Local Media Makes Issue of Gabbard’s White Supremacist Support (two years late)
Shapiro: … Junior legislators who pick fights with the opposing party are a dime a dozen and get little notice. Gabbard figured out that fighting with her own party makes her a fixture on cable news and gets her op-eds in The Hill.
(Question: Why is this an issue now? Answer: Because it is politically useful. Outrage is like a switch: Turn it on or turn it off.)
She’s bashed former President Barack Obama for being too soft on “radical Islam,” quit the Democratic National Committee in a huff to support Bernie Sanders and blasted Hillary Clinton for not giving Sanders enough debates — ironic coming from somebody who won’t debate her own opponents.
Her ultimate endorsement of Clinton was lukewarm, and she avoided disparaging Trump, saying she didn’t know him.
The reason became clear when she was among the first after the election to audition at Trump Tower for a Cabinet job; only after it didn’t materialize did she start seriously criticizing Trump.
(Why now? Because Mazie Hirono says so. LINK)
Gabbard paints herself progressive by embracing Sanders while courting the Republican right with persistent criticism of Democrats over national security and religion.
Internationally she proclaims herself a peacenik, but it’s a peace where the strongman always wins, judging from her coziness with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, Egyptian tyrant Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and India’s nationalist leader Narendra Modi.
Former Trump strategist and alt-right guru Steve Bannon has said he “loves” her, and Gabbard was touted for secretary of state by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
She eventually disavowed white nationalist support, but it hasn’t stopped Democrats from wondering why these folks like her so much….
read … Gabbard plays both sides in angling for White House
Democrats Trust Hirono Because She Apologized for not Being Gay
Borreca: …Responding, Gabbard spokeswoman Lauren McIlvaine said Gabbard will “always fight for religious freedom and oppose religious bigotry — no matter where it comes from or to whom it’s directed.”
In an exhaustive 2017 New Yorker magazine article entitled “What Does Tulsi Gabbard Believe?” author Kelefa Sanneh explored Gabbard’s past when she was an “outspoken social conservative, pro-life and active in the fight against same-sex marriage.”
Gabbard has since said she is pro-choice and pro-same-sex marriage and is a House member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, saying: “The government should not deny those in same-sex relationships the right to marry and enjoy the same benefits, rights, and responsibilities as opposite-sex married couples.”
While Gabbard changed her position on gay marriage, Hirono, one of the early, strong supporters of gay marriage and progressive issues, has always been passionate and unapologetic in her support. She once joked that while she is the first Asian-American woman in the Senate, an immigrant and a Buddhist, when asked if “Are you gay?” she answered, “Nobody’s perfect.”
For Gabbard, much like Case, political trust is not assumed; it is still something measured daily….
(High price of admission to their club, eh?)
read … Sorry She’s not a Lesbian
Budget: HDoT Chickens Out on $15B Climate Change Scam
IM: … The Hawai`i Department of Transportation`s (DoT) kuleana covers the industries that account for well over half of Hawai`iʻs climate change impacts: air transport, ground transport, and marine transport.
The Department of Transportation submitted its 180-page Legislative Budget Briefing for the Fiscal Biennium 2019 – 2021 Budget to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
The Committee will hold an Informational Briefing on January 15, 2019.
Scouring the document for the words and phrases “climate”, “global warming”, and “greenhouse gas” reveals a single sentence: “Changes in the State's economic climate have not significantly revised our Highways Division CIP program.”….
read … Hawai`i Department of Transportation Ignores Climate Change
Recreational Marijuana to top of Senate President’s List of Ideas
KGI: … Senate President Ron Kouchi said the state legislature’s upper chamber will tackle a number of issues in 2019, including the minimum wage and recreational marijuana (aka ‘soma’)….
Morikawa said rather than addressing any specific issue, she intends to focus on leadership, specifically overseeing the state budget….
Nakamura said disaster flood relief is at the top of her list of priorities for the 2019 legislative session….
Capital improvements projects are also a priority, Tokioka said. He mentioned widening the roads to reduce traffic congestion and the importance of working together at different levels of government to find solutions to the logistical difficulties inherent in infrastructure projects of that magnitude….
read … Legislators prepare for session
Recreational Marijuana to top of Progressives’ List of Ideas
SA: …Members of the progressive wing of the Hawaii Democratic Party will make a case this year for dramatic initiatives such as a $17 hourly minimum wage, legalization of recreational marijuana and single-payer health care, but it’s unclear whether their stodgier colleagues in the state Legislature will embrace those causes….
In a mass email sent out Dec. 28, state party Chairwoman Kealii Lopez listed raising the minimum wage, increasing funding for public education and legalizing recreational marijuana as top priorities, issues that make up the “top tier” of a larger agenda that was unanimously approved by the party’s State Central Committee.
But when asked about the prospects for the Democrats’ initiatives this year, Senate President Ron Kouchi immediately mentioned money. Kouchi is keeping a wary eye on the apparent slowing of the U.S. economy, the shutdown of the federal government, and the drubbing U.S. financial markets took in December….
But House and Senate lawmakers seem focused on other matters.
House leaders have been discussing ways to increase the disclosure requirements for political action committees after last year’s aggressive campaigning by a super PAC controlled by the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters.
That super PAC, called Be Change Now, abruptly pumped more than $1 million into advertising in the races for lieutenant governor and governor, an intimidating sum in a media market as small as Hawaii. The super PAC supported Josh Green, who won the race for lieutenant governor, and Colleen Hanabusa, who lost the governor’s race to Gov. David Ige.
In the Senate, Kouchi said he agrees with Ige’s decision to commit more than $2 billion to construction projects next year because the time for government to spend money on construction is when the economy slows, contractors are hungry for work and bid prices tend to drop.
“If, in fact, that slowdown to the economy is coming, then we’re poised to get a better bang for our capital dollar,” Kouchi said. “More importantly, if the slowdown comes, that investment in infrastructure puts people back to work.”
Kouchi said his own top priority is the Farm-to-School initiative to put locally grown produce in public school meals and then expand into prisons and hospitals to boost the state’s agricultural industry.
As for the state Democratic Party’s list of priorities, Kouchi said incremental increases in the state minimum wage “may be appropriate.”
The HGEA’s Perreira said the union also will be supporting a minimum wage increase or establishment of a “living wage” for Hawaii, noting HGEA represents nearly 2,000 government employees who make less than $15 an hour.
But on the issue of marijuana, Kouchi cited polling data showing that only 41 percent of the public supports legalization of recreational marijuana. Still, it will “be in the conversation,” he said….
read … Keep the people Doped up
Hawaii County Council: Longer Terms on Ballot?
WHT: …The Charter Commission, by a bare 6-5 vote, on Friday advanced a proposed ballot amendment that would extend council terms from two to four years. The proposal faces two more readings and a public hearing before making its way to the 2020 ballot….
Hawaii County Council members currently are limited to four two-year terms before they have to sit out at least a term. The charter amendment would change that to two four-year terms.
Voters adopted the eight-year limit in 1996. They rejected longer council terms in 1998….
Hawaii’s four counties handle council terms differently. Only Kauai has the same setup as Hawaii County, with four consecutive two-year terms. Honolulu council members can serve two consecutive four-year terms; Maui council members can serve five consecutive two-year terms.
Kauai voters recently overwhelmingly opposed a move to repeal term limits in their county, with 74 percent voting no to a measure on the 2018 general election ballot.
Longer Term for This? Ruggles’ Supposed Sovereignty “Expert” Has A Troubling Past
read … Longer council terms moves close to the ballot
Judge blocks Trump birth control coverage rules in Hawaii
AP: … A U.S. judge in California today blocked Trump administration rules, which would allow more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control, from taking effect in 13 states and Washington, D.C.
Judge Haywood Gilliam granted a request for a preliminary injunction by California, 12 other states and Washington, D.C. The plaintiffs sought to prevent the rules from taking effect as scheduled on Monday while a lawsuit against them moved forward.
But Gilliam limited the scope of the ruling to the plaintiffs, rejecting their request that he block the rules nationwide.
The changes would allow more employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing no-cost contraceptive coverage to women by claiming religious objections. Some private employers could also object on moral grounds….
read … Judge blocks Trump birth control coverage rules in Hawaii
Progressive: Storing your cars a waste of my urban space
SA: … A cursory glance at the pages of this newspaper gives a solid summary of the threats to our way of life in Honolulu: congestion, housing prices, climate change, chronic diseases associated with sedentary lifestyles and air pollution. And not least, crisis levels of traffic deaths, and particularly pedestrian deaths, are choking the city and threatening our future.
It is clear that a common factor in these threats is our broadly subsidized commitment to prioritizing the speed and convenience of automobile travel, at an exorbitant, yet often invisible, cost to our health, safety and economic vitality. And parking policy is a key enabler of that commitment….
(Translation: I may be just a random progressive activist, but my agenda is being pushed by the media and the mayor.)
Best comment: “Written like a true progressive despot.”
read … Column: Storing cars a waste of urban space
Lawsuit filed over Schatz-Connected Development of Oahu’s Shark’s Cove
HNN: …A group of concerned residents is suing the city and the developer of a controversial North Shore project.
The Save Sharks Cove Alliance has been critical of the City for approving plans by Hanapohaku LLC. to create commercial center on three parcels across from Sharks Cove on the Kamehameha Highway.
It’s already a popular spot for tourists who flock to the site for food trucks and small shops….
“At the same time, that community was objecting to this and asking for a contested case and a hearings officer, the city had largely ignored the community and gone ahead with the permitting to allow the development to go forward,” Save Sharks Cove Alliance’s attorney Tim Vandeveer said.
Hanapohaku LLC. has previously been fined more than $100,000 by the city for previous permitting and environmental violations. The company says those mistakes have been corrected and it’s working with everyone to develop the land properly….
read … Lawsuit filed over potential development of Oahu’s Shark’s Cove
HCDA to fine owner of Kakaako streets for Insufficient potholes
SA: … A state agency has informed the owner of several streets in Kakaako that it will begin imposing fines of $2,500 a day starting Monday unless the owner stops charging for parking or (dis-)improves the roads to city standards.
The Hawaii Community Development Authority, a state agency regulating development in the area, notified Kakaako Land Co. by certified mail last month that the company led by brothers Calvert and Cedric Chun has been violating a state law created last year in response to community complaints over (failure to maintain the legally required minimum pothole count)
parking restrictions along several Kakaako streets.
The law requires that privately owned roads in Kakaako meet city construction and maintenance standards if the owner charges a fee for any use and the roads have been used by the public for at least six months.
“Cease charging a fee for parking on the streets listed above until the streets are made to conform to and are (un)maintained to meet the construction and maintenance standards established for county highways,” the violation notice states…(We demand you maintain a minimum of 10 potholes per block to meet city standards.”)
(The Chun Bros were seen late Saturday night cruising Kakaako with a pickaxe and shovel in a hurried effort to avoid the fines.)
read … State agency prepared to fine owner of several streets in Kakaako
Malfunctioning ocean cleanup boom to arrive in Hilo today
HTH: ... State Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara said Friday the Harbors Division “is in coordination with” The Ocean Cleanup “regarding its damaged equipment used to remove garbage from the sea.”
Sakahara confirmed the anticipated arrival today of System 001 and its support crew in Hilo.
“The organization will perform damage assessments, which will help determine the length of time the asset will be in Hilo Harbor,” Sakahara said in an email.
“Harbor operations will continue as scheduled without impact to other vessels or the general public.”
The Ocean Cleanup said on its website it’s “too early to confirm the cause of the malfunction” but theorizes metal fatigue and a local stress concentration caused the fracture in the boom.
“It’s important to note that both the 580-meter main section and the 18-meter end section are both completely stable; all bulkheads are intact, and the end section has two stabilizers affixed to it, so rollover is not possible,” the organization said. “Also, because no material was lost, there have been no safety risks for the crew, environment or passing marine traffic.
“However, as the redundancy in the cleanup system’s sensors and satellite communication (which are mounted on both end sections) has now been compromised, we concluded it is sensible to return to port.”
Slat told NBC News if the boom can’t be repaired in Hawaii, it will be loaded onto a barge and returned to its home port of Alameda, Calif.
He has said he hopes someday to deploy 60 of the devices to skim plastic debris off the ocean’s surface….
(Attention Rich Enviros: Please send ALL of your money to this project. Pleeeeaaaaase!)
Link: Maersk Transporter tugboat
read … Malfunctioning ocean cleanup boom to arrive in Hilo today
False Missile Alert One Year Later: