Thursday Clutter: Paul Manafort, Chris Sale, Joe Flacco, Benedict Cumberbatch and Good Omens, Ryan Adams, Van Halen, Taio Cruz with Ludacris, and more
(Recap) A Million Little Things Episode 15: "The Rock"

Friday Clutter: Trump, Amazon, Facebook, Boston Red Sox, Doctor Who, Frozen 2, Take On Me, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back, and a happy Friday to you all!  Any big plans for the weekend?  I'm sure we'll extend BDH's birthday celebration for a few more days.  He had a good day yesterday, and he wanted me to tell you how nice it was to hear from so many friends.  That's really his most favorite part of his birthday, so thank you to everyone who made him smile even more than usual.  Of course, we need to take a look at the headlines before we get back to the party.  BDH and Little Buddha made some coffee (which is especially helpful for those of us who woke up early today.)  Grab yourself a nice medium DD, and let's clear out some Clutter.

Donald Trump is expected to sign the government funding bill today and then declare a national emergency in order to fund his ridiculous border wall. Just to be clear, that "great deal-maker" is acting like a dictator to fund a project for a non-existent crisis that he promised Mexico was going to pay for, and that he couldn't get approved when the GOP controlled the government.   In other words, what a fraud.  Many expect the declaration to be at least temporarily blocked during the likely legal challenge.  However, there's a good chance Speaker Pelosi will force Republicans to vote on a resolution that will put them on the record as supporting or abdicating this surrender of congressional power.  If this move does survive the legal challenges, we look forward to the future Democratic president who declares national emergencies for gun control, women's health, and climate change.  Again though, Trump doesn't care one iota about any of that, he just needs something to distract from his many legal problems.

Donald Trump February 15 2019"How can I buy more time after this?"  (pic via npr.org)

After facing intense opposition, Amazon decided not to build a new headquarters in New York City after all.  Local residents and leaders like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) expressed their outrage over the $3 billion in tax breaks the company was offered to build the new office, which also would have brought issues with transportation and housing.  Amazon is still planning on building a new office in Virginia, but they apparently will not be looking for a new location to replace NYC, which makes you wonder how important the project was in the first place.

Facebook is under pressure to do something about the widespread anti-vaccine propaganda on the site. That conspiratorial nonsense is a public health danger for the country.  Given how many people get their news from Facebook these days, we are all at risk when this stuff is left unchecked.

Facebook is negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the size of penalty against the company for its past privacy abuses. No amount has been announced, but anything less than at least $1 billion is meaningless.  If the fine doesn't have any material impact on the company's bottom line, there's no incentive for Mark Zuckerberg and company to change their business practices which are based on invading their users' privacy at every opportunity.

Coca-Cola stock had its worse day in 10 years yesterday after announcing disappointing growth goals for 2019.  The stock fell 8% after the news, and the Clutter investment team has already reminded us to focus on the long-term picture.

Sorry to hear about the recent death of Mike Kamio, the founder of Boston's Anna's Taqueria restaurants. We and several friends have enjoyed many Anna's burritos over the years, and it's good to know the restaurants will stay open.  Our condolences to Kamio's family and friends.

We love everything about Mookie Betts, and he's got no reason to rush into an extension before his contract expires in two years.  The article we linked to here is right in the sense that the free agent market doesn't seem to be as expansive as it was in the past.  However, there's still no doubt Betts is going to make more money than he ever needs for the rest of his life after the 2020 season.  Everything is relative, and baseball still brings in crazy revenues, but it's not like he's "gambling" with his future.

Now that he finally had the dominant October that eluded him for years before 2018, here's hoping David Price's 4th year in Boston goes smoothly.  Being a World Series hero has to buy a guy at least a couple of months of goodwill around here, right?

Boston Red Sox radio broadcasts will have a revolving door of play-by-play commentators this year. That lack of continuity sounds jarring to us, but we watch 98% of the games on NESN anyway.

Doctor Who is getting its own virtual reality game?   That's outstanding.  We may have to look into how much these kinds of things cost.  Of course, if we ever started playing the game, that might be the last you hear from us this year. Maybe we'll just read the reviews first.

The first trailer is out for Frozen 2, and it looks pretty bad-ass from here.  What do you think?

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  We were thinking about closing things out with Weezer's recent cover of, "Take on Me."  The problem is that it just can't come close to touching the original, so here's A-ha with today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was great to see you, as always.  Enjoy the rest of your day, be good, and we'll meet up again for more fun soon.  Until next time, that's today's Clearing out the Clutter, and we are outta here.

 

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