Curious to see where House and Senate districts are now? The state Reapportionment Committee has recently released their approved map of house and senate districts. The west side of Oahu have seen the most drastic changes.
Click here for the link to the map.
The map is not final and will go through public hearings beginning on August 30th in Kapolei.
Click here for a complete list of public hearings.
Earlier this month, GOP Congressman Eric Cantor introduced a strategy to help reduce government spending. His solution: force college students who are receiving loans to repay them while they are still attending college rather than upon the completion of their time in school.
It seems like a pretty far out way of thinking. Mr. Cantor would like to financially handcuff students who are already financially handcuffed trying to afford an education. Either Mr. Cantor dislikes college students or he just doesn’t know any better. I personally think Mr. Cantor is a decent human being. That said, he likely doesn’t know any better. The only other explanation is he doesn’t care about those struggling financially.
Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia's 7th Congressional District
Let’s take a closer look at what Mr. Cantor has presented us. Some college students, like myself, require financial assistance to go to school. If it were not for grants, scholarships, and loans, there would be a large section of young adults out of school. Using the University of Hawaii at Manoa as an example, we see that resident full-time tuition (12 credits or more) is roughly $4,500 for the Fall 2011 Semester. Out of state tuition comes in at about $12,000. Considering that UHM is considered a bargain for tuition, we still have college students paying at least $9k and up to $24k for a single school year. Take that number and expand that over five years (the typical amount of time to earn a Bachelor’s Degree), assuming tuition doesn’t increase, and we have total cost between $45-$120k. Anyone have that type of money lying around?
Are we expecting the parents of those students to pay for college? Continuing to use Hawaii as an example, the median household income from 2009 was $67k. That would mean the average family in Hawaii would need to spend roughly 67% of their income for an entire year just to pay for tuition for a single child. What if that family has multiple children? Let’s also not forget mortgage/rent, food, healthcare, transportation, and other costs associated with raising a family.
This is why the federal government offers financial assistance for college students. A healthy society needs educated citizens. Every past civilization has shown the need for an educated population. Mr. Cantor would seemingly like to end this goal.
If college students could afford to begin paying back their loans while still in school Mr. Cantor, there is a great chance these students wouldn’t be using loans or other financial aid in the first place. Common sense tells us that someone using these types of services is in need of them in the first place.
For all the talk about protecting our future, it is obvious that Mr. Cantor has not followed through on that campaign promise. His plan in no way helps protect our future. In fact, it puts our future at risk. This is not wise leadership Mr. Cantor.
Perhaps you are the one who needs to be in school.
*This post can also be found on The Young Writer’s Block.
Posted in community, economy, education, news, politics, special comment
Tagged college students, eric cantor, financial aid, Hawaii, manoa, republican, tuition, university of hawaii
Herman Cain (imageworldblog.blogspot.com)
Republican Presidential hopeful, Herman Cain came out Sunday in support of communities being able to ban the construction of mosques. Cain is a former executive of Coca-Cola, Pillsbury, and Burger King.
Here is the Yahoo story.
What do you think? Should the government be able to ban the construction of mosques? Sound off!
Posted in community, economy, news, politics
Tagged burger king, coca-cola, government, herman cain, mosques, pillsbury, republican, yahoo
With many state legislatures around the country getting set to redistrict the electoral map, it will be interesting to see how Republicans and Democrats fight over party lines and expected votes. The re-districting is done after each census and can have major political ramifications. In fact, many have pointed to the last re-districting after the 2000 census as a key to a Republican wave across the country.
Ever wanted to see if you could make some positive change during this time? The USC Game Innovation Lab created a game which allows players to adjust district lines. The ReDistricting Game offers a set of missions based on a particular political party. Players are asked to arrange lines based on equal representation as well as such factors as creating a district with 75% or more African American residents. Test your mettle!
With the start of Hawaii’s 2011 Legislative Session comes the anticipation for it all to end. Previous years have brought very public fights over money and jobs. Some may point to the clash between ideology as there was a Republican Governor and a Democrat controlled Legislature. However, there were just as many fights with Democrats Ben Cayetano and John Waihee III residing at Washington Place.
The issues facing the 2011 Hawaii Legislature are many. Issues such as Civil Unions, raising the General Excise Tax, plugging the budget holes and the glaring problem of furloughs. However, this year also brings a wildcard issue, the new Governor, Neil Abercrombie. Abercrombie has already made some waves by moving money towards some benefits for state workers as well as his much-anticipated choices for the appointed Board of Education. The 2011 session promises to be filled with fireworks from both sides as Senate Republicans have now dropped the “s” and have become the Senate Republican. The House has finally settled the leadership dispute and have reelected Calvin Say as the House Speaker.
With the first week of the legislative session nearly in the books, Desperate America Report wants to know what are your concerns for this session. What are some of the issues you feel need to be addressed by Hawaii’s lawmakers. Please leave your responses in the comment section below and we will feature them next week!
For more on the Hawaii State Legislature
Posted in community, economy, education, health, news, politics
Tagged ben cayetano, board of education, calvin say, civil-unions, democrat, general excise tax, Hawaii, house, house speaker, john waihee III, legislature, linda lingle, Neil Abercrombie, republican, senate
In a matter of hours the Hawaii State Legislature will open the 2011 session. There will be a few new faces and yet one thing remains the same, the Republicans are heavily outnumbered. Last session brought some tough battles as well as some controversy.
It will be interesting to see how the opening weeks play out at the Capitol. We’ll have more on the opening day later in the day.
With only a full day in the books for 2011, the GOP is already beginning to get the troops prepared for another fight on health care reform.
From CNN: Health Care in the Hot Seat Again
-Democrats and a few Republicans are accusing the GOP of ignoring jobs and wasting time
-It will likely be a fierce battle for the repeal of the recently passed health care reform
As always, Desperate America Report wants to know your take. Please leave us a comment below telling us what you want to happen with health care reform. Should Congress repeal it? Should they leave it alone? Should they strengthen it? Let us know what you think!
Posted in community, economy, health, news, politics
Tagged CNN, democrat, gop, health care, health care reform, job creation, jobs, republican
A few days removed from the craziness that was election day, it is now time to sort through the rubble and see where we stand. There were some surprises and some close calls. The results nationally really was in stark contrast from the results in Hawaii. Nationally Republicans benefited from an electorate angry with the slow recovery of the economy. Locally, Republicans took a huge blow in their hopes of keeping control of the governor’s office. Now it’s time to break down a few of the winners and losers from this past election in Hawaii and on the mainland.
Congressman John Boehner is poised to become the new Speaker of the House. (clevescene.com)
The obvious national winners are the entire Republican Party after they 50+ seat pick up in the House and erasing the Democratic majority in the Senate. While falling short of controlling both houses, the GOP has a large majority in the House and will be able to prevent many of President Obama’s initiatives from moving forward. Ohio congressman, John Boehner is lining up to be the new Speaker of the House while Eric Cantor looks to become the new majority WHIP. A surprising national winner has to be Nevada Senator, Harry Reid. Reid was able to fend off a tough challenge from Republican candidate and TEA Party favorite, Sharon Angle to gain reelection and keep his spot as Senate Majority Leader.
In Hawaii, the winners have to be the Democratic Party. The 2010 elections solidified Hawaii’s long-standing tradition of being a blue state. In fact, Hawaii has the most lopsided state legislature of any state in the nation. 88% of all the members of the Hawaii state legislature are Democrats, beating out Rhode Island which sports 84%. Sen. Daniel Inouye cruised to a 50 point victory over his Republican challenger while Congresswoman Mazie Hirono easily won reelection with a 20 point margin. The real surprise came in Hawaii’s 1CD House race with incumbent Charles Djou(R) falling to Colleen Hanabusa(D) by 7 points. At the first printout, Djou trailed by about 4,000 votes. However, the subsequent printouts only put the Republican incumbent further behind. Hanabusa’s victory was the first time Hawaii voters had voted out a US Congressional incumbent.
But of course, the big winner was the Neil Abercrombie/Brian Schatz team. The Democratic team was able to trounce their GOP counterparts by nearly 100,000 votes. In fact, the final margin of victory was 17%. To make matter worse, of Hawaii’s 51 state house districts, Abercrombie was able to win 50 of the 51. It was surprising to many the sheer size of the victory for the long time US Congressman. Abercrombie single-handedly took down political giant, Mufi Hannemann and his GOP challenger, Duke Aiona. Abercrombie used an effective social media campaign to engage with the younger voters and was able to reestablish himself with the older voters whom he once represented while in the Honolulu City Council and Hawaii State Legislature.
Governor elect Neil Abercrombie cruised to an impressive 17 point victory on Election night. (daylife.com)
On a night where House Republicans picked up more than 50 seats and Senate Republicans came close to taking the majority, the obvious losers are the Democratic Party. Democrats across the nation suffered defeat and many incumbents fell. Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin saw his bid for reelection come up short. Feingold is best known for his efforts to reform immigration. The House Democrats will now be a highly outnumbered minority and will be at the will of Republicans. Over in the Senate, Majority Leader Reid will have some tough fights ahead now that he has a near stalemate with Republicans. President Obama must also be considered a loser of this election. He has now lost the majority in the House and has the prospects of a severely weakened Senate. Now more than ever will he need to sell his ideas to the public and work some magic if he hopes to have a second term.
Locally, the Hawaii GOP was not able to ride the so-called wave of change to victory. Hawaii Republicans are now left with only a single Senate seat and only a handful of House seats. Moreover, the Hawaii GOP invested heavily in the Djou and Aiona campaigns. However, their investments would not produce the returns they anticipated. A humiliating loss by Aiona was coupled with a bitter defeat for Djou. Many within the party felt 2010 was the best chance for Hawaii Republicans to take control of the government and to finally solidify itself as a major power in Hawaii. However, as the printouts were released, Republicans were left to wonder how and why this election turned out to be another drubbing from Hawaii Democrats.
The effects of this election will not be fully felt for another few years. However, one thing is certain: Hawaii really does buck national trends and chooses to do things a little differently. Whether this means a better Hawaii or something worse remains to be seen. At least we now have another couple of years to start the conversation of where our state and this country is heading and hopefully are able to find some solutions along the way.
Posted in community, economy, education, Election 2010, news, politics, religion
Tagged brian schatz, charles djou, Colleen Hanabusa, daniel inouye, democrat, duke aiona, eric cantor, governor elect, harry reid, Hawaii, hawaii governor, hawaii house, hawaii legislature, hawaii senate, immigration reform, john boehner, majority whip, mazie hirono, minority, Neil Abercrombie, president obama, republican, russ feingold, senate majority leader, speaker of the house, united state congress, united states, united states house of representatives, united states senate, wisconsin
Election night brought us some surprises. Victories by Neil Abercrombie and Colleen Hanabusa proved Hawaii remains firmly a Democrat controlled state. Some tight House and Senate races kept Hawaii residents up throughout the night awaiting the final printout. Nationally, the GOP took control of the House and narrowed the gap in the Senate. President Obama has already discussed the election at a press conference earlier today.
Here is the final printout from yesterday’s election. Keep in mind the results remain uncertified for at least another week or so.
Join us tomorrow for a complete wrap-up and some insight as to what the results mean moving forward for Hawaii!
Posted in community, economy, education, Election 2010, news, politics, religion
Tagged charles djou, Colleen Hanabusa, democrat, duke aiona, Hawaii, hawaii house, hawaii senate, legislature, Neil Abercrombie, president obama, republican, united states congress, united states senate
The second and third printouts have come in. The Aiona and Djou camps have conceded their respective races and thanked their supporters. Aiona trails Abercrombie by nearly 5x his defecit after the first printout. Hanabusa has a 10,000 vote cushion over Djou.
The final printout should be out around 2am. A complete wrap-up will be available on Thursday! Thanks to everyone who stayed with us throughout the night!
First printout for Hawaii has Abercrombie up by about 17,000 votes, Hanabusa up by 3,000 votes. Nevada Senator Harry Reid has survived on the back of 90% of Latino vote.
Second printout should be out around 9:30pm.
Polls across Hawaii have now closed. The results are coming in from around the country and are beginning to sort out the winners and losers. This is what we know so far:
Democratic Senators, Russ Feingold(WI) and Blanche Lincoln(AR) have lost their bids for reelection. As it stands, the GOP will have the majority in the House but the Democrats will still hold the majority in the Senate.
The results from Hawaii should begin to trickle in within the next hour with the first printout scheduled for about 6:45PM. The first printout should primarily consist of all the early and absentee voters around the state. Of course, there may still be some absentee ballots which will not be included since the deadline to return absentee ballots to the Office of Elections was 6PM tonight.
We’ll have more updates as the results come in tonight!
Posted in community, economy, education, Election 2010, health, news, politics, religion
Tagged arkansas, blanche lincoln, daniel inouye, democrat, duke aiona, election 2010, election results, gop, Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, republican, russ feingold, us house, us senate, wisconsin