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Will Trump successfully steal the election?   The Serious You: How Current Events Affect You

Started 8/14/20 by MerlinsDad; 2128 views.
In reply toRe: msg 2
MerlinsDad

From: MerlinsDad 

8/14/20

News item by Paul P. Murphy
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/14/politics/usps-removes-letter-collection-boxes-reduces-post-office-operating-hours/index.html

Headline:  USPS removes mail collection boxes and reduces post office hours as critics accuse Trump administration of voter suppression

The United States Postal Service has started reducing post office operating hours across several states and removing their iconic blue letter collection boxes as it faces intense pressure to deal with millions of mail-in ballots this fall according to union officials.

Officials say that in the last week the USPS has removed letter collection boxes in at least four states: New York, Oregon, Montana and Indiana. The USPS has also begun notifying postal workers in at least three states -- West Virginia, Florida and Missouri -- that they will start to reduce their retail operating hours, according to union officials.

MerlinsDad

From: MerlinsDad 

8/14/20

Thank you for your opinion.

In reply toRe: msg 2
MerlinsDad

From: MerlinsDad 

8/14/20

News item by Marshall Cohen and Kristen Holmes
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/14/politics/postal-service-inspector-general-reviewing-dejoy/index.html

Headline: Exclusive: Postal service inspector general reviewing DeJoy's policy changes and potential ethics conflicts

The internal watchdog at the United States Postal Service is reviewing controversial policy changes recently imposed under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, and is also examining DeJoy's compliance with federal ethics rules, according to a spokeswoman for the USPS inspector general and an aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who requested the review.

Lawmakers from both parties and postal union leaders have sounded alarms over disruptive changes instituted by DeJoy this summer, including eliminating overtime and slowing some mail delivery. Democrats claim he is intentionally undermining postal service operations to sabotage mail-in voting in the November election -- a charge he denies.

Agapi Doulaveris, a spokeswoman for the USPS watchdog, told CNN in an email, "We have initiated a body of work to address the concerns raised, but cannot comment on the details.

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

8/14/20

You’re welcome.

MerlinsDad said:

Lawmakers from both parties and postal union leaders have sounded alarms over disruptive changes instituted by DeJoy this summer, including eliminating overtime and slowing some mail delivery.

It's going to ruin many Ebay sellers' 5 star ratings and high positive feedback numbers.

And I still haven't gotten those thermal fuses for several fans that need them, because of post office delays. It also caused some electrical outlets to arrive a full week late.

Some special batteries are coming UPS or FedEx Ground so I think they'll get here on the delivery date they are expected. A lot of sellers are shifting time-critical shipments to FedEx and UPS and a lot of on-line buyers are paying more for expedited shipping to avoid the decreasingly reliable USPS.

I think it's Oregon, or maybe Washington State that has had mail-in ballots for decades and working quite well. But any sudden change in the process in other states for the first time is going to be a Charlie Foxtrot. It should have been tested in the 2018 election cycle, and true to bureaucratic form, it wasn't.

So this is kind of like Windows pushing out a big huge update without any time to test it, and so millions of computers won't boot after the patches are applied.

MerlinsDad

From: MerlinsDad 

8/15/20

I like a comment by President Obama, "You now have the President throwing in this additional monkey wrench trying to starve the postal service,  My question is what are Republicans doing where you are so scared of people voting that you are now willing to undermine what is part of the basic infrastructure of American life?"  https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/14/politics/obama-trump-usps-postal-service/index.html

I think Oregon is the state that has been doing mail-in voting for years.  Yes, the other states need time to determine how they are going to do it.  Georgia did it for the first time for the primary in June.  It seemed to go relatively smoothly, although a lot of people stood in line for hours.  It was the largest vote in Georgia's history.  This presidential election would also set all kinds of voting records if we had mail-in voting.  With the number of polling places Georgia Republicans have closed, the lines will be ridiculous.  This is wrong.

It definitely seems that Louis DeJoy is deliberately trying to cripple USPS so that they are unable to handle voting with Trump complicit in the process.

Yes, Trump is trying to "undermine what is part of the basic infrastructure of American life. "  What aren't people up in arms? 

I'm trying to find the article I stumbled on a few days ago, about letter sorting machines being removed from a lot of postal mail handling facilities around the country. They are called bar code sorters. They can sort about 35,000 letters per hour.

What is interesting - aren't most of the ballots supposed to be mailed to the precincts in each county? So most of the ballots don't have to travel across the country to get to their destination.

Odessa and Midland, for example, have some overlapping areas where many homes in Midland County get the mail out of the Odessa post office, and are in ZIP codes 7976x. There are some homes in Ector County that get mail out of a Midland County post office, which is in the ZIP codes 7970x.

So there will be some ballots for Midland County precincts that have to be processed through Odessa and vice versa, but the regional sorting facility for all of the 797xx ZIP codes is located halfway between the cities in Midland County.

Generally it takes about a day for packages to get from one place to the other. I've mailed letters from Odessa on Monday and they were delivered in Midland on Tuesday. From Midland to Odessa it often takes 2 days or so.

But it would seem like the ballots, for, say, Precinct 101 in Midland County, would all go into a large wheeled cart, and be delivered in bulk, 500 pounds or so at a time. Same for Precinct 102, Precinct 204, etc. and so-on.

It also might very well be that all the ballots in Midland County end up in the County Election Administrator's office where everything is then sorted by precinct, and on Election Day, combined with all the early voting ballots and the handful of in-person ballots,

Same for Ector County. So there's only half of the sorting process needed precisely because of the "All roads lead to Rome". Just like all of the income tax returns that have been mailed in for many decades before e-filing became such a thing.

So at least in theory, they should be able to handle mail-in ballots.

In practice, though, I suspect that at least in some places they'll totally fumble the ball.

And that's when eventually we'll look back and say that the coming food / bread riots were such an unprecedented time of civility and peace.

https://theweek.com/articles/931090/are-bread-riots-coming-america

... People around the country have been testifying how they are down to their last dollar or flat broke, facing eviction or living on the street, unable to afford vital prescriptions or even food. "I've got $18.91 in my bank account this morning. My cupboards are getting low, my dog will have to eat whatever me and my kids eat and my gas light will be back on shortly," wrote one Redditor recently. "My car payment was due today and I'm still $200 short, 500 counting last month's. My phone bill is due in a few days. I'm a month behind on the electric bill. I have about $60 to my name, I'm not going to make rent and my [landlords] have already said they will not be giving any allowances," wrote another. "Well I've waited and now my power turns off at the end of today, in a house where my entire family has moved in with me … worst of all I have two toddlers and virtually nowhere to go. 'Rona and the government have picked off my family one by one and this seems to be the final nail in the coffin," wrote a third.

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

8/16/20

Presidential etiquette is such that past president never comment to criticize current ones.  It’s a long held tradition, now broken. 

MerlinsDad

From: MerlinsDad 

8/16/20

Here's one such article by Curt Devine, Bob Ortega, and Paul P. Murphy, August 13
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/13/politics/postal-service-sorting-machines/index.html

The US Postal Service plans to remove hundreds of high-volume mail-processing machines from facilities across the country, leading some postal workers to fear they may have less capacity to process mail during election season.

Documents obtained by CNN indicate 671 machines used to organize letters or other pieces of mail are slated for "reduction" in dozens of cities this year. The agency started removing machines in June, according to postal workers.
While the reductions come amid decreased mail volume this year and are described by some postal officials as making the service more cost-effective, the effort overlaps with other actions implemented by the Postal Service that workers have blamed for delivery delays. The new procedures were described in a July memo and include staff hours being cut.
The news was earlier reported by Vice.
The removals are also occurring as President Donald Trump has relentlessly attacked voting by mail, falsely claiming that the practice leads to mass fraud. Amid the pandemic, a record number of voters are expected to cast their ballots by mail this fall. Trump said Thursday that he opposes additional funding for the Postal Service because he doesn't want to see it used for mail-in voting this November, though he later said at a news conference that he would not veto a bill that included the funding.
 
Some of these machines have the capacity to sort up to 30,000 mail items and take only two Postal Service workers to run, according two machine technicians CNN spoke with.
 

They estimate it would take about 30 employees over their entire shifts -- they have to have scheme training to do the work -- to do that amount of work by hand.

It appears that even local mail would be affected, especially a high volume mailing like mail-in ballots. 

In practice, though, I suspect that at least in some places they'll totally fumble the ball.

No doubt.

MerlinsDad

From: MerlinsDad 

8/16/20

Thanks for the link.  

Interdependence is simply a fact of life in any complex economy. We all depend on state-created laws, regulations, subsides, and policies — and none more so than the rich, who are collecting government cheese in about a thousand subtle ways. It is absolutely within the rights of the people to demand that their elected representatives make sure everyone has enough to eat and a roof over their heads at all times, not just in a crisis. And when a Great Depression-scale disaster is allowed to fester for no reason, it is anybody's guess what will happen. As we saw with this summer's racial justice protest movement, mass despair is just waiting for a spark to blow into a conflagration of rage. The result could easily spin out of anyone's control.

The president and Republican members of Congress should fear the consequences of letting the American people drown a lot more than they currently do.

Cooper is right.  Hunger could lead to despair and protests greater in number and scope than those over racial injustice and police brutality.

Despite all the efforts to suppress voting as you describe above, Trump, McConnell, and Congressional Republics had best fear the consequences of their indifference to, even suppression of,  Americans,  Who knows what will happen when millions go hungry.  Bread riots might be a mild description.

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