Thursday Clutter: Earth Day, Trees, Andrew Brown Killed, D.C. Statehood, Boston Red Sox, LeVar Burton, How I Met Your Mother, Prince, and more
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Friday Clutter: Police Reform Support, D.C. Statehood, U.S. Supreme Court, Facebook, Boston Red Sox, Tom Brady, Dave Matthews Band, The Offspring, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back, and a happy Friday to you all!  Not sure where this week went, but BDH and Little Buddha think it was a blur because we were so productive.  Those guys always know just what to say.  What's on tap for the weekend?  Hoping to get in some more garden time, but other than that, nothing too crazy.  Yesterday was exciting, because I went to the gym for the first time in about 14 months.  I was a little nervous but figured I would take my chances, now that I've had my first vaccination shot.  It was great to be back and work up a sweat, even while wearing a mask.  Not sure how often I'll be able to go for the next few weeks, but it's so good to put that back on the schedule.

In fact, it's almost as much fun as checking out the headlines with all of you.  Speaking of which, the coffee is on the counter, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll says 60% of the country believes more should be done to hold police accountable for their actions.  It's not too much to expect the police to follow the law like everyone else.  President Biden and Congress must move this country forward on this vital issue by passing the George Floyd Act regarding police reform.  The United States can never live up to its claims of liberty and justice for all as long as simply being Black remains a life-threatening condition in any interaction with the police.

Good for President Biden, who is expected to propose almost doubling the capital gains tax rate to 39.6%.  The wealthy don't come close to paying their fair share in taxes, and the tax code should not be slanted in favor of investing over work.

The House passed the D.C. statehood bill 216-208 yesterday, and now it once again faces an uphill climb in the Senate, where Republicans seem likely to try to filibuster the legislation.  Republican opposition to D.C. statehood is racist, but they get angry when you call them out on it.    However, it's a fact - if we were talking about 700,000 white people being disenfranchised, the GOP would vote for this bill in a heartbeat. 

A new Pew Research poll also makes it clear:  Republican voters who support democracy are a dying breed.  Republicans know their views don't represent a majority of this country.  However, rather than modify their ideology to be more inclusive, they'd rather keep everyone who disagrees with them from participating in the democratic process.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a barbaric 6-3 ruling yesterday making it easier for states to sentence juvenile offenders to life sentences without parole.  Children deserve a chance at rehabilitation, especially when science shows that the part of the brain that controls rational thought doesn't stop developing until age 25.    The ruling obliterates recent court decisions to the contrary, showing once again that conservative justices have no respect for precedent.  The fact that Justice Brett Kavanaugh authored the majority decision is nauseating.  He's the last person who should be coming down hard on young people who commit crimes, given the sexual assault allegations made against him from former classmates. 

Brett Kavanaugh April 23 2021A grossly cynical decision from Justice Kavanaugh.  (pic via abcnews.go.com)

Remember this case the next time George W. Bush comes on TV trying his "aw-shucks" act, or the next time someone tells you his father was a good president.  These two men put Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito on the court.  That's half of the six votes right there, in addition to Donald Trump's illegitimate nominees.  We live with these justices for long after the presidents who appointed them have left the White House, but they're still a lasting part of the legacy  of those administrations.  It's entirely possible the country will be harmed by these justices for decades to come, which is why the Supreme Court is the single most important issue in a presidential election.

It's awful to hear that India confirmed almost 315,000 new coronavirus cases in the preceding 24 hours on Thursday.  That's a new single-day record for any country since the start of the pandemic.  It sounds like the surge was brought about by reopening the country too quickly, which lead to super-spreader events.  This is yet another reminder that we must listen to the medical experts about how to get out of this nightmare as safely as possible, not to pandering politicians who don't care how many people die, as long as their donors make money.  Wear your mask, keep your distance, and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Facebook will be soliciting more user feedback in the weeks and months ahead to help improve News Feeds and make them feel more "inspirational."  That feels like a distraction from the company's refusal to do more to combat online misinformation.  Also, what will Facebook do if "inspirational content" turns out to be right-wing violent/racist/misogynistic posts? 

The Boston Red Sox lost 7-3 in 10 innings to the Seattle Mariners last night.  Things got off to a great start for Boston - starter Nick Pivettta had a no-hitter going through five innings (along with a 2-0 lead), and the way he was dealing, it felt like he had a shot at taking it all the way.  However, Pivetta quickly lost his control and walked two batters in the sixth who eventually scored to tie the game.  The bullpen couldn't keep the Mariners in check, and they broke through with four runs in the 10th inning.  Next up, Martín Pérez takes the mound for Boston against Seattle tonight.

Tom Brady isn't a fan of the new rule allowing players more discretion with their uniform number.  Brady seems to think it's going to lead to some bad football next year, because offensive linemen will have a hard time figuring out who to block.  Could it be what he's really trying to say is that he'll have a harder time figuring out the defense in front of him?  Maybe the 43-year-old quarterback is worried he won't be able to adapt.  It doesn't seem like this should really be a big deal.  If you're an offensive lineman, block anyone coming your way.  We'll see how this all plays out next season.

There is a lot of content coming to HBO Max in May.  We don't see anything that immediately appears to be "must-see," but BDH and Little Buddha will go through the list again later.  Of course, they'll watch whatever you want to watch.  They just love hanging out with you.

We're sorry to hear Shock G from Digital Underground died on Thursday.  No cause of death was given.  Shock G, originally known as Gregory Jacobs, was only 57 years old.  Our condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans.

The Dave Matthews Band is planning to hit the road later this year.  The band announced some rescheduled tour dates yesterday that run from July 23 to November 10.  We haven't seen any word about restrictions, but that will presumably be handled by each venue on a case-by-case basis.  We've talked about not going back to the movies anytime soon, but when do you think you'd consider seeing a live show?  The movies would probably happen first here, because there will presumably be more spacing involved.  Maybe we'll be able to find a concert we'd like to see by next summer.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Let's close things out with the latest track from The Offspring.  We leave you with, "Behind Your Walls" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was a treat to see you, as always.  Enjoy the rest of your day, 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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