Here's one way to sound the alarm about the impending death of a federal program that tens of millions beneﬁt from and almost no one has heard of: Accuse President Bush of copycatting al-Qaeda. At a February meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and National Association of Counties, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley invoked the September 11 attacks on “our metropolitan cores,” then went on to say: “Years later, we are given a budget proposal by our commander in chief, the president of the United States, and with a budget axe, he is attacking America's cities. He is attacking our metropolitan core.”
After the World Trade Center fell, many shaken New
Yorkers took unexpected comfort in numbers. As the mayor's initial order for
10,000 body bags was gradually displaced by an increasingly verifiable estimated
body count, the calamity began, strangely, to feel almost fathomable.