5) About the politics of the showdown:
I think it might be worth pointing out the other aspect that makes the Post Office's gambit an interesting study. After attempts to shut down a day of service (I've read Wednesday or Saturday as the preferred days) has been rejected by Congress, along with other measures that would cut costs inflicted by the 2006 bill, the Post Office has taken the opposite tactic. They are acting and daring a dysfunctional, super-majoritarian Congress to act. Congress can't just sit back and complain, which is something that it seems that Tea Partiers are best at.
It'll be interesting to see if Congress can act, if Congress has to resort to the courts (which is an admission of dysfunction and its inability to act), or if they'll let this rebellion slide. If the third, then that spells some trouble for independent government groups, such as the Fed, Fannie/Freddie (although they might, for good reason, be more reluctant), etc, who might feel empowered to rebel against non- or anti-sensical demands from Congress.
Boy, count me as on the edge of my seat for this, slow-moving drama it might be.
6) And, from someone who I think missed the emphasis of my earlier item but makes an interesting point:
Why no mention of the cap on the percentage that the USPS is allowed to raise the price of postage? Heaven forfend it would suddenly cost $0.52 to send a letter the whole way from Maine to Hawaii or Alaska to Florida. Or the foolishness of the unending expense of millions of gallons of gasoline required for home delivery to millions of acres of suburban subdivisions. Or the perennial attacks from the Right to dismantle another large, unionized workforce.
But no it's none of these. What you've chosen to highlight is the funding of pensions negotiated by contract and the rural post offices. The key is to de-democratize the Post Office by recasting it as an urban institution, like the Post of a Virginia Woolf novel where a letter mailed in the morning arrives that afternoon, full of life-altering innuendo. What craven nonsense.
I am getting on a plane at the moment. More to come shortly. (Also, the Atlas Shrugged guy is back ... )
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