Congressman Ross's imaginary friend goes underground

Looks like “Clerk Rene” has suddenly developed a case of extreme shyness! You may recall the twitter account we discovered last week whose sole purpose appeared to be giving praise and glory to Congressman Dennis Ross. (All of the 34 tweets the account had posted were directed to @RepDennisRoss, and were sometimes embarrassingly worshipful). ClerkRene, who claimed to be a postal employee (although we couldn’t find an actual postal worker named Rene Gray), stopped posting his fawning tributes to Dennis after we ran our story. Earlier today, when I checked to see if the adorable Pomeranian had updated his feed, I was disappointed to find this:

Sadly, no one appears to have bothered to request access to “Rene”‘s protected tweets- not even his heroes, Darrell ‘n’ Dennis, who are now the only accounts “Rene” follows.

In other twitter news, Congressman Ross ended the conversation he started with me about the PAEA trust fund after I pointed out that he was lying. Some people are so sensitive! Oh well- at least we have our memories (and screen captures!):

Rene Gray ClerkRene on Twitter.

Congressman Ross goes off the deep end

Our Dennis has been busy on the Twitter today!

@postalnews still yet to admit GAO was right – because they were. Your current argument = USPS would make money if it didnt follow the law.
Oct 22 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Dennis may be reading the Twitter on his Blackberry, but he doesn’t seem to be very good at comprehending what he reads. Most literate readers of this blog would have noticed my earlier posting, where I pointed out that way back in March I suggested that there was a pretty good argument for the proposition that the USPS was not owed any money for the alleged CSRS overcharges. Dennis- try following the links- they’re there for a reason.

Dennis’s suggestion that my “current argument = USPS would make money if it didnt follow the law”, is, of course, nonsense. My “current argument”, which also happens to be the same argument I have been making for more years than Dennis has been a Congressman, is that the USPS has been profitable since 2006 before the $5.5 billion trust fund charge Dennis’s colleagues slapped on the USPS in 2006.

That, Dennis, is a fact- not an “argument”.

What’s amusing about Dennis’s argument is the way he regards PAEA as something akin to sacred scripture. It’s The Law. USPS only makes profits if it ignores The Law. Funny how Dennis and his tea baggin’ buddies don’t seem to have the same reverence for other laws, like, say, health care reform, or environmental protection, or worker safety.

Situation ethics much, Dennis?

Twitter / @RepDennisRoss: @postalnews still yet to a ….

Dennis Ross gets it wrong again

I’m flattered that Congressman Ross reads our blog (or at least the headlines feed on Twitter). But his contempt for the truth can be breathtaking- even for a politician. Here’s his response to our latest item on the GAO report on options for the USPS, where we pointed out that GAO ignored the fact that all of the USPS’s losses since 2006 are due to the prefunding requirement:

in reply to @postalnews

@postalnews the bait and switch to “prefunding” focus tacit admission that GAO was right – no overpayment. End of story.
Oct 21 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Note that Dennis doesn’t actually dispute what we said- he can’t, at least not without lying. So instead he tries to confuse the issue by bringing in the previous GAO report on the alleged CSRS overcharges, and accusing us of a “bait and switch”. Dennis would like to give the impression that we only started talking about the prefunding issue after GAO produced its report denying the USPS was overcharged for CSRS pensions by $50-75 billion. But Dennis knows that’s a lie. In March, for instance, we offered Dennis a little history lesson on the prefunding issue. We provided an even more detailed accounting of the history of prefunding in “Postal Ponzi Scheme” back in 2009, long before Dennis was elected to Congress!

At the same time. our coverage of the alleged CSRS overcharges has been even-handed. In our story in March on the IRET report on the overcharge issue, I wrote:

While IRET is a well known right wing “think tank” financed by, among others, the Scaife and Koch family foundations, it’s difficult to argue with one crucial point raised by the report: even if one accepts the proposition that the USPS overpaid the Treasury by $75 billion since 1971, it isn’t owed any money.

That conclusion stems from the simple fact of the USPS rate setting process- because the USPS was required to break even over time, its rates took into consideration all of its expenses- including the alleged $75 billion overcharge. Had the USPS been charged $75 billion less, its rates would have been proportionately lower, leaving its cumulative net income unchanged.

So no, Dennis, I’m not doing bait and switch. I’ve been talking about prefunding for years, and I’ve also pointed out the holes in the CSRS overcharge argument. But then, I’m just a blogger, not one of those “lying politicians” you talk about on your Facebook page.

Twitter / @RepDennisRoss: @postalnews the bait and s ….

Update: a few minutes after that tweet, Dennis had an unusual attack of almost telling the truth:

in reply to @PostCom2

@PostCom2 requiring 6 day is no different than other Congressional meddling. Distorts USPS ability to act as an indep business.
Oct 21 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

“Other Congressional meddling”? You mean like, say, the annual $5.5 billion trust fund charge? Doesn’t that really distort “USPS ability to act as an indep business”? Think about it, Dennis…

Congressman Ross's Imaginary Friend?

Before you ask, yes, it’s a slow news day in the postal world. So what better way to pass the time than checking Twitter for interesting and amusing tidbits. One that caught my eye was the ongoing conversation between Congressman Dennis Ross and an individual who claims to be a postal employee named Rene Gray, or @ClerkRene. Based on other exchanges Dennis has had with postal workers, you might expect the discussion to be a bit testy, but you’d be wrong. Rene seems to be a big fan of the Congressman. How big? Well, since Rene joined Twitter last month he’s sent 34 tweets- and every single one of them is addressed to @RepDennisRoss.

And the Congressman replies:

ClerkReneRene Gray
RepDennisRossDennis Ross
in reply to @RepDennisRoss

@RepDennisRoss and thanks for wanting to save what we’ve worked for. I do not want to end up like an Enron employee w/ nothing
Oct 20 via Mobile WebF

I love the concept of “postal peeps”! I imagine little yellow marshmallow chicks wearing tiny letter carrier uniforms! And it’s good that Rene manages to put a positive spin on eventually losing his job thanks to Dennis and Darrell- at least he’ll be left with nothing as a postal employee, not as an Enron employee. But Rene does have a strategy for that rapturous moment when he loses his job in order to “save” the USPS:

ClerkReneRene Gray
RepDennisRossDennis Ross
in reply to @RepDennisRoss

@RepDennisRoss k thanks. Altho orig against, I c I can make it w/pension & p/t job @ Petco (where the pets go) so now I want out 🙂
Oct 03 via Mobile Web

Nothing like a cheery “k thanks” before you catch the bus down to your minimum wage job at “Petco (where the pets go)”!

My first theory about @ClerkRene was that the account was a clumsy attempt by someone on Ross’s staff to make Dennis seem more friendly to the people he’s trying so hard to put out of work. But the “Petco” tweet is so over the top- you don’t suppose someone’s trying to make a fool of the Congressman, do you?