Friday, August 21, 2020

Bruce Springsteen "Long Walk Home" London, UK Nov. 11, 2006

Lauren Onkey on Backstreets writes "Gonna Be a Long Walk Home," as Bruce introduces the new song later in the set, raises another question: how we start fixing the mess that happens when you fool enough of the people enough of the time.
A centerpiece of the Magic album and the 2007-08 tour, the new song is fully formed here, with the vocal chorus adding a sense of wistful sadness around the words "long walk home" that's missing from the E Street Band version. On E Street, it feels like "everybody has a neighbor, everybody has a friend, everybody has a reason to begin again." But here, the Sessions music, which carries in it so many stories of racial injustice and the abuse of power, conjures up a town of rank strangers.

As I write this, we are gearing up for what will be the most bizarre and divisive election season I've ever seen. We can't agree on facts. We've lost more than 160,000 people to the coronavirus. People have lost their jobs and businesses. The president is encouraging division. We're physically separated from those we love. The last verse of this version of "Long Walk Home," which didn't make the final cut on Magic, presciently captures the feeling of danger we're experiencing:
Now the water's rising 'round the corner, there's a fire burning out of control
There's a hurricane on Main Street and I've got murder in my soul
When the party's over, when the cheering is all gone
Will you know me? Will I know you? Will I know you?
"Long Walk Home" asks whether we're too divided, too fractured to rebuild principles of democracy. This set answers it with the gospel/civil rights anthems of "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "This Little Light," featuring Cindy Mizelle's house-wrecking performance, and the hard-won patriotism of "American Land." This show is a reminder that the Sessions tour offered an inspiring vision of America where truths can be told, where history matters."

Thank You Brayden Harrington!

London Grammar - Baby It's You (Official Visualiser)

Sunday, August 16, 2020

This Is How We Save The Post Office!

by Gregg Chadwick 

Locked Off Mailbox in Seattle, Washington on Aug 15, 2020

18 U.S. Code § 1701.Obstruction of mails generally

Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Is Trump Really Crippling the Post Office Before the November Presidential Election?  Yep!

The United States Postal Service is currently removing 671 high-speed mail-sorting machines across the country, the Washington Post Reports. This will eliminate 21.4 million items per hour’s worth of processing capability from the agency’s inventory.

On August 14, 2020, the USPS began removing public mail collection boxes in locations in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Montana. 

Ryan Cooper in The Week writes that "New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who met with Trump last week and is undeniably a partisan lackey, is slashing the Post Office's baseline capacity. As David Dayen argues at The American Prospect, even 100 percent mail-in voting would barely burden the agency at all, given that it delivers 182 million pieces of mail every day (or used to, anyway), and most ballots have a very short transit route — from county election offices to homes and back again. That is why DeJoy is ending postal carrier overtime, destroying automated letter-sorting machines that cost millions of dollars, and pulling up hundreds of outdoor mailboxes. Voting by mail is so trivial for the USPS that it is necessary to seriously damage the agency to render it incapable of carrying it out. Sure enough, the agency has already warned that mail-in ballots could fail to be delivered in time in nearly every state."

Protesters demonstrating against Trump's interference with the US Mail march to the home of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in Washington DC on Aug 15, 2020. 
(Eric Lee/Bloomberg News)

Trump's war on the USPS is unconscionable, corrupt, and illegal. Cooper explains that "DeJoy is also sticking up states for an additional 35 cents on every ballot envelope to achieve the same effect from the other direction. That might net the agency $30 million on the outside — a pittance for an agency with $71 billion in revenue last year, but a significant burden on states that are already broke.

The point of hamstringing the Post Office is to prevent as many people from voting by mail as possible, because 72 percent of Democrats say they are likely to vote by mail, as compared to 22 percent of Republicans. Trump and his stooge are using their federal power to forcibly disenfranchise American citizens. We have it straight from the horse's mouth."

Trump openly admitted to a form of racketeering by knowingly and willfully interfering with USPS operations as it pertains to the election for his own benefit. THAT is a crime.
And it's also incredibly stupid— disrupting the mail and daily lives of every American to further his own ends will end badly. History will remember this as an epic political blunder.
It is time for us to stand up and clearly declare that we will not stand for Trump’s destruction of the USPS.

 As Eric Holder says, "We know why this is happening. They know they can’t win fair elections. 
We not only want the destruction to stop - we want machines put back in working order, overtime restored, mailboxes placed back. We want a fully functioning, fully funded Postal Service - now. "

The Post Office in Burbank, CA on August 16, 2020
All outdoor boxes locked shut. 
The entrance to the Post Office is locked and you can’t mail a letter!
Louis DeJoy is limiting Post Office hours so these scenes are becoming more common.
photo from 


How Did We Get Here?

Three months ago, The House of Representatives planned to provide $25 billion to the Postal Service at the request of the United States Postal Service Board Of Governors as part of the HEROES Act to help the country through the coronavirus pandemic. Trump refused to allocate that money. 

On Thursday, August 13, 2020 Trump flatly admitted he opposes aid to the Post Office because he wants to prevent mail-in voting. "They want three and a half billion dollars for the mail-in votes. Universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion, billion, for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. But if they don't get those two items that means you can't have universal mail-in voting because you they're not equipped to have it." he said on Fox News

The House explains in their August 16, 2020 letter to DeJoy: "To be clear, the request for $25 billion came from the Postal Service, which asked Congress for these funds not to implement “universal mail-in voting,” but to continue meeting delivery standards during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. This request was supported unanimously and on a bipartisan basis by the Postal Board of Governors—all of whom were appointed by President Trump. But President Trump has refused to provide this crucial federal assistance to the Postal Service, agreeing only to increase its borrowing authority."

The House calls out Trump: "Rather than strongly advocating for the Postal Service’s request for emergency funding, it appears that you are now using funding shortfalls—which are being aggravated by the President himself—to justify sweeping operational changes that experts warn could degrade delivery standards, slow the mail, jeopardize crucial deliveries such as prescription medicines and essential goods, and potentially impair the rights of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming November elections."

“Trump is undermining the safest voting method during a pandemic and forcing people to cast a ballot in person,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. “It is reprehensible.”



Newly Junked Mail Sorting Machinery Behind the Main US Post Office, Cleveland OH

photo from @jimanderson216

Are We the People Fighting Back? 
Yes, but we need to take the gloves off and fight harder.

“Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General on Friday night, asking him to impanel a grand jury to look at possible breach of state election laws by President Trump, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and others for ‘their accelerating arson of the post office,’ he said. Alarming headlines have emerged in recent days as many states prepare to facilitate widespread mail balloting due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump openly admitted he was withholding federal aid from the postal service to prevent mail-in voting, and USPS has notified 46 states and D.C. that it will struggle to deliver some mail ballots on time,” The Daily Beast reported Friday. More state AG actions will follow says the Washington Post,"Attorneys general from at least six states are huddling to discuss possible lawsuits against the administration to block it from reducing mail service between now and the election". 

The election is 79 days away. Voting by mail will begin in September in some places. It is imperative that we respond with a clarion call against Trump’s actions. Time is of the essence. Across the country, state leaders are coming up with ways to give voters more options.  And a massive public education campaign to shore up trust in the vote and the Postal Service will soon get underway.

Neighborhood Mailboxes Stacked Up in Hartford, Wisconsin at Hartford Finishing
  August 14, 2020
When They Are Refinished Will They Be Returned? via Reuters

The Postal Service must prioritize the delivery of all election material!

As the Congressional Leadership pointed out in a letter to Louis DeJoy: "The Postal Service should not make changes that slow down the mail or in any way compromise service for veterans, small businesses, rural communities, seniors, and millions of Americans who rely on the mail—including significant numbers of people who will be relying on the Postal Service to exercise their right to vote.”

Prior to 2020, it was the practice of the Postal Service to prioritize the delivery of all election mail, including voter registration materials, absentee ballot request, and ballots, to meet the equivalent of First-Class delivery times no matter what class of mail was used to send it. It is unacceptable to change or propose changes to this practice fewer than three months before a general election. 

Louis DeJoy has to go. The USPS Board needs to insist on this immediately. 

Next, the board needs to outline in detail how they will stop this corrupt politicization of the USPS. Why were 20 or so high ranking leaders fired or shuffled to areas out of their expertise? Why, as shown in the map below, are Democratic Party areas having their mail sorting equipment dismantled? The blue dots are where Clinton had a lead in the 2016 election. The red circles are where mail sorting machines have been removed.

And why before an election during a pandemic is mail sorting capacity being crippled? Again in Democratic Party areas. Again, Trump openly admitted to a form of racketeering by knowingly and willfully interfering with USPS operations as it pertains to the election for his own benefit. THAT is a crime. As President Barack Obama says,"Donald Trump is more concerned with suppressing the vote than with suppressing the virus.” 

What About Postal Workers? What Do They Think?

The New York Times reports that “Nick Casselli, the president of a Philadelphia postal workers union and his 1,600 members have been in a state of high alert since Louis DeJoy, a Republican megadonor and an ally of President Trump’s, took over as postmaster general in May. Overtime was eliminated, prompting backups. Seven mail-sorting machines were removed from a nearby processing center in West Philadelphia, causing further delays. Now, post offices are being told to open later and close during lunch.” Closed during lunch! This is the biggest hour for working folks to use the Post Office. Absolutely criminal!  And most of all "voters and postal workers warn a crisis is building that could disenfranchise record numbers of Americans who will be casting ballots by mail in November because of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Rural Mailbox at The Junction in Wisconsin
photo by Gregg Chadwick

"In Ohio, where mail voting is likely to double, piles of undelivered mail are sitting in a Cleveland distribution center. In rural Michigan, diabetes medicine that used to arrive in three days now takes almost two weeks. In the Milwaukee area, dozens of trailers filled with packages are left behind every day. In New Glarus, Wis., the owners of the Maple Leaf Cheese and Chocolate Haus are worried their cheese will go bad now that deliveries that used to take two to three days are taking twice that.”
These attacks against the United States Postal Service not only threaten the integrity of this election, but also the health and well-being of Americans.

Thousands of veterans receive their medications through the USPS. For some, delays could be fatal.

Pro USPS Message Created by the APWU (American Postal Workers Union)

What's Next?

“The postmaster general and top Postal Service leadership must answer to the Congress and the American people as to why they are pushing these dangerous new policies that threaten to silence the voices of millions, just months before the election,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan will soon head to Capitol Hill to face lawmakers. DeJoy will face the Republican-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday, August 21, 2020. Senate Democrats, including Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Gary Peters are set to grill DeJoy on his connections to the Trump White House. Then, on August 24, 2020, an emergency hearing will be held to hear directly from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Board of Governors Chair Duncan before the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee about the cost cutting measures that may impact the election.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and other leading lawmakers on the Democratic side are calling on the USPS Board of Governors to push back on DeJoy’s destructive actions and remove him if necessary.

Also, 20 states are about to file lawsuits against the U.S. Postal Service and its new postmaster, Louis DeJoy, in an effort to reverse service changes that have prompted widespread reports of delays and accusations of an intentional effort to thwart voters from mailing their ballots this fall. The Washington Post reports that “the lawsuits, expected to be filed in federal court imminently, will argue that the Postal Service broke the law by making operational changes without first seeking approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission. They will also argue that the changes will impede states’ ability to run free and fair elections…The Constitution gives states and Congress, not the executive branch, the power to regulate elections.”

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh explains, “We’re trying to stop Trump’s attacks on the Postal Service, which we believe to be an attack on the integrity of election. It’s a straight-up attack on democracy. This conduct is illegal. It’s unconstitutional. It’s harmful to the country. It’s harmful to individuals. We’re asking a court to make him stop.”

UPDATE — Tuesday, August 18, 2020

It seems that your voices may have been heard. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy just released a statement that suggests that his destructive actions will be paused. We need to verify, but this gives hope. The Postmaster General still has a long way to go, and still faces civil and criminal liability. This is a start, nothing more:

I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.

I want to assure all Americans of the following:

Retail hours at Post Offices will not change.
Mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are.
No mail processing facilities will be closed.
And we reassert that overtime has, and will continue to be, approved as needed.
In addition, effective Oct. 1, we will engage standby resources in all areas of our operations, including transportation, to satisfy any unforeseen demand.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi responds forcefully to DeJoy’s Statement:

“This pause only halts a limited number of the Postmaster’s changes, does not reverse damage already done, and alone is not enough to ensure voters will not be disenfranchised by the President this fall. The House will be moving ahead with our vote this Saturday (Aug 22, 2020).”

Keep the pressure on folks… 


Lloyd Ostendorf
Abraham Lincoln, Postmaster of New Salem, Illinois, delivering mail, 1833

5 Things You Can Do Today
to Help Save the United States Post Office

1As Rachel Maddow commented, "The important thing here is that pushback works ... Hoping for the best doesn't work. Shame doesn't work. But noise does."
We need to keep up the noise—locally and nationally. And we also need to ramp up our efforts to educate voters in battleground states, about how to properly and safely vote this year. 
Do everything you can to rally the American public - and let them know that Trump and company's insanity must stop. Call and text your family, friends, and neighbors. Help them create a plan to vote. And help them understood that these attacks against the United States Postal Service not only threaten the integrity of this election, but also the health and well-being of all Americans.

2. Write via the USPS and email the current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the United States Post Office Board of Directors and let them know that these attacks against the United States Postal Service not only threaten the integrity of this election, but also the health and well-being of Americans.

Email addresses and notes below:

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

USPS Board of Governors

Robert Duncan:

From CNBC“Robert Duncan, who is often called Mike, is listed as a director of American Crossroads, a super PAC that’s backing Trump in the 2020 election. His position is posted on the PAC’s most recent annual report, which was filed in March. The committee has spent $1.9 million backing Trump this cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The PAC’s top donor in 2020 is Steve Wynn, the former Republican National Committee finance chair and previous CEO of Wynn Resorts. He resigned from both leadership posts in the wake of being accused of sexual harassment, something he has vehemently denied ever since.

Duncan, who was confirmed for his second term to the USPS board in December, is also labeled as a director of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC helping Republicans defend their majority in the U.S. Senate. The director filings for the committee have yet to be updated since August 2019. Both are run by Steven Law, the former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called Duncan a “friend,” after his latest confirmation.”

Donald Moak, a veteran of the USMC & the Navy, serves on the USPS Board of Governors, and is the CEO of The Moak Group of Washington, D.C. 

From CNBC: “Donald Moak was confirmed to become a member of the USPS board in June. He is the co-founder of the Moak Group, a public affairs and business consulting firm.

A few years before Moak joined the USPS board, his firm turned to a legal advisor who would join the Trump White House: Stefan Passantino. Passantino, a deputy White House counsel that focused on policing ethics violations by Trump officials, started at the White House in January 2017. He departed the administration in 2018.

The Moak Group paid Passantino for what’s described on his White House disclosure report as “legal services.” Moak Group is under a list of almost 70 clients that have paid Passantino over $5,000 in legal fees.

Moak did not return a request for comment, including an ask as to how Passantino assisted the company. Passantino declined to comment.”

John Barger:

From CNBC: “John Barger, a managing director at NorthernCross Partners, a Los Angeles-based private investment firm. Barger also lists himself as a director on his LinkedIn page of NanoLumens, a company that develops LED displays and headquartered in Georgia. The company received a $1 million to $2 million loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, which was implemented by Trump’s Small Business Administration.

The billions of dollars in loans administered under PPP were distributed as a stopgap for companies in need of assistance due to financial strain from the coronavirus pandemic.

Barger started as a director of NanoLumens in 2018, his page says. He was confirmed to the USPS board last year. He also lists himself as a director at WineDirect, which helps wineries send their products to customers.”

R. Bloom “In August 2018, Brookfield signed a 99 year lease on Jared Kushner's financially troubled 666 Fifth Avenue skyscraper. The deal raised suspicions that the Qatar Investment Authority, a major investor in Brookfield, was attempting to influence the Trump administration.”

Roman Martinez:

From CNBC: “Roman Martinez was confirmed to the USPS board last year.

Beyond his prior work on boards of various nonprofits, Martinez had a more under-reported role two years ago, as a representative for a Florida estate owned by Damon Mezzacappa, a wealthy investment banker. Prior to his death, Mezzacappa, a former vice chairman of Lazard, contributed to both political parties, but his biggest checks, for $15,000, went to the Republican National Committee in the late 1990s, according to data from CRP. The estate is just about a five-minute drive from the president’s exclusive club, Mar-a-Lago.

After Mezzacappa passed away, the home was reportedly sold for $41 million to Thompson Dean, a managing partner at investment firm Avista Capital Partners. Since 2008, Dean has given over $330,000 to Republican causes, including over $66,000 to the RNC in 2015 before Trump captured the Republican nomination.”

From CNBC: “William Zollars was confirmed by the Senate in June. He has extensive experience in the business community, including his two-decade tenure as an executive for trucking company YRC Worldwide. In May, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a virtual hearing to help YRC, which the lawmaker said was struggling at the time, according to The New York Times.

In July, the Treasury announced that it planned to make a $700 million loan to YRC and that it reached an agreement with the company. In exchange for the financial assistance, the Treasury would “receive a 29.6% equity stake in the company.”

Zollars has also been on the board of Main Street Data, a company that assists those in the agricultural business. That company received a PPP loan between $150,000 and $350,000, according to the public loan list. Zollars is listed as a director of the company on a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from December 2019.”

Roman Martinez and William Zollers are on the Board of Directors of CIGNA, an insurance company whose customers depend, in large extent, on the USPS for the delivery of their mail-order prescriptions. This conflict violates the Directors code of ethics 

Write Cigna at 
Cigna Corporate Headquarters
900 Cottage Grove Road
Bloomfield, CT 06002

Current United States Post Office Board of Directors 

3. Get Involved With The Poor People's Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is uniting people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Join the Poor People’s Campaign in your state!

4. Support the APWU (American Postal Workers Union)

From the APWU:


"The APWU represents more than 200,000 USPS employees and retirees, and nearly 2,000 private-sector mail workers.

For more than four decades, APWU has fought for dignity and respect on the job for the workers we represent, as well as for decent pay and benefits and safe working conditions. As an AFL-CIO affiliate, the APWU supports the struggle for social and economic justice for all working families.

Depending on their occupation, APWU members belong to the Clerk, Maintenance, Motor Vehicle Service (MVS), or Support Services divisions.

Our union is a democratic organization comprised of dues-paying members who belong to more than 900 state and local unions and retiree chapters in every state and territory. APWU officers are directly elected by union members.

The union's state and local affiliates are autonomous organizations that rely on the national union to represent their interests in contract negotiations and in national-level grievances. The union negotiates a national Collective Bargaining Agreement and fights for our members' interests on Capitol Hill. The APWU also has many Retiree and Auxiliary chapters so that former postal workers and postal families can remain active in union affairs."

The APWU is headquartered in Washington, DC.

To contact the union, write to the address below:

American Postal Workers Union
1300 L Street NW
Washington DC 20005

National officers and staff located at the Headquarters can be reached at 202-842-4200.

Campaign info at

5.  Get registered today:

Make a plan to vote early and vote like your life depends on it, because it does!