Friday, February 17, 2012

Perhaps Gov. Kasich could use an editor

To be fair to Gov. John Kasich, work commitments kept me from listening to his state of the state address this week while the deadline for this column was pressing me to move quickly on some kind of analysis.

So, here it goes.

Kasich’s speech was long – like 82 minutes long. Whew. Ever sit through an 82-minute speech? I won’t say I’d rather have a root canal, but a speech that long would at least get me thinking about options.

I did listen to some of the legislators’ analyses of his speech afterward on the local PBS station, and, of course, they were split along party lines. Democrats panned it; Republicans thought it was terrific.

What was missing from the speech apparently was the rumored announcement of a half-billion-dollar private sector initiative in Harrison County that is/was supposed to be connected to the oil/gas rush under way in eastern Ohio.

That’s not to say something like that won’t happen, but the best Kasich could do as far as any announcement was a $10 million broadband initiative.

The Columbus Dispatch, quoting a news release from the Ohio Board of Regents, said the state will invest approximately $10 million through a recent agreement with Cisco and Juniper to “harness new innovative technology that will, in essence, ‘open the faucet’ of Ohio’s current broadband infrastructure, over 1,800 miles of fiber.”

My guess is that little factoid means absolutely nothing to most Ohioans.

Kasich, who a year ago rammed through the partisan Senate Bill 5 – the anti-collective bargaining bill – also scolded lawmakers for being too partisan. Democrats were not impressed.

Here’s a short state of the state speech you will never hear:

“Our schools are struggling, our urban neighborhoods are decaying, our infrastructure is crumbling, and we could use a lot more jobs.

“My fellow Ohioans, we need to win the lottery.”

It appears that Mitt Romney is the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination for president. Whether he is moderate enough to defeat Barack Obama is debatable and there is a lot of time between now and the general election. A lot could happen – like a big spike in gasoline prices.

Nevertheless, I’m going to try and remain open-minded about Obama and Romney and listen to what they have to say. But what I don’t understand is why a guy who made $24.6 million in 2010 wants to be president. I have trouble wrapping my arms around that fact. How does he relate?

Australian author Bronnie Ware, who cared for the terminally ill for many years, is attracting interest with her book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing.” She’s also written articles on the subject, including one for AARP.

Here’s Ware’s list of regrets voiced by those on their deathbeds:

1.       I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2.       I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3.       I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4.       I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5.       I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Seems straightforward enough, although one of my younger friends thought they were a little cheesy. Perhaps he hasn’t been to the funeral home as often as I have over the last few months. Too many of the folks I grew up with, worked with or knew in some way are passing on.

And when that happens, it causes an immediate rethinking of one’s own life, hence the popularity of compiling a bucket list.

That got me thinking about Mitt Romney again. Is being president on his bucket list? It would seem so, wouldn’t it?

Keep an open mind, Dick. Open mind, open mind…

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