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02 June 2006 Blog Home : June 2006 : Permalink

Bloated and Incompetant

At the National Review Rich Lowry is scathing about the DHS:

The humorist P. J. O’Rourke famously said, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” That cynical, libertarian sentiment felt out of step after 9/11, when Washington seemed set to embark on a period of high seriousness of purpose. Nearly five years later, however, it’s clear that even homeland-security funding is dangerous in the hands of Washington lawmakers.

The Department of Homeland Security has just announced this year’s urban counterterrorism grants. The department was working on the basis of a new funding formula that replaced the old congressionally mandated formula that had more to do with pork-barrel, spread-the-money considerations than sober assessments of risk. But the new formula apparently is even stupider than the old, since it has dictated enormous cuts for the only two cities ever to be hit by Islamic terrorists, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

You know he almost sounds like a left winger - here's Majithise:

So what does it take to be included in the DHS's Freedom Budget?

Here are some of the distinguished heritage sites:

and here's ZuZu at feministe:

The whole procedure, really, was flawed. Rather than have experts in counterterrorism review the proposals, DHS used a “peer review” system that came to the conclusion that New York had no national monuments or icons.

Funny, I seem to recall that there’s a big statute out in the harbor. And a bridge that’s been sold many times. And a readily-identifiable theater district, and several skyscrapers of some reknown. *

Not surprisingly, it appears that politics and palm-greasing may have had something to do with things.

The major difference between Rich and the left-wing ladies*  is that he blames Congress and dumb bureacrats for the pork and waste while the ladies tend to blame the occupant of the white-house. Personally I think there is plenty of blame to spread around here and plenty of bureaucrats, congresscritters and presidential appointees who should be on the receiving end. Hence I have to say that I think both ladies would tend to agree with most of Rich's conclusion too:

After a surge in such confidence following 9/11, the Iraq war, and the spectacle of the Abramoff-tainted, listless GOP, Congress is writing a new chapter in the history of cynicism about government. Everywhere you look there is more reason to shake your head and wonder, Where is the adult supervision in Washington? Here is the congressional leadership strenuously objecting to the FBI searching a corrupt, cash-grubbing congressman’s office. There is the Department of Veterans Affairs losing the personal information of millions of veterans.

Conservatives are supposed to believe in a government that does less rather than more, and that performs its core functions well. Republicans have stumbled on both counts, delivering bloated and incompetent governance. Their political strategy is to hope Democrats get tainted too by their mere presence in Washington. But Republicans should be worried lest voters confiscate their whiskey and car keys.

All the rumbling about third party candidates is looking more and more plausible.

*ZuZu is posting at feministe and is anonymous. I believe she is female though I could be wrong - possibly he's a cat.

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