As the year winds down, and Bush’s remaining days in office dwindle, there’s still time to thank him for protecting us from terrorism through the use of torture, illegal wiretapping and military prisons where people who have never been charged with a crime are held in solitary confinement. Yes, you can join the other 1,049 who have already signed on to express their gratitude.
I bet Sen. Gary Hooser is grateful to his parents for leaving Weedpatch, Calif., where “The Grapes of Wrath” was filmed, and heading for Hawaii — even if he did end up at Radford High. That little nugget, and more, is revealed in “The Hooser Story,” a video posted on his website.
Gary also offers his graphic take on Hawaii’s economic troubles:
The governor, like the department heads and legislators, faces her own budget conundrum. After all, when the economy was good and the budget flush with the now disappeared surplus, it was the governor who pushed to the head of the parade to preen and crow with pride at the great job she had done. Now, faced with the perplexing problem of no one to blame except perhaps the nefarious "global conditions", it is the governor who has ordered the meat cleaver taken to the school budgets.
What else can she do? She has signed on long ago to the "no new tax pledge", so raising additional revenue is out of the question. She has decried the transferring of "special funds" and beat up relentlessly on the legislature for using this tactic to balance past budgets. And she has dissed the next President of the United States.
Thus it is the governor who finds herself now in a box, pursuing the only solution put before her - which is actually no solution at all. For it is not possible to simply cut nearly a billion dollars from the state budget without getting blood all over the floor, and all over your hands.
Sounds like the next session of the Lege is going to be messy. Best put your boots on, Gary.
Speaking of the Lege, the Hawaii Supreme Court is set to decide next week whether Act 2, the law that Lingle and the Lege passed so the Superferry could run without an EIS, violated the state Constitution.
According to an article in today’s Honolulu Advertiser:
Many political observers thought the legal challenges were largely over, but the court's willingness to hear the appeal so soon raises the possibility that Superferry may again be stopped.
"This case is now a case of even greater public importance," Isaac Hall, the Wailuku attorney representing the environmental groups, said in court filings.
Seeing Isaac’s name there in print got me wondering if the state and Hawaii Superferry have ever paid the legal fees that were awarded to him in the last go-round of court proceedings. And just how much were they?
The article goes on to report:
State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, D-21st (Nanakuli, Makaha), said she believes the Legislature acted properly. She wishes, however, that the state House, Lingle and Superferry had agreed with the Senate and supported an environmental review of the project before the court ruled that such a review was required.
"If the Supreme Court comes back and says that we don't have the right to make exceptions to the law, for whatever reason, then we're going to have a major problem," Hanabusa said.
I know that in theory, the Court is supposed to be neutral and weigh each case solely on its merits, but do you suppose the Justices might be a little pissed off that they issued a clear ruling about the ferry, and then the Lege and guv thumbed their noses and passed Act 2?
All I can say is it sure would be great to see the Court smack down the Lingle Administration on this issue again.
And finally, even though some of my posts irritate him to no end, John Powell over at Hiking in Kona blog kindly sent over a link to a Scientific American article on GMO crops that offers this chilling assessment:
To date, Hawaii's fertile soil has nourished more than 2,230 field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops, including corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, wheat, alfalfa, beets, rice, safflower, and sorghum—more than any other state. A total of 4,800 acres (1,940 hectares) of such crops now grow throughout the state, some 3,500 (1,415) of which are corn and soybeans, 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of which yield genetically engineered papaya, and the remaining 10 percent are field trials for new potential GM crops.
It ends with this apt observation:
The bottom line: Hawaii may be the GM crop test capital of the world, but the debate over biotech foods is far from over.