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ThinkerX

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  • Birthday 04/25/1963

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  1. That'd be me. USPS Highway contractor for the past five years, ran the route as an employee for five years before that, did another route on and off for most of twenty years prior to that. First: the mail never stops moving. Trucks, planes, and other forms of transportation are hauling mail 24/7, even on Sundays and holidays., even when the post offices themselves are closed. I don't see this being interfered with, not to a significant extent. There are occasional delays for major natural catastrophes - floods, forest fires, that sort of thing. Not sure Team Trump counts as a natural catastrophe. Second: the people in the trenches - the carriers, the clerks, the people at the sorting plants - tend to be pretty good at what they do. That said, many, if not most of those people have a low opinion of those further up the chain. Where I'm at, we regularly have to decipher edicts from 'on high' that were clearly issued by people who had no idea at all what's involved at the lower levels. A few years back, one such character managed to get himself appointed Postmaster here as part of his grand plan to climb the ranks. He literally hid from the staff (coming in mostly after hours to do paperwork) rather learn how things actually worked. The next guy spent months cleaning up the mess he left behind. Despite that, the mail got delivered. Third: There is a sort of hierarchy in the mail. 'DPS' - letter mail takes priority over everything save express. It always goes out, barring a truly epic mess. Next are 'Flats' - catalogs, magazines, big envelopes. Much of it is advertising mail. On a heavy day, if that office is short handed, it can be pushed back. Usually, nobody cares. 'Full Coverage' goes to every address on the route. (waste of paper in my view) It can be political, but is usually advertising. I've seen it delayed upwards of a week without issue. Political mail can belong to any of these categories. It *always* goes out, because the people who send it out check on it's status. Political mail that can't be delivered is separated from the other un-deliverable mail for return to sender. Those pieces get counted. I do not believe the current postmaster general can significantly delay political mail without getting major flack from both parties.
  2. Serious, but not critical. A few years ago, USPS shut down multiple sorting plants; those of us in the trenches didn't see much difference. Also, letter mail (regular envelopes, magazines, catalogs, large envelopes) has been dropping for a long, long time now. The current route had 350 boxes when I started it ten years back. It's now in excess of 500 boxes, but the total volume of letter mail is *less* than what it was back then. Over the past...six months, call it, letter mail has undergone an especially steep drop.
  3. Sheesh. Pizzagate is making a comeback on Facebook.
  4. I can't speak about this specifically because I don't know anything, but I can comment with some confidence on other post office matters. First: closing post offices. This has been ongoing for quite a while. Get right down to it, there are quite a few smaller post offices that should be shut down. Almost happened to a couple in my area, but they got stays. (Couple hundred customers who'd be folded onto highway routes). Second: make no mistake, the postal bureaucracy, especially the upper levels, is bloated and incompetent. Those of us in the trenches frequently have to decipher edicts whose authors clearly had no idea what they were talking about. Some of these edicts actually cost money and slowed mail down. Trying to explain things to these people is about as productive as talking to a wall - they have no real idea what the clerks and carriers contend with. Third: Mail delays. Have to define a few terms here first. 'DPS' is presorted letter mail (regular envelope size). 'Flats' are catalogs, magazines, and large envelopes. 'Full Coverage' goes in every box on the route, that's usually adverts, sometimes political fliers. 'Parcels' are large packages. 'Spars' are small packages, about the size of a paperback book. There's more, but this is enough for now. Postmasters will move heaven and hell to get the DPS out on time, regardless of edicts from on high. A lot of it is first class. Flats...can be delayed for a day or two. Not common (rare, actually), but it does happen. Usually, nobody cares. I've seen full coverage sit around on loading docks for a week or more. Again not a big deal. Political full coverage is a different matter because it gets checked on. Orders are that goes out. Leftovers go into a separate pile. Lately (past six or eight months), at least in my area (thanks to Amazon), parcels sometimes sit for a day or two in the sorting area. Shorthanded. Same with spars. Didn't used to happen. Political DPS and Flats are monitored - the people sending it out have 'eyes' to make sure it goes out, and the stuff that can't be delivered (bad addresses) goes in a separate pile which is returned to sender. Overtime? Where I'm at, at least, clerks and carriers have been racking up insane amounts of overtime. 30+ hours a week, about half of which is penalty overtime. I don't see this changing anytime soon because the bizarre edicts from on high prohibit hiring new people, even though that'd be cheaper. They try cutting back on overtime without new hires, well...a bunch more flats and parcels won't go out (DPS takes priority) and there'd be hell's own backlash from employees and customers alike. All that said, the mail never stops moving. In short, team Trump could create a mess - but not enough of a mess to significantly delay political mail.
  5. I have to concur with Ormond. The largest component of the republican base is 'old white people' and they are dying in droves. Next are the evangelicals, no few of whom are quietly disgusted with Trump's ethos, or lack thereof. Additionally, democratic numbers appear to be growing in the emptier red states. To me, that looks like an intermediate-future demographic nightmare for republicans. They either moderate their positions or they become a minority in fact.
  6. Been yakking about the $1200 stimulus checks and $600 in unemployment benefits with my Conservative Coworker (CC). His often repeated statement is 'too much money' - somewhat understandable as Post Office world is being buried under a ever growing mountain of packages. City carriers and clerks where I'm at are pulling 12 hour shifts and STILL falling way behind. (We're highway contractors) His deal is people are using this money to avoid going back to work and to buy stupid stuff. (He has a point of sorts on the 'stupid stuff' part. - there must be hucksters out there getting stinking rich off of some of this stuff). Walked him through a quick and dirty summary of where the money in the last stimulus package went: call it 400 billion for the stimulus checks, a bit less for the extended benefits, so much to help out state and local governments and keep small businesses afloat (he didn't object to those), then I told him...'well, you add all that up, and there is a damn big pile of money that just plain went missing - something on the order of as much as all those stimulus checks.' He looks at me and goes, 'well, of course you got to give some to the crooks.' I told him that 'stolen' money will almost certainly never benefit anybody other than a handful of already stinking rich people. The cash from the stimulus and unemployment checks, though - that'd help a lot of people make rent, buy groceries, and keep businesses from going under - and besides, it comes from money they paid in taxes. He goes, 'yeah, I can see that.' I ask, 'well, why are you so concerned about them, then, instead of this huge stack of money that got stolen.' Him: 'that's not important.'
  7. Okay... suppose it is the days immediately after the November election. Suppose the Democratic party won big: not only does Biden win big, they take Florida, Texas, South Carolina, and other problematic states. Yet, as I understand such, the various GOP senators and whatnot will retain office until January. What does the Republican party do during the handful of months they have before loosing power? Especially in this era of conspiracy theory fueled paranoia and polarization? Some sort of literal half-assed coup, perhaps?
  8. Trump has his log awaited fatal cardiac event two weeks before the election. Conservatives immediately deem it an assassination and within hours (minutes) there are videos circulating on the net showing Hilary Clinton cackling with glee as she drops something in (Trumps) water glass. Said video is immediately taken as ironclad proof that Clinton is responsible.
  9. not sure....maybe a teeny-tiny ray of sanity in the unemployment extended benefits debate? Or maybe assorted congress-critters see lynch mobs in their near future if they don't make some sort of effort... https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-administration-backs-partial-extension-of-jobless-benefits-through-year-s-end/ar-BB17bOmT?ocid=ob-fb-enus-580&fbclid=IwAR1Acu4K8YQeiKgZVRkdspB3yOHvHsPqE0VIcDxdroz1hb6yzBKPASJ_OPE
  10. seems this twitter spin off thread got overlooked. Been wondering about this...suppose, just suppose a significant fraction of the federal troops 'policing' various cities are revealed to be 'contractors' - aka 'mercenaries?' And take that a step further, suppose some of those troops are not merely 'contractors,' but east block (Russians)? That said, commentary I have come across elsewhere hints this mess could blow up into some sort of halfassed gun battle.
  11. I see repeated, vehement commentary elsewhere that COVID 19 is getting weaker and will vanish altogether right before the November elections with the strong implication it is a democratic plot. Almost literally an article of faith, with evidence to the contrary dismissed as 'fake news.'
  12. I dwell in a highly conservative or 'right' region, and get to interact with many 'right' types in the course of my job. I note contradictions: they despise government interference, yet cling like leeches to programs such as SS and Medicare. They promote 'free market solutions' to matters medical yet bitterly rail against literally extortionate costs at the local hospital and clinics. A large 'flake' component regards vaccines as an abomination and sees masks and social distancing as absurd. Many are at least willing to entertain the notion of artificial climate change. They despise government handouts but regard the PFD (permanent fund dividend) as almost divinely ordained. Quite a few of the better off ones donated their stimulus checks either to charity or people they deemed 'needy.'
  13. Team Trump is at it again - seeking to withhold money for corona virus testing and tracing. Even some GOP senators seem ticked off. The official line is 'states should bear more of the burden.' Yet, at the same time, Trump is sending large numbers of federal agents into Portland, apparently to cause havoc. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-administration-pushing-to-block-new-money-for-testing-tracing-and-cdc-in-upcoming-coronavirus-relief-bill/ar-BB16UnyK?ocid=ob-fb-enus-580&fbclid=IwAR3iCUV_CTExzP-DlT7hgADbh6LEKn5gdw0ZTVbr6GvYoZtoZhV8jDSEIuo
  14. as somebody who grew up during the cold war with the threat of thermonuclear annihilation hanging over the planet, the answer is 'no.' the old line communists were committed ideologues, bent on their dogma becoming the only dogma. New batch....basically criminals. but that's just me
  15. Republican shift of sorts on mail in voting... https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/gop-to-trump-change-tune-on-mail-in-voting-or-risk-ugly-november/ar-BB16Q4kK?ocid=ob-fb-enus-580&fbclid=IwAR1IKsK3SfTMD1a2nQfOnPgcakxDKH3umay3iD3mxunhPScrzixWR5uV4Wk
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