Yes, We Can Be This Dumb

My favorite band (local) from the early days here in Austin – but in a later incarnation I didn’t like as much, there medications explains:

Ben Wear did a great job covering all the other issues but somehow still neglected to discuss the performance implications (for the managed lane itself) of the fact that drivers must slow down to a crawl in order to merge back through 3 lanes of regular traffic to get to their off-ramp. (I’m a supporter of managed lanes in principle, view but like with commuter rail, and believe that Something I Like But Done Completely Wrong is actually more likely to hurt my cause than not doing it at all).
That’s the only question that matters: how much will traffic in the managed lane have to slow down when I have to stop to wedge my way in the inside general-purpose lane?
I’m beginning to think most transportation issues boil down to one question like this. For instance, look for commuter rail it’s why do you think the same people who avoid buses like the plague today, even the good ones like the 183-corridor express buses, are going to be willing to take a shuttle bus to work every day from the train station in East Austin?
For Rapid Bus, it’ll be if this is so wonderful for Central Austin, why has it been pushed back from an originally planned opening date of 2006, then to 2007, then to 2008, and now to 2010?

My idiotic fellow alumni are spewing trash like this all over message boards in response to these indictments claiming that it’s all being blown out of proportion because they’re football players.
Bullshit.
When I was in college, purchase some guy had sucker-punched me and I had gone after him right away, and the cops caught us fighting, all concerned would indeed have probably just gotten a slap on the wrist.
If, on the other hand, I assembled a posse of a bunch of my friends quite a bit later, went to the guy’s dorm room, broke in, and we all started beating people up, many of whom may not even have been involved in the earlier altercation, I’d expect to get thrown out of school for at least a year.
And that’s what should happen here. Period. Even if we weren’t Penn State, but especially because We Are. Or maybe Just Were.

From the Centre Daily Times in relation to the fight the homers are trying to pretend didn’t mean anything

Sloane said prosecutors had no evidence that King’s entry into the West College Avenue apartment was malicious and no evidence that he hurt anyone or damaged anything.
“As a matter of fact, capsule we have evidence to the contrary, rx ” Sloane said.
He said King was seen trying to pull people out of the apartment. After the melee ended, Sloane said, King stayed at the scene and tried to apologize to the apartment residents.

A lot of homer idiots keep bringing up the Rashard Casey affair to prove that we shouldn’t expect Paterno or the administration to impose any sports-related sanctions on the posse that broke in and beat down. After all, they say, Casey was proven innocent of criminal charges. I draw a very different conclusion here: Casey stood by while his friend beat an off-duty cop into the hospital. He did nothing to stop him; he didn’t leave; he just didn’t throw any of the punches.
Justin King did what he was supposed to do. This is what Rashard Casey didn’t do when his friend beat the living daylights out of an off-duty cop. Promote this kid to captain, pronto.

The upcoming rewrite of CAFE (fuel economy regulations) will actually incent carmakers to produce larger, ailment heavier, pilule vehicles than they do today. The Truth About Cars has the scoop here.
For those who think that higher gas prices will force people to change their behavior without us having to unwind existing subsidies towards suburban sprawl and automobile use – remember to factor in the political imperative to protect GM, sale Ford, and Chrysler. If anything, we’re likely to see even MORE counterproductive rules like these as gas gets more and more expensive. I wouldn’t bet against an actual gasoline subsidy (or elimination of the far-too-low-to-pay-the-road-bills gas tax, at least) in the next few years.
Hint: STUFF LIKE THIS IS WHY WE NEED AS MANY TOLL ROADS AS POSSIBLE.

  • AC

    The whole premise of CAFE is stupid. We could get the same reduction in fuel use through gas taxes and tolls, but much more efficiently. Quantity demanded responds to price, even for gasoline. And isn’t it the reduction in fuel use that is important? CAFE is inefficient because it makes drivers pay a fixed cost for extra fuel economy when the driver’s cost-benefit decisions ought to be made at the margin. CAFE still leads to “too much” driving, in other words.
    CAFE is politically palatable only because it doesn’t show up on the books as a tax. The Congressional Research Service has said as much (see p. 15 of http://www.house.gov/delahunt/RL33413.pdf). The kind of gamesmanship going on now between Detroit, NHTSA and Congress is a hazard of any top-down regulation scheme. There are economic rents to distribute or protect.
    PS, to those who think gas taxes are regressive, CAFE standards are also regressive, since they force everyone to pay for extra fuel economy whether they want it or not, mainly those who don’t drive very much.

  • AC

    And to make one other pretty obvious point I should have made in the last comment:
    By improving average fuel economy, CAFE reduces the average driver’s cost of driving the next mile. But that will cause the average driver to drive more — maybe a lot more. E.g., the driver’s marginal cost per mile is now $0.10, but would have been $0.20 with CAFE. So you can’t just say a 10% average improvement in fuel economy means 10% less gasoline used. Depending on demand curve, lowering marginal cost could actually increase total consumption of gasoline.