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Inside the Beltway: Republican diagnosis on Obamacare


First lady Michelle Obama has given Family Circle a cookie recipe, as has Ann Romney, following a tradition going back to 1992.

Obamacare has a big date with destiny, drama and, oh yes, the Supreme Court on Thursday. The odds are good that Democrats will repeat their “false claim” that Republicans have no alternatives to President Obama’s health care law. So says the Republican Study Committee, which intends to make its case not with a 2,700-page bill, but a 27-page summary. The terse outline showcases 200 pieces of health care legislation introduced in the past 18 months by members of the committee, chaired, incidentally, by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

His impression of the White House version of health care? “Unworkable, unpopular, and - I believe - unconstitutional,” he says.

“Once Obamacare is repealed or struck down, we owe it to Americans to take the time to get health care reform right. The simple, common sense ideas proposed by RSC members should guide the way,” communications director Brian Straessle tells Inside the Beltway,

See the compact summary, titled “RSC Members’ Health Care Initiatives in the 112th Congress” at the group’s website (; check the Policy Analysis heading, under 2012 Policy Briefs.


Why create a practical policy paper when a public petition is so much more fun? Here’s one issued Tuesday by Mike Ryan, policy director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:

“Tell Barack: I support Obamacare. The Supreme Court is set to rule on President Obama’s Health Care Reform law this week. Your support helped us pass historic reform that is already benefiting millions of Americans. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision this week, we need to show that we’re with the President on this. If you agree that access to health care should always be a right - not a privilege - sign this petition to stand with President Obama.”


“All Socialists are either dumb or romantic.”

(William F. Buckley Jr., during an episode of “Firing Line” on PBS, July 7, 1990)


The cookie wars have commenced again. First lady Michelle Obama and Ann Romney have submitted their respective recipes to Family Circle magazine’s official Presidential Cookie Bake-Off, a contest that has been around since 1992, when Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton were the initial competitors . Political ingredients to consider? The bake-off winner is decided by popular vote, and all but one winner has ended up in the White House.

Mrs. Romney’s recipe for M&M cookies will be in Thursday’s Beltway column. Here’s Mrs. Obama’s recipe for Mama Kaye’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, courtesy of Family Circle:

Ingredients: 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened; 1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces); 2 cups chopped walnuts.

Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat in flour mixture.

By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yields 5 dozen.


The young and beautiful of Tinseltown still love President Obama, apparently. More than 40 celebrities and entertainment industry executives will appear at a “Gen44” fundraiser on Friday at the Soho House on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, an exclusive venue co-owned by former President Bill Clinton and his pal Ron Burkle. Among the glittering guests, according to Hollywood Reporter correspondent Tina Daunt: “The Avengers” star Clark Gregg, actor Donovan Leitch and “One Tree Hill” actress Sophia Bush.

“The president’s people will be pitching young Hollywood on the importance of its support as the campaign moves into its most intensely competitive months,” Ms. Daunt reports, noting that organizers insist Mr. Obama is not slated to attend and that the $2,500-per-person soiree is a “grass-roots effort.”


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Jennifer Harper

To read Jennifer Harper’s Inside the Beltway columns, click here. Contact her at

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