Today’s Headlines

More headlines over at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    The debt bomb article is worth reading, but remember this — while Pataki, Conway, Bruno and Silver were wrecking the future of our transit system by loading it with debt, Generation Greed was making 1,000 similar decisions, non-decisions and deals in business, government, and their own lives.

    Don’t load Straphangers with debt? Don’t send me into poverty in old age with debt, and destroy my children’s (and their children’s) future with debt!

    Whoops. too late.

    There are two ways out. Default, and back door universal default through inflation, which reduces the real value of debt (and savings) for those entities smart enough to lock in fixed rates (ie. not the MTA). Savers are screwed either way for saving in the past, but at least post default there is a future.

    PUT BANKRUPTCY ON THE TABLE!

  • Mortonk

    Larry you need to retire “generation greed” for the remainder of 2009.

  • From the Daily News article with the funny picture of Jay Walder:

    Senate Democrats said Tuesday that the confirmation hearings will not begin until after they return from summer recess next month and likely will stretch past Labor Day.

    Asked if the delay was payback for Paterson’s refusal to let the lawmakers leave Albany during the crisis and his demand that their pay be docked, transportation committee member Sen. Ruben Sr. Diaz said, “You know how Santa Claus laughs? Ho, ho, ho … that’s all I am going to say.”

    Pardon my language, but what a douchebag.

  • How are the police not filing charges in the case where the officer was hit? It’s clear from the intersection and the details of the case that a driver caused the collision (not accident) by either following too closely or failing to yield. Moreover, there are plenty of cops to be witnesses. Doesn’t make sense.

  • Ian Turner

    The state legislature is at an all-time low according to the latest polls, but nobody blames their own legislator, it’s all somebody else’s fault:
    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1318.xml?ReleaseID=1330

  • Alan, if you go back to the explanation of how traffic charges are made in the Maureen McCormick post, she explains what’s necessary for criminal charges:

    Generally a criminal case begins with some intentional act on the part of the driver: speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, getting drunk, etc., that creates a substantial risk of death to another person under the facts of the particular incident — but the facts have to establish a “gross deviation” from the normal standard of care. This is why 10 or even 20 mph over the speed limit will generally not suffice on its own for a criminal charge. However, if the particular circumstances make the 20 mph grossly risky — for instance when there is heavy pedestrian traffic in the area due to a street fair — then under the “totality” of those circumstances an argument could be made that the driving was criminally negligent. It is unsatisfying but there is no hard and fast rule. Each incident must be viewed under this “totality of the circumstances” analysis and the risk taken by the driver must be substantial enough that the driver’s failure to recognize the degree of risk is a gross deviation from what a “reasonable person” would recognize. (Criminal recklessness arises when the defendant can be shown to have recognized the substantial risk and consciously disregarded it.) At the same time prosecutors are bound to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the negligence meets the court’s definition of what is criminal because according to case law “negligent conduct arising from carelessness, inadvertence, lack of skill, competence or foresight — would not be a sufficient.”

    So just because the Mazda driver is a poor driver and inadvertently didn’t yield to the Mercury, that’s not enough to bring criminal charges.

  • Larry’s catchphrase may be tired for longtime Streetsblog commentariat, but he’s dead on correct, the phrase ain’t tired for folks who haven’t heard it, and I’m squarely in the demographic he’s ardently defending.

    Larry should keep posting, exactly as he has been.

  • vnm

    2 Die in Horrific Bronx Crash Between SUV and Livery Cab (News)

    A horrific crash killed a livery cab driver and his passenger – who was thrown 10 feet through the air and over a six-foot fence in the Bronx. In the chaotic aftermath of the Tuesday night collision with an SUV, it took 20 minutes for someone to find Annmarie Flournoy, 29, bleeding on the grounds of a nursing home.