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Recents Comments from Philip Howard

1.
Hello, all. I'd like to suggest a structural approach. There are too many rules and too much process in every area of government. It's like asking people to be creative when they work in a legal jungle, wrapped up in Social innovation in America's cities: getting more out of our social service delivery systems
2.
Two observations: 1. I'm glad to see Peter Lehner's points, which complement Cliff Winston's. We can't just talk about the need for wise investment — there must be some authority structure with that goal, and other organizations with the goal Infrastructure: What and How?
3.
One enormous service a group like Polly's could provide would be to educate the public about how much more could be built – and how many more people employed – if an infrastructure czar were liberated from the layers of Infrastructure: What and How?
4.
There has been a lot of discussion about financing infrastructure. Isn't the threshold question what we should build? Or how we can evaluate proposals? That's what the new administration has to face up to first. I agree with Cliff that Infrastructure: What and How?
5.
Apologies for my delay in weighing in. A few questions and observations: 1. What infrastructure should we invest in? I like the idea of a base-closing commission to review and try to coordinate projects. It seems unwise to me to Infrastructure: What and How?
6.
This has been an excellent discussion. It has not focused much on the distortions on the ground, and the problems of bureaucratic accountability -- teaching to the test, and an almost fanatical obsession with objective scores. There's a good reason Should we scrap No Child Left Behind?
7.
I'd like the panelists to shift the discussion from the abstract to some practical solutions. All agree there's a problem of disrespect and disorder. Schools like Roxbury Latin don’t have the problem because they enforce a code of conduct. So....perhaps How can we restore order and respect in public schools?
8.
Of course I agree with Mike Petrilli that the best charter schools do this. But the challenge on the table is getting past the dynamics of World War I trench warfare between unaccountable teachers and micromanaging superintendents. What I'm suggesting Do we need a new deal for teachers?
9.
I never disagree with Charlie Kolb, but I will this once. The new deal I see is professional freedom in exchange for personal accountability. This is not an incremental change but a major shift. We don't acknowledge the inherently individual Do we need a new deal for teachers?
10.
There's a bigger opportunity here than just more pay for more accountability. Teachers are crushed by bureaucracy, and, in many schools, have lost the authority to maintain order in part because of legal requirements. Most of that bureaucracy is designed Do we need a new deal for teachers?
11.
It seems to me that potential social policy choices for "displaced workers" is not related to macro employment trends or to individual employment decisions. The problem that seems to cry out for a coherent policy that relates to wholesale displacement--say, What strategies best support the transition and re-employment of displaced workers?
12.
I'm about to run out to a meeting, and want to thank all of you for participating. The topic of how to lead needed changes is as elusive as it is important. I was struck by the difference in perspectives—from Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
13.
I too like the WTO idea. (NewTalk next will take on worker dislocation, in part, from globalization, where I think there needs to be safety nets). So far we also have some constitutional suggestions such as term limits, more focus Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
14.
Thanks, Jim, for your list of concrete ideas. My idea, along the lines of bipartisan commissions, is that the new President affirmatively solicits long-term perspectives, and engages the public on that level. I am personally interested in helping to organize Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
15.
I don't see much inconsistency in the comments, even from the Skunk-like Litan. The most glaring omission in the political landscape is a coherent outside force for the common good, an organization that could put pressure on the transition committees, Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
16.
As someone interested in legal reform, I am painfully aware of the blocking power of special interests—Common Good's proposal to do pilots of special health courts is supported by consumer groups like AARP, patient safety groups, virtually all providers, most Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
17.
Dave Walker has provided some specificity on what needs to be done, and the Peterson Foundation has launched an ambitious public campaign. I think there needs to be tangible goal that the public can understand—like JFK's promise to put a Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
18.
Jonathan does articulate a difference that's emerged. I believe that fixing healthcare and becoming fiscally responsible calls for a basic shift in approach, not incremental change. (Btw, I agree with Jonathan that movements can be destructive, if they're just playing Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
19.
We're getting towards the end of the first day, and I see a few themes. Lobbyists are here to stay, but need to be trumped by effective leadership to the broader public. The public itself may be polarized and/or used Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
20.
Let me ask the leadership question in a different way. In the past three decades, there have been a few major new initiatives, but only one I can think of—welfare reform—that undid an old program. The new presidents all promised Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
21.
Some of us seem to be looking for better leadership. Leadership generally rises in a time of crisis—that's when people are willing to be followers—and I'm not sure we've reached a crisis. America seems like it's sinking in the mud. Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
22.
Welcome to the NewTalk's discussion on whether the new President, whoever he is, really has the chance to be a change agent. Every President since at least Carter has promised to take on the "stranglehold" of special interests. It's hard Can the next President break Washington's addiction to short-term goals and special interests?
23.
Apologies for the delay in weighing in. Driving to Vermont with family and fig newtons. I must say this discussion certainly expands my thinking on this matter. In response to Becky's last post, it seems to me that it's hard Would "loser pays" eliminate frivolous lawsuits and defenses?
24.
With respect, I think there's a bigger point here. The metaphorical image of justice holds scales in balance. Instead justice careens here and there, tolerating wild claims and remote defenses in the name of neutrality. People fear justice, not in Would "loser pays" eliminate frivolous lawsuits and defenses?
25.
Perhaps there is little abusive discovery in personal injury litigation, but in the subset of corporate and securities litigation, discovery requests are themselves a bludgeon for settlement. I had one case last year, involving a separation of two partners, that Would "loser pays" eliminate frivolous lawsuits and defenses?
26.
The first goal, I suppose, is to identify whether there's a problem with litigation in this country that fee-shifting might address. My experience as a practicing lawyer is that claims and defenses have gotten more extreme—claimants sue for the moon, Would "loser pays" eliminate frivolous lawsuits and defenses?
27.
As this discussion draws toward a close, I would first like to say that I've been very interested in the critiques of NCLB. While this is hardly a perfectly diverse sample (the panel is a subset of those invited by Do we need a basic rewrite of No Child Left Behind?
28.
One change almost everyone seems to agree upon–national standards for testing. Federal sanctions are another matter. I subscribe to Diane Ravitch's view that sanctions promote obsessive behavior. Parents and educators care. Give them this uniform metric, and most will respond Do we need a basic rewrite of No Child Left Behind?
29.
With apologies for a late arrival at the discussion (I was traveling all day yesterday), I hope the panel here can focus on concrete solutions. Sol, this isn't supposed to be a shoot-out at the corral, or a debate to Do we need a basic rewrite of No Child Left Behind?
30.
Perhaps NCLB should be radically simplified, imposing a uniform testing regime, without all the mandates and consequences that have transformed educators into idiot savants. NCLB suffers all the flaws of central planning because that's what it is. Children aren't widgets, Do we need a basic rewrite of No Child Left Behind?
31.
I'd like to second Alan's suggestion that there are principles that transcend differing views on the merits. That principle for me, as stated earlier, is this: judges should make rulings on claims that affect broader social relations.I once debated the What is the role of the courts in making social policy?
32.
Briefly on the McDonald's hot coffee case....I can imagine a judicial ruling that 180 degree coffee from a drive-in window is outside the boundaries of reasonableness. My argument would be that there needs to be a judicial ruling so vendors What is the role of the courts in making social policy?
33.
In reviewing the discussion so far, I see a few points that perhaps bear more comment. 1. John Witt suggests that the second-level effects of litigation on the functioning of society probably vary area by area. That suggests a need What is the role of the courts in making social policy?
34.
There is certainly a need for empirical work in this area, from studying the effects of perceptions of justice on social behavior to judicial management (a focus of Becky Kourlis's Institute at Denver University). Looking at broader social effects is What is the role of the courts in making social policy?
35.
It's interesting how hard it is achieve closure on this question, at least for me. There is a lot to the "whose ox is gored" phenomenon. There's also a general distinction between case management and policy making.But the lines blur. What is the role of the courts in making social policy?
36.
Maybe it would be worth stating what I, at least, see as the problems here. Polls indicate that the American people don't trust civil justice. They see lawsuits as a way for people and companies to get away with something. What is the role of the courts in making social policy?
37.
I think Gillian's distinction between private and public claims is useful. But I think there's a confusion among judges about the difference. In talking with judges around the country, I have been struck by the sense that they lack the What is the role of the courts in making social policy?
38.
What is the role of the courts in making social policy? It has been a tenet of conservatism that judges should not be "activist." Nominees for the Supreme Court dutifully make statements that the role of judges is only to What is the role of the courts in making social policy?
39.
We're getting to the end of this party, so please weigh in with any final thoughts. I found the exchanges exciting and informative. Our hope was to engage some of the best minds in the country on new approaches to Chronic care: do we need an entirely new model of delivery?
40.
Policy will probably get made here through pilot projects that prove productive. Those pilots in turn require legislative help–legal waivers, innovative compensation systems, etc. I think Tim has done the work on the legal side. The point is not a Chronic care: do we need an entirely new model of delivery?
41.
Finally, Tim Jost has touched on a part of this that is near and dear to my heart—legal constraints. Can we all agree that coming up with new models or frameworks for chronic care requires a clean legal slate? Trying to design a Chronic care: do we need an entirely new model of delivery?
42.
It's getting near the end of our first day of discussion, and a lot has been put on the table. I know it's hard to herd cats, or experts, but I would be very interested in how each of you Chronic care: do we need an entirely new model of delivery?
43.
My question is this: Is there a model for chronic care that has been demonstrated to be more cost effective? E.g., a "health care home" that actively monitors and engages patients.  Or is the dramatic differential in cost between the Chronic care: do we need an entirely new model of delivery?
44.
Thank you all again for participating, and also for the public comments. What I take from the discussion is a longing to run government differently. Some focused on the partisanship and special interest influence, others on the urgent unmet demands, Is it possible to fix government?
45.
To David's point, political parties may rank lower even than lawyers in public esteem. Part of the appeal of both Obama and McCain is their independence. The change theme seems to provide an opportunity for real reform It's almost time Is it possible to fix government?
46.
I like David Walker's suggestion of a commission to look at overhauling how government functions. There's a history of these, to some good effect—for example, the Brownlow Commission in 1937 and the Hoover Commission in the 1950s. What's needed is Is it possible to fix government?
47.
Jim Cooper has rolled up his sleeves and given us concrete steps for action. The steps toward budget transparency should at least increase the embarrassment factor, although I agree with David Walker that the shame of how deficits will affect Is it possible to fix government?
48.
Appropos of the comments by Steve Kelman and Tomm Mann, I just came across the following quotation from Edmund Burke:  "Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites..." Is it possible to fix government?
49.
The last few comments have turned the discussion toward: the imperative for changing how government works the need to adopt basic management tools, and the importance of bringing the public into these choices. Doing these things involves a dramatic shift Is it possible to fix government?
50.
The mayors in our discussion obviously know what it means to get things done. Mayor Bloomberg brings together the two strands of today's discussion nicely—one theme focusing on the corrosive effects of partisanship, and the other on the machinery of Is it possible to fix government?
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