To counteract the sour taste of opening rounds of the Republican holy war up there at the capitol this week, sugar cookies seemed like a good idea yesterday. That spoonful of sugar that helps the poison go down, your know (thanks, Mary Poppins).
Actually, I'm headed out to lunch today and thought something edible should go along with me. But blaming it on Republicans is more fun.
This, again, is my mother's recipe. I've flirted with others, but always come back to it. These are not the sort of cookies you cut from rolled-out dough into peculiar shapes to ruin with sugar sparkles and frosting. The result instead is two dozen (or less depending upon size) melt-in-your-mouth doses of several things nutritionists frown upon. If you want more, double the recipe.
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sigar
an egg slightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour
half teaspoon baking soda
half teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream better and sugar; add egg and vanilla and mix well; add the sifted dry ingredients gradually; shape dough into walnut-sized balls, roll in sugar and press down on baking sheet with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
One of my favorites among the cuts approved yesterday by the GOP-controlled House would eliminate state-funded preschool for all Iowa 4-year-olds as well as family-planning services and smoking-cessation programs --- among other things.
The key point to remember here is that Iowa doesn't really have a budget crisis thanks to several years of prudent management by Democrats --- although one easily could develop. So careful consideration of and measured cuts to many state programs really are in order. But that, of course, is not the Republican way.
Along the road to economic decline here, we've noticed an increase in the number of those pesky poor folks. That's been increasingly true in many of the smaller towns, like Chariton, where living costs tend to be lower (no jobs here either, of course). Included are many of those wicked unwed mothers and their evil spawn.
Now originally the Republicans hoped to find a way to just round them all up and drive 'em into Missouri, but when that proved impractical decided on a more gradual approach. Start by ensuring that their kids don't get a free boost toward educational excellence, then eliminate family planning programs in the hope an abstinence-only ethic of celibacy will take hold.
Finally, the elimination of smoking-cessation programs really incorporates the best of both worlds. Cigarette taxes, after all, help fuel the economy and since tobacco use seems to be higher among stressed people, including the poor, maybe more of the undesirables can be encouraged to smoke themselves to death.
Yesterday's House bill also eliminates previously designated funding for study and development of rail passenger traffic between Chicago and Iowa. Now that's another sensible thing to do from a Republican perspective. God knows who might get on one of those trains and come here--- they could be poor or, even worse, queer. Saints preserve us.