Category: Mostly Politics

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Race For Governor By The Numbers

Numbers tell stories — among them that primary election day 2014 constituted a damning indictment of Hawaii’s democracy. On Aug. 9, the primary election attracted 287,387 voters, 41.5 percent of the 697,033 who were registered. That meant that three out of every five of us couldn’t be bothered to go to the polls or to […]

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Wonderful Cold War Days Of Yore

Ah, how I yearn for the good old days. Remember when godless Commies threatened us from East, West, North, South: Russian Commies, Chinese Commies, Cuban Commies? Villainy marked their countenances: Joseph Stalin and his fistful of atomic weapons, Chairman Mao and his little red book, and Ho Chi Minh with his hordes of Viet Cong. […]

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Surprise! An Interesting LG Race

This column is about political conventions, ambition and charisma. Still reading? May was the month Hawaii’s two major political parties held their conventions: the Republicans May 17, the Democrats May 24 and 25. The Republicans highlighted former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, their odds-on favorite to be the party’s gubernatorial candidate in November, and former U.S. […]

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Russian History Lesson Is In Order

Some folks seem to feel nostalgic for the Cold War. Arizona Sen. John McCain, for example. The former Republican presidential candidate recently demonstrated his sound-bite genius, referring to Russia as nothing but a “gas station masquerading as a country.” While he was at it, McCain decided to pile it on. Russia, he said, is not […]

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Now You See It, Now You Don’t

“All politics,” it’s said, “are local.” So let’s start here at home, but be forewarned that before the period’s placed on this edition of “Mostly Politics,” we’ll go global, or at least roam as far away as the Ukraine. For the past few months, Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s been crowing about an $840 million state revenue […]

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What Polls Show For Hawaii’s Pols

The most hackneyed phrase in the political lexicon belongs to the nameless politician who, upon reading a poll that showed him behind his opponent, groused: “The only poll that counts takes place on election day.” True enough. Still, the recent Hawaii Poll published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser provided numbers that should alarm politicians running for […]

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Politics: Fears Win Over Facts

Amy Harmon writes about the impact of science and technology on American life for The New York Times, perhaps the country’s last great newspaper. Harmon is good at what she does — good enough to have won two Pulitzer Prizes, the most recent in 2008 for a series of articles titled “The DNA Age.” In […]

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What To Do With $844 Million?

What do you do with an $844 million state budget surplus? You read that right: $844 million. That is, even by the calculations of this mathematically challenged English major, almost a billion dollars! No chump change, that. No siree, and from the day Gov. Neil Abercrombie and his estimable budget director announced the number, visions […]

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GMOs, Pesticides And Island Jobs

It’s complicated. It’s all very, very complicated. Consider Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang’s bemoaning the plight of his Iolani classmates in last week’s “Mostly Politics.” He estimated that “90 percent of his graduating class went off to the Mainland” and never came back. His number sounded bloated to me, but it’s certainly indicative of a […]

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Ige: We Can Do Better Than Neil

David Ige wants to be Hawaii’s next governor. He wants to defeat the spectacularly well-known and extraordinarily well-financed incumbent Neil Abercrombie in next August’s Democratic primary election, then stiff arm whomsoever the Republicans nominate. “Who,” you might ask, “is David Ige, and how does he propose to do that?” He’s a 56-year-old veteran of 28 […]