Trump goes postal, coronavirus in the UK vs. Ireland, and more on Cory Doctorow's

Today on Cory Doctorow’s

Trump plans to murder the US Postal Service, in violation of the US Constitution.

The USPS is about to declare bankruptcy. It’s at the center of the longstanding plans for disaster recover and has been since the Cold War. It’s the only institution that could (for example) deliver covid meds to every home in America in one day.…

But Congress has decided not to bail out the postal service, despite Art 1, Sec 8 of the US Constitution: “To establish Post Offices and post Roads.”

Maybe it’s because without a USPS we couldn’t have a postal vote in 2020?…

The proximate cause of the post office’s bankruptcy is the pandemic, but that is merely the finishing blow. The USPS was murdered in 2006, when Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.…

The Act gave the USPS a mere 10 years to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years.” That is, to set aside cash to pay medical bills for future employees who hadn’t been born yet.…

The USPS’s murder is straight out of the neoliberal playbook: “1 Defund, 2 claim crisis, 3 call for privatizatization, 4 profit!”

As Lambert Strether points out, it was a bipartisan act of murder, cosponored by the “centrist” Democrat Henry Waxman….

The USPS is the nation’s second largest employer of veterans, with 630,000 employees. Trump is about to allow it to collapse so that UPS, Fedex and other private firms can skim off the most profitable parts of its business and leave rural Americans totally isolated.

The loss of the USPS would mean the loss of the last truly universal federal program in America and would unduly hammer the people whom Trump claims to love — veterans and rural voters.…


Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has made election day a statewide holiday, joining the handful of other states that have passed this vital, democracy-protecting law, like Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky and New York.…

It should be a federal holiday. It isn’t, because Republicans believe that increased voter turnout is bad for their electoral chances.…

Northam’s new holiday-establishing order also eliminates Virginia’s Lee-Jackson day holiday, which celebrated the traitorous, slave-owning Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson, who murdered American soldiers to defend their right to treat other Americans as property.

Here’s a campaign to #TakeBackTuesday and establish a US-wide election-day holiday.…


Coronavirus death rates in Ireland, which embraced quarantining early on, are half what they are in the UK, whose idiot Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in denial about the seriousness of the threat.

Medical historian Elaine Doyle notes that “as the Irish government was shutting schools, 250,000 people in the UK were gathering for a Cheltenham match.”

Ireland canceled St Paddy’s Day and shut pubs a week in advance. The UK had megaconcerts like the Stereophonics gig in Cardiff.

The Irish government made clear, continuous announcements about the gravity of the pandemic, urging people to stay home and take care. The UK government was virtually silent.

The thing about exponential growth is that early interventions make a huge difference. The UK dawdled for nearly two weeks before taking the lockdown steps that the Irish enacted.

The Tory ideology holds that governments are incompetent. This creates a perverse incentive: when Tories govern badly, they prove their own point. But Tories are supposed to murder poor people to juice the economy, not murder pensioners AND the economy.

Boris Johnson is a vile piece of work: a racist, misogynist bigot and a fool. His unwillingness to take (medical) expert advice (and his reliance on finance-sector advice) resulted in the measurable, deaths of Britons. Thousands of them.

What Cory says about Johnson and the Tories goes for Trump and the GOP too of course.

Mitch W @MitchW