Monday Clutter: Variant Risk, Voting Protection, Jeff Bezos, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Otters, Will Smith, Beatles Documentary, Demi Lovato, and more
Wednesday Clutter: GOP Blocks Voting Protections, Trump v. SNL, Boston Red Sox, Carl Nassib, Suicide Squad, Conan O'Brien, Britney Spears, Metallica, Natalie Imbruglia, and more

Tuesday Clutter: Child Tax Credit, Assault Weapon Ban, Young People and Vaccinations, U.S. Supreme Court v. NCAA, Carl Nassib, Ted Lasso, NCIS, Goo Goo Dolls, and more

Hi everyone,

How are you?  BDH and Little Buddha were just giving me the weather forecast.  It's supposed to rain for most of the afternoon/early evening, and we could even see some showers this morning.  It is a little dark outside right now, but I can't help wondering if this is going to be yet another one of those times where it's a 40% chance of precipitation all day, and we end up with a light sprinkle at most.  I have to water the garden either today or tomorrow, so hopefully this isn't some big tease. Either way, the highs are only supposed to reach the mid-70's, so at least there's that.

Of course today is also bookstore day, so fingers crossed we can find the guys something new to enjoy for a little while.  They're currently rereading parts of The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain.  Man, do we miss that guy.  He painted such a vivid picture with each essay.  Anyway, that's the latest from here.  Let's get to work.  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 Tuesday Clutter.

The Biden administration wants to make sure everyone knows the expanded child tax credit program begins next month.  The credits are worth up to $3600 annually for children under 6 years old and $3600 for kids 6-17 years old, with the payments to be made monthly.  This expansion is expected to slash childhood poverty in this country, but it's only in effect for one year.  President Biden has already said it should be extended to at least 2025 and eventually made permanent.  Poverty is a failure of policy.  We have the tools to give every child a strong start, and it's our collective obligation to do just that.

Good for the federal appeals court which blocked the idiotic overturning of California's assault weapons ban.  Judge Roger Benitez's ruling should have been thrown out on the spot as soon as he compared a AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife.  That's a stunning disconnect from reality which casts doubt about his competency.  In any case, the ban will remain in place while this case continues to work its way through the courts.

The Trump Organization is suing New York City for wrongfully terminating the company's city contracts, following the January 6 Trump-inspired assault on the U.S. Capitol.  Perhaps Donald Trump is trying to distract everyone from his own long list of legal problems.

Not to sound like we're 100 years old, but it's frustrating to hear that young people who haven't gotten vaccinated yet largely say it's because they don't have enough information about the safety of the vaccines.  Come on, folks.  Do 10 minutes of research.  Call your doctor, if you have one, go on the CDC website, look at websites of other respected public health authorities, and stay away from the ones that say vaccines cause you to become magnetized.  The evidence is everywhere that vaccinations have made the country a safer place, and that the coronavirus variants are a threat to those who haven't gotten their shots.  This doesn't require transcribing some ancient Latin document.  Put in a little effort to protect yourselves and those around you.  Ignorance is no excuse.

Senate Democrats will try to begin a debate on voting rights today, and Senate Republicans will block the debate because they don't support democracy.  A party that has anything to offer the country would be happy to have that conversation, but the GOP is out of gas.  Apart from tax cuts for the wealthy, and conservative judges, they've got nothing for ideas and no interest in governing.  We've got a two-party system and one party is broken and corrupt to its core. 

Cryptocurrency seems to be having a rough go of it these days, thanks to opposition from China.  The Clutter investment team is happy to sidestep that entire situation.  Instead, our staff is focused on the fact that the stock market rebounded yesterday, with the S&P 500 gaining 1.4%.  Investors apparently decided they overreacted last week to the Fed's discussion of raising interest rates in the next few years. 

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the NCAA yesterday in a case regarding  limits on the education-related benefits that schools can provide to athletes.  This ruling is limited in scope, but it opens the door to future broader challenges against the entire compensation system for college athletes, and that's made crystal clear in Justice Brett Kavanaugh's concurrent opinion.  This could well be the beginning of the end for the NCAA as we know it.  These kids generate billions of dollars in revenue.  There's no reason why they shouldn't be compensated.

Cheers to Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib, who became the first openly gay NFL player yesterday.  Nassib made his announcement in an Instagram post (as one does), where he said,

"I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary. But until then, I'm going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that's accepting, that's compassionate and I'm going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project."

This took a lot of courage, and we applaud Nassib for stepping forward, as well as making his sizeable donation.   It will be interesting to see if any other active NFL players follow his lead.  Whether they do or not,  Nassib is right - representation matters, and his coming out will be helpful to so many other members of the LGBTQ community.  The only downside as far as we can see is that this means we have to root for someone on the Raiders now, and that may technically be illegal in New England.

Carl Nassib June 22 2021Congratulations to Carl Nassib for making history.  (pic via abcnews.go.com)

Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez was benched in the middle of the game last night after forgetting how many outs there were and running right into a double play.  Is it just us, or are players doing this more often this season?

There was a time when Steven Spielberg didn't seem to consider streaming-only movies to be "real" films.  Looks like he's had a change of heart, as his company signed a multi-picture deal with Netflix.

CBR.com has all of the modern Doctor Who series ranked by their ratings on IMDB.com.  Every fan will have their own preferences of course, but apart from ranking season 9 higher, we don't have a lot of major arguments with this order.

Meanwhile, TVline.com has the latest information on the next season of The Flight Attendant.  The HBO show was one of the best things we watched last year, so we're excited for Season 2 to arrive.  However, it sounds like that's probably not happening until maybe mid-2022 or so.  That's okay, it will be worth the wait, especially if Michelle Gomez returns as Miranda the assassin.

Ted Lasso fans, we've got a trailer for the new season for you to enjoy.  The fun starts on Apple TV+ on July 23:

Can NCIS handle a season without a lot of Gibbs, or are we finally talking about the last run of the series?

Heavy metal icon Ronnie James Dio's autobiography will be released on July 27.  The singer apparently began writing the book several years before his death in 2010, and the manuscript was completed by his widow Wendy Dio and rock journalist Mick Wall.  We'll keep an eye out for that one at the bookstore.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  The Goo Goo Dolls have a double LP of rare and never-before-heard tracks coming out this Friday, so let's have them close things out here with, "Nothing Can Change You" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, folks.  It was great to see you, as always.  Enjoy the rest of your day, stay dry, 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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