Thursday Clutter: Vaccine Rates, Trump, Rep. Gaetz, Derek Chauvin, Capital Punishment, Boston Celtics, WWE Sale, Black Widow, Prince, and more
Welcome back! How are you? I'm just waiting for BDH and Little Buddha to come in with the weather forecast for the day. Ah, here they are. They say it will be cloudy, with highs in the 70's, and a slight chance of rain. We can work with that. The guys also say the birds are chirping because they want to hear about today's headlines, so we should get right to it. Let's not keep them waiting any longer. There's a fresh pot of coffee on the counter, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Thursday Clutter.
Twelve states have now given at least one coronavirus vaccine shot to 70% of their adult population. Nationally, about 63% of the U.S. adult population has received at least one shot. We can't recommend being fully vaccinated enough, friends. Everyone should see for themselves. If doing the right thing isn't enough of an incentive, Anheuser-Busch will buy a round if the country reaches the 70% mark by July 4. Whatever it takes, friends. Whatever it takes.
Donald Trump quit his blog, after less than a month, because no one was reading it. So much for creating some new revolutionary safe space in social media for conservatives. Well, at least Trump always Facebook and Twitter. Oh wait.... This is the king of the GOP. He cost Republicans control of everything, can't even write a coherent paragraph that even his cult followers will want to read, and yet Republicans continue to kiss his feet while he rambles about being "reinstated" into office.
You can add blogging to Trump's extensive list of failures. (pic via kcra.com)
Rep. Matt Gaetz may now also be looking at an obstruction of justice charge after reportedly talking to one of the women involved in the investigation into possible sex trafficking by the congressman. Gaetz of course denies any wrongdoing, but the woman in question has reportedly talked to prosecutors, so his legal problems aren't going away. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to try to pretend that there's nothing to see here. Just a guy who allegedly had sex with a minor.
Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Derek Chauvin to 30 years in prison for murdering George Floyd with particular cruelty. Chauvin's attorneys think their client should be given probation. Talk about living in a world of privilege and disconnect from reality. It's unfortunate the judge can't tack on another five years for unbridled arrogance. There is no justice in this country without accountability.
Arizona is reportedly refurbishing its gas chambers to kill inmates on death row with the same gas the Nazis used in World War II. That's appalling. Capital punishment is inherently and irreparably rooted in racism, and no nation that uses it can claim to be a moral society. It should be unconstitutional across the board, because its very existence is abhorrent. A ban on "cruel and unusual" punishment is a fairy tale while the government can still sentence people to death.
It's official: Israel's Yesh Atid and Yamina parties have come to an agreement on a new coalition government, which means time's up for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Two men will hold the prime minister position over the next four years. Naftali Bennett will be first, and it doesn't sound like he's much of a change from Netanyahu, which is not great. Yair Lapid, who is described as a centrist, will have the job second. We'll see how this plays out, but there's no doubt nothing would change if Netanyahu stayed in office for another four years.
The Federal Reserve announced it will begin unwinding the corporate asset purchase plan it implemented last year to protect the economy during the pandemic. The Fed bought $13.7 billion worth of assets, and it will take a while to systematically unload those holdings without freaking out the stock market. However, it's good to see that the economy is doing well enough to not need this crutch. Of course, there's still a long way to go, but at least we're moving in the right direction. Now, if interest rates could rise just enough for us to earn enough to buy one cup of coffee per month again, that would be great.
The Boston Red Sox lost 2-1 to the Houston Astros last night. Boston wasted a strong start from Nick Pivetta, who only gave up three hits and two runs over six innings. It was a quality outing, but it still stuck Pivetta with his first loss since coming over to the Red Sox last year. Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers have all been quiet at the plate recently, and the Sox are in trouble when those guys struggle. The team is still in second place in the AL East, so it's not time to send out the distress signal yet, but the offense needs their stars to warm up again soon. Next up, Martín Pérez takes the mound for Boston this afternoon as the Sox try to avoid being swept.
We were wondering here yesterday if the Boston Celtics might make any major changes in the off-season after a frustrating year. What we did not see coming was Danny Ainge stepping down as president of basketball operations, and now-former head coach Brad Stevens taking the job. That should be one of the top sports stories in this area for the next few months, right up there with the New England Patriots quarterback situation. Ainge had that role for the past 18 years, and he did a terrific job, but now the Celtics have a chance for a complete reset, which is exciting. We have no idea what that means, since Brad Stevens has never been an executive before, but that's what will make it so much fun to watch in the weeks and months ahead.
The WWE released six wrestlers yesterday, a little more than two months after their last round of cuts. The company is coming off its most profitable year ever, and these were some fairly major performers who were mostly involved in active storylines. That is leading to speculation that Vince McMahon is cutting costs to prepare to sell the WWE (to Disney, perhaps?) One can only hope that's the case, because the McMahon family lost touch with their audience a long time ago, and similar to what's happening with the Boston Celtics, this would be a terrific time for new leadership.
We've got what is apparently the final Black Widow trailer before the movie comes out on July 9. We will have to see this in the theater, won't we. On the one hand, there's a bit of a drama issue, since you already know how the Black Widow's story ends. On the other hand, who can say no to Scarlett Johansson kicking ass on a big screen? Well, we have one more month to think it over. In the meantime, check this out:
NCIS: Los Angeles lost two cast members in the season finale, but now the show is gaining a new regular. What do you think about that, fans?
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Let's close things out with the latest track off Prince's upcoming album (which will be released on July 30.) We leave you with, "Born 2 Die" for today's, "Song of the Day."
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. It was great to see you, as always. BDH and Little Buddha just confirmed that there's a new episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime on tonight. The guys are pretty sure it's the season finale, which would mark the end of watching scripted TV for them for the summer. You're welcome to join them tonight for that. Otherwise, enjoy the rest of your day, be good, 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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