A defiant Chertoff won't budgeOK, good idea, and Clinton and King (who is running for re-election this year) have urged New Yorkers to follow their lead.
Says not a penny more to city
BY JAMES GORDON MEEK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was defiant yesterday despite a blistering onslaught of criticism over his order to slash New York City's counterterrorism cash almost in half.
"I will tell you that when people threaten me or yell at me, that's not going to make me change my mind," Chertoff told the Daily News.
The attacks on Chertoff for cutting federal grants to New York City by 40% this year were led by fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill who preside over committees overseeing Chertoff's cabinet agency.
He insisted that pressure from GOP leaders and the entire New York delegation won't sway him to restore $80 million cut from the high-threat urban area security grants awarded to the city this year.
"I'd be a pretty bad secretary if I said, 'Wow, I got attacked, I'm going to change the grants formula,'" Chertoff said after huddling with President Bush and White House political adviser Karl Rove.
"There's a lot of members of Congress. If you ever try to drive down that road, you're going to drive yourself crazy," he added.
But Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and controls the department's purse strings, made clear he's losing faith in Chertoff's leadership.
"The burden is on him. He has to prove why he should keep the job," King said in an interview.
"It's getting tougher and tougher to defend him," he added. "I really had high hopes. It's indefensible how you cut the 40%."
King and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) sent Chertoff postcards of city monuments and landmarks - like the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty - to complain that his bureaucrats didn't count them in their threat analysis.
"Wish you were here!" they said in a note.
And you should. But you know something. Chertoff says he won't be pressured and that's all fine and dandy, but I have a different and I think more effective idea.
It's tourist season here in New York, which means all those landmarks and the financial centers are all going to be visited by millions (literally!) of people.
Normally, I hate tourism season. I've asked Bloomberg to raise the kill limit from two bucks and five does to three bucks and ten does, figuring those red staters breed like rabbits anyway, just ask any three cousins, so we're probably doing the country a favor.
But I digress.
No, my idea is a bit more subtle than that (but might involve some gunplay anyway...heh heh). I think we native New Yorkers should start picketing our landmarks:
NOTHING TO SEE HERE! MOVE ALONG! MOVE ALONG!We could arrange to have protestors in front of the Empire State Building, or Grand Central Station, bullhorns at the ready, as tourists swarm all over our fair streets like ants looking for crumbs at one gigantic picnic! We could have various factions, some dressed in private security uniforms, some dressed as illegal aliens, some dressed as SPACE aliens, some...well, you get the idea.
YANKEE GO HOME!
WELCOME TO NEW YORK. PLEASE DONATE SO WE CAN BUILD US SOME LANDMARKS! LEAVE YOUR MONEY AND GET OUT!
WE'RE HELPING KEEP DUBUQUE SAFE FROM TERRORISM!
We'd run an email and text message list that, at the drop of a hat, could arrange dozens, maybe hundreds of people to block tourists from getting into the Met (Opera or Museum, makes no difference), Yankee or Shea Stadium, Ground Zero, Wall Street, The New York Public Library, Fox News (not that this is a landmark, mind you, I just like annoying them), shut down the Brooklyn Bridge, the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, both of which were terror targets...I'd say the UN but the Bushies don't give a shit about that anyway, so why bother?
We could line up at the busiest ATMs with T-Shirts that read "Please Leave Our Money Alone".
Any more ideas? Anybody want to put me in touch with some activist-types?
Other ways to protect our precious-but-not-landmark icons here, at World-O-Crap.
snarkasm, snarcasm, snarky