ICYMI: SD’s $10 Million Man, Conservatarians, Post Office Modernization?

Stories from the weekend about Cowboys, Community, the US Postal Service and San Diego’s “$10 Million Man”…

The Case for Old Ideas” (Ross Douthat/New York Times)

Pull Quote: “New ideas, rooted in scientific understanding, did help bring societies through the turbulence of industrialization. But the reformers who made the biggest differences — the ones who worked in the slums and with the displaced, attacked cruelties and pushed for social reforms, rebuilt community after it melted into air — often blended innovations with very old moral and religious commitments.”

“’Conservatarians’ Welcome Cowboys and Community” (Peter Berkowitz/RealClearPolitics)

PQ: Part of the problem is confusion within conservative ranks. What Cooke calls the conservative branch of the conservative movement, but is better referred to as traditionalist, has not always upheld fiscal restraint. Moreover, on some issues close to their heart—abortion, same-sex marriage, drugs—the traditionalists have turned to government to legislate their moral positions. Meanwhile, the libertarian branch often ignores the moral prerequisites of freedom, and too frequently proposes policy as if it were legislating for a country where expectations have not been molded by more than three-quarters of a century of an ever-expanding welfare state.”

Meet San Diego’s $10 Million Man” (Ashly McGlone/PublicCEO-Voice of San Diego

PQ: Lots of people have tried to take credit for exposing San Diego’s pension debacle. Conger was there almost from the beginning. The lawsuit that earned Conger $3 million in fees from the city was hugely important in sounding the alarm on the city’s pension problems. It was filed on behalf of the city’s deputy planning director at the time, James Gleason.

“The lawsuit was a threat to the entire artifice that had been propping up City Hall,” author Roger Lowenstein wrote in his 2008 book, “While America Aged.” “If Conger could force the city to restore full funding, it would unravel the convenient lie on which San Diego had been figuring its budget. … Its elected officials could suddenly be vulnerable.”

He did, and they were.

Postal Service swears in first female postmaster general” (Andy Medici/Federal Times)

PQ: “”New technology platforms will do more than create business opportunities; they will enable the Postal Service to revitalize how we engage the American public and fulfill our public service mission,” Brennan said at the ceremony.

Brennan said the Postal Service must continually invest in its technological infrastructure, including a better use of data to create better products and services at a more rapid pace than it previously had. “The challenge for the Postal Service is to embrace a faster pace of change, to aggressively pursue opportunities and to constantly improve our competitiveness, Brennan said.”