individual mailbox at your home).

      This makes it hard for others to compete in the First Class mail space.

  •  Fuck Congress. It's Congress that is fucking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Observerinvancouver

    the Post anyway.

    This is way under reported, but the Postal Service is having to pre-pay benefits many years in advance.

    People who are not even born yet, and who could be working for the Post Office are being paid for NOW.

    If it were not for this, the Post Office would be kicking ass, would have innovated a lot of new service and would be generally doing what it is supposed to do and doing so efficiently, consistently and practically.

    The GOP doesn't want government to work.  The Post Office is a shining example of how things can work very, very well.

    There are no words to express just how pissed off I am about this.  

    The Post Master General is supposed to insure that we have a quality Postal Service, and he's doing that despite a jerk-off, broken GOP corrupted Congress hell bent on privatizing what is a great thing otherwise.

    Fuck them.  Hard.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***
    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:05:09 PM PST

    •  potatohead, you might want to read my comment (0+ / 0-)

      above.

      Stopping Saturday delivery was recommended by the President in 2011.

      Please call the White House, and all of your lawmakers to object to this loss of service, ASAP.

      If the Progressive Community will unite and fight this, maybe be can stop it before it kicks in this August.

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:30:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congresscritters have a fr''"g nerve (0+ / 0-)

    criticizing the postmaster general when they are the ones responsible for the Post Office's plight in the first place.   The republicans for their 2006 lame duck legislation for pre-funding pensions for seventy-five years.  And the Dems for not repealing it when they had a chance.

    This seems like a good cause for Organizing for Action.  I bet people in rural areas will be furious when they realize their  post offices could be closed.   OFA could research which are vulnerable and spread the word in the area.  The message could also include contact info for Congresscritters so people could advise of their opinions.   A lot more of those 'critters are likely to be republicans than Dems which would cut down on preaching to the choir.

    Also, doesn't the Constitution provide for the Post Office? What's with these guys being so ready to protect gun ownership but not the right to the postal service?  Or the right to vote, for that matter?

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:09:23 PM PST

    •  Observerinvancouver, please read my comment above. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Observerinvancouver

      It is doubtful that Organizing for Action will take up this cause, since it was the President's own recommendation.

      Hopefully, though, the Progressive Community, including this one, will come together, and stand united against this loss of service.

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:35:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I posted my comment before I saw yours (I (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musiccitymollie

        think).  One thing I've noticed about many of Pres. Obama's more outrageous proposals is that they never see the light of day in the final version.  Coinkydink?  Like sacrificing a pawn?  Maybe the proposal to cut Saturday delivery is a gambit.  

        We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

        by Observerinvancouver on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 05:06:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately, OIV, I don't think it's a gambit. (0+ / 0-)

          Read this from Bloomberg News.

          Business Mailers Rankled by Obama Call to End Saturday Delivery
          By Angela Greiling Keane on February 16, 2012

          Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama’s call for the U.S. Postal Service to end Saturday mail delivery and raise rates will drive away customers while not addressing needed cost reductions, some business users and U.S. lawmakers said.

          Obama, as part of his spending plan released yesterday, proposed to let the Postal Service reduce delivery from six to five days a week by January 2013 and to return $10.9 billion it overpaid into a federal retirement account. The proposal was made to and not acted upon by Congress’s deficit-reducing supercommittee last year.

          “Eliminating Saturday delivery should be the last resort, not the first choice,” Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, said through a spokeswoman. “It would force businesses ranging from newspapers to home-delivery of medicine to explore non-postal delivery options. Once these customers leave the mail system, they won’t be coming back, and the Postal Service’s revenues would suffer another blow.”

          A bill with sponsors including Collins and Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, would prevent cutting a day of mail delivery for at least two years. Obama’s proposal is in a bill sponsored by Darrell Issa, a California Republican. Issa also wants to require a financial-control board if the service defaults on obligations to the U.S. government and create a commission to speed up post office closings.

          It seems that this is a matter of the President making a proposal that some lawmakers in both parties object to, but it remains a part of the President's long sought-after Grand Bargain.

          I think that it would be unwise not to try to mobilize progressives to pressure the White House and our lawmkers into forgetting this policy solution (if you want to call it that, LOL!).  IOW, I would take it at face value.

          You see, this recommendation is on the White House website.  Why would the White House put it there, if they didn't mean it?

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:16:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  reminds me of a bumper sticker... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Observerinvancouver

    "My wife says if I don't stop going fishing, she's gonna leave me. God I'm gonna miss her!"

    When's the last time you sent an email? When's the last time you sent a text? Today? Yesterday? And when's the last time you mailed a personal snail mail to anybody? Crickets, anyone?

    So this line in the sand you speak of, is at best, a cry for help or if you prefer, a death throe, a last gasp from a dying breed.

    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:10:13 PM PST

  •  22,500 jobs are just the beginning... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Observerinvancouver

    When the post office doesn't deliver Saturday newspapers until Monday:

    -- many six-day-a-week subscribers to daily newspapers will cancel their subscriptions, or demand that they be allowed to pay for only five-day-a-week subscriptions.

    -- many newspaper publishers will, in consequence, stop printing Saturday editions.  

    -- many newspaper staffers will face salary and/or job cuts, since the publisher will be receiving reduced revenues and will no longer require the staff to work as many days per week.

    Then, to make up for lost revenue, the publishers will ask advertisers to pay the same amount for five days' worth of advertising they had paid previously for six days' worth of advertising, and:

    -- many stores will make up the difference by reducing staff and having less sales of their merchandise.  

    Then, since fewer people will be able to afford to pay full prices for the merchandise (and since fewer people will have jobs and will not want the merchandise at any price), the stores will be forced to lay off more workers.  

    Then, the suppliers to the store, for instance, the manufacturers who produce lines of clothing or the farms and bakeries that provide the food the various stores and restaurants sell, will cut back on their production, and:

    -- the manufacturers, produce growers, bakery operators, etc., will have to cut back on their staffs, since the demand for their products is falling.  

    As well, the obituaries that would normally be printed in the Saturday edition of the newspapers will not get printed until the day of the funeral, and the news about people entering the hospital after car crashes will not get printed until after the people have been in and out of the hospitals, flower sales will fall off as people do not know of the occasions that would normally generate sales of flowers, and:

    -- florists and greenhouses will experience shrinking revenues and will have to reduce staff.  

    And as more people lose their jobs, they will not be able to buy newspapers, the things advertised in newspapers and -- wait for it -- stamps.  They will be unable to send packages for birthdays or Christmas, as they would have in the past.  So the post office will get less revenues.  

    Contact your Congress critters and demand that the ridiculous 75-year pension pre-funding requirement be suspended immediately.    

    •  Yes, contact your congresspersons and the White (0+ / 0-)

      House to protest this stoppage of Saturday service.

      We have months to unite and fight this ill-conceived and unnecessary austerity measure.  Let's do it!

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:40:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Quite a spiral you expect here... (0+ / 0-)

      ...from delaying 20% of the mail by at most two days. But, I think you are overwrought.

      I get only one physical newspaper (Barrons) and only on Saturday. Guess what, the USPS has never delivered this in my area (it's delivered by independent contractors who leave it on my doorstep). If it went through the USPS, I would probably not get it fast enough anyway - I want to read it over breakfast at 8AM, not in the afternoon when the mail is delivered. Years ago I got Investor's Business Daily and it was delivered via USPS -- and I dropped it because it was delayed by a day even with six day a week delivery.

      Anyway, physical newspapers are a dying business -- if the elimination of Saturday mail delivery accelerates that a bit, it doesn't seem very significant.

      Stores won't stop selling things because they don't get their ads delivered on Saturday afternoon to your mailbox. They will (and are) using alternate methods that are more flexible and timely anyway. So, that whole thread is alarmist (it might make a little sense if they were eliminating Friday delivery though).

      Seriously, how many people read the obituaries looking for people who have died in the past 24 hours so they can send flowers? Most people find out about the death of a friend or colleague through other routes (phone calls, text messages, and emails from mutual friends/family etc). I suppose there may be a few old folks who have little better to do with their time than scour through the obituaries looking for people they recognize that have died, but I doubt these are people who often send expensive flower arrangements anyway.

      And, I'm an old fart, and I've never in my life found out about a friend or colleague who was in the hospital via a newspaper. There are things called phones and techniques called text messages and email that seem to do a fine job of communicating such time sensitive information.

      It's a tiny molehill, not a mountain.

      (Yes, I know, I was probably taken in by a troll.)

  •  Damn (0+ / 0-)

    Every story in the Post Office NEEDS this included...the fact that "The $25 billion deficit was caused almost entirely by the $5.6 billion in payments to the retiree health care fund.  Over the past five years, the Postal Service has actually just about broken even. "

    What...? A mandate to fund all Health Care costs for the NEXT 75 Years in 10 years?  Costing 5 billion a year.  Imposed by a 2006 Lame Duck congress to break the Post Office!

    http://www.savethepostoffice.com/...

    There was an Op Ed in the NY Times todday by a "scholar" of the Post office and this is never mentioned.  Instead the usual yadda yadda about revenue and volume declines...refuted in the article above.

    Let me repeat: Every story in the Post Office NEEDS this included...the fact that "The $25 billion deficit was caused almost entirely by the $5.6 billion in payments to the retiree health care fund.  Over the past five years, the Postal Service has actually just about broken even.

  •  add postage (0+ / 0-)

    What would happen if everyone started adding extra stamps to their mail? Let's show them we are rooting for them!!!!

    •  That's a great spirit, but I believe that we need (0+ / 0-)

      to get behind a more organized effort, as well.  :-)

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:37:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A very unwise move (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musiccitymollie

    Cutting services will only make the USPS less competitive and result in more budgetary problems.

    He could have raised the price of postage and dared congress to do something about it.  UPS and FedEx raise rates all the time when costs go up, but the USPS cannot do so without congressional approval.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:49:51 PM PST

    •  It probably won't have much... (0+ / 0-)

      ...effect.

      The USPS has a carefully protected monopoly on your mailbox - even though you may have paid for it. This subsidy to the USPS means that others can't compete in the First Class mail space (and few would want to in most areas anyway).

      Banks, brokerage firms, credit card companies, and utilities will keep sending statements and the like via USPS until such time as they decide to not accept customers who don't click on 'Accept Online Statements'.  The lack of Saturday delivery won't change this and if it keeps postal rates from rising faster, it might delay by a few months the date that these companies start rejecting customers who don't accept online statements. (I suspect what they actually do is begin to institute a large "monthly account fee" and waive that fee for 'online statement' customers -- but the effect is much the same).

  •  A Comment (0+ / 0-)

    The legislation requiring the United States Postal Service to pre-fund healthcare and retirement benefits 75 years in advance over 10 years seems to have three goals. The first is the crippling of the postal service as an institution. The second is the subsequent crippling of the largest employee union in the United States. The third is having a pool of money that can then be raided and played with.

    If the legislature imposed such requirements on say UPS or Fed-Ex, the companies would likely do any mix of three things. They could shrink down the benefits to something that could not be sustained in retirement, not contribute directly to the fund and force the burden of paying into the fund onto their employees by deducting pay, or limit who qualified for benefits. In essence, shirk responsibility that would eat into their profits.

    If required to make the retirement benefit funding the way the post service has to meaning with none of the above methods, they would likely scream loudly, go bankrupt, raid what was paid into the fund, then reopen as new companies not subject to the requirement.

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