LINK>>>Obama voters a no-show at Hawaii Democratic caucuses
Candidates weigh in on health care plan (Djou against Obamacare, others favor ramming it thru Senate)
Former congressman Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa are inclined to support President Obama's health care reform plan if elected to Congress, but Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou believes the president and federal lawmakers should start over with a clean sheet.
Djou, a Republican, described the way the reform plan has evolved as "extraordinarily ugly" and said it should be rewritten without the incentives added for states to help win passage in Congress.
"If this national proposal is so good, why does Hawai'i need an exemption?" Djou said. "And if it isn't so good, well then of course you need to push some form of exemption in there.
"But, then, are you willing to stomach all the other exemptions, all the special kickbacks and favors, for all the other states that they want?"
Case and Hanabusa also said they would support the U.S. Senate moving the reform plan by reconciliation, a procedure used on budget matters that requires a majority vote for passage, instead of the supermajority needed to break a filibuster.
Djou said he opposed reconciliation because it would conflict with Obama's own goal that the reform plan achieve bipartisan support.
(For once Hawaii has a clear choice. If you want the government controlling your colonoscopy, vote for Hanabusa or Case. If you realize that Obamacare will destroy the healthcare system in America, vote for Djou.)
Shapiro: Auditor Higa “knows where her bread is buttered”
Republican Lingle was once one of Higa's biggest boosters because of her hard-hitting audits on previous Democratic administrations. When she was first elected, Lingle handed out copies of Higa's audits to her new Cabinet members.
But Higa, an appointee of the Democratic Legislature, knows where her bread is buttered and has used the competition between Lingle and the Legislature to grow her office and its authority as lawmakers have stripped power from the Republican governor and shifted it to the legislative branch.
Higa has gained responsibility for annual financial audits of state departments, previously handled by the administration, as well as its traditional investigative audits to evaluate management and performance.
The auditor has also gained administrative powers — over Lingle's objections — to manage traditional executive functions such as the Hawai'i 2050 Sustainability Task Force and the Broadband Task Force.
The danger of the office becoming politicized and distracted by duties outside of its core mission of keeping government honest is that the credibility of its work becomes difficult to judge when the charges and counter-charges start flying.
ADV: From virtuous to shoddy in only 7 years -- “The bottom line: Either Linda Lingle or Marion Higa is lying.”
Shapiro: The plain truth on the schools
State Sen. Clayton Hee, D-23rd (Kāne'ohe, Kahuku), said that while he supported using the hurricane relief money for furloughs, he believes the bill should also require a financial and management audit of the Department of Education.
Hee said the department lacks the "change agents" necessary to make progress. He also said the department and the school board have appeared to align with the teachers union, not the state, in labor talks.
"This is like giving candy to a diabetic," Hee said.
Impact of hurricane relief fund raid questioned
The exact effect of removing money from the fund is difficult to predict, state Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt said.
"It's possible that the hurricane insurers would consider that makes the market more risky," he said.
He testified against the bill before a Senate committee.
"The lack of funds in the Hurricane Relief Fund means it would take longer to set it up and provide people with hurricane insurance," he said. "Having money in the fund has us better prepared."
The fund was created after Hurricane Iniki to provide hurricane insurance for homeowners. Hurricane insurance is required by mortgage holders, but after a hurricane, providers don't always offer it.
Internet sales tax pushed for Hawaii
The red-faced little dude, standing in a barrel wearing nothing but flip-flops, was featured on posters that said: "Losing our shirt on uncollected taxes," and "The naked truth is that we need every penny."
Hawaii is losing millions each year in uncollected taxes on mail-order and Internet sales, creating what many retailers consider an uneven playing field for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.
Consumers are supposed to pay state taxes on items they buy from Mainland retailers, but few ever do, and the law is not actively enforced.
16 Tax Hikes and Special Fund Raids on the Move at the Hawaii State Capitol
Hawaii lawmakers passed a number of bills yesterday that the Democratic majority party say will help balance the state's $1.2 billion deficit.
Those bills will increase taxes, raid various special funds and suspend tax credits, all resulting in businesses and taxpayers having to pony up more to feed the insatiable appetite of state government.
Hawaii lawmakers OK jobless tax break
A measure that cuts Hawaii employers a break from what would have been a surge in their unemployment taxes starting next month passed the Hawaii Legislature and went to Gov. Linda Lingle for approval on Wednesday.
House Bill 2169, considered a top priority for business this year, was fast-tracked and Lingle is expected to sign it into law.
The plan is for it to become law before the first-quarter tax notices are sent to employers March 12.
SB: Lingle loath to veto jobless tax bill
"The only reason I voted for it is because so many businesses had come forward and said that they want something and they thought that they were getting half a loaf instead of nothing," said Sen. Sam Slom (R, Diamond Head-Hawaii Kai). "I said that they're getting crumbs only."
SB: Unemployment tax hike for businesses sent to Lingle
SB: Core issue remains in complaints against Kamehameha Schools
A federal appeals court appears to have derailed a challenge to Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-only admission policy, but its ruling is no guarantee against similar lawsuits in the future. The only way Kamehameha can avoid the risk may be to eliminate all tuition, the vehicle of the legal argument that the schools discriminate against non-Hawaiians.
(That’s a lot better idea than forming an Indian Tribe. But this editor can go one better—VOUCHERS. Not only would KS be able to admit EVERY Hawaiians child whose parents want him or her to attend, but they would then also be able to admit non-Hawaiians, thus eliminating the cause for action. As a bonus, Hawaii would be able to abolish the DoE and educate our children through expansion of Hawaii’s top-notch private schools. A less radical version of the same concept would involve expansion of KS-run charter schools.)
UH-Manoa scores low in survey of students
Preponderance of Gramscian frauds on liberal arts faculties continues to hold school’s reputation down.
Related: Antonio Gramsci Reading List
Broadband 100X faster: HAWAII NEEDS TO MEET THE GOOGLE CHALLENGE
On February 10th, Google Inc. announced plans to build new high-speed broadband networks in one or more places around the country. They said they would deliver broadband 100 times faster than most systems now available.
This is a national challenge – Google will commit their resources to developing gigabit fast broadband in a select few states, which are yet to be determined. Gigabit broadband is 100 times faster than everything we have in Hawaii now.
Gigabit Hawaii wants tens of thousands of residents to add their support by an internal March 15th deadline, when the community support petition will be transmitted to Google, which will be making initial selections after March 26th.
Want to know the sites? Well here they are:
Green pushing tougher drunken driving laws: Senator calls for forfeiture of cars used in DUIs
OK. How about forfeiture of legislative seats as well?
Kalaupapa resident facing meth charges: Patient allegedly shipped drug using state vehicles, workers
According to the affidavit by DEA Special Agent Patrick Wong, when Palea was found in possession of crystal meth at Honolulu International Airport in November, he denied wrongdoing and said the state Department of Health, which administers the Hansen's disease settlement, "was to blame for a lack of investigative activity at (Kalaupapa) following numerous thefts."
Palea also invited both Wong and Maui police to "investigate the drug addicts there."
The affidavit said the DEA probe began with a tip from retired HPD officer Melvin Nakapaahu, now working as an investigator in the U.S. attorney general's office, that Palea was transporting drugs to Kalaupapa and would be flying to Honolulu on Nov. 16 and returning to Molokai the next day.
Agents stopped him at the Honolulu airport Nov. 17 and found nine plastic bags containing 4.6 grams of suspected methamphetamine in a box he was planning to take to Molokai, according to Wong.
Palea told the agents he had been given the box to deliver to another individual at Kalaupapa. He said he was wrongly under suspicion because "he had dealt drugs before" and "people naturally blame him for bad things that happen" at Kalaupapa, according to the affidavit.
Palea, who was involved in a 1992 drug case, was not arrested at that time, but was put under surveillance when he returned to Honolulu on Feb. 25.
A state government sedan picked him up at the airport and drove Palea to a Kaimuki bank, where he was seen "counting a large sum of cash" at the teller's window, Wong said. He was then followed to a Longs Drugs store and from there took a bus to Leahi Hospital near Diamond Head, where Hansen's disease patients receive treatment.
On Feb. 26, Palea arrived at the Honolulu airport in a state car and paid $24 to ship a box to Molokai, according to Wong.
Maui News: Community leader: One man ‘putting everybody in a bind’
SB: Feds charge leprosy patient
Financial adviser to pay $780K to SEC: Teruya, Senior Resources accused of defrauding Hawaii senior citizens
The SEC worked with state regulators to stop Teruya's financial adviser activities, which they said had resulted in him making $2 million in commissions by defrauding senior citizens.
In 2007, the state alleged Teruya misled clients, getting them to sign blank forms that he later used to sell their stocks and bonds without their knowledge. He then allegedly rolled the proceeds into equity-indexed annuities to collect commissions.
Here are his articles in MidWeek:
Jet tax fails to take flight
4 of 9 Hawaii Co Council members voted for a ‘voluntary’ $2500/day tax on airplane storage. What a bunch of idiots—led by GTMO Greenwell, natch. Fortunately 5 votes are needed.
Apparently none of them are familiar with the “Golden Goose”. Normal people learned that story when they were 4 or 5.
TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY RELATED: Former Gitmo detainee said running Afghan battles
Pearl Harbor Shipyard Hiring 175: Shipyard To Hold Apprentice Job Fair
The job fair is scheduled for March 27 at 8 a.m. to noon at Honolulu Community College.
The shipyard is looking to hire about 100 apprentices and 75 engineers and support positions to help maintain and repair the U.S. Navy ships and submarines at Pearl Harbor.
The shipyard employs about 5,000 workers.
Senate passes bill to protect endangered species: Killing seals could become felony
Only time the Leg ever gets tough on crime.
NYT Desperation: Global warming cultists now claim opponents are Creationists
The NYT headline, running in the Star-Bulletin is “Darwin foes add warming to target list”. Of course it is the Gore cult which is demanding an end to “climate change” – which is a key driving force behind uhhhh . . . evolution. To end climate change, the Earth would have to stop spinning on its axis and stop rotating around the Sun.
Some people are so deeply into their Gaian religious dogma that they actually it possible to “stop climate change”. What a bunch of dangerous reactionary fundies they are!