Showing posts with label Michael D. Sheer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael D. Sheer. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

As Trump Contaminates & Corrupts The US Post Office In Order To Win The Upcoming Election...Or, The Biggest Scam Of The Century..... Mexico Surges Ahead and Far Surpasses The USA On COVID Plans To Protect Their Citizens

Credit...Kim Walker/Elon University, via Associated Press
We haven't been reading much down here in the Mexican press on what has happened in the USA regarding Trump and the US Post Office (which has to be the biggest freakin scam of the century) and the horrid outcome this might have on the November the 3rd Presidential election; not to mention there is still no plan from  the White House on dealing with the pandemic, here is just some information:

 ~ From the New York Times : 

Mail Delays Fuel Concerns Trump Is Undercutting Postal System Ahead Of Voting
by, Michael D. Shear,Hailey Fuchs  & Kenneth P. Vogel 

The president’s long campaign against the Postal Service is intersecting with his assault on mail-in voting amid concerns that he has politicized oversight of the agency.

WASHINGTON — Welcome to the next election battleground: the post office.

President Trump’s yearslong assault on the Postal Service and his increasingly dire warnings about the dangers of voting by mail are colliding as the presidential campaign enters its final months. The result has been to generate new concerns about how he could influence an election conducted during a pandemic in which greater-than-ever numbers of voters will submit their ballots by mail.

In tweet after all-caps tweet, Mr. Trump has warned that allowing people to vote by mail will result in a “CORRUPT ELECTION” that will “LEAD TO THE END OF OUR GREAT REPUBLICAN PARTY” and become the “SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES.” He has predicted that children will steal ballots out of mailboxes. On Thursday, he dangled the idea of delaying the election instead.
Members of Congress and state officials in both parties rejected the president’s suggestion and his claim that mail-in ballots would result in widespread fraud. But they are warning that a huge wave of ballots could overwhelm mail carriers unless the Postal Service, in financial difficulty for years, receives emergency funding that Republicans are blocking during negotiations over another pandemic relief bill.

At the same time, the mail system is being undercut in ways set in motion by Mr. Trump. Fueled by animus for Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and surrounded by advisers who have long called for privatizing the post office, Mr. Trump and his appointees have begun taking cost-cutting steps that appear to have led to slower and less reliable delivery.

In recent weeks, at the direction of a Trump campaign megadonor who was recently named the postmaster general, the service has stopped paying mail carriers and clerks the overtime necessary to ensure that deliveries can be completed each day. That and other changes have led to reports of letters and packages being delayed by as many as several days.

Voting rights groups say it is a recipe for disaster.

“We have an underfunded state and local election system and a deliberate slowdown in the Postal Service,” said Wendy Fields, the executive director of the Democracy Initiative, a coalition of voting and civil rights groups. She said the president was “deliberately orchestrating suppression and using the post office as a tool to do it.”

Kim Wyman, the Republican secretary of state in Washington, one of five states where mail-in balloting is universal, said Wednesday on NPR’s “1A” program that “election officials are very concerned, if the post office is reducing service, that we will be able to get ballots to people in time.”

During his eulogy on Thursday for Representative John Lewis, former President Barack Obama lamented what he said was a continuing effort to attack voting rights “with surgical precision, even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that is going to be dependent on mailed-in ballots so people don’t get sick.”

Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general, defended the changes, saying in a statement that the ban on overtime was intended to “improve operational efficiency” and to “ensure that we meet our service standards.”

 Mr. DeJoy declined to be interviewed. David Partenheimer, a spokesman for the Postal Service, said that the nation’s post offices had “ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected election and political mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

A plunge in the amount of mail because of a recession — which the United States entered into in February — has cost the Postal Service billions of dollars in revenue, with some analysts predicting that the agency will run out of money by spring. Democrats have proposed an infusion of $25 billion. On Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans, who are opposed to the funding, of wanting to “diminish the capacity of the Postal System to work in a timely fashion.”

Arthur B. Sackler, who runs the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, a group representing the biggest bulk mailers, said the changes were concerning even though his organization did not take a position on voting by mail.

“Like any other mail, this could complicate what is already going to be a complicated process,” Mr. Sackler said. “A huge number of jurisdictions are totally inexperienced in vote by mail. They have never had the avalanche of interest that they have this year.”

Many states have already loosened restrictions on who can vote by mail: In Kentucky, mail-in ballots accounted for 85 percent of the vote in June’s primary. In Vermont, requests for mail-in ballots are up 1,000 percent over 2018.

Michigan voters had requested nearly 1.8 million mail-in ballots by the end of July, compared with about 500,000 by the similar time four years ago, after the secretary of state mailed absentee ballot applications to all 7.7 million registered voters.

In the suburban Virginia district of Representative Gerald E. Connolly, a Democrat who leads the House subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service, 1,300 people voted by mail in a 2019 primary — last month, more than 34,000 did.

“We are worried about new management at the Postal Service that is carrying out Trump’s avowed opposition to voting by mail,” Mr. Connolly said. “I don’t think that’s speculation. I think we are witnessing that in front of our own eyes.”

Erratic service could delay the delivery of blank ballots to people who request them. And in 34 states, completed ballots that are not received by Election Day — this year it is Nov. 3 — are invalidated, raising the prospect that some voters could be disenfranchised if the mail system buckles.

In other states, ballots can be tallied as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, but voting rights groups say ballots are often erroneously delivered without a postmark, which prevents them from being counted.

The ability of the Postal Service “to timely deliver and return absentee ballots and their work to postmark those ballots will literally determine whether or not voters are disenfranchised during the pandemic,” said Kristen Clarke, the president of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

In New York, where officials urged people not to cast ballots in person during June’s primary, counting of mail-in ballots is still underway weeks later, leaving some crucial races undecided. In some cases, ballots received without postmarks are being discarded.

Making the problem worse, New York law requires that election officials wait to begin counting mail-in ballots until the polls close on Election Day. Other states allow counting to begin earlier, though most insist that no results be revealed until after voting ends. In Arizona, officials can begin tallying votes 14 days early. In Florida, officials can begin verifying signatures on ballots 22 days before the election.

Mr. Trump and his allies have seized upon the New York debacle as evidence that he is right to oppose mail-in ballots. Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, called it an “absolute catastrophe,” and the president referred to New York in a tweet that said, “Rigged Election, and EVERYONE knows it!”

But Mr. Trump — who himself has repeatedly voted by mail in recent elections — has set in motion changes at the Postal Service that could make the problem worse.

A series of Postal Service documents titled “PMGs expectations,” a reference to the postmaster general, describe how Mr. Trump’s new leadership team is trying to cut costs.

“Overtime will be eliminated,” says the document, which was first reported by The Washington Post. “Again, we are paying too much overtime, and it is not cost effective and will soon be taken off the table. More to come on this.”

The document continues: “The U.S.P.S. will no longer use excessive cost to get the basic job done. If the plants run late, they will keep the mail for the next day.”

Another document, dated July 10, says, “One aspect of these changes that may be difficult for employees is that — temporarily — we may see mail left behind or on the workroom floor or docks.”

With the agency under financial pressure, some offices have also begun to cut back on hours. The result, according to postal workers, members of Congress and major post office customers, is a noticeable slowdown in delivery.

“The policies that the new postmaster general is putting into place — they couldn’t lead to anything but degradation of service,” said Mark Dimondstein, the president of the American Postal Workers Union. “Anything that slows down the mail could have a negative impact on everything we do, including vote by mail.”

The Postal Service, which runs more than 31,000 post offices in the United States, has struggled financially for years, in part because of its legal obligation to deliver mail everywhere, even remote locations that would be unprofitable for a private company.

A 2018 report by the Treasury Department recommended an overhaul of the Postal Service, which the report said accumulated losses of $69 billion from 2007 to 2018.

But the administration’s critics say the changes being put in place by Mr. DeJoy are part of a political agenda to move toward privatization of the Postal Service.

In mid-July, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Mr. Connolly wrote a letter to Mr. DeJoy raising questions about the ban on overtime and the other changes.

“While these changes in a normal year would be drastic,” the lawmakers wrote, “in a presidential election year when many states are relying heavily on absentee mail-in ballots, increases in mail delivery timing would impair the ability of ballots to be received and counted in a timely manner — an unacceptable outcome for a free and fair election.”

Mr. Trump has been assailing the Postal Service since early in his presidency, tweeting in 2017 that the agency was becoming “dumber and poorer” because it charged big companies too little for delivering their packages.

The president has repeatedly blamed Mr. Bezos, who is also the owner of The Washington Post, for the financial plight of the Postal Service, insisting that the post office charges Amazon too little, an assertion that many experts have rejected as false.

In the past three years, the president has replaced all six members of the Postal Service Board of Governors.

In May, the board, which includes two Democrats, selected Mr. DeJoy, a longtime Republican fund-raiser who has contributed more than $1.5 million to Mr. Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, to be postmaster general. According to financial disclosures, Mr. DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, who has been nominated to be the ambassador to Canada, have $115,002 to $300,000 invested in the Postal Service’s major competitor, UPS.

Two board members have since departed. David C. Williams, the vice chairman, left in April over concerns that the Postal Service was becoming increasingly politicized by the Trump administration, according to two people familiar with his thinking. Ronald Stroman, who oversaw mail-in voting and relations with election officials, resigned in May.

One of the remaining members, Robert M. Duncan, is a former Republican National Committee chairman who has been a campaign donor to Mr. Trump.

In accusing the administration of politicizing the Postal Service, the president’s critics point to a recent decision to send a mailer detailing guidelines to protect against the coronavirus. The mailer, which featured Mr. Trump’s name in a campaignlike style, was sent in March to 130 million American households at a reported cost of $28 million.

According to Postal Service emails obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, Mr. Trump was personally involved.

“I know that POTUS personally approved this postcard and is aware of the USPS effort in service to the nation — pushing information out to every household, urban and rural,” John M. Barger, a governor of the postal system, wrote in an email to the postmaster general at the time.

In another email, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, told a member of the board that Dr. Stephen C. Redd, a deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “will make this happen.” The mailer received a go-ahead from the White House before it was sent out, the emails show.

S. David Fineman, who served on the board under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said that during his time, the board rarely if ever had contact with the White House.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” he said. “No one would have thought that we would have sought the input of the administration.”


 ~ From Truthout:

by, Jake Johnson of Common Dreams  -08/04/2020

"The leader of the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union warned Monday that President Donald Trump’s evidence-free attacks on mail-in voting, threat to delay the November election, and ongoing efforts to undermine the U.S. Postal Service are putting the nation on “a dangerous path toward dictatorship” and must be opposed.

“President Donald Trump’s raising postponement of the upcoming November presidential election has been rightly and quickly rejected by political leaders in both major parties,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said in a statement Monday. “On behalf of the 200,000 APWU postal workers and retirees, proud public servants of many political persuasions, I join in adding our voice in that chorus.”

“During this pandemic, anyone who believes in the right to vote should enthusiastically embrace voting by mail. Without it, tens of millions of voters will be denied the opportunity to safely exercise their cherished right to vote,” Dimondstein continued. “When postal workers go to work every day, our commitment is not to politicians or political parties, it’s to the people in every community across this country who we are proud to serve in this election season and for years to come.”

Dimonstein’s statement came amid growing alarm among postal workers, lawmakers, and voting rights advocates over Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s recent policy changes that have resulted in significant mail backlogs and delays across the country — including in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. If the backlogs continue, postal workers warn the USPS may struggle to deliver mail-in ballots on time.

As the Washington Post reported last week, “the new policies have resulted in at least a two-day delay in scattered parts of the country, even for express mail, according to multiple postal workers and union leaders.”

“Letter carriers are manually sorting more mail, adding to the delivery time,” the Post noted. “Bins of mail ready for delivery are sitting in post offices because of scheduling and route changes. And without the ability to work overtime, workers say the logjam is worsening without an end in sight.”
On Monday, House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney asked DeJoy to testify on the policy changes at a hearing scheduled for September 17 — less than two months before the November elections.

In an interview with the New York Times last week, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) — a member of the House Oversight Committee — said “we are worried about new management at the Postal Service that is carrying out Trump’s avowed opposition to voting by mail.”

“I don’t think that’s speculation,” Connolly added. “I think we are witnessing that in front of our own eyes.”


Mexico on the other hand, moves forward:

The United States, due to no planning from Trump is in a state of chaos, parents and teachers alike are pulling their hair out whether or not to send their kids back to school.  Yet, here matters are different:

 ~ From Telesur: 08/03/2020

Mexico To Resume 2020 School Remotely 

"The government-Television Stations' agreement will allow 30 million students to have access to distance education contents.

Mexico will resume its 2020 school year remotely on August 24th with the support of the national TV stations Televisa, TV Azteca, Imagen, and Milenio, all of which will broadcast the educational content.

"Returning to classes in person is still risky," Mexico's Education Ministry Secretary Esteban Moctezuma declared as he announced the alliance between the government and the country's most far-reaching television stations.

The agreement will allow 30 million students from 16 different grades to have access to distance education content.

"Students who do not have access to the television signal will have the support of radio, free textbooks, workbooks, and special attention from the Ministry," Moctezuma said.
Remotely, "we guarantee a safe environment for students. The pandemic will be more manageable if we stay at home," he added.

According to teleSUR's correspondent in Mexico, Eduardo Martinez, the return to the classrooms will depend on the situation within each state. Schools will open only in those areas where the epidemiological light is green.

Television stations will broadcast over 4,550 programs and radio stations will broadcast 640 programs. Each program will be transmitted in 20 Indigenous languages.

Although the agreement does not include university education, this is a historic strategy to keep 40 million students and teachers at home.

Universities will be able to self-manage their return to classes as long as the epidemiological light is respected."


 This is a big one....I have not read any editorials (yet) saying this is just an AMLO buy off of the media:

 ~ From Zeta:

Gobierno de AMLO Pagara 459 MDP a Televisoras Por Transmitir Clases
por, Carlos Alvarez 08/04/20

"The Federal Government agreed yesterday with the main television stations (Televisa, TV Azteca, Imagen Television, Millennium) to transmit through 6 channels plus 4,500 educational content -for the benefit of 30 million students of basic and upper secondary levels, who They will return to distance classes in the 2020-2021 cycle-, with a “minimum investment quota”, which would imply allocating 450 million pesos, about 3.87 mp per day between August 24 and December 18 of this year.

After recognizing that there are no conditions to return to the classroom in person, from the Federal Public Education Secretariat (SEP), Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, announced the collaboration of Emilio Azcárraga Jean (Televisa), Benjamín Salinas (TV Azteca), Olegario Vázquez Aldir (Image) and Francisco González Albuerne (Multimedios), to expand the coverage of the Aprende en Casa II program.

“On August 24, the 2020-2021 school year will begin. It will start at a distance because the conditions do not exist to do it in person "due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic (which causes the COVID-19 disease), the federal official said yesterday, Monday, August 3, before President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. .

“From the expenses derived from the Agreement for Education, the unit cost of 15 pesos, including VAT, was calculated for each regular student enrolled in the 2020-2021 school year, who will be beneficiaries of the Presidency reiterated that the agreement with the concessionaires establishes that there will be television channels for the dissemination of learning content at the preschool, primary, secondary and high school levels, but not for profit, "said the SEP in an information card.

For his part, the national president stressed that coverage will be throughout the national territory, due to the integration of private and public television, and acknowledged that the agreement with Televisa, TV Azteca, Imagen Televisión, Milenio will have an economic cost, although They will charge a “minimum fee, it is not a political fee, it is not a government fee, it is not a commercial fee, it is, we are going to call it that, a social fee”.

At night, the Presidency explained that the agreement with the concessionaires establishes that there will be television channels for the distribution, diffusion and transmission of educational visual content of the learning content at the preschool, primary, secondary and high school levels, but without ends of profit, through the multiplexed channels they have.


On the other hand, it was learned that the SEP will pay up to 36 million pesos to an outsourcing company that works for Grupo Elektra, and a private producer, to prepare audiovisual materials for the return to classes.

On June 17, Sinergia Consultoría de Negocios, in consortium with Prime Show Productora, won the tender for the service of production, programming and transmission of audiovisual and multimedia materials, until December 31.

On its website, Sinergia lists TV Azteca, Elektra, Banco Azteca, Afore Azteca and Seguros Azteca among its human resources services clients. While Prime Show is a regular content provider for SEP.
The consortium pledged to recruit 322 professionals in pedagogy and communication, in 89 different categories, including screenwriters, producers, designers, cameramen, assistants and everything necessary to generate educational content.

This team works for the General Directorate of Educational Television (DGTVE) of the SEP, in particular for its director of Audiovisual Production, María Cristina Prado Arias, and must deliver twenty different types of materials, ranging from three-minute capsules to programs of two hours, either prerecorded or live.

The contract is open, for a maximum amount of 36.1 million pesos with VAT included, and the final payment will depend on the number of programs and capsules delivered, which were quoted as a unit."

Con información de Reforma.


Hard times and tough decisions: The super important announcement from Governor Jaime Bonilla regarding re-opening of the bars in Tijuana:

~ From Zeta: (pics on the link)

"Queremos Trabajar": Miles de Trabajadores de Bares Exigen reapertura de sus Lugares de Trabajo
por, Alejandro Arturo Villa - 08/03/20 

"More than a thousand workers in nightclubs and bars in the central and northern areas of Tijuana demonstrated Monday morning, August 3, on Avenida Revolución, to demand that the government of Jaime Bonilla Valdez reopen their workplaces promptly.

According to a quick count by the police authorities that maintained the perimeter of the march, there were around 1,200 people among waiters, security guards, dancers, bartenders and cleaning staff who have been without economic income for more than four months .

The protesters asked both the state governor, Jaime Bonilla Valdez, and the secretary of Sustainable Economy and Tourism, Mario Escobedo Carignan, for support with health protocols for the prompt reopening of canteens, bars, hotels, table dance, among other establishments located in the north and Avenida Revolución.

With banners and screams, they marched from First Street to Eleven. The placards read "Responsible reopening before COVID19", "We want to work" and "Señor Bonilla, my family's livelihood comes out."

Agustín Lara Méndez, one of the organizers of the mobilization of white shirts, declared that the call they make to the governor is to be taken into account because there are thousands of families, around 7 thousand, he said, who depend on these income.

At the end of the demonstration, the more than a thousand protesters were left in the uncertainty of the reopening of their workplaces and await a response today, August 3, from Mario Escobedo and the governor.

Bonilla says they are not ready for reopening yet

During the live broadcast made by the state governor every day, this morning from the facilities of the Institute for Sustainable Mobility, IMOS, he responded to the protesters that he regrets the situation they are in but it is not yet time to reopen these businesses for the danger of being infected with the virus.

"They are not ready to start, we have not even taught them the protocols, they will be in due course," said the president.

"For me it would be irresponsible to open the bars, especially when we already have content (Covid 19) perfectly here in Tijuana, content not removed, that is not misinterpreted, at any time if we neglect it jumps again", added.

He indicated that the protesters have every right to protest, "everyone has the right to demonstrate, nothing more than they are going to have to forgive me for loving them so much, and I want to take care of them."

"We are working on this, but it is going to be gradually and in specific places where if you can guarantee to respect the protocol, I invite you, what a pity that they did not make the demonstration outside IMOS, maybe they even reached them but they have to understand that health is paramount to me, ”he replied.

Lastly, he assured that he prefers to see them at home, "struggling a little more than going to see them in the hospital with a respirator."

“The countries and states that have opened like this have suddenly returned, but now they are talking about the second wave being worse than the first, so we have to be very careful. We would like to see if they are all willing to lose their lives for a job, "he concluded."


I wanted to make sure you guys read what Governor Bonilla said.  That was a rough call, but he did the right thing. Just wish AMLO would not have dismissed wearing face masks !

Going to wrap it here .

Stay safe everyone. 

All the noticias....

Democracy Now !