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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, December 19, 2009

Politicos, potshots and GOP perplexity

By David Shapiro

Dang, it's not even an election year and politics already dominate our "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

• U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said he'll resign from Congress to "go all in" on his campaign for governor. Uh-oh, when a politician starts spouting poker metaphors, he's usually playing with cow chips.

• A spokesman for Mayor Mufi Hannemann rapped Abercrombie for not staying on the job to work on, among other things, O'ahu rail transit. In other words, Abercrombie should do Hannemann's work so Hannemann can quit to run for governor.

• Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said she'll run for Abercrombie's congressional post but wasn't sure if she'd step down from the Senate's top job. Fellow senators promised to have her back, but she'd feel more assured if they'd put away their knives.

• Former U.S. Rep. Ed Case also jumped into the race for Abercrombie's House seat and said he's ready to hit the ground running. Yeah, running for the Senate.

• City Councilman Rod Tam announced he'll run for mayor if there's an opening with the slogan, "Who can? Tam can." Who's got to be kidding?

• Hawai'i's death rate is a fifth lower than the national average. I'm not sure if we live longer or it's just that we can't get our passing recorded until the Monday after "furlough Friday."

• An animal rights group says Hawai'i ranks among the worst states in terms of protecting our animals. It could really get embarrassing when they see how we protect our schoolchildren.

• Hawai'i researchers with submersible cameras discovered giant sponges that look like the creature in "Alien." Those guys always find something fascinating when they take cameras into the Capitol basement.

• Public libraries were dark as employees observed their first furlough day. Great, we're running our state government like a Groucho Marx joke: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

And a double quote of the week on Abercrombie's decision to resign from Congress:

• From Republican chairman Jonah Ka'auwai: "Abercrombie's resignation is simply a desperate move by the Democrat Party to steal the election from the front-runner Charles Djou."

• From the GOP candidate Djou: "Obviously, this is something that works tremendously to my advantage."

Signals this crossed make you wonder what they really drink at those tea parties.