Tuesday Clutter: Trump, Coronavirus, Michelle Obama Documentary, NBA, New England Patriots, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Avengers, Bastille, and more
Thursday Clutter: Trump, Mike Pence, Google v. Zoom, Elon Musk, NBA, Gronk, Parks and Recreation, Guns N' Roses, the Eagles, and more

Wednesday Clutter: Coronavirus, Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, JetBlue, Starbucks, Baseball Notes, Aaron Rodgers, Beastie Boys, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back!  How are you? I'm moving slowly so far, but it's for a good reason.   I had a great time spreading the compost around the garden yesterday.  It was a blast to be outside in nice weather, and not having to worry about wearing a mask or being around people, while I helped the plants get ready for the summer.  Not sure why, but I seemed to be getting it done faster than usual, and at one point, I thought I might actually be able to finish it all in one day.  That was incorrect. 

I called it quits after about seven hours (including a lunch break) and was crippled for the rest of the day.  We're talking head to toe pain.  BDH and Little Buddha suggested going to bed early, and that (plus some ibuprofen) helped.  I'm still sore and stiff but ready to tackle the final part of the pile when we're done here.  First, let's check out the headlines.  The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, and let's clear out some Wednesday Clutter.

The numbers continue to worsen.  There are now over one million known coronavirus cases in the United States, and more than 58,000 people in this country have died from virus so far.  Of course, these numbers are likely significantly smaller than the actual statistics,  largely due to inadequate testing, but Donald Trump still thinks he deserves a prize.

A new poll shows Americans still strongly support stay-at-home orders, even if they harm the economy.  We know the GOP doesn't care about 99% of the country.  However, a good chunk of Republican voters are in favor of these measures, so conservative politicians may want to think about their own self-interests, even if the common good doesn't mean anything to them.

Dr. Fauci warned yesterday that this fall and winter could be bad if we don't have an appropriate response structure in place for the coronavirus.   This echos comments made by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield a week ago.  We'd be much less concerned about that if anyone besides the current clown show was occupying the White House.  Sadly, we're expecting the ineptness to continue without pause until Donald Trump is finally removed from office. 

Shame on Mike Pence for refusing to wear a face mask while visiting the Mayo Clinic yesterday, which is a violation of the medical facility's policies.  The arrogance is infuriating.  Pence wouldn't dream of contradicting his lord and master Donald Trump, who refuses to wear a mask in public.  that means Pence decided instead to put the health and safety of everyone at the clinic at risk, instead of offending the Great Pumpkin.  This administration is garbage from top to bottom.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's new focus is giving companies legal immunity for any actions they take during the pandemic.  Force your employees to come back to an unsafe work environment?  McConnell thinks that's fine.  It's an abhorrent idea, which should be DOA in the House.  This isn't hard - rather than give them cover, the government should force companies to protect their workers.  Let this be another reminder that anyone who claims there's no difference between the two political parties is foolish.

Mitch McConnell April 29 2020Mitch McConnell doesn't care if you get sick or die at work.  (pic via abcnews.go.com)

The House will not return to Washington next week, based on advice from their physician.  It makes sense, considering the number of elderly members of Congress, many of whom also likely have underlying health conditions.  It's bizarre that Congress hasn't worked out a way to do remote voting in this day and age.  Even before the pandemic struck, it would have been prudent planning, but apparently that's too much of a challenge.   Meanwhile, the Senate is gung-ho about meeting in person on Monday, because nothing will stop Mitch McConnell from confirming more conservative appointments and finding other ways to damage this country. 

As expected, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker extended his stay-at-home order to May 18 yesterday, while the state continues to battle the coronavirus surge.  The order was set to expire on May 4, so the only good thing we take from this is that we were assuming he'd stretch it out another month, not two weeks.  Maybe that's a sign for optimism, or maybe we'll just get another extension around the 18th.

Good for Andrew Yang and others who are suing the New York Board of Elections after the state scrapped their June 23 presidential primary because of coronavirus concerns.  That cancellation means Joe Biden will receive all of NY's delegates without challenge.  There's no reason that the primary couldn't have allowed mail-in ballots.  Restricting democracy is the GOP's game, and Democrats shouldn't be joining the campaign against voting.  The move does nothing but stir up more bad will towards Biden, who would have won anyway. 

Will the courts finally force former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before Congress about Donald Trump's wrongdoing?  The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals seems inclined to rule that way, fearing that the House would have to resort to extreme measures to enforce subpoenas if executive branch employees can hide behind blanket claims of privilege.  We suspect that Trump is once again counting on his Supreme Court puppets to save him if this ruling goes against him.

Representative Justin Amash (I-Michigan) formed an exploratory committee for president as a Libertarian yesterday.  Not sure how many votes the conservative Rep. Amash would draw, but we tend to think whatever support he has comes more from Trump supporters than Biden's base.

Good for JetBlue for requiring everyone on its planes, including passengers, to wear face masks.  Other airlines should follow suit.  While we can't imagine getting on a flight right now in the first place, masks should be required for everyone on board, as they occupy cramped quarters with a recycled air flow. 

Starbucks said their global sales dropped 10% in the first quarter because of the coronavirus pandemic, and they expect the second quarter numbers to be worse.  However, the company also thinks their numbers in China will improve by September, which seems like a realistic timetable.  We were surprised to see the local Starbucks by Clutter Headquarters closed right at the start of the quarantine.  All of the DD's in the area still seem to be operating. 

Major League Baseball is apparently working on another new plan to play any games this year.  The latest idea calls for the leagues to be abolished for 2020 and all 30 teams divided into three divisions, with teams playing only division rivals, which would limit the need for travel.  That would mean the Boston Red Sox would deal with teams like the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Miami Marlins, in addition to their usual AL East competitors.  The games would hopefully start by the beginning of July, and at least some of them would be played at home ballparks, but with no fans.  We'll see how long this plan lasts.  We'd love to watch some baseball as soon as possible, but there are all of the usual disclaimers about how to do it safely.  It would be nice to think that could be figured out by July, but we wouldn't bet on it.

This year's Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will likely be postponed until 2021 because of coronavirus-related concerns.  Disappointing, but it makes sense.  You can't have a crowd gathering like that right now, and there will also be a lot of older individuals in the audience, whether they're HOF members or other baseball alum.  Whoever gets inducted next year will likely have to fight Derek Jeter for any media coverage, so our condolences go out to them ahead of time for that.

We're sorry to hear that Baltimore Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini is battling stage 3 colon cancer.  Mancini is expected to receive chemotherapy every two weeks over the next six months and does not expect to play baseball this year, assuming any games actually happen.  We wish the 28-year-old a full and speedy recovery.

Talk to us, Green Bay Packers fans:  Does the team drafting quarterback Jordan Love mean Aaron Rodgers is on his way out the door?  There's a new story about how Rodgers is reportedly a pain to deal with, so perhaps the organization has had enough of this hassle?  Will Love's presence force Rodgers to work with the coaches more, or will it hasten his departure?  What do you think?

This is an interesting little tidbit:  A surprising number of CBS shows share the same television universe.  Can anyone make any similar connections for past or present shows on NBC/ABC/Fox?  Of course, the Law & Order: SVU and "One Chicago" shows operate in the same reality.  What else?

If you're in the mood for a Melrose Place cast reunion, just click on the link, and you can hear the show's former stars serving all sorts of tidbits about their seven-year run.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Here are the Beastie Boys to close things out with, "Hey Ladies," for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was great to see you, as always.  Of course, the "One Chicago" shows are done for the year, but BDH and Little Buddha say you're still invited to come back if you want to hang out later.  There must be something on TV we can all enjoy.  Otherwise, stay safe, be good, and we'll catch up with you again soon.  Until next time, that's today's Clearing out the Clutter, and we are outta here.


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