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July 30, 2009


Danube of Thought

Bolstered by its experiences in mail delivery and railroading, the government now wants to strut its stuff in health care.
Nothing quite like animal spirits in the bureaucracy.

Patrick R. Sullivan

The Postal Service is an entirely unnecessary agency. Repeal the Private Express Statutes which prohibit competition, and that will quickly become apparent.


We could put some MRI machines right next to the postage dispensers.

Ban snail mail.  Electronic communication or nuttin'.

Hey, this is an institution too big to fail. How about a government rescue?

Fresh Air

The U.S. Post Office is chock-full with horrible employees. Their obvious lack of physical fitness should be a clue if their behavior doesn't give it away. In Chicago, the attitude of the clerks is simply contemptuous of their customers. In any private sector firm they would be canned. In the federal government, they are promoted to a higher salary grade and given a generous pension.


"A bill to allow the Postal Service to pay health benefits from a retirement fund "

Anyone got a clue what this does to the retirement fund?


Hey, this is an institution too big to fail. How about a government rescue?

Exactly. $6-7 billion/year is pocket change to the guys in charge. The WH and Congress propose trillions in new spending but can't spare a few billion each year for the USPS which serves every single American?

I'm not saying the USPS should be bailed out, but this just makes no sense.


the government now wants to strut its stuff in health care

Don't forget automobile production and banking.

Of course, no thought is ever given to reducing wages and benefits. That's only for the (non-union) private sector, or what remains of it.


I know this isn't the correct thread, but everyone has moved on . . .

Found this informative and interesting and a good rebuttal to "birther" slander.

Suborned in the USA (LUN)

It is about whether Obama was born in Hawaii or not, it is about his honesty.


okay, they raised rates twice, and then fuel prices dropped by 60%. What part of this equation am I not getting.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

In the PO's favor, its existance is at least relatively constitutional, as opposed to about 80% of the rest of the federal budget.

Frau Postamt

Let your friends in D.C. hear about your really big idea for eliminating govt. waste, Clarice. A start could be coin-operated blood pressure machines to use during the usual wait and pharmacy-plus-mail counters.


I have an uncle who worked his whole career at the Post Office in Brooklyn and now collects his pension. For his entire time there, according to him, he played cards and drank at work, during work hours, with the rest of his workmates. No lie.


I think together we could make this work, Frau!!!!

It's the legitimacy, Stupid, and take your damned economy with you.

That's nice work by McCarthy about the birthers, centralcal at your 12:42 link. He might have written Suharto when he meant Sukarno, but I don't think the mistake is critical to his theses about Soetero.


Well, Kim - he was trying to correct NRO on "certificate" vs. "certification," so it is too bad if he erred on Suharto/Sukarno.

Maybe he will correct later today?

Rick Ballard

"What part of this equation am I not getting."


Per the GAO report

Another key risk factor is the accelerated decline in mail volume. Mail volume declined by 9.5 billion pieces in fiscal year 2008 to about 203 billion pieces. As of the end of May 2009, mail volume had decreased another 18.5 billion pieces, and USPS expects to end fiscal year 2009 with mail volume of 175 billion pieces—about 28 billion pieces fewer than in fiscal year 2008. Further, it expects flat or continued volume and revenue declines over the next 5 years.

It's still a lot cheaper than Govmo, Govbank and/or the plans for Govhealth or Govenergy. We'll all be longing for the serious inefficiencies and poor service of the USPS in short order - they're about to become part of the "good ole days".


ahh..I see...so the volume drops and they keep the same number of staff and the service deteriorates and rates go up and the volume drops some more and they keep the same level of staff and the service deteriorates some more....I get it now!


so the volume drops and they keep the same number of staff and the service deteriorates and rates go up

The more important part of the GAO report:

First, in regard to compensation and benefits, which compose about 80 percent of costs, USPS has a window of opportunity to reduce the cost and size of its workforce, through attrition and the large number of upcoming retirements, to minimize the need for layoffs. To make changes in this area, USPS will need to negotiate with its four largest unions on collective bargaining agreements that will expire in 2010 and 2011.

That 80 percent is quite high (the national average is more like 60-70 percent). But the GAO seems to take for granted that most cuts have to occur through attrition. The report also points out that the USPS pays 80 percent of the health benefit premiums, higher than even in the rest of government.

The bottom line is that while layoffs, pay cuts, and plant/office closings occur all over the private sector, the USPS has to treat its employees like they are entitled to their jobs and pay.

Fresh Air

Also, no doubt the healthcare costs for the tubbies at USPS who sit on their brains all day are about 2X a normal pool of insured.

We really need to make working for the government in this country something that's deeply frowned upon. People should want to work for the private sector.

Gabriel Sutherland

Breaking out my Change™ calculator, it tells me that the USPS is actually just chipper. What needs reform are the profit seeking UPS and FedEx.

However, I think the device is buggy. Everytime I hit the equals button it says private insurance is the devil just prior to producing the answer.


Breaking out my Change™ calculator, it tells me that the USPS is actually just chipper. What needs reform are the profit seeking UPS and FedEx.

Ha ha ha ha ha!
Do you get DirecTv ads? I love them, and this reminds me of some of them.


The Postal Service shares the health care plan that our Congress persons have given themselves.


Let's rob Peter to pay Paul.... that always works out well.


RedState had a post on a letter from the Unions claiming the USPS might not be able to make payroll.

Parking Lot


thanks a bunch for linking to that excellent NRO article


Apparently Maine has scared insurers out of the state with mandated insurance requirements such as marriage counseling coverage. Doesn't look good at all. LUN

Surfin' USA.

cboldt comments on your McCarthy article in the 'That Was Easy' thread. Count him in the birther camp, and bitter at the handling.


Here's a prof at Vanderbilt (a black woman) who says the birther thing has legs because Obama is so secretive about his entire background, that Americans are entitled to see the real certificate along with his college records, etc and that in any event this will not die until he does.
The controversy over President Obama’s birth certificate will not go away as long as he refuses to release sealed records, including the original birth certificate, according to Carol Swain, professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University.

“I believe that the president should end the speculation by being transparent about all aspects of his background,” Swain said. “In fact, it can be argued that the president belongs to the people and to scholars, biographers and others who are entitled to know every aspect of his past. Only great men can ascend to this height, and their lives should be examined and studied for the lessons they offer.”
http://sitemason.vanderbilt.edu/news/releases/2009/07/30/why-obamas-birth-certificate-issue-wont-go-away-vanderbilt-expert.85536>This is not a legal, but an emotional issue

I think it is a growing issue because as mcCarthy says Obama has played now you see it, now you don't to a fare-thee-well.


Absolutely, Clarice - about O's game playing. I was very heartened to see that Mark Steyn feels as many of us do.

LUN to his response to McCarthy at NRO.

A snip: "As for the alleged "kookiness" of birthers, a true conspiracy theorist would surely believe that Obama deliberately started the birth-certificate business in order to make it easier to dismiss his opponents as deranged."


I resemble that remark, CC. That was my first reaction when the birth certificate stuff emerged. I'm a kook according to Andy McCarthy.

Is that racist?


OOPS, it's Mark Steyn who thinks I'm kooky.

I bet he's into kooky women...

Dave (in MA)

If it's going to be so much like the USPS, does that mean there's only going to be a 44¢ copayment under ØbamaCare™?


bad: you misread Steyn - "alleged" kookiness!

Yep, he is into kooky women (Jane won!) grin.

btw, bad and all of you, cboldt has a fabulous link to Natural Born Citizen that is not to be missed. It is on the "that was easy" thread.


That's right - I'm as kooky as they come. So where are we holding our beer summit?

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

--If it's going to be so much like the USPS, does that mean there's only going to be a 44¢ copayment under ØbamaCare™?--

Yep. And in three months you'll get a wrinkled, half opened envelope containing your new kidney with detailed instructions (in Chinese) on how to install it.

Annoying Old Guy

I don't believe Obama hid the certificate of birth as part of some clever scheme. As has been documented extensively here, Obama conceals anything and everything that can possibly be concealed, regardless of its signficance. Obscurance is a primal instinct for him and I am convinced that he kept the certificate shrouded because that's what he does, not for anything specific.

Now, I won't be surprised if something embarassing shows up on the certificate, but I don't think it's necessary to explain why access was restricted.

If it persuades centralcal and cboldt, who can continue the crusade?

Haha, that's funny, centralcal, who had the link first.

Je m'amuse.

Oops, it was porchlight not centralcal. Oh well, I'm easy to amuse.

Apres maintenant, le Deluge.

Double oops oops. It was centralcal.

The pre-storm tension has broken.


The USPS may be a relic of the past but I do want to offer some praise of its existence for precisely that reason. My argument is has to do with an emotional nostalgia rather than hard fiscal truths.

In the summer, I reside in a very rural part of this country where I must drive seven miles through the woods the get to a town which, according to the last census, has 199 residents. There, I pick up my mail and the weekly newspaper - The Pine Cone Press - at a tiny post office and always exchange chitchat with the extremely pleasant postmaster who knows me by name.

This is one of the small bits of classic rural Americana I cherish and one which I know shall sadly vanish into memory. And, perhaps, rightly so, but I will lament its passing.


I admit a fondness for the USPS. No real reason.


In small towns the USPS is often wonderful. In urban centers it's often a godawful mess.


I just love the fact that they demonize any company that makes a profit because everything they (government) run is corrupt, in debt, and in need of more tax payer money to the tune of billions now trillions.


I thought Halliburton and Big Oil were the evilest profitmongers on earth but now Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi say that Insurance companies are the evilest of all time. Supposedly they make a lot of profit.

He parks his truck every block or so.

I've had mail delivered by the same man for many years, an old friend by now. He looks fit and acts happy, and hustles to get his job done, walking. He exemplifies the perseverance against the weather hazards as classically known. I know how good I've got it.

My son worked for Brown for a couple of years, and profited by it.


After Harry and Nancy and Barry and Babs get through demonizing or insulting just about everyone, I can't believe they still have any voters left.

Of course, most of their voters are brain dead anyway.


Oops, it was porchlight not centralcal.

Oh, surely not, I've been behind and playing catchup all day.

MayBee, I am also fond of the USPS, though less so here in TX than in previous towns. I had a great carrier in Mpls who was semi-famous as an uber-fan of the band Guided By Voices. He created a well-loved bootleg odds and ends CD of their rare material, and gave me a copy when he found out I was a fan. I later gave it to my not-yet-husband when we were courting and he was super-impressed.

Here in Austin our carrier is just okay and the folks at the PO are a tad complacent and slow, but overall nice folks, I guess.

Frau Postamt

How many of us have waited on the mail delivery for a special (good) letter? Right after college, I had a bicycle accident when I went home during lunch time to check on mail.

Isn't FedEx one of the evil doers because it's not unionized? How long will it last if the Lord of the Flyswatter seeks to kill all non-unionized beings and entities?

Annoying Old Guy

Isn't that rather similar to education? Out in the boonies public education tends to do OK. In the cities ...


Out in the boonies public education tends to do OK. In the cities ...

That has not been my experience. Out here in the boonies of NorCal, the public education truly is dreadful. Teachers are uninterested (as are the students), and there are no good academic tracks for high achievers. And there are no alternative schools, either public or private.

The urban areas, in contrast, have tracks for gifted students that are very good. Upscale communities, like Palo Alto, have superb public schools.

A student from the boonies is at a tremendous disadvantage when compared with his urban counterparts. This of course ignores the awful mess that is found in the ghetto-area schools, where one worries about life and limb. That is a different matter.


Isolated high schools ought to use more closed circuit distance learning. For years I tried to persuade the private school with which I was affiliated as a parent and board member to sell closed circuit lessons of its IB courses around the country. (We did sell our curriculum and staff assistance to a school we helped set up in Bangkok which is thriving). In the meantime another private school here (I believe Cathedral School for girls is doing that sort of thing.)

Of course, you can't do it with all classes, but you can with many of them.


Isolated high schools ought to use more closed circuit distance learning.

Perhaps, clarice, but the inertia here is astounding. There is no way anything will change as long as the school board, the administration and the unions stay in power. I don't see any of this changing soon.

Particularly saddening is the school board. That one could be changed, but it never seems to happen.

I'm glad my granddaughter does not attend school here, but rather in nearby Sacramento, where her schools by and large have been very good.


104 scaled likely inside treaty population


The time lines, places, actions, motives, when analyzed, support, and are consistent with, what is the answer to the Obama birth puzzle:

Obama’s grandmother is his mother and his mother is his sister.

Think about it. Review all the facts and claims.


I have another riddle or puzzle, etc., regarding Ibama and racism. If Kevin Johnson were a WHITE person swindling money from the government, would Ibama still have fired the Inspector General who discovered the thievry?

The quick answer is yes because he hired Geitner but that was before Ibama racked up a record list of tax cheats and liars.

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