How did we find yourself with a postmaster common who would not know what it prices to mail a postcard?

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified Monday before members of the House Oversight Committee. <span class="copyright">(U.S. Senate)</span>
Postmaster Common Louis DeJoy testified Monday earlier than members of the Home Oversight Committee. (U.S. Senate)

For those who had spent Monday watching members of the Home Oversight Committee grill Postmaster Common Louis DeJoy, you’ll be as confused as I’m.

The U.S. Postal Service is in dire monetary straits.

The U.S. Postal Service is properly funded, partly due to a dramatic, pandemic-related enhance in mailed packages.

DeJoy is a logistical genius, who has efficiently demanded that mail vans go away processing facilities on time.

DeJoy is a soulless bureaucrat so intent on getting mail vans to stay to their departure schedules that he allow them to drive away empty. (As L.A.-area Democrat Rep. Jimmy Gomez put it, “You targeted on getting vans to depart on time, however you didn’t concentrate on getting mail to the folks.”)

Ah, particulars, particulars.

I felt just a little sorry for DeJoy, 63, who sat alone on the witness desk in entrance of smattering of socially distanced lawmakers. He’s not a public servant. He’s a rich, well-connected Republican mega-donor and former proprietor of a logistics firm, which advanced from his father’s Lengthy Island trucking firm.

Underneath questioning by Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan, a former letter provider and put up workplace supervisor, De Pleasure admitted he didn’t learn about Chapter 39 of the U.S. Authorities Code, which holds that the USPS “shall be operated as a primary and elementary service supplied to the folks by the Authorities of the USA, approved by the Structure, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the folks.”

He confessed to Democratic Rep. Katie Porter of California that he doesn’t know the way a lot postage is required for a postcard (35 cents), nor has any thought what number of Individuals “to the closest million” voted by mail within the final election.

DeJoy, it’s clear, knew subsequent to nothing in regards to the Postal Service when he took it over in June. However hey, Donald Trump didn’t know something in regards to the federal authorities when he took over, both, and look how properly that’s labored out.

Just like the president, DeJoy in all probability thought his personal enterprise expertise was all he wanted. He would rework the Postal Service, and its 600,000-plus workers who ship 451 million items of mail a day, into a greater, extra businesslike model of itself.

That hasn’t occurred.

As a substitute, he has instituted a administration hiring freeze, pushed for early retirement for staff and allowed additional time pay to be curtailed at a second when as many as 40,000 postal staff are both in poor health or in quarantine due to the COVID-19 virus.

Makes an attempt at price containment, he admitted, have prompted critical delays in mail deliveries.

How critical?

A few Democratic lawmakers cited the work of my colleagues Maya Lau and Laura Nelson, who reported final week on widespread delays and dysfunction in California put up workplaces, the place sorting machines have been eliminated or locked up with no clarification. By early August in a South Los Angeles processing facility, they wrote, “gnats and rodents have been swarming round containers of rotted fruit and meat, and child chicks have been useless inside their packing containers.”

Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona tried to get DeJoy accountable the gradual deliveries on “all of the rioting happening,” however the postmaster common didn’t chew.


In the course of the morning, I toggled backwards and forwards between the DeJoy listening to and the Republican Nationwide Conference, which was simply getting underway.

As DeJoy was attempting to reassure the nation that he takes his job as a sacred obligation, the president was actually trashing the Postal Service, as he has accomplished for years.

At virtually precisely the identical time DeJoy vowed that he’s working with state election boards and that “it’s our intent to not have any fraud,” Trump was advancing the loony principle that the tens of tens of millions of Individuals who will vote by mail are a part of a Democratic plot to unseat him.

“They’re utilizing COVID to steal the election,” Trump mentioned onstage in Charlotte, N.C., the place he made a “shock” go to to the conference in the course of its roll name. “They’re utilizing COVID to defraud the American folks.”

He brayed that the put up workplace ought to elevate its charges on Amazon, based by Jeff Bezos, who additionally owns the Washington Put up.

“After I get dangerous tales within the Washington Put up,” mentioned Trump, who has falsely claimed that Amazon doesn’t pay its fair proportion in postal prices, “I’m wondering why.”

Trump has complained so typically and so loudly in regards to the imaginary perils of common mail-in voting that you simply actually needed to snigger at his sycophants on the Oversight Committee who accused Democrats on Monday of ginning up a conspiracy principle of their very own: that the USPS is below a Republican partisan assault to thwart mail-in voting.

Rating member Rep. James Comer of Kentucky accused Democrats of whipping themselves right into a “hysterical frenzy.”

DeJoy, for his half, assured the committee that, regardless of what his political patron has claimed, the Postal Service is properly geared up to deal with the rise in mail when voting season rolls round.

However the useless our bodies of defenseless child chicks, I actually do imagine him.

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