Odds and ends

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It’s difficult to be optimistic about the price of gasoline when the nation’s energy secretary is merely hoping the price won’t hit $4 a gallon.

No concrete solutions to tackle the problem from Jennifer Granholm. Just, “We certainly hope not,” when asked on CNN if we’d see that national average price reach four bucks (at the rate we’re going, it might be $4 before this goes to press).

In reality, the Biden administration has implemented policies targeting fossil fuels and making us more dependent on foreign oil supplies. So it’s no surprise we’re paying more.

And we’re not just looking at higher gasoline prices. The Energy Information Administration forecasted that heating costs will rise as much as 54% this winter.
Secretary Granholm didn’t help her case when she laughed during an earlier interview when a Bloomberg anchor asked her about her plans to lower energy costs.

“That is hilarious,” she answered. “Would that I had the magic wand on this.”

Most Americans don’t find this so funny.

• • •

Remember those stories from years ago about the Pentagon buying $600 toilet seats and $400 hammers?

Well, the Defense Department hasn’t gotten any more efficient, according to a report from the non-partisan Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).

Perhaps as a barrier to keep small businesses from competing for Defense contracts, the

Pentagon is notorious for crafting long and cumbersome specifications in contract solicitations.

CAGW found a contract solicitation “that takes 54 pages to ask for a pipe wrench.”

“It seems highly likely that whatever the Pentagon is looking for can be found on the internet,” CAGW staffer Sean Kennedy wrote, “which takes a few clicks of a mouse rather than 54 pages of instructions.”

“… (G)iven the Pentagon’s track record,” he added, “small businesses and other companies that wish to be involved in the massive defense procurement process should not expect a more streamlined or simplified system anytime soon.”

• • •

After Aaron Rodgers said he hasn’t been vaccinated for COVID-19, one of his big sponsors, State Farm, offered hope that at least one big American company would stand up to Cancel Culture and not cut its ties with the NFL legend.

The company issued a statement Monday, saying, “We don’t support some of the statements that he (Rodgers) has made, but we respect his right to have his own personal point of view. … We recognize our customers, employees, agents and brand ambassadors come from all walks of life, with differing viewpoints on many issues.”

Bravo. We shouldn’t have to conform to our betters who always seem to know what we should do, what we should say and how we should think.

But State Farm’s actions don’t appear to match its words.

As NBC reported Monday, “State Farm commercials featuring Rodgers all but disappeared from the airwaves. He was featured in just 1.5 percent of the nearly 400 commercials for State Farm that aired Sunday, according to Apex Marketing Group, a sponsorship and analytics company.”

NBC cited a marketing consultant who, as the network reported, “said he believed it was likely that other brands that feature Rodgers in promotional material — or planned to do so in the year to come — ‘will take a step away from him,’ if only because mass-appeal corporations usually want to avoid sociopolitical firestorms.”

In “The Wizard of Oz”, the wizard gives the Cowardly Lion a medal to boost his courage. I wonder if that would work on corporate suits.

Contact Bart Adams at badams@mydailyrecord.com.

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