Today John Kasich took the oath of office as Ohio’s Governor.
His first order of business will be to work on the state budget and to develop proposals that will deal with a budget deficit estimated to reach as high as $8 billion. He has pledged to do so without raising taxes, in part by restructuring government and making Ohio more “business-friendly.” He will have two months to develop his budget proposals, and Ohio citizens and legislators will then have time to evaluate them before the budget must be passed.
Our new Governor faces large challenges — in developing a budget, and in other areas as well — and already the opposition is mobilizing. For example, I received an email today soliciting opposition to Governor’s Kasich’s agenda and asking for a pledge to resist his initiatives. How sad for our state! Before the new Governor even has an opportunity to begin the difficult process of governing and to develop and explain his proposals to address the challenges facing the Buckeye State, his opponents are already lining up to do battle, come what may. With that kind of reflexive reaction, is it any wonder that we have problems with gridlock in our political systems? In view of the dire problems facing Ohio, can’t the two parties at least try to work together to come up with some consensus solutions?
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Posted in Movies, tagged Colin Firth, England, Geoffrey Rush, Great Britain, Helena Bonham Carter, Movies, Nazi Germany, The King's Speech, World War II on January 10, 2011 |
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Yesterday Kish, Richard and I went to see The King’s Speech. The film is every bit as good as the critics are saying, and maybe better. It is the best movie I have seen in years.
The King’s Speech is a simple story about a man who is struggling to overcome what he considers to be a humiliating affliction — a ferocious, disabling stutter — and the connection he forms with a speech instructor who helps him to overcome it. That story is told powerfully, and well.
But the film is much more than that. It works as a historical drama because the story is set against the backdrop of the death of a king, the abdication of another, the rise of Nazi Germany, and an increasingly inevitable war that everyone is dreading. It works on a deeper level as a human story because the stutterer, a royal, has never really formed a human connection with anyone, much less a commoner from Australia who calls him Bertie and insists on being called Lionel. And it works because the performances — by Colin Firth as George VI, by Geoffrey Rush as the king’s speech instructor, by Helena Bonham Carter as the king’s wife, and by many, many others — are stunningly good. Firth is astonishingly effective in communicating the frustrations and embarrassments of a stutterer who strives bravely to overcome his condition and who, in the process, learns about himself, and Rush creates an instantly memorable character who insists on an equal relationship and, when that relationship is formed, radiates warmth and support for his pupil.
The result is an intensely moving film that packs a tremendous emotional impact. Who would have thought that an American audience would find itself pulling for a British king who must give an important speech? But pull for him we did. The King’s Speech is a movie that is well worth seeing.
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