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Good morning -- here's what's happening 9.17.08

September 17, 2008 |  8:33 am

Now_thats_a_palace Congratulations, U.S. taxpayers! After bailing out Bear Stearns to the tune of $30 billion and promising up to $200 billion in help to Fannie and Freddie, we're now part owners (thanks to an $80-billion emergency loan) of ailing insurance giant AIG. Does this mean we'll see a share of the profits, too?

As though all that wasn't thrilling enough, California taxpayers are getting the rare treat of watching a state Capitol smackdown of historic proportions. The Legislature finally (78 days late)  passes a budget,  Arnold Schwarzenegger is about to become the first governor in modern history to veto said budget. Lawmakers say they'll  override the veto, so the Governator now promises to kill every bill on his desk. So glad I bothered to vote.

Meanwhile, more information about the Metrolink crash last week:

Turns out Congress voted in a $200-million liability cap 11 years ago a single rail crash, a limit likely to be tested as lawsuits continue to roll in.

Metrolink cited costs in 2007 when explaining to Congress why the agency resisted updating safety devices.

Robert M. Sanchez, the engineer at the controls of Metrolink 111, was an upbeat man with a passion for trains but was no stranger to tragedy.

Some lovely and moving photos of Metrolink commuters who got back on the trains.

Onward:

Here comes the fallout from the 2007 May Day melee -- 15 LAPD officers will be disciplined, and LAPD Chief Bill Bratton is calling for four of those officers to be fired.

If you're not exactly a fan of those electronic billboards, you'll be happy to know the state Senate said no to allowing dozens of the movie-like screens to be erected near freeways.

That glorious movie palace, the El Capitan Theatre, is for sale -- just $31 million. Hope the new owner takes good care of all that gorgeous neon

How's this for tone deaf: Lakers are raising prices on "premium" games.

A little more on the lawsuit brought by current and former LAT reporters against Tribune and Sam Zell.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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