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Informing Hawaii's voters

Why White House Kept Exemption to ObamaCare Quiet

Hawaii Political Info comment: This story is a little old, but it's a good one.


By John Sexton

March 14, 2014

An exemption is only an exemption if people know about it. That's why the White House kept a broad hardship exemption to Obamacare's individual mandate quiet, including leaving it off the official exemption page on for nearly three months.

In case you missed the story this week, there are 14 hardship exemptions from the individual mandate, the portion of Obamacare which says you must buy health insurance or pay a tax. The last of these 14 exemptions is extremely broad. It just says you can claim "another hardship" that prevented you from getting insurance and requires no documentation to back it up.

Exemption 14 was quietly slipped in by the White House back in December. At the time, the New York Times and most other outlets were focused on another exemption created at the same time for people with cancelled policies. In fact, the Times warned Republicans would use the cancellation exemption to push for an even broader exemption, not realizing a broader exemption already existed.

Read more . . .

Downsizing the Army on Oahu

AL Frenzel was a guest on Jeff Davis' "Solar Guy" on KHNR 690 radio in Honolulu on Monday, July 21, 2014.

Want to see the return of those Army lands to Hawaii? Sign the petition.

Here's what AL Frenzel, retired Army colonel, former U.S. Army War College Faculty Instructor and logistics & force restructuring specialist (i.e. he has the bona fides and the knowledge) has to say about this petition that he originated:

"This initiative is not about whether the Army should downsize; this
action has already been directed and is being debated and challenged by
other entities.  Instead, this initiative is about 'where' the cuts should
be taken . . . if they are not cut on Oahu during this round, this will be
the last opportunity in our lifetimes to repatriate key Oahu lands back to
the people of Hawaii.  Furthermore, if the Army were to make proportional
cuts amongst the bases on the cut list, like only 10,000 of the 19,800
proposed for Oahu, this would be the worst case scenario, because there
would be just enough remaining soldiers on Oahu to prevent the return and
cleanup of any lands back to the people."

Although the petition looks like it's just to Charles Djou, click the down arrow next to his name to see that it's also to our Senators, Congressmen, other elected officials and candidates.

Sign the petition.

Congress Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels to Fight against ISIS

McKeon Amendment shreds the U.S. Constitution

September 17, 2014

Congresswomen Colleen Hanabusa (D-District 1) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-District 2) vote against the measure

Russia Today introduction: The US House of Representatives voted to authorize the arming and training of Syrian rebels. The move is said to be aimed at fighting Islamic State extremists in the country. Peace campaigner Michael Shank thinks this is a dangerous mistake.

Dennis Kucinich, former Democratic member of Congress, gives eight reasons why the McKeon Amendment, which funds the Syrian "rebels," is a bad idea.

Jewish War on Russia

Brother Nathanael grew up in the U.S. as a Jew and converted to Christianity as a young man. He is now a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and lives in Colorado.

A Call for Constitutional Literacy on Constitution Day

The Washington Times

By Ben S. Carson

September 16, 2014

Earlier this summer, I managed to perplex, perhaps even offend, a famous TV interviewer when I declared I wanted a federal government that followed the U.S. Constitution. Seemingly aghast, the interviewer went so far as to suggest my position was a “highly charged thing to say.”

Imagine that. A journalist who, owing to the Constitution, has the right to report freely and to speak freely, being uncomfortable to hear a fellow American swear allegiance to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers’ vision of a limited central government.

I fear we as a nation have drifted too far away from an understanding and appreciation of the greatest governance document the world has ever produced. We have a president today who usurps power never given to him in the Constitution, a dysfunctional Congress so gridlocked that it can’t fulfill its mission as a separate-but-equal branch of government, and a Fourth Estate of media elites who cheerlead for a bigger, more intrusive government that unnecessarily addicts those struggling to escape poverty to handouts, rather than encouraging self-reliance.

Read more . . .

Constitution Week Starts Tomorrow

Constitution Week runs from September 17-23 annually. The Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned Congress in 1955 to set aside September 17-22 annually for the observance of U.S. Constitution Week. It was adopted by Congress and signed into law on August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

According to the DAR, the purpose of Constitution Week is to:

  • Emphasize citizens' responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution.
  • Inform people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life.
  • Encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.

Read the U.S. Constitution


What's Your Constitution IQ? []

Daughters of the American Revolution

Hawaii Labeled 2nd Most Unfair Tax System in Nation

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Middle Class and Poor in the Aloha State among the Most Overtaxed

September 15, 2014

HONOLULU, Hawaii—Sept. 15, 2014—A study of the tax systems of all 50 states by the financial site Wallet Hub has found that Hawaii has the second most unfair tax system in the country, trailing only Washington in the gap between what citizens consider a fair tax structure and the reality of the state system. In addition, the Aloha State ranked third among states where the middle class (defined as the 40-60% income quintile) is overtaxed and was little better about overtaxing the poor. Hawaii ranked fourth in states that overtax the lowest 20% of income earners.


The survey found that the majority of Americans, regardless of political outlook, believe that higher income households should be taxed at a higher rate than lower earners. Those states that most conform to this model were rated more fair, while those where the tax burden was heavier on middle and lower income householders were rated as "unfair." The Wallet Hub survey also noted that Hawaii is especially dependent on sales and excise taxes--the state ranked seventh in its reliance on revenues from this source.

"This survey is only confirming what too many of us realize every day," stated Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. "Hawaii's tax system is badly in need of reform that stimulates the economy and reduces the burden on middle class and working households. This isn't a question of partisanship or politics--the system is faulty no matter what your perspective. If Hawaii's policy makers want to help our working families in a substantial and effective way, they should seek out reforms that provide real, measurable tax relief."

About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region. Read more about us at

About Grassroot President Keli'i Akina: Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii. Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government. An expert in East-West Philosophy and ethics, Dr. Akina has taught at universities in China and the United States and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University. Dr. Akina is currently a candidate for Trustee at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the 2014 General Election run-off.

KHNL Features Opposing Views on Proposed Oahu Army Downsizing


By Jim Mendoza

Jim's email address

September 15, 2014

WAHIAWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a draft statement the U.S. Army said there would be no significant impact on Wahiawa town if the Department of Defense cut back on the number of soldiers at Schofield Barracks.

But the president of the Wahiawa Community and Business Association said Wahiawa's businesses would be on the front lines of a decline.

"They really depend on the military and their dependents for survival," Doug Aton said.

Read more . . .


Making Military Downsizing in Hawaii a Good Thing [Hawaii Political Info] Aug 18, 2014

Oahu Council for Army Downsizing

Wind Turbines Omitted in HECO's Lanai/Molokai Energy Plan

One of Oahu's wind turbine clusters on the north shore as seen from Kaena Point/photo by Larry Basar

Honolulu Civil Beat

Here is why Big Wind is no longer really part of the discussion about Hawaii's energy future.

By Robin Kaye

Robin Kaye is a longtime Lanai resident and energy activist. He is the author of Lanai Folks.

September 9, 2014

What’s interesting about HECO’s recently released Power Supply Improvement Plans is what is not in them.

After 2,731 pages and $17 million in taxpayer-funded studies, there is not a single mention of Big Wind on Lanai or Molokai, and the vaunted undersea cable is barely mentioned.

So, notwithstanding two communities that were torn apart, HECO executives infiltrated our rural communities to argue for Big Wind, two governors obsessively pushed Big Wind, DBEDT made it a centerpiece of their state energy plans and a clean energy agreement that had Big Wind as its centerpiece, it has completely disappeared from the state of Hawaii and HECO’s future energy plans.

Read more . . .

Paul Craig Roberts Connects the Dots on Washington's Baffling Actions

Good interview with Paul Craig Roberts brings to our attention a change that the Fed, Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC have made in bank requirements that will have a negative effect on the value of state and local municipality bonds, which in turn will ripple out across entire local government structures. That includes us right here in Hawaii, meaning we are facing an escalation in the looting of our local assets.

Roberts, among the distinct minority of us who has training, knowledge and experience in government economic matters, follows by looking at the big picture of the new U.S. sanctions against Russia, attempting to answer, "Why? Why these particular sanctions?"

17-minute radio interview with King World News

Click here to listen

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