- The Washington Times
Monday, December 20, 2021

NEWS AND OPINION:

Americans endured higher prices for their Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks ago due to the ever-increasing prices for the feast — which experts blamed on President Biden and the White House.

Well, take a deep breath, and acknowledge that the proverbial “Bidenflation” is also affecting the price of Christmas dinner, according to Mintec, a London- and New York City-based data and analytics group focused on food and manufacturing brands.


“Mintec’s U.S. Christmas Dinner Index indicated an upward movement in the run-up to Christmas amid rising key commodity prices,” the organization says, deeming the cost a “record high.”

U.S. consumers will be paying 15.4% more than they did a year ago for the typical items so dear to the hearts of holiday diners. That includes a 14.2% rise in the price of such primary meal items such as turkey, pork, potatoes and carrots plus a 35.8% increase in the cost of dessert ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, eggs and such spices as ginger.

And by the way, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of all alcoholic beverages has increased by 1% compared to a year ago.

Just call it “Booze-flation,” advised the Los Angeles Times in its coverage of the annoying phenomenon.

“Americans aren’t merry about the skyrocketing price of Christmas under Bidenflation,” observes Tommy Pigott, rapid response director for Republican National Committee — who notes that lower income families will feel the pinch the most over the holidays.

“Biden is not empowering workers, he is making all Americans poorer,” Mr. Pigott adds.

HERE COMES ‘SANTA MANCHIN’

Sen. Joe Manchin III has won some friends after effectively killing President Biden’s beloved trillion-dollar “Build Back Better” spending plan. The New York Post praises “the common sense — and the courage” of the West Virginia Democrat in his efforts to push back against the “BBB” behemoth bill.

“Democrats and the media will portray Manchin as the Grinch, but he’s done them a favor. The American people elected Joe Biden for a return to normalcy, less of the Donald Trump Twitter dramas and an end to COVID. Biden instead took a razor-thin House majority and a tied Senate as an excuse to push through the largest expansion of social welfare since the New Deal,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

“Americans see the result: COVID flaring up again, inflation eating into their earnings, a president either absent or incomprehensible. Passing BBB would have made it even worse. Perhaps this will move the Biden administration to focus less on pie in the sky and more on what people really need in 2022,” the Post said.

“So: A toast to Santa Manchin for giving us peace of mind this holiday season,” the editorial concluded.

‘A DANGEROUS HAIL MARY’

Unsure about a certain piece of voting-rights legislation that is so heavily favored by the Democratic Party?

“The Freedom to Vote Act is full of unconstitutional provisions. It commandeers the broad authority to regulate all elections — congressional and presidential. The latter is an expansion of federal power that is clearly incompatible with the plain text of the Constitution, which vests state lawmakers — not Congress — with the manner of choosing presidential electors. Likewise, it does considerable violence to the First Amendment by requiring ‘super PACs, 501(c)(4) groups, and other organizations spending money in elections to disclose donors,’ an unambiguous infringement of political speech,” writes David Catron, a columnist for The American Spectator.

“Our election system isn’t in peril, but the Democrats need a pretext to change the rules,” he says.

“The For the People Act is obviously not an attempt to ‘save democracy.’ It is a dangerous Hail Mary whose obvious purpose is to save the Democrats from the consequences of their bad policies and worse leadership. It would unleash an avalanche of constitutional challenges just as we begin an election cycle, produce even more chaos at the ballot box than the voters experienced in 2020, and further undermine the public’s confidence in the overall election system. This isn’t what the country needs at this moment. If the Democrats really want to save democracy, they will stop meddling with it — right now,” Mr. Catron advises.

A SUCCESSFUL MISSION

A round of applause, please, for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk, which has just returned to its home port of Key West, Florida, after a “groundbreaking” 45-day deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

“The Mohawk team interdicted a low-profile drug smuggling vessel with approximately 3,200 pounds of cocaine aboard and apprehended three suspected narcotics smugglers. These low-profile vessels are purpose-built to evade detection and transport illicit contraband across thousand-mile stretches of ocean. The drugs, worth more than $60 million, were seized in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador,” a Coast Guard report said.

“While in theater, Mohawk also aided in stopping 17 suspected drug smugglers, contributing directly to U.S. Southern Command objectives to combat transnational criminal organizations,” it noted.

In addition, the 270-foot Famous-class cutter also anchored in the Galapagos Islands, the first of its class to do so.

POLL DU JOUR

• 81% of U.S. adults are concerned with the quality of academic education today.

• 81% say students should be exposed for a range of views and values.

• 74% schools say it is not appropriate for schools to survey students and collect data about their sexual experiences, sexual orientation and gender identity.

• 72% agree that parents should be able to request the curriculum being taught to their children.

• 67% say parents should be able to opt their children out of a curriculum they deem harmful or inappropriate.

• 66% say schools have become more political in the last two years.

• 59% are concerned with what their children are learning.

SOURCE: A Free to Learn Coalition poll of 1,200 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 3 and released Monday. The source is a nonpartisan educational advocacy organization.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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