Hawaii is still basking in the glow of visits from the National Football League and the tea party as we once again plant tongue in cheek and "flASHback" on the week’s news that amused and confused:
» Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s office told a Bloomberg reporter she couldn’t comment on the Egyptian crisis because she was doing "district work," but the Tea Party Caucus founder was actually in Hawaii giving a speech to the Grassroot Institute. Hey, when it’s 10 degrees at home, you can’t blame a lady for wanting her tea served with a little umbrella in it.
» Gov. Neil Abercrombie now says he’ll give legislators his proposed budget in the next few weeks, a month earlier than previously announced. He figured out that nothing says irrelevance like the state going broke without you.
» The Legislature is studying 17 bills to legalize gambling, including one that would make it a constitutional right to have slot machines and video poker games in Waikiki. Such are modern times: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of "Sizzlin’ 7’s."
» State Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz wants to make it a crime to trap cats, Sen. Roz Baker proposes to save reef fish from the aquarium trade and Rep. Cynthia Thielen would crack down on puppy mills. It’s Politics 101: When you’ve got no answers for the state’s human suffering, keep the animal kingdom happy.
» Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle responded to lawsuits against the city’s $5.5 billion rail project by saying he’s "absolutely, 100 percent satisfied" with his legal position. Why am I not comforted that he stole the line from O.J. ("absolutely, 100 percent not guilty") Simpson?
» Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi gave the Big Island’s first-ever State of the County speech and made up for lost time by talking for nearly two hours. County workers provided snacks, soft drinks and pillows.
» The state Civil Rights Commission is reviewing a Waikiki restaurant’s plan to charge a 15 percent gratuity to diners who don’t speak English. What a charming way to say "aloha" to our new Chinese visitors after we worked so many years to get them here.
» Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye was among the Washington dignitaries invited to help Elmo from "Sesame Street" celebrate his birthday. It was a poignant bonding moment between a blue senator who lost his earmarks and a red Muppet who has no ears.
And the quote of the week … from Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on the Pro Bowl’s return to Honolulu: "I like it in Hawaii. … You can’t imitate Hawaii. It’s different, it’s spectacular. It’s more of an experience being here." And it was the perfect place to be if he needed constituent services from his congresswoman.