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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 29, 2010

Djou joins Congress just in time for recess


By David Shapiro

It was "Howdya Djou" in Washington as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

• Charles Djou was sworn in as Hawai'i's new congressman and said he's "eager to start work and do good." Colleagues told him to have fun with that while the rest of them go on Memorial Day recess.

• Djou said his first test will be to learn the responsibilities of the job. If he figures it out, there'll finally be someone to tell Mazie Hirono.

• At least seven East O'ahuans want to finish Djou's term on the City Council. Colleen Hanabusa and Ed Case were going to apply until they found out you have to actually live in the district for this job.

• Djou's departure leaves openings for Councilman Rod Tam to sit on committees again after being banished for abusing his meal allowance. He's been out to lunch for so many meetings that he thinks you adjourn by yelling, "Check, please."

• Mufi Hannemann made it official that he'll challenge Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary for governor. The last time they faced off, drug accusations got so nasty that everyone had to pee into cups. This time we could be talking barf bags.

• Some $37 million in federal stimulus money given to the state economic development agency has created only 12 jobs so far. Sorry folks, that's about as stimulating as the Lingle administration gets.

• Local banks put up a $10 million loan to end the stalemate over school furloughs. I can't decide what's more alarming the government bailing out the banks or the banks bailing out the government.

• 'Ukulele great Eddie Kamae received his diploma from Farrington High at age 82. We're lucky "furlough Fridays" are over or it could have become the norm.

• Crime fell nationally in 2009, but O'ahu was up 4.5 percent. The number should drop now that we've stopped stealing our kids' education.

• A few hours after posting bail for drunken driving, a Maui woman was arrested for a second DUI. That's living up to the old W.C. Fields code: "Everyone's got to believe in something; I believe I'll have another drink."

And the quote of the week ... from Djou, on his parents' birth in China and Thailand: "The idea of calling myself the maker of laws in my parents' home nation would be laughable." In local legislative circles, he's been laughed at more as the maker of A.