Ladies And Gentlemen–Your Postmaster General

Americans who haven’t been living in caves the past few months have heard a lot about Donald Trump’s assault on vote-by-mail and the post office.

Trump has attacked the post office pretty consistently, even before he began his most recent efforts at vote suppression. (He hates Jeff Bezos and Amazon, and is convinced that USPS undercharges Bezos for deliveries. As with so many other things Trump “knows,” this  has been debunked by people who actually know what they’re talking about.)

It was bad enough when Mitch McConnell–aka “the most evil man in America”–refused to allow a Senate vote on House-passed measures to shore up USPS finances, but things really started going to you-know-where-in-a-handbasket when the administration installed  Louis DeJoy as Postmaster. As Paul Waldman noted in an article in The Washington Post,“Like many Trump appointees, DeJoy seems to have been hired for the purpose of undermining the agency he now leads.”

Ignore LeJoy’s transparent efforts to sabotage the vote. He would have been an appallingly inappropriate choice even if he hadn’t been willing to wage war on democratic self-government..

LeJoy was a major Republican donor, thanks to the sale of a family shipping company for some $615 million, and he is heavily invested in shipping companies that are not only not the USPS, but are in direct competition with the postal service. As a post to Daily Kos put it, DeJoy “stands to make a serious chunk of change if he can either redirect a larger chunk of the nation’s mail to those companies or, alternatively, sabotage the constitutionally-mandated USPS severely enough to cause those redirections to become nonoptional.”

Evidently, DeJoy was Trump’s kind of “businessman.” His shipping company was sued multiple times for sexual assault, sexual harassment, racism, wage theft, and union busting. In 1997, the National Labor Relations Board found that, after taking over the Compton Army Terminal in California, DeJoy directed the company to take extreme efforts to hide job opportunities from union workers.

Last month, CNN reported on DeJoy’s ongoing conflicts of interest.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy continues to hold a multimillion-dollar stake in his former company XPO Logistics, a United States Postal Service contractor, likely creating a major conflict of interest, according to newly obtained financial disclosures and ethics experts.

Outside experts who spoke to CNN were shocked that ethics officials at the postal service approved this arrangement, which allows DeJoy to keep at least $30 million in XPO holdings….

“The idea that you can be a postmaster general and hold tens of millions in stocks in a postal service contractor is pretty shocking,” said Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, who resigned in 2017. “It could be that he’s planning on selling it, but I don’t understand the delay. He has managed to divest a lot of other things. And if he wasn’t prepared to sell that off, he shouldn’t have taken the job.”

Schaub, who is now a senior adviser at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, suggested that if DeJoy doesn’t divest his holdings soon, it could be construed as an illegal conflict of interest. Schaub also questioned why the ethics officials approved this arrangement.

It’s illegal under federal law for federal government employees or their spouses to have a “financial interest” in companies that intersect with their official duties. The ethics experts who spoke to CNN said DeJoy could have mitigated these conflicts by divesting, agreeing upfront to recuse himself from some matters, receiving legal waivers, or even establishing a blind trust.

“If you have a $30 million interest in a company, of course it’s going to impact you,” said Stuart Gilman, who spent 12 years at the Office of Government Ethics, where he was the assistant director. “I would assume that there is a problem here. It certainly doesn’t pass the smell test.”

CREW–Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington–also issued a letter detailing DeJoy’s conflicts of interest, noting that DeJoy personally participated in particular matters that directly affect two companies in which he retains ownership interests, and that “These actions run counter to his obligations under the conflict of interest law.”

More recently, we’ve been treated to blockbuster reports that DeJoy routinely violated campaign finance laws.

Is there a single person in Trump’s cabinet or administration who isn’t sleazy and dishonest?

 

 

17 thoughts on “Ladies And Gentlemen–Your Postmaster General

  1. Article I, Section 8; clause 7:
    The Legislature has the power “To establish post offices and post roads;” but Trump has found a way to virtually destroy the entire United States Postal Service by appointing another of his cronies who donated enough campaign dollars to qualify him for the position of Postmaster General.

    Article I, Section 8; clause 1:
    “The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,…” but Trump found a way to bypass Congress with an Executive Order to DELAY deducting payroll taxes from paychecks temporarily…BEGINNING TODAY. Come paychecks in January those DELAYED tax deductions must be collected and paid in full.

    Trump has somehow managed to render the entire Legislative Division inactive and placed the Executive Division in full control of all three branches of government; often by Executive Orders or via Twitter.

    “Is there a single person in Trump’s cabinet or administration who isn’t sleazy and dishonest?”

    Is there a single person in Trump’s cabinet or administration who is working for those high level paychecks they are paid to protect this country? Those who are Trump’s BFF till they displease him and are removed? They all appear to be on permanent paid vacations.

    The Constitution was written so that democracy was not negotiable; that protection began slipping from our grasp a few decades ago and Citizens United put the full government body on the auction block. And here we are; waiting to see if we will get our bills on time or our medications before we become seriously ill, or if our payments reach our creditors before late fees are added. Sleaze is the campaign foundation of the Trump presidential campaign which has never ended since 2015. He is now saying AGAIN that Mexico will pay for his effing wall by way of toll booths to enter this country.

    I am 83 years old, deaf, disabled and COPD is but one of my underlying health conditions; where the hell can I find some herd immunity to escape this Trump sewer?

  2. Again, this is yet another example of Trump doing exactly what other presidents have done but just with a bold and “in your face element.”

    We have benefitted from his openly embracing his racist rants and the support of other racists. The racism from the Tea Party brought out the KKK from their secret meetings and polished up the turds so they can run for government positions in plain sight.

    Washington has been a cesspool for decades (aka the Swamp). Hell, Indianapolis is a smaller swamp, and many of the Democratic-led cities and states are swamps. The Republican-led swamps are evident to anyone, but the Democrats usually talk a good game while they are enriching their donors.

    Why?

    The Donors are motivated by power and corruption. They want access to the pile of taxpayer cash and the Federal Reserve. While there is plenty of talk about DeJoy’s theft within the shipping industry, what about the trillions being printed by the FED and “circulated?”

    We printed and circulated over $13 trillion since 2008’s finance debacle and haven’t even given the presses a break. Where do you think all that money is going?

    It’s not going into our debt figures. We are swapping it out for industry debt — wiping clean all their bad stuff. It’s basically a transaction on a T-chart. Debits and credits.

    They could do the same for student and credit card debt—mortgages, etc. But we taxpayers aren’t part of the donor class — we are the marks. We ignore the real theft because it’s built into the system, and the press is captive propaganda outlets who are allowed to propagandize the sensational aspects of society along as they don’t touch on truth.

    DeJoy isn’t the end-all or just a bad guy who got caught. He’s a red flag that says, “What else are we missing?”

    #Kakistocracy

  3. Todd; you have outdone yourself this morning with your comments against what we are trying to get rid this country of at local, state and federal levels. Your comments and your big guppy in small town Muncie puddle are why that rural area votes Republican repeatedly and supports Indiana as a red state in perpetuity.

    “DeJoy isn’t the end-all or just a bad guy who got caught. He’s a red flag that says, “What else are we missing?”

    The majority of us on this blog aren’t missing much; you appear to be the one who needs to ask yourself what else are you missing. Your words have consequences; especially your public words in a rural college town with racial, high crime, slum areas and crumbling infrastructure problems the locally elected Republicans allow to go ignored.

  4. This is how Trump interprets “the best people”: “Like many Trump appointees, DeJoy seems to have been hired for the purpose of undermining the agency he now leads.” Trump wants to be Putin. Trump is FUNDAMENTALLY corrupt. Why is he still standing? Why hasn’t he been taken by the ear and led to his jail cell? Republicans in the Senate, that’s why.

    The Trump appointees who AREN’T corrupt are already gone. Tillerson’s definitive comment, “He’s a f***ing moron”, says more each day as we watch the psychopath and his crime family destroy everything it touches.

    Joann,

    To your question about Muncie: Every city and town has the problems you mention. It is especially worse in Republican states and towns, because Republicans don’t help the poor or the middle class achieve anything resembling a “pursuit of happiness”. Republicans are all about power, money and getting elected. Did I mention paying off their donors after those donors bribed them?

    I just started reading Michael Cohen’s book, “Disloyal”. It will go into the pantheon of warning books about Trump and his “Addams Family” of real horrors like “Everything Trump Touches Dies” and “A Very Stable Genius”.

  5. Actually, JoAnn, the Democratic Party was under investigation by the FBI, and several members of the administration were indicted and/or jailed, including the former mayor.

    Prior to those thieves, the republican mayor allowed the same sort of theft to occur. It’s why the political parties do what they do. They run campaigns to steal from the taxpayers.

    As Ralph Nader would say, the only difference between the two parties is the velocity at which they hit their knees begging for dollars. 😉

  6. In the scheme of American Politics Elected Leaders selecting like minded appointees is nothing new. Patronage was in the old days a method to reward the loyalists with government jobs. Boss Tweed in NYC was notorious. I grew up in the South Chicago area and the Democrats under Daley the Elder controlled the Patronage jobs. The Republicans were able to do the same thing “downstate” i.e., out side of Chicago to a lesser extent.

    Patronage and Crony Capitalism were hand in glove. At some point Crony Capitalism was the way to go. The Crony-Capitalists brought big dollars to politics. The Crony-Capitalists would enjoy the revolving door from the private sector to a government job and back to the private sector.

    Both political parties have engaged Crony-Capitalism. It is to be expected that the political leadership will select people to carry out the leaders wishes.

    The Trumpet has passed all the old boundaries his appointees would seem to look at the government as something to be looted. Inspector Generals that reveal any improprieties are fired.

    Here is an interesting snippet:

    The US justice department is seeking to take over Donald Trump’s defense in a defamation lawsuit from a writer who accused him of rape, and federal lawyers asked a court on Tuesday to allow a move that could put the American people on the hook for any money she might be awarded.

    After New York state courts turned down Trump’s request to delay E Jean Carroll’s suit, justice department lawyers filed court papers on Tuesday aiming to shift the case into federal court and to substitute the US for Trump as the defendant. That means the federal government, rather than Trump himself, might have to pay damages if any are awarded.

    Justice department lawyers argue that Trump was “acting within the scope of his office” when he denied Carroll’s allegations, made last year, that he raped her in a New York luxury department store in the mid-1990s. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/08/trump-defamation-justice-department-e-jean-carroll-rape-accusation

  7. It’s clear that Trump’s world is crashing down all around him and as collateral damage around us too. He’s built high walls around his family by choosing the crooks surrounding them and appropriating our government as his army. He stopped even pretending to be President once the campaign for re-election started, motivated by his continuing record for damaging all that he touches and the pressure of accountability.

    It’s crystal clear what we have to do first. Clear the castle completely. Blue no matter who. Then we’ll have to choose between re-uniting the country and holding the invaders from Russia personally accountable. Is it possible to do both? I personally don’t see that it is, but I’m not a politician.

  8. “…this is yet another example of Trump doing exactly what other presidents have done but just with a bold and “in your face element.”

    Todd,

    If you believe that there is any level of moral or ethical or corruption or criminal or treasonous or narcissistic or military-hating or intellectual or regard-for-the-rule-of-law or racist or self-serving or cruelty or money-seeking or predatory equivalency between Obama and Trump, or that they both hired sycophants to carry their water, or that they are in any way similar in their desire to undermine the country they serve(d), or that they love our enemies in similar ways, I’ll need you to provide some examples. I thought I was paying extraordinarily close attention during both administrations, yet I can’t identify any similarities in how they conducted themselves in office. In Trump’s case, I can not find one redeemable quality in his makeup, yet I found many sterling qualities in his predecessor. Please explain to me how I so badly misinterpreted what’s been happening for the last 12 years. If you have the time, please include an explanation of why the Russians paid Trump $45 million more than his house in Florida was worth. Michael Cohen says he believes Putin was behind that, but I’m certain you can provide a more fact-filled explanation.

  9. Todd, “We have benefitted from his (Trump’s) openly embracing his racist rants and the support of other racists.”

    Dude, I’d sure like to know how you think we have benefitted from Trump’s racist rants.

  10. Pete @ 10:58 wrote
    “It’s clear that Trump’s world is crashing down all around him and as collateral damage around us too. He’s built high walls around his family by choosing the crooks surrounding them and appropriating our government as his army.”

    Judging The Trumpet as any normal elected official – I would agree.

    The Trumpet is like a diseased infested rat, his fleas (his followers) cling tight to him. The more the disease is revealed the tighter they hold on.

    From The Guardian:
    A packed crowd of hundreds gathered in North Carolina for a Donald Trump campaign rally on Tuesday, with many people forgoing masks, in defiance of state guidelines capping gatherings at 50 people.

    Ahead of the president’s visit to Winston-Salem, the chair of the local county commission, a Republican, urged Trump to wear a face mask. The state has a mask requirement in place to slow the spread of coronavirus.

    However, Trump did not wear a mask, and used the event to mock his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, for following social distancing guidelines. While supporters waited for Trump to arrive, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door played over the loudspeakers, making for an inadvertently dark soundtrack.

  11. I can’t attribute the following and hate to admit that it’s not by me.

    September 6, 2020 (Sunday)

    Earlier this week, New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo warned that American democracy is ending. He pointed to political violence on the streets, the pandemic, unemployment, racial polarization, and natural disasters, all of which are destabilizing the country, and noted that Republicans appear to have abandoned democracy in favor of a cult-like support for Donald Trump. They are wedded to a narrative based in lies, as the president dismantles our non-partisan civil service and replaces it with a gang of cronies loyal only to him.

    He is right to be worried.

    Just the past few days have demonstrated that key aspects of democracy are under attack.

    Democracy depends on the rule of law. Today, we learned that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who rose to become a Cabinet official thanks to his prolific fundraising for the Republican Party, apparently managed to raise as much money as he did because he pressured employees at his business, New Breed Logistics, to make campaign contributions that he later reimbursed through bonuses. Such a scheme is illegal. A spokesman said that Dejoy “believes that he has always followed campaign fundraising laws and regulations,” but records show that many of DeJoy’s employees only contributed money to political campaigns when they worked for him.

    Democracy depends on equality before the law. But Black and brown people seem to receive summary justice at the hands of certain law enforcement officers, rather than being accorded the right to a trial before a jury of their peers. In a democracy, voters elect representatives who make laws that express the will of the community. “Law enforcement officers” stop people who are breaking those laws, and deliver them to our court system, where they can tell their side of the story and either be convicted of breaking the law, or acquitted. When police can kill people without that process, justice becomes arbitrary, depending on who holds power.

    Democracy depends on reality-based policy. Increasingly it is clear that the Trump administration is more concerned about creating a narrative to hold power than it is in facts. Today, Trump tweeted that “Our Economy and Jobs are doing really well,” when we are in a recession (defined as two quarters of negative growth) and unemployment remains at 8.4%.

    This weekend, the drive to create a narrative led to a new low as the government launched an attempt to control how we understand our history. On Friday, the administration instructed federal agencies to end training on “critical race theory,” which is a scary-sounding term for the idea that, over time, our laws have discriminated against Black and brown people, and that we should work to get rid of that discriminatory pattern.

    Today, Trump tweeted that the U.S. Department of Education will investigate whether California schools are using curriculum based on the 1619 Project from the New York Times, which argues that American history should center on the date of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to Chesapeake shores. Anyone using such curriculum, he said, would lose funding. Government interference in teaching our history echoes the techniques of dictatorships. It is unprecedented in America.

    Democracy depends on free and fair suffrage. The White House is trying to undermine our trust in the electoral system by claiming that mail-in ballots can be manipulated and will usher in fraud. While Trump has been arguing this for a while, last week Attorney General William Barr, a Trump loyalist, also chimed in, offering a false story that the Justice Department had indicted a Texas man for filling out 1700 absentee ballots. In fact, in 2017, one man was convicted of forging one woman’s signature on a mail-in ballot in a Dallas City Council race. Because mail-in ballots have security barcodes and require signatures to be matched to a registration form, the rate of ballot fraud is vanishingly small: there have been 491 prosecutions in all U.S. nationwide elections from 2000 to 2012, when billions of ballots were cast.

    Interestingly, an intelligence briefing from the Department of Homeland Security released Friday says that Russia is spreading false statements identical to those Trump and Barr are spreading. The bulletin says that Russian actors “are likely to promote allegations of corruption, system failure, and foreign malign interference to sow distrust in Democratic institutions and election outcomes.” They are spreading these claims through state-controlled media, fake websites, and social media trolls.

    At the same time, we know that the Republicans are launching attempts to suppress Democratic votes. Last Wednesday, we learned that Georgia has likely removed 200,000 voters from the rolls for no reason. In December 2019, the Georgia Secretary of State said officials had removed 313,243 names from the rolls in an act of routine maintenance because they were inactive and the voters had moved, but nonpartisan experts found that 63.3% of those voters had not, in fact, moved. They were purged from the rolls in error.

    And, in what was perhaps an accident, in South Carolina, voters’ sample ballots did not include Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, although they did include the candidates for the Green, Alliance, and Libertarian parties. When The Post and Courier newspaper called their attention to the oversight, the State Election Commission, which is a Republican-majority body appointed by a staunch Trump supporter, updated the ballots.

    Democracy depends on the legitimacy of (at least) two political parties. Opposition parties enable voters unhappy with whichever group of leaders is in power to articulate their positions without undermining the government itself. They also watch leaders carefully, forcing them to combat corruption within their ranks.

    This administration has sought to delegitimize Democrats as “socialists” and “radicals” who are not legitimate political players. Just today, Trump tweeted: “The Democrats, together with the corrupt Fake News Media, have launched a massive Disinformation Campaign the likes of which has never been seen before.”

    For its part, the Republican Party has essentially become the Trump Party, not only in ideology and loyalty but in finances. Yesterday we learned that Trump and the Republican National Committee have spent close to $60 million from campaign contributors on Trump’s legal bills. Matthew Sanderson, a campaign finance lawyer for Republican presidential candidates, told the New York Times, “Vindicating President Trump’s personal interests is now so intertwined with the interests of the Republican Party they are one and the same — and that includes the legal fights the party is paying for now.”

    The administration has refused to answer to Democrats in Congress, ignoring subpoenas with the argument that Congress has no power to investigate the executive branch, despite precedent for such oversight going all the way back to George Washington’s administration. Just last week, a federal appeals court said that Congress has no power to enforce a subpoena because there is no law that gives it the authority to do so. This essentially voids a subpoena the House issued last year to former White House counsel Don McGahn, demanding he testify about his dealings with Trump over the investigation into the ties of the Trump campaign to Russia. (The decision will likely be challenged.)

    On September 4, U.S. Postal Service police officers refused Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) entry to one USPS facility in Opa-Locka, Florida and another in Miami. Although she followed the procedures she had followed in the past, this time the local officials told her that the national USPS leadership had told them to bar her entry. “Ensuring only authorized parties enter nonpublic areas of USPS facilities is part of a Postal Police officer’s normal duties, said Postal Inspector Eric Manuel. Wasserman Schultz is a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

    And finally, democracy depends on the peaceful transition of power. Trump has repeatedly suggested that he will not leave office because the Democrats are going to cheat.

    So we should definitely worry.

    But should we despair? Absolutely not.

    Convincing people the game is over is one of the key ways dictators take power. Scholars warn never to consent in advance to what you anticipate an autocrat will demand. If democracy were already gone, there would be no need for Trump and his people to lie and cheat and try to steal this election.

    And I would certainly not be writing this letter.

    Americans are coming together from all different political positions to fight this attack on our democracy, and we have been in similar positions before. In 1858, Abraham Lincoln spoke under similar circumstances, and noted that Americans who disagreed on almost everything else could still agree to defend their country, just as we are now. Ordinary Americans “rose each fighting, grasping whatever he could first reach—a scythe—a pitchfork– a chopping axe, or a butcher’s cleaver,” he said. And “when the storm shall be past,” the world “shall find us still Americans; no less devoted to the continued Union and prosperity of the country than heretofore.”

  12. Reference Republican thinking, I’ve decided to let Richard LeKorf, the antagonist in my upcoming novel, use my post to speak to you today. LeKorf is a prominent conservative operative in an Indiana town controlled by the Hoosier Mafia.

    LeKorf: “Yeah, well, too many damn people like you Goddamn artists fail to recognize a difference between truths and values. That’s why you fail to understand which of the two has real power and which has more sway over your daily life. You want an example? That rock there; it is true that that there rock is inanimate, but that truth, though it has been established by Almighty God, has very little influence over anything.”

    “An argument could be…”

    “Not in this damn town. Values, on the other hand, those things we humans, all by our lonesome, establish through lie and myth and indoctrination and bloodshed, whatever; them values have immense power over your fucking life, even if you are a fucking artist. Ain’t that somethin’.”

    The artist opened his mouth to rebut LeKorf but LeKorf cut him off.

    ” Damn right, values have power over God’s rock and God’s air and God’s water, and for that matter over God’s gravity. My road crew is completely indoctrinated that the value of transportation is more important to me than inanimate fucking geography. So, they will crush Almighty God’s rock, God’s truth, God’s fact, and turn it all into underlayment for my road or bric-a-brac for my culvert…or foundation for some fuckin’ artist’s gravestone.”

    “Are you threatening…”

    “Just talkin’ values, Bub; don’t get your panties in a wad. See, facts and truth do not in themselves contain any intrinsic meaning or power, so they are meaningless in the world of power, which precisely is the world of politics and government. Therefore, armed with that knowledge, we new republicans derive our power, my power, from nothing but values, rather than from truth or fact. Fact is, Mr. smartass artist, I, with the values I choose, establish the truth that shall be significant for your life forever and ever; Amen. Your job is to react to that truth. It is all you can do…react to the truth I dictate. One of them reactions is to get the hell out of my town. Another is to force me to turn that there rock into the foundation for your gravestone. Is that enough?”
    “Is what enough?”
    “A word from the wise.”

  13. I thought this blog allowed persons express their reactions to the news or other’s views, not a review of their stories.

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