Tuesday Clutter: Michelle Obama, AOC, USPS Crisis, Boston Red Sox, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Supernatural Returns, the Eagles, and more
Thursday Clutter: Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Trump, Flint Water Settlement, USPS Crisis, Olivia Wilde, P!nk, and more

Wednesday Clutter: Joe Biden, AOC, Postmaster Reversal, Senate Intelligence Report, Colleges Closing Classrooms, Boston Red Sox, Unwritten Baseball Rules, Paris Hilton, Bananarama, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back!  How are you?  We're all doing fine, except that I've already repeatedly had to remind myself that today isn't Thursday, so apparently it's going to be one of those days.  I struck out at the bookstores yesterday.  I tried the independent one, as well as the big chain, but I couldn't find anything that felt like a good fit for BDH and Little Buddha this week.  They were good sports about it, as usual.  Looks like we'll be coming our bookshelves again. 

The good news is that the free weekly comes out today, and that means a new rock & roll crossword puzzle for the guys.  They completed last week's puzzle, so they're eager to check the answers and see how they did.  The paper doesn't come out for a few more hours though, so let's run through today's headlines in the meantime.  There's a fresh pot of coffee on the table, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Wednesday (and definitely not Thursday) Clutter.

Joe Biden was officially made this year's Democratic Party presidential nominee last night.  Whether one votes more out of enthusiasm for Biden or opposition to Donald Trump, the important thing is to vote.  The United States can't take another four years of an incompetent, dim-witted, corrupt, sociopath who is content to leave thousands to die as long as staying in the White House keeps him out of jail.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made the most of the 60 seconds she was given to speak at the Democratic National Convention last night, as she eloquently called for a more progressive society, while at the same time seconding the nomination of Senator Bernie Sanders for president.  Before anyone tries to make it out to be something else, as the New York lawmaker herself later explained, the seconding was a procedural move, and she supports the Biden/Harris ticket.  We support Democratic Party officials not being terrified of a young progressive woman of color who will be a leader for years to come and should have been given more than a minute to speak, especially compared to someone like anti-choice Republican Governor John Kasich, but that's just us.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is now reversing course and saying there will be no further changes to the USPS until after the election. The move comes as DeJoy is facing several potential lawsuits from the states, along with growing calls for his resignation/removal.  First off, there's no reason to take DeJoy (or any member of this administration) at his word.  There must be independent verification that these actions have been halted.  Second, when he testifies under oath before Congress next Monday, lawmakers must press DeJoy to not only stop further changes, but to undo the steps that he has already undertaken in recent months, including the removal of sorting machinery and collection boxes.   People across the country count on the mail for a multitude of reasons besides mail-in voting this year.  No one should face a delay in receiving their prescriptions because Donald Trump is desperate to stay in office by any means necessary.

The Senate Intelligence Committee released their own report into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election yesterday, and it goes even further than the Mueller Report in showing the depth of foreign influence and collusion.  It's clear every Republican senator knew what they were doing when they acquitted Trump during his impeachment trial.  They knew the Ukraine interference claim was Russian propaganda, they knew the campaign was working closely with Russia, and they knew Trump was in the loop.  They knew all of that, and they still covered for him in the name of tax cuts for the top 1% and conservative judges.

Donald Trump August 19 2020Republicans sold out the country to save Trump.  (pic via usnews.com)

Donald Trump seems to approve of the idea of Oracle buying TikTok's U.S. operations, so how much of a cut from the deal is he personally expecting to receive?

Let's see:  UNC - Chapel Hill was open, and then the school had to quickly shift to an online model after 135 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the first week.  Then, Notre Dame opened their classrooms to students, and eight days later, the university had to close the classrooms again after 146 students and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.  How many more of these stories do you think we'll hear about in the next 3-4 weeks?  Boston area schools are still planning to bring students back to campus, so we'll probably be having shorter excursions around the neighborhood this fall if that's the case.  We will really have to find more books to read if we're moving closer to being under house confinement again.

The S&P 500 hit a new all--time record yesterday, just five months after cratering because of the coronavirus pandemic.  Technically that means that this year's bear market is already over.  However, what we see here is the glaring disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street, where millions are still struggling with unemployment and fears of possible evictions.  The stock market is forward-looking, and investors want to convince themselves that the future is bright.  The Clutter investment team would like to agree with them, but they advise us to prepare for another downturn this fall/winter and trim our expenses wherever possible.

The Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board ruled yesterday that no fans will be allowed in Fenway Park for the rest of the season, and none will be let into Gillette Stadium until October at the earliest.  It's probably for the best for the Red Sox that people can't come in to boo them, but it will be interesting to see New England Patriots games played without a crowd.

Coming home wasn't enough to turn things around for the Boston Red Sox, as they lost 13-6 to the Philadelphia Phillies last night.  It was Boston's 9th straight loss, as they fall to 6-18 on the "season from hell."  Kyle Hart, currently sporting a nifty 22.50 ERA, takes the mound for the Sox against the Phillies tonight.  In the meantime, the Red Sox luxury tax resets in 13 days, so at least there's that to look forward to, because that's about it for this year.

Because 2020 hasn't already been enough of a disaster, there are now rumors of the Boston Red Sox exploring the possibility of trading shortstop Xander Bogaerts, one of the few exciting players left on the team.  Ken Rosenthal says the idea is driven by the fact that Bogaerts acquires no-trade protection after seven years of major league service on September 6, and he will also the ability to opt-out of his contract after the 2022 season.  There's no doubt the 27-year-old would warrant a huge haul in return, but his departure, especially after the recent Mookie Betts trade, would leave us feeling almost no connection to the current roster except for supporting the laundry, so we're hoping nothing comes of this.

Let's see if we've got this right:  San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. missed a take sign, swung at a 3-0 pitch, and hit his first career grand slam, when the Padres already had a 7-run lead over the Texas Rangers, on Monday.  What was Padres manager Jayce Tingler's reaction to the additional four runs?  To criticize Tatis Jr. for supposedly violating one of baseball's almighty "unwritten rules," which was apparently not to show up the Rangers when they were already losing badly.  Way to support your own player, boss.  That "offense" then led to Rangers pitcher Ian Gibaut throwing at Manny Machado in retaliation, a move which earned both Gibaut and Rangers manager Chris Woodward suspensions. 

Good lord, almighty.  We love baseball, but the I.Q. of the sport drops 90% when it comes to the supposed "unwritten rules" which seem to serve no purpose but to drive the fun out of the game.  If you don't like Tatis Jr. hitting a grand slam, make a better pitch the next time.  If there's such a thing as too big of a lead, baseball should adopt Little League-esque "mercy rule."   We also can't help feeling like these conflicts mostly come up with players of color as the supposed offenders.  It's a bad look, MLB.  Get over yourselves.

There's a Paris Hilton documentary coming out on YouTube on September 14..  It's not hard to imagine there's a huge gulf between the infamous public persona and the real woman.  Take a look at the trailer for This is Paris, and let us know what you think:

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Here's Bananarama to close things out with, "Cruel Summer," for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was great to see you, as always.  BDH and Little Buddha say you're welcome to come back later to help them with the rock & roll crossword puzzle. (Translated:  they want to show you how much they know about music.)  Otherwise, be good, wear your masks, 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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