- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 23, 2011

REAGAN COMFORT FOOD

As a complex week full of discord looms, consider “President Reagan’s Favorite Macaroni and Cheese,” a recipe shared by “Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Washington, D.C., Wife of the President” in a spiral-bound community cookbook published by the American Cancer Society’s Northern Virginia division in 1983. Here’s the recipe for six people, to be baked at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes; the directions are verbatim from “VIP Party Cookbook,” a most pleasant volume from another era:

“1/2 lb. pound macaroni, 1 tsp. butter, 1 egg, beaten; 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. dry mustard, 3 C. grated cheese, sharp; 1 C milk”

“Boil macaroni in water until tender and drain thoroughly. Stir in butter and egg. Mix mustard and salt with 1 tablespoon hot water and add to milk. Add cheese leaving enough to sprinkle on top. Pour into buttered casserole, add milk, sprinkle with cheese. Bake until custard is set and top is crusty.”

REASSURANCE

“Obama Says U.S. Not Deserting Iraq: ‘We Will Continue to Follow You on Twitter.’ ” (Parody headline from comedian Andy Borowitz).

PERRY PICKING

A coy aside about President Obama’s birth certificate earned Texas Gov. Rick Perry a lot of goofy, damning press, suggesting, among other things, that the Republican presidential hopeful “raises the birther flap” (New York Times), “bangs the birther drum” (Huffington Post) or “thinks Barack Obama’s birth certificate is fake” (the Daily Telegraph). Here’s what Mr. Perry actually said in “Rick Perry Hates to Lose: Can He Win Over America?” a wide-ranging interview in Parade magazine on Sunday (www.parade.com):

“Governor, do you believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States?” asked correspondent Lynn Sherr.

“I have no reason to think otherwise,” Mr. Perry replied, later adding, “I don’t have any idea. It doesn’t matter. He’s the President of the United States. He’s elected. Its a distractive issue.”

A HIGHER AUTHORITY

The Occupy Wall Street crowd may get some unexpected support. On Monday, the Vatican is expected to release a document on global financial reform prepared by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, translated in four languages, “with a view toward a general public authority.”

The ideas refer back to a 1963 papal encyclical that suggested, “The universal common good presents us with problems, which are worldwide in their dimensions; problems, therefore, which cannot be solved except by a public authority with power, organization and means co-extensive with these problems, and with a worldwide sphere of activity.”

Pope Benedict XVI already has said there was “an urgent need of a true world political authority.” Some U.S. Catholic scholars and priests now predict the document will offer a “stark contrast” to tenets favored by conservative politicians, and ultimately shore up the protesters.

“While conservative leaders and several presidential candidates want to eviscerate financial reform, the Vatican has sent a powerful message that prudent regulation of our financial system is a moral priority,” says University of Dayton theologian Vincent J. Miller.

“I expect Catholic neo-cons who usually present themselves as the defenders of orthodoxy will ignore or scramble to defuse this timely teaching. It’s clear the Vatican stands with the Occupy Wall Street protesters and others struggling to return ethics and good governance to a financial sector grown out of control after 30 years of deregulation,” he notes.

OCCUPADO

The chanting, the drums, the 1960s-style grunge of it all. But wait. The Occupy Wall Streeters’ biggest problem is not staying tidy or out of jail. They have “no exit strategy,” says Instapundit and Pajamas Media contributor Glenn Reynolds.

“You come, you conquer, and then time passes, protesters get dirty and ugly, internal divisions crack them up, the nearby residents get disgusted, the local businesses get mad, and then what? Theres isnt going to be a revolution. Its not Egypt. In the end, theyll have to break up and go home. Or hope the cops come in and bust them up so they can end with a bang,” Mr. Reynolds observes.

The defanged “occupy movement” has devolved into “a pathetic and totally non-scary embarrassment for the Democrats,” he adds. “Republicans are now hoping theyll stay in place until November of 2012.”

HOOSIERAMA

“While surveying the current choices for our next governor, I do not see anyone that has an understanding of what daily life is like for many Hoosiers, nor anyone who appears to understand the harm that misguided government policies are doing to our communities. It is obvious that career politicians are not the answer, because they are often the problem.”

So says CBS “Survivor” star Rubert Boneham, in sharing his reasons for entering the Indiana gubernatorial race. The hulky, bearded Libertarian announced he would run for the office Saturday, during a free pizza party/tie-dying workshop at an American Legion Post in Indianapolis.

Mr. Boneham’s competition to replace term-limited Gov. Mitch Daniels includes Republican Rep. Mike Pence and former Democratic Indiana House Speaker John Gregg.

POLL DU JOUR

• 63 percent of Americans “don’t know enough” about the Occupy Wall Street movement to approve or disapprove its goals.

• 56 percent are following the story “closely.”

• 52 percent say they are neither a supporter of opponent of the movement.

• 55 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

• 26 percent overall support the movement.

• 42 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of Republicans agree.

• 19 percent oppose Occupy Wall Street.

• 34 percent of Republicans and 8 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A USA Today/Gallup Poll of 1,026 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 15 and 16.

Murmurs, asides, historic recipes to jharper@washingtontimes.com