House actions trump 'Pirates'
A dizzying end to the 2010 Legislature leads our "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:
• The House wrapped up with a surprise vote to equalize civil unions. It happened so fast that Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona didn't have time to fire up his brimstone.
• Lawmakers boasted that they balanced the state's $10 billion budget without a broad general tax increase. Not until after the election, anyway.
• Legislators overrode 11 of Gov. Linda Lingle's vetoes on the final day. That's the story of the past eight years: She undoes their work, they undo her work and the public just feels undone.
• U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, 85, got an early jump on his next campaign, announcing, "God willing, I plan to run again in 2012." Dan Inouye will let him know soon if he's willing.
• Legislators relieved the state from responding to repeated requests from the Mainland for President Obama's birth certificate. The ones scribbled in crayon were taking too much time.
• The Arizona Legislature, meantime, scrapped an Obama-inspired bill to require presidential candidates to show a birth certificate to get on the state's ballot. They couldn't decide how to handle Sarah Palin's request to submit an affidavit from her home planet.
• Barely 40 percent of voters are expected to participate in the special election in the 1st Congressional District, which now faces a lawsuit over ballots being printed in English only. Everybody should have a right to not vote in their native language.
• Motley-looking scalawags lined up in Waikīkī to audition for roles in Disney's new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie. Most were political candidates warming up for the sign-waving season.
• A protest by Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State demanded that the Legislature and City Council stop opening their sessions with Christian blessings. Great, our lawmakers already don't have a clue and now they won't have a prayer, either.
• Lingle asked public school teachers to volunteer to work without pay for the remaining three furlough days of the school year. They'll consider it only if she volunteers for early retirement.
• And the quote of the week ... from Mick Gallagher, "Pirates of the Caribbean" assistant casting director: "O'ahu is one of the pirate-est places we've been to." Now there's an accomplishment that Mufi Hannemann can run for governor on.