Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Up early in Texas, so a few items before we jump on to the morning calls.
The United States Postal Service begins its consolidation.
The cuts, now being finalized, would close roughly 250 of the nearly 500 mail processing centers across the country as early as next March. Because the consolidations typically would lengthen the distance mail travels from post office to processing center, the agency also would lower delivery standards for first-class mail that have been in place since 1971.
Currently, first-class mail is supposed to be delivered to homes and businesses within the continental U.S. in one day to three days. That will lengthen to two days to three days, meaning mailers no longer could expect next-day delivery in surrounding communities. Periodicals could take between two days and nine days.
My only and oft-repeated objection to this obviously necessary restructuring is that the government ought to plan transparently for a long-term winding down of the USPS, rather than treat us all to a death by a thousand reactive cuts. With planning, we could, over a period of 15 or 20 years, actually move the shrinking population of people who do not use electronic communication to those methods. Instead, the government will no doubt claim that it intends to keep the USPS open forever while in fact degrading its service to the point where it becomes just another vehicle for no-work and even no-show jobs.
The Christian Science Monitor: "Is Newt Gingrich the GOP candidate Obama prefers to face?" While you are at it, a list of 18 of Newt's classic one-liners from a lefty blogger. I happen to agree with a lot of them and laugh at most of them -- Ann Coulter could hardly do better -- but they will be vote-destroyers in the must-win suburbs of Pennsylvania and Ohio.
President Obama's "top ten" Constitutional violations. For those of you who live in liberal college towns and enjoy disrupting cocktail parties, here's a juicy bit:
The Department of Health and Human Services has granted nearly 2,000 waivers to employers seeking relief from Obamacare’s onerous regulations. Nearly 20 percent of these waivers went to gourmet restaurants and other businesses in Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district.
Among its other deficiencies, health care "reform" as envisioned and enacted by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid has unleashed a vast new opportunity for federal politicians to hand out favors.
The news keeps getting worse for Jon Corzine:
MF Global Holdings Ltd.'s executive in charge of controlling risks raised serious concerns several times last year to directors at the securities firm about the growing bet on European bonds by his boss, Jon S. Corzine, people familiar with the matter said.
The board allowed the company's exposure to troubled European sovereign debt to swell from about $1.5 billion in late 2010 to $6.3 billion shortly before MF Global tumbled into bankruptcy Oct. 31, these people said. The executive who challenged Mr. Corzine resigned in March.
An inside baseball look at one of Mitt Romney's anti-Obama advertisements.
Governor Awesome steals the show at Ford's Theater, and impresses the Washington Post.
A pretty cool interactive timeline of the financial crisis. We are closing in on the fifth anniversary.
Zerohedge: "The Chart That Proves The Fed's Policies Have Been A Failure".
My neighbor is a mid-level post office executive with almost 30 years of service.
Cushy job. Nice salary--around $150k plus bonus. Very little travel. Works from home 2-3 days/week. Always home by 5:30 on days he goes to the office. I have never seen him work a weekend in the ten years I have known him. At age 58 he is eligible to retire with a full pension and free health care coverage for life. His kids can stay on the policy until they are 26 at no extra cost to him.
Not much sympathy here for the postal workers.
Yeah, I clearly picked the wrong level of gov't to work for by working at a state hospital.
No-work, no-show job. Sign me up for that, I don't have so much pride now at 58. I'm betting that even at USPS those aren't just lying around to be picked up by every Tom, Dick, and Harry, though.
I been suggesting that delivery be cut to every other day for first class for years. There is no need for mail to be delivered every day with FEDEX etc., providing overnight for the important things.
Leave the distributions centers alone. But of course this would cut more employees so the Union won't allow it.