Thursday Clutter: Coronavirus, Ghislaine Maxwell, January 6 Committee, MTG, Cam Newton, Dwayne Johnson, Keanu Reeves, Hawkeye, Louis Armstrong, and more
Welcome back! What's new? BDH, Little Buddha, and I were just talking about the schedule for the rest of the week/end of the year. I don't think it's going to be anything too crazy. There are a handful of errands that need to be completed, but we will probably just chill for the most part and maybe do some housecleaning to close out 2021. (Your jealousy is overwhelming.) How about you? Any big plans before the weekend? You can think about your answer while we check out the headlines. The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Thursday Clutter.
The United States is setting new daily records for coronavirus cases, as the Omicron variant continues to spread across the country. The U.S. is now averaging more than 265,000 new infections each day. Regardless of the CDC's new guidance on isolation and quarantine, it's obvious that the best way to protect yourself is still to get vaccinated and boosted, and wear your masks around strangers. We remember back when we used to go to a crowded bar on New Year's Eve, and that now feels like multiple lifetimes ago. (Of course, part of it is that we can't stay up that late anymore, but that's a whole different story.)
It's good to hear that the FDA authorized a second at-home coronavirus test. There's no excuse for there to be such a shortage of these tests this far into this pandemic, so this approval should help when the tests become available in January.
A new study offers encouraging results for Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus booster shot. We need every instrument we can find to protect ourselves in this pandemic, so hopefully further research will confirm these initial findings.
JetBlue is cutting more than 1,280 flights from now through mid-January, in anticipation of more pilots and flight attendants testing positive for the coronavirus. Of course, the CDC's new guidelines say the infected employees could come back to work five days later if they're asymptomatic. However, there's still no requirement to wear masks on planes, which is asinine.
Former Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted on five federal sex trafficking charges yesterday, and she now faces up to 65 years in prison. Hopefully this result will provide some measure of comfort for Epstein's victims that they were denied when he died before his own trial. The question we have now is if Maxwell will name names. This was not some simple two-person operation. Maxwell and Epstein were enabled and protected by powerful men, and they should also be held responsible for their actions.
Anyone who engaged in illegal activity with these two should be prosecuted. (pic via npr.org)
The January 6 House select committee invited House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to voluntarily discuss what he knows about that dark day in our country's history. While McCarthy has not officially responded, it would be the end of his political career if he agreed to cooperate with this investigation. Once McCarthy says no, the committee should not hesitate to subpoena him. The American people need a full accounting of these events, and those who were involved must be held responsible for trying to overthrow the government. Republicans have spent years covering for Donald Trump. There should be legal repercussions their ongoing coverups.
Convicted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones threatened to "dish dirt" on Donald Trump for telling his supporters to get vaccinated. Will Republicans reach a point where Trump is no longer Trumpian enough for them? At some point, the suicide cult will eat its own.
Representative Majorie Taylor Greene floated a "National Divorce" concept on Twitter that sounds an awful lot like promotion of a new Civil War to us. Rep. Ruben Gallego called Greene a "traitor" for the notion, and he's not wrong. Add that to whatever role she had in the execution of the January 6 coup attempt, and Marjorie Taylor Greene should be expelled from Congress. The GOP is a national security threat that must be treated as such if this country is to survive over the long haul.
There was no winning ticket for last night's Powerball lottery, so the jackpot is now up to $483 million. Again, if you draw the right numbers on Saturday, 1) Congratulations! 2) If you feel like celebrating by clicking on the Donations button on the top right corner of your screen, we would be most appreciative.
Talk to us, Boston Celtics fans - what's wrong with this year's team? We can't remember hearing a single positive thing said about them so far this year. Is it time to break up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown? That's our sense, but maybe something else needs to happen? Why are they this mediocre with little obvious sign of any way to improve?
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said Sam Darnold, not Cam Newton, will start on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Newton had started the last five games for Carolina while Darnold was out with an injury, but the Panthers were 0-5 over that stretch. The Panthers aren't exactly a great team, but perhaps it's time for the veteran quarterback to prepare for his next career. We would have loved to see a healthier Newton prove the New England doubters wrong this year, but time eventually runs out for every athlete.
Dwayne Johnson says there's "no chance" he's returning to the Fast & Furious franchise, and he considers Vin Diesel's recent public attempt to get him to change his mind to be "manipulation." Johnson doesn't need Fast & Furious anymore, so there's no reason for him to reconcile with Diesel. The clear answer to this personality clash is for the two men to settle their issues in a steel cage match at Wrestlemania.
Keanu Reeves said he'd be up for a Matrix: Resurrections sequel if director Lana Wachowski asked him to do it again, but the actor doesn't think Wachowski is interested in creating another chapter to this story. Resurrections struck us as a fitting ending to the franchise, but it certainly left the door open for future adventures. What do you think, Matrix fans - would you like to see Neo and Trinity return again? Would you like to watch some of the rebooted supporting characters in their own movies? Should everyone just call it a day? Phone lines are now open...
We watched the Hawkeye finale last night, and gotta say, we were not expecting to enjoy this series nearly this much. Clint Barton's fine, but he's never particularly held our attention. However, he and Kate Bishop were a terrific pairing, as the torch was passed to the next generation. The show had entertaining action, drama, and a surprising amount of humor and Christmas spirit. We also forgot about someone who makes an appearance, and that was a real treat. As far as we're concerned, Hawkeye is our new favorite Christmas movie.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. As we start dimming the lights on a challenging 2021, we want to do our part to close things out on a positive note and perhaps generate a little goodwill to bring us all into 2022. With that, we leave you with Louis Armstrong and, "What a Wonderful World" 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 don't forget to come back tomorrow so we can wish you a happy new year ahead, okay? For now, 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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