Cokie Roberts — Still An Idiot

Media Matters has a transcript of the August 10 edition of ABC’s This Week in which Cokie Roberts continues to establish her credentials as one of the dumbest talking heads,

ROBERTS: Yeah, that he has certainly come nowhere near closing the deal. As we’ve talked about before, in this year that should be such a Democratic year given all the other indices, he [Barack Obama] is tied in the polls and stage-sided in the polls and going off this week to a vacation in Hawaii —

VICTORIA CLARKE (former Pentagon spokeswoman): Right.

ROBERTS: — does not make any sense whatsoever. I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place. He should be in Myrtle Beach, and, you know, if he’s going to take a vacation at this time.

Yeah, Hawaii…that exotic foreign place. It’s like Obama is from Mars or something to go to Hawaii for a vacation.

At least Barack Obama actually went to Hawaii. In 1994, Cokie Roberts broadcast from outside Capitol Hill on a very cold, windy day. Except she wasn’t actually there — instead, she wore a heavy coat and pretended to be outside while standing in front of a green screen which editors then inserted an image of the capitol on.

She should have been fired for that, but this is the mainstream media where truth and accuracy is at best second or third on the priority list.

How Not to Think Logically about an Animal Issue

Hawaii’s state House briefly considered a bill that would have banned the sale of cats or dogs for food in the state.

The bill never made it out of committee, and Hawaii state Rep. Alex Sonson complained that merely introducing the bill raised harmful stereotypes about Asians.

The bills supporters used a priceless form of logic — since they had no evidence about any sort of widespread eating of cats and dogs in Hawaii, it follows that eating cats and dogs must certainly be widespread.

Here, for example, is Derrick DePledge of the Advertiser Capitol Bureau, on one such supporter,

The Hawaiian Humane Society and animal rights groups wanted the Legislature to pass the bill to protect both pets and strays. “I’m disappointed,” said Renita Chang, president of the Hawai’i Dog Foundation. She said she has only heard stories about people killing dogs and cats for food, but believes it is more common than people think.

“I don’t think it’s exaggerated at all,” Chang said.

Well, of course. If you’ve only heard stories and not seen any actual evidence, it must be true. You know, just like that Irish kid who wants to set a record for receiving the most cards or the terrorists buying UPS uniforms on E-Bay. I heard stories about it somewhere — must be true.


No Law Against Eating Dogs And Cats. Associated Press, March 2005.

Bill to ban sale of cats, dogs for food dies in the House. Derrick DePledge, Advertiser Capitol Bureau, March 5, 2005.

Animal Care Foundation Runs Ads Slamming Hawaiian Humane Society

The Hawaii-based Animal Care Foundation recently placed an ad on buses in Oahu criticizing the Hawaiian Humane Society.

KHON2 reported that,

The ad shows faces of animals displayed around an incinerator. The language is harsh, the ad reads: “Tens of thousands of animals like these are torched in the Hawaiian Humane Society incinerator. Help us end the slaughter.”

The Hawaiian Humane Society responded with a statement saying,

We’re disappointed by these ads. What these ads do not tell is that we have rescued and returned, thousands upon thousands of animals each year — more than any other organization in the state.


Bus ads critical of Hawaiian Humane Society. Ron Mizutani, KHON2, January 11, 2005.

Controversial Bus Ads Run. Press Release, Animal Care Foundation, January 11, 2005.

Proposal Would Allow Federal Authorities to Hunt Invasive Species in Hawaii

Hawaii’s legislature is considering legislation that would allow federal officials to hunt feral animals in aerial hunts as part of that state’s effort to eradicate invasive species. Not surprisingly, animal rights activists are lining up to oppose the change.

Currently, the state already conducts 6-12 aerial hunts of wild pigs, goats, sheep, deer and cattle on state-owned and private land. But under state law, federal officials are not allowed to participate in such hunts unless the animals are near federal lands.

Cathy Goeggel, president of Animal Rights Hawaii, urged the legislature to defeat the measure, telling the Associated Press,

We know that Hawaii’s fragile environment faces many perils, most of them resulting from human occupation. We urge you to deny this carte blanche requested for the federal agencies to do anything they want to animals who have committed no crime and did not ask to be brought here.

But the problem here is that the invasive species that did not ask to be brought to Hawaii are causing major problems for the native species which is why environmentalists and groups like the Nature Conservancy have supported the proposal and the effort to eradicate invasive species.

Brian O’Connor notes a web page at Earlham College which does an excellent job of highlighting the problems posed by non-native species in Hawaii,

In Hawaii there is only two native species of mammals, the Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasirus cinereus semotus), and the Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi). The lack of native mammals leaves Hawaiian ecosystems very vulnerable, native species have not evolved defenses to the mammalian predators and herbivores that have been introduced in the last 300-1000 years. Therefore making native species very vulnerable to attack. Add on the warm tropical climate in Hawaii, lack of competitors and predators, and this archipelago provides an ideal habitat for nearly all introduced mammals to become established.

The full text of the bill can be read here.


Hunting bill is opposed by animal rights coalition. B. J. Reyes, Associated Press, February 9, 2004.

Hawaii HB 2495 HD1 – Animal control from aircraft

Report Title:

Animal control from aircraft


Allows federal agencies to conduct animal control activities from aircraft or conservation programs on state, county, or private land. Requires DLNR to promulgate guidelines to minimize the targeted animals’ suffering. (HB2495 HD1)


H.B. NO.



H.D. 1









SECTION 1. Section 263-10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

§263-10 Hunting from aircraft; penalty. (a) Any aeronaut or passenger who, while in flight in, across, or above the State, intentionally kills or attempts to kill any birds or animals shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of not [more] less than [$1,000,] $500, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to any authorized employee or agent of any federal agency that obtains the approval of the department of land and natural resources and the applicable landowner to conduct animal control activities from aircraft for the sole purpose of conducting conservation programs on state, county, or private land. The department of land and natural resources shall promulgate guidelines to minimize needless suffering and ensure that animals are killed quickly.

SECTION 2. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Hawaii SB 2675 — Ban on "No Pets" Clause in Rental Contracts

Report Title:

Real Property Transactions; Animal Companions


Includes discrimination against individuals who live with an animal as a discriminatory practice in real property transactions.


S.B. NO.









relating to discrimination in real property transactions.



SECTION 1. The legislature finds that one out of every seven people in Hawaii have an animal as a companion or as part of their ohana. Yet about one hundred thousand animal companions are killed each year, many because their owners are forced to surrender their animal companions because their housing does not permit them. Courts are being clogged with eviction proceedings for those who have animals, and many families are homeless from those evictions. All these factors contribute to millions of taxpayer dollars that could be saved.

The purpose of the Act is to include discrimination against individuals who live with an animal as a discriminatory practice in real property transactions.

SECTION 2. Section 515-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

§515-3 Discriminatory practices. It is a discriminatory practice for an owner or any other person engaging in a real estate transaction, or for a real estate broker or salesperson, because of race, sex, color, religion, marital status, familial status, ancestry, disability, age, animal companion status, or HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection:

(1) To refuse to engage in a real estate transaction with a person;

(2) To discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of a real estate transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith;

(3) To refuse to receive or to fail to transmit a bona fide offer to engage in a real estate transaction from a person;

(4) To refuse to negotiate for a real estate transaction with a person;

(5) To represent to a person that real property is not available for inspection, sale, rental, or lease when in fact it is so available, or to fail to bring a property listing to the person’s attention, or to refuse to permit the person to inspect real property, or to steer a person seeking to engage in a real estate transaction;

(6) To print, circulate, post, or mail, or cause to be so published a statement, advertisement, or sign, or to use a form of application for a real estate transaction, or to make a record or inquiry in connection with a prospective real estate transaction, which indicates, directly or indirectly, an intent to make a limitation, specification, or discrimination with respect thereto;

(7) To offer, solicit, accept, use, or retain a listing of real property with the understanding that a person may be discriminated against in a real estate transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith;

(8) To refuse to engage in a real estate transaction with a person or to deny equal opportunity to use and enjoy a housing accommodation due to a disability because the person uses the services of a guide dog, signal dog, or service animal; provided that reasonable restrictions or prohibitions may be imposed regarding excessive noise or other problems caused by those animals. For the purposes of this paragraph:

“Animal companion status” means the status of a human who lives with an animal;

”Blind” shall be as defined in section 235-1;

”Deaf” shall be as defined in section 235-1;

”Guide dog” means any dog individually trained by a licensed guide dog trainer for guiding a blind person by means of a harness attached to the dog and a rigid handle grasped by the person;

”Reasonable restriction” shall not include any restriction that allows any owner or person to refuse to negotiate or refuse to engage in a real estate transaction; provided that as used in this paragraph, the “reasonableness” of a restriction shall be examined by giving due consideration to the needs of a reasonable prudent person in the same or similar circumstances. Depending on the circumstances, a “reasonable restriction” may require the owner of the animal companion, service animal, guide dog, or signal dog to comply with one or more of the following:

(A) Observe applicable laws including leash laws and pick-up laws;

(B) Assume responsibility for damage caused by the [dog;] animal; or

(C) Have the housing unit cleaned upon vacating by fumigation, deodorizing, professional carpet cleaning, or other method appropriate under the circumstances.

The foregoing list is illustrative only, and neither exhaustive nor mandatory;

”Service animal” means any animal that is trained to provide those life activities limited by the disability of the person;

”Signal dog” means any dog that is trained to alert a deaf person to intruders or sounds;

(9) To solicit or require as a condition of engaging in a real estate transaction that the buyer, renter, or lessee be tested for human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV), the causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS);

(10) To refuse to permit, at the expense of a person with a disability, reasonable modifications to existing premises occupied or to be occupied by the person if modifications may be necessary to afford the person full enjoyment of the premises. A real estate broker or salesperson, where it is reasonable to do so, may condition permission for a modification on the person agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted;

(11) To refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when the accommodations may be necessary to afford a person with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy a housing accommodation;

(12) In connection with the design and construction of covered multifamily housing accommodations for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, to fail to design and construct housing accommodations in such a manner that:

(A) The housing accommodations have at least one accessible entrance, unless it is impractical to do so because of the terrain or unusual characteristics of the site; and

(B) With respect to housing accommodations with an accessible building entrance:

(i) The public use and common use portions of the housing accommodations are accessible to and usable by disabled persons;

(ii) Doors allow passage by persons in wheelchairs; and

(iii) All premises within covered multifamily housing accommodations contain an accessible route into and through the housing accommodations; light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls are in accessible locations; reinforcements in the bathroom walls allow installation of grab bars; and kitchens and bathrooms are accessible by wheelchair; or

(13) To discriminate against or deny a person access to, or membership or participation in any multiple listing service, real estate broker’s organization, or other service, organization, or facility involved either directly or indirectly in real estate transactions, or to discriminate against any person in the terms or conditions of such access, membership, or participation.”

SECTION 3. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.