The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

Screenshot from Now This News via Kyle Griffin/ Twitter

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was forced to admit he does not know a great deal about the 245-year-old federal agency he was entrusted by Republicans to run – like who ordered the massive changes he is supporting, including cutting overtime, and removing hundreds of mail sorting machines and mailboxes.

Nor was he interested in finding out.


U.S. Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) is known for her devastating questioning of congressional witnesses and did not disappoint Monday, when she questioned the embattled USPS chief.

While he did pass the first test – "What is the cost of a first-class postage stamp?" – DeJoy was unable to answer most of the Congresswoman's other questions, as she noted on Twitter after warning him to come prepared.

DeJoy was forced to say, "I don't know," when asked the price to mail a postcard. When she repeated the question, DeJoy laughed with incredulity, as if to suggest he does not believe it is the job of the Postmaster general to know the answers to such basic questions.

"I don't," he repeated. "I'll submit that I know very little about postage stamps."

He also had to say "I don't know" when asked about the rate of USPS Priority Mail. And he answered, "No I cannot," when asked if he could say how many Americans voted by mail in the last presidential election. When asked if he could say "to the nearest 10 million," a smirk came over his face, and he said he would be "guessing," and added that he didn't want to guess.

"OK, so, Mr. DeJoy, I am concerned – I'm glad you know the price of a stamp – but I'm concerned about your understanding of this agency," Porter told the Postmaster General.

And that's when things got very serious.

DeJoy repeatedly refused to commit to resigning if the USPS Inspector General found he had committed misconduct.

"I don't believe they will find misconduct," DeJoy declared, "but I don't see why I would commit here right now to resigning for any reason."

"I'm concerned about your understanding of this agency," Porter told DeJoy. "And I'm particularly concerned about it because you started taking very decisive action when you became Postmaster General, you started directing the unplugging and destroying of machines, changing of employee procedures, and locking of collection boxes."

"As a professor," Rep. Porter explained, "I've always told my students that one of the most important rules in life is to read the instructions. Did you actually read and independently analyze the major overhaul plans, before you ordered them to take effect?"

DeJoy, exuding disrespect for the California Congresswoman, replied, "Again, I will repeat that I did not order major overhaul plans, the items you identify were not directed by me. I did, and didn't do much analysis to get them to run your trucks to my schedule."

"Reclaiming my time Mr. DeJoy," Porter interjected, "Could you please tell me who did order these changes if you as Postmaster General did not," Porter said before DeJoy interrupted her. "If you did not order these actions to be taken. Please tell the committee, the name of who did."

"I do not know," DeJoy once again was forced to admit.

"Mr. DeJoy, did you analyze these plans, before they went into effect?"

"As I've stated numerous times, the plans were in effect and being implemented before I arrived."

He refused to say who had put them into effect.

Watch:

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, and President Joe Biden during 2020 presidential debate

I look at September 2019 as a month where I missed something. We began with a trip to New York to do Seth Meyers’s and Dr. Oz’s shows. Why would we go on The Dr. Oz Show? For the same reason we had gone on Joe Rogan’s podcast in August: We could reach a vast audience that wasn’t paying attention to the standard political media. On Dr. Oz, Bernie could talk about Medicare for All and his own physical fitness. While at the time we believed Bernie was uncommonly healthy for his age, he was still 78. Questions would be raised related to his age, and we needed to begin building up the case that he was completely healthy and fit. It turned out to be a spectacular interview, ending with the two of them playing basketball on a makeshift court in the studio. Bernie appeared to be on top of the world.

Yet in retrospect, I should have seen Bernie growing more fatigued. After New York, with the school year starting, we did a series of rallies at colleges and universities in Iowa; this was the kickoff of our campus organizing program in the state. We would then fly to Colorado for a large rally in Denver before heading to Boulder to prep for the third debate, to take place in Houston on September 12. In Iowa, Bernie’s voice was a little hoarse. After the rally in Denver, he had completely blown it out. He sounded terrible.

Keep reading... Show less

Rep. James Clyburn

When I interviewed House Majority Whip James Clyburn in 2014 about his memoir Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, the South Carolina Democrat was confident in America’s ability to find its way, no matter how extreme the political swings might appear at any given time.

“The country from its inception is like the pendulum on a clock,” the congressman told me. “It goes back and forward. It tops out to the right and starts back to the left — it tops out to the left and starts back to the right.” And remember, he said, it “spends twice as much time in the center.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}