Left and Right Upset Over Obama’s Afghan Plan

On Wednesday evening, President Obama spoke live to the nation about his plans for a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.  The plan calls for more than 30,000 troops will return home by autumn of 2012.  The plan also sends 5,000 troops home immediately with another 5,000 set to arrive stateside by the end of the year.

President Obama has drawn criticism from both sides of the Congressional aisle.  Democrats in the House feel the plan is not substantial enough and should instead make larger strides to remove troops.

Republicans have argued the plan is too drastic and could risk any momentum gained in Afghanistan.

For more information, click here (link take you to Huffington Post article).

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Hawaii Medical Center Files For Bankruptcy, Again.

Hawaii Medical Center (HMC) has filed for bankruptcy just two years removed from court protection.  The two hospital group consists of HMC East, located in Liliha, and HMC West, located out in Ewa.

Hawaii Medical Center East has been featured in various "Hawaii Five-O" episodes.(photo: khon2.com)

Overall, HMC employs more than 700 employees and has over 300 beds.  The hospitals were previously owned by St. Francis Healthcare Systems before being sold in 2007.  The St. Francis group will be acquiring  the hospitals and looks to create a solvent entity.

There has been no news as to the status of the more than 700 employees.

Click here for more (Link is Star Advertiser story).

Happy Father’s Day

From everyone at Desperate America Report, Happy Father’s Day!

Dads: enjoy the beer and the chance to relax.

Councilmember Berg Releases Wrap-up of Town Hall

A significantly large crowd attended the recent town hall meeting held by Honolulu Councilmember, Tom Berg.  The meeting focused on Rail and saw a presentation by Dr. Panos Prevedorous.  Here is the link to Councilmember Berg’s wrap-up of the event as well as a link to Dr. Prevedorous’ presentation.

Councilmember Berg’s wrap-up

Dr. Prevedorous’ presentation

Congressman Anthony Weiner Resigns

New York’s 9th Congressional District will be searching for a new voice today.  Embattled Congressman, Anthony Weiner, held a press conference today to announce his resignation saying, “I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. But unfortunately the distraction that I have created has made that impossible.”

Weiner had been under pressure from colleagues in Congress to step down after it was discovered he used his Twitter account to interact with a minor while sending multiple lewd photographs of himself.

Anthony Weiner announced his resignation today weeks after lewd photos of him were leaked online. (photo: journeypost.co.cc)

Weiner has been a popular figure among progressives for his fiery personality and strong support of health care reform.  Weiner is best remembered for his constant battles against House Republicans.  There has been no news out of New York as to when a special election would take place.

Earlier this week President Obama joined the calls for Weiner’s resignation saying, “I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign.”

Weiner is married to Huma Abedin, an aide for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

We’ll have more as news comes in.

Around the News

Here are a few interesting stories making the rounds on this Wednesday:

Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress Goes on Display (Washington Post)

Al-Qaeda Selects New Leader (CNN)

Wikileaks Witness Testifies (CNN)

 

 

 

 

 

Rail Transit Public Forum

Honolulu Councilmember Tom Berg will be hosting a public forum on the city’s rail transit plan on Wednesday, June 15th at Ewa Makai Middle School.  The event begins at 7pm.  The discussion will likely focus on the costs, route and viability of rail transit.

Panos Prevedorous is a guest speaker.  Berg has held a few similar public forums in the past.  For more information, contact Councilmember Berg’s office at (808) 768-5001.

What are your plans for May 21?

There has been a change to the end of the world prophecy.  Listeners of Family Radio, a Christian broadcasting network based in Oakland, California, believe May 21, 2011 marks the Rapture and serve as the beginning of Judgement Day.  The group of believers claim Judgment Day will last a total of six months and will cease when the world ends.

The group has purchased billboard and ad space around the country to spread their message.  They will spend May 21st in Boston passing out pamphlets.

Read more on this group at CNN.com

Making Pedestrians Safer?

–Update: 5/11/11 2:20pm–The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has reported that Bill 43, the measure relating to electronic device use for predestrians, has passed the first vote in the Honolulu City Council and will now be sent to the various committees to be heard.  Bill 43 is an expansion on the ban on cell phone use by drivers.

We’ll have more updates as they come in.

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Oahu has seen five pedestrian fatalities so far this year.  Of those five, a total of three were in marked crosswalks.  Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi would like to make pedestrians safer.  The former mayoral candidate has introduced a measure which would make the use of electronic devices illegal when crossing the street.  KHON broke the news on Monday.  The story has since been picked up by the Associated Press and has landed in the “Breaking News” section of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser website.  According to the KHON report, the police department does not track electronic device usage for pedestrian accidents.

Councilmember Kobayashi has not yet been reached for comment.

Special Comment: Dissecting How I Feel Over bin Laden’s Death

I’ve searched around for the answer as to how I should feel about the news of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of a US Navy SEALS strike team.  Before I get into how I feel on the topic, I think it is only fair that I explain where I come from on this.

I had the unforgettable honor of participating in the 2001 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade along with the Pearl City High School Marching Band from Pearl City, Hawaii.  It was only two months removed from the tragic events of 9/11 and by sheer coincidence, our trip was scheduled to visit Washington D.C. before making the final stop to New York City.  I grew up next to a military installation and spent much time around active duty personnel as well as their families, this gave me a better understanding of how special it is to be an American.  I viewed the trip as a way to show our respect to those who fight for our freedom as well as those who lost their lives on the tragic day.  It was also a chance to bring the Aloha Spirit to those in the affected areas and perhaps to the rest of the country via the televised event.  We were allowed to see the scene at the Pentagon and were allowed within a few blocks from ground zero in NYC.  The scene is not something you can unsee or unsmell.  The ruins and the hard-working volunteers were a sight to behold.

It is with this experience that I learned of the death of Osama bin Laden while browsing the internet.  A window was open to my Facebook and I noticed that someone had posted a comment saying the Al-Qaeda leader was dead.  I was a bit confused by the news and immediately began checking a multitude of news sites.  Every site had a basic heading of the Osama’s death but offered no details.  It wasn’t until President Obama stepped to the podium in his address to the nation did we begin to hear what had happened.

A bird's-eye view of bin Laden's compound. (PHOTO: ABCNEWS)

The initial reaction was a combination of shock and satisfaction.  The man who had been on the run from the entire United States Military as well as many international forces had finally been found.  Not only had he been found, but he had been shot and killed by American forces.  This was a man who captured the attention of the entire world with his fanaticism, and whose main focus was to bleed the United States economy dry, had finally met his end.  Anyone who heard the news had to have been shocked.  The joke was that he had been the Hide and Go Seek World Champion for the last decade.  Now he was dead after being shot twice by a US SEAL team.

As an American, there had to be a sense of satisfaction that this man was no longer a priority.  As an American, there had to be a sense of satisfaction over finally catching the man who left a wake of devastation on a September morning in 2001.  I do not deny, nor do I attempt to hide the fact that I was for a moment satisfied at the news.  The satisfaction then turned into relief.  Osama had been on the radar of American intelligence since the early 90’s and was always a step ahead of his pursuers.  Now the long chase was over and our sights could be set on a different purpose.

There was a sense of relief for the armed forces and intelligence personnel who have searched around the world for Osama.  Aside from that though, there was a bit of apathy.  There is the understanding that although Osama was the top figure in Al-Qaeda, he is just another cog in the overall scheme of things.  The organization will continue on with their mission and will likely use the death of Osama as the rallying cry.  The fight against terrorism will continue and will likely remain unchanged.

At the end of the day, as an American, there is a sense of bravado.  There is a feeling of wanting to puff out one’s chest and to walk taller.  The actions of some heroic Americans have injected a bit of patriotism.  I am glad that it was AMERICAN forces who took down bin Laden and it was a decision made by our President.  It was not an incidental casualty of the war zone.  It was a calculated move made by our leadership.

For that, we all can be proud of.