Transportation headlines, Friday, October 4

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ART OF TRANSIT: The Blue Line in Long Beach, from our Instagram stream.

Shutdown victims tribute (Flickr blog)

Nice rundown of parks and other lovely areas that are closed due to the ongoing government shutdown. On a similar note, some weddings planned for National Park Service sites have had to be postponed because the parks are closed. See what Stephen Colbert did about it (warning: adult humor).

Our democracy is at stake (New York Times)

Thomas Friedman’s column earlier this week makes the case that majority rule should still matter in the United States but changes in campaign finance laws, the media and redistricting mean that a narrow minority may be calling the shots for the foreseeable future.

Lost in the denialsophere: climate change and Obamacare (New Yorker)

Scientists across the globe last week released a 2,216-page report on climate change that concluded (again) that the Earth is getting warmer. Excerpt from Elizabeth Kolbert’s commentary:

This brings us back to climate change, which is really an issue of how we generate and use energy. Tuesday, just as the “Closed” signs were being posted on the steps of the National Gallery, Ron Binz, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, announced that he was withdrawing his name from consideration. Binz, who served on Colorado’s public-utilities commission for several years, is a strong advocate of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, which, as any schoolchild can tell you, is a critical part of any plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. As far as Senate Republicans and also some Democrats were concerned, holding such rational and forward-thinking views disqualified Binz from service. “Mr. Binz’s record shows he strongly favors renewable over other energy sources,” Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, said, and, remarkably enough, he meant this as an insult.

L.A. can get you revved up even without a car (USA Today)

A visitor and former resident now says it’s sort of possible to get around L.A. without a car.