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December 14, 2013

Stuff you may have missed: December 14, 2013

In the first case of a reality star successfully using the judicial system, “Sister Wives” star Kody Brown and his four wives have succeeded in getting a portion of Utah’s bigamy law weakened thanks to a Friday court decision. Brown’s family left Utah in 2011 based on the law, which bans cohabitation between people who are already married to other people—the portion of the law struck down after the family sued.

More Obamacare bad news: Approximately 15,000 filed forms have failed to actually go to the insurers they were supposed to. The good news is that stat is improving.

It took just a minute and 20 seconds for the shooter in Friday’s Colorado school shooting to shoot someone else and take his own life.

If you’re sending a package really close to Christmas, good news: The U.S. Postal Service will be delivering packages the Sunday before.

Why do Americans use the word “marijuana,” and not “cannabis?”

18:20 // 7 months ago
July 1, 2013

This folk band convinced everyone to put five numbers on their letters and packages

Today, the Zip Code turns 50. Betcha thought it was around forever didn’t ya? Well, as it turns out, it was actually a tough sell to the American public. “People were concerned they were being turned into numbers,” Jennifer Lynch, a U.S. Postal Service historian, told Time Magazine. “They thought it was depersonalizing them.” So how’d the U.S. Postal Service turn a corner and convince a skeptical public to use zip codes? Simple! Folk music—in the form of The Swingin’ Six, shown above in this monster 15-minute clip. (To ensure they got everyone, they also used a cartoon mascot, Mr. Zip.) This is what “A Mighty Wind” was about, right?

22:35 // 1 year ago
March 22, 2013
nbcnews:

Congress wants Postal Service to keep Saturday delivery
(Photo: David Goldman / AP)
WASHINGTON - The financially beleaguered U.S. Postal Service suffered a setback in its plan to end Saturday delivery of first-class mail as Congress on Thursday passed legislation requiring six-day delivery.
Read the complete story.

"The Postal Service could run out of money by October if Congress does not provide legislative relief, some experts have estimated."

nbcnews:

Congress wants Postal Service to keep Saturday delivery

(Photo: David Goldman / AP)

WASHINGTON - The financially beleaguered U.S. Postal Service suffered a setback in its plan to end Saturday delivery of first-class mail as Congress on Thursday passed legislation requiring six-day delivery.

Read the complete story.

"The Postal Service could run out of money by October if Congress does not provide legislative relief, some experts have estimated."

0:16 // 1 year ago
February 6, 2013
breakingnews:

US Postal Service to cut Saturday mail delivery
JUST IN: The U.S. Postal Service is expected to announce later today that it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week, The Associated Press reports.The plan is aimed at saving about $2 billion. Photo: U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Anthony Ow places letters in a mailbox as he walks his delivery route on July 30, 2009, in San Francisco, California. (Getty Images North America)

This sucks!

breakingnews:

US Postal Service to cut Saturday mail delivery

JUST IN: The U.S. Postal Service is expected to announce later today that it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week, The Associated Press reports.

The plan is aimed at saving about $2 billion.

Photo: U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Anthony Ow places letters in a mailbox as he walks his delivery route on July 30, 2009, in San Francisco, California. (Getty Images North America)

This sucks!

8:08 // 1 year ago
December 6, 2011

buntsfromaleftcoastgirl says: Regarding the Postal Service announcement yesterday about slow-downs, my local Oregon NPR station noted this morning that the slow-down would effect Oregon's vote-by-mail as ballots have to be returned--not just postmarked--by election day. Oregon officials are pushing to get voter's pamphlets and ballots to Oregon voters sooner so they can be returned with enough time to slog through the USPS.

» SFB says: Good to know. Here’s the story, for the curious. This is another example, to us, about how a one-day delay in receiving mail will cause a ripple effect far beyond the Postal Service. To put this in Netflix terms: This is the U.S. Postal Service’s Qwikster— Ernie @ SFB 

10:32 // 2 years ago
December 5, 2011

U.S. Postal Service: First-class mail could become second-day affair

  • bad The U.S. Postal Service, facing the worst financial crisis in its history, will likely be forced to shave $3 billion off its budget, in the process dropping half of the country’s 500 mail-processing centers. This would come on the closing of numerous post offices.
  • worse This is the kind of change that consumers will feel. For the first time since 1971, there would be no way for a first-class letter to reach its recipient in a single day. Which means your Netflix will be late and your rent check better get in the mail pretty early. source

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10:19 // 2 years ago
November 15, 2011

USPS expected to default on payment, could be broke by next year

  • $5.1 billion lost in fiscal 2011 by the US Postal Service source

» They could be broke by September 2012: On top of that, they expect to default on a key health care pension plan payment (which forces them to pre-pay for workers’ future health benefits decades in advance) — of $5.5 billion.

19:54 // 2 years ago
October 7, 2011

Why the U.S. Postal Service’s massive deficit is really sort of an illusion

  • illusion The U.S. postal service has had to pre-pay large amounts of their health care costs for a number of years — roughly $5.5 billion this year, which they nearly defaulted on and only survived thanks to U.S. government help.
  • reality In reality, they’re pre-paying health benefits over the next 75 years — a point which likely includes many employees yet to be hired or born — as a way to make the federal deficit look a little less depressing. Wait a second … source
13:46 // 2 years ago
September 5, 2011

jron says: Nice buy-in to right wing ideology by blaming the unions for the Postal Service's problems (on Labor Day even). They negotiated pensions as part of their salary deals. Management took the deal to pay into retirement rather than give them higher salaries then, just like any other salary/benefits/pension negotiation. If there's going to be a bait and switch, it's not the union's fault.

» SFB says: How did we buy into right-wing ideology by summarizing a piece written by the New York Times? Because that’s what the piece says. "At the same time, decades of contractual promises made to unionized workers, including no-layoff clauses, are increasing the post office’s costs. Labor represents 80 percent of the agency’s expenses, compared with 53 percent at United Parcel Service and 32 percent at FedEx, its two biggest private competitors. Postal workers also receive more generous health benefits than most other federal employees." Please. Just because we summarized something you personally disagree with doesn’t mean we “bought into” anything. Give us more credit than that.

16:54 // 2 years ago

U.S. Postal Service looking more and more screwed by the day

  • bad The U.S. Postal Service could possibly miss a $5.5 billion payment set aside for retirees to help pay for future health care. It’s due Sept. 30.
  • worse That’s just the tip of the iceberg; they’re having long-term funding issues due to union contracts, restrictive laws, and the rise of e-mail.
  • worser The result is that, without Congress’ help, the Postal Service could run out of money by early next year — which could hurt the economy. source

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10:45 // 2 years ago