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Pelosi calls House back to address USPS conspiracy theory but not coronavirus relief for Americans

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Pelosi calls House back to address USPS conspiracy theory  but not coronavirus relief for Americans

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has summoned House members to return to Washington this week to address what Democratic leadership is calling “postal service sabotage,” a conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump is interfering with normal operations at the U.S. Postal Service to hinder the agency’s ability to handle mail-in voting.

What did Pelosi say?

In a letter to House Democrats, Pelosi wrote:

Alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the President’s campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, one of the top Trump mega-donors, has proven a complicit crony as he continues to push forward sweeping new operational changes that degrade postal service, delay the mail, and according to the Postal Service itself threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion.

The call to cut short the House’s recess came after Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a statement demanding that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors Robert Duncan testify before Congress about “postal service sabotage.”

Why is this significant?

Pelosi and Democratic leadership have spent weeks blaming Republicans for Congress’ failure to pass a second coronavirus-related economic package.

In fact, when the Senate went on recess Thursday scheduled to return after the Labor Day holiday Pelosi lashed out at Republicans.

“We are miles apart in our values. Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gave a damn. That isn’t the case. This is very far apart,” Pelosi said, the Hill reported.

It should, therefore, be noted that Pelosi is not summoning the House back to work on passing additional coronavirus relief. Instead, she is calling for the House to address what is little more than a widely circulated conspiracy theory.

As TheBlaze reported, Democrats are now laser-focused on pushing the baseless theory that Trump is undermining USPS operations to “sabotage” the election.

One such example of alleged sabotage is the removal of USPS mailboxes, which generated significant attention last week. Trump’s opponents claimed he did this to potentially hinder mail-in ballots. However, the truth is that the USPS regularly removes the big blue mailboxes in low-traffic areas.

USPS spokesperson Kimberly Frum explained, the Washington Post reported:

Historically, mailboxes have been removed for lack of use and installed in growth areas. When a collection box consistently receives very small amounts of mail for months on end, it costs the Postal Service money in fuel and work hours for letter carriers to drive to the mailbox and collect the mail. Removing the box is simply good business sense in that respect. It is important to note that anyone with a residential or business mailbox can use it as a vehicle to send outgoing mail.

In fact, the USPS has removed hundreds of thousands of the mailboxes over the past several decades.

Another example is the removal of hundreds of mail sorting machines. But even CNN reported that mail sorting machines decommissioned in recent months had already been scheduled to be taken out of service. Decommissioning old and worn machines is routine practice for any business.

Nor is the president taking funds from the USPS.

In fact, the USPS is fully funded through fiscal year 2021 and even received a $10 billion loan from the Treasury Department last month. This means the postal service will be fully operational through the end of next year.



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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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