Thursday Clutter: Vaccine Boosters, Afghanistan, Abortion Ban, Boston Red Sox, Anthony Mackie, Doctor Who, Jeopardy!, John Mayer, and more
Welcome back! How are you? BDH and Little Buddha are reviewing the weather forecast again. We never got any rain yesterday, but it sure looks like it's about to start in an hour or so. One way or another, the garden is getting some water today. Oh, before I forget, there's a chance that we may not be able to meet up with you on Friday. We'll post any updates on our Facebook page, but we just wanted to give you a heads-up now. The birds are getting pretty loud at the moment. The guys think that means either the rain is almost here, or we should offer all of you coffee. As it turns out, there's a fresh pot on the counter, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Thursday Clutter.
The Biden administration is moving forward with a plan for coronavirus vaccine booster shots as of September 20, subject to the sign-off of both the FDA and CDC. People will be eligible for the booster eight months after they received their second dose, so double-check your cards and make plans for that third shot. We're not seeing a lot of detail about the distribution of the boosters, apart from officials saying the shots will be available at already-established locations, and they expect the process to go smoothly. Do what you have to in order to protect yourselves and your loved ones, friends. Let's avoid a repeat of last winter.
The U.S. booster plan is being criticized by some as being unnecessary/immoral when so many people around the world haven't been vaccinated in the first place.
Alabama didn't have a single available I.C.U. bed available yesterday because of the current surge in coronavirus cases. There's no reason for this to be happening anymore when we know how to avoid almost all of it: Get vaccinated. It's just that simple.
A new poll shows strong support for vaccine mandates. It's common sense, and Republicans who are doing everything they can to harm our public health are putting their own political ambitions ahead of the country's needs.
President Biden is adamant he made the right call to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and that the subsequent chaos was "unavoidable." We agree he made the right decision to leave. We're all ears if someone wants to explain in detail how the evacuation should have been handled differently, apart from not assuming that the Afghanistan military could handle the Taliban on their own for more than 10 minutes. Besides that failure, what else should Biden have done?
President Biden stands by his decision. (pic via reuters.com)
New York state officials have charged a former associate of Jared Kushner's with cyberstalking, just months after Donald Trump pardoned him on related federal charges. Trash hangs out with trash.
It's outrageous that a federal appeals court upheld a Texas law that effectively bans the safest method of abortion for women who are in their second trimester, known as dilation and evacuation. Courts have no business inserting themselves into the conversation between a woman and her doctor about the patient's health. This is another attempt by Texas to go against the well-established precedent of Roe v. Wade and eventually outlaw abortion in the state entirely.
The Clutter investment team was pleased to learn that the Federal Reserve is looking at slowing down its monthly bond purchasing program before the end of the year, but then they learned the Fed said that's not tied to an interest rate hike. It still has to be considered a positive sign that officials don't think the economy needs as much stimulus, but even a modest rate hike would also do some good. Savers should be rewarded for being financially prudent, and giving them a place to find a little yield that is safer than stocks would take a little bit of froth out of the market. The team isn't suggesting dramatic increase. They would be happy with just earning enough interest to pay for one extra cup of coffee per month for now.
The S&P 500 fell over 1% yesterday after the news came out about the Fed's tapering plans. The investment team is comfortable with that drop, because the index is still up over 17% for 2021, which would be a strong full-year result by itself. This market is overpriced, and our staff would rather see a gradual pullback to a more reality-based level, as opposed to a free-fall at some point. Of course, the most important thing is to keep a long-term perspective either way.
The Boston Red Sox lost 5-2 to the New York Yankees last night. The Sox really should have taken at least two out of these three games, and instead, they got swept. They're an abysmal 6-14 in their last 20 games and are now six games out of first place in the AL East, behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Yankees, with the Toronto Blue Jays just four games behind them. Thankfully, the Baltimore Orioles have a lock on last place in the division. However, Boston still has a chance to recover, because the majority of their remaining games are against bad teams. They could go on a run against the lesser opponents and force themselves right back into the playoff discussion. Speaking of which, the Red Sox have tonight off, and then they start a weekend series against the 42-78 Texas Rangers tomorrow night.
We're pleased to see that Detroit Tigers TV analyst Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely for the racist comments he made about Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday. There should be no tolerance for that kind of behavior, and there's no reason Morris needs to return to that job.
Let's not allow that story to make us lose sight of the fact that Shohei Ohtani hit his 40th home run of the season last night, as well as pitched a great game against the Detroit Tigers and improved to 8-1 on the year. This guy is an amazing talent.
Professional wrestling legend "Nature Boy" Ric Flair says it's not him in a salacious picture that was trending on Twitter yesterday. Not sure we believe him, but let's move on, because that tweet was traumatizing.
Congratulations to Anthony Mackie on reportedly signing a deal to star in his own Captain America movie. There aren't any other details about the film at this point, but we're sure Mackie will do a great job in the lead role. The Falcon became Captain America in the comics, so we aren't going to have to listen to any ridiculous racism from the trolls about this, are we? Are we being naive? We're probably being naive.
Cheers as well to Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost on the recent birth of their baby boy.
Marvel released a new Eternals trailer which includes a mention of how the film ties into Avengers: Endgame. It also makes us much more interested in the movie than we were after the first clip was released. However, it's still unlikely we're going to the movie theater in November for this, so we'll have to wait for it to come out on Disney+ or another streaming service:
We forgot there's a Suicide Squad TV spin-off coming to HBO Max. We won't name names, in case you want to be surprised, but after having seen the movie, this is not the character we would have chosen for a solo adventure. Didn't particularly care for the role or the performer, so that's probably going to be a pass when the time comes.
BBC America released a synopsis of the upcoming Doctor Who season, and it doesn't really say much of note, except for this: "(W)ith the Doctor now questioning everything about her past there she will undoubtedly be searching for answers." We're guardedly optimistic about this hint. Showrunner Chris Chibnall blew up the Doctor's background at the end of Jodie Whittaker's first season, and then he basically ignored the whole thing last year. There are so many unresolved questions, and it's hard to think they'll be adequately addressed in just six episodes, but at least we're going back to the topic before Chibnall and Whittaker leave the show.
The bad headlines continue to swirl around new Jeopardy! host Mike Richards, who is now facing criticism for a number of sexist comments he made on some podcasts in 2013 and 2014. Richards, who is already facing backlash for being part of a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit when he ran The Price is Right, apologized for the comments. However, he is bringing an increasing amount of negative publicity to Jeopardy! before he even starts as the new host. There's no reason to think this is the end of the stories, and one has to wonder why the powers-that-be would want these scandals associated with their show.
Garth Brooks cancelled the rest of his fall tour because of the spike in coronavirus cases. The singer hopes to reschedule the shows at a later date.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. (There's been about three minutes of rain so far - grumble, grumble.) Let's close things out with John Mayer's latest single. We leave you with, "Wild Blue" for today's, "Song of the Day."
That should help everyone glide their way to Friday.
Thanks for stopping by, folks. It was great to see you, as always. 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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