Monday Clutter: Joe Manchin, Omicron, GOP Ready to Steal Another Supreme Court Seat, Tom Brady, SNL, Taylor Swift, and more
Welcome back, and a happy, albeit chilly, Monday to you all! It's 13 degrees outside at the moment, but the heat is working well, so you should be comfortable. Really glad we already had our annual furnace maintenance appointment. How was the rest of your weekend?
Yesterday was a little challenging as I shoveled the driveway. The snow was heavy and wet, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the mess we had a year ago on the same date. That took about 4.5 hours to shovel, while this was only an hour. However, by the time it was done, and I also finished watering the plants, my lower back was shot. Likely completely destroyed. I may have to revamp my gym workouts to make sure this doesn't happen all winter. It's better now though, so let's get to work. BDH and Little Buddha just made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.
(Don't forget to check out the "2021 Best of Clearing out the Clutter." The guys put together a great list!)
Senator Joe Manchin finally admitted he's a no vote on the "Build Back Better Act" yesterday. Manchin lied about his reasoning, saying, "I can't go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can't vote for it. I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can't. I've tried everything humanly possible. I can't get there." That's utter nonsense. The people of West Virginia understand the bill, and they support it. If Manchin lacks the coherency to discuss it with them, that's on him. He also claimed to be opposed to it because of the impact on the deficit, but he cited the cost of an unfunded extension that no one was discussing. Manchin has been lying about his stance the entire time and dragging out the drama for no reason except to satisfy his ego.
Corrupt to the core. (pic via news.yahoo.com)
The fact is that Manchin continually moved the goal posts because he never supported the bill. It's hard to comprehend the level of loathing he has for his own constituents. West Virginia ranks near the bottom of the country on many levels. However, Manchin is determined to make sure they continue to pay $1000/month for insulin, and he's adamant they remain in poverty, since he supports the elimination of the Child Tax Credit. The man is a fraud to his core, and anyone who thought he was operating in good faith is naive at best. Certain progressives warned that this would happen if BBB was delinked from the mediocre infrastructure bill. They were criticized for their comments, but they were right, as usual. Democrats are setting themselves up for a blow-out in 2022 if their election message ends up being, "We had a majority, but we couldn't do anything because of this guy."
At the very least, the Senate should go forward with the bill and make Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema actually cast their no votes. (Turns out, that's apparently the plan.) Those two should have no problem putting their stances on the record.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the quickly spreading Omicron variant means, "(I)t is going to be a tough few weeks to months as we get deeper into the winter." Officials say cases are doubling every 1.5 to 3 days, as the U.S. health care system is heading towards being completely overwhelmed once again. The biggest difference between this winter and last year is that we know how to stay as healthy as possible - wear your masks, keep your distance, and above all else, get your vaccinations and boosters. Omicron cases may turn out to be milder for people who have had all three shots, but there's no reason at the moment to believe that's true for unvaccinated people. Even if the cases end up being generally less severe, given how contagious this variant is, it could still bury hospitals with the sheer volume of sick folks.
Calls continue to grow for a much stronger response to the Omicron variant, but the Biden administration seems caught flat-footed. Experts are urging much better access to testing and vaccines as case numbers continue to skyrocket. President Biden is scheduled to speak about the pandemic tomorrow, but medical experts say he shouldn't wait.
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker both announced yesterday that they're dealing with breakthrough COVID-19 cases. Fortunately, both senators have had two shots and a booster, so they say their symptoms are mild. We hope they're both fully recovered soon.
Senate Republicans have made it clear they intend to once again block any Supreme Court nominee from President Biden if they regain control of the chamber after next year's midterm election. Shame on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer for not having already announced his retirement. The arrogance involved to see what the GOP did with Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat and think, "I'll take my chances," is overwhelming. If he cared at all about doing the right thing for the country or preserving his legacy, he wouldn't be so cavalier about what's coming.
There's also the fact that the GOP is making it clear they plan to steal yet another seat, and President Biden has still put no effort into expanding the court. Republicans are looking to lock in power by any means necessary for generations to come. They're trying to deprive everyone but their base of the right to vote, they're looking to the judicial branch to keep them and their policies in place, and Biden just shrugs. The clock is ticking on saving our democracy, and the White House doesn't appear to be up for the fight.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger says it's "possible" some of his Republican colleagues are behind the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and he won't rule out the idea of the House select committee issuing subpoenas for some sitting members. Translation: The committee knows full well that they have traitors in the chamber, and they're going to turn up the heat. Anyone identified as an organizer of a coup against the U.S. government should immediately be removed from Congress.
Look at that, the New Orleans Saints beat Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-0 last night. It's the fourth straight time the Saints have beaten Brady in the regular season, and the first time he's been shut out since 2006. Good luck to the Carolina Panthers, who play TB12 and company next Sunday. Someone will have to pay for this embarrassment, and we see a long day coming for Cam Newton and friends.
Urban Meyer doesn't think he's to blame for his firing from the Jacksonville Jaguars. What a clown. The next organization that hires him deserves whatever problems he eventually causes them.
SNL was forced to go with host Paul Rudd, just two just two cast members, a skeleton crew, and no musical guest or audience after a coronavirus outbreak this week. We caught the opening and Weekend Update segments, and they were a little creepy in the deserted studio. We'll have to see if the whole episode is available on-demand to check out the pre-recorded skits that made up the rest of the show.
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah is suing an orthopedic surgical practice, saying Dr. Riley Williams III messed up a procedure last year. No word on what exactly Noah went to Dr. Williams for, but perhaps that will come out later in the proceedings.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Let's get this week off to a chipper start - here's Taylor Swift's cover of the Wham! classic, "Last Christmas" for today's, "Song of the Day."
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. It was a treat 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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