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Sen. Sanders seeks to save Postal Service from a ‘death spiral’

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With the U.S. Postal Service proposing to make draconian cuts to its workforce and services starting in mid-May, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has emerged as the leading opponent of any changes that would reduce the quality of service on which many Americans depend.

The plan announced this week would involve shutting 223 out of 461 mail-processing centers, cutting 35,000 jobs, shutting many smaller post offices, and seeking Congressional approval to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. One result would be that the would no longer be any possibility of first-class letters arriving the next day.

After these details became public, Sanders responded on his Senate website, “The plan announced today by the U.S. Postal Service is deeply flawed and Congress must change it. I expect comprehensive postal reform legislation to be on the floor of the Senate within the next few weeks.”

“At a time when the Postal Service is competing against the instantaneous delivery of information from email and the Internet,” Sanders continued, “slowing down mail delivery service will result in less business and less revenue, and will bring about a death spiral for this institution which is so vitally important for all Americans”

Earlier this month, before the final plan had been released, Sanders and 26 other senators sent a letter to the subcommittee that overseas the Postal Service suggesting “specific measures to preserve first-class and Saturday mail delivery, stop wholesale closings of rural post offices and mail processing centers, and spare many of the 220,000 jobs that the Postal Service wants to cut.”

“If USPS becomes inconvenient and slow,” the letter warned, “many of its most loyal customers — from home delivery medication companies to newspaper publishers — will turn to private mailing options. Once those customers leave, they are most likely not coming back, and the Postal Service’s financial woes will continue to spiral.”

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Sanders is also deeply concerned about “the closure of many rural post offices that are the ‘heart and soul’ of their communities, many of them serving areas that lack Internet and cell phone service.”

Sanders and his fellow senators propose two key changes that they say would enable the Postal Service to thrive and grow. One is to eliminate the requirement imposed several years ago by a Republican-controlled Cognress for it to pay $5.5 billion every year for future retiree health benefits into a fund that has already accumulated $45 billion.

The other is to develop “a new entrepreneurial business model which expands the products and services the post office can sell in the 21st century digital age.” They have called for a Blue-Ribbon Enterpreneurial Commission to be chosen that can come up with “innovative ideas” for such a model.

Photo by United States Congress [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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George Conway annihilates Trump’s claim that Twitter censors him

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On Wednesday, following Trump's virtually incomprehensible rant on Fox Business about how Twitter is secretly stifling his content, conservative lawyer George Conway posted a scathing rebuke of his behavior:

https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1143868020424617989?s=21

George Conway, the husband of Trump's former campaign manager and counselor Kellyanne Conway, has been a frequent and vocal critic of the president's behavior.

Republicans have increasingly scapegoated an imagined political conspiracy of social media companies for every problem that they have online, claiming that there is a plot to censor or "shadow ban" conservative content.

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This is how Florida Republicans plan to hand the election to Trump in 2020

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In 2018, voters in Florida passed Amendment 4, restoring voting rights to ex-felons. The measure passed 65 to 35 percent.

Now, Florida Governor and major Trump ally Ron DeSantis is expected to blunt the impact of the measure by approving a bill that would require ex-felons to have paid off all fees connected to their sentence before voting. That means Donald Trump might get a major boost in 2020, reports the Daily Beast.

SB 7066 requires ex-felons to pay off all financial obligations from their sentencing or get them excused by a judge.

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Dear NeverTrumpers: Please quit lecturing actual Democrats about how to win

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As I write this, we are just hours away from the first debate of the presidential primary season. It's hard to believe that four years have passed since the last round of primary debates. It feels like 40. But here we are, getting ready to embark on yet another presidential campaign featuring Donald Trump. Everyone on the planet has advice for the Democratic candidates about what they need to do to beat him. It may be the most annoying conversation in all of politics, and that's saying something.

The pundits are all dully blathering on about "lanes" again, extending the horse race metaphor to ridiculous lengths, as they did in the GOP primaries in 2016. So far they've declared the lanes to be "establishment," "insurgent," "youth," "black vote" and "working class." And yes, they are meaningless, since the person who wins the nomination will have to take up big parts of all these "lanes" and more. But it makes it easy for pundits and analysts to drone on endlessly about polling, despite the fact that there is very little chance this campaign will end up going the way they predict.

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