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Tidbits - Aug. 6, 2020 - Reader Comments: Jared in Charge; Medicare for All; Portland, NYPD, Erosion of Constitutional Rights; John Lewis; Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Paul Robeson; Take Action - Defend the Census and Post Office; Announcements; more....

Reader Comments: Jared in Charge; Medicare for All; Portland and New York = Erosion of Constitutional Rights; John Lewis; Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Filibuster; Paul Robeson; Take Action - Defend the Census and Post Office; Announcements; more....

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Take Action, Resources, Announcements AND cartoons - Aug. 6, 2020, Portside

Re: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air” (Judith Halprin; Richard Chauvin; Jennifer Hume; Joan Rullan; Thomas E. Batts Jr.)
Lazy Mitch  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: Why Did Labor Leaders Vote Against Medicare for All in the Middle of a Pandemic? (Buzz Davis; Tom Ellett; Mike Mauer; David Bundy; Geoffrey Jacques; Jacqueline Wallace; Carl Leinonen; Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon; John Gallo; Rick Shank)
Re: “Defendant Shall Not Attend Protests”: In Portland, Getting Out of Jail Requires Relinquishing Constitutional Rights (George Lessard; Judith Halprin; Luigi Cintron; Daniel Millstone; Jack Radey; Neal Charness; Vicki Rovere; Robin Yeamans; N. Ahmed Crespo)
Re: Think Federal Cops in Portland are Scary? Cops Use 'Jump-Out Boys' All the Time (Judyth Hollub)
John Lewis, exponentially  --  cartoon by Mike Luckovich
Re: Let Us Now Remove Famous Men (Bill Kaleta; George Hopkins)
Letter from Santa Claus (Seymour Joseph)
Re: Dispatches From the Culture Wars - Antisemitism: The Enemy, The Issue (Aurora Levins Morales)
Re: Did the Atomic Bomb End the Pacific War? (Ken Lawrence; Anthony Gronowicz; John Marienthal)
Re: America’s ‘Untouchables’: the Silent Power of the Caste System (Eleanor Roosevelt; Carole Policy; Nathan Hooks)
Re: Andrew Mlangeni – Tribute to a Backroom Boy (Kathleen Robel)
Re: The Roots of Today's Health Disparities in Slavery (Senya Means)
Re: The End of the Filibuster—No, Really (Stan Nadel; Larry Allred)
Re: The Revolutionary Life of Paul Robeson: Scholar Gerald Horne on the Great Anti-fascist Singer, Artist, and Rebel (Sheldon Evans; Sue Riggs; Donald A. Johnson)

 

Action Needed:

Renewed (and very serious) Attack on the 2020 Census
 

Resources:

Our Post Office Is Not For Sale — Poster of the Week (Center for the Study of Political Graphics
 

Announcements:

Building the Bigger We - This is Not a Drill: LIVE, August 12th (TakeAction Minnesota, The Real News Network and Organizing Upgrade)

 

Re: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”
 

he belongs as a defendant before the international court on charges of crimes against humanity.

Judith Halprin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

But he is the stable genius’s adviser!

Richard Chauvin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Just shows how utterly stupid they were to think the virus would remain in "blue" states only. Then, after it escaped those borders, they still did nothing, except replenish "OUR" stockpiles, and deferred responsibility for handling the deadly virus onto the states so they could later claim it's not their fault if things didn't go well. Still rising cases and over 156,000 deaths later, and they're still doing nothing on a national scale to bring an orderly, constructive plan to bear on this crisis. Oh, wait. Chump is doing something; he's criticizing his own experts and is still touting the drug that nobody but quacks says is THE answer. I stand corrected.

Jennifer Hume
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

And Trump will blame him for everything. Just wait.

Joan Rullan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

The intentions were good but the idiot son in law doesn't find medical or logistic folks. Instead these are people in Jared's circle of businessmen who are trying to find a way to make money for themselves. Why not talk to experts from the countries that properly handled Covid. Trump or Jared's people only get involved for profit or tax cuts.

Thomas E. Batts Jr.
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Lazy Mitch  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
 

Rob Rogers
August 5, 2020
robrogers.com

 

Re: Why Did Labor Leaders Vote Against Medicare for All in the Middle of a Pandemic?

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

Hi Eric how about we do an electronic petition and raise hell with the people such as labor leaders who voted no on Med. for All??? I will help you! Buzz Davis union organizer retired from WI Am. Fed. of Teachers in Tucson

Buzz Davis

     =====

It would have been interesting if the author tried to answer the titular question. I would like to know why they voted against a policy they support.

Tom Ellett
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Yes. Rather than simply engaging in union bashing, claiming that these union leaders are really on the side of the rich, it is worth considering why these four took that position. I'm not defending their choice, but consider:

...that the better candidate -- Bernie -- actually lost the primaries. More Democratic voters rejected his positions, overall, than supported them.

Also: perhaps the calculation was being made that there's little percentage now in feeding the Republicans' red baiting. The primary campaign was the right time to try and win over Americans to the idea of Medicare for All. Now, the most pressing political project is to win the elections in November. Once the Democrats are back in power, then the time will be right to organize and pressure them to enact the kind of worker-friendly policies that we (and these union leaders) believe in.

Mike Mauer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

They have good plans and want to deny care to others.

David Bundy
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Jacobin's Eric Blanc clearly hasn't the faintest idea why these union leaders voted as they did, yet he thinks hiding his ignorance behind vitriol is a good substitute for thinking politically. It is not. I would say it's not a good substitute for journalism, either, but it's uncertain whether Blanc would call himself a journalist. Certainly this article has no relationship to a work of journalism. The best thing that can be said about it is that it is "information" the is not information. It is, to be kind, hardly any information at all. Instead, it is a blindfold made of words. It is a rant.

Geoffrey Jacques
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

These union leaders need to be ousted, yesterday. We have an opportunity to bring healing, stop giving handouts to the “needy and greedy” rich, who do not trickle down the money and lift up our society. People are an investment. The future of this country depends on investments in people. These union folks are republicans.

Jacqueline Wallace
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/Portside.PortsideLabor

     =====

o Dropping the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60 which will make a difference for millions of older Americans.

o A public option tagged to a platinum plan, administered by the traditional Medicare program, not private companies.

o At least one marketplace plan choice without deductibles that covers primary care with no copays and helps control costs.

o No-cost coverage for the millions of Americans who did not gain coverage when their states opted out of Medicaid expansion.

o Allowing anyone to choose this option whether they have employer-sponsored coverage or not.

o Allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and ensuring Americans don't pay more for drugs than our counterparts in other countries.

o Tackling health disparities in multiple serious ways.

o Prioritizing long term services and supports for our seniors and people with disabilities, as well as mental health and substance abuse.

o Emphasizing the importance of investing in public health, rural health, community health centers and the safety net system.

Carl Leinonen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

A significant disappointment indeed. A disgrace. If this is what democrats are going to offer in support of USA citizens, then they deserve harsh criticism and rejection. If democrats are not going to distinguish themselves from Trump's republicans, then what's the difference between both parties? Shameful. What this suggests is that the DMC have been bought by the health insurance industry. Pathetic. These are the reasons why Democrats continue to be traitors of their followers.

Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Ever since Reuther pulled out of the labor-led campaign for national health plan 60 years ago, labor's M.O has been to only take care of it's members. Today, many still believe their employer health plan will help in organizing, despite wide support for M4 ALL, and workers losing insurance when laid-off. These leaders squeeze out a pail of good milk and then piss in it.

John Gallo

     =====

Whoa stop hold the phone. Back the truck up. It wasn't just four labor leaders The vote was massively against it. Even if the four labor leaders had voted for it would have still failed miserably. My big question is what are they thinking of that we don't know. Why are they doing it. I want an explanation before I come unglued over this. I'm guessing that they feel if they push that right now, they're going to lose a lot of the independent moderate votes. Which may cost them the Senate and maybe even the White House. I don't think any of those people will vote for Trump but they might just not vote at all. If that's the case, I can see why they did it.

Rick Shank
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: “Defendant Shall Not Attend Protests”: In Portland, Getting Out of Jail Requires Relinquishing Constitutional Rights
 

Protesters in Portland facing federal charges are barred from going to “public gatherings” as a condition of release from jail — a tactic one expert described as “sort of hilariously unconstitutional.”

George Lessard
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

orders entered by two different judges it seems. They should be required to. watch the movie "Judgment at Nuremberg" like people watch "A Christmas Carol." None of it could have happened without complicit judges.

Judith Halprin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

the atrocities in Nazi Germany were all "legal"...

Judgment at Nuremberg

Luigi Cintron
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

As a price of release, federal authorities demanded that those held agree to stop protesting. Via Portside comes this ProPublica report of an "hilariously unconstitutional" and thus lawless practice.

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

I've certainly heard of people who have been convicted in court ordered, as part of their sentence, to stay away from anything from demonstrations to Irish bars for six months, often as a term of probation. But just to be released on bail? Innocent until proven beyond a reasonable doubt? Is that gone too?

A favorite bumper sticker during the Bush years
"There's a lot wrong with the US Constitution,
But it sure is better than this thing we have now."

Jack Radey
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

If I were a defendant I would agree to that so long as Trump isn't allowed on social media. Reciprocity.

Neal Charness
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Suppose anyone with this bar against attending "public gatherings" were to stand on the street alone with a sign. Would this be a problem? Suppose several people, each a block or more away from each other, were to stand with a sign at the same time. Would this be a problem? 

Within the history of nonviolent activism is the tradition of solitary witness. People arrayed in this way have the opportunity to make more eye contact, perhaps have conversations. If the idea makes potential "solitary witnesses" feel too vulnerable, there could be a small group of supporters standing nearby.

Peace,

Vicki Rovere

     =====

Protesters kept in jail unless they give up First Amendment rights. How about make them agree to waive 8th Amendment rights against torture? This has gotta stop.

Robin Yeamans
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Look some looters and vandals destroying private property...
 

N. Ahmed Crespo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Think Federal Cops in Portland are Scary? Cops Use 'Jump-Out Boys' All the Time
 

From this article:

    "In Portland, we are seeing the federal version of 'proactive policing' sow confusion and chaos – and Trump is betting on the turmoil. Unaccountable police, whether in plainclothes or uniforms, create chaos, which allows authoritarian leaders to argue that we need more police power, the very thing that people in Portland – and across the country – are protesting against."

Me: This article cites several specific examples of plainclothes police creating crime and chaos in different cities.

There is a long history of police departments working as an arm of the Federal govt. During the Nixon years there was a section of the Chicago P.D. known as the 'Red Squad.' They would plant themselves outside a building where peace and Civil rights activists were meeting and greet them by name as they were about to enter, hoping to intimidate them. I, personally, experienced this.

I also witnessed police agents infiltrating student peace group meetings during the Vietnam era and trying to instigate outrageous actions. You could always tell who they were because they were always the most aggressively outrageous.
The people who instigated violence and caused the 'police riots' during the 1968 Democratic convention demonstrations were just those very plainclothes cops.

So to those of you who would be skeptical of the kind of police tactics cited in this article, or dismissive of it altogether, I've been there ... it really happens.

Judyth Hollub
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

John Lewis, exponentially  --  cartoon by Mike Luckovich
 

Mike Luckovich
July 29, 2020
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Re: Let Us Now Remove Famous Men
 

The word is infamous and they were traitors!

Bill Kaleta
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

James Agee would appreciate the title of this article!

George Hopkins
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Letter from Santa Claus
 

Mr. President,

As I’m sure you’re aware, I receive thousands of letters every year, most of them in November, from boys and girls asking for gifts at Christmas. Although I can’t satisfy every one of those requests, I cherish every letter I receive.

I understand that you have begun the process of sabotaging the ability of the Postal Service to do its job as efficiently as its well-earned reputation affirms. In fact, you have advanced your scheme by appointing one of your supporters to head this vital service.

Even before your machinations the Postal Service has always carried a heavy burden. Now the advocates for turning that service into private hands are gloating, awaiting its complete collapse.

I gather that your immediate aim, however, is to create enough postal chaos so as to have cause to challenge the results of the coming elections, claiming that mail-in balloting is fraudulent. Evidence of past elections proves that mail-in voting is an efficient and fraudulent-free method of selecting political leadership.

Although I live in the North Pole, don’t think I’m out of touch with current political conditions in the United States. I am equipped with the most up-to-date social media technology. And my conclusion is that your scheme will fail. The national upsurge against your incompetence and cruelty satisfies my conclusion.

I urge you to reverse course, Mr. President, and provide the Postal Service with greater financial support instead of weakening it with cutbacks. If you have a shred of decency in you, consider the children who look forward to communicating with me. But I fear it may be too late to expect that, like Ebeneezer Scrooge, you will awaken as a changed man.

Hopefully,

Santa Claus

Seymour Joseph

 

Re: Dispatches From the Culture Wars - Antisemitism: The Enemy, The Issue
 

Excellent set of articles on antisemitism including its interactions with racism.

Aurora Levins Morales
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Did the Atomic Bomb End the Pacific War?

This passage of Paul Ham's article cannot be right:
 
"But something else set Stalin’s rage boiling: Russia had not been invited to sign the Potsdam ultimatum to Japan. He had been pointedly ignored."
 
The Soviet Union was not a belligerent power against Japan until August 9, so it could not have been a signatory to a surrender demand issued on July 26.

Ken Lawrence
Spring Mills, Pennsylvania

     =====

The Soviets had acceded to an Anglo-American request to enter the war against Japan the very day that Nagasaki was bombed. The bomb's successful testing in July 1945 made Soviet participation unnecessary. One year earlier, the head of the Manhattan Project to build the world's first atomic bomb, General Leslie Groves, had told Nobel Prize winner Joseph Rotblat that "the main purpose of the bomb was `to subdue the Russians.'"[1]

The three top U.S. generals opposed use of the atomic bomb against Japan. World War II's Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote "... I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him [Stimson] my grave misgivings, first ... that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly, because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by ... a weapon whose employment was ... no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives."  Five-Star Fleet Admiral of the U.S. Navy and Chief of Staff to the President William D. Leahy concluded, "... The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan ... In being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in this fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."  The Commanding General of the United States Army and the Air Force Henry "Hap" Arnold reflected, "...It always appeared to us that atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse." His assessment was backed up by Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, whose Third Fleet made the final sea assault on Japan's home islands. In 1946, Halsey publicly stated, "the first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment."  

Secretary of War Henry Stimson (Bones 1888) overruled them all.[2] Sixty-two years later, the Japanese Defense Minister Fumio Kuyuma stated that the reason Washington dropped atomic bombs on Japanese cities was to keep the Soviet Union out of the war.  He was quickly forced to resign for being honest.[3]

====

[1] Martin Rees, Our Final Hour, A Scientist's Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future in this Century—On Earth and Beyond (New York: Basic Books, 2003), 38. This admission merely confirmed what had been absolutely demonstrated earlier in the definitive work on the atomic mass killings by Gar Alperovitz in his The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of An American Myth (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995). 

[2] Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of An American Myth, 544. See also Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy. Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Cambridge MA & London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005); Leo Maley III & Uday Mohan (Director of Research for the Nuclear Studies Institute, American University), "Not Everyone Wanted to Bomb Hiroshima," History News Network, November 5, 2007; William D. Hartung, "Did We Miss the Lesson of Nagaski?"  History News Network, August 13, 2007.  Gordon Thomas, Journey into Madness. The True Story of Secret CIA Mind Control and Medical Abuse (New York: Bantam, 1989), 357.  

[3] Kana Inagaki, "Japan Defense Chief Quits in Gaffe," Associated Press, July 3, 2007. 

Anthony Gronowicz

     =====

I suggest you all look at an excellent Japanese historian’s book. Racing the enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan by Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, 2005.   He argues that the Emperor did not care that the Japanese cities were in ruin and winter food supplies were meagre (thanks to the successful mine laying campaign that crippled food shipping from Manchuria) . Japan was relying on the Soviet Union to remain neutral as per their 1939 skirmish agreement in Manchuria. While the Soviet Union was not a signatory of the Potsdam agreement it had signed the Yalta agreement to declare war on Japan 90 days after the war in Europe. Stalin carried out that promise. At that point with the Soviet invasion of the small four northernmost islands of Japan, and overrunning the Japanese army in Manchuria.  the emperor instructed the Japanese government to negotiate a surrender under the Potsdam agreement.

On the issue of casualties, in April 1945 at Iwo Jima, the Americans for the first time took more killed and wounded than the Japanese despite having complete air cover and naval bombardment . At Okinawa, 200,000 Japanese soldiers and 100.000  civilians died, American casualties were 67,000 about a third of all the Japanese defenders. Operation Olympic scheduled for Nov. 1st then postponed, projected  the American invasion force on Kyushu to be about 700, 000 against 320,000 Japanese. The casualty rate was between 63-190,000.  By August there were now 600,000 defenders. The invasion was postponed to January. The second invasion would have been around Honshu and the Tokyo area. Hirohito and the big six were determined to sacrifice everyone to save the institution  of the emperor. As a footnote to what might have happened to the Americans, when the Red army invaded the Kuriles at the battle of Shimushu, the Red Army and the Japanese took equal casualties.

John Marienthal

 

Re: America’s ‘Untouchables’: the Silent Power of the Caste System
 

Far from being the roots of "American Liberty," this country's origins in Puritan Calvinism are the roots of its constant pattern of systemic oppression.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

I probably noticed caste without knowing the term at around 12-- Without understanding the ramifications, of course. I'm still aspiring to "smart."

Carole Policy
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

This is REAL DEEP! It’s a long read but PLEASE take the time! 

Nathan Hooks
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Andrew Mlangeni – Tribute to a Backroom Boy
 

South Africa’s John Lewis

Kathleen Robel
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: The Roots of Today's Health Disparities in Slavery
 

I object to this sentence: "Enslaved people's health was ignored...". It makes me really angry to read some shit like that, especially when it's written by some goddamn social worker, whose job is to perpetuate racism and classism in the guise of "helping" people. It makes me REALLY ANGRY, because anyone who knows anything at all about slavery in the US knows that people were routinely murdered, beaten to death, and worked to death, particularly in the Deep South, where it was cheaper to work slaves to death and replace them, than to work them a survivable amount and prolong their lives. When you characterize this as their "health being ignored," as if somehow the slavemaster was refusing to let them eat kale, you spit in the face of the people who survived this system.

Senya Means
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: The End of the Filibuster—No, Really
 

Ending the filibuster isn't actually needed, and might not be a good thing. What is needed is the recent practice of allowing a paper filibuster where a Senator can block a bill simply by filing an intent to filibuster. Most such claims would evaporate if the Senator actually had to stand up and try to speak for hours on end, and most of the rest would quickly arouse enough other Senators to provide the 60 votes needed to shut the filibuster down. Only in rare cases would there be 40 or more Senators prepared to support a long filibuster--and we might find that we would support them in blocking some truly horrible proposals from Republican majorities.

Stan Nadel

     =====

Republicans exempting Supreme Court nominations from being filibustered meant right then and there no rationale really exists to keep it.

Larry Allred
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: The Revolutionary Life of Paul Robeson: Scholar Gerald Horne on the Great Anti-fascist Singer, Artist, and Rebel
 

A real hero and a true super star he scared the government

Sheldon Evans
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

. . . AND, he was incredibly intelligent, and articulate. His responses to the HUAC were fantastic.

Sue Riggs
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Growing up in New York in the 1950’s, my hero was Jackie Robinson, but my role model was Paul Robeson!

Donald A. Johnson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Renewed (and very serious) Attack on the 2020 Census
 


Protesters gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court hears oral arguments in the Commerce vs. New York case, April 23, 2019, in Washington, D.C
Win Mcnamee / Getty Images  //  Truthout

It's official - as of last night The US Census Bureau intends to conclude Nonresponse Followup and Self Response operations on September 30 instead of October 31. This is unprecedented, troubling and quite remarkable for a few reasons (funding for schools, hospitals, impact on redistricting etc. etc...), but outside of Hansi Lo Wang at NPR has gotten very little media attention (apparently certain outlets were waiting on official confirmation from the Census Bureau on the deadline change, NYT just ran this)

Relevant materials below from Beth Lynk <lynk@civilrights.org>  at the Leadership Conference. Beth and Sonum Nerurkar <nerurkar@civilrights.org> are leaders with the Census Counts coalition and good points of contact to learn more. 

Vanita Gupta published an OpEd in the Washington Post, you can read the OpEd here. In addition, you can find the statement from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights here

This news raises the urgency for Congress to ACT to extend the statutory deadlines for reporting apportionment and redistricting data from the 2020 Census so that the Census Bureau has the space to count everyone. Below are some resources and suggested actions to take.  

TAKE ACTION: (Note that some of these actions may be considered grassroots lobbying if you are referencing specific legislation. Always check with your legal counsel before proceeding with action.) 

  • Join a Census Project sign on letter: If your organization (national, state or local) would like to sign on, please complete this form. Signatures from individuals are not being accepted. Please respond to this sign-on opportunity by COB Wednesday, August 5. 

  • Issue a Statement in opposition to the effort to cut short census operations that count people of color, American Indians, people with low-incomes, people experiencing homelessness, and other groups the census has historically missed. 

  • Write an OpEd on the harm of an inaccurate and incomplete census on your community.

  • Send an Action Alert to your members, encouraging them to call their Senators to vote to extend the statutory deadlines for reporting apportionment and redistricting data from the 2020 Census.

RESOURCES: 

        

 

Our Post Office Is Not For Sale — Poster of the Week (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)
 


Our Post Office Is Not For Sale
Jos Sances and Art Hazelwood
Alliance Graphics
Silkscreen, 2012
Berkeley, CA
41079

This week, Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee and Republican Party fundraiser, began his job as the newest United States Postmaster. This continues the Trump administration’s appointment of  people to facilitate the destruction of the agencies they head—like appointing Betsy de Vos, charter school supporter, as Secretary of Education and Andrew Wheeler, former coal industry lobbyist, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Since taking office, DeJoy has instituted a number of cost-cutting measures that have slowed down mail delivery by at least a day. He even “told postal workers to leave mail behind if it slows down their route”!

FedEx and UPS have been cutting into the USPS parcel delivery profits for years.  Email has reduced the volume of physical letters and therefore income. In addition, the USPS is required to provide for future retirement benefits, which adds to their annual deficit. FedEx and UPS don’t have to do this, giving them an unfair advantage. The purpose of this requirement is to bankrupt the USPS. The current economic crisis and pandemic have exacerbated the crisis.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act had originally allocated $25 billion for the United States Postal Service (USPS) but was blocked by the Trump administration in March. The President has repeatedly stated that he believes that the USPS should raise its prices to compete with other mail competitors, which would make it less accessible to those who rely on the USPS, especially undeserved communities in rural areas and small businesses.

Without immediate help from Congress and the Trump administration, the Postal Service is “insolvent,” says Rep. Gerry Connolly (D, VA), “It needs debt forgiveness, not debt extension, and it needs an infusion of capital right now." Connolly also went on to state, “I don’t think it’s going to cease operations, but [the crisis] could affect operations – there could be delays, there could be interruptions in delivery, there could be layoffs.” This just adds to the already poor condition the Postal Service has been in the last 20 years.

Due to the pandemic, millions of Americans are also going to need to vote by mail in the fall. The Post Office is a vital tool to "deliver democracy" to Americans. Thus it comes as no surprise that the Trump administration is actively sabotaging the USPS in order to influence the coming elections. If required to vote in person, voters will risk exposure to COVID-19, further impacting voter turn-out. In these unprecedented times, the Post Office is needed more than ever.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week is by Jos Sances and Art Hazelwood. The poster was made in 2012, to protest the pending sale of the downtown Berkeley Post Office by the USPS. Eight years later, we are still struggling to save this integral part of our society.

Sources: US postmaster general tells postal workers to leave mail behind if it slows down their route

The Looming Threat to Voting in Person

You've Got Less Mail: The Postal Service Is Suffering Amid The Coronavirus

Protesters take ‘Save Post Office’ demo to San Francisco

Trump reportedly rejected approving a bailout package that would rescue the US Postal Service, and it could be a disaster for states trying to expand voting by mail

US Postal Service faces challenges as new postmaster takes over

Center for the Study of Political Graphics
3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 103
Culver City, CA 90230

 

Building the Bigger We - This is Not a Drill: LIVE, August 12th (TakeAction Minnesota, The Real News Network and Organizing Upgrade)
 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 8 PM – 8 PM EDT

FREE - Register here

The sprint to November 2020 is underway. The question that remains for left organizers is, who will we bring in to our growing coalition organized around racial justice and radical economic democracy? The overlapping political and economic crises of our time have opened the door to growing far beyond our normal base of support. How will we take advantage of this opening to build power not only in 2020 but well beyond the general election? What groups of people and organizations will included in this new bloc?

In this episode of OrgUp's This Is Not A Drill, hosts Adam Gold and Rishi Awatramani talk with Andrea Mercado, Jessica Byrd, Tomás Garduño, and Elianne Farhat about the new social bloc (aka 'the Bigger We') needed to win left political power.

Join us for this special episode to kick off this year's high stakes electoral crunch time.

Please enter your email to register on Facebook in order to receive an email reminder the day of the event with a link to the livestream.

Andrea Mercado, Executive Director at The New Florida Majority
Jessica Byrd, Co-founder of the The Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project
Tomás Garduño, National Field Director at Mijente
Elianne Farhat, Executive Director at TakeAction Minnesota