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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 20, 2010

Serving up plenty of finger pointing

By David Shapiro

The ongoing game of "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire" between the governor and the state auditor highlights our "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused. But first:

• Honolulu Councilman Rod Tam was recorded as casting an "aye" vote on a council resolution that censured him for abusing his meal allowance. I don't think they heard correctly. What he really said when he raised his hand was, "Check, please."

• The proposed $5.3 billion O'ahu rail system hit a possible snag because the route runs too close to Honolulu Airport runways. The city will try anything to get this train to take off.

• It turns out that the rail project may not produce as many local jobs as advertised. At this point, Mayor Mufi Hannemann is just hoping it'll produce one job: governor.

• Gov. Linda Lingle is working hard to beef up her Republican credentials as she nears the end of her term with an eye toward national politics. From now on, she wants to be called Linda W. Lingle.

• State agriculture inspectors tracked down and captured a lone coqui frog that was disrupting the tranquility of a Mānoa neighborhood. These are the guys President Obama should be sending after Osama bin Laden.

• Legislators are encouraging Obama to build his presidential library in the state of his birth. They figure it would give kids someplace to read on Fridays without having to open the schools.

• Hawai'i's public school officials are lobbying the Obama administration to loosen federal testing standards for English and math. They favor an option called "No Excuse Left Behind."

• Lawmakers are pushing for more restaurant inspectors after an alarming 82 percent of O'ahu eateries had major sanitary violations last year. It's a miracle Rod Tam didn't get botulism.

• Local car dealer Mike McKenna expressed interest in buying the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. However, he backed out after the salesman told him to have a free cup of coffee while he checked with his manager.

And the quote of the week ... from state Auditor Marion Higa in her dispute with Lingle over a student loan investment: "I offer this challenge: I will put my staff up for a lie detector test if the administration will do the same, and we will see where the truth might lie."

Lie-detector challenges are so high school. Settling this feud is going to take an ego-nometer.