quick quotes

“The federal budget for nonsecurity discretionary outlays — categories like highways and rail, education, job training, research and development, the judiciary, NASA, environmental protection, energy, the I.R.S. and more — was cut from more than 5 percent of gross domestic product at the end of the 1970s to around half of that today. With the budget caps enacted in the August agreement, domestic discretionary spending would decline to less than 2 percent of G.D.P. by the end of the decade, according to the White House. Government would die by fiscal asphyxiation.” — Jeffrey Sachs

“For a BJ’s customer, you may think that is absolutely ridiculous. We never expected people to use mass transit to shop at a wholesale club.” — Patrick Smith, VP real estate of BJ’s Wholesale Club. [Not actually that unusual; Vancouver has a Costco with direct access to Skytrain.]

“It used to be that Republicans understood that transportation investment was necessary to spur economic growth and create jobs. Now, I guess they think if we give the rich enough tax breaks they will get off the golf course, get in a bulldozer, and start building roads.” — Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chair of the Senate Banking subcommittee with jurisdiction over public transportation

“Sometime during the past ten years or so food preparation officially surpassed filmmaking as the loftiest form of creative expression for the liberal arts demographic.  Furthermore, it’s essential that this food be prepared and served from some sort of vehicle (preferably a truck or a bicycle) instead of from an actual restaurant.  Part of the reason for this is of course that it’s cheaper that way, but it’s also because gentrification moves so quickly now that you need to be able to descend upon a new neighborhood within hours of reading a Tweet about it so you can provide all those young “pioneers” with the food products to which their refined palates have grown accustomed.   In any case, I have no doubt that if Darren Aronofsky were getting started today he’d never have made the movie “Pi;” instead, he’d be selling actual pies from a bakfiets.” — BSNYC weighing in on food trucks

A while ago, there was a pile-up on a Japanese highway of incredibly expensive sports cars. In the world’s second-largest car-making nation, this was a response typical of the social disapproval such showy vehicles receive: “It was a gathering of narcissists” — Mitsuyoshi Isejima of the Yamaguchi prefecture expressway traffic unit told Bloomberg.