Today’s Headlines

  • Parking in Front of Barney’s on "Official Business" (Post)
  • US DOT Secretary Peters: Don’t Hike Gas Tax (WSJ via Planetizen)
  • Taxi and Livery Crashes Have Declined Since 2003 (AM)
  • State Will Approve Down-Scaled Javits Center Expansion (NYT via TRE)
  • Historic Pier May Become Ferry Hub for Harbor’s National Parks (NYT)
  • Some Metal Structures on City Streets Still Carry Stray Voltage (City Room)
  • NJ Senate to Hold Public Hearing on Tolls Tomorrow Night (AP)
  • Fire Response Faster in Brooklyn Than Other Boroughs (News)
  • Detroit Retires Hummer H1 (News)
  • Shell Chief: Oil Sands and Shales "Much More Expensive" Than Crude (NYT)
  • Peters’s brushing off of gas taxes and endorsement of congestion pricing has set a new personal record for me in mixed feelings. She makes no case at all against gas taxes other than “taxes bad, gummit bad,” then proceeds to talk about road pricing as if it meant privatization, while the only real pricing scheme in the works (ours) is public and must stay that way. For interstates passing over land that has no particular value, I suppose I’d rather they be private if that means motorists would pay their own way, for once.

    But people have exactly the same reaction to road tolls as they do to gas taxes. Anyone who goes for the lame anti-tax pitch that is the first half of her argument is not going to appreciate the pay-for-use pitch that is the second. The sum is not a coherent argument, it’s a distraction serving ulterior motives. (Must we invoke “big oil” interests for the thousandth time?)

    The Woodstock museum talking point is hilarious. It’s apparently something that people are upset about in those states that receive vastly more federal dollars than they contribute. I don’t particularly appreciate a lecture on pork from those who are so deep in pork dept they’re in a permanent state of pork bankruptcy. Be careful what you wish for, poor states! (Also, by the way: you can stop worrying about the hippies.)

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    (Also, by the way: you can stop worrying about the hippies.)

    Doc, I don’t think the conservative Baby Boomers will ever stop worrying about the hippies. I’m not a big fan of Andrew Sullivan, but I thought his article in last month’s Atlantic was pretty insightful. In the summer of 1969, Peters was twenty years old and married to a Marine. She’s probably relishing every chance she can get to take a whack at hippies of all ages, taking away their bike funding, building bigger roads and enriching corporations.

    I grew up in Woodstock. Although I was born in 1971, and the Festival was sixty miles away, it’s still disturbing to see the kind of venom that “straights” like Peters display for hippies.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    I wanted to throw out some random hippie-related connections: Peters is just slightly younger than Arlo Guthrie, who famously remarked that the Woodstock Festival was such a success that “The New York State Thruway is closed, man!” and who helped popularize a song about the disappearing-railroad blues. Even closer to her age is Congressman John Hall, representing the nearby 19th District.

  • So we should be glad Peters didn’t concoct a photo of Jane Fonda with higher gas taxes.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I want everyone to think long and hard about the post article on Kimora Lee Simmons driving around Manhattan, shopping at stores with a parking permit. Understand that, and you understand the political culture of New York City.

    From Wikipedia “Kimora Lee Simmons (born Kimora Lee Perkins on May 4, 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri) is model, author, the head of design for Baby Phat, KLS and an occasional actress. Kimora is half African-American, one quarter Korean and one quarter Japanese.”

    Kimora Lee Simmons is someone who matters, an insider, someone worth something. She gets special privileges. So do members of certain public employee unions. Those riding around in Black Cars. Those with certain patronage offices. They drive and park where they want, and “public” property is their personal preserve. The insiders are all in it together, everyone from Kimora Lee to Richard Brodsky to Anthony Weiner to Randi Weingarten to Marty Markowitz.

    You, on a bike or the subway, or even paying your own money to park in a public parking garage, are a schmuck. Pay your taxes, expect zero public services and shut up.

    We don’t have capitalism. We don’t have socialism. We have feudalism, and you are a peasant. And no, it isn’t just about parking.

  • Larry Littlefield

    And let me say further, that the kind of inequities and unearned privileges seen in the wide distribution of parking permits is mirrored everywhere else in public policy. Parking in Manhattan is a luxury. The inequities also apply to necessities.

  • Jonathan

    I can understand that New York exempts former POWs and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients from paying auto registration fees, but Kimora Lee Simmons, Richard Brodsky, Marty Markowitz, Randi Weingarten, and Anthony Weiner?

    You could put them all together and they still wouldn’t be fit to tie Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith‘s shoes.