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stillcool

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Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 06:51 PM
Number of posts: 29,728

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haven't been paying attention, but this caught my eye

Postal contracts awarded to DeJoy-run company were questioned in 2001 USPS audit
Heidi Przybyla
NBC News•September 14, 2020
https://news.yahoo.com/postal-contracts-awarded-dejoy-run-093041636.html

WASHINGTON — A two-decade-old audit of mail equipment transport contracts by the U.S. Postal Service's inspector general found that a company previously run by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was awarded multiple noncompetitive contracts by the Postal Service that may have cost consumers as much as $53 million more than if they'd been competitively bid.

The 2001 audit found that New Breed Logistics, a supply chain services provider based in North Carolina, was awarded more than $300 million in Postal Service mail equipment transport contracts that could have come in at a much lower price had they been shopped competitively to a range of vendors.

The audit, reviewed by NBC News, made it clear that the premise for awarding any noncompetitive contracts to a single vendor, such as New Breed, "did not fully meet Postal Service requirements" and "potentially exposed the Postal Service to cost and performance risks."

The contracts awarded to New Breed, beginning in 1992, were to operate a pilot mail transport equipment service center in Greensboro, North Carolina. DeJoy was chief executive of New Breed from 1983 to 2014.
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New Breed's financial practices have also been cited in reports to Congress. In a semiannual report in March 1999, the Postal Service inspector general flagged New Breed leasing contracts, saying $33 million paid to New Breed could have been "put to better use." A report in September of that year flagged $9 million more paid to New Breed that could have been "put to better use."

The irregularities cited in the audit, Williams said, underscore why he pressed for a full background check when DeJoy he was nominated for postmaster general.

"I don't understand how an offer could have been extended before a background check was completed," Williams said.

The postmaster general at the time of the New Breed overpayments was William J. Henderson, a former Postal Service official from Greensboro, North Carolina, who was appointed in 1998. Henderson said he didn't recall ever having seen the audit.

"We had tons of logistics partners while I was in the Postal Service, and I really didn't get into selecting particular partners or reviewing those sorts of things since they were done by purchasing," Henderson said. The inspector general at the time, Karla Corcoran, retired in 2003 after a federal investigation found that she had abused her authority, wasted public money and promoted questionable personnel practices. Corcoran's job was to root out waste and fraud.

He's only doing as he is told...

Russia is 'amplifying' claims of mail-in voter fraud, intel bulletin warns
Bulletin: “Russian malign influence actors” targeted absentee voting process.
By Josh Margolin and Lucien Bruggeman
September 3, 2020, 3:09 PM

Russia has sought to “amplify” concerns over the integrity of U.S. elections by promoting allegations that mail-in voting will lead to widespread fraud, according to an intelligence bulletin obtained by ABC News, again echoing a frequent and unfounded complaint raised by President Donald Trump.


Analysts with the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence branch issued the warning on Thursday to federal and state law enforcement partners after finding with “high confidence” that “Russian malign influence actors” have targeted the absentee voting process “by spreading disinformation” since at least March.

“Russian state media and proxy websites in mid-August 2020 criticized the integrity of expanded and universal vote-by-mail, claiming ineligible voters could receive ballots due to out-of-date voter rolls, leaving a vast amount of ballots unaccounted for and vulnerable to tampering,” the bulletin notes.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/russia-amplifying-claims-mail-voter-fraud-intel-bulletin/story?id=72799959

I got there after reading this article...

I would not put it past cops to set their cities on fire. Gladly.


FBI warned of white supremacists in law enforcement 10 years ago. Has anything changed?
Nation Oct 21, 2016 4:10 PM EDT

In the 2006 bulletin, the FBI detailed the threat of white nationalists and skinheads infiltrating police in order to disrupt investigations against fellow members and recruit other supremacists. The bulletin was released during a period of scandal for many law enforcement agencies throughout the country, including a neo-Nazi gang formed by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who harassed black and Latino communities. Similar investigations revealed officers and entire agencies with hate group ties in Illinois, Ohio and Texas.
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Problems with white supremacists in law enforcement have surfaced since that report. In 2014, two Florida officers — including a deputy police chief — were fired after an FBI informant outed them as members of the Ku Klux Klan. It marked the second time within five years that the agency uncovered an officer’s membership in the KKK. Several agencies nationwide have also launched investigations into personnel who may not be formal hate group members, but face allegations of race-based misconduct.
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Policing in America has historically had racial implications. The earliest forms of organized law enforcement in the U.S. can be traced to slave patrols that tracked down escaped slaves, and overseers assigned to guard settler communities from Native Americans. In the centuries since, many law enforcement agencies directly participated in antagonizing communities of color, or provided a shield for others who did. But in the 10 years since the FBI’s initial warning, little has changed, Jones said.

Neither the FBI nor state and local law enforcement agencies have established systems for vetting personnel for potential supremacist links, he said. That task is left primarily to everyday citizens and nonprofit organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of few that tracks the growing number of hate groups in America.

they've been involved all along..

https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2020/6/1/21277363/lets-start-riot-galesburg-man-federal-charge-related-rioting-chicago
‘Let’s start a riot’: Galesburg man hit with federal charge related to rioting in Chicago
The charges come as U.S. officials seek to determine if extremist groups infiltrated protests nationwide and tipped peaceful demonstrations toward violence.


By Jon Seidel and Frank Main Updated Jun 1, 2020, 6:03pm CDT
Matthew Lee Rupert, 28, has been charged in an eight-page criminal complaint in federal court in Minnesota with civil disorder, carrying on a riot and possession of unregistered destructive devices. The complaint alleges Rupert participated in looting and rioting in Minneapolis in response to the police killing of George Floyd before moving on to Chicago.
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Still, a Chicago police officer told the Chicago Sun-Times that a sizable number of people looting in the Loop on Saturday night had Southern accents, indicating they were from out of town.

The officer was only involved in one arrest, of a person from Tennessee. “A lot are not from Chicago,” the officer said.

==================
Allegations in the criminal complaint against Rupert largely revolve around a Facebook account for “El Ricco Rupert.” Rupert allegedly used that page to announce Thursday night that, “I’m going to Minneapolis tomorrow who coming only goons I’m renting hotel rooms.”

The next day, Rupert allegedly posted video to his Facebook account suggesting he was in Minneapolis. The video appeared to be filmed by Rupert while he was holding his cell phone, according to an FBI special agent’s affidavit. The video was marked “live” and lasted roughly two hours, records show. Authorities allege he passed out explosives, encouraged others to throw explosives at police and appeared to light a building on fire.

At one point, Rupert allegedly said, “There are SWAT trucks up there. They got SWAT trucks up there . . . I’ve got some bombs if some of you all want to throw them back . . . bomb them back . . . here I got some more . . . light it and throw it.” As he made the comments, Rupert allegedly handed out an item with brown casing and a green wick to others.

Man in Joker mask set Chicago police car on fire during George Floyd protests, feds say
Timothy O’Donnell, of Pilsen, was connected to the incident downtown through a tattoo on his neck that said “PRETTY,” according to a criminal complaint.
O’Donnell is now among at least five people facing federal charges in connection with the rioting and looting in Chicago last weekend.

A video of the incident that allegedly involved O’Donnell Saturday in the 200 block of North State was given to law enforcement by a witness, according to the complaint. It allegedly shows O’Donnell wearing the Joker mask, holding a lit object and placing it in the gas tank of the CPD vehicle. Prosecutors said the vehicle burst into flames.
By Jon Seidel Updated Jun 2, 2020, 6:25pm CDT

O’Donnell is now among at least five people facing federal charges in connection with the rioting and looting in Chicago last weekend.

A video of the incident that allegedly involved O’Donnell Saturday in the 200 block of North State was given to law enforcement by a witness, according to the complaint. It allegedly shows O’Donnell wearing the Joker mask, holding a lit object and placing it in the gas tank of the CPD vehicle. Prosecutors said the vehicle burst into flames.




LAS VEGAS (AP) —Three Nevada men with ties to a loose movement of right-wing extremists advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in what authorities say was a conspiracy to spark violence during recent protests in Las Vegas

Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus and later sought to capitalize on protests over the death of a Minneapolis man in police custody
They were arrested Saturday on the way to a protest in downtown Las Vegas after filling gas cans at a parking lot and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles, according to a copy of the criminal complaint obtained by The Associated Press.

https://news3lv.com/news/local/three-men-tied-to-white-extremist-group-arrested-on-terrorism-related-charges-in-las-vegas

Michigan

https://twitter.com/i/status/1296122043772133382
https://twitter.com/_HeatherWalker/status/1296109536164679681

Michigan Attorney General Deborah Nessel responded to Walker’s tweet: “When people asked why we were determined to continue our lawsuit against the Postmaster General despite his "promise" to discontinue efforts to dismantle the USPS-this is why.”

and the plot keeps on thickening...

BREAKING|Aug 19, 2020,03:10pm EDT
Postmaster General ‘Frankly Admitted’ He Won’t Fully Reverse USPS Changes, Pelosi Says
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2020/08/19/postmaster-general-louis-dejoy-frankly-admitted-he-wont-fully-reverse-usps-postal-service-changes-pelosi-says/#3ae9c59d250b
Alison Durkee Forbes Staff
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy “frankly admitted” to her that he does not intend to fully reverse changes made to the U.S. Postal Service that have resulted in widespread mail delays and sowed fear about the election, despite the postmaster general saying Tuesday he would temporarily pause the controversial changes through the election.
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Pelosi said DeJoy told her in a conversation Wednesday that “he had no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed” and would not re-implement “adequate overtime” for mail workers, even though overtime cuts implemented earlier this summer have reportedly exacerbated the mail delays.


The House Speaker reiterated that the House will vote Saturday on legislation aimed at reversing DeJoy’s changes and giving the USPS $25 billion in funding, and the House will also hear testimony Monday from DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors chairman Robert Duncan.

“The Postmaster General’s alleged pause is wholly insufficient and does not reverse damage already wreaked,” Pelosi said, adding that his changes “directly jeopardize the election and disproportionately threaten to disenfranchise voters in communities of color.”

just trying to figure out what a sorting machine looks like

Postal officials as witnesses no more


USPS Quietly Added Rule Prohibiting Workers From Signing Mail-In Ballots As Witnesses
By Cristina Cabrera
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/usps-quietly-added-rule-prohibiting-workers-from-signing-mail-in-ballots-as-witnesses
August 19, 2020 8:05 a.m.
The U.S. Postal Service enacted a rule this summer banning its clerks from signing mail-in ballots as witnesses while on duty, a restriction that can prevent the ballots from being counted.

The Anchorage Daily News reported on Tuesday that Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai had sent the USPS a letter last Thursday seeking an explanation for complaints that postal workers in her state had been telling voters they were not allowed to sign the ballots.

“This came as surprise to the state because we know in past elections postal officials have served as witnesses,” Fenumiai wrote. “Rural Alaska relies heavily on postal officials as they are often sometimes the only option for a witness.”

In fact, Alaska’s instructions on sending in ballots state that a postal worker counts as an “authorized official” who can sign on as a voter’s witnesses.
========================================
Alaska is one of several states that require people who vote by mail to have their ballots signed by a witness, otherwise the ballot will not be considered valid.
Virginia, a key swing state, has the same requirement, though a judge ruled in May that the policy may be waived for Virginians concerned for their safety amid COVID-19.

I see a pattern, and Susan Collins


How Susan Collins engineered the postal service disaster she’s now protesting
Published 1 min ago on August 19, 2020By Eric Cortellessa, The Washington Monthly

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/08/how-susan-collins-engineered-the-postal-service-disaster-shes-now-protesting/
As it turns out, Collins is actually one of the members of Congress most responsible for the Postal Service’s devastation. Long before DeJoy started manipulating the USPS, Collins was at the forefront of a bill that crippled the agency’s finances.

In 2005, she sponsored and introduced legislation, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), that required the USPS to pre-pay the next 50 years worth of health and retirement benefits for all of its employees—a rule that no other federal agency must follow. As chair of the Senate oversight panel at the time, she shepherded the bill’s passage, along with her House GOP counterpart Tom Davis, during a lame-duck session of Congress. It passed by a voice vote without any objections—a maneuver that gave members little time to consider what they were doing.

To meet the mandate for prefunding USPS’s health and retirement benefits, the measure required the Postal Service to place roughly $5.5 billion into a pension fund every year between 2007 and 2016, followed by sizable additional payments, making it impossible for the institution to run a profit. To make it even harder for the USPS to make money, the law prohibited the agency from any new activities outside of delivering mail. In an essay for the Washington Monthly last year, New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell, who voted for the bill, called it “one of the worst pieces of legislation Congress has passed in a generation.”

That’s because it saddled the institution with debt that no other government agency—or private company—is responsible for. At the same time, it effectively blocked the USPS from taking advantage of new opportunities to provide services and garner revenue when it needed to make up for losses stemming from declines in first-class mail due to the rise of the Internet and email.

Now, the post currently has $160.9 billion in debt, of which $119.3 billion is the result of pre-funding retiree benefits. That was by design. As Pascrell wrote, “To argue that the Postal Service needs to be privatized, conservatives need to show that it is dysfunctional, and there’s no better way to do that than by weighing the agency down with impossible financial obligations.”



Louis DeJoy statement

he does say equipment, and mail boxes will remain where they are...will be interesting to find out where that is

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