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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 31, 2009

No room for Mufi's large ego

By David Shapiro

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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President Obama kept things pretty much drama-free, as promised, but Gov. Linda Lingle and the Legislature picked up the slack for our "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

  • Obama scolded Washington to toughen up like Chicago after his daughters' school was closed because of an ice storm. I wonder what Mr. Windy City thought about his birth state shutting schools for a stiff breeze that never came.

  • Mayor Mufi Hannemann was a no-show for Lingle's State of the State address. He sent his regrets when they wouldn't provide an extra seat for his ego.

  • Reporters grumbled they had to pay for cell phone text messages from Lingle's staff alerting them to the highlights of her speech. It couldn't have cost much if they just sent the applause lines.

  • The governor and legislators plan to restrict the controversial high-technology tax credit. It'll be limited to rich people who can't find any other ways to avoid paying taxes.

  • Lawmakers complained about Lingle's use of the state's rainy-day fund to balance the 2009 budget. To them, it isn't raining until they have to give up their 36 percent pay raises.

  • Former Rep. Jim Shon said the fundamental issue facing Lingle and the Legislature is, "How do we absorb the pain as painlessly as possible?" Not by using the brain as brainlessly as possible.

  • Reacting to "Bodies ... The Exhibition," state legislators want to outlaw the public posing of cadavers. Some people just can't take a little competition.

  • Police say there's no way to enforce the City Council's ban on sending text messages while driving. I don't know about that. Since the drivers have their phones out, cops can just text the citation: U R BUSTED!

  • The council switched the O'ahu transit route to run trains past the airport instead of through Salt Lake. Good thinking. If tourists ever come back, they'll be able to get a ride halfway to Waikiki.

  • Joe Daniels of the local hip-hop group B.E.T. wept when he was sentenced to be locked up for 14 years in one of Hawai'i's biggest meth distribution cases. That'd be a catchy name for a prison band: Blubbering. Every. Time.

    And the quote of the week ... from Rep. Gene Ward about news coverage of the economy: "If people lived by the headlines, they'd say we're going to hell in a handbasket. ... You guys who buy the ink by the barrel are really doom and gloom." Is he kidding? In this economy, I can barely afford to buy ink by the cup.

    David Shapiro, a veteran Hawai'i journalist, can be reached by e-mail at dave@volcanicash.net. His columns are archived at www.volcanicash.net. Read his daily blog, Volcanic Ash, at www.honoluluadvertiser.com/blogs.

    Reach David Shapiro at dave@volcanicash.net.