PRESIDENTIAL PIPE DREAM
ANNOUNCER: And now to the Oval Office and the President of the United States.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: " My fellow Americans, the election is over and it is time to get to work addressing the very serious challenges that face us as Americans. So today I am issuing a special invitation which, if accepted, will help move this great nation forward, beyond our gridlock and stalemate.
Today I am inviting former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to chair a special working group at Camp David. The former Presidents will preside over the deliberations and will jointly draft the final report.
I am today inviting past Presidential nominees Romney, McCain, Kerry and Gore, along with Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi and Speaker John Boehner. I am asking the group to assemble the day after Thanksgiving and stay at Camp David until they have finished their work.
I am asking this group of outstanding American leaders to draft a roadmap. It is a roadmap to our future. I charge these great patriots to establish a structure for cooperation, a general strategy for a federal budget and a vision forward for America.
While these leaders meet I am asking a consortium of academic, research and public opinion leaders to convene as resource group to propose bold and new ideas for our national leadership to consider in their deliberations.
So far the following resource people have accepted this
challenge- Amory Lovin of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Elon Musk of Space X, Economist Paul Krugman, writers Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks and Tom Friedman, John Lechleiter, CEO of Eli Lilly, the new Purdue University President Mitch Daniels and Bill Gates of the Gates Foundation.
Invitation to others in medical and technological research fields have also been issued and I await their acceptance.
I am asking these great Americans, under the leadership of our former Presidents, to gather, discuss, debate, argue, resolve and then draft a document that will help to guide this nation to a greater fulfillment of its potential and its destiny as a world leader in the 21st Century. I would ask these Americans to present to us, by the end of this calendar year, what we can call a road map to our future."
Well, we can dream can't we? Who else would you invite?AUTUMN IN THE VINES
This unique film explores the deep reaches of intimacy with an honesty and clarity. It is fully entertaining while being charming, bold, heart warming and challenging.
The Sessions moves you to the edge of uneasiness but pulls you back to a comfortable place. It has moments where you wonder if you are trespassing too deeply into human relationships and sexuality, but writer and director Ben Lewin uses this as a canvas to examine life, love and faith.
Based on the life and writing of Mark Obrien, a Berkeley writer and poet who spent most of his life in an iron lung, the film is illuminating, but not for everyone. Those who might be squeamish with dialogue about premature ejaculation, seeing a sexual surrogate work with a quadriplegic, or watching a priest wrestle with granting permission for out of marriage sex might want to avoid it. However it is a sensitive and enormously well done film.
The acting is award worthy. William Macy as the flabbergasted priest, John Hawkes as Mark O'brien and Moon Bloodgood as attendant Vera are all superb. It is Helen Hunt as the sexual surrogate who deserves something more.
Acting must be a difficult challenge under perfect conditions. But to be told your role requires full nudity would, in my world at least, make your day at the office more demanding. Hunt, as Cheryl is full of grace, compassion and complexity. A mother, wife and surrogate she helps a client discover his full manhood, but against her better intention, falls in love. How that is played, resolved and passed along is the heart tugging appeal of this film.
Hunt's portrayal of her own inner conflict, along with Macy's counseling and Hawke's exploration, failures and desire to live full, though frail adds to a very special film. It is a unique love story.
See you down the trail.