HAWAIIAN RAINBOW AT THE END OF THE WASHINGTON POT OF GOLD
ALOHA STATE GETS SENATE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIR
UNCA DAN, AKA CAPT. PORK, WILL CONTROL FEDERAL CASH MACHINE
I, Cosanostradamus, Foresee An H-4, H-5, H-6 and H-7 Freeway And An All-State Bridge
It's only fifteen hundred miles from the Big Island to Midway. Why not a bridge, linking all the main islands in between? Or maybe a tunnel? Hell, why not both? And another one to California. And one to Japan! And Tahiti! Woo-Hoo!!!
Corrupt, incompetent local construction firms are already ejaculating over this one. The biggest pork-barrel spender in Congressional history now has the power of the purse in his own pocket. Uncle Dan Inouye, Hawaii's senior U.S. Senator and local power-broker since the invention of volcanoes, has provided jobs and infrastructure for people and places here in the Islands (whether they needed them or deserved them or not) so reliably over the years, that he can single-handedly be held responsible for 10-20% of the State's entire local economy. Not bad for a one-armed man, or as some low-life called him, a one-armed bandit.
Inouye lost his right arm fighting for our side in The Big One, the Tom Hanks movie war. Hard to say no to a Japanese guy who lost his arm fighting for your side, once he starts twisting yours. Inouye is one of the last of the WWII guys left in Warshenden. He was awarded the Medal of Honor belatedly, after being denied it due to his ancestry. Largely because of this, he commands far more respect in the Senate than his legislative abilities merit.
An officer in the legendary 442nd Regimental Combat Team that, to hear them tell it, single-handedly won the War, Inouye and his men went on to take over the Democratic Party once they got home, and then the Territory, and then the State of Hawaii. They were the vanguard of a political and socio-economic revolution that forced accommodation upon the old "haole" ascendancy (whites, foreigners, greedy racist bastards) and Hawaiian ali'i (aristocracy, parasites, traitors). "Lowly" Asian and Pacific Island cane-cutters and pineapple-canners entered the worlds of politics and business, academia and the professions for the first time. Meanwhile, the local Japanese ended up pretty much running things, so long as they were willing to accommodate the remains of the old elite, still in place behind the scenes today.
Unfortunately, that revolution has sputtered out. It never quite reached much beyond the new local Japanese elite. Other Asians and Pacific Islanders are still shut out. There are precious few good jobs here, other than those that are directly or indirectly dependent upon the government. After 50 years of representing the 50th State and its' ruling Democratic Party, Dan Inouye has yet to help foster the creation of one new industry to replace the old dying ones, and few new businesses or jobs outside of government itself. When he dies, Inouye will leave a legacy of dependence upon Washington, which, without him in place, will result in a huge deficit of cash to the Islands, and nothing to replace it.
Inouye & Co. have presided over the death of agriculture, once our main industry, and the sputtering of tourism, pretty much all we have left. The military, which is a huge part of the local economy, will be cutting back now. They spend most of their time and more of their money on their endless deployments since 911, anyway. This leaves only low-paying retail and government-dependent health care as major components of our local economy. And of course, construction, which is utterly dependent upon all of the above. And your tax dollars, Mainlanders. T'anks, eh?
This past Tuesday, a new revolution was narrowly averted by Dan & company. The overwhelming force of new & disaffected voters that made it to the caucuses and the primaries did not quite overwhelm in the general election. Bad ballot measures passed, the same old same old will be returning to power in even greater numbers. (Not that the wacky Republicans had anything better to offer.) Nothing is going to change here any time soon: Especially not with the oldest same-old same-old of all handing out the candy on Capitol Hill.
It's too bad. The entire nation may experience the same disappointment once the dust settles in DC. Obama is only one man, beholden to many, especially the many who run the old Democratic machine, more especially in Congress. There is already talk of "moving to the right," and "governing from the center." Obama's first picks for his White House staff are old-school Clintonians, abrasive power-brokers who have worked better with conservatives than liberals in the past. Whether Obama is simply making calming gestures to a newly nervous Wall Street, or signaling a quick end to talk of change of any real sort, I guess we'll find out.
Meanwhile, back in Paradise, the celebrations can continue. And thanks for picking up the check, America! We couldn't live without ya! Or your money! MWA! Mahalos! Aloha! Suckers!
"Byrd will voluntarily give up chairmanship"
Revenge of the ninja's! HAIIIIII!!!!!!
' Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who is 84, will take over for Byrd on the powerful panel, which oversees hundreds of billions of dollars annually in federal spending. Byrd will officially hand off the gavel on Jan. 6, 2009. And in a sense, it is a very Byrd-like move to step aside in favor of Inouye. After all, Inouye served with Byrd in the leadership for years, only to lose out when he tried to move up after Byrd stepped down as majority leader in 1988 to take the Appropriations Committee post. In doing so, Byrd stepped in front of Inouye, who would have otherwise succeeded then-Appropriations Chairman John Stennis (D-Miss.), and at 84, he has waited a long time for some time at the helm. '
"Inouye takes over powerful Senate committee"
Senators suddenly reminded: Inouye is still alive.
' Democratic Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii will become the next chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee with an announcement today that Sen. Robert Byrd would step down from the position Jan. 6. Byrd, who is 90, said it was time for Inouye, 84, to take over the committee. He will also continue as chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Inouye has been a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee since January 1971. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., confirmed that Inouye would be chairman in the next Congress that convenes in January. Inouye will be taking over at time when the Democrats will have increased majorities in the Senate and the House, and Hawaii native son Barack Obama, also a Democrat, is in the White House. The senator will preside over a committee that decides how hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent annually. For Hawaii, it means the senator could build on his successes in steering hundreds of millions a year to the state for various projects from Native Hawaiian health care to brown tree snake control. But the congressional appropriations process has been coming under greater scrutiny in the past few years over the billions of dollars federal lawmakers divert to special projects, known as earmarks. Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, said there will be a change in the top leadership of the committee but "certainly Inouye has not been any slouch in delivering the bacon to Hawaii and I think that is going to continue." "I don't think Senator Inouye is about to pick up that mantle of reform or change. He is a member of the old guard." '
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"Embattled Alaska Sen. Stevens Tops List for Earmarks"
So, we're in good company here. Good thing the local Democrats didn't take a look at Uncle Dan's finances...
' On the House side, the biggest earmarker was again Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. John Murtha , with $111.1 million, according to the data compiled by TCS. The spending bills will fund disaster aid, Defense, Homeland Security, military construction and Veterans Administration budgets for fiscal year 2009. Other big earmarkers in the House were Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young (R., Fla.), with $99 million; Rep. Jerry Lewis (R., Ca.), $78.2 million, and Rep. David Obey (D., Wisc.), $51.5 million. Senate standouts included Sen. Thad Cochran (R., Miss.), $238.5 million; Sen. Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.), $224.9 million; and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii), $222.2 million. '
PACIFIC BUSINESS JOURNALS
"Inouye brings home the pork"
' A government watchdog group said Tuesday Sen. Daniel Inouye is one of Washington’s top five pork-barrel spenders. Citizens Against Government Waste criticized the Hawaii Democrat for $182 million in wasteful spending, including $23 million for the Hawaii Federal Healthcare Network, $10 million for the Hawaii Technology Development Venture, and $3.6 million for Intelligent Decision Exploration. Inouye is chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Despite the reduction, Citizens Against Government Waste said at least seven legislators appropriated more than $100 million, including Inouye. They other top pork-barrel spenders were Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska; Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Sen Robert Byrd, D-W. Va.; and Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla. '
"Isle economic outlook lowered by economist"
Welcome to the Pearl-Diving Economy: Please bring us your money, we have none of our own!
' Hawai'i's economy is reeling from a number of shocks to tourism and jobs brought on by a slowing U.S. economy, high oil prices, subprime mortgage problems and in recent weeks, a financial market crisis. That resulted in visitor arrivals tumbling 19.5 percent and unemployment reaching a seven-year high in September. Brewbaker's revised forecast is similar to other forecasts this year in that it lowers most projections. While some of his estimates — he forecasts visitor arrivals will drop by 10.6 percent this year and the number of jobs will shrink by 0.4 percent — are slightly more negative than other economists locally, the state and the University of Hawai'i Economic Research Organization are expected to revise their numbers downward in coming weeks. '
HONOLULU STAR BULLETIN
"Little relief seen for Hawaii real estate"
After 50 years of Uncle Dan, we still don't make anything we can sell elsewhere. We have no local economy. We have only that portion of YOUR econonmy that you're willing to export here.
' Hawaii's slumping visitor industry may be one of its greatest commercial real estate concerns during the current cycle, said Jonathan D. Martin, principal author of the report, which is based on surveys from more than 600 leading real estate experts from investors to developers, brokers and consultants. "Given Honolulu's dependence on tourist travel, the market could face headwinds next year - companies will cut back on corporate events and individuals will be scaling back vacation plans," Martin said. "As a result, the local economy is probably more vulnerable to recessionary impacts, and that will hurt hotels and shopping centers especially." '
PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS
"Maui Land & Pineapple CEO stepping down"
Lotta land. Not so much pineapple.
' The executive changes were announced along with the Maui Land & Pineapple’s third quarter results, which showed a drop in profits amid Hawaii’s slowing real estate and tourism markets. Maui Land & Pineapple (NYSE: MLP) reported a net loss of $8.7 million, or $1.09 per share, for the third quarter, compared with a net loss of $155,000, or 2 cents per share, during the same period last year. Revenues were $19.1 million, compared with $28.5 million during the third quarter last year. “Results reflect deteriorating market conditions in the Hawaii real estate and hospitality segments, including $2.5 million in severance costs and a $4 million increase in reserves for potential defaults on closings,” Cole said in a statement. “The Residences at Kapalua Bay, a project that is continuing despite the bankruptcy of its lead lender, recorded $11 million of sales in the third quarter.” The company’s resort business reported an operating loss of $5.7 million for the third quarter, compared with a loss of $3.1 million for the same period in 2007. The company noted a reduction in visitor arrivals and occupancy at the resort combined with higher operating costs and higher fuel and energy prices were responsible for the increased operating loss. '
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
"Economy at a Glance"
"HONOLULU CONSUMER PRICE INDEX"
Labels: barrel, chairman, change, Congress, Daniel Inouye, earmarks, ECONOMY, hawaii, Local, Obama, pork, Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Byrd, spending, steps down, takes over, taxes, WASHINGTON
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