Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Ward-Slom split on APEC greets new head of GOP

By David Shapiro


Some have a good APEC buzz and others are APEC-oplectic as we plant tongue in cheek and "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» President Barack Obama is taking heat for traveling to Hawaii and Asia while Congress struggles to make a deadline on $1 trillion in budget cuts. He's confident they're quite capable of failing without him.

» Heads of state arriving for APEC were all smiles, but they have differences from trade to global warming to politics. One emerging bone of contention is whether to dress in aloha shirts for the traditional group photo or grass skirts and coconut bras.

» More than a dozen California legislators are attending a conference at a Maui resort hosted by powerful private interests. While APEC leaders discuss economic cooperation on a global level, the Golden State lawmakers and lobbyists are practicing it at the level politicians know best.

» Gov. Neil Abercrombie moved to right his struggling administration by naming House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro, author of Hawaii's civil unions law, as his deputy chief of staff. Who better to forge a civil union between the Democratic governor and Democrats in the Legislature?

» A rodeo bull on Maui was rescued after staggering around for 20 hours with his head stuck in a truck tire that was dumped on the ranch. The poor thing looked like Abercrombie trying to carry the mantle of leadership.

» Entrepreneur David S. Chang was elected Hawaii GOP chairman as some members debated whether U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle is a RINO -- Republican in Name Only. It's a corollary to the question of whether Hawaii Republicans are a political party in name only.

» The Keck II Telescope on Mauna Kea snapped a rare photo of the asteroid 2005 YU55 as it passed between Earth and the moon. The window was short to record a 788-foot-wide rock that flew by faster than Mayor Peter Carlisle's layovers between junkets.

» Hawaii Island Council Chairman Dominic Yagong wants to cut back a gas allowance that guarantees Council members at least $600 a month -- enough to circumnavigate the Big Isle 12 times. Actually, it might save more in the long run to keep them driving around in circles instead of sitting down and legislating.

And a double quote of the week on APEC:

From House Republican Leader Gene Ward: "This is the Hawaii we want to be, the epicenter of technology and a place to do serious business. This is our entree to the future."

From Senate Republican Leader Sam Slom: "The occupation of Hawaii by the (APEC) summit and its 21 pampered leaders continues with more road closings, business disruption and political protests."

With such clear vision to work with, how can David Chang fail?

Reach David Shapiro at or

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