Monday, November 30, 2015         


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Hanabusa hogs limelight; Dem-Dans still long for lard

By David Shapiro


The "help wanted" sign is up, the donkeys are loose and the doctor is out as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» Some 2,500 people have applied for jobs in Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie's administration. Political patronage is the second-oldest economic stimulus.

» New U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa sought advice from her predecessors, Abercrombie and Ed Case, on navigating the nation's capital — and ended up totally confused. Abercrombie told her to turn left, and Case said to turn right.

» Hanabusa was named one of Politico's top 10 "crushworthy" new members of Congress. If they think she's smokin' now, wait until Nancy Pelosi hooks her up with her cosmetics team.

» Hawaii U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka are trying to weather a Republican ban on pork-barrel spending known as "earmarks." Oh well, if they lose their earmarks, they can always fall back on their liver spots.

» Our state Senate became the only legislative body in America with just one member of the minority party, leaving Republican Sen. Sam Slom to cover all 15 committees by himself. The poor guy won't have the energy to attend tea parties unless they're serving Four Loko.

» Big Island groups are rounding up wild donkeys near Waikoloa for neutering and relocation. They're following the same process the Democratic Party used to get rid of Gary Okino.

» The state has set aside nothing to pay for $10.8 billion in retiree health benefits owed aging public workers over the next three decades. Political leaders base their "no worries" plan on a simple mathematical formula: It'll be four governors from now by time we're bankrupt.

» With Hawaii's growing shortage of physicians, seniors will have to rely more on technology for their medical needs. It's sad when the best technology for better health care is to get on the same airplane your doctor is flying out on.

» The state created chaos with its tax crackdown on craft fairs and farmers markets, and the city added to it by canceling (then rescheduling) the annual Mayor's Craft and Country Fair. For their next contribution to holiday cheer, they'll try to ticket Santa for speeding.

» Convicted Illinois murderer Justin Boulay arrived here to join seven other people convicted of homicide in other states who are serving out their parole in Hawaii. What, is the visitors bureau marketing to this demographic?

And the quote of the week ... from Max Otani of the Hawaii Paroling Authority on the controversy over Boulay's release: "We have three times as many parolees in the mainland as we take in to Hawaii. I think it works in our favor." It's a game of penal poker: We'll call your murderer and raise you two dope dealers and a copper thief.

David Shapiro can be reached at or

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