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In the face of continued pressure to weaken the United States Postal Service and attack the unionized working families who work for the USPS, Ed Schultz offers up the most comprehensive defense of the agency to date. In addition to pointing out the facts of the case that have been widely reported in the blogosphere, Schultz takes on a new angle — that cutting back on postal service equates to voter suppression in states that have vote by mail, particularly Oregon, which votes exclusively by mail.
As previously pointed out, the USPS would have a surplus right now if it wasn't for the fact that Republicans in Congress in 2006 required the service to prefund 75 years of pensions in just 10 years — a requirement no other private or public organization has to deal with. Other than a slight dip because of the recession, the USPS was at record highs in terms of volume, despite claims that the Internet and email were hurting traditional mail.
Square State also points to the first of several ads from the American Postal Workers Union that highlights a Colorado Springs postal worker. Two other APWU ads showcase the problems created by the assault on the USPS.
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At Daily Kos, Laura Clawson notes that the Senate passed a bill that would give the Postal Service some time to avoid extreme measures:
The Senate passed S. 1789, the bill generally reported to be aimed at "saving" or "fixing" the postal service, by a vote of 62-37 Wednesday. Less widely reported were the origins of the postal service's problems in a crisis manufactured by Congress and exacerbated less by the shift online than by the recession. The Senate bill buys the postal service some time before the worst proposed post office and processing center closures, cuts to delivery and lengthened delivery times, and jobs cuts can begin to kick in. But while it prevents postal executives from kicking off an immediate death spiral, it doesn't create the conditions for the postal service's success by reversing the conditions that manufactured the crisis to begin with.
The Senate's bill would bar the postal service from ending Saturday mail delivery for two years, keeps overnight first-class mail delivery for some mail sent short distances while allowing longer delivery times over greater distances, prevents pre-Election Day closures in states that vote by mail, and prevents the closure of post offices if there are no other post offices within 10 miles, among other things.