27 January 2007

Common Sense in Washington is an Imported Commodity

Mallory marches against Iraq War, reports the Cincinnati Blog.

It's good to see an elected official take a stand on this critical national issue. It would be even nicer if Council had passed a resolution opposing the war (as many cities have done). But that's a pipe dream for the ages here in southwest Ohio.

Opposition to the Bush "strategy" (cough, cough) isn't the only sensible news coming out of the 2007 Conference of Mayors. Here are a couple more:

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is to unveil a package of anti-poverty proposals, including a plan for tax-free learning savings accounts for every student in the country.

The main points of the plan include:

  • A tax-free learning account for every student, with the government chipping in matching funds of up to $500 per student per year. Villaraigosa estimated that every student could have $30,000 by the time they turn 18 to invest in education.

  • New investments in pre-kindergarten education.

  • Retooling schools to teach kids vocational job skills relevant to the global workplace in fields such as graphic design, information technology and healthcare. States and local governments would commit up to $650 per student for schools adopting a high-quality, standards-based career academy curriculum.

  • Raising the minimum wage, as already approved this month by the House of Representatives.

  • Expanding the earned income tax credit.

  • Wow... those Mexicans really are dangerous to America. But it gets even more anti-American: dozens of mayors actually want to reduce our most prized cultural icon:

    Dozens of mayors... gathered Tuesday... for the Mayors Against Illegal Guns National Summit, led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

    Summit leaders, who want the federal government to do more to crack down on the illegal flow of guns across city and state lines, want local police departments to be given access to gun sales records, also known as trace data.

    The mayors argue that if the trace data were shared, dealers wouldn't be able to skirt or break the law when selling guns.

    They also say a small percentage of gun dealers are the ones who sell the guns involved in most of the crimes.

    There was a yelp from the backwoods, of course:

    The National Rifle Association has opposed the release of the data, which could also be used in lawsuits against dealers and gun manufacturers.

    The NRA and other groups have derided the mayor's agenda as an elitist attempt to fix local crime problems by curtailing the national right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

    Much more at the Conference website.

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