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(Baltimore Sun)   Reason #4080 why Congress gets nothing done: Senator promises filibuster over US Post Office changes while Maryland and Delaware fight over which side of the state line their west bumfark post office will be   (baltimoresun.com) divider line 44
    More: Asinine, Barbara A. Mikulski, filibusters, Eastern Shore, Maryland's Eastern Shore, congresses  
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1276 clicks; posted to Politics » on 22 Mar 2012 at 3:51 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



44 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-03-22 03:35:48 PM  
They'd get *some* stuff done if conservatards would actually budge from their insane policy demands.

/congress: a hostage situation
 
2012-03-22 03:54:50 PM  

gameshowhost: They'd get *some* stuff done if conservatards would actually budge from their insane policy demands.


They would raise taxes on the rich and give everyone a mail processing center! Oprahbama 2012!
 
2012-03-22 03:54:58 PM  
Reasons 1-4079? 0bama
 
2012-03-22 03:59:53 PM  
Our local sorting center is scheduled to close. It'll now take 2-3 instead of 1-2 days to send mail within the city since it has to be sent out, sorted, and sent back. It's not a huge deal. It's just odd that it'd be more efficient to do it that way.

/People are expensive.
 
2012-03-22 04:03:42 PM  
FFS.

Seriously, we need a FFS tag now.

"Asanine" comes close but...
 
2012-03-22 04:04:45 PM  
AcademGreen 2012-03-22 03:59:53 PM

Our local sorting center is scheduled to close. It'll now take 2-3 instead of 1-2 days to send mail within the city since it has to be sent out, sorted, and sent back. It's not a huge deal. It's just odd that it'd be more efficient to do it that way.

/People are expensive.


same here

I read that as "snorting center".....wtf.
 
2012-03-22 04:06:10 PM  

AcademGreen: Our local sorting center is scheduled to close. It'll now take 2-3 instead of 1-2 days to send mail within the city since it has to be sent out, sorted, and sent back. It's not a huge deal. It's just odd that it'd be more efficient to do it that way.

/People are expensive.


It's not the people that are expensive. Americans are hungry for work, and they are hard, honest workers. It's the strangling environmental and corporate regulations on companies put in place by 0bama that are causing these centers to be closed down. They spend so much time inspecting for endangered species or sitting down with people offended about the picture their coworker has hanging in their cubicle that they can't work efficiently. Add in the amount of welfare queens that couldn't cut it in the real world cuddling up to a cushy government job and it's a miracle that any mail gets sent at all. I heard on the radio that the local mail sorting center spent five months last year dealing with complaints from liberals because one of the clerks said 'Merry Christmas' instead of 'happy generic atheist holidays' like the ACLU wants.
 
2012-03-22 04:06:11 PM  

quatchi: FFS.

Seriously, we need a FFS tag now.

"Asanine" comes close but...


Is that a newly discovered amino acid?
 
2012-03-22 04:07:01 PM  

DarwiOdrade: quatchi: FFS.

Seriously, we need a FFS tag now.

"Asanine" comes close but...

Is that a newly discovered amino acid?


It's a very embarr'ass'ing 12 step program.
 
2012-03-22 04:14:15 PM  
The Postal Service announced this year it is studying moving the Easton mail sorting facility to another plant in Wilmington, Del. About 130 people work at the plant, the only one remaining on the Eastern Shore.

To be fair, 130 people is probably around 10% of Delaware's entire workforce.
 
2012-03-22 04:15:42 PM  
I'm ok with this use of power.

These Post Office changes are uncalled for.

Funding 75 years of retirement within 5 years?

Just call it what it is; "Republicans want to privatize the mail"; and be done with it.
 
2012-03-22 04:15:59 PM  

quatchi: FFS.

Seriously, we need a FFS tag now.

"Asanine" comes close but...


How about a Facepalm tag instead?
 
2012-03-22 04:17:13 PM  

meat0918: I'm ok with this use of power.

These Post Office changes are uncalled for.

Funding 75 years of retirement within 5 years?

Just call it what it is; "Republicans want to privatize the mail"; and be done with it.


Dear God, this. The USPS is required to fund retirement plans for people who aren't even born yet. WTF???
 
2012-03-22 04:18:54 PM  

meat0918: I'm ok with this use of power.

These Post Office changes are uncalled for.

Funding 75 years of retirement within 5 years?

Just call it what it is; "Republicans want to privatize the mail"; and be done with it.


What you object to raising the cost of mail to 10 times what it currently is? Laying off hundreds of thousands of people from jobs that pay a living wage? And giving delivery companies a giant wind fall?

What are you a Socialist?
 
2012-03-22 04:19:49 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: The Postal Service announced this year it is studying moving the Easton mail sorting facility to another plant in Wilmington, Del. About 130 people work at the plant, the only one remaining on the Eastern Shore.

To be fair, 130 people is probably around 10% of Delaware's entire workforce.


It's MD workers that would lose their jobs. The DE workers would just have more work to do.

It's a dumb thing to threaten to filibuster over and the filibuster is likely an empty threat, but this is pretty clearly something Mikulski should try to fight. I would hope most Senators would fight a bill that would eliminate jobs in their state. Obviously, they can't always win the fight, but their state sent them their to fight it.
 
2012-03-22 04:23:23 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: meat0918: I'm ok with this use of power.

These Post Office changes are uncalled for.

Funding 75 years of retirement within 5 years?

Just call it what it is; "Republicans want to privatize the mail"; and be done with it.

Dear God, this. The USPS is required to fund retirement plans for people who aren't even born yet. WTF???


That is easy to answer. In 2003 the Federal government stopped all Federal payments into the US Federal Employees pension and medical funds in order to make the cost of the ongoing wars look smaller.

In order to insure that the federal pension and medical funds had enough capital to continue operating the forced those costs onto the USPS. They are never going to reduce those requirements as then they would have to admit that because the Republicans have been jacking with the funding for the federal pension plan it is about a two trillion dollar unfunded liability.

No the current crop of politicians are just hoping that they will be out of office before the crash happens and all those federal retired employees are forced to accept that they are only going to get 40-60 percent of their expected retirement payments out of the pension plan.
 
2012-03-22 04:32:57 PM  

Slaves2Darkness: Mike Chewbacca: meat0918: I'm ok with this use of power.

These Post Office changes are uncalled for.

Funding 75 years of retirement within 5 years?

Just call it what it is; "Republicans want to privatize the mail"; and be done with it.

Dear God, this. The USPS is required to fund retirement plans for people who aren't even born yet. WTF???

That is easy to answer. In 2003 the Federal government stopped all Federal payments into the US Federal Employees pension and medical funds in order to make the cost of the ongoing wars look smaller.

In order to insure that the federal pension and medical funds had enough capital to continue operating the forced those costs onto the USPS. They are never going to reduce those requirements as then they would have to admit that because the Republicans have been jacking with the funding for the federal pension plan it is about a two trillion dollar unfunded liability.

No the current crop of politicians are just hoping that they will be out of office before the crash happens and all those federal retired employees are forced to accept that they are only going to get 40-60 percent of their expected retirement payments out of the pension plan.


Rep. Defazio is trying, but it is a Republican controlled House, so nothing was done

Link (new window)

//And apparently it is 10 years not 5.
 
2012-03-22 04:34:56 PM  

sprawl15's troll alt: It's the strangling environmental and corporate regulations on companies put in place by 0bama that are causing these centers to be closed down.


Yes, surely it has nothing to do with the 75-year retirement funding mandate that Congressional Republicans forced on the USPS in a fairly obvious attempt to make USPS fail and prove their assertion that government is bad.

That law put the screws on USPS's finances in 2006, but I dunno, Obama's time machine or something.
 
2012-03-22 04:57:08 PM  

Slaves2Darkness: Mike Chewbacca: meat0918: I'm ok with this use of power.

These Post Office changes are uncalled for.

Funding 75 years of retirement within 5 years?

Just call it what it is; "Republicans want to privatize the mail"; and be done with it.

Dear God, this. The USPS is required to fund retirement plans for people who aren't even born yet. WTF???

That is easy to answer. In 2003 the Federal government stopped all Federal payments into the US Federal Employees pension and medical funds in order to make the cost of the ongoing wars look smaller.

In order to insure that the federal pension and medical funds had enough capital to continue operating the forced those costs onto the USPS. They are never going to reduce those requirements as then they would have to admit that because the Republicans have been jacking with the funding for the federal pension plan it is about a two trillion dollar unfunded liability.

No the current crop of politicians are just hoping that they will be out of office before the crash happens and all those federal retired employees are forced to accept that they are only going to get 40-60 percent of their expected retirement payments out of the pension plan.


Is there an article or source for Congress-created liability. I knew about the 75 year requirement, but I always just assumed its reason was to force the postal system to be privatized after its operating expenses got too high.
 
2012-03-22 05:04:35 PM  
Article: A bipartisan bill is being threatened with a filibuster because one senator has a few constituents who will be affected.

Fark comments section: THOSE farkING REPUBLICANS

Seriously, guys?
 
2012-03-22 05:06:16 PM  

AcademGreen: Is there an article or source for Congress-created liability. I knew about the 75 year requirement, but I always just assumed its reason was to force the postal system to be privatized after its operating expenses got too high.


Umm... the USPS is and was self-funded. That's what postage is BTW. The thing that threw their finances to the wind was the mandated pension.
 
2012-03-22 05:08:41 PM  
They get nothing done because they spend all their time running for re-election and grandstanding for the cameras. Today's example: Dick Durbin wants to hold hearings on the NFL's bounty program. That will do as much for the country as the baseball steroid hearings. Thanks, Dickie, boy, for today's example of why all Senators and Reps should be limited to term.
 
2012-03-22 05:17:00 PM  
Jesus, I wish we'd just leave the USPS alone. Stop forcing them to prepay on their pensions (does the Pentagon? Federal Reserve?), and stop complaining when the lose money while in the process of providing a federally mandated service.
 
2012-03-22 05:19:11 PM  
That's because they don't make people filibuster for real anymore.

It's not like Mr Smith where the dude will eventually pass out and have to yield the floor.

They send a polite note and declare their 'intention' to filibuster. MAKE the bastards have to stand on the floor and talk , record what they say - it'll at least be entertaining while they do. Esp as the other senators rotate in and out going to shave, shower, dine, etc.
 
2012-03-22 05:21:05 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: quatchi: FFS.

Seriously, we need a FFS tag now.

"Asanine" comes close but...

How about a Facepalm tag instead?


Would prefer a *head-desk* but if that's all ya got...

/It's true spelling mistakes are more interesting than this article.
 
2012-03-22 05:21:37 PM  

Poison: They get nothing done because they spend all their time running for re-election and grandstanding for the cameras. Today's example: Dick Durbin wants to hold hearings on the NFL's bounty program. That will do as much for the country as the baseball steroid hearings. Thanks, Dickie, boy, for today's example of why all Senators and Reps should be limited to term.


Ya, I think that a 450 day moritorium on campaign contributions after being seated would be a fine fine thing. Yeah, it'd let the senators raise like gangbusters and force the representatives to wait until ... may of the election year, but good.
 
2012-03-22 05:30:42 PM  
And again the Fark great unwashed masses are as predictable as the sunrise. Every Senator mentioned in this article is a Democrat. Yet somehow it is all the fault of the EVILl Republicans. You folks are beyond pathetic.
 
2012-03-22 05:50:08 PM  
Subby obviously failed Geography in school. It would be East Bumfark if Md. & De are argiung where to put the distribution center.
 
2012-03-22 05:51:56 PM  
degenerate-afro:
Umm... the USPS is and was self-funded. That's what postage is BTW. The thing that threw their finances to the wind was the mandated pension.

Actually, I was curious about the previous poster's statement:


That is easy to answer. In 2003 the Federal government stopped all Federal payments into the US Federal Employees pension and medical funds in order to make the cost of the ongoing wars look smaller.

In order to insure that the federal pension and medical funds had enough capital to continue operating the forced those costs onto the USPS. They are never going to reduce those requirements as then they would have to admit that because the Republicans have been jacking with the funding for the federal pension plan it is about a two trillion dollar unfunded liability.


According to this article the retirement systems for non-postal federal employees and postal employees is the same. What I wanted to know is the details on the decision to stop paying into the common retirement program from other federal agencies and the decision to mandate the postal system pay more into it.
 
2012-03-22 05:56:27 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: meat0918: I'm ok with this use of power.

These Post Office changes are uncalled for.

Funding 75 years of retirement within 5 years?

Just call it what it is; "Republicans want to privatize the mail"; and be done with it.

Dear God, this. The USPS is required to fund retirement plans for people who aren't even born yet. WTF???


No it's not, that a bit of a talking point. From the actual law itself, title 8 of PL 109-435 (The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006),

the term 'Postal surplus or supplemental liability' means the estimated difference, as determined by the Office, between:
1. the actuarial present value of all future benefits payable from the Fund under this subchapter to current or former employees of the United States Postal Service and attributable to civilian employment with the United States Postal Service;
2. (i) the actuarial present value of deductions to be
withheld from the future basic pay of employees of the
United States Postal Service currently subject to this subchapter under section 8334;


Any private sector pension plan is legally required to fully fund the pension plan of its current and former employees. The post office is now also required to do this... but it gets to count pension deductions from future employees against this, massively reducing its pension liability.

Furthermore,

''(B) The Office shall redetermine the Postal surplus or supplemental liability as of the close of the fiscal year, for each fiscal year beginning after September 30, 2007, through the fiscal year ending September 30, 2038. If the result is a surplus, that amount shall remain in the Fund until distribution is authorized under subparagraph (C). Beginning June 15, 2017, if the result is a supplemental liability, the Office shall establish an amortization schedule, including a series of annual installments commencing on September 30 of the subsequent fiscal year, which provides for the liquidation of such liability by September 30, 2043.

So the post office has until 2043 to make up any shortfall between present liabilities and future deductions.

The other part is the retiree health plan. The post office is required to compute: the unfunded health care liabilities for current and past employees, and secondly the present value of liabilities for future employees.

It is required to fully fund the liabilities for current and past employees within the next ten years. It is also required to fund the health care liabilities for future employees, but (and there's always a but),

Not later than June 30, 2017, the Office shall compute, and by June 30 of each succeeding year shall recompute, a schedule including a series of annual installments which provide for the liquidation of any liability or surplus by September 30, 2056, or within 15 years, whichever is later, of the net present value determined under subparagraph (A)

So the post office wins on one (it doesn't have to fully fund retirement benefits for current and past employees), but loses on the other (it has to fund health care liabilities for future employees). Whether it's a net win or loss for the post office is an interesting question, but...

Only its liabilities for present and past employees have to be funded by 2017, and that's the post office's problem. The U.S. Postal Service Inspector General estimates that the post office has promised more than $90 billion in health care for present and past employees that it hasn't paid for.

So the whole '75 year' thing is a giant talking point. Whether their deal on retirement and health is a fair one is moot... the post office's problems today stem from chronically under-funding the retirement of its current employees.
 
2012-03-22 07:18:25 PM  
Germany's mail system was privatized several years ago, and has domestic competitors (most are only regional, though). On the plus side, it's fast - regular letters usually arrive the day after they're sent, even from the other end of the country. On the downside, it's expensive - 0.55 Eur for a domestic letter, and 1.70 Eur for a card to the US ($0.73 and $2.24). The last note I got from someone in the US cost $0.54, and a normal letter was $0.98.
 
2012-03-22 08:00:32 PM  
Texmandie:

Germany's mail system was privatized several years ago, and has domestic competitors (most are only regional, though). On the plus side, it's fast - regular letters usually arrive the day after they're sent, even from the other end of the country. On the downside, it's expensive - 0.55 Eur for a domestic letter, and 1.70 Eur for a card to the US ($0.73 and $2.24). The last note I got from someone in the US cost $0.54, and a normal letter was $0.98.

Compared to the US first class system, where for $0.45 someone will come to your door, pick up a letter, and make sure it gets delivered to someone's door 5000 miles away within a week.

Of all the things to biatch about in the US, the postal system isn't one. From what I understand about the French postal system, you don't trust money or anything important to them. In the US we think nothing of sending checks through the mail, we trust they'll arrive. And perhaps that's just France.
 
2012-03-22 08:40:23 PM  
What I want to know:

I recently sent cards halfway across the planet. To my neices and nephews in Baltimore, to friends in Minnasota and Texas. IIRC it cost me 50 rupees NP each, which was about 20 cents American.

"Are you sure about that"

"Yes sir, I am."

"Ok."


How the heck do they manage that?
 
2012-03-22 08:53:36 PM  

maxheck: What I want to know:

I recently sent cards halfway across the planet. To my neices and nephews in Baltimore, to friends in Minnasota and Texas. IIRC it cost me 50 rupees NP each, which was about 20 cents American.

"Are you sure about that"

"Yes sir, I am."

"Ok."


How the heck do they manage that?


It costs me less to mail a First Class International package to eastern Canada than it does to mail the same package (over a pound) via PARCEL POST to somewhere on the east coast of the US. That one does not make much sense to me.
 
2012-03-22 09:12:22 PM  

jepzilla: Mike Chewbacca: meat0918: I'm ok with this use of power.

These Post Office changes are uncalled for.

Funding 75 years of retirement within 5 years?

Just call it what it is; "Republicans want to privatize the mail"; and be done with it.

Dear God, this. The USPS is required to fund retirement plans for people who aren't even born yet. WTF???

No it's not, that a bit of a talking point. From the actual law itself, title 8 of PL 109-435 (The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006),

the term 'Postal surplus or supplemental liability' means the estimated difference, as determined by the Office, between:
1. the actuarial present value of all future benefits payable from the Fund under this subchapter to current or former employees of the United States Postal Service and attributable to civilian employment with the United States Postal Service;
2. (i) the actuarial present value of deductions to be
withheld from the future basic pay of employees of the
United States Postal Service currently subject to this subchapter under section 8334;


Any private sector pension plan is legally required to fully fund the pension plan of its current and former employees. The post office is now also required to do this... but it gets to count pension deductions from future employees against this, massively reducing its pension liability.

Furthermore,

''(B) The Office shall redetermine the Postal surplus or supplemental liability as of the close of the fiscal year, for each fiscal year beginning after September 30, 2007, through the fiscal year ending September 30, 2038. If the result is a surplus, that amount shall remain in the Fund until distribution is authorized under subparagraph (C). Beginning June 15, 2017, if the result is a supplemental liability, the Office shall establish an amortization schedule, including a series of annual installments commencing on September 30 of the subsequent fiscal year, which provides for the liquidation of such liability by September ...


Two things stand out:

1) This wasn't actually a problem yet.
2) With proper fiscal planning, and without the actions in 2006, the problems that may exist down the road could have easily been addressed with only slight changes to the way the USPS does business, as opposed to blowing the f*cker apart for many people in rural American towns or large, low-population-density states.

Incidentally, I do like your strategic use of particular qualifiers, such as "private sector." The USPS is a wholly different animal than just about any business entity in the US, in that it is so tied into the US government without necessarily being a "government" job, but they do not have the ability to perform duties that a private company could perform, particularly when it comes to their bookkeeping. Basically, a new set of rules was created specifically for this entity, and it was done so in a way that was DESIGNED to slash jobs and benefits.
I mean, I'd love to see what would happen if Congress decided to pull this kind of gimmick with Social Security. Riots in the farking streets? Or would the US simply default?
 
2012-03-22 10:05:14 PM  

rubi_con_man: That's because they don't make people filibuster for real anymore.

It's not like Mr Smith where the dude will eventually pass out and have to yield the floor.

They send a polite note and declare their 'intention' to filibuster. MAKE the bastards have to stand on the floor and talk , record what they say - it'll at least be entertaining while they do. Esp as the other senators rotate in and out going to shave, shower, dine, etc.


This.

I believe it was old man Helms, although I don't feel like looking it up, who held the record for real live filibustering. He deliberately drank nothing for a day before the filibuster so he wouldn't need to use the toilet, and then read from a cookbook towards the end before his aides dragged him off after something like 25 straight hours of talking. Truly a virtuoso performance.
 
2012-03-22 11:02:44 PM  

cman: Article: A bipartisan bill is being threatened with a filibuster because one senator has a few constituents who will be affected.

Fark comments section: THOSE farkING REPUBLICANS

Seriously, guys?



From reading all the comments thus far, I don't think the majority of FARKers think that at all.

It sounds like the main problem is that this silly plan of funding 75 years of retirement in a 10 year period. I don't think anyone here on FARK really cares if it was a Democrat or Republican who came up with the idea ... it's just being called out for what it is .... a stupid farking idea.
 
2012-03-23 12:01:50 AM  

meat0918: it is a Republican controlled House, so nothing was done


We can do something about that this fall.
 
2012-03-23 12:42:03 AM  
I don't mind when Congress gets nothing done. It's when they do stuff that I get farked over by them.
 
2012-03-23 01:13:15 AM  

sprawl15's troll alt: AcademGreen: Our local sorting center is scheduled to close. It'll now take 2-3 instead of 1-2 days to send mail within the city since it has to be sent out, sorted, and sent back. It's not a huge deal. It's just odd that it'd be more efficient to do it that way.

/People are expensive.

It's not the people that are expensive. Americans are hungry for work, and they are hard, honest workers. It's the strangling environmental and corporate regulations on companies put in place by 0bama that are causing these centers to be closed down. They spend so much time inspecting for endangered species or sitting down with people offended about the picture their coworker has hanging in their cubicle that they can't work efficiently. Add in the amount of welfare queens that couldn't cut it in the real world cuddling up to a cushy government job and it's a miracle that any mail gets sent at all. I heard on the radio that the local mail sorting center spent five months last year dealing with complaints from liberals because one of the clerks said 'Merry Christmas' instead of 'happy generic atheist holidays' like the ACLU wants.


Are you campaigning for a "Stupid" tag for posts? This post should get that fast tracked
 
2012-03-23 01:35:57 AM  

Gyrfalcon: rubi_con_man: That's because they don't make people filibuster for real anymore.

It's not like Mr Smith where the dude will eventually pass out and have to yield the floor.

They send a polite note and declare their 'intention' to filibuster. MAKE the bastards have to stand on the floor and talk , record what they say - it'll at least be entertaining while they do. Esp as the other senators rotate in and out going to shave, shower, dine, etc.

This.

I believe it was old man Helms, although I don't feel like looking it up, who held the record for real live filibustering. He deliberately drank nothing for a day before the filibuster so he wouldn't need to use the toilet, and then read from a cookbook towards the end before his aides dragged him off after something like 25 straight hours of talking. Truly a virtuoso performance.


As a North Carolinian, may he rot in hell.

\Was that his civil rights bill filibuster?
 
2012-03-23 01:44:18 AM  

cptjeff: Gyrfalcon: rubi_con_man: That's because they don't make people filibuster for real anymore.

It's not like Mr Smith where the dude will eventually pass out and have to yield the floor.

They send a polite note and declare their 'intention' to filibuster. MAKE the bastards have to stand on the floor and talk , record what they say - it'll at least be entertaining while they do. Esp as the other senators rotate in and out going to shave, shower, dine, etc.

This.

I believe it was old man Helms, although I don't feel like looking it up, who held the record for real live filibustering. He deliberately drank nothing for a day before the filibuster so he wouldn't need to use the toilet, and then read from a cookbook towards the end before his aides dragged him off after something like 25 straight hours of talking. Truly a virtuoso performance.

As a North Carolinian, may he rot in hell.

\Was that his civil rights bill filibuster?


That's the one. The aides and fellow Congressmen made him quit because they were convinced he was going to die in front of them, since he hadn't taken a piss in something like 48 hours.
 
2012-03-23 03:30:25 AM  
So how much longer till some adults get elected to congress? I'm getting tired of this 3rd grade bullshiat.
 
2012-03-23 12:17:39 PM  

AcademGreen: Our local sorting center is scheduled to close. It'll now take 2-3 instead of 1-2 days to send mail within the city since it has to be sent out, sorted, and sent back. It's not a huge deal. It's just odd that it'd be more efficient to do it that way.

/People are expensive.


you in Kalamazoo?
 
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