Rats Are Eating Up All Your Fruit Baskets Because Of Trump's Post Office F*ckery
Hope you were not expecting to get anything delicious in the mail this week, at least if you live in California. If so, I regret to inform you that probably some rats have already eaten it. Also your regular mail is probably late, and all because Donald Trump and his postmaster-in-crime Louis DeJoy messed with the mail to mess with the upcoming election.
Although Postmaster General DeJoy told Congress last week that he had decided to hold off on messing with the mail until next year -- at least any more than he has already -- and told the Wall Street Journal "To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded," a lot of damage had already been done.
There have already been cutbacks, people have already been let go and equipment has been disabled. As a result, postal workers at sorting facilities in California are not only reporting that the mail is going undelivered, but that many of the packages they haven't been able to sort and deliver are now infested with rats and gnats and other vermin and bugs.
At one facility in Santa Claris, employees discovered that their sorting machines had been padlocked or disabled.
Workers at another mail-sorting hub in South Los Angeles reported seeing gnats and rodents picking apart containers of fruit and meat that had been left to rot.
Mail handler Aukushan Scantlebury said cuts on overtime had triggered significant disruption to mail deliveries. He watched as rats dashed across the floor. At one point, the "whole building was filled with gnats," Scantlebury told the Los Angeles Times.
The reports provide a glimpse into the long-term consequences of the recent changes implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who took on the role earlier this summer.
Wow, it's almost as if putting someone whose only qualification is "giving money to Donald Trump's campaign" in charge of the post office is kind of a bad idea. We bet companies like Blue Apron and HelloFresh are shitting a brick behind the scenes right now.
Of course, Trump's M.O. all along has been to mess with bureaus and services he doesn't like by putting people in charge of them who are either aggressively incompetent or actively opposed to the mission of that bureau or service. See: Putting Betsy DeVos, a woman who hates public schools, in charge of the Department of Education, changing the purpose of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from protecting consumers to protecting corporations from consumers, putting coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler in charge of the EPA, etc.
While a big part of this is that Trump doesn't want mail-in voting because he wants to decrease voter turnout, there is another agenda here as well. Trump and his buddies do not like things like the Post Office. They want everything to be privatized. They don't need the USPS delivering your birthday cards for the price of a stamp, when you could be paying a corporation more. Sure, right now their rates are comparable, but that's because these companies need to compete with the USPS and that keeps prices down.
The USPS depends on its reputation of delivering mail through sleet and snow and heat and in the dead of night. Making it so they can't do that, making it so that people can't get a fruit basket that isn't filled with rat poop, is a great way to sour them on the post office and push them towards supporting its defunding so that private mail and package delivery systems can take over.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse