NEWS AND OPINION:
An Inside the Beltway reader offers a timely personal report on the worrisome and sudden effects of inflation, at least in the oil, gas and car realm.
“I change my own oil,” he said in a statement, noting that he drives a pickup truck.
“I want to share the prices here. I went down to my neighborhood auto parts store on Saturday and got a 5-quart container of 5W30 oil. It was $49.49. I also got an extra quart of oil, which was $12.29. The oil filter was $17.76,” he said.
His reaction over those prices was not disgust or anger. “No. It was this. Really? Seriously?” the reader said.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index indicates that, indeed, the price of motor oil, coolants and fluids for cars is up by 16.5% versus this time last year, and gasoline is up by 18% in the same period.
There has also been some encounters with inflation trends here at the Inside the Beltway column, where your columnist recently found that a single head of iceberg lettuce at a local grocery store was rather suddenly priced at $3. And yes, the price of lettuce, the Consumer Price Index reveals, has risen by 15.7% since last year.
I went with the cabbage.
THE FARM BUREAU HAS A SAY
The American Farm Bureau has sent a candid letter to President Biden.
“On behalf of our nearly six million Farm Bureau member families from across the country, I am writing to encourage you and your administration to work with industry and Congress to address high energy costs, especially diesel prices, that are impacting all Americans,” wrote Zippy Duvall, a third-generation farmer from Georgia who has been president of the organization since 2016.
“Our nation’s food supply is driven by diesel. Every input that arrives on our farms and ranches is transported by a diesel engine whether that is by boat or barge, rail or truck. Our crops are planted by diesel engines and harvested by diesel engines. High diesel prices are severely impacting our farmers and ranchers, causing increased costs to consumers, and adding to food insecurity,” Mr. Duvall advised the president.
“While geopolitical challenges, worldwide demand for distillates, and seasonality play a role in energy supply and prices, so does public policy. That is why the American Farm Bureau supports increased domestic energy production, including more drilling, extraction and refining of our energy resources. By displacing imported petroleum, increased domestic production will enhance U.S. security and bring more supply online, reducing costs to all Americans,” he said.
Copies were sent to Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Energy, Interior and Agriculture departments.
The bureau, meanwhile, will soon issue its annual report on how much the typical Thanksgiving dinner will cost this year — and has already warned that families will pay “record-high prices” for turkey.
THE TRUMP/DESANTIS SPAT
A cross-section of the news media was only too happy to cover former President Donald Trump‘s jab at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — made just 72 hours before the midterm election polls open Tuesday. Mr. Trump called the governor “Ron DeSanctimonious” during a rally Saturday.
Among the many press mentions in the last 24 hours:
“Right-Wingers turn on Trump for mocking DeSantis” (The Daily Beast); “Trump attacks DeSantis as he hints again at a presidential run” (Bloomberg); “Some conservatives turn on Trump for attacking Ron DeSantis ahead of midterms: ‘What an idiot’” (Fox News); “Trump-DeSantis rivalry overshadows last days of midterm election campaigning in Florida” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune); “Trump hates DeSantis for the offense of being in the way” (National Review); and “With competing Florida rallies Sunday, Trump and DeSantis preview a potential GOP presidential primary showdown” (CNN).
A NEIGHBORHOOD BATTLE PLAN
One veteran Republican has some simple advice for voters — best employed immediately.
“It’s GOTV time. Yes, get out the vote, folks,” advises Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, an a brief essay shared with Inside the Beltway,
“If you want a check and balance on the woke, progressive left Democrats’ agenda, we need to get conservatives, Republicans, and Independents to vote for normalcy,” he writes.
“The far-left controls today’s Democratic Party. President Biden is blindly and loyally going along. With a Republican controlled Congress, Biden will be ‘forced’ to negotiate and look for consensus — versus pushing more of the crazy policies Democrats forced on America,” he continued.
“Vote. Bring your friends and family. Grab a neighbor. Forget the polls being reported in the new media. It’s close. Every vote will make a difference,” Mr. Anuzis advises.
QUESTION OF THE MOMENT
“Seriously, can anyone name a well-run Democratic city?” asks Douglas Murray, a senior fellow at National Review Institute, in an op-ed for the New York Post.
“As we draw closer to polling day, there is really only one question anyone needs to have in their head. Are things better or worse than when America last went to the polls? The problem is that you can answer that differently state by state. A lot of people who fled California in the last couple of years, for instance, can say that their lives have improved by moving to Tennessee, Florida or Texas,” Mr. Murray wrote.
“So let me narrow the question down a bit. Can anybody in any Democratic-run city honestly say that their lives — and city — have improved over the last couple of years?” he asked.
POLL DU JOUR
• 68% of registered U.S. voters say they made up their mind about Tuesday’s Congressional elections “before September.”
• 10% said they made up their mind about their choice “in September.”
• 8% decided “in October.”
• 7% say they “still might change their mind.”
• 3% made up their mind “last week,” 2% “in the last few days.”
• 2% are still “not sure.”
SOURCE: An NBC News poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters conducted Nov. 3-5.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.