On Friday, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy owned up to implementing changes to the United States Postal Service that has caused an avalanche of mail delays across the country. But DeJoy—a major Republican party donor—insists that the move wasn’t a politically-motivated stunt to cause chaos months before the presidential election, one that will heavily depend on mail-in ballots due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Luckily, we weren’t born yesterday.
DeJoy defended himself during a virtual hearing before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Cutbacks in both staffing and equipment have caused mail and packages to back up, leaving a trail of delayed medicines, rotten goods, and unhappy customers and USPS employees alike.
[DeJoy] admitted in the hearing that “certainly there was a slowdown in the mail when our production did not meet the schedule.” But he maintained that USPS will be able to handle an influx in election mail in the fall.
He also pushed back on the conspiracy theory that his changes at the agency were politically motivated in order to boost Trump’s chances against Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Recent polls show Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to cast their ballots for president by mail.
In prepared remarks, DeJoy said “a false narrative has developed” that his changes at the post office “are somehow designed to harm the ability of voters to use the mail to vote.”
While Senate Democrats, in particular, gave DeJoy a grilling, members of both parties asked if DeJoy could reverse the bullshit cost-cutting measures he implemented since acquiring his post in June. You know, help get things back on track before they get even worse. DeJoy’s response: Uh, nope!
He also said that the removal of mail-sorting machines and mail collection receptacles – known as “blue boxes” – is a “normal process” that has been around for years.
DeJoy had assured in a statement Tuesday that “mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are” until after the 2020 election.
At the hearing Friday, DeJoy testified that “since my arrival we removed about 700 collection boxes, of which I had no idea that that was a process.”
“When I found out about it,” he said, “we looked at the excitement it was creating so I decided to stop it and we’ll pick it up after the election.”
He likewise said that he was “unaware” of the process of removing mail-sorting machines.
DeJoy added that this was simply about making more room for instruments that sort packages instead of traditional mail, since mail volume has dropped significantly over the years. Still, given the fact that we have known for months now that mailing in ballots will be an essential part of the 2020 election, one would imagine that doing anything possible to make sorting traditional mail as painless as possible would be a priority. But maybe that just makes too much goddamn sense.
Somewhere, President Trump is overjoyed.
Remember that biker rally in South Dakota where a bunch of people didn’t wear masks and Smash Mouth performed and shouted, “Fuck that covid shit!” and we were all like, “Aw, man, does that mean I can’t listen to the smash hit ‘Pacific Coast Party’ anymore?’” Just me? Okay, well, surprise: People got covid-19 there, and they’ve already spread it across state lines to Nebraska.
At least seven Covid-19 cases in Nebraska’s Panhandle region have been tied to the rally, Kim Engel, director of the Panhandle Public Health District, confirmed in an email to CNN.
South Dakota state health officials announced Thursday that a person who worked at a tattoo shop in Sturgis had tested positive for the virus, and could have possibly exposed people during the event last week.
The person was an employee of Asylum Tattoo Sturgis, and could have spread the virus to others on August 13-17 from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., officials said.
Earlier this week, officials said a person who spent hours at a bar during the rally had also tested positive. That individual visited One-Eyed Jack’s Saloon in Sturgis on August 11 from noon to 5:30 p.m. while able to transmit the virus to others, health officials said.
Anyone who visited either the tattoo shop or the saloon, which are located at the same address, during that period should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the visit.
Yes, well, who could have seen this coming?
I’m blaming Smash Mouth for this.
- Trump has already spent more than $1 billion in his re-election campaign effort. [Washington Post]
- Phil Scott, Republican Governor of Vermont, will not be voting for Trump in November.
- Here’s Rep. Jim Jordan at a lil’ Trump campaign office opening. How many masks do you spot?