Skip to main content

Well I'm home now watching Real Time with Bill Maher but before I head out tonight I will conclude Friday's blogging with one last diary.  U.S. Senator Al Franken (D. MN) is not happy about the Postal Service cutting Saturday mail delivery:

http://www.sctimes.com/...

“Many Minnesotans rely on the mail to get their essentials like newspapers and paychecks, and for many parts of the state — especially rural communities — the U.S. Postal Service provides the only way to get something delivered,” he said in a news release.

Franken said the decision could have been avoided if the House of Representatives had taken up the bipartisan postal reform bill passed in the Senate last year. The bill would have put the Postal Service on sounder financial footing and would have allowed rural communities to have a greater say in the operation of local post offices.

The bill included an amendment by Franken that would have given the Postal Regulatory Commission the power to overturn closures when communities make a compelling case to keep the facilities open. It would have also reduced the requirement that the Postal Service pre-fund retiree health care benefits. - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, 2/7/13

So Franken is fighting back by pushing for legislation to help preserve Saturday delivery:

http://hometownsource.com/...

In an effort to address the financial problems faced by the U.S. Postal Service and ensure that Minnesotans continue to receive rapid, reliable, six-day postal delivery, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and seven of his Senate colleagues introduced legislation to modernize the postal service and repeal the law passed by Congress that’s largely responsible for the postal service’s financial problems.

The measure would let the Postal Service look for innovative new ways to generate revenue by allowing post offices to notarize documents, issue hunting and fishing licenses, and allow shipments of wine and beer—all services currently prohibited at post offices. It also would clear the way for the Postal Service to help customers take advantage of email and Internet services. Moreover, the legislation would create a commission composed of successful business innovators and representatives from small business and labor to make recommendations on other ways the Postal Service could generate new revenue and thrive in the 21st century.

The legislation would also repeal an onerous 2006 law that forces the post office to pre-fund 75 years of future health care benefits for retirees over the course of 10 years – a burden placed on no other government agency, and almost no private businesses. The $5 billion annual payments have been piling up in a fund that experts say already has more than enough in reserve. Since 2007, the pre-funding mandate is responsible for $4 out of every $5 in Postal Service debts. The bill would also reinstate overnight delivery standards to speed mail delivery and prevent shutdowns of mail sorting centers. Safeguards also would be put in place to protect rural post offices. - Hometown Source, 2/14/13

The bill was introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I. VT) and is also co-sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D. VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D. NY), Ron Wyden (D. OR), Jeff Merkley (D. OR) Tom Udall (D. NM) and Sherrod Brown (D. OH).  Franken is fighting to keep Saturday mail service open because he is also fighting to help keep the Duluth mail-processing center open which has been constantly threatened with being closed due to budget cuts:

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/...

Union workers at the mail-processing center in Duluth were told Tuesday that the facility could close sometime starting in July or as late as 2014, with less than half of the employees offered positions elsewhere.

Peter Nowacki, U.S. Postal Service spokesman in Minnesota, said the employees were told the news as part of a contractual obligation, but there is no set date for closure of the mail-sorting station in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Nor is it clear whether the center will close, or whether congressional action could intervene to save it again.

The Duluth facility and its nearly 100 workers got a reprieve last May, spared in the first round of budget-cutting that closed 140 processing centers nationwide. The closures were made as the Postal Service moves to consolidate operations to help stop its ongoing financial losses.

In Minnesota, the original plan was to sort all mail in the Twin Cities area. Centers in Mankato, St. Cloud and Rochester were scheduled to close, while Duluth and Bemidji were spared. - Duluth News Tribune, 2/13/13

The best part about this bill is there is a clause that would spare the Duluth mail-processing center from being closed down:

http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/...

This legislation would also pave the way for the Postal Service to help customers take advantage of e-mail and Internet services.

The bill also contains a clause that would implement safe guards to protect rural post offices and prevent shutdowns of mail sorting centers like the one in Duluth. - 2/14/13

You can Senators Franken or Sanders to get more information about the legislation so you can urged your Senator and Congressman to get behind it:

Franken: (202) 224-5641

Sanders: (202) 224-5141

And if you want to donate to Franken's re-election campaign, you can do so here:

https://secure.actblue.com/...

Happy Friday everybody!

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 08:09 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and South Dakota Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, Velocity, JekyllnHyde, DeminNewJ, chrississippi, northsylvania, Bill in Portland Maine, filkertom, murphy, Subterranean, importer, Geenius at Wrok, Danno11, saraswati, Emerson, Debby, Shockwave, Minnesota Deb, Sherri in TX, liz, LynnS, dsb, movie buff, xynz, elfling, Sandia Blanca, exNYinTX, Radical Faith, niemann, Heart of the Rockies, opinionated, Zinman, missLotus, sponson, Einsteinia, wonkydonkey, KMc, chuckvw, otto, Aquarius40, rabel, chimpy, roses, Frederick Clarkson, oceanview, Nate Roberts, fumie, kitebro, splashy, Cedwyn, high uintas, sidnora, wader, revsue, Lilyvt, liz dexic, pat bunny, Eyesbright, chantedor, Bluehawk, Sychotic1, grrr, lcrp, Liberaljentaps, BlogDog, Brian82, econlibVA, zerelda, Sembtex, randallt, kfred, WisVoter, rolet, boran2, Gowrie Gal, Tirge Caps, rapala, radarlady, LakeSuperior, chimene, irate, sap, Omir the Storyteller, dewtx, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, Dobber, reflectionsv37, fixxit, owlbear1, PSzymeczek, majcmb1, Pam from Calif, Inland, John Wyatt, jane123, Yamara, deep, Rogneid, peacestpete, bently, Born in NOLA, martini, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, cybersaur, 417els, Themistoclea, profundo, raptavio, luckydog, blueoasis, SadieSue, NearlyNormal, ER Doc, onionjim, BlueMississippi, kurt, SD Goat, bstotts, sea note, Nulwee, Pandoras Box, ammasdarling, Tamar, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, fabucat, hooper, anotherdemocrat, Cronesense, karmsy, ca democrat, rivamer, martyinsfo, jhop7, gchaucer2, Wreck Smurfy, uciguy30, Brahman Colorado, eyesoars, stoneboat, jwinIL14, MKinTN, JeffW, ferment, Chacounne, Sixty Something, Youffraita, Arlys, Involuntary Exile, elwior, filby, jamess, mikeconwell, tofumagoo, pamelabrown, hwmnbn, bluesheep, Jeff Y, alnep, mofembot, Liberal Of Limeyland, chemborg, Groucho Marxist, lenzy1000, statsone, Fiddlegirl, postalblue, clent, maggiejean, multilee, LinSea, Mislead, rbird, CamillesDad1, petral, geebeebee, asym, Keith Pickering, Dark UltraValia, Munchkn, astral66, Words In Action, ruscle, p gorden lippy, flitedocnm, eXtina, Polly Syllabic, freeport beach PA, dagnome, NM Ray, gulfgal98, DerAmi, ffour, addisnana, Texnance, Betty Pinson, Maverick80229, DirkFunk, Glass Navel, Actbriniel, slice, Wisdumb, Onomastic, annieli, kerflooey, slowbutsure, StellaRay, Possiamo, asterkitty, molunkusmol, PedalingPete, coffeeprocessingmachine, BarackStarObama, Grandma Susie, createpeace, FisherOfRolando, Dbug, cactusgal, jolux, Mentatmark, MichaelNY, Mortifyd, quill, Cordyc, OldDragon, sow hat, Flying Goat, Eric Nelson, This old man, Mr Robert, peachcreek, ivy redneck, pdxteacher, Olkate, arizonablue, scilicet, FrY10cK, wasatch, mythatsme, Greenfinches, Lily O Lady, Chaddiwicker, nomandates, dear occupant, weck, leeleedee, Kombema, TheDuckManCometh, UAOhioan, Chas 981, Dodgerdog1, andalusi, OldSoldier99, citylights

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site