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Celebrate Valentine's Day by cooking a meal together

Editor's note: This story originally published Feb. 10, 2012.

Valentine’s Day is February 14, and all over the world, plenty of people are panicking right now because they still haven’t made plans.

Why panic? Instead, create a romantic meal together. Throw on some music and open a bottle of wine and cook together. And, we already have the menu ready for you.

Two Ohio top chefs have provided a unique, diverse and flavorful spread of options for a romantic dinner for two, just in time for your special evening.

Jenn DiSanto, owner of Kettering’s Fresco, spends each day using high-quality seasonal ingredients to create made-to-order menu items at her upscale carryout.

Here, she offers an appetizer that puts a twist on a classic, an entree with a smoky crust and sauce, a gluten-free vegetarian side dish and a sinfully good dessert.

Margot Blondet, executive chef at Dayton’s SideBar 410, came to the United States from her native Peru in 2005, and her menu both here and at the restaurant reflect her love for her home country. Blondet serves up a love-enhancing menu bursting with the rich flavors and passion of Peru, from a heady cocktail to a super-healthy vegetarian entree and, of course, dessert.

Mango Sour

(Courtesy of Margot Blondet)

Yield: 4 servings.


12 ounces Pisco (in liquor store Peruvian Brandy made from grapes)

4 ounces simple syrup

4 ounces mango puree (peel, dice and blend)

2 ounces lime juice

1 egg white


Blend all ingredients for about 20 seconds, add five ice cubes and blend another 30 seconds.

Roasted Oysters with Creamed Spinach Topping

(Courtesy of Jenn DiSanto)

Yield: 2 servings (4 oysters per person)


8 oysters, shucked

1 tbsp. butter

1 leek (the white part only, thoroughly washed and thinly sliced)

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

3 ounces baby spinach

¼ cup heavy cream

½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 tbsp grated pecorino romano cheese

1 ounce grated sharp white cheddar

3 tbsp, bread crumbs mixed with 1 tbsp. melted butter

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups rock salt


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread 2 cups of the rock salt on a sheet pan and place shucked oysters on it and store in refrigerator until ready to roast.

2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan. Turn up the heat to medium and add the leek and shallot.

3. Once they have sweated, add the garlic and sauté for one minute.

4. Add the spinach and sauté for another minute.

5. Add the cream and fresh thyme and simmer until reduced by half.

6. Add the pecorino romano and white cheddar cheeses and stir to incorporate. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Spoon a small amount onto each oyster, dividing equally among all of the oysters.

8. Top with the bread crumb/butter mixture and roast for 10-12 minutes; topping should have a nice golden color. Remove from oven.

9. To plate: cover each small plate with rock salt. Place 4 roasted oysters on the plate and serve.

Quinoa and Cheese

(Courtesy of Margot Blondet)

Yield: 6 servings


1 cup quinoa

1 cup evaporated milk

1 pound golden Yukon potatoes

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 chopped red onion

1 teaspoon diced garlic

½ cup tomatoes juice

2 fresh chopped yellow Peruvian peppers (without veins and seeds)

1½ tablespoon chopped cilantro

2 cups shredded cheese (Edam, Gruyere or similar)

Salt & pepper


1. Boil 2 cups of water, add quinoa and bring it to a boil for about 12 minutes or until cooked.

2. Add milk, stir and put to the side.

3. In a saucepan, cook potatoes in salted water until tender. Cool down, peel and dice into 1-inch pieces.

4. Melt the butter and oil; add onions and garlic, cook until soft and golden, then stir in the tomato juice, chilies and cilantro.

5. Mix quinoa, half of shredded cheese, potatoes and onion mix together.

6. Salt and pepper to taste.

7. Transfer the mix to a butter coated baking pan, cover with the remaining cheese.

8. Preheat the oven 350 degrees and cook until the cheese is melted.


Beef Tenderloin Filet with Gorgonzola Crust and Port Wine Demi Glace

(Courtesy of Jenn DiSanto)

Yield: 2 servings


1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 cup demi glace (homemade or available at specialty stores)

1 cup excellent quality port wine

2 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces

2-6 oz. center cut filet mignon

Grape seed oil and clarified butter, for searing filets

2 oz. crumbled gorgonzola

Salt and pepper

10 spears fresh asparagus, tossed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper


1. To make the sauce, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in sauté pan. Sweat the shallot until completely soft and just starting to caramelize.

2. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

3. Add the port wine and demi glace and reduce down by half. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add the cold butter one piece at a time, whisking in slowly until it’s incorporated. Keep warm.

5. To sear the filet mignon and roast the asparagus, preheat oven to 425 degrees and heat an oven-proof skillet on medium to high heat.

6. Completely dry off your filets and season with salt and pepper.

7. Once the pan is very hot, add a small amount of grape seed oil to coat pan and then add a little bit of clarified butter.

8. Bring pan back to high temperature (but not smoking) and then add the filets. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.

9. Remove pan from the burner and top with the gorgonzola cheese.

10. Add the asparagus to the pan, transfer to the oven, and finish cooking for 3-4 more minutes for medium rare.

11. To serve, transfer the filet and asparagus to the plate and drizzle some of the sauce on top.

Suspiro de limeña

(Courtesy of Margot Blondet)

A smooth custard dessert featuring dulce de lecheand port meringue, this Peruvian staple is a beloved classic across South America.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1 can condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

1 stick of cinnamon

8 egg yolks

1½ cup sugar

1 cup of port wine

4 egg whites

Ground cinnamon


1. In a medium-size saucepan, combine milks with cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until creamy and thick. Let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Beat egg yolks, add vanilla, and gradually incorporate milk preparation, mixing well.

3. Pour into a serving bowl or individual cups.

4. In a medium-size saucepan, combine sugar and port wine. Bring to a boil and continue until syrup reaches the soft ball stage (230° F on a candy thermometer).

5. Beat egg whites until stiff. Start pouring the hot syrup into the whites and continue beating until meringue is cool and thick.

6. Top the cups with meringue and sprinkle with cinnamon.

My Funny Valentine Chocolate Tart with Hazelnut Crust

(Courtesy of Jenn DiSanto)

Yield: One 10-inch tart


6 ounces heavy cream

5 ounces milk

¼ tsp. fresh ground cardamom seeds

8 ounce great quality bittersweet chocolat, chopped

2 tbsp. sugar

1 large egg

Hazelnut Tart dough


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the tart shell until golden, and set aside to cool.

2. Combine the milk, cream and ground cardamom and bring to a simmer.

3. Remove from heat and add the Belgian chocolate and sugar. Stir until completely incorporated and smooth.

4. Beat the egg and slowly add to the chocolate mixture provided it is not too hot still. If it is still really hot, then temper the eggs first by adding a bit of the chocolate cream mixture slowly and then incorporating them all together.

5. Pour the chocolate in the blind baked tart shell and bake for 15 minutes until set.

Hazelnut Tart Dough


8 oz butter

4 oz sugar

¼ tsp salt

3 oz finely chopped peeled and toasted hazelnuts (almost to powder consistency but not to the point that they become hazelnut butter)

2 oz eggs

12 oz pastry flour (for gluten-free option, substitute gluten-free flour; however, this will produce a firmer, denser crust)


1. In a mixer using the paddle attachment, blend the butter, sugar and salt. Add the toasted hazelnuts and incorporate. Add the eggs and incorporate. Sift the pastry flour and incorporate just until evenly blended, but do not over-mix.

2. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for several hours before using. Roll out on a floured surface when ready to use and press into tart shell (Preferably with removable bottom).

3. To blind bake, poke holes in the crust with a fork. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover the crust with parchment paper or foil in the center and lay pie weights (or even dry beans) on top. Bake until the crust is partially cooked.

Hazelnut Tart Risotto Con Funghi-Porcini Mushroom and Mascarpone Risotto

(Courtesy of Jenn DiSanto)

This was provided as a vegetarian/gluten-free alternative to the steak, or a side with it.

Yield: 2 servings as main dish; 4 servings as side dish

Ingredients: ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

20-24 oz vegetable stock

¾ cup Arborio rice

2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic clove

¼ cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1/8 cup mascarpone cheese

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 cup assorted fresh wild mushrooms- sautéed in olive oil for garnish Salt and pepper to taste


1. Chop dry mushrooms into small pieces. Bring stock and chopped dry mushrooms to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium to high heat. Once hot add the olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the rice and coat with the olive oil. Add the wine and cook until it has evaporated.

3. Add one cup of the broth with the reconstituted porcini mushrooms and cook over medium heat until the broth has been absorbed by the rice Continue to add broth in small increments, letting the rice soak up the liquid completely before adding more. This will take about 25 minutes. The rice will be done when it is creamy but still has a bit of a bite to it.

4. Once the rice is done add the cheeses, thyme leaves and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

5. Top with assorted, sautéed wild mushrooms for garnish and serve. immediately.

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  • After a Republican push in Congress on a GOP health care overhaul bill melted down last Friday, there are not many opportunities for President Donald Trump to turn things around on Capitol Hill right now, as with little of his agenda in the pipeline, it is possible that the President may have to waits months for a significant legislative achievement to make it through the Congress. Here is where things stand on Capitol Hill for the Trump Administration. 1. Lots of campaign promises, but little ready for action. With the GOP health care bill seemingly now off the agenda in the Congress, where does President Trump go for a much-needed legislative victory? The answer reminds me of what I said about health care and Republicans for the last six years – they have lots of ideas, but there is no GOP consensus on what to do, or how to get it through the House and Senate. That description could apply to a number of big issues, like tax reform, budget cuts, entitlement reform, balancing the budget, building new roads and bridges, and many other issues. For a variety of reasons, there are no bills ready for action on anything major at this point on the Trump Agenda, as Mr. Trump is definitely behind where things stood eight years ago legislatively. Laws signed by Obama, at this point in 2009 · Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act· SCHIP reauthorization· DTV Delay Act· Stimulus bill· Omnibus — Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) March 26, 2017 2. The one bright spot for Trump – Neil Gorsuch. Let’s not ignore the one possible victory in the short term for the President, his choice for U.S. Supreme Court. Neil Gorsuch was untouched in last week’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but his final approval is not a slam dunk, as Democrats are threatening to filibuster the Gorsuch nomination. Still, it’s not clear that all Democrats will go along with that, and Gorsuch may get approved after an Easter break on Capitol Hill. That would certainly be a big victory for Mr. Trump and Republicans – but it may be about the only major item they will celebrate on any time soon in the halls of Congress. 'Neal Gorsuch. Neal Gorsuch. Neal Gorsuch.' My closing comment on @MeetThePress 30 years from now, God willing, Justice Gorsuch will still b — Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) March 26, 2017 3. Tax reform unlikely to produce a quick victory for Trump. While the President has made clear he wants to move on from the GOP health care debacle to tax reform, that is not an item that will fly through Congress. If you think health care reform is tricky, just wait until you get every corporate lobbyist imaginable in Washington, D.C. involved in a major tax reform effort. The last time the Congress approved a tax reform bill, it took a little over a year to get it through the House and Senate and to the President’s desk – that was the Tax Reform Act of 1986. There is a reason they call the lobby outside of the House Ways and Means Committee, “Gucci Gulch” – it will be packed with very well paid lobbyists of all stripes. Attention members of Gucci Gulch https://t.co/Oy3RQKTxjp — Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 24, 2017 4. A U.S.-Mexican border wall is no slam dunk. President Trump has asked the Congress to approve $3.1 billion so his administration can jump start work on a wall along the Mexican border, but that’s no gimme on Capitol Hill. Mr. Trump wants some of that money approved as part of budget plan for the rest of the current fiscal year; a temporary budget runs out on April 28. While that is just over a month from now, the Congress will soon be gone on a two week Easter break, and there are some fears a mini-budget showdown next month could even lead to a government shutdown. One thing that may rile up some Republicans is the need to use eminent domain to get the land along the border to build the wall. Trump likes eminent domain – many in the GOP do not. Report: Texans on Mexico border receive letters threatening eminent domain for Trump's wall. https://t.co/g0Aw80wqH7 — Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) March 17, 2017 5. What about the Trump Infrastructure plan? Through the campaign, there was a lot of talk by the President about a $1 trillion package for infrastructure spending – not all from the government, but a public-private partnership to deliver construction jobs on news roads, bridges and more. But over two months into his administration, the White House has not yet delivered a plan, and Congress is not ready with any bill as of yet. The odd part of this issue is obvious, as Republicans spent the last eight years resisting much smaller infrastructure plans offered by President Obama, mainly on the grounds of the cost. This is another major issue that’s not ready for a vote in either the House or Senate. Which committees/members of Congress are working on or drafting infrastructure legislation? — Sydney (@Sydney843) March 26, 2017 6. Trump budget likely to bring even more Capitol Hill intrigue. If you enjoyed the ebb and flow of the internal Republican troubles over health care, just wait until we get to the budget presented by President Trump. That plan is asking for $54 billion more in defense spending next year, offset by $54 billion in budget cuts from non-defense programs. Just as the GOP was divided into different camps on health care, the same is true on the budget. Some Republican lawmakers are aghast at the lack of effort by the White House to deal with the budget deficit. Others want much more in defense spending. There are many ready to resist various cuts put forward by the White House as well. Some of the specific Trump cuts that would be felt in local communities are already drawing fire, with little push back from the White House. Here’s a perfect example of budget concern coming from a red state: Trump’s budget cuts could affect Topeka, Billard airport operationshttps://t.co/hueNlp384X — CJOnline (@CJOnline) March 26, 2017 7. GOP finger pointing won’t help produce legislative wins. President Trump on Sunday used Twitter to lash out at conservative Republicans in Congress and outside conservative groups that were opposed to the health care reform bill that ran aground last week, as he singled out the Freedom Caucus for criticism. “Mark Meadows betrayed Trump and America and supported Pelosi and Democrats to protect Obamacare,” said Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), again going after the head of the House Freedom Caucus. Not only is the country divided politically, but so too is the Republican Party in Congress, and that was very obvious in the last week. If the majority party isn’t united in Washington, that makes life difficult when it comes to legislating. This tweet shows you some Republicans aren’t scared of crossing the President one bit. Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2017 I take it GOP leadership still hasn't told Trump the PP provision was a 1yr bait and switch? See page 23 of CBO https://t.co/O9cGKQeqzb https://t.co/yKVPG1UvHe — Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 26, 2017 8. It’s not just the Freedom Caucus that Trump is mad at. As more stories leak out about the President’s lobbying efforts on health care, it’s becoming apparent that he gave an earful to some Republican moderates as well. On NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) acknowledged that he had been on the receiving end of one Trump jab, as the President reportedly told Dent that he and other opponents of the health care bill were “destroying America,” as the New York Times reported that Trump told Dent his position would endanger future efforts in Congress at tax reform. One had Trump wondering aloud, “Why am I even talking to you?” when Dent said he would be a “No” vote. 9. Whither the Freedom Caucus? Whether they’ve been called the Freedom Caucus or Tea Party Republicans, those more conservative Republicans elected in the GOP since the 2010 elections have been very straightforward in the amount of change that they want to see in Congress and in the federal government – a lot. But the problem is, they’ve done little more than just be the block of votes that says, “No” – they have not been a group that’s bubbling over with legislative ideas, they have not been on the floor leading the charge on budget cuts and other government reform proposals. This latest battle over health care prompted one Republican to quit the Freedom Caucus on Sunday – Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) made clear that he wants to see legislative achievements in the future. Thx for your leadership @realDonaldTrump @SpeakerRyan Some only want to be the party of 'no' & would've voted against the 10 commandments — Ted Poe (@JudgeTedPoe) March 24, 2017 10. So, where does that leave Trump? Don’t buy into the stories that say everything is collapsing for President Trump. But don’t go whistling by the graveyard either. I wrote five weeks ago that the GOP Congress had nothing really in the legislative pipeline for Trump to sign, other than some bills that repealed individual rules from the Obama Administration. While those certainly fit into what Trump promised during the campaign, most of that is not tip-of-the-tongue kind of stuff for politicians back home. But it’s all that Republicans have right now in terms of action in Congress. Trump seemed to understand that, as he made it part of his pitch to reluctant Republicans on health care. And for now, there seem to be few opportunities for legislative success in the near term for Mr. Trump. Momentum is important in sports. And it is important in politics as well. 'Trump didn't offer any arguments for why they should support the legislation other than to give him his first legislative victory' — DennisM (@newsagg) March 25, 2017
  • After the collapse of health care reform legislation in the House on Friday, Republicans in the Congress and President Donald Trump now must decide what’s next on their respective agendas, as the GOP tries to pick up the pieces from a very public legislative failure over an issue that had been their central political focus for the last seven years. Here’s the look from Capitol Hill. 1. The first big setback for the Trump agenda. You can try to downplay what happened, but there was little positive to take from this health care debacle in the House. “I will not sugarcoat this; this is a disappointing day for us,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan after the vote was canceled. President Trump tried to blame Democrats, but that rang hollow since the White House had done no serious outreach to the other party. With this setback, it’s even more apparent how little has been done so far by the GOP Congress with respect to the Trump Agenda. Other than approving a series of plans to reverse specific regulations of the Obama Administration, no bills of any import have been passed. Infrastructure, jobs bills, tax cuts, cutting government – all of that sounds good – but so far, no action. And Trump wrote 'The Art of the Deal' — Bill Mitchell (@JerseyGuy_Bill) March 25, 2017 2. Trump allies turn their sights on Speaker Ryan. It wasn’t hard to hear the low rumbling of some supporters of President Trump, as they used the Friday health care debacle to immediately try to make Speaker Ryan the scapegoat. Ann Coulter bluntly said, “Ryan is not on Trump’s side.” Pro-Trump websites like InfoWars and Breitbart immediately attacked Ryan as well, with some conservatives urging the House Freedom Caucus to help dump Ryan, arguing that he is the perfect illustration of the Republican Establishment that needs to be excised from Swamp of Washington, D.C. Paul Ryan is not on @POTUS' side – https://t.co/QVOHBDIKiT #KilledTheBill #FunFactFriday — Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) March 24, 2017 3. Full repeal of Obamacare needs 60 votes in the Senate. If Republicans couldn’t muster a majority in the House – how are they going to get 60 votes in the Senate to really change the bulk of the Obama health law? The answer – they’re not going to do that any time soon. But full repeal was still the mantra from a number of Republicans as the House GOP health care bill went down the tubes on Friday. “I remain committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with conservative reforms,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). “Congress should take its time and pass a good bill that actually repeals ObamaCare,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). But the truth is, unless Republicans get 60 votes in the 2018 elections, an Obama health law repeal bill faces a difficult road in the Congress. I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people. I look forward to passing full repeal https://t.co/ftyj6sCw0v — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 24, 2017 4. This fight on health care is already over? It seems hard to believe that Republicans are just going to drop the issue of health care reform, especially after making it such a central part of their political message in recent years. But President Trump seemed to send the signal that he is going to focus his political capital on other issues, like tax reform. “That one is going to be fun,” the President said earlier this week, as his Treasury Secretary predicted a final tax bill would on the President’s desk by early August. The last time Congress approved major tax reform was 1986. There’s a reason it hasn’t happened in over 30 years. It is not easy. And the lobbyists of Gucci Gulch will be ready. President Trump says tax reform is the next item on his agenda https://t.co/dLNduSPgl6 — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 24, 2017 5. This wasn’t really much of an effort. The White House said the President “left everything on the field” to get a health care bill. But it doesn’t look like that at all. Go back eight years, and Democrats were just launching their 13 month effort to forge what would become known as Obamacare. It went through the spring, summer, fall, winter, and then into the next spring of 2010, before being achieved. By contrast, the GOP introduced its health care bill on March 6 and gave up on March 24. Back in 2009 and 2010, Democrats struggled to keep their side together, but managed to get 60 votes for their package in the Senate. The GOP couldn’t even get a majority in the House. There is still time to go back to the drawing board. But it takes more than 18 days of work. Remember when Republicans promised they would try to fiddle with Obamacare for a few weeks and then give up? — Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) March 24, 2017 6. Let the Republican finger pointing begin. One of the biggest immediate targets was the Freedom Caucus, the group of more conservative lawmakers which for years has been very good at holding out against the GOP leadership, but has done almost nothing in the way of substantive legislating. Some of that ire was aimed at Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the head of the Freedom Caucus. “Mark Meadows is more interested in being on the TV than solving problems,” fumed Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who then aimed some more barbs at Meadows and pointedly made sure to tell a reporter – “You can quote me on that.” Exactly right. GOP & Trump own this,but @freedomcaucus & @Heritage_Action & others caused it. They are the pie-in-the-sky caucus. https://t.co/9tMcfk45ox — Brit Hume (@brithume) March 24, 2017 7. Don’t downplay the importance of this setback. Yes, it’s just one bill. Yes, it’s not the end of the world. But this failure was a big deal. Republicans have been talking for years about how they would repeal and replace the Obama health law. Donald Trump said he would do it right away. But for years, I have been reporting – and taking flak for saying – that while the GOP had lots of ideas, they didn’t have consensus on any plan. And that was obvious as they desperately tried to stitch together deals at the last minute to keep the bill moving. It’s pretty easy to lob verbal grenades at the other party – it’s a little different to offer substantive legislation and pass it. Humiliating defeat for GOP after years to prepare. Real blow to their argument that they could govern if only given the chance. — carl hulse (@hillhulse) March 24, 2017 8. This was not a good week for President Trump. It started Monday with the FBI Director publicly confirming that not only was there an investigation of how Russia meddled in last year’s election, but also a probe of any links between the Trump Campaign and Moscow. The FBI chief also made clear there was no evidence to back up Trump’s claim that he had been wiretapped in 2016. And the NSA shot down talk that British Intelligence had helped with surveillance on Trump Tower. Meanwhile, the Trump travel and refugee ban stayed on hold the courts, despite Mr. Trump’s declaration that judges were overstepping their authority. Then the week ended with a health care thud. Tomorrow's cover: Trump forced to cancel health care vote in stunning blow https://t.co/53Po4iXVbM pic.twitter.com/lEQe5Qc22g — New York Post (@nypost) March 24, 2017
  • Unable to convince GOP lawmakers to get on board with a plan to overhaul the Obama health law, Republicans in the House decided not to even force a vote on the measure, a major setback for both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. “This bill is dead,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who played a central role in cobbling together this plan. 'This bill is dead,' House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Walden says — Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) March 24, 2017 The bill never even came to a vote, as it became obvious that Republicans had nowhere near a majority of lawmakers ready to vote for it. Democrats were more than happy to pile on the GOP legislative debacle. #ObamaCare 1 – #Trumpcare 0. — Rep. Hank Johnson (@RepHankJohnson) March 24, 2017
  • In the end, monolithic opposition by Democrats coupled with opposition from the far right doomed Friday’s vote on the American Health Care Act, the GOP bill that would have repealed and replaced the law commonly known as “Obamacare.” GOP leadership decided to pull the bill, realizing that it could not pass. The Trump administration made it clear early Friday that negotiations were over, and the president wanted an up or down vote Friday. House Speaker Paul Ryan went to the White House to report he didn’t have the votes to pass the bill; President Trump had previously said win or lose, Rep. Ryan should keep his position as Speaker. The GOP plan (AHCA) would have ended the mandate that all Americans pay for health insurance, replacing it with a plan where the federal government would give Americans tax credits, based on age. That would have saved taxpayers billions of dollars, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, but would have left  24 million additional Americans without health coverage within the next decade. Many governors, including some Republicans, also had serious concerns about the additional burdens passed on to states under the AHCA.
  • The Pawhuska woman recently accused of exposing herself to a classroom of students was arrested this week on accusations of stealing a purse.  According to the arrest report, Lacey Sponsler allegedly stole a purse while at the Broken Arrow Lanes bowling alley near 111th and Elm last Thursday.   The report states that witnesses saw her acting suspiciously and looking at people’s belongings. One witness saw her grab a purse and asked if it was hers. She said it was not.   A witness then reportedly saw Sponsler walk into the game room and return wearing different clothes. Police were called and found her in the bathroom.   Sponsler was arrested in February for doing a cartwheel in front of students at a Pawhuska school. She was not wearing anything under her dress and exposed herself to the students.