On Sunday, Nolan Finley, the conservative editorial page editor of the Detroit News
, downplayed the recent headlines about President Donald Trump's cuts to USPS to ratfuck the 2020 election
as a mere conspiracy theory. The cuts — which occurred under the newly installed postmaster general Louis DeJoy, a Trump and Republican megadonor
— have seen the removal of street post boxes and sorting machines, resulting in mail delivery slowing down significantly in the final months of an election year in which people can't go to the polls due to a pandemic. They're also happening as Trump has been pushing another (baseless) conspiracy theory of his own: that mail-in voting will result in widespread election fraud, already casting the entire election as illegitimate.
"The conspiracist theorists who are in hysterics over the removal of postal drop boxes from street corners surely know that your mail carriers will pick up your mail from your home mail box," Finley tweeted, smugly. "You don't need to leave the house. True no matter where you live."
Of course, if Finley pulled his head out of his you-know-what for two seconds he might have realized that he's dead wrong here. Mail carriers don't have to pick up outgoing mail unless they have mail to deliver — and if mail is getting backed up, they might not be around for, say, weeks to pick up your absentee voter ballot, which is less secure than dropping it in a post box. Plus, Finley assumes that people even have a home
in the first place. People who live in large apartment complexes, for example, don't always have their own mail boxes, nor do people who are transient.
Anyway, Finley's own paper has published a story that might have him rethink his stance on this. On Tuesday, the Detroit News
quoted Michigan USPS union leaders who were sounding the alarms about Trump's cuts, with one describing them as a "conscious decision to delay mail."
Nolan Finley, you might want to check this article out
The union officials say that at least eight mail sorting machines have been recently removed in Detroit, Pontiac, and Grand Rapids, which the paper reported as "unprecedented." Officials say that the removal of the machines are slowing mail sorting by more than 270,000 pieces of mail per hour, and the planned removal of another three machines in the western part of the state would reduce mail sorting capability by another 108,000 pieces of mail per hour.
"That’s a huge number to take out right before an election," Keith Combs, president of the APWU’s Detroit District Area Local, told the paper.
Combs also floated out the theory that DeJoy could be self-sabotaging USPS.
"Most of the (union) presidents across the country, especially here in Michigan, have experienced what are supposed to be cost-cutting events that are actually just harming the Postal Service and the community it serves," he added.
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a Southfield Democrat and former USPS worker, called for DeJoy to resign, calling him a "partisan hack unwilling to respect USPS's mission."
"The Postal Service is not a partisan service," she said. "It is the only government service that touches every single American, every single house, 6 days a week."
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the House back from its summer recess
to vote on emergency legislation to fund the USPS.
And on Tuesday, as we were finishing up this blog, DeJoy announced that he was suspending all further changes to the USPS
until after the November election due to the widespread panic and appearance of impropriety.
Also on Tuesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a coalition of 12 other states to file a lawsuit against DeJoy over the cuts, alleging that they are unlawful because changes to USPS operations that affect nationwide mail service must be submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission and the public must be provided an opportunity to comment.
“We are committed to combatting voter suppression, misinformation and intimidation, and ensuring that every eligible vote is received, tallied and reported,” said Nessel.
The other states that have joined the lawsuit are Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
DeJoy is scheduled to testify before the Senate about the cuts on Friday.
Some conspiracy theory, huh!
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