We congratulate Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta for receiving the Medal of Honor yesterday at the White House. Giunta received the nation’s highest military award for “uncommon valor” displayed in combat in Afghanistan in 2007.
Sgt. Giunta is a native of Hiawatha, Iowa, a town of 6,000 near Cedar Rapids.
Sgt. Giunta’s unit was ambushed and he charged directly into enemy fire to assist a fallen comrade and to rescue another who had been captured. “Every single person I was with would have done what I did, possibly even better, but they were doing other things,” Sgt. Giunta told the Des Moines Register.
• Speaking of Iowa, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in the state Tuesday. He said he was making arrangements so that he could launch his own bid for the presidency.
Gingrich told the Register that the nation is “at the precipice of a very large fundamental change” that he would like to lead. “And if I was convinced we could launch a movement on that scale, then I think being the candidate who articulates that movement would be overwhelmingly attractive,” Gingrich said.
• The New York Times made a very big deal about dairy checkoff money being used to promote, of all things!, cheese. What will the paper of record say now that pork checkoff money is being used to promote, of all things, McRibs?
Yes, Brownfield reports that the national pork checkoff was “instrumental in convincing McDonald’s to do a nationwide roll-put of the McRib sandwich this fall.” McDonald’s had planned on re-releasing the McRib regionally, but the National Pork Board helped move the company to make the McRib a national meal.
“We’re really excited about it because we think that it’s going to move some pork product and people are going to enjoy that pork at McDonald’s,” said Pork Board president Gene Nemechek, “and we think it’s a great way for us to just have more product moving to the consumer.”
We await the New York Times expose on this scandal!
• DTN’s Chris Clayton reports that new commercial plants producing cellulosic ethanol haven’t opened as support for this kind of biofuel appeas to be waning.
“The Renewable Fuels Standard hasn’t driven cellulosic production even though as much as 21 billion gallons are expected to come from cellulosic and advanced biofuels by the year 2022,” Clayton writes. “Three years ago, EPA originally had a target that the RFS would require 250 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2011, but EPA now projects the cellulosic use would range somewhere between 6.5 million to 25 million gallons.”