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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > The Post Office - Mail-in-voting, electric vehicles, and booting DeJoy

The Post Office - Mail-in-voting, electric vehicles, and booting DeJoy (Page 2)
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subego
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Jul 17, 2022, 03:52 PM
 
Well, this post:

http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.p...31#post4425931

Was a direct reply to you, and like I said, I’m not sure how I was/am supposed to interpret the silence. One possible conclusion is my reply did not provide enough value to deserve a response.

I would prefer that’s not the case, but if it is, I would like to know what changes I should be making.
     
reader50
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Jul 17, 2022, 04:56 PM
 
I'd have to know your current diet before suggesting changes. While I'm not a dietician, my usual recommendations involve pizza and/or ice cream. Food should put a smile on your face.

Foods that are green are actually horse feed being upsold. Toss any examples to the hogs. Human food isn't supposed to be green.
     
subego
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Jul 17, 2022, 05:10 PM
 
My schedule has been such I’d have to either order pizza too early in the day, or late enough the better places are closed.

Ice cream knows no schedule, but getting the right flavor can be a chore. I’ve resorted to throwing those unwrapped mini Reese’s into vanilla.
     
subego
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Jul 18, 2022, 12:02 PM
 
Thanks to whomever separated out this thread. It has such a lovely burial plot now.
     
andi*pandi
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Jul 18, 2022, 01:51 PM
 
You are welcome. I came back from the dead just to do it.

(ok, just canada.)

The timing of retirement/replacement of vehicles could absolutely effect elections. It could be standard EOL time to update or it could be manipulated to benefit some and not others.
The post office has been sabotaged before.
Dejoy has shown he has an agenda.

What would simplify things is if election policies were standardized across states, so everyone had the same access to mail in ballots, ballot drop boxes (monitored for tampering), early voting, a voting precinct within a 20 mile radius with no wait, and electors that followed what the voters actually voted on.

Oh dear. This may be off topic and requiring a new thread!
     
subego
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Jul 18, 2022, 03:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
It could be standard EOL time to update
The original EOL was 24 years. The youngest LLV in the fleet reached this in 2018. The Post Office extended it to 30 years, so at this point every LLV which wasn’t manufactured in the last two years of its production run is beyond their second EOL.

The time to replace the LLV was passed long ago, hence the need to rapidly update.

Note, the Post Office didn’t start taking bids for the design of a replacement until 2015.
( Last edited by subego; Jul 18, 2022 at 07:28 PM. )
     
subego
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Jul 18, 2022, 04:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Dejoy has shown he has an agenda.
In regards to voting by mail?

Every example I’ve seen from 2020 was based on false assumptions, and quite frankly an embarrassing amount of ignorance on the part of the press when it comes to understanding how gigantic federal agencies operate.


Edit: I mean… when the press wasn’t engaging in intentional obfuscation.
( Last edited by subego; Jul 18, 2022 at 05:44 PM. )
     
subego
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Jul 18, 2022, 05:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
What would simplify things is if election policies were standardized across states, so everyone had the same access to mail in ballots, ballot drop boxes (monitored for tampering), early voting, a voting precinct within a 20 mile radius with no wait, and electors that followed what the voters actually voted on.

Oh dear. This may be off topic and requiring a new thread!
I suggest it be titled “The Unlikely Constitutional Amendment Thread”.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 21, 2022, 09:48 AM
 
FWIW:

In 2021, the United States Postal Service picked a new delivery vehicle to replace its fleet of aging Grumman LLVs. However, the USPS drew immediate criticism, as the vast majority of a potential 165,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles, which will be built by Oshkosh Defense, would not be electric.

But on Wednesday, the USPS changed its mind and says it will now limit its NGDV purchase to 50,000 NGDVs, at least half of which will be battery-electric vehicles. Additionally, it says it will purchase 34,500 commercial off-the-shelf vehicles, "including as many BEVs as are commercially available and consistent with our delivery profile" according to the Federal Register.
https://arstechnica.com/cars/2022/07...delivery-vans/
     
subego
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Jul 21, 2022, 02:04 PM
 
This last paragraph bugs me.

However, there's bad news, too, as the USPS will keep 50,000 inefficient LLVs in service, "despite the significant operational risk, considerable maintenance costs, and the higher emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants when compared to more modern vehicles."
     
subego
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Jul 21, 2022, 03:44 PM
 
I should add that when they mention the “operational risk” of LLVs, what they mean is due to poor design the shit catches on fire.
     
subego
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Jul 21, 2022, 03:51 PM
 
My postal carrier is a lovely woman, but swears like a sailor.

Who here wants to tell her “I know it’s ‘20 fucking 22’, but despite that you can’t ‘get air conditioning up in this bitch’”?
     
reader50
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Jul 21, 2022, 04:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Who here wants to tell her “I know it’s ‘20 fucking 22’, but despite that you can’t ‘get air conditioning up in this bitch’”?
I agree. They need to order more BEVs, not continue the LLVs. It appears an earlier suspicion of yours was right - he's trying to keep the price tag fixed. I have no idea why - Congress has lifted the financial poison pill USPS was operating under.

I also wonder about an order detail. USPS at one time hinted at the new delivery vehicles (gas versions) being able to be upgraded to BEV at a future date. But it turns out they weren't designed for that. USPS could require the gas versions to be compatible for later upgrade to EVs. That would solve half of my concerns, as BEV hardware will drop dramatically in price over the next decade. There's been no further mention of this option.

btw, in the Ars story, they use the acronym COTS but never define it. It's Commercial Off-The-Shelf. They plan to buy commercial EV delivery vans (as available in right-hand drive) for heavier delivery routes. Probably at a substantial savings over custom-built vehicles.
( Last edited by reader50; Jul 21, 2022 at 06:10 PM. Reason: no, my other right)
     
subego
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Jul 21, 2022, 05:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Congress has lifted the financial poison pill USPS was operating under.
My back-of-the-napkin calculations on that is it takes care of their deficit, but they’re still $200 billion in the hole. Also, like I keep saying, what Congress did in 2022 means jack shit for an order placed in 2021.
     
subego
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Jul 21, 2022, 05:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I also wonder about an order detail. USPS at one time hinted at the new delivery vehicles (gas versions) being able to be upgraded to BEV at a future date. But it turns out they weren't designed for that. USPS could require the gas versions to be compatible for later upgrade to EVs. That would solve half of my concerns, as BEV hardware will drop dramatically in price over the next decade. There's been no further mention of this option.
I’ve never seen anything about upgrading the drivetrain. If this was an option at one time, the decision to ditch it would have been made years ago.
     
reader50
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Jul 21, 2022, 06:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My back-of-the-napkin calculations on that is it takes care of their deficit, but they’re still $200 billion in the hole. Also, like I keep saying, what Congress did in 2022 means jack shit for an order placed in 2021.
As we're talking about an order modification today (in 2022), the order details in 2021 mean jack shit. If they were set in stone back then, no modification would be possible today.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’ve never seen anything about upgrading the drivetrain. If this was an option at one time, the decision to ditch it would have been made years ago.
Apparently the gas and EV versions are identical from the outside. I recall reading talk about ordering a mix, then later swapping out the drivetrain components on the gas versions to the EV hardware. But when the press investigated further, it turned out no provisions had been made to keep the gas versions compatible with the EV components. I read this back when the story first broke, and this was about all they said. Actual tech details were notably missing.

I expect most of each vehicle will be built on a common assembly line. It would be silly to use entirely separate lines to build trucks that share nearly all the non-drivetrain parts. Someone should have made the overall vehicle compatible with either drivetrain, so swaps were possible. It now appears someone was asleep at the wheel, and didn't bother. I haven't seen anything further about this since the original mentions got shot down.
     
subego
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Jul 21, 2022, 06:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Someone should have made the overall vehicle compatible with either drivetrain
OneDoesNotSimply.jpg
     
subego
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Jul 22, 2022, 05:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
As we're talking about an order modification today (in 2022), the order details in 2021 mean jack shit. If they were set in stone back then, no modification would be possible today.
Did you not argue the 2021 order should have had a higher percentage of BEV?

My question is “with what money?”
     
subego
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Jul 22, 2022, 05:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
It now appears someone was asleep at the wheel, and didn't bother.
That someone would be Brennan. The NGDV had a 6-year development, and she was in charge for 5 of them.
     
subego
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Jul 22, 2022, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
OneDoesNotSimply.jpg
To expand a bit, is swapping out drivetrains in any way common? If it’s not, I think it’s unreasonable to expect the Post Office to be pioneers.

Not quite the same, but look to the F-35 for an example of a similar idea with significant problems when it comes to execution.
     
reader50
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Jul 22, 2022, 08:00 PM
 
People do EV conversions today, though the results are mixed. An ICE car has the greatest weight in the engine & transmission, with the fuel tank much lighter. The overall car and suspension are designed for this weight distribution.

On an EV, the motor(s) are comparatively light, there may be no transmission, with the main weight being the battery pack. If you put the battery where the tank was, the vehicle is lighter in front, and heavier in back than originally planned. Poor handling, and some loss of cargo capacity in the back. Plus short range, as you should have way more space than the tank took up for batteries.

Putting some or all the batteries in the front fixes the balance. But do you want the batteries in front during a crash? That seems like a Ford Pinto decision. A pickup truck conversion may put batteries between the frame rails, avoiding most of the conversion problems, and getting decent range.

Anyway, a delivery truck designed for either powertrain avoids the conversion problems. In theory, you just buy the missing EV parts after the fact, when they become cheaper, and swap them out. I'd like to know the tech details why this is considered unfeasible. My guess would be interior layout differences.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Did you not argue the 2021 order should have had a higher percentage of BEV?

My question is “with what money?”
It's ultimately the public's money. From postage, taxes, or premiums on products. And we save more in the long run, with a high BEV percentage. If need be, beg a loan off Congress, and pay back from the operating cost savings in future years.
     
subego
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Jul 24, 2022, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Anyway, a delivery truck designed for either powertrain avoids the conversion problems. In theory, you just buy the missing EV parts after the fact, when they become cheaper, and swap them out. I'd like to know the tech details why this is considered unfeasible. My guess would be interior layout differences.
The F-35 isn’t a conversion, it was designed to be multiplat, and still has problems.

One can assume the feasibility issues are similar with any multiplat vehicle. The jack-of-all-trades is master of none.
     
reader50
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Jul 29, 2022, 02:13 PM
 
The climate and taxes bill that Sen. Manchin agreed to contains a $3 billion grant to the USPS for clean fleet modernization. Presumably to boost the EV percentage. I haven't seen the exact wording (which may not be done yet) so the specifics remain unclear. It also has yet to pass.
     
subego
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Jul 29, 2022, 06:12 PM
 
That’s good.

They seem to be attacking it from multiple vectors. They’re spending a bunch of money on overhauling facilities, and that will include installing charging infrastructure. They’re also planning to make more, smaller orders, so there’s more flexibility in setting the BEV percentage.

The facility overhaul was given as the reason for why they’ve upped the percentage of BEVs in more recent orders, as opposed to blowback from the first order. Of course, they might be lying.
( Last edited by subego; Jul 29, 2022 at 06:29 PM. )
     
reader50
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Jul 29, 2022, 07:27 PM
 
Perhaps they're setting up separate buildings for servicing the EVs. Or adding separator walls between the two service sections.

My thinking: the EVs will be the favorites of the service techs. For the simple reason that they can close the garage doors during the service - no carbon monoxide danger. A big plus in winter, and a huge plus in mid-summer. Close that door, and crank up the A/C while you fix the truck.
     
subego
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Jul 30, 2022, 01:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Perhaps they're setting up separate buildings for servicing the EVs. Or adding separator walls between the two service sections.
The impression I got is they’re going to build a bunch of new, large facilities which will replace multiple smaller facilities. These will get to be designed from the outset with EV in mind.
     
subego
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Jul 30, 2022, 05:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
crank up the A/C
Ooooh… my postal carrier who’s stuck in an LLV heard that.
     
subego
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Jan 21, 2023, 05:09 PM
 


“Sorry for any convenience”
     
reader50
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Jan 21, 2023, 05:36 PM
 
Reminds me of all too many macOS error dialogs.

"We were unable to complete your critical task."
[ OK ]

I'm afraid it's not OK. So why is "OK" the only choice offered? Sounds like a Russian election: all citizens are free to vote for Putin.
     
subego
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Jan 21, 2023, 06:21 PM
 
The one I find the most obnoxious is when the OS implies it’s my fault it didn’t get shut down gracefully.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jan 23, 2023, 10:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
“Sorry for any convenience”
"Escalator Temporarily Stairs"
     
subego
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Nov 30, 2023, 08:33 PM
 
In an apparent bid to head off my literal fedposting, blue boxes are getting refitted with slots.
     
reader50
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Nov 30, 2023, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
In an apparent bid to head off my literal fedposting, blue boxes are getting refitted with slots.
Umm subego ... you might want to check that coffee you bought recently. At first glance, I pictured pastel blue boxes floating around, with a sign on each pointing to a newly-installed slot. And a "fedposting" is presumably an exotic animal pet?

For anyone joining the thread late, the "blue boxes" refer to US Postal Service mailing boxes. However, to my knowledge, they always had slots for dropping in mail. They do not float usually.

"Fedposting" sounds like a verb, and may refer to mailing things to Federal agencies. Or it may eat raw meat, and have a bad temper around strangers.
     
subego
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Nov 30, 2023, 09:58 PM
 
I’m not sure “slot” is the proper descriptor for the legacy design. It’s like a cantilevered bin or something. The new thing is an actual slot with no external moving parts. It has some internal grabby bits which seem to rotate and presumably lock up if someone tries to shove a tree branch in there or something.

I want the record to show the only person who said anything about sending mail to a federal agency wasn’t me. Nor did I say anything about heavy packages wrapped in brown paper.
     
reader50
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Nov 30, 2023, 10:21 PM
 
The traditional "slot" is indeed a tilt-slide thingy. Not a basic slot. I always figured it was to prevent people from fishing mail out. Helping themselves to payment checks, using one of those slinky grab tools mechanics use when they drop a nut into your intake valve. For a little more dough, they even have ones with a camera, so you can zero in on the fat envelopes.

I mailed something to a federal agency a couple years ago. My tax return to the IRS. HR Block had a software bug that year, and they were unable to complete the online filing for a month. When things got close to the deadline, I lost faith in their weekly software updates, printed everything out the old-fashioned way, and used up some postage stamps. My refund took a lot longer than usual, but my return was indeed filed in time.
     
subego
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Dec 4, 2023, 01:39 PM
 
Apparently, the extended terms of a pair of Trump appointments to the USPS Board of Governors are up on Friday. Can’t find any info on whether it will be extended again.
     
subego
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Dec 5, 2023, 10:04 AM
 
Here’s the new slot:




This box is on a parade route, so I’m wondering if that’s why it got the upgrade. It normally gets taped off for parades.
     
subego
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Dec 9, 2023, 11:45 AM
 
Wiki says there are now five Biden appointed governors, two Trump appointed governors, and two vacancies.
     
reader50
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Dec 9, 2023, 01:42 PM
 
The board consists of 11 members: 9 governors + postmaster general + deputy postmaster general. By law, a maximum of 5 members can be from the same political party. The President appoints the nine governors when their terms expire, while the 9-governor board appoints the PMG. Governors + PMG appoint the deputy PMG. The whole 11-member board (or a quorum of 6+) makes all the other decisions.

Current 11-member board: 4 Reps, 3 Dems, 2 Ind, 2 vacancies. The current 9-governor board is: 3 Reps, 3 Dems, 1 Ind, 2 vacant. With the current board makeup, the vacancies can be filled by 2 people of any political party. Presumably 2 Dems, and they need at least one more Dem to fire the PMG.

DeJoy is safe until at least one more Dem appointment is confirmed. It looks like Biden has been slow to appoint the last couple members, and/or the Senate has been slow to confirm them.

note: Trump was able to appoint so many board members because the Senate didn't confirm a single postal appointee of President Obama. For 8 years. Just like they wouldn't confirm his SCOTUS nominees. Or most lesser judicial nominees. Better to hold the seats open, wait for a Rep presidency, and fill-er-up with corrupt people. Who will vote the right way.
( Last edited by reader50; Dec 9, 2023 at 09:40 PM. Reason: corrections)
     
Spheric Harlot
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Dec 10, 2023, 09:28 AM
 
That should not be possible. It violates the basic idea of representative democracy.
     
subego
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Dec 10, 2023, 10:39 AM
 
Could you clarify what you’re referring by “that”?

If it’s the delayed appointments, it seems to me that’s precisely how representative democracy is supposed to work. Appointments are made by a majority of representatives. No majority, no appointment.
( Last edited by subego; Dec 10, 2023 at 11:09 AM. )
     
Spheric Harlot
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Dec 10, 2023, 12:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Could you clarify what you’re referring by “that”?

If it’s the delayed appointments, it seems to me that’s precisely how representative democracy is supposed to work. Appointments are made by a majority of representatives. No majority, no appointment.
Shirking on your duty and delaying the actual function of the government until you eventually have a majority to stack agencies in your favour is not how representative democracy needs to work.

I find it rather concerning that a democracy would actually require laws to clarify that government represantives work on behalf and in the interest of the people, not of the party.
     
subego
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Dec 10, 2023, 02:03 PM
 
How do you disambiguate a representative shirking their responsibility with an executive being unwilling to compromise when they lack majority support in the legislature?

Representatives represent their constituents, which is not “the people” but a very distinct subset.
     
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Dec 10, 2023, 03:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How do you disambiguate a representative shirking their responsibility with an executive being unwilling to compromise when they lack majority support in the legislature?
If memory serves, Obama was willing to compromise. He nominated middle-of-the-road candidates, like Garland for SCOTUS. But McConnell in the Senate would not consider any candidates, unless they were far-right. Their way or the highway.

So it wasn't Obama not compromising. It was McConnell not compromising, and demanding Obama surrender. Even when he'd been elected by a majority.
     
reader50
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Dec 10, 2023, 03:39 PM
 
Side note - Firefox underlined "McConnel" as a miss-spelling. But didn't complain when I corrected to "McConnell". Firefox was correct - but does spell check now check names for notable people? It used to give a pass to any Capitalized name, on the assumption it was a proper name. Without checking vs a DB of notable names.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Dec 10, 2023, 04:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How do you disambiguate a representative shirking their responsibility with an executive being unwilling to compromise when they lack majority support in the legislature?

Representatives represent their constituents, which is not “the people” but a very distinct subset.
I figured that would be your argument.

But their first duty is to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, regardless of whether their constituents elected them expressly because their beliefs and stated goals are in direct violation thereof (as with the "Stop the Steal" MAGA crowd). That includes upholding a functioning, representative government.

Beyond that, their job is arguably not so much to *represent* their constituents, as it is to *serve* them.
A non-functioning government (agency) serves no one except those whose active interest is the destruction of said government or agency.
( Last edited by Spheric Harlot; Dec 10, 2023 at 04:54 PM. )
     
subego
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Dec 10, 2023, 05:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
If memory serves, Obama was willing to compromise. He nominated middle-of-the-road candidates, like Garland for SCOTUS. But McConnell in the Senate would not consider any candidates, unless they were far-right. Their way or the highway.

So it wasn't Obama not compromising. It was McConnell not compromising, and demanding Obama surrender. Even when he'd been elected by a majority.
Generally speaking, if there’s a wide disparity in power between two groups who are in a negotiation, it’s the weaker group who is required to do all the compromising or the more powerful group will simply exercise their power.

Why should it be any different here? The rules give a unified majority in the Senate quite literally all the power when it comes to confirming a justice. I don’t blame them for using their power. That’s how the world works.
( Last edited by subego; Dec 10, 2023 at 06:01 PM. )
     
subego
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Dec 10, 2023, 05:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
A non-functioning government (agency) serves no one except those whose active interest is the destruction of said government or agency.
Which particular agency are you accusing of failure to function? I still get mail. The Supreme Court continued to hear cases when Garland was on permanent hold.
     
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Dec 10, 2023, 10:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The rules give a unified majority in the Senate quite literally all the power when it comes to confirming a justice. I don’t blame them for using their power. That’s how the world works.
Might makes Right. Got it - Dems should repeal the filibuster, and steamroll everything while they're in power. No apologies or compromises needed - they have the power, use it.

note: there is that whole thing about "what goes around comes around". Or how sweet paybacks are. Sound like a government you want to live under?
     
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Dec 11, 2023, 12:15 PM
 
The Senate has a constitutional duty to "advise and consent" when it comes to all Presidential appointees. That does not mean "ignore unless appointed by a POTUS of the same party". If the will of the Senate is to vote against a Presidential appointee for whatever reason ... even because it's Tuesday ... then so be it. That is within the Constitutional rights of the Senate as a co-equal branch of the federal government. But for the Majority Leader to obstruct the will of the Senate as a body ... precisely because he didn't have the votes to block the appointment only the power to prevent the vote from even coming to the floor ... that is without question a subversion of the constitutional process.
     
 
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