"Victory at any cost! Even if it means burning the whole country and all its institutions down!"
"The Post Office is an earnest, all-American, beloved, practical part of our lives. You mess with it and you are messing with a lot of Americans - who apparently are in the mood to push back... The U.S. Postal Service is more American than apple pie. And I mean that in a very specific sense. Apple pie does not have its own line in the Constitution. The Post Office does. It is a necessity, it is uncontroversial, it is integrated into the fabric of our lives." - Rachel Maddow, Friday night, MSNBC
As Trump's reign of terror and sabotage against the coming election and the U.S. Postal Service ramps up it is clear we are in a state of national emergency. The problem is few are aware of the extent of the pillage already done. Before it goes beyond salvaging we need millions taking to the streets in protests as loud and energetic as those protesting George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Exaggeration? Hell no, not when mail boxes have been carted away in dozens of cities and only a last minute public outcry stopped it - temporarily at least. But nothing has of yet stopped the removal and destruction of hundreds of bulk sorting machines - all designed to clog up the mail so voting by mail becomes a herculean task if not impossible. That means tens of millions of Americans potentially being disenfranchised. As Mika Brzezinski observed last week Friday on 'Morning Joe', at no other time in our history has such blatant sabotage been carried out against a department enshrined in the Constitution.
In addition, the US Postal Service, in letters to 46 states, and the District of Columbia, warned that it could not guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted. Such a fiasco could possibly affect tens of millions of votes across almost the whole country - especially including key battleground states like Pennsylvania. The news was reported first in the Washington Post.
But the malicious destruction of sorting machines, which can process up to 36,000 pieces of mail per hour and cost nearly a quarter million bucks each, uncovers a whole new dimension of Trump's sabotage. This was reported by Vice News, e.g.
"Most of the machines being dismantled in the facilities Motherboard identified are delivery bar code sorters (DBCS), into which letters, postcards and similarly sized mail (but not magazines and large envelopes, which are categorized as “flats” and sorted differently) are fed. The DBCS sorts the mail into one of hundreds of “stackers,” a slot about a foot long. Each slot is for a different destination, be it another post office or distribution facility.
A DBCS typically requires two workers to operate: one to feed the mail into the machine, and the other to collect the mail from the stackers and put them in the appropriate bins for transport. Running at peak efficiency, the machines can sort about 35,000 pieces of mail per hour,"
Trump has openly admitted (on FOX Business Network Thursday) to his deliberate sabotage to prevent mail voting, and hence cheating to try to keep power, e.g
"They need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots, But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.”In other words, the traitorous rat swine will try to destroy the post office in a desperate effort to rubber stamp his fascist authoritarianism. We also have learned (ibid.)
"This week, House and Senate Democrats sent separate letters to (Louis) DeJoy laying the blame for the recent mail delays at his feet, writing:
“The House is seriously concerned that you are implementing policies that accelerate the crisis at the Postal Service, including directing Post Offices to no longer treat all election mail as First Class. If implemented now, as the election approaches, this policy will cause further delays to election mail that will disenfranchise voters and put significant financial pressure on election jurisdictions.”But make no mistake, this letter is inadequate given the nature of the emergency and its impact on an election in less than 80 days. Not to mention the impact on the tens of millions who depend on mail deliveries, from bills to be paid, to packages expected - including prescription meds. As columnist Margaret Sullivan has written in The Washington Post Saturday, quoting journalist Elizabeth Spiers:
"Supporting the continued existence of the USPS, which is guaranteed in the Constitution, should be the most straightforward non-political bipartisan effort in existence. Everyone uses it and needs it, and the irony is older rural Trump supporters need it *more*.”
So what we really need, as Rep. Ayanna Presley pointed out, is an emergency reconvening of the House from its summer break and a serious interrogation of Trump Toady DeJoy by the Oversight Committee.
That and tens of millions protesting in the streets - including in front of DeJoy's home - just might sway the Senate Republicans to end the insanity and support the postal service which is admired and loved by all political tribes.
As for the very act of mail voting now under siege by Trump, we have had that over the past ten years here in Colorado. The fraud rate? Estimated by the Brennan Center for Justice at a whopping 0.0000001%. Or 1 in ten million. About the same probability as being struck twice in the same location by lightning. As our Secretary of State Jena Griswold has put it (Denver Post, Aug, 14, p 1A):
"It's voter suppression to undermine the safest method to vote during a pandemic and force Americans to risk their lives to vote."
Even more blunt are these words from Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates:
"The president of the United States is sabotaging a basic service that hundreds of millions of people rely upon, cutting a critical lifeline for rural economies. That includes cutting off delivery of medicines because he wants to deprive Americans of their fundamental right to vote safely. "
There is no question that this story -- until the Postal service is re-established whole, as it was - must be the Number 1, Number 2, Number 3 and Number 100 story until the election is over. Every media source must be on it 24/7 without letup. As the WaPo's Sullivan notes:
"But if journalists don’t keep the pressure on Postal Service problems, they will be abdicating their duty. There’s very little that matters more than the Nov. 3 vote. Anything that threatens the integrity of the vote needs to be treated as one of the biggest stories out there — even if it’s not the sexiest."
Ms. Sullivan then quotes Dan Gillmor, co-founder of the News Co/Lab at Arizona State University’s journalism school:
"Some stories demand collaboration, and this one is a plain example. The nation’s newsrooms — working together and, crucially, with the help of the public in communities around the nation — could find out and explain what is going on, at the macro and micro level,”
And meanwhile, citizens can mount massive protests to garner needed media attention, as the House Oversight Committee reconvenes in emergency session to grill DeJoy and his trolls. This is too important an issue for anyone to slack off and worst of all, not pay attention.
by Joan McCarter | August 14, 2020 - 7:18am | permalink
by Jaime O'Neill | August 15, 2020 - 7:31am | permalink
by Harvey Wasserman | August 15, 2020 - 6:20am | permalink
by John Feffer | August 13, 2020 - 6:36am | permalink
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