Oy. First off, this can't be good, no matter how you slice it:
After vowing to steer a greater share of anti-terrorism money to the nation's highest-risk cities, Homeland Security officials today announced grants to New York City and Washington that would be slashed by 40 percent, while dollars headed to spots including Omaha and Louisville, Ky., would surge.
New Yorkers are understandably and justifiably pissed about this. But look at it in raw dollars, and it looks at least a little different:
The net effect was that the grant to New York City, which was $207.6 million last year, will drop to $124.5 million this year, while Washington will see its grant dollars drop a similar 40 percent, to $46.5 million this year.
Meanwhile, grants for cities like Louisville, Omaha and Charlotte, N.C., each jumped by about 40 percent, to about $8.5 million each. Newark and Jersey City, which received a combined grant, also saw a large increase, rising 44 percent to $34 million.
Throwing $8.5 million to Omaha or Charlotte is certainly defensible. Newark and Jersey City are so close to NYC that that number also makes sense. What's insane, is that NYC and Washington are LOSING funds, not just in raw dollars but huge percentages. The political ramifications of that are perhaps as big as the actual national security implications, which is why this likely won't last.
But what it shows - for like the zillionth time - is that the people running things have about no connection with the real world. They are either 23-year old Chickenhawks who have posters of W hanging on their ceilings, or older buffoons who have gotten their jobs solely due to fundraising and not disagreeing with W or Cheney, ever. That's pretty much it, with perhaps a handful of exceptions.*
*Note: It's not clear that any such exceptions exist.