Another head-shaker: Trump plans to veto any support for the USPS and appears about to fire Fauci. We also include some good news on a NM Farm-Food Bank cooperative, an XR call for artists & two feel-good music videos.
After a couple of action and event announcements, we offer an upbeat report on a new NM Farm to Food Bank program. This is precisely the kind of selfless, cooperative venture that needs to emerge from this virus-informed life. Then we turn to reports on Trump’s plans to veto support for the postal service, and an excellent NPR report on all the unfulfilled promises Trump made the day he announced a state of emergency, one long month ago. We also provide links to a report suggesting that Fauci’s days may be numbered.
After all that, we want to leave you with something to make you smile, two videos, one from Playing for Change followed by a video documentary on the history of Crosby Stills & Nash. Both brought smiles to my face, especially Playing for Change which features Ringo, The Band‘s Robbie Robertson, and over a dozen musicians from Bahrain, Jamaica, Barcelona, Senegal, and a myriad of other locations miraculously blended into a perfectly harmonious rendition of The Band’s “The Weight.” Read on.
NM Supreme Court to Hear State Plan for Mail-Only Primary TODAY at 1:30 pm
Republicans are opposing the plan, claiming the vast potential for voter fraud that has never been proven anywhere, ever. The Democratic Party, the County Clerks association, Navajo Nation, Common Cause, and a host of other organizations have submitted briefs in support of the initiative. Oral arguments begin at 1:30. Click here to get to the livestream from NM PBS.
Zoominar with PRC District 3 Candidates
TODAY, Tues., April 14, 6:30 – 8pm, Forum with both Democratic District 3 Candidates for Public Regulation Commission (PRC). The PRC plays a crucial role in trying to regulate our use of energy in NM and currently is caught in a battle with the Governor and the legislature over the scope of their authority, whether commissioners should be elected or appointed, and now, even where they will be physically located. Current Dist. 3 commissioner Valerie Espinoza is leaving office the due to term limits. Two excellent candidates are running for her seat: Former Espanola Mayor and Santa Fe City Council member, Joe Maestas; and Brian Harris, who for thirteen years has either worked at the PRC or been a ratepayer expert advocate at their hearings. To receive a password to enter the meeting, register at this link.
Calling All Artists: Extinction Rebellion Announces Remote Art Project for Earth Day, Deadline is Wednesday
I got this last night and apologize for the last-minute notice. XR has announced a highly participatory, online art project to celebrate Earth Day (April 22). Their plan is for each person signing up to create a single letter of the alphabet so that together individual personal “letters” can spell out the XR message below.
XR is collecting images of our community holding up letters to spell out the phrase below, and they invite you to participate! The message will read:
WE ARE ALL TOGETHER,
THIS IS CLIMATE CRISIS. HONOR INDIGENOUS WISDOM
BAIL OUT PEOPLE
WE DEMAND A JUST TRANSITION
ON EARTH. FOR EARTH.
XR needs 128 people to create a homemade vertical sign of one of the letters, then take a photo of yourself holding it. When XR has all the letters, they will put the letter-photos together to spell out the phrase above. They will share this image on social media on Earth Day (and hope you will, too!). They may also use this image in the future in letters to legislators, power holders and other strategic decision makers, print it on a public banner, and/or project it onto a building or wall during actions! Click here to get more details about how to submit your letter. The deadline is tomorrow, so get to it!!!
ABQ Farm to Food Bank: The Kind of Cooperative Operation That Could Be the Post-COVID-19 Future, a Feel Good Story
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported on how “the New Mexico chapter of the American Friends Service Committee launched Farm to Food Bank, an initiative that will provide farmers monetary assistance and supplies needed to continue production this season, in exchange for fresh, organic produce that can be donated to food pantries and depots across the state.” The cooperative venture is benefiting farmers who have lost their restaurant market, while directing food to Food Banks that are in desperate need. Click here to read the details of how this pilot project has been initiated and could expand in the future.
Trump To Let Postal Service Die in September
Donald Trump has made it clear that any bill containing relief for the postal service will be vetoed. He insists not one dollar of federal relief can be used to support the system. Trump has no problem with subsidies for the gas and oil industry, the airline industry, and big agriculture, but something that impacts every single American every day won’t be supported. While all the industries that get subsidies have histories of corporate malfeasance or far worse, all the postal service does is deliver mail to every community in the nation.
The “principle” in play — if you can say that Trump is driven by any principle except self-aggrandizement — is that he is following the Tea Party belief that the postal service should be privatized, along with every other publicly funded function. Vox provides a bit of historic context on the terms under which the US Postal Service operates.
“The Postal Service has been organized in several different ways across American history, but its modern paradigm, dating from the 1970s, dictates that the USPS is supposed to be a self-funded, independently operating public sector entity. And at the core of that entity is a two-sided bargain. On the one hand, the Postal Service gets a monopoly on the provision of daily mail services. On the other hand, the Postal Service undertakes a series of public service obligations that a private company would not provide — most notably, daily mail delivery and flat postage rates regardless of where you live.”Vox “The debate over a post office bailout, explained: Republicans want privatization, Trump wants to stick it to Amazon
This was a good deal for the postal service in the seventies, but from around 2000 when the postal service delivered over 100 billion pieces of first class mail, to 2019 when that had been reduced to 55 billion pieces of mail, the postal service has had to do a delicate balancing act, especially given that costs have not gone down commensurate with revenues. This decline is the result of so much of what used to be delivered by mail now being conducted online. So while some form of federal subsidy was going to be needed at some point, the last thing USPS needed was a sudden drop in revenue.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has significantly reduced postal service revenue, with projections showing that by September, the postal service will run out of funds and be forced to close. Before September, however, tapering of services and laying off of personnel will likely be attempted to give Congress and the President more time to come to their senses.
How does it make sense to allow a vital component of our infrastructure to die, especially the postal service that delivers Social Security checks, pension checks, and an array of monthly bills from utility companies, medical service providers, and countless other businesses? Do we really need another uncertainty to be willfully and unnecessarily injected into the lives of every single one of us, precisely at a time when Americans have more than enough uncertainty and worry? One thing we can be certain of is that Trump has not worked out the details of how mail would be delivered in October. Perhaps he’s assigned that to the ever-smarter Jared Kushner: “I’ve been working on another spreadsheet and figured out that we really don’t need mail.” — straight out of SNL, or The Onion, or tomorrow in the Trump administration.
Such is the world that Trump inhabits, one where his only concern has nothing to do with most all of us. Add this to the long, long list of reasons for setting aside our disappointments with Biden as the Democratic Party standard-bearer. Another four years of Trump would be impossible to endure. To read the full Vox piece, click here.
Trump Hasn’t Delivered on ANY of His Promises Made One Month Ago When Declaring a National Emergency
Retake has chronicled many of Trump’s unfulfilled promises, but a team of NPR researchers analyzed Trump’s March 13 speech when he announced a national emergency and analyzed each promise in terms of whether or not those promises have been fulfilled. It will surprise none of you that he has not delivered much of anything promised, but it is pretty stunning to see, in one place, the degree to which he has failed. Click here to review the NPR analysis.
Trump Retweets #FireFauci Tweet…..Get Ready for the Shoe to Drop
A conservative former California congressional nominee who has been a sharp Fauci critic on Twitter, DeAnna Lorraine, tweeted, “Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could’ve saved more lives. Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US public at large. Time to #FireFauci…”
So for speaking basic, incontrovertible truth, Dr. Fauci has clearly irked the president. This is the kind of test-the-waters tweet that Trump has used dozens of times before. Click here to read Vox’s analysis.
And Now For Something to Make You Smile
“The Weight” as performed by over a dozen musicians from all over the globe. This is so worth your time.
Below you’ll get a bit of “For What It’s Worth,” the Retake raadio theme song, as the video begins with the formation of the Buffalo Springfield and then traces CSNY as they evolve, split, and reunite. Some great footage.
Paul & Roxanne
Republicans have long wanted to privatize the USPS because postal workers comprise several large public employee unions whom the GOP accuse of donating to Democratic candidates and, in majority, voting for same. (Is that another form of voter suppression?)
One way Republicans have crippled the USPS financially is to require them to put away billions—yes, that’s billions of $$—to finance health and retirement benefits 75 years in the future. Yes, those are benefits for workers who are not yet born!
Any other corporations required to do anything beyond the current quarter? No because they can always count on taxpayer bailouts.
So buy stamps online now to support daily/flat rate mail delivery. It will not be around if mail service is privatized.
Jobs loses will be massive. Prices will go up so the1% somewhere can stockpile even more wealth-power. Another tragedy of Trump World.
The Weight: fucking brilliant. Thank you so much. The last movie we saw in a theatre in SF was “Once Were Brothers”, which brought tears to our eyes.
Great videos of my era. Made me smile, and sing along. Thanks.