MediaFile

Would you like a P.O. Box with that frappuccino?

(Archival photo, circa 2013.)

THE FUTURE – Has it been only 30 years since the U.S. Postal Service, bowing to a hostile Congress, sought to stay alive by ending Saturday delivery of first-class mail — and setting in motion one of the most remarkable and rapid cultural and infrastructure revolutions in history?

To mark the anniversary of the post-Post Office epoch, let’s relive its history. The announcement in February 2013 that regular Saturday mail delivery would be ending became a touchstone moment. The Economist reported that America was doomed. Liberals decried the “decimation” of an institution they insisted bound us together as a nation. Conservatives, who had applauded a Republican-led Congress’s insistence on forcing the Post Office to make enormous pension plan pre-payments, reveled in the prospect they’d transformed the institution.

The fight was never far from the surface. When it became a 2016 presidential campaign issue, it ensured that the next president would have to do … something. But no candidate committed to anything more than “reform.”

When President Hillary Clinton was elected, progressives were relieved — but even they had no idea how audacious she would be.

In her first inaugural address, Clinton seized the moment to advance what she called “Manifest Digital Destiny” — a.k.a. the Hillary Doctrine. That would be: The Internet is a birthright of American citizens. In creating a right to the Internet, she would have an almost Lincolnian impact on the nation for generations to come: Affordable, ubiquitous broadband would set us all free. To hasten the transition, she provided a bit of incentive: The Post Office, hobbling for years, was to be shuttered within her first term. The new broadband network would take its place. 

Bob Rubin: Wall Street? America needs Sesame Street

Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin was so worried about the current state of political discourse that he went to a billionaire buddy to try to get him to bankroll a TV show, but the deep-pocketed friend turned him down.

Rubin told conference-goers at the Aspen Ideas Festival that both he and former deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott had approached a friend Rubin declined to name. Their idea, which he told Reuters after the event was never developed, was to appeal to the public the same way “Sesame Street” appealed to youngsters.

But the friend, busy with other projects, said no.

Rubin still believes the media could do more to explain issues, particularly when it comes to the fiscal crisis.

Top Rupert Murdoch adviser learns meaning of ‘deadline’

Top Rupert Murdoch adviser Gary Ginsberg is leaving News Corp after 11 years, the company said on Monday.

It must have hit New York Times reporter Tim Arango’s e-mail inbox first (his writeup appeared about five minutes before I got the press release).

Here is what he wrote about Ginsberg, 47, the second senior executive to leave News Corp in recent months, following Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin:

Clinton in 2012? Why not, Huffington says.

Nationally syndicated columnist and Huffingtonpost.com co-founder/editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington may not have been a personal supporter of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic party nomination (HuffPost didn’t endorse a candidate), but she has kind words for the New York senator and former first lady all the same.

I met Arianna in New York on Tuesday to ask her what she, as the author of a book about women conquering their fears, thought about Clinton’s failure to secure the nomination and her political future.

Here’s what she said about…

Supporting Obama:

Since this is an election where we are clear that it’s in the best interests of the country that (Arizona Republican Senator) John McCain is not president , and we have seen that Obama has a much better chance of defeating John McCain, it’s a very clear choice. (With Obama) there’s no equivocation. It’s the future, getting out of Iraq. It’s a dramatically different take on the economy. It’s a clear break with the past, which the country’s really longing for.

Ex-U.S. Presidential wannabes lambast campaign coverage

The wireless industry’s clout attracted former U.S. presidents last year, but this year it was just enough to lure the former wannabes.

This year’s headline keynote speakers at the CTIA annual industry showcase were former presidential candidates John Edwards and Fred Thompson? Last year the wireless show nabbed Former actual Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton as keynote speakers.

After lamenting lost chances and nodding to the increasing importance of technology in campaigns, both politicians then got busy criticizing how the mainstream media has handled the presidential campaign so far.