The Fed needs to keep hiking despite SVB turmoil

Last week, after hawkish testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, markets penciled in a half-point increase in interest rates following the central bank’s next policy meeting. On Friday, the run on Silicon Valley Bank and subsequent fears of a wider crisis changed many investors’ minds. Some bet that the Fed would forgo further rate hikes entirely this year.

Irwin: What’s in a word?

In the first column I wrote for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald I misused the word “kama‘aina.” I quickly learned that there are haole ways of using some Hawaiian words and the authentic Hawaiian ways of understanding those words. That lesson sticks with me. Language is a complex thing; it can provide a pathway to understanding, but it can also harm when used with bad intentions. It allows us a window into culture, however, and it empowers those who understand it and know it well.

The ghosts of 2007. Why learn from history when repeating it is so much fun?

Back in 2017, when Congress and the Trump administration were pushing a bill to weaken hard-fought banking regulations, we warned that they were playing with fire. Barely a decade had passed since the 2007-2008 economic meltdown. Blatant abuses in the financial industry had more than merited the tough banking regulations that followed. Yet, now, Congress and the Trump administration wanted to weaken regulations to placate the banking lobby. One of the key players doing the banks’ bidding was Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, who held (and still holds) a key seat on the House Financial Services Committee.

Aiming for loopholes: Biden background check plan heads in the right direction

With his announcement that the Justice Department will seek to tighten up the definitions of who counts as a gun dealer and must then conduct mandated background checks on potential customers, President Joe Biden is taking another small step in the direction of the broad reimagining of which people get guns and how in the United States.

2024? Forget it, Mike

With the 2024 presidential election a mere 590 or so days in the distance, few so-called news stories could interest me less on the upslope of 2023 than candidate kabuki at the start of a 19-month pregame show.

We can’t forget Jimmy Carter’s shameful legacy in Afghanistan

While Jimmy Carter was president, his critics claimed his foreign policy was weak and had emboldened the Soviet Union. Carter, who is 98 and recently entered home hospice treatment, is today known for having prioritized human rights during his term. Yet this view forgets that in Afghanistan, Carter launched an unnecessarily aggressive effort against the USSR that flew in the face of his rhetoric.

It’s time for full public financing in Hawaii elections

The influence of money in our elections has been a longstanding issue in Hawaii, with government corruption a top concern for voters. It is now time for lawmakers to take decisive action to address it. Establishing a fully publicly financed election program is a critical step in this process, and Hawaii has a great opportunity to make this program a reality now.

Developing accord could vastly improve oceans’ survival chances

There’s hope yet for Planet Earth. Representatives of 70 nations along with oil companies and major shipping lines have agreed in principle on a plan to stabilize oceans, limit exploitation and preserve habitats for marine life. That might not seem like such a big deal for landlocked Missourians, but there’s not a place on Earth that doesn’t depend one way or another on the health of the world’s oceans and the abundance they provide. And they are dying rapidly, threatening to take the rest of the world with them.

‘Baby Boxes’ aren’t a solution to Roe’s repeal

There was a time when U.S. parents who abandoned their children were a rarity and fit a narrow profile. Due to overwhelming cultural or social pressures, their unplanned pregnancy put them at significant risk, so they felt they had no choice but to hide the pregnancy, give birth alone and abandon the infant.

Tuckered out from lies: Tucker Carlson uses Jan. 6 footage for propaganda

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has a pretty recognizable M.O.: the operative — “journalist” was a stretch before and an almost laughable descriptor now — employs the “just asking questions” shtick and simple declarative statements to spin yarns about various political issues, all in service to cementing an often wildly misleading picture in his viewers’ minds.

Jimmy Carter was right about human rights

When I first joined the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service, I was optimistic about the positive role the United States played in the world. By the time I left not quite a decade later, I was haunted by how dangerous our shortsighted foreign policy can be.

The Island Intelligencer: Spy balloons over paradise

National excitement over balloons last month reached a level typically seen among birthday-party kids watching an animal-making clown, not in voting-age adults of a developed nation, to include such speculation on the involvement of extraterrestrials that the White House felt compelled to make public reassurances. (I wish I was making this up.)