Another day, another piece on the financial troubles of the Post Office.
Folks, it is time for a paradigm shift. We need to stop thinking of those as losses, but the cost of a service. I have no idea why people have decided the Post Office needs to run like a business, with profits each year or be damned, but it is insane. This is a basic service that government can and should provide. And it is an amazing service. For the price of half a soda, you can mail anything you want, and in a day or two it gets there. EVEN ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. You can drop a letter in the mailbox in New York, get in the car and drive nonstop to California, and odds are the letter will beat you. I know we’re all in the age of the internet and expect everything instantly, but that’s still pretty amazing.
If you ask me, if it only costs us 9 billion a year (which is what the estimated losses are this year) to have the mail delivered to everyone in the country, then that is pretty damned good.
*** Update ***
You really need to see the staggering idiocy on display here.
John, Mark S wrote a comment in the post before yours
I say it’s the President’s fault because if he wanted to save the Postal Service, he could agree to cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits to pay for it. I’m a good teabagger!
AMG you are stupid as a conservative.
the Post office is egalitarian and democratic. Even the poor can get mail.
its social justice in action.
go back to your grieving over the islamists in the NTC.
Action alert: Calling all e-bay lobbyists.
I remember seeing some debate where the Republican tried to mock the idea of government by saying with a knowing smirk, “Well, if you had an important letter to send tomorrow, would you use the Post Office or FedEx?”
The Democrat didn’t give the right answer which was: “If I was one person who had to mail one letter? Sure I might pay a little more to use FedEx. But if I were a country of 300 million people who sent 177 BILLION pieces of mail each year? Yeah, I might be looking for a slightly cheaper option that was just as effective.”
Even on the micro-scale of one letter, I think I’d prefer the Post Office. More reliable delivery to residential addresses, for starters.
Another counter-argument to “the PO sucks” claims: UPS and FedEx actually outsource a lot of last-mile deliveries to the post office.
When Congress starts generating a profit, they can get back to me.
Not to mention that it’s one of the few powers of Congress specifically spelled out in the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8: “The Congress shall have the power: (part 7) To establish post offices and post roads;”
Not that it would matter to the Republicans, whose main gripe with the post office forever has been that none of their financiers is allowed to make a buck off it. Why keep a perfectly functioning, economical and efficient service up and running when you can replace it with one that doesn’t work as well and costs twice as much? Plus, in the privatized system, you can treat the employees like the worthless parasitic pieces of shit we all know them to be. Amirite?
You’d pay a lot more to use Fed Ex and if that letter was going to a certain areas it could still end up being delivered by the Post Office. There are places where Fed Ex turns the delivering over to the Post Office because it’s far from their usual territory (or something because I’ve heard of it happening in the City too).
Well said….it continues to be a marvel to me that you can pay your 45 cents and have an actual physical object delivered to anywhere in the lower 48 (Alaska and Hawaii may take longer) and have that object there within five days. It’s an amazing deal, and one I take advantage of every so often for letters aside from Christmas cards. I find that I pay more attention to handwritten letters, if only because a) handwritten letters are becoming a lost art, b) you focus on a handwritten letter in a way different than email – no other information is vying for your attention while reading (banners, contacts, other windows of one sort or another) and c) maybe most important, I know that the person who wrote me put some time, trouble and thought into writing and sending that letter, in a way that email doesn’t require. Letters convey a personal touch (literally) in a way that email never will, and can’t. (Ever get a perfumed email? No, I thought not.) So – use the mail if you can, it’s a great deal and gets your message across in a different and more personal way.
@Samara Morgan: You, as usual, are making no sense.
Fed Ex provides an option (2-day service) that is about 20-40 times the cost of a first-class letter and less convenient, in that you have to call in a pickup instead of just putting the letter in your mailbox and raising the flag.
Plus, the revenue shorfall is totally created by Congress, since the Postal Service asked for a rate increase which was denied by Congress. If they want the Postal Service to be responsible for their revenue stream, then the Postal Service needs to be able to set rates on their own without interference from politicians.
The right has broken this country. As my brother was complaining about his 3rd application fee for medical school, my dad said, “Well, they have to make a profit.” As though it would be okay to just never make any more doctors if med school wasn’t profitable.
I’ve gotten consistently worse service and higher rates from FedEx and UPS than USPS. They all lose packages at about the same rate (which is higher than I’d like), but USPS is cheaper and their employees actually know what they’re doing.
And as global economies falter, keeping a basic service like the USPS functioning is critical to the nation.
If we had to rely on FedEx or UPS it would doom us. I’d pay extra to use the USPS because we get better service. But in fact we usually pay less that is more convenient and get better service.
Maybe that’s why the regressives want to destroy it.
I take part in an APA (amateur press association). We still use paper for our writings. We have members in Canada, England, and Australia. By far the US post office is cheaper and faster in cost of mailing the issues to members and how long it takes to get back to members. Even Canada is more expensive and takes longer. Makes me think that these people who want to privatize it either don’t live in rural counties or have correspondents in other countries.
I hate FedEx with a passion.
@Brian R.: If you wanted “most effective”, you’d go with the Post Office.
FedEx has been in business about 30 years; in that time, I estimate, at most, 1.5% of the letters and packages I’ve sent or received have gone FedEx. On at least 3 occasions, they’ve either lost packages that sat in one of their warehouses for weeks (in one case, a laptop computer) or delivered to the wrong address, blocks away.
The Post Office has been in business forever; at least 90% of the packages and letters I’ve sent or received during my entire lifetime have gone through the Post Office. To date, I’ve had one package that went missing due to an apparent misdelivery, and perhaps 10 pieces of mail that ended up in my next door neighbor’s mailbox, and which they walked over to my house. But, considering that I’ve probably sent/received over 30,000 pieces of mail & packages, that’s a miniscule error rate – something like .03%. Compared to FedEx’s error rate of 6%.
FedEx is always the absolute LAST choice for me when mailing anything – they’re overpriced and less reliable.
Once the Post Office is privatized, how much will a stamp cost? I guarantee it will be way more than 45 cents.
Also, too, FedEx charges a lot more. I did a quick check of current rates, assuming an 8 ounce envelope sent via overnight between two major US cities. USPS Express Mail flat-rate envelope, $17.40. FedEx Standard Overnight, $31.07. Or, nearly double. FedEx doesn’t become cheaper than postal Express Mail until you drop all the way down to standard (3-4 day) shipping (and the PO’s 2-day Priority Mail option is way cheaper than anything FedEx offers).
I blame the Ferengi.
What we need to stop doing is referring to deficit the postal service (or amtrak, etc) runs and start referring to the deficit the same we do for DoD, we don’t call it a deficit we call it their budget.
@arguingwithsignposts: Well, if every government department had to make a profit, then the Defense Department would start invading countries just to get their oil.
Face it, Cole, you’re a soshalist.
The vast majority of postal mail I receive is junk mail which gets binned immediately. To me it is a nuisance.
I don’t see why the cost of junk mail can’t be raised beyond what I guess is somebody’s calculation of what it cost the USPS to process and have them help subsidize regular mail.
I’m just guessing about junk mail cost. Please don’t tell me that taxes actually subsidize junk mail.
Timely post in that UPS just lost another 2nd day air package of mine. They spend 8 days ‘looking’ for it before telling me to have the shipper send me a replacement. Ultimately it takes 2 weeks to get something guaranteed in 2 days. UPS does f’n blow
I didn’t know this:
By all means, let’s get rid of it. Our job creators will make up for the loss of jobs. That’s what job creators do best!
A comment I saw elsewhere:
@dmsilev: Then let’s charge them more–I’m sure the USPS is giving UPS and FedEx a sweetheart deal, thanks to effective lobbying. Here’s another form of corporate welfare that masks the real cost of goods and services. Charge the private shippers the USPS’s going rate, minus a bulk discount. They still save (just not as much) and the USPS eats into its operating deficit.
Cost of UPS/FedEx goes up? That’s just real market forces emphasizing the USPS’s inherent advantage as a “public option.” Gee, I wish there were some other area of “essential” services that could benefit from a public option in the competitive mix …
But, yes, John, times eleventy: Why the fuck does the USPS have to be profitable or revenue neutral? Is the military?
I’ll quote the last paragraph from my post on the previous thread:
@MonkeyBoy: Actually, junk mail is the main revenue producer for the Postal Service. From what I saw a couple of years ago, they make a profit on it, which supports the other services they offer. It’s pretty low cost for the delivery person to drop off another piece of junk mail since they are already making the rounds daily.
Plus, Junk mail senders presort their mailings, so the handling overhead for the postal service is minimal.
Go out and buy some postal stamps today.
Otherwise, next month or next year, you’ll be paying Fed Ex $18.00 a piece to deliver all those ‘first class letters’.
@dmsilev: this is a general reply to the FedEx situation. They farm out their trucks. Independent “contractors” who have to pay outrageous sums for the trucks. They’re not union, and there’s no guarantee that the truck drivers get any kind of benefits – even sick days. There was a story a while back, maybe NYT, about the shit those drivers have to put up with. They can go fuck themselves with rusty pitchforks. UPS is slightly better, but no postal service.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@MattF: I know you being facetious, but he’s stating what I believe. Some problems are best solved via the market, and some are not. The postal system is one of those that isn’t solvable by a bunch of competing companies because every transfer between companies costs money and adds unnecessary complication. It’s just more efficient as a single entity, but monopolies must have tight regulations of their own.
It obviously isn’t enough of a profit if what the PO mostly delivers is junk mail and they don’t make enough money to operate.
It’s like saying public parks should close because Great America is so efficient.
USPS beats the pants off of FedEx and UPS for international delivery. Price, accuracy, tracking and damage rate. No contest. the only things I use FedEx for internationally are overweight items and really huge stuff. FedEx gets it there but they’re horrendously expensive.
I was a little discouraged a while back when USPS discontinued cheap ‘surface’ international delivery, leaving only the more expensive air mode. But they have kept their price increases very low, which I appreciate.
One advantage that FEdEx has when I have to do international shipments is professional assistance. At the USPS international packages are handled by the same people who sell stamps and hand out change of address forms. They’re often baffled by three boxes going to Belo Horizonte and have to be walked through the process. At FedEx I can get a manager to do the paperwork with me and there are no hangups.
@MonkeyBoy: Well, as I stated earlier, the Postal Service proposed increased rates which were cut by Congress. They didn’t create the revenue shortfall on their own, not to mention increased fuel costs which are killing them. I don’t work for the USPS, but I know a bit about them for job-related reasons.
I’m old enough to remember when the Post Office was a full department of the federal government; the boss was the Postmaster General. It was some time during the Nixon administration that they made the shift from PO to USPS as a quasi-governmental agency expected to operate in the black but still under Congressional oversight.
I even remember when we routinely had two mail deliveries a day. That probably wasn’t the case for RRDs but was common in cities and suburbs. And between Thanksgiving and Christmas there were once-a-day Sunday deliveries and three deliveries a day during the week. But I believe that all must have ended by the early 1950s.
Being in Congress, if it is like holding elected office in a lot of countries, is profitable — for Representatives and Senators, right?
Sully minions have been beating this drum, on the Dish for several weeks now. Why does everything have to be run like a business. Where does the idea that businesses are more accountable come from? Sure doesn’t look that way when you look at the big banks.
Sure, but the Postal Service is also unionized government employees with good pensions and compensation, many of whom are non-white. So any chance to weaken/privatize a government employer like that and lower those workers’ living standards is a wet dream for today’s Teatard GOPers.
There’s also this aspect of the situation, which that shitty glibertarian article completely neglects:
Mr. Cole, you are dead bang right. This is a part of being a nation – for crying out loud it is one of the few entities specially mentioned in the constitution, I believe.
I want these government minimalists to tell our soldiers “Sorry, your last letter can’t make it home. Try UPS – I’m sure they have a depot in Kabul…”
Yes, past management made bad decisions that essentially said – just pass the costs. Should they run more like a business to do the best they can with our tax dollars? Yes.
Should they make a profit? Well as soon as we demand the Defense Department make an annual profit, then I’ll agree the USPS needs to.
I can’t believe how badly these teahadists want the U.S. to become a 3rd tier nation – without universal healthcare and no national industrial policy, I no longer see us as first tier anyway – hell of a way to run an empire…
from businesses who want to get the govt out of a particular sector.
Also, if Amtrak really was run like a business, they wouldn’t have to delay their shit for all the commercial trains, and they’d have more modern trains, and they’d be kicking the shit out of some auto companies.
Strangely enough I watched a Top Gear episode this morning where James and Richard raced a letter from the southernmost tip of the UK to the northernmost tip driving a new Porche. The letter won and it was literally delivered overnight from one end of the country to the other.
Ditto about the e-bay lobbyists BTW e-bay would go out of business overnight if the sellers had to rely on only Fedex and UPS people would simply not be willing to purchase stuff cheaply and then lose all of their savings on $30.00 worth of shipping.
Another BTW the USPS is the largest employer of Military Veterans in the US. Great idea to put all those Vets out of work assholes. I am another fan of the Post Office. It empowers people, and that is what scares the Repugs, what would happen to all those people who now can conveniently vote by mail?
Don’t forget about money orders. You hand the post office cash plus $1.10 for up to $500 and a bit more for up to $1000, and mail this to someone, and they just hand it over the counter at any post office and get given cash.
That’s /way/ cheaper and better than Western Union, and a lot more convenient for the person receiving than a check if they don’t have a bank account, and maybe even if they do.
@Litlebritdifrnt: I’ve seen that episode! Too bad Clarkson is such a glibertarian.
It must be. Look at how much they will spend [even of their own money] in order to get elected.
As an add-on, guess who also uses the Postal Service? UPS.
That’s right – UPS offloads the unprofitable locations to USPS.
If I hear one of these damn stuffed shirts say – “Well, let it shut down” = I hope his grandma beats him to a pulp with her cane that she got approved by Medicare and was notified by USPS.
Meanwhile, back in Iraq.
Friday, September 02, 2011 13:48 GMT
what do you think will happen if the Maliki government falls on the anniversary of 9/11?
will it mean the terrorists have won?
I might be wrong on this, but I’d heard somewhere that, according to the law, it’s supposed to be the opposite: freight trains are supposed to yield to Amtrak trains. But they simply don’t, and the law is never enforced.
Davis X. Machina
This discussion is very one-sided. I mean, look at this from the GOP”s point of view.
It’s not just that everything private is better than anything public is, or ever could be.
You’re leaving out of the equation the tens of thousands of unionized — and often minority — workers involved. Sure, it could be a tragedy to not have guaranteed service at a reasonable price to each house in the Republic, but you have to look at the upside, too.
Is a $4.50 an envelope too high a price to pay to get at those moochers? When did so great a social good not call for general sacrifice?
(tomvox beat me…)
I ship a lot of stuff. Often heavy and fragile things. I used to use UPS for the bigger stuff and USPS for the small ones. UPS cost me a lot of money in damages, so I switched to FedEx and my damage rates have plummeted.
Now I use FedEx for a lot of my smaller packages that might be cheaper to USPS. The reason is efficiency. With Fedex I can print a label myself, toss the box on their counter, stride briskly away and they just bill me. With USPS I have to stand in line and endure the exasperated sighs of the overworked counter clerks. USPS has a ‘ship it yourself’ option like FEDEX but there are more hoops to jump through and you need a certified scale.
@Linnaeus: that’s different than what I’ve heard, which is after all the tracks were sold, Amtrak is back-of-the-line. At least in the midwest.
Davis X. Machina
Discovered this to my horror when I figured out what shipping stuff to my son in Switzerland would cost — he’s an exchange student, flew over with his two enormous suitcases, but nothing else. The last time a family member did this it was reasonable… now a repurposed copier-paper box full of the lad’s winter clothes is going to run over $100.
Because we’ve been fed on this mantra that “gummint should run like a bidness!” since the Reagan years, that’s why.
It’s stupid. Government can’t run like a business. It’s not supposed to run like a business. Government exists to perform the functions that business can’t or won’t.
But don’t tell that to the conservitards.
I once worked at a federal recreation area run by the TVA — now it’s a Forest Service property, but at the time TVA had a “must run like a business” mandate because like the post office it’s a quasi-public agency. Well, I’m sorry but you simply cannot run a nearly 200,000 acre national recreation area and turn a profit. That’s just retarded. We had to start nickel and dimeing everyone to death, raising user fees on everything from campgrounds to use of an ORV area to hunting and fishing permits … it pissed people off. They’re like, “mah tax dollahs are paying YOUR salaries and you’re charging exorbitant amounts for hunting permits?” It was a never ending battle and created nothing but bad blood with the locals. You’d think people would have gotten a clue that their “run gummint like a bidness” ideology meant, you know, timber harvests and high fees for fishing licenses and deer tags but NOOOOO they had no fucking clue.
So. Been there, done that. Sucked. They finally moved the property to the Dept. of Ag’s Forest Service and I’m told it’s much more peaceful with the natives.
Post Office, parking meters, toll roads, health care, National Parks, you name it, it’s all up for sale. With capitalism there are winners and losers and the “market” decides the outcome. Government makes (according to the wing-nuts) things “fair” and screws up the whole Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand calculus.
Should there be a Republican president in 2012, America’s race to a Dickensian future will be just over the horizon. Get ready for it.
I was just on a passenger train in Canada and we were told that our train had to yield to commercial freight trains. That’s in socialist Canada, mind you.
I was just on a passenger train in Canada and we were told that our train had to yield to commercial freight trains. That’s in s0c1alist Canada, mind you.
This is not an open thread. WTF does your copy ‘n’ paste job have to do with the United States Postal Service?
Chad N Freude
Not exactly. UPS has a business arrangement with USPS whereby UPS preps large-scale business mail and passes it to USPS for delivery. I recently ordered a couple of books from Barnes & Noble which were shipped by UPS and delivered to my mailbox by USPS.I don’t completely understand the arrangement, but UPS touts it here and defines “qualified [UPS] mail” here.
I’m sure someone already made this point because it’s obvious and I didn’t have time to read the thread so I am just going to say it:
Why should we subsidize the USPS for $9 billion per year when we could turn the whole thing over to private companies that could perform the same function, albeit not nearly as inexpensively or efficiently, but at much greater cost to the end-users (i.e. the taxpayer)?
(For the record, I for the most part love the USPS and our postman, Mike. And I fundamentally agree with Cole: If it only costs us $9B per year to subsidize the USPS, it is money well spent.)
Davis X. Machina
@Judge Crater: A reading from the Good News according to St. Margaret, the Thatcher, Chapter One, verses 1-4.
1. That which is, can be bought or sold. 2. That which cannot be bought or sold, is not. 3. Everything private is better than anything public is, or could ever be. 4. So long as one of God’s people, somewhere, is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, none of us can truly be free.
Here endeth the lesson.
As a result of the growth of the (North) American obsession with cars in the 1950s, our over-investment in road infrastructure paralleled an underinvestment in passenger rail infrastructure. Eventually most passenger rail service gave up dedicated rail lines, leaving them to pay rent to freight carriers who still own a monopoly on what was effectively government-built rail across the continent. That’s why Amtrak and Via Rail Canada have to give right of way to freight – because they’re running on track that isn’t theirs.
@Davis X. Machina:
If it’s not super-big stuff consider using the USPS fixed price International shipping boxes. They can be cheaper than shipping by weight.
The USPS online rate calculator is really well done. It’s clear, easy and accurate. Far better than Fed Ex’s equivalent online system.
International costs can be ridiculous. I have two $25 items going to Brazil that will cost $87 each to ship. I’d love to use Surface for this and save the buyer some money.
@Davis X. Machina: There is no such thing as society, also too.
Ugh, they all sound pretty disgusting. Is there any alcoholic beverage that goes well with popcorn?
A Mom Anon
@RossInDetroit: Try Stamps.com. My MIL uses them all the time for work and she swears by it. She works from home and has business letters and packages going back and forth pretty much daily. You print your own postage and labels and arrange pickups all from your account online.
Davis X. Machina
Up here, the freight — and the Northeaster — runs between Boston and Portland on an improved right-of-way and with improved signalling bought and paid for by Amtrak, and the states, and liability for accidents now rests with which those entities, even if the train involved belongs to Guilford Transportation, the private owner of the right of way.
Running Gummint like a business: How well I remember how tax cuts and Creationism landed the Opportunity probe on Mars.
Also intentional destruction of it by corporations with reasons to promote private cars over public transit. A lot of local and regional mass transit systems were bought up and closed on purpose to force car use. I’m not sure who all the culprits were but I’m pretty sure the Big Three were heavily involved. They paid fines and got away with it.
@Davis X. Machina:
I was going to mention – the Northeast seems to be the one region where Amtrak service functions reasonably and doesn’t have to deal with freight as much…
@A Mom Anon:
Thanks. I may try that out. Right now most of my USPS shipping is international packages. They require Customs forms and a visit to the counter to process the paperwork. But I’d use them more if I had a streamlined way to ship Domestic.
Yup…National City Lines (General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, and Phillips Petroleum)
Chad N Freude
While the USPS is essential and does a lot of things right, in my densely populated urban neighborhood the mail carrier changes every couple of days, and the newby never quite gets the difference between addresses with the same address number but different street names or different numbers on the same street. Letters, bills, checks, and packages are not received until the neighbor to whom they were delivered contacts the intended recipient. Constant complaints to the Post Office are met with a polite “We know, we’ll fix it.” It drives us all nuts.
The letter was mailed to Clarkson, right? So he could gloat over his victory as usual.
The joke of it all is that it’s rural conservatives pushing for the end of the USPS when it’s the disproportionately high cost of serving these communities that drives up the debt. It’s an amazingly American reaction, I guess, because we see the communities that depend on Medicare and Social Security railing against government health care spending. Unfortunately for them, it seems they’re going to get exactly what they want. It would be funny if it wasn’t so damn pathetic.
when it’s the disproportionately high cost of serving Distributed Jesusland that drives up the debt.
Will UPS or FedEx take this route?
“I have no idea why people have decided the Post Office needs to run like a business, with profits each year or be damned, but it is insane.”
Have you not listened to 30 years of GOP rhetoric? This is the designed outgrowth of the whole bullshit Prez as CEO model the Repubs have pushed. Or Tim Pawlenty’s “Gov’t should stop doing anything the private sector also does” asinine scheme. (Asinine b/c T.P. didn’t bother to ask whether the private sector was cheaper, better or able to scale).
But now that we see that Arizona has directly figured out how to make a bit of cash off prisoner families (25 bucks a pop to go see Jr. in the hoosegow!), there really isn’t any sector of government that can’t be run for corrupt profit.
Except getting 300,000,000,000 pieces of paper to BFE addresses, but whatever.
@SiubhanDuinne: its all connected.
Democracy spells the doom of Distributed Jesusland, and 9/11 kicked off the destruction of America.
@dmsilev: I’m a lawyer and so I send a whole lot of mail. In the two states where I’ve practiced, overnight delivery in-state of a first class letter is practically a certainty. In fact, I can’t remember the last time a letter wasn’t delivered overnight in-state. For 45 cents.
Package delivery is also very cheap, fast and reliable. When I order from Amazon and the like I invariably get the package sooner if it is sent via USPS. Like most things the republicans preach incessantly, the inefficiency of the Post Office is a myth and a lie.
I wonder, if the Post Office got privatized, how exactly it would work.
I picture people in rural areas paying $20 for every piece of mail delivered to them, while people in urban areas pay a buck or less. Might make you think about the true cost of living out in BFE and how much all the blue-state urban dwellers have been subsidizing your lifestyle.
Oh, who am I kidding?
As a USPS retiree, I think the entire article was pretty slanted. The USPS was forced to overpay into their retirement system for years. If you read the article, you would know that the number is some 60 Billion, that’s 60 with a B. No business could sustain that kind of drain and be in good financial shape.
To be sure, the drop in first class mail and the recession have hurt big time. But the USPS has been cutting back for years. When I retired 7 years ago the workforce was about 750K. Now it’s down to 575K and shrinking rapidly. And they have accomplished this with no lay offs.
What needs to happen is that the USPS needs to be given more flexibility to raise rates and fees. They don’t need to nullify their contracts, there are some built in clauses that will help the USPS regain stability if they can raise more revenue.
The reason the USPS should be run like a business is that it’s emerging sole purpose is to provide every household with it’s daily allotment of junk mail.
That was the deal postal management made, but now they say they want out of it. They may mean it eventually, but for the time being it is a useful tool to get out of union contracts and close (mostly) rural offices and consolidate mail processing centers.
There is also the matter of the $50+ billion in pension overpayments made by the Postal Service. Congressman Lynch has proposed a bill that would convert that money towards the retiree healthcare prefunding requirement.
@barath: That’s because Amtrak or other public entities own the main lines – NYC-Boston, New Haven-Springfield, NYC-most of the way to Albany (forget exactly where), Philly-Harrisburg.
@Davis X. Machina: I don’t particularly like that situation because Amtrak is improving private property owned by the single worst railroad company in America – Guilford/Pan Am/Springfield Terminal. It remains a mystery as to how GRS/ST even exists.
ETA: Also, too, the service is the Downeaster.
Davis X. Machina
It’s a beautiful lie, though, and received by the faithful as a revealed truth. Which you can’t refute.(1)
The next chairman of the GOP will be Thomas Aquinas, author of the Tantum Ergo.
Et antiquum documentum / Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum /Sensuum defectui.
Let the teachings of old give way to a new cult,
let faith provide what is missing, when the evidence of the senses fails.
Party like it’s 1299.
(1) Historically, methods involving a stake, a pile of kindling and a medieval box of medieval kitchen matches were tried, with limited success.
I would like to propose closing the U.S. capitol building, suspending all Congressional salaries and benefits, and letting lawmakers vote on legislation electronically. They can read the bill on-line, then vote via email or telephone.
We can save billions and still have a legislative branch (pursuant to the Constitution).
This is what the Politics of Resentment is all about.
It doesn’t matter what you resent. It only matters than you are offering things to resent.
By having the sheer sociopathic savoir faire to blatantly embrace such people to swell their dwindling rational numbers, the Republicans have rounded them all up and are busy giving them things to resent. It doesn’t have to make sense!
I work with the public and this is the subset who will never be pleased. They are bitter, worthless, incessant bitchers because that is the only way they know how to impact the world around them.
If you’ve ever exclaimed, “Would it kill you to be nice for just one second?” you know what I mean, and you know the answer.
Davis X. Machina
@PeakVT: They’ve solved the age-old minimax problem: just how bad can a service be, and still not lose its customers?
I’m sure it’s got whole chapters in the B-school textbooks,
Is feature, not bug.
Remember that movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”? It’s a true story. Oh, not the whole “Toon Town” thing, but yeah … Standard Oil and Goodyear Tire worked to undermine the city rail systems in favor of passenger cars. Their crowning achievement was the Interstate Highway System, pushed through in the 1950s.
Every thread an open thread, and no such thing as off topic?
wow….Sarah Palin in a bumpit.
so white trash.
teh horror, teh horror….
@John: Can you please check your email and post the fantasy football update on the front page? I’ll send it again right now to be sure you post the right update – there was a change.
I’ve posted myself a few times in open threads but I know many don’t follow those. Drafts start tomorrow.
@Pontiac: Yeah, and you don’t have to have a account with them, show 3 forms of ID. Which of one has to be a current credit card. And then they charge you a convenience fee, a percentage, of fixed.
These guys on here don’t know anything about that…..yet. Wait till your credit goes down the drain, its just starts the downward spiral to the never ending fee zone.
Davis X. Machina
@maye: Now, now, think green for a second.
The energy savings of having all those lobbyists in one place, where the People’s representatives are, and not having them forced to fly around delivering envelopes to 535 separate offices, some of which are in pretty far-flung places, is worth considering.
They could just mail the boodle, but as we have seen, that has its own drawbacks….
Nobody has mentioned the USPS and elections. Right now the USPS is the one trusted party for all voting materials. I can’t imagine how it’d work if it were privatized…though given all the vote suppression laws being pushed these days, I’m sure that’d be just a-okay with the GOP.
Couldn’t agree more. Key fact buried in the article, something that no other agency or business has to do:
In other countries, essential services like mail or mass transit are subsidized by government, which is seen as one of the principle functions of government. They are not expected to make a profit or be self-sustaining. Here, we’d rather throw a trillion dollars at warmaking and ever shinier war toys, more than the entire defense budgets of all industrialized countries, combined. The Postal Service is a tiny fraction of that by comparison. Fewer post offices, crumbling infrastructure, millions unemployed while the wealthiest 1% gets tax cuts, and brand new aircraft carriers. America is the best decaying civilization ever!
@SiubhanDuinne: its all connected, don’t you see?
the Tea Party are wholly white christian nativists resisting the democratic take-over of “their” electorate.
Bush and the neo-corporatists and the wevangelicals (white evangelists of western culture) bankrupted America on unjust and unwinnable wars.
its wahdat al wujud and wahdat al shuhud.
The Post Office would be as good a case as any to go full republican, i.e., eliminate the government service to give people a better view into republican Dystopia to see how they like it.
Something needs to wake up the clowns sitting on the sideline to what the republicans run amok means to the nation. The sudden elimination of the Post Office would hit nearly everyone including businesses.
(Of course it would hit Postal workers hardest. Is the potential for a wake call worth their sacrifice – probably not, since I doubt there is anything that can wake up the mass of disinterested Americans.)
Davis X. Machina
@R. Porrofatto: You didn’t mention the Freedom™.
wow…im lissening to Palin’s speech. epic cocktease of the proles.
pure distilled 180 proof ressentiment.
@Davis X. Machina: GRS/ST has lost most of its customers that don’t have a viable alternative to rail (coal, paper, autorack). A couple of years ago I talked with someone at a historic railroad in CT that was also trying to drum up a few shippers on their track. He had a customer lined up and ready to switch until the customer found out that the sole connection was through GRS/ST. The customer decided to stay with trucks on that basis alone.
“Patriots” want to dismantle all their beloved country’s institutions except the military (as long as they’re allowed to do wiretaps and drug busts).
The post office is was empowered by Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. constitution, which means its establishment is constitutional not legislative. The post office is not a business but a constitutional agency providing a means of communication between the country’s citizens. The post office will always have trouble being financially feasible because they deliver to that last house on the road that the private businesses won’t find profitable. But the post office is not essentially a profit driven business but a constitutionally driven social service — established in the document the teabaggers say they love so much and put in the constitution by the original guys the teabaggers say whose words need to be respected if not revered.
that is new term, right?
i claim props.
@pluege: The problem with “let’s try a Republican Dystopia and see if they really like it!” is that I do believe that someone hanging in with the Republicans at this point in time simply has something wrong with their brain.
And Denial might be their very best skill.
However, I do see signs that recent shenanigans have sunk into many a skull who are not so brainwashed… and they might come around without actually destroying more lives.
Davis X. Machina
@PeakVT: The Providence and Worcester?
ill do this too.
@Davis X. Machina: electronic deposit.
Good post. I’ve felt the Post Office has gotten a bad rap for many years.
Show me one successful business that is mandated by law to cough up money now to finance retiree health costs for the next 75 years.
Davis X. Machina
@Kane: Hey, if the 75-year requirement is good enough to use to blow up SS, it’s certainly good enough to use to kill the USPS.
@SiubhanDuinne: The child will discuss what she chooses to discuss. Because only things that exist in her bubble are important, and nothing else is worthy of notice. But then again, she’s a child.
I say let’s do it. I am curious how my teabagging parents will react, given they live in the middle of nowhere and mail all sorts of shit. Will they like having to use UPS for everything? Will it cause problems in receiving their ultra-rightwing Catholic publications?
Just out of curiosity, are you strictly on retirement from the USPS or are you getting some form of disability from them too?
@PeakVT: Metro-North serves commuters from NYC to Poughkeepsie; Amtrak has stops on the same line but is the only train service north of Poughkeepsie.
@Linnaeus: I don’t think so. Amtrak runs on rails owned and operated by the commercial rail companies. Their tracks = their trains get priority. I think the law is that they have to let Amtrak use the tracks, but they are perfectly free to dick around with them all they want.
Davis X. Machina
Just spent the best part of a week without power. The mind was running the other way…. I’m sitting here not-doing school work trying to figure out how many times throwing out the contents of the fridge is equal to the cost of a generator. The new inverter ones look promising, and we’re dark here on average of just under a week a year between hurricanes, nor’easters, and plain old line squalls.
@Davis X. Machina: No, P&W is much bigger and has multiple connections.
Davis X. Machina
@PeakVT: A world where the P&W is ‘much bigger? In an age of CSX and BNSF?
You must work on the Island of Sodor.
@Samara Morgan: We’ll just call you Nell from now on.
@Chad N Freude:
It really has a lot to do with your branch post office. At G’s old apartment, the mail delivery was absolutely wretched — mail constantly getting lost, arriving late, forgetting to put it on vacation hold, etc. Once we moved to a new apartment that was served by a different substation, all of those problems were magically fixed.
It might be worth making a complaint — USPS does seem to take those very seriously. I had a couple of Amazon packages get lost getting to my work address, and after I filed a complaint, I haven’t had the problem again.
Geez. I hope Congress will act responsibly and do the right thing. No one would want to see the post office default and close down, causing a major crisis going into an election year. Right?
The surest sign of an empire in decline is that they still dump buckets of money on a bright, shiny military while everything else crumbles around them.
@Davis X. Machina: P&W is much bigger than the railroad I was referring to.
Much like Medicare, Social Security, and other such things.
One wonders why the guys who support the GOP are so obsessed with getting their hands on these things: after all, there are thousands of other lines of work in which they could make plenty of money.
But, at some point circa Thatcher/Reagan, enterprising businessmen realized that there was a goldmine to be made by getting politicians to privatize public-run institutions. Oddly, the brave captains of industry are the people who, instead of going out and taking a risk as Jwest was arguing a couple threads ago, prefer to simply kick back and wait for the politicians to drop a company into their lap.
Yours to keep, dear.
Subtract $5.5 billion from the $671 Billion Defense budget. Problem solved.
@Mark S.: you asked what likker goes with popcorn?
Off-brand bourbon and Coke Classic. That should be sufficiently syrupy-sweet and puke-worthy.
Could we not just stop subsidizing rural areas then? They don’t want it, and it’s driving up costs.
Or at least, offer to do that, just to see the reaction…
Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason
I worked the polls in South PA in 2010 and wave after wave of these people came in. At the time I called them Angry Old White People. Couldn’t figure out what they were angry at, since they were mostly retired and I’m still scratching out a living. Your description fits them to a T.
I wonder, if the Post Office got privatized, how exactly it would work. I picture people in rural areas paying $20 for every piece of mail delivered to them
And then they’d bitch that it was all the fault of ‘soshulism’ and ‘libruls’ because of ‘guvmint regulations’. Fuck these people. There’s no excuse for being willfully stupid in the age of the internet.
@Kyle: There’s no excuse for being willfully stupid
in the age of the internet.
We have public libraries, public schools, and public roadways to get you there.
Anyone in the history of America who has ever been willfully ignorant has always had themselves to blame.
I have a neighbor who is in her 80s, worked as a legal secretary and bookkeeper, had one child and divorced her husband after a few years of marriage. She moved back home after the divorce and allowed the complex’s management agent to talk her into taking a 3-bedroom apartment with her parents instead of a place of her own and having her parents in their own place.
She listens to Rush et al. and Fox News is her reference for everything. She hates Obama with a red-hot passion. I cannot figure out why exactly beyond her addiction to Fox and right-wing commentators. (And that he’s blackity black black.)
What I concluded some time back was that she is very angry and bitter about how her life turned out. Whatever her dreams were they didn’t come true. And she sees everything, but everything, through that lens, with that POV.
ETA: I thank the goddess that she does not use the internet, beyond e-mail. (She misses DOS.)
Chad N Freude
@Mnemosyne: We have made formal complaints, and the post office does not blow them off. The problem is systemic. It began two or three years ago when our regular (alert and competent) postman was injured and apparently had to retire. Since then, there’s been a lottery every morning at the PO when the carriers for this area are assigned to different neighborhoods every day with resultant constant turnover. Each carrier does his/her own sorting for the assigned neighborhood of the day, and apparently they are not trained to read the addresses carefully enough to avoid mixups.
All hail the Great Spider, which delivereth the mail. It’s even in the Constitution–one of the explicitly granted powers of Congress.
Running the PO as a quasi-independent business was an early privatization effort that goes back the Postal Reorganization Act of 1971.
So, why isn’t cell phone service a similar public service? Moderate capability wireless voice and data services are not expensive to provide; far less expensive than a public road system.
The fact is that Fox News radiates anger and blame, all the time. That alone has a ton of appeal to people.
@Chris: You can’t just be angry. If you’re angry, and you’re the only one in the room who is angry, then social pressure causes you to at least keep your anger to yourself. But if your anger is justified by an outside source, you can tap into it and let it grow stronger. Think Dark Side of the Force. There’s actually some truth to that.
I pull this trick at work all the time. I get a caller angry then trying to get me angry. I don’t respond, in fact I get totally emotionless and quiet. They flail for a bit, then it dawns on them their trick is not working. It’s kind of evil but it works well.
Link to All Time 10 Worst Military Boondoggles in Mother Jones. I know I can recall all the furor raised by the Cult of the Fiscally Resposible when this was going on. Doesn’t everyone? Bueller? But the Post Office is bad.
@Davis X. Machina: @RossInDetroit: My grandfather who worked for the railroad claimed back in the ’60’s that it was the railroads who wanted to kill passenger service because freight was more profitable.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Yutsano: That’s being really hard on actual children. I’ve known many who were far better socialized.
@R. Porrofatto: I’m sure a few Masters of the Rethuglicans are salivating at the prospect of getting their hands on that pension fund. That suddenly struck me as motivation for pitching “privatization”, which hasn’t started yet but we know it’s coming.
This is my favorite part:
Provide security on big US bases? Is that what fucking soldiers are for? We are truly the stupidest country on earth.
@Mark S.: Yes. “Idiocracy” as documentary.
Oh, I agree.
I was recently in a situation where a woman poured her heart out to me over losing her husband a few years prior. We discussed the ramifications of how she had “never gotten over it,” we thrashed through some possible solutions, she agreed to seek professional help if they didn’t work, and she went away saying she “felt better than she had in a long time.”
What seemed to make the dam break (over me) was an incident wherein she, previously known as a very kind-hearted woman, discovered she had the impulse to do something unspecified but “very mean.” She seemed to accept my offered explanation: that not properly mourning had “frozen her heart” and stifled the ability to give, and receive, love.
We need this like oxygen; and in its absence, we come to hate and resent people who have something we don’t.
It gave me insight into how evil, at least with a small “e,” comes to pass.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Depends on the age, really. A two year old only exists for themselves constantly, while as a child ages that tends to mitigate. Arrested development is a possibility here, though I personally think she’s consciously choosing to act immature. Which is worse.
Somewhat OT, but I wonder how many of the Botcasters refer to the anthrax that killed postal workers (all African American) as well as the editor of the tabloid in Florida as they blather on about how 9-ll changed us forever. Now they may speak volumes about how Tom Slackjaw had anthrax sent to him, but I doubt if they’ll talk about real people who came to work and died while doing their jobs.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Yutsano: Point taken about two year olds. In this case whichever it is, willful or not, it does get old, doesn’t it?
@Chad N Freude:
I used to work for the Postal Service, and you (pretty much) identified the problem. They were called “casuals” (as opposed to “regulars”) . They do sort the mail for their route, they stand in front of a case and slot each piece in.
The Postal Service trains people to drop their eyes to the second line (the address, not the name). All carriers and clerks start there, but a carrier who is familiar with the route (inevitably) also relies on common sense and experience: they know quite a bit about you, from being at your address every day and, actually, your mail. You get the same pieces every month. So, even if the address isn’t perfect, they look at the whole piece and incorporate what they know into sorting/delivering. Casuals don’t have that.
Casuals would inevitably start out thinking it was easy, and it’s really not. It’s not difficult, but it helps to know where you’re going. 9 hours later the new casual would return, all played-out, from a 5 hour route :)
Carriers have to pick up outgoing mail too. If it’s first class it has to be on the truck going out that same day. We used to have to go out and find the casuals and get their outgoing mail, to get it on the truck. They’d still be wandering around trying to complete delivery.
I don’t think conservatives will actually privatize the Postal Service. In my experience, older rural people absolutely love the post office. It goes back to when they ordered everything by mail. They still do it. They send and receive tires, giant saw blades, live animals: there is nothing rural people won’t try to mail. They’ve been doing it for generations. It’s a great deal, and they know it. Since conservatives govern vast areas of unpopulated land, I don’t see them cutting that rural subsidy off.
I’d end Saturday delivery (they can still move the mail on Saturday, but they don’t have to deliver it) and close some of the tiny offices. We used to deliver the “last mile” for Fed Ex. The Fed Ex driver would drop parcels and the USPS would carry them out to isolated rural areas. Maybe they could charge the private companies more for that service.
@Omnes Omnibus: LOL!
im not that Nell.
im Princess Nell.
you never read Diamond Age?
@Chad N Freude:
Thanks for the clarification.
I still think this is an area that advocates for the USPS (in whatever form will allow it to remain solvent) should bring up – a semi-government agency working hand-in-hand with a strictly for-profit company – when it makes sense.
Not all government is “anti-business” as these parasites proclaim.
As I understand it, a lot of the USPS’s problem is not so much that it is “bloated” and “inefficient”. Given what it is tasked with doing, it’s a pretty damn efficient operation. Rather arcane government accounting rules require it to fund its health care and retirement programs in weird ways that leave it perpetually cash-strapped. Furthermore, they are restricted from raising their prices dynamically to meet growing costs.
Republicans, on the other hand, would have you believe this is all because unionized postal employees work 2 days a week, make $250,000 a year and get 11 lunch breaks a day while being gently cooled with ostrich plume fans held by other unfire-able employees who make $400 an hour — a lot like teachers.
Just like everyone, I occasionally grouse when stuck in a post office line, but the USPS is really one of the greatest public institutions in America and people should be up in arms that Congress is thinking about taking a hatchet to it.
Can’t wait for the screams of anger from the rural folks when the Republicans try to close their post offices.
BTW: Here’s a breakdown of the real story behind congress using the USPS as a cash cow.
@kay: I’d end Saturday delivery (they can still move the mail on Saturday, but they don’t have to deliver it) and close some of the tiny offices.
I agree with the both, though I’d let states keep individual offices open if they’re willing to subsidize them.
I sense the presence of a lot of retired postal employees on this thread. I’m another.
CHad N Freude, there’s a difference between the speed and accuracy of someone who does the route regularly and someone who is filling in, and it’s best expressed by saying that it’s faster to recognize something you’re expecting than to read every piece.
Now as to why that route has not been assigned a regular carrier, I’m just guessing here, but when I was working, there were frequent hiring freezes. When there’s a freeze, a vacant route cannot be filled, that is, no carrier can be assigned to it as its “regular”, because that would create a vacancy down the line, which would have to be filled by a new hire. This situation, in turn, is the result of the PO being allowed very little control over its operations — every big decision is subject to many regulations and as mentioned above, all changes to the rate structure have to be okayed by congress.
As to “off-loading” unprofitable deliveries to the USPS, the other services do this, and have done for years. That’s in addition to doing part of the prep (pre-sorting) for big mailers. Not only do their drivers go into small rural POs and mail things to outlying communities, they wait for the regular carrier to come by when they can’t find an address, so they can ask him or her. We’re not allowed to discuss the patrons, but we can direct anyone to an address, and the other services depend on this help.
Finally, the USPS used to be the biggest employer in the country, and I’ll bet they still are the biggest employer of FTE, since it’s well known that Walmart does its best to keep all of its employees at just under full-time, so they can slide on the bennies. The USPS has a few part time positions, but for the most part a postal job will support a family, and then there are those benefits, which are stellar. You know that famous “insurance that the members of congress get”? We got it, along with all the members of the civil service. It’s called Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, and it is a single payer plan! With lots of choices of details. And yes, we would love to share it with you all. Before I carried mail, I was a government statistician (and I’d never go back!) I once figured out what it would take to extend FEHB to every citizen, and it’s totally doable.
But I digress. Until recently, the USPS just got better. I don’t think the rightards would like to return to the days, of, let’s see, the early 60s? when a lot of the more distant rural routes were delivered only every other day. So I think if they ever had to live without the USPS, it might be the beginning of the dawn of a realization.
I have to say, it’s embarrassing being this old, since so many of my age-mates are morons. (I’m thinking of the ones who don’t want the government messing with their Medicare, and anyone who actually thinks they can get along without the Postal Service.)
Cole, you’re an idiot. We should be ok with the govt wasting $9 billion a year? Seriously, your analysis of this issue is like that of a 6 year old’s. This country would be better off if you stopped voting altogether because you are so out of touch with reality and how the govt should operate.
Why should they even charge for stamps then, Cole? Why not just make it free, since it’s a service that the govt should provide and it doesn’t matter how much it costs? Good thing you’re not in charge of anything in our govt!
Eric the Infrequent
Lots of postal employees here, so I’ll chime in as someone from the dark side. The big shippers generally have an entire separate division for the pre-sort USPS last mile deliveries. I know that for the company I work for, that division is the fastest growing, most profitable division(Yeah, imagine that, private companies making a buck on the backs of the taxpayer). If the USPS shuts down, that entire division goes away, for all of the shippers who do this. So not only would we lose all USPS jobs, but a crapload of private company jobs as well. Additionally, these shipping options are the backbone of the free shipping options from major e-tailers. Way to crush the economy.
Having worked with the U.S. Postal Service briefly at a desk in undergrad, they’re a pretty goddamn thrifty outfit. I also feel that people who complain about the changing price of postage stamps or the different rates for odd-sized packages are cripplingly unable to cope with basic facts of life that apply no matter who you hire to ship your kid’s junk to school.
Marginalized for stating documented facts
Damn right, Cole! In fact, let’s double down. Let’s increase the budget for the the U.S. post office. Let’s hire a couple of million new post office workers and start delivering multiple times per day.
I’m serious. Back in the 19th century, mail deliveries came several times a day. People used to write one another multiple times and their mail got delivered. If we can’t figure out any other way to employ America, hell, why not go back to multiple daily mail deliveries? Why not Sunday deliveries?
There is no other branch of the United States government that has given the American people anywhere near as much value for the money as the U.S. post office, with the possible exception of NASA’s robotic space probes.
Nice, you see they got Corner Stone earlier? Someone curbstomped him with name bait.
@Jennifer: Yeah, you’re right.
Back when I was a tadpole, the “conservatives” were all about “Defend the shores and deliver the mail”. Heh.
( http://my.firedoglake.com/iflizwerequeen/2011/05/16/how-about-a-little-truth-about-what-the-majority-want-for-health-care/ )
( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yFUbkVCsZ4 )
( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — http://www.cepr.net/calculators/hc/hc-calculator.html )
( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare http://t.co/fmVz8nM )
As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.
The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.
They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NOT, AND MUST NOT, ALLOW AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TO STAND WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.
For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.
This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.
Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.
Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.
Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.
Republicans: GET RID OF THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE.
Democrats: ADD A ROBUST GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION TO HEALTHCARE REFORM.
This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!
If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.
Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.
We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.
ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.
Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.
President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.
Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.
We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.
Spread the word people.
Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.
God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.
See you on the battle field.
jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)
We Await Silent Tristero’s Empire.
(Somebody had to do it. This thread was clearly in need of the reference).
I suggest bacon-flavored vodka.