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I post my sudden thoughts and second thoughts here from time to time -- usually having something to do with Philadelphia and governmental accountability, but occaisionally on something more (or less) interesting. Check out my Recent Writing for issues of the day and take a look at some more in-depth writing in Brett's Books. Or, view the Bulldog Budget, which represents a wonderfully visual way to conceive and account for how our government works (or doesn't work) for us.

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Most recently, I wrote
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Philadelphia's Left Needs To Get Government Right

In Philadelphia, the heroes of the political left have got it right when it comes to getting elected. But, the challenge for Philadelphia's progressive officials remains figuring out how to govern right -- as in correctly, not conservatively -- to make this a better city for the Philadelphians who elect them. Local liberal-minded officials have articulated a compelling vision to voters and have effectively organized to defeat what passes for the local political machines. But, despite the recent influx of new and talented and passionate leaders, the continuous failures of local government show that our left-leaning officials need to do much more to focus on getting government right.

In stark contrast to the conservative battle cry that there is no government like no government, liberals passionately believe that government can make a sustained and positive difference in people's lives. I absolutely and unequivocally place myself in this camp. Locally, our lives are improved by the quality of our public schools, by the effectiveness of our public-safety agencies, and by the soundness of so many public-policy initiatives. Of course, the reverse is true as well and Philadelphia is the perfect case study for a city where the failures of government have negatively affected the lives of its citizens. Our liberal firebrands must, therefore, complement their passion for important values with demands for efficient, effective, and clean government if Philadelphia is to ever be the city that we deserve.