WE <3 THE POSTAL SERVICE
Yes, really. That policy hawk in the White House, however, has no love for the dedicated people who deliver our vape cartridges from Colorado. Illinois Times' Jim Hightower penned a delightful screed calling out our dear leader for using the might of the federal government to settle a personal score with Jeff Bezos 'cause The Washington Post (which Bezos owns) is mean to him. Yes, really.
In what Hightower views as a stupid plot to give Bezos a financial wedgie by increasing Amazon's costs, Trump issued an executive order on April 12 to create a task force to examine the "money-losing post office," particularly, the "pricing of the package delivery market." Apparently, "Donald the First" is unaware that the post office is a financial winner, raking in about $1 billion in annual profits. This would balance out in the black-but the right wing in 2006 passed a law requiring USPS to pre-fund retiree health bennies 75 years into the future, "covering retirement costs for workers who haven't even been born!"
"This adds a totally hokey 'expense' of up to $5 billion a year to the USPS corporate ledger, creating the fake 'loss' Trump is now so bombastically citing as the rational for his destructive inquisition," Hightower huffs. Smelling postal blood, the far right got a trumped up order mandating the task force to "evaluate, dissect and restructure the people's mail service." The silver (or brass) lining? In terribly delicious irony, one of few who would be able to buy our postal service and create a "monstrous corporate monopoly" is ... drumroll please ... "the Amazon kingdom, of course."
AAN FIGHTS FOR INFORMATION
The Association of Alternative Newsmedia has joined 19 other media organizations in an amicus brief urging the feds to recognize the media's right to seek access to government settlement agreements that contain a non-disparagement clause. Non-disparagement clauses prohibit signatories from making critical statements against the others, typically in a settlement or employment separation agreements. Ya know, as in, "You're fired, here's some dough, but you have to agree to never mention that your boss required daily bootlicking."
In the brief filed in support of plaintiffs suing the Baltimore mayor, city council and police department, AAN challenges the latters' policy of adding mandatory non-disparagement clauses to all settlements on police misconduct claims. Because, duh, the people have a right to know when their police force is abusing its authority.
AGING INTO A CRISIS
California is one of many states staring down the barrel of a crisis as residents get older, reports Coachella Valley Independent. (AHEM, Florida.) Oddly, some elderly/infirm citizens may be getting TOO much care. Skilled-nursing facilities often house many people who don't need such comprehensive services. Not only is this expensive, it can diminish quality of life. Would you rather live in a hospital or apartment setting as long as possible?
In an effort to bridge the gap, in which upwards of 20,000 Californians may be over-served and others living at home or with caregivers too long, state Assemblyman Ash Kalra has filed a bill that would cover an additional 13,000 people in assisted living, CVI reports. But don't worry about the elder care industry; they'll be just fine. As a spokeswoman quipped, "The boomers are coming."
Feral cats are everywhere, y'all. Spay and neuter, you Cretans! Anyhoo, in April, Charlotte, North Carolina opened a special facility just for kittens. Creative Loafing Charlotte recently did a wide-ranging piece about cats in the city—cat cafés!—but we were most entranced by the writer's account of being trained to care for the widdle biddy kitties at the nursery. Orphaned fur babies aged one day to four weeks old, or neonates, require special care to survive, including hand bottle feedings every few hours, cuddling, warming discs in their crates, and ... there's no easy way to say this ... anal stimulation to make sure they go to the bathroom.
Though the job includes its share of heartbreak, not to mention poop, CLC reports that the facility has drastically improved the survival rates of neonates, who can later be put up for adoption. Fear not, by then, they've longed aged beyond the anal stimulation phase. And they're spayed/neutered.