What are these people smoking?
New York City just lost a big chunk of federal homeland security money. According to the New York Times, this was at least in part because the federal government didn't like the way that the money was being spent, but an assessment of risk was also part of the equation. I'm not in a position right now to assess how the money was spent, but as a former New Yorker I was somewhat shocked by part of the risk assessment:
New York officials were given a one-page tally that explained, in part, how the region's risk-based standing was calculated. The document said the region had no "national monuments or icons," four banking or financial firms with assets of over $8 billion, 28 chemical or hazardous material sites, as well as nearly 7,000 other possible important, high-risk targets, like hospitals or major office buildings, a tally that some city officials said had major omissions or errors.Not to mention Times Square, the Broadway theaters (or, for that matter, Radio City Music Hall), the New York Stock Exchange, Yankee Stadium, Central Park, a couple of dozen world-famous museums, etc, etc, etc. I swear, this has to be a "small government" strategy - they're trying to make the federal government as incompetent as possible, in the hope that we give up on it instead of trying to fix the problems.
"It's outrageous that these bean counters don't think the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge are national monuments or icons," said Jordon Barowitz, a spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg.