From Donald K. Sherman, deputy director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:
Yesterday Donald Trump continued his error filled tirades against Amazon and the US Postal Service, this time citing a report he claimed (falsely) had “just come out” and supported his charge that the USPS is subsidizing Amazon. Other analysts have pointed to serious flaws in the report, but now even the report’s author says it doesn’t prove what Trump claims it does:
From Business Insider:
He seems to be referring to a 2017 Citi Research report that has frequently been cited by people criticizing Amazon’s use of the USPS.
However, according to the author of the report, Trump has the wrong interpretation. “We never said Amazon is getting a $1.50 subsidy,” Citi analyst Christian Wetherbee told Business Insider on Monday in a discussion of misinterpretations of the report, which actually says the loss per package is roughly $1.46 for the USPS.
Wetherbee continued: “If you read what that number is, it’s the total package business is priced below cost. It has nothing to do with Amazon specifically.”
A Chicago artist who produces what’s called “stamp art” is taking on President Trump. Continue reading
Mike Causey suggests that Donald Trump’s attacks on federal employees’ pay and benefits may galvanize employee organizations into taking united action: Continue reading
Update: On January 31 2017, the Trump regime excluded the USPS from the hiring freeze.
NBC News has posted a copy of the Trump hiring freeze executive order. The order, as reported earlier, excludes only military personnel. The order is to apply “across the board in the executive branch”. The US Postal Service, by law, is defined as an “independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States”. (As we’ve noted before, the word “independent” simply means that the USPS is not part of a cabinet department).
The order specifically states that the freeze “applies to all executive departments and agencies regardless of the sources of their operational and programmatic funding…” The order also warns that “Contracting outside the Government to circumvent the intent of this memorandum shall not be permitted”.
There is a loophole of sorts in the order- agency heads may exempt “positions that it [sic] deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities. In addition, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may grant exemptions from this freeze where those exemptions are otherwise necessary”.
Text of Pres. Trump's executive action on employee hiring freeze for some parts of federal government. pic.twitter.com/CQJSCqILvF
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) January 23, 2017
We haven’t seen the text of this executive order yet, or any assessment of its affect, if any, on the USPS.
From the Washington Post:
Trump instituted a governmentwide hiring freeze Monday, signing an executive order that he said would affect all employees “except for the military.” Trump had pledged to halt government hiring as part of his campaign’s “Contract with the American Voter,” which he framed as part of a larger effort to “clean up corruption and special interest in Washington D.C.” That campaign plan, however, also included exemptions for public safety and public health.
From the Federal Times:
Tucked in the 115th Congress’s House Rules package is a quintessential throwback measure that has unions leery of the future of federal employee jobs and salaries.
The Holman Rule is a 140-year-old measure that allows Congress to “retrench” agency spending by allowing amendments to appropriations bills affecting everything from federal employee salaries paid from the Treasury Department to the number of employees in an office. Continue reading
Something we’ll probably be seeing a lot more of now that Donald Trump has been “elected” president- a pro-Trump radio station is targeting several postal workers for exercising their rights as American citizens.
Jerry Bader, a right wing radio talk show host in Sheboygan Wisconsin, posted this on his web site, in classic Trump “fake news” fashion: Continue reading
It all started with this tweet:
i love working at the post office in Columbus, Ohio and ripping up absentee ballots that vote for trump
— raandy (@randygdub) October 16, 2016
I suspect that most postal workers, along with anyone who has ever cast an absentee ballot, would see that tweet and think “Well how would you do that?”
Absentee ballots are usually designed to protect the secrecy of the ballot box by using inner and outer envelopes which are supposed to be sealed before mailing. So if you really wanted to tear up ballots for a particular candidate, you’d need to open both envelopes first. But ballots arriving in envelopes that appear to have been tampered with aren’t counted, so you’d end up invalidating all of the ballots, not just the ones you tore up.
But that apparently didn’t occur to the editors at Gateway Pundit, who ran with the “story”- although they later added an update noting that the tweet was alleged to be a hoax, harrumphing that “I’ve seen people get banned from Twitter for less than this.”
The Drudge Report linked to the Gateway Pundit story, and Rush Limbaugh ranted that the story wasn’t being reported more widely because of liberal bias in the media, and, of course, Benghazi. Eventually the official USPS Help twitter account weighed in with this:
The Postal Service has completed an initial investigation of the mentioned tweets and does not believe these tweets were made by a postal employee. However, the Postal Service will continue to monitor this situation and if it is determined that the individual making the tweets is a postal employee and there is substantiated evidence of mail being tampered with or destroyed , then the Postal Service will take appropriate corrective action to address the situation.
To which “raandy” responded:
— raandy (@randygdub) October 17, 2016
For more, check out Wonkette’s take on the story.