Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for A Better Tomorrow - June 29 Edition

Criminal Justice Reform

The effect of a few days of detention for people who have been accused of misdemeanors and not released simply because they do not have the ability to pay can be devastating and far reaching ― possibly leading to the loss of employment and housing, which only exacerbates the kind of instability that can lead to a life of crime,” he said. “If we want to continue the progress we’ve made in lowering crime, reducing recidivism, and making our communities safer, then we must focus on what happens at the front-end of the justice system.”

The new law, which will take effect in July, bars courts from assigning money bail to misdemeanor defendants, except in cases involving family violence or in which an individual has been determined to be a flight risk, or likely to obstruct justice or harm themselves or someone else.

“What we know is that 75 percent of all criminal case filings are misdemeanors, so this bill will have a big impact on a lot of people,” Cherise Fanno Burdeen, CEO of the Pretrial Justice Institute, a leading advocate for bail reform, told HuffPost

Racial Equity


Dr. Clarence B. Jones is currently the First Diversity Visiting Professor at the University of San Francisco and a scholar writer in residence at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute, Stanford University, and Palo Alto, California. He served as counsel, political adviser, and speechwriter for Dr. King. He’ll be speaking about what lawmakers today can learn from King at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

It appears there is collective unwillingness and/or inability of “the best and the brightest” today to acknowledge that the consequential impact of the institution of slavery and its ideology of white supremacy upon subsequent generations of the children of slaves and slave owners constitute the core of the “problem of race” in America today.

What is about the current generation of leaders of foundations, think tanks, businesses, universities, and government institutions that makes them unable to clearly see the consequential historical impact of slavery and its doctrine of white supremacy upon virtually all matters relating to race? Discussions about “race” still reside between “a rock and a hard place”

Foreign Policy

…there are some things that United States just has to do because no foundation, no investor, and no government can or will. Sometimes it is supporting a democratic election; sometimes it is leading from the front on Ebola; sometimes it is doing mind-numbingly boring but important work improving the tax collection systems of a developing country or fixing the plumbing at a border to make trade easier. Much of this is neither photogenic nor easy to explain on a bumper sticker, but it is increasingly the bread and butter of what Washington should be doing — and not necessarily what it or the political constituencies that support development “want” to do.

There are currently 30 or so countries that are fragile and weak. These are where many of our biggest problems come from. These countries are going to generate such problems for decades. Their challenges are hard to tackle. We have only a small ability to make incremental progress, but the United States needs to be in these countries for their own security and ours. These nations will require ongoing U.S. leadership and involvement.

Health Care

The most likely outcome, then, is that the efforts to repeal Obamacare will die in the Senate. If that happens, the more pressing question will become, How can the Trump administration address the very real flaws of the U.S. health-care system, improving care without taking coverage away? The answer is to fix Obamacare rather than replace it.

Already, hospitals across the country are experimenting with ways to offer better care at a lower cost. Eight years ago, Grand Junction, Colorado, became the poster child of health-care reform when it was singled out by Atul Gawande of The New Yorker for investing in preventive care and changing the way doctors were paid in an effort to slash Medicare costs without sacrificing quality. La Crosse, Wisconsin, has achieved the lowest costs in the country for end-of-life care by having nurses ask patients to fill out advance directives about how aggressive they want their treatment to be. And Geisinger Health System, a network of hospitals in Pennsylvania, has reduced emergency-room admissions by focusing on delivering high-quality primary care, with a view toward customer service. (It even offers refunds to patients who report “uncompassionate care.”) Meanwhile, a bevy of start-ups inspired by the Affordable Care Act are doing everything from matching patients with caregivers to helping people shop for insurance plans.

If policymakers really want to curb costs and improve quality, they should focus on accelerating the growth of such game changers—by enhancing the incentives of existing high-value providers to expand their market share and by unleashing the forces of capitalism to create new such providers.


But what are the traits that every employer looks for to find employees who are awesome, rather than simply ones who can do the job? Read on to find out.

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