Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    What is more important, newbie Gillbrand’s statement that she is in favor of more for us (but not less for anyone else, the money dropping from the sky) or an article showing what those with real power are actually going to do?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703808904575024772877067744.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

    “President Barack Obama intends to propose a three-year freeze in spending that accounts for one-sixth of the federal budget—a move meant to quell rising concern over the deficit but whose practical impact will be muted.”

    All the real money goes for interest (debts run up by past generations), Medicare, Medicaid for seniors, Social Security (entitlement that will be cut for younger generations) and national defense/homeland seniority (less of a share than it was under Jimmy Carter, but it would be lower still if not for our dependence on foreign oil).

    “The administration officials said the cap won’t be imposed across the board. Some areas would see cuts while others, including education and investments related to job creation, would realize increases. Among the areas that may be potentially subject to cuts: the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Justice, ENERGY, TRANSPORTATION, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services.”

    The poor and the future.

    Interesting that funding for basic shelter for the less well off (NYC gets a disproportionate share of that, giving up other things) will be cut even a the federal government massively subsidizes owner-occupied housing worth (what is it now?) $800,000 or so.

    There’s the signpost to the future in the public sector. In the private sector there is this — new hires paid half to preserve the richer pay and benefits of those who came before.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704762904575025420550494324.html?mod=WSJ_auto_IndustryCollection

    Remember, the federal government is borrowing $billions and inflating the currency to keep the price of housing those younger generations will need to buy high. Money those younger generations will have to pay back.

  • Re those obligatory NYT letters calling out clueless texting peds: I’m kicking myself for not writing my own LTE pointing out that the page-one photo for the original article appears to show a turning driver nudging a pedestrian striding in a crosswalk. The Times’ poster boy showing that “walking and using phone is risky” has the right of way, whereas the pushy driver does not.

  • Doug

    I agree, Charles, but even if you can legally claim the right of way when crossing, walking and texting or being on the phone engrossed in a conversation is a recipe for disaster. Recalling that I had the right of way would be cold comfort if I was in a hospital bed.

    In a perfect world we could cross without fear that drivers would ignore signals or not look before making a turn, but we don’t live in a perfect world. The larger message of the article was clear: don’t let down your guard. Principle is not an effective defense against bad drivers.

  • texting pedestrians: Finally, a name for the nimwit who honks her horn as a symbol of her own self-importance: Ingeborg Oppenheimer.

    Austin St: to the News‘ credit, they did mention Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce President Leslie Brown saying, “We’re trying to eliminate, also, employees and owners taking up spaces.”

  • “In a perfect world we could cross without fear that drivers would ignore signals or not look before making a turn”

    In a perfect world, we could cross without drivers.

  • James

    Former MTA CEO Lee Sander just became Chair of the Regional Planning Association:

    http://www.rpa.org/2010/01/lee-sander-elected-rpa-board-chair.html?tr=y&auid=5853386

    Probably worth a Streetsblog headline, as RPA is highly influential voice for progressive transportation policy. I had wondered where Sander would end up.

  • Doug (#3) — My intended point was that a photo ostensibly illustrating dangerous pedestrian behavior actually illustrated society’s chronic disregard for pedestrian rights. But Charles Siegel (#5) said it much better.