Wednesday Clutter: Trump, Mike Pompeo, Matt Lauer, Johnson & Johnson, Uber, Applebees, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Steve Carell, White Lion, and more
Friday Clutter: Trump, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort Released, Remote Facebook Employees, Netflix, MLB, Christopher Nolan, John Krasinski, Blue Bloods, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, and more

Thursday Clutter: Coronavirus, Trump, Mike Pompeo, iPhone Update, NFL Losses, Shad Gaspard, "Snyder Cut," Daytime Emmys, Metallica, Dropkick Murphys, Firehouse, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back!  How are you?  Things are going smoothly here.  Yesterday was pretty quiet, apart from doing Dad Clutter's grocery shopping.  Of course, I still managed to work in some garden time.   I didn't love skipping my bike ride, but it was probably for the best.  I was feeling a bit run down, but between taking it easy and finally getting a good night's sleep, I'm ready to go today.  BDH and Little Buddha were up early listening to the birds.  They say the birds were chirping about how much they're looking forward to hanging out in the garden this summer.  The guys also want you to know that they just made coffee.  There's a fresh pot on the counter, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, and let's clear out some Thursday Clutter.

A new study estimates 36,000 coronavirus-related deaths in this country could have been prevented if the United States had begun socially distancing just one week earlier.   That was the point in time where Donald Trump was still downplaying the seriousness of the situation and comparing the coronavirus to the flu, when public health experts already knew full well that wasn't the case.  36,000 people could possibly have been saved if we hadn't put the dumbest man in America in the White House.  Of course, the number is even larger now, thanks to the administration's corrupt and inept handling of this pandemic.  That's a tragedy of historic proportions.

CDC Director Robert Redfield says a second wave of the coronavirus is likely to hit this country in the fall and winter.   Buckle up, folks.  This story doesn't look like it's going to finish anytime soon, despite Donald Trump desperately trying to convince everyone that we're out of the woods.  We need leaders who are willing to actually listen to people who know what they're talking about so that we can finally address this crisis in the most effective way possible.

Southern states who just aggressively reopened are likely to get hit hard again in the next few weeks.  The White House knows it, and they don't care.  

California Governor Gavin Newsome made it sound yesterday like Hollywood might be able to get to work again as soon as next week.  That's news to entertainment executives who don't sound like they're on the same schedule.  Given that talk of reopening restaurants for dine-in service feels premature, it's hard to see how it could be safe to let a TV or movie production company get back to business.  Perhaps there will be come clarification soon.

Donald Trump threatened to withhold federal funding to Michigan and Nevada yesterday because the two states are expanding access to vote-by-mail.  That sounds a lot like the kind of extortion that got him impeached last year.  Trump is screaming fraud as loudly as he can to try to distract from the fact that states regulate their own elections, and there's nothing illegal going on here.  This ouburst has  nothing to do with concerns about fraud.  Trump knows he's going to lose both states in November, and this is part of the larger attempt to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election if ends with him getting fired.

Donald Trump May 21 2020Learned nothing from impeachment.  (pic via mainichi.jp)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reportedly advised not to invoke an emergency waiver to facilitate an arms sale to Saudi Arabia last year.  Senior State Department officials apparently felt there was no justification for the circumvention of Congress.  However, no one tells Donald Trump he can't make money off the Saudis, so the sale went through, "proper procedures" be damned.  Steve Linick's investigation of this sale is what got him fired as State Department inspector general, as the Trump administration attempts to remove every person who tries to make sure they follow the law.

The new iPhone system update includes the ability to tell the user if they've been near someone who has been exposed to the coronavirus.  (That depends on the exposed individual entering that information into their own phone.)   The software feature was a joint project between Apple and Google and does not include geographic location or personally identifiable information.  It's not meant to replace contact tracing, but it sounds like a positive supplement to those efforts.

In case there was any doubt, NFL teams will likely lose a lot of money if fans aren't allowed in the stands this season.  Our sympathy for the owners is at a hard zero here, even if it causes havoc with a lower salary cap in future years.  The billionaires can take a hit just like everyone else during this crisis.  We're pretty sure they won't be wondering where their next meal is coming from, or how they're going to pay the rent, if their teams have to play in empty stadiums.  Hell, it's more likely some of them will pull an Oakland A's move and try to get out of paying, despite the vast fortunes they've amassed.

We're sorry to hear about the death of former WWE superstar Shad Gaspard.  The retired pro wrestler and his young son were among a group of swimmers caught in a riptide on Sunday.  Gaspard reportedly ordered lifeguards to save his son first.  He then disappeared under a wave, and his body was eventually found early Wednesday morning.  Gaspard seemed to be loved by his peers as an all-around good man.   It's a tragic loss, but he died a hero.  Shad Gaspard was only 39 years old.  Our condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans.

DC Comics fans - you've been calling for this, and your demands have been heard:  The much-desired "Snyder Cut" of the Justice League film is coming to HBO Max at some point next year.  There aren't a lot of confirmed specifics yet, but it sounds like this version will be an epic production, so we hope it's everything you were looking for and then some.

Soap opera fans will be happy to hear that the Daytime Emmys are returning to network television.  The show will air on CBS on June 26, after being an online-only program for the last four years.  CBS executives were probably willing to overlook the ceremony's recent low ratings as they continue to scramble to find programming to air these days.   The broadcast will only feature leading roles, with the rest of the categories to be dealt with during a July event.

Hey, are you ready to feel old?  All set?  How about this tidbit:  Metallica celebrates its 40th anniversary next year.  Let that one sink in for a bit.  That means we've been fans for over 30 years, so yeah, we're going to need a minute here.

There's no baseball, but at least someone will get to play in Fenway Park soon:  The Dropkick Murphys will hold a concert there with no audience on Friday, May 29, which will be streamed for free online.  To make the story even better, they'll be joined by special guest Bruce Springsteen.  This could be the only time we get to see Fenway this year, so we're putting that show on the calendar. 

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Yesterday's discussion about White Lion has us on a bit of a hair metal kick, and that got us thinking about the time in college we walked a little over three miles to see a Tesla/Firehouse concert.  In all fairness, it was in the opening days of freshman orientation, and we didn't realize how long of a walk it was.  However,  it makes for a funny story, so here's Firehouse to close things out with, "Reach for the Sky," for today's, "Song of the Day."

You might not admit it, but you know you'll be humming that for the rest of the day.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  Hanging out with you always helps distract from the rest of the craziness going on right now.  It's supposed to be a beautiful day, so enjoy the good weather (in a safe fashion), 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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