Saturday, April 12, 2008


NEW DAY SAME DOG-DOODY: The soapy “As the Worm Turns” budget sessions continued Friday (yes, again) and according to Nathan Eagle’s latest excellent and unprecedented report of the sessions, Mayor Bryan Baptiste has now abandoned his plans to take people in each department away from not doing their jobs so he can hire more people to hold meetings where they will tell us they in fact are doing their jobs instead of hiring more people to actually do them.

Confused? Well then all is going as intended.

Baptiste now apparently wants to hire the same two full time people that the Council originally wouldn't give him to go out into the community to tell us what a great job he’s doing in not doing his job.

It’s a well worn path in the corporate and now government world- when you hire minions of your incompetent cronies and they aren’t doing their job and everyone is at the door with thousands of complaints, the answer is never to do a better job but to hire Hill and Knowlton or some such big time public relations firm to perpetuate a “big lie”...the kind Hitler invented where you keep telling it over and over so often that people begin to believe it.

Tell the “big lie” and wait a few weeks and when you tell it again people say “you know I heard that somewhere”. Keep telling it and it’s perceived as fact.

It’s Bryan’s equivalent of “Everything is okay...nothing to see here folks... go back to your homes.”... and with him it’s entirely possible- in fact probable- he believes his own publicity.

In this case Baptiste seems to have little choice- stuck with the incompetent people who ran his campaign now running his administration, the malfeasance and corruption have become almost secondary in people’s minds to the utter lack of competence in providing the basic services any county administration is supposed to purvey.

And so, in a attempt to see if the council is actually paying less attention and is more brainless than he is- and apparently from today’s report at least Tim Bynum is- he’s attempting to see if they remember what he told them a few weeks ago.

“Mayor scraps public outreach program-renewed emphasis to be placed on community relations.” is the pitch perfect “huh?” headline. ...

Yeah- maybe if we call it something else they won’t notice the shell game we’re playing

No mention is made of actually dealing with specific issues or public or for that matter Council- grievances and criticisms or doing anything with the “input” they feign to receive... the stuff of which circular files are made in this administration.

For a kicker, when the Council asked the Mayor for details on his “new” idea Baptiste used the same dodge his department heads do when questioned by the council by saying he’d tell in three weeks because it would reportedly become clearer when the job descriptions were completed.

It has become the M.O of Baptiste’s department heads and their underlings to duck Council “requests” for their appearances at regularly scheduled Wednesday meetings to explain expenditures or proposed legislation. They do it for weeks on end with regular last-minute Wednesday morning “emergency” meetings in Honolulu or some other such pre-planned, unplanned excuse for their absence

Then, when council rage reaches a crescendo they finally send staff- sometimes even from the wrong division- none of whom can seem to answer the questions and so refer them to someone else who’s not there or “available today”. And so another two weeks- or months- go by with more witnesses who can’t answer the question and more emergencies on Wednesdays until they finally send someone else who can’t answer the questions.

Finally the department head actually shows up looks surprised at the written questions submitted weeks or even months ago and says he just got the list of what’s by then 74-some-odd questions that very morning and hasn’t checked with his staff. He says he will get back to them in two weeks... when there’s another Wednesday emergency and... well you get the picture.

When Chair Kaipo Asing asked Bryan what these “new” positions would be for and how they differed from the originally requested and rejected position requested for the failed Ka Leo program Baptiste reportedly assured him that the new hires were “different” and, presumably as soon as he could consult his PR people, he would tell them how they differed, saying “Whatever positions, we will justify them”.

That, Baptiste says, will be in three weeks- the exact time when the budget has to be passed by the Council by law, leaving no more time for his excoriation in the local press which, because the council and the Mayor have denied the budget hearings the budget funding to televise them, his PR people did not anticipate since no one had ever reported on them before.

For some reason it brings to mind the old joke about the guy who goes to an Italian restaurant every day and get two slices of Italian bread with his meal. One day he asks “eh, Luigi- why so cheap with the bread” he gets more.

The next day Luigi gives him four slices.

“Come on Luigi- more bread” says the guy so Luigi brings him more and then gives him six slices the next day. This goes on every day, eight slices, ten slices, twelve slices and the guy still wants more..

Finally Luigi sees him come in and takes a whole Italian loaf and cuts it the long way down the middle and places it on the table.

“What?” the guy says “back to the two slices?”.

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