Wednesday Clutter: Debt Limit, Defense Spending, Mark Meadows, Kevin McCarthy, Vaccines, Elon Musk, Guy Fieri, New England Patriots, Rise Against, and more
Friday Clutter: Trump, Police Won't Report, Starbucks Union, Julian Assange, New Eye Drops, CBD, Psycho Cats, Eddie Van Halen, Run DMC, and more

Thursday Clutter: Omicron, NH Covid Cases, Boris Johnson, HIV Prevention, Bill Belichick, NBC "One Chicago," Boba Fett, Dropkick Murphys, and more

Hi folks,

How are you?  Our crew is doing fine at the moment.  I finished driving before the snow came yesterday.  Not only were the roads safe, there was considerably less traffic than usual.  Don't know why that happened, but I'm not complaining at all.  The big news is that tonight is the earliest sunset of the year!  That's sort of a holiday around here, as we look forward to the pivot that starts tomorrow.  It may still be dark at 4:00 on Friday afternoon, but it will start about one second later than today.  Seconds eventually become minutes, and before you know it, we'll be talking about gardening season again. 

That's our excitement at the moment - let's get to work.  BDH and Little Buddha made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Thursday Clutter.

It's still early, but the CDC says the current data suggests Omicron cases in the United States are generally mild.  Hopefully that will remain true in the weeks ahead.  However, this is a small sample size (40 cases) and 75% of the people were vaccinated.  Therefore, it's still crucial to get your vaccinations, booster, and a flu shot while you're at it, as we head into the end of the year.  Protect yourself and those around you, and help limit the potential for even more coronavirus strains.

New Hampshire Republicans have done everything they can to extend the pandemic, and now the state has the highest COVID-19 case rate in the country, which means overwhelmed hospitals again.  Shocking how that works.  Imagine where we'd be if Republicans believed in science and public health. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire after multiple claims were made about his government holding two Christmas parties while the country was in lockdown last year.  The Johnson administration has already had several scandals regarding aides acting like rules don't apply to them.  As the U.K. prepares for another round of restrictions, does Johnson still have enough credibility to stay in office?  At what point do Tories decide they've had enough of him?

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin has been criticized for not quarantining after one of her ministers tested positive for the coronavirus.  The 36-year-old Marin said she missed the message because it was sent to her work phone, which was at home while she was at a night club until 4:00 on Sunday morning.  We didn't have the energy to stay out that late when we were that age.  At this point, staying up past 9:00 feels like an adventure (and usually a mistake the next morning.)  That's probably why we're not Finland's prime minister.

Congratulations to Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins on finally being confirmed as the next US attorney for Massachusetts yesterday.  D.A. Rollins has taken a progressive approach to making the legal system fairer for everyone.  Of course, Republicans find that repulsive, so they did everything they could to block her nomination.  However, the people of Massachusetts will be well-served by having her as the top federal law enforcement officer in the commonwealth for the next four years, and we wish her the best.  Now the question becomes, who will Governor Charlie Baker choose to fill out the rest of her term?  It would be a shame if the Republican picks someone intent on undoing Rollins' efforts.

We kept seeing this headline yesterday celebrating an 850-pound pot brownie.  We love a good brownie as much as anyone, but here's the key take-away from this story:  Everyone who is still in jail for marijuana-related offenses should be released immediately.  (On a secondary note, we would enjoy a non-pot brownie very much now.)

The CDC is recommending a much stronger emphasis on HIV prevention medication.  According to their data, only 25% of the people for whom PrEP is recommended are taking it.  The drug can reduce the chance of being infected through sex by 99% when used as directed, and it's safe.  This feels like an public health opportunity that should not be wasted.  Sexually active patients shouldn't miss the opportunity to discuss this further with their doctors and see if it's right for them. 

HIV PrEP December 9 2021Talk to your doctor about how to stay safe and healthy.  (pic via cbs.com)

Since the New England Patriots have a bye this week, Boston Globe sports columnist Chad Finn took a moment to reflect on how this year has repaired Bill Belichick's reputation in certain areas.  However this season ends for the Patriots, the degree to which Belichick was able to rebuild the team in just one year has been remarkable.

The Arizona Coyotes are in danger of being locked out of their home arena by December 20, if the organization doesn't pay the $1.3 million it owes in state and city taxes.  The Coyotes claim it's a matter of "human error," and that they'll make things right today.  No matter how frustrated we may get with any of the local sports teams, at least they're not in danger of being barred from their own buildings. 

HollywoodReporter.com has a lengthy interview with Jennifer Aniston that her fans will enjoy reading.

It was nice to have the NBC "One Chicago" programs back last night, although we may have checked out of Chicago Med.  Not entirely sure what happened there, but something about the way last season ended, and this one began, rubbed us the wrong way.  It may have been Will and Natalie not getting together after everything they'd been through, and then Natalie abruptly leaving the show, which sealed the deal.  We've lost a sense of investment in the characters, and the whole thing feels pretty robotic.

On the other hand, we're still into Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., so we still have reason to tune in on Wednesday nights.  (Warning - spoilers ahead.)  Last night's Chicago Fire fall finale was not what we were expecting.  It had already been announced that Stella Kidd was returning, so we figured she was finally coming back to fill the lieutenant spot left by Matt Casey's departure.  Turns out, not so much.  Stella didn't appear until the final scene, and she seems like an unhappy camper, so it looks like we're in for some rocky times with her and Severide.

Then there was the Chicago P.D. fall finale.  This was pretty much what we assumed would happen.  When we last saw this crew, Jay Halstead had 36 hours to either turn Hank Voight over to FBI Agent North, or he and Hailey would be arrested for Roy's murder. You knew there would end up being a third option, and sure enough, there was.  Jay and Hank dug up dirt to blackmail North into walking away.  The most interesting part of this is that Jay has always been portrayed as the conscience of the unit, but he clearly fell with this move.  As he said to Agent North, people change those around them.  It will be interesting to see where the show takes this development.  Oh, and Jay and Hailey got married at the end of the episode.  Current odds say it's 70-30 those two don't make it to the end of the season.

We forgot to tape the Different Strokes and Facts of Life live broadcasts from earlier this week, and it doesn't appear that they're available on-demand.  (Boo.)  However, we did have the chance to check out these rebooted 1980's commercials, and they're all tremendous.  If you're a child of the 80's like us, you will appreciate all of these references:

We've got a new trailer for The Book of Boba Fett, which premieres on Disney+ on December 29.  You probably have to be a pretty hardcore Star Wars fan to fully grasp this series, but it looks intriguing:

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.   Let's close things out with the latest Dropkick Murphys single.  We leave you with, "Good as Gold" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  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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