Saturday Clutter: Trump, Senator Burr Steps Down, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Facebook, Audioslave, and more
Tuesday Clutter: Trump, Massachusetts Reopening Plan, Ronan Farrow, NFL Rule Change, Spike Lee, Community, Metallica, The Strokes, and more

Monday Clutter: Barack Obama, Trump Administration Blames Coronavirus Victims, Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump vs. The Matrix, MLB, John Krasinski, Guns N' Roses, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back!  How are you?  I had a great time hanging out in the garden yesterday.  That rain a couple of days ago must have had plant food in it, because everything had a growth spurt.  BDH and Little Buddha said the forecast calls for more rain this morning.  That's fine.  Not being able to play in the dirt would make it easier to focus on other tasks on today's to-do  list.  Of course, the first item is to check out the headlines with all of you.  The guys say the coffee is ready, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, and let's clear out some Monday Clutter.

Former President Barack Obama gave a nationally televised commencement speech on Saturday night, where he reminded everyone what an actual leader looks like.  He was encouraging to the graduating students, he didn't engage in self-pity or lie about everything under the sun, and he spoke in full and coherent sentences.  (Remember when that used to be a thing?)  It was a trip back in time to when the country's leader wasn't impeached, didn't conspire with a foreign nation to steal an election, and never tried to extort another country to launch a politically-motivated investigation into his opponents.  Plus, Obama never took millions from the federal government for his personal benefit.  Those were the days. 

Add it all up, and that's why the nation wanted to hear from him instead of the current White House occupant.  Now, if we could only figure out who he might have been referring to with this comment:

"More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing," Obama said. "A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge."

Barack Obama May 18 2020Missed by millions.  (pic via cnn.com)

All Donald Trump could do in response to the criticism was mutter something about Obama being incompetent and then wander away from the microphones.  He knows he'll lose that comparison every time, which makes it all the more bizarre that he seems to want to make Obama a key issue in his reelection campaign.  Obama's reputation gets even higher marks with the passage of time, while the Great Pumpkin remains stuck in the mud.

60 Minutes had a revealing interview with whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright last night.  Donald Trump predictably had a meltdown afterwards and suggested that anchor Norah O'Donnell should be fired, because that's how things work in Trump World:  It's not about the wrongdoing, it's about punishing those who reveal the wrongdoing.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar defended the Trump administration's incompetent handling of the coronavirus yesterday and suggested that the folks most responsible for the almost 90,000 deaths are...the people who died.  That's outrageous, but it sums up the administration's mindset perfectly:  take no responsibility for anything, and blame the victims for your own failures whenever possible.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says he expects the U.S. economy to recover quickly if there's no second wave of the coronavirus, but that a full recovery isn't in the cards until the creation of a vaccine.  That's great, except there's no reason right now to think there won't be another wave this fall, especially as some states rush to reopen, and any reality-based individual will say a vaccine is 12-18 months away.   In other words, the economy could be struggling through 2021.   This feels like Powell wanted to make a comment that would get Donald Trump off his back for a bit.

Senator Lindsey Graham sounds anxious to confirm another Supreme Court justice this year.  Of course, that GOP nonsense about holding off in an election year only applies to when Democrats are in the White House.  Why is Graham in such a rush?  Is one of Trump's biggest lapdogs seeing the writing on the wall that his owner is going to lose his job?  In any case, we wish nothing but the best of health for the Court's liberal members while the Republican vultures circle overhead.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump got into some Matrix weirdness on Twitter yesterday, in what appeared to be support of alt-right politics, and the franchise's co-creator Lilly Wachowski was not having it. 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is expected to release more information today about what businesses can begin to reopen on May 25.  There's still a lot of uncertainty about the specifics, but it appears houses of worship, and manufacturing and construction companies are included in the first phase.  It also sounds like barbershops, hair salons, and interestingly, recreational marijuana shops, will also be part of the initial group.  We're glad to see the pot shops on the list.  It's not because we partake in their products, but Massachusetts was the only state to completely shut down that industry, and there was no rational basis for it.  Glad to see Governor Baker finally seems to have reconsidered.

MLB released its draft 2020 operations manual on Friday, and it's clear that this season should be scrapped.  First off, fans would be banned, and that's fine.  Disappointing, but fine.  However, the extensive list of (necessary) safety protocols just won't work on a practical level.  The requirements are exhaustive, from batting practice pitchers wearing masks, infielders being encouraged to say away from runners between pitches, coaches not allowed to touch their faces to give signs, clubhouse phones being disinfected after every use, and much more.  There's no way this is going to be a safe environment. 

This country's version of "living on the edge" right now is the idea of a handful of people eating outside at a respectful distance from each other.  This protocol is bound to fail.  People are going to get sick, and it will all have to be shut down again.  We want baseball back as much as anyone.  However, if you can't do it safely, don't do it.  Shut this down and focus on what it would take to make it safe to play in 2021.

John Krasinski is putting his Some Good News on an indefinite hiatus, although it sounds like it will be back at some point.  That show was a treat to watch, and hopefully it really will return down the road.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  To give you a sense of how old we are, we used to have a bootleg Guns N' Roses record.  That's right, not a cassette tape, a record.  Mind you, they were already rare at this point, but still.  The record consisted of a mix of live performances and unreleased tracks.  It was a terrific snapshot of the energy of the original GNR lineup, but the audio was only fair.  However, at least one tune got an upgrade, and BDH and Little Buddha just found the clip.  Here's Axl, Slash, and company, to close things out with a cover of the Rolling Stones classic, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was great to see you, as always.  The forecast still says rain, but we haven't seen a drop yet.  In any case, be good, stay safe, 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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