Wednesday Clutter: President Biden, New CDC Guidelines, Google, Starbucks, Goldman Sachs, Boston Red Sox, Britney Spears, Counting Crows, and more
Welcome back! How are you? I struck out with new releases at the bookstore yesterday, but that's no big deal. Like we discussed yesterday, it will take our crew a while to get through their current book. Looks like we have a rainy couple of days ahead of us. That's fine. It's good for the garden, and then it should stop for a couple of days, which gives me a window to deal with the compost pile. That reminds me, I should make sure we have Advil.
The big item on today's to-do list is bringing in the car in later this morning to get a couple of new tires. BDH and Little Buddha insist that all four of them be in good shape, and I can't argue with that. First, let's check out the headlines. The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Wednesday Clutter.
President Biden will address Congress for the first time tonight. He is expected to pitch his new "American Families Plan," which is a $1.8 trillion federal investment in education, child care, and paid family leave. This proposal has the potential to be a transformational piece of legislation, as the country continues to work its way out of the pandemic. Paired with Biden's infrastructure bill, the president wants to strengthen American's future, and everyone should support that concept.
Biden wants to pay for the package by raising taxes on the wealthy. The top 1% enjoy the fruits of this country's labor, they should pay their fair share to cover the bill. The government should reward work over wealth. If that causes Republicans to have yet another meltdown (spoiler: it will), Democrats should move right around them and get this done to help ordinary Americans.
President Biden wants to bet big on this country. (pic via kimatv.com)
As expected, the CDC released new guidelines yesterday for activities fully vaccinated people can safely enjoy, but health experts warn that not enough people are getting their shots for our country to achieve herd immunity. They say at least 70-85% of the population either needs to be vaccinated or have been infected in order for that to happen, and right now, the vaccination number seems to be topping out at about 58%. Friends, please do what you need to in order to keep yourselves and loved ones safe. Let's finally (safely) end this nightmare once and for all.
On a related note, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a multi-stage easing of restrictions in the commonwealth yesterday that hopefully ends with a return to "normal" by mid-summer. Caution will remain the operative word here for the foreseeable future, and Boston is taking a slower approach than Baker. However, we look forward to the prospect of being able to go to more Red Sox games safely this year.
Google's first quarter revenue is up 34% over the same time last year. That seems good, right? The Clutter investment teams cautions us to remember that there will be a lot of funny numbers coming out soon, since the stock market took a pandemic-related dive in the first quarter of 2020. That means a lot of these results will look even better than usual in comparison. The team believes the only thing we should accept without critical thought is if we see documentation that they grew the Clutter portfolio 60% over the last year. They believe that warrants some cookies to celebrate and maybe permission for them to take a nap. Seems reasonable.
Starbucks, on the other hand, missed sales estimates, but the coffee company believes their numbers will improve as more people get vaccinated this year. There's a Starbucks near Clutter Headquarters, and their foot traffic seems to have been on the upswing in recent weeks. The local Dunkin' never seemed to take a hit, but then again, betting against a DD in Boston is always a bad move.
The new Apple iOS is here. That's the one that lets you stop apps from tracking you, i.e. the one that made Facebook so mad. We'll be downloading that update today, thank you very much.
Goldman Sachs says it's time to pump the brakes on referring to bitcoin as the digital equivalent of gold. Goldman analysts say the massive energy use involved, lack of real purpose for bitcoin, and competition from other cryptocurrencies, keep bitcoin from reaching that status. The more we read about all of this, the more irritating it gets, and we start rooting against everyone involved in any of this nonsense. Bitcoin seems like one speculative bubble, and the sympathy will be low for those who take the hit when it pops.
The family of the late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee says they will pay $10.8 billion in inheritance tax.
The Boston Red Sox beat the New York Mets 2-1 last night. The big story here is that Garrett Richards had his best outing of the year by far, giving up the one run, with no walks and 10 strikeouts, over seven innings, to get his first win of 2021. Apparently someone got tired of standing out as the weakest link in the Red Sox starting rotation. Richards said he's been working on some stuff, and it paid off. If he can do this consistently, it will be like Boston traded for a new pitcher. The Red Sox have their work cut out for them tonight when Nick Pivetta goes against New York's Jacob deGrom.
Britney Spears will speak on her own behalf at her next conservatorship hearing on June 23. The singer reportedly doesn't usually attend these events. There's sure to be plenty of speculation about what she has to say regarding her father Jamie continuing to be in control of her life (along with the independent firm Bessemer Trust.)
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. We just learned that the Counting Crows have a new album coming out on May 21. The record is called "Butter Miracle Suite One," which feels like a mistake. However, we dig the single, "Elevator Boots," so we leave you with that 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 they think tonight's "One Chicago" shows are all repeats. However, you're still welcome to come back later if you want to watch the Red Sox game with them tonight. (We're going grocery shopping this afternoon, so just let us know what you'd like for snacks.) Otherwise, enjoy the rest of your day, be safe, make sure your car has four good wheels, 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.