Sunday Clutter: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, President Biden, Young People in Politics, Rep. Gaetz, SNL, Boston Red Sox, Sesame Street, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Black Label Society, and more
Welcome back! How are you? We hope you're having a good weekend so far. No complaints on this end. I spent a couple of hours in the garden yesterday, which is always fun. There's still more to be done before the compost arrives next weekend, but things are off to a good start. BDH and Little Buddha tell me the birds say there's a chance of rain this morning and then again sometime in the early afternoon. I hope it happens - the plants could use a little water. Plus, I'm moving pretty slowly, so it would be an excuse to stay inside and take it easy.
Oh, before I forget, a quick programming note: We'll be out of the office on Monday but back at it on Tuesday. In the meantime, let's get to work. The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Sunday Clutter.
The CDC and FDA announced on Friday that the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine can be used again, effective immediately. Updated fact sheets have already reportedly been prepared to highlight the recent concern over the risk of blood clots for people who receive the vaccine. We're not downplaying the seriousness for the people who became sick, but the dangers are higher for folks who contract COVID-19, so we're glad the 11-day pause is over.
India has now set a daily record for coronavirus cases for each of the last three days, as the pandemic continues to ravage the country. The government continues to be criticized for dropping restrictions too soon, thus allowing this surge. Listen to the medical experts, friends.
Good for Joe Biden for becoming the first U.S. president to formally recognize the Ottoman Empire's mass deportation and murder of millions of Armenians as genocide yesterday. The Armenian American community has been pushing for this declaration for years. However, previous presidents never delivered, for fear of angering the Turkish government (who of course denounced yesterday's statement.) Silence about atrocities, such as those committed 106 years ago in this case, amounts to complicity, and it provides cover for others to commit similar human rights violations. The United States doesn't have a sterling record of its own on that topic, but it's important to seek to be better on that front, and this is a step in the right direction.
(There's also the issue of pulling the Turkish government away from its ties with Vladimir Putin.)
An important acknowledgement. (pic via abcnews.go.com)
President Biden's approval rating after his first 100 days in office is 52%, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll. That's higher than his immediate predecessor ever reached, but on the lower end of the historical scale. Of course, when conservative politicians and Fox News are screaming every day that Biden is somehow a liberal socialist who is coming for your children, you end up with only 13% of Republicans who approve of his performance. However, for the rest of us who wanted a competent person back in the White House who would handle the pandemic and work to improve the lives of people besides just the top 1%, he's off to a strong start.
A Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics poll shows that young people are politically active, pro-Joe Biden, and depressed. Given the events of the past year, it can't be surprising that they're dealing with mental health issues. Hopefully that will improve when the country is able to safely move forward from the pandemic. It's encouraging to hear about the excitement with political engagement. Young voters turned out in historic levels for last year's presidential election, and it's important that they build on that moving forward. The United States needs fresh blood providing new perspectives and solutions for the major issues facing our society.
As if potential human trafficking charges weren't enough, the federal investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) also reportedly includes a possible public corruption aspect regarding his 2018 trip to the Bahamas and the medical marijuana industry. You have to think the odds of Gaetz eventually getting indicted are high and keep getting higher.
Caitlyn Jenner filed paperwork to run for governor of California, as the incumbent Gavin Newsome faces a potential recall election. Jenner's past support of Donald Trump is a disqualifer right from the start, particularly in a blue state like California.
Elon Musk will guest host Saturday Night Live on May 8. If the show wanted a pandemic-denying unfunny billionaire, they could have just brought back Donald Trump. Much like Trump's hosting stint in 2015, this feels like a cynical ratings grab intended to humanize an awful person. Hard pass.
The Boston Red Sox lost 8-2 to the Seattle Mariners yesterday. Nate Eovaldi gave up five runs (four earned) and had two wild pitches over five innings. The bullpen didn't do much to help quell the fire, giving up another three runs over four innings. There were also multiple defensive lapses adding to the pain, reminding us that defense is the second biggest concern for this squad after pitching. The team is now 4-6 in their last 10 games, and perhaps even more concerning, they're 7-8 at home this year. Playing 13 games in 12 days is a brutal stretch, but the Sox need to figure out how to right the ship soon. Next up, Eduardo Rodriguez takes the mound for the Red Sox against the Mariners this afternoon, as Boston tries to split this four-game series.
Rob Gronkowski set a Guinness World Record on Friday when he caught a football dropped from a helicopter 600 feet up in the sky. Why would he do such a thing? Because he's Gronk, of course. The man is a Super Bowl champion, a world record holder, and a former WWE titleholder. There's nothing he can't do.
We're sorry to hear that former Chicago Bears legendary defensive lineman/pro wrestler Steve "Mongo" McMichael has been diagnosed with ALS. He received the news in January, and the disease has apparently already taken such a toll that he will no longer be a public figure. We send our thoughts to McMichael and his family.
A new Sesame Street documentary will be available on-demand on May 7. We were grinning from ear to ear within the first 10 seconds of the trailer for Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street, so it appears we'll be setting aside some time to watch this next month. Have a look:
We finally watched this week's Law & Order: Organized Crime, and Stabler's big declaration to Benson was not what we were expecting. It was the wrong place, wrong time, and seemingly out of the blue. Perhaps that's supposed to reflect the fact that Stabler is a little unhinged after the death of his wife Kathy, but the whole moment seemed off. On the other hand, we're curious to see where the show goes from here, so the scene achieved its objective. However, it still seems like there was a better way to stage that moment.
There's a John Wick spin-off TV series coming about the early days of Winston. The show will be on Starz, so we won't be able to watch it. That's okay. It sounds like an interesting concept, but Keanu Reeves is by far the main attraction of the franchise, so we're not crushed we'll miss it since he won't be featured. Of course, we're happy to read your reviews once the show hits the air. Just drop us a line at email@example.com.
A new ABC sitcom starring Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer has been scrapped after executives saw the pilot. Apparently it was "not good." We thought Grammer was working on a Frasier revival anyway, so perhaps this is not a surprise.
It sounds like yesterday's memorial service for DMX was a fitting tribute to a rap icon.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. We haven't heard from Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society in a long time, so let's close things out with their latest release promoting their upcoming box set. Here's, "Blind Man" 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 if you want to read or maybe watch the Red Sox game with them. Otherwise, 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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