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Hawaii in the Nation's Capitol

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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.


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

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Hirono Among Female Senators Writing Angry Letter to NFL

They say Goodell’s revisions to policy regarding suspensions for domestic violence do not go far enough.

·By Chad Blair

This report in Roll Call says that a group of 16 female U.S. senators have written “a scathing letter” to Roger Goodell about the National Football League’s handling of violence against women.

The senators include Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

“It is long past time for the NFL to institute a real zero-tolerance policy and send a strong message that the league will not tolerate violence against women by its players, who are role models for children across America,” the 16 senators wrote.

Ray Rice, formerly of the NFL, at training camp

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USDOE Grants $20M for Native Hawaiian Education

The grants support education programs and institutions that serve Native Hawaiian communities in areas ranging from kindergarten readiness to career training.

·By Alia Wong

The U.S. Department of Education has set aside more than $20 million in grants for 24 programs and institutions that serve Native Hawaiians and promote their educational advancement.

The recipients include nonprofits, foundations and a health organization. More than half of the grant money — $11 million — is going to colleges that serve Native Hawaiians, including five community colleges, the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Chaminade University.

The grants are earmarked for specific projects focusing on areas such as school readiness, STEM education, Native Hawaiian culture and language and college success.


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Tulsi Gabbard Wants U.S. to Suspend Visa Waivers for European Countries

Hawaii congresswoman calls program a loophole for Islamic terrorists.

·By Nathan Eagle

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is calling on the Obama Administration to immediately suspend the Visa Waiver Program for countries that have thousands of citizens fighting alongside Islamic extremists in the Middle East or elsewhere.

In a statement, she names three European countries as examples of nations with people who have left to fight with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL (also referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS).

“As things presently stand, Islamic extremists holding British, German, French or other European passports can simply get on a plane

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Hawaii Senators on Losing Side in Campaign Spending Vote

GOP blocks constitutional amendment from Democrats meant to reverse recent Supreme Court decisions.

·By Chad Blair

Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz were among the 54 Democrats who fell six votes short on a proposed constitutional amendment meant to reverse two recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign spending.

Forty-two Republicans voted to block the legislation. One Democrat and three Republicans missed the vote. And sixty votes were needed to invoke cloture and end debate on the measure.

“Republicans said the Senate vote was a political stunt by Democrats ahead of the midterm elections,” according to The Hill. “Democrats up for reelection are expected to use this vote on the campaign trail.”


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Schatz Wants to Defeat ISIS, Hanabusa Warns of ‘Unintended Consequences’

Two members of Hawaii's congressional delegation have different reactions to President Obama's new strategy in the Middle East.

·By Chad Blair

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii offered different reactions to President Barack Obama’s speech tonight on addressing an Islamic threat in Iraq and Syria.

Hanabusa warned that changes to the U.S. mission in the region could have “unintended consequences,” while Schatz said the U.S. must address the threat will the help of allies.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Sen. Brian Schatz in the KITV studio on July 7.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Here are excerpts from Hanabusa’s remarks via a press release from her office:

“I share