DC808 Blog

Hawaii in the Nation's Capitol

·By Nathan Eagle

Members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation don’t want the Army pulling any soldiers out of Hawaii in an effort to balance the budget.

“Though no final decision has been made, a worst-case scenario was laid out that would be catastrophic for Hawaii,” U.S. Rep. Mark Takai said in a statement Tuesday.

“This option would result in a reduction of approximately 20,000 soldiers and civilians from Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks, along with another 30,000 of their family members,” he said. “The communities around Schofield Barracks would lose approximately 30 percent of their population, causing an

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Hawaii Receives $11.6 Million to Help the Homeless

Recipients include City and County of Honolulu and organizations working to provide housing while promoting self-sufficiency.

·By Marina Riker

Hawaii will receive $11.6 million of Continuum Care awards to help combat homelessness, it was announced Monday.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gave 45 Continuum Care awards to non-profits and government programs that help homeless individuals and families. The Continuum Care program supports organizations that provide services and housing to the homeless while promoting self-sufficiency.

A number of Hawaii Department of Human Services and a number of Honolulu City and County programs will receive funding for projects that provide supportive housing and rental assistance. The award is similar to

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Hirono Reiterates her Opposition to Repealing the Jones Act

In an interview with Politico, the Hawaii senator says the action would cost jobs and imperil the islands' shipping trade.

·By Richard Wiens

Sen. Mazie Hirono is continuing to defend the Jones Act in an interview with Politico, after a floor speech last week in which she voiced strong opposition to  an amendment that would dismantle the Jones Act.

The Jones Act requires that goods shipped between U.S. ports be carried by vessels built in the country and owned and operated by Americans. During last year’s election season, many candidates for Hawaii offices said its repeal would reduce the high cost of living here.

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, is pushing an amendment to

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Takai Named to U.S. House Natural Resources Committee

Hawaii's new congressman will get a crack at fishing regulations, native affairs and energy production. He's also on the Armed Services Committee.

·By Richard Wiens

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, the newest member of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, has been named to the House Natural Resources Committee, which deals with issues such as fishing regulations, native affairs and energy production.

“I am excited to serve on such a crucial committee for our state,” Takai said in a statement Wednesday. “The Natural Resources Committee plays an important role in the preservation of our island home, and I look forward to forging real solutions for our citizens while on this committee.”

“I have long been a proponent of sustainability and ending

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Takai to Serve on Obama’s Escort Committee for State of the Union

Hawaii's newest congressman will be leading the president into the House chamber tonight.

·By Nathan Eagle

Hawaii’s newly elected Congressman Mark Takai has been tapped to serve on the Escort Committee for President Barack Obama’s seventh State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was in Honolulu last week for Takai’s swearing-in ceremony, made the decision to have the freshman lead the president into the chamber where he shakes hands with members along the center aisle en route to the rostrum to deliver his speech, according to a media advisory from Takai.

Obama’s State of the Union address, which starts at 4 p.m. (9 p.m.

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FOIA Reform Bill Dead

Effort to improve government transparency killed by House.

·By Nathan Eagle

In case you missed it, House Speaker John Boehner killed an effort to improve government transparency last week, according to at least one senator.

The Senate had unanimously passed a bill to reform the Freedom of Information Act in large part by directing government agencies to presume records are public. But the House wouldn’t hear it.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, on Thursday declared the reform effort dead for the year. He had introduced the new reforms in June ahead of the 48th anniversary of FOIA’s enactment.

The Hill’s Mario Trujillo has this report

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Torture Report Details Horrors of CIA Detention, Interrogation Program

Media outlets worldwide are tearing through the 524-page, heavily redacted executive summary.

·By Nathan Eagle

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Intelligence Committee chair, discusses the report on CIA interrogations live on C-Span2, Tuesday.

C-SPAN2/Screen Shot

The release Tuesday of a 524-page, heavily redacted executive summary of the U.S. Senate intelligence committee’s highly anticipated torture report is dominating headlines worldwide.

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald has been one of the best outlets providing live coverage of the report, which he describes as “by far the most comprehensive and official account of the War on Terror’s official torture regime.”

The New York Times is providing a detailed look at the report, along with

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Do You ‘Care Like Crazy’ About Women’s Rights, War, Student Loans?

Rock the Vote has launched a $250,000 ad campaign to get Millennials to vote this election.

·By Nathan Eagle

“Asians. You can work them long hours, they do what you tell them and they don’t complain.”

That’s how one of several new Rock the Vote ads begins, part of the nonprofit’s $250,000 national media campaign that launched Thursday to get young people to the polls on Nov. 4.

The actor delivering those words is portraying a type of voter. This ad, as well as several others like it, is meant to be offensive and spur Millennials in particular to stand up for their beliefs by casting ballots for candidates who support their views.

The ads are part of Rock the

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Hawaii Voting Registration Deadline Is Oct. 6

Election officials will once again hold drive-thru voter registration events at various locations.

·By Chad Blair

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Monday, Oct. 6. So, “no vote, no grumble,” OK?

Drive-thru voter registration will once again be held on that day at various locations (see below). Individuals may drive to designated locations and register on the spot.

“We hope people will take this opportunity to register to vote. It’s quick and easy. Just stay in your car and an election official will have you registered in minutes,” said Chief Election Officer Scott Nago in a press release today.

A total of 1,200 individuals registered during the primary

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Want Data on Asian-Americans? There’s An App for That

And for Pacific Islanders, too, thanks to the White House, which has launched a "comprehensive hub."

·By Chad Blair

The White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders, in partnership with Data.gov, has launched Data.gov/AAPI, “the most comprehensive hub of government data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”

That’s according to the White House, which issued a press release today. The goal is to help policymakers and the public “understand and address disparities in socioeconomic status, educational attainment, health, and other areas of importance to the AAPI community.”

Says WHIAAPI Executive Director Kiran Ahuja, “The launch of Data.gov/AAPI marks an important milestone for better understanding and responding to the

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Gabbard Meets Indian Leader, Attends NYC Speech

The only Hindu in Congress tweets our her reaction to Modi's appearance at Madison Square Gardens.

·By Chad Blair

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York City today, calling the experience “wonderful.”

According to her Twitter feed, Gabbard was among 18,000 people in attendance for Modi’s speech at Madison Square Garden.

Describing the energy in the arena as “electric, inspiring, positive,” Gabbard called Modi’s speech “incredible.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard meets India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi.

@TulsiGabbard

Highlights of the speech:

.@narendramodi wants to destroy old laws that are no longer used or applied, rather than tout many new

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Gabbard, Hanabusa Split on Auditing Federal Reserve

The GOP measure receives support of 106 House Democrats. A companion bill is in the Senate.

·By Chad Blair

U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa split their votes yesterday on a bill calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve System.

Gabbard was among 106 Democrats who voted in favor of the measure in the 333-92 vote.

Hanabusa sided with 92 Democrats, including leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, in opposing the bill. One GOP member also voted with Democrats.

The Fed building in D.C.

Flickr: Tim Evanson

According to The Hill, the bill would “require the comptroller general to conduct an audit of the Federal Reserve’s board of