Who’s who in the Postal Service debate? You can’t tell the players without a scorecard

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What do the billionaire Koch brothers, whose money fueled the war against public workers in Wisconsin, have to do with postal reform?  Why does the consulting firm of McKinsey & Co—in the news recently because of its controversial study on Obama’s health care plan—play a part in the Postal Service’s plans to close post offices?  How have conservative think tanks … Read More

Postal Service says, oops, didn’t mean to send those closure letters—yet

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If you’ve been reading the news accounts of town meetings with USPS representatives that are held when they’re considering a post office for closure, you’ve heard this one before.  The citizens at the hearing just didn’t feel the representatives of the Postal Service were really listening.  It’s like the decision was already made.  Turns out that wasn’t just a feeling. … Read More

The Postmaster General talks about privatization and real estate

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If you’re a masochist or have nothing better to do, you might watch the video of Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s appearance on the Larry Kudlow show last week.  Kudlow begins the segment saying, “The US Postal Service is in big trouble, and now there’s talk tonight in Congress of a bailout. . . . Isn’t it time to end the … Read More

Now we’re talking: Iowa calls for a moratorium on closings

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Day after day, month after month, it’s been nothing but bad news and critical editorials about how much money the Postal Service is losing, why it has to close thousands of post offices, and what Congress—and taxpayers—may need to do to rescue the postal system.  There have also been hundreds of news items about the closing, or impending closure, of … Read More

Talk about wanting to close a lot of post offices

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the  chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has introduced a bill, H.R. 2309, to reform the Postal Service. Among other things, it would create a Commission on Postal Reorganization “to review postal infrastructure and recommend closures and consolidations to Congress, that will ultimately save the Postal Service at least $2 billion a … Read More

“You take it for granted until it’s gone”

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So you need to stop by the post office to mail a package, and you notice there aren’t any cars in the parking lot, and then you discover that the doors are locked and there are a couple of notes taped to the door saying the post office has been closed permanently. “What’s that all about?” you wonder.  “I knew … Read More

Merry-go-round at the mall: From post office to kiosk

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It wasn’t an historic building, it wasn’t even a stand-alone brick-and-mortar post office.  It was just a storefront in a shopping mall.  But the post office in the Carousel Center in Syracuse, New York, had been serving its patrons for over 20 years, and when it closed in April, they felt a real loss. In the comments for a news … Read More

Tearing Down the House: The Selling of the Post Office

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A few days ago, US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe compared the financial problems of the Postal Service to a fiscal failure abroad. “"Look what's going on in Greece,” he said. “There's nothing safe.”  The comparison between Greece and the Postal Service is apt, but not in the way the Postmaster General probably meant.  The causes of the Greek mess are … Read More

Last day at Pass-a-Grille

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The post office in Pass-a-Grille, Florida, in operation for almost 106 years, closed on Friday.  The St. Petersburg Times has a beatiful piece by Leonora LaPeter Anton on the post office’s last day: “Tearful locals bid farewell to tiny, historic Pass-a-Grille post office.” “It’s sad,” said Marsha Anderson, who has lived here for 35 years. “It’s like a funeral. It’s … Read More

A Sense of Place: New Deal Post Office in Fort Worth, For Sale?

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In the mid-nineteenth century, Fort Worth, Texas, became the center of the cattle drives of the legendary Chisholm Trail, earning it the nickname “Cowtown.” The railroad arrived in 1876, ushering in another boom and a new nickname, “Queen City of the Prairies.”  The cowboys whooped it up in dozens of saloons and bawdy houses, and Forth Worth got itself yet … Read More

Privatization of the Postal Service: New Litmus Test for Republicans?

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Is favoring the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service becoming a new litmus test to determine the conservative bona fides of Republican candidates for president?  It’s looking that way. Speaking at the University of Chicago June 7, presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty specifically mentioned the Postal Service in his list of government agencies that should be turned over to the private … Read More

Mass media hypnosis

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Last week, US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, commenting on his efforts to protect postal jobs, compared the financial problems of the Postal Service to a fiscal failure abroad. “"Look what's going on in Greece,” he said. “There's nothing safe.”  The doomsday talk just gets shriller.  The Ross committee brings forth witnesses to testify that the Postal Service must make drastic … Read More