The U.S. Postal Service is on the verge of financial collapse and should eliminate Saturday delivery, close thousands of local post offices, restructure its health plan and lay off 120,000 workers to survive, according to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe ("Postal Service drops closure plan," May 10).
Last week, the Senate Democrats, ordered by President Obama and led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, passed a $34 billion spending bill to fund the Postal Service, including billions to fund the postal union workers pension fund. This after rejecting a plan put forth by the Postal Service to downsize and streamline operations. Thus, Obama and Reid want to give $34 billion of our money away.
This is tantamount to investing in a buggy whip company after buggies have become obsolete. Why do Obama and Reid want to do this, since it seems so absurd on its face? The answer is to gain union votes in November. What a way to run the country. This must stop in November.
BILL HALLING, EDINA
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In a lame-duck session of Congress in 2006, then-President George W. Bush and his Republican cronies decided to force the Postal Service to fund their employees' health care and retirement out ahead 75 years -- a plan so financially ridiculous and untenable that no corporation or other government agency would ever attempt it. This is why the Postal Service is running on a deficit.
Clearly this is the work of two factions: those in Congress who would like to dismantle yet another government agency, in order to give the overnight and package shipping business to the private companies who so handsomely donate to their campaigns, and those who would like to break apart yet another union.
It's time people figured out that Postal Service operations are funded by user fees, are well-run and are a necessary component of any civilized nation.
EVA LOCKHART, EDINA
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One day last week, after looking through what we received in the mail, I promptly threw everything out, most of it unopened. I about fell off the couch when I read that the Postal Service is running a daily deficit of $25 million. Seriously, they could save a few dollars by not delivering my mail. The recent mail-tossing event is not a rare occasion in this house.
Let's face it: The governmental mail system has got to go! Let the private sector handle it.
CARMEN GUNDERSON, ELK RIVER
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When I was 12, my parents gave me a book on sex education. I remember that the first thing I did was look up the word "homosexual." It said a homosexual was a person with a mental disorder. When I was 18, I found myself on a bridge with one leg over the railing and ready to jump, but I imagined the pain it would cause my mother and climbed back down.
When I was 23, I was trying to live the life I thought I was supposed to live and dated a woman, talking about marriage and having children. Then my life changed forever. I met the man of my dreams and fell in love. One month later, we committed to be together for the rest of our lives.
Now when I am 57, we are still together and very much in love. Today is the 34th anniversary of the day we first met. President Obama's recognition of our relationship and his support for our ability to get married makes us proud and gives us hope.
It is our dream to some day be married in Minnesota, the state where we were born and have lived all these years. Too many young people who are gay and lesbian are fighting the same battles I struggled with four decades ago. None of us should have to face a future where we are treated as second-class citizens in our own country, and the president has taken an important step toward achieving our equality.
RICK GROGER, ST. PAUL
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Those in the North Carolina voting majority didn't make themselves any more righteous on Tuesday ("N.C. approves amendment against gay marriage," May 9). When they looked at themselves in the mirror on Wednesday, it was pretty much the same face that looked at them the morning before. No extra halos or anything. The same thing will hold for Minnesotans in November.
For those inclined to vote for the Minnesota amendment, you might consider some alternative ways of getting on God's good side besides telling your gay and lesbian neighbors they aren't good enough for you, because I'm thinking that isn't really his top priority.
NAT CASE, MINNEAPOLIS
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President Obama's "hope and change" campaign theme was a clever, in-the-eye-of-the-beholder tactic. Now, by describing his support of gay marriage as based upon his "personal position," he is up to his old tricks. He is trying to have it both ways.
Obama seeks to legislatively insulate himself by reasoning that gay marriage is a "state-by-state issue." However, on the issues of Obamacare, abortion, voter ID, and the rights of states to control illegal immigration, Obama rejects state-by-state legislative resolutions in favor of federal intervention.
Whereas "federalism" constitutionally divides sovereignty between a central governing authority and state political units, Obama's modus operandi is one of picking and choosing sovereignty balances -- as a function of his ideological agenda. Call him a progressive federalist.
While Obama's positioning ploy on gay marriage might increase campaign contributions from kindred special-interest groups, it also corroborates the desperation of his reelection campaign and furthers doubt as to his POTUS earnestness.
GENE DELAUNE, NEW BRIGHTON