September 13, 2017

Wondering on Wednesday (v103)

So, I wonder what Donny and Chuckie and Nancy are having for dinner, this Wednesday?

No -- actually, I don't care what they're having. (FYI, if you're interested, we had hot dogs and pasta salad; I suspect the three of them are likely eating better, don't you think?)

Another thing I don't care about is pundits and other folks falling all over themselves to talk about Trump being presidential by talking to people from the other party, or say this is the (latest) 'pivot' from candidate to officeholder to president.

As I've noted before, we have allowed the bar to be set so low that it's almost impossible for him to fail. It's time for us to hold him to the same standard as every other president - and that means we don't have to fawn all over him every time he does something, if only for a fleeting second, that makes sense.

I've wondered before exactly why it was that Congress required the US Postal Service to prefund 75 years worth of retirement benefits, something not required of any other part of government or by any private businesses, for that matter.  That decision, made back in 2006, has imperiled the USPS ever since, making it nearly impossible for the agency to succeed.

So, even though we have states doing some, most, or even all of their elections by mail, and even though we're seeing an increasing trend in the use of mail order pharmacies for prescription drug insurance plans, the USPS may need a 20% increase in the price of stamps to stave off bankruptcy, and to "improve delivery service.

I'm wondering how much of an improvement we need? Here in The Valley, we get mail delivered six days a week, seven if I count how amenable Amazon is to getting me my stuff. in a hurry. But what I wonder even more is, why does Congress seem to spend so much time naming post offices?  Check out these comments (from 2010) made by former Speaker of the House Crying John Boehner:
With all the challenges facing our nation, it is absurd that Congress spends so much time on naming post offices, congratulating sports teams, and celebrating the birthdays of historical figures. It's time to focus on doing what we were sent here to do.
The same article, published in 2015 notes that since 2011, post office naming bills made up 16 percent of all legislation passed, dropping to only 13% in in the most recent Congressional session. And, it points out, the cost of 'naming' is covered by the Post Office -- as much as $5000 for some of them. I gotta tell you, that takes some real cojones, doesn't it?
We're going to make you set aside money for retirement benefits in advance for three quarters of a century! And then, we're going to rename your stores - and make you pay for the new signage! But wait, there's more! We're going to make you beg to raise prices! And, this is the best part, it really is - we're going to listen to our lobbyists and campaign donors instead of you when we make a rate increase decision!  Isn't this great?!
Isn't this great, you wonder?

Yeah, not so much. But it does clearly illustrated what we're up against, doesn't it?