YOU'LL NEVER TAKE...

YOU'LL NEVER TAKE OMAHA! Being a D.C. resident, this isn't the best news I've heard all day. As Garance and Ben have noted, the Department of Homeland Security has apparently decided that D.C. and New York are plenty safe -- and has chopped their grants by 40 percent. Meanwhile, terrorist targets such as Charlotte, North Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; and Omaha, Nebraska, saw massive increases in their totals. Guess that explains where Dick Cheney's "undisclosed locations" are...

These sorts of allocations always puzzle me. Fulfilling the wish list of nuclear non-proliferation experts would require about $80 billion over ten years. We spend under a billion on DHS grants to make urban centers safer. We haven't outfitted our ports with WMD sensing doohickeys nor have we fully funded bioterror or chemical response technology. This isn't partisan stuff, and there's even a fair amount of cronyism and patronage that could go into the deployment of all these Geiger counters and nuclear waste dispersal teams. The country is strapped for cash, sure, but not so strapped that we don't routinely approve hundred-billion dollar appropriation bills for Iraq, or a $500 billion Medicare expansion. And members of Congress actually live in D.C. -- and they're much too egotistical to die. So what gives? Why isn't this stuff getting done?

--Ezra Klein

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