Tuesday Clutter: Joe Manchin, Donald Trump, Omicron, President Biden, Mayor Wu, January 6 House Select Committee, Bruce Arians, SNL, Lemmy Kilmister, and more
Welcome back! How are you? BDH and Little Buddha were just looking at the weather forecast for the rest of this week. Looks like we've got more precipitation coming, which could impact some of our plans. We'll have to keep an eye on that. Today's to-do list is long, but I'm still hoping to be able to make a quick trip to the local bookstore to check out the new releases for the guys. Something is coming for them in January, but it would be great to find them a book to read now, particularly if the weather keeps us inside for the next few days. We'll see. In the meantime, let's check out the headlines. 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 Clutter.
Senator Joe Manchin gave a self-pitying interview yesterday, saying he still thinks he's a Democrat, but after the White House tried to bully him into, you know, supporting one of his own party's biggest priorities, who knows about the future. The guy is a fraud on every level. If he joins the GOP, the only real difference it will make (although it is a big one), is that it will probably lead to problems with any future Biden judicial appointments. Other than that, the guy is already a Republican.
Speaking of which, it's completely fair to call out Senator Manchin for being dishonest from start to finish about the Build Back Better bill. However, don't forget that the only reason he's relevant is because no one in the GOP supports helping 99% of the country. Republicans are here for the top 1%, and that's it. Some of them, like Senator Mitt Romney, like to put forth a "dignified statesman" persona now and again, but when push comes to shove, none of them are in office to help ordinary Americans. They shouldn't get a free pass in the coverage of this story.
Don't let Republicans off the hook for hurting ordinary Americans. (pic via cnn.com)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said there will be votes on the Build Back Better bill, and revised versions, next month, so that every member can have a chance to put their views on the record. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema should jump at the chance to have their positions recorded for history, so let's see them stand by their rock-solid principles.
Donald Trump admitted yesterday that he got a booster shot. The crowd booed him, so you can bet that's the last time he'll mention it. The man needs adoration like he needs oxygen. Meanwhile, his followers still blindly follow an anti-vax message, even when Trump tells them he protected himself, and when the numbers show their position makes them 99% of the hospitalizations and deaths. It's a straight-up suicide cult.
Look that that: Donald Trump is suing New York Attorney General Letitia James in an attempt to get her to stop investigating him. He's using the same tired and worn arguments that have repeatedly failed him in his many other legal battles, claiming this is a political hit job that only exists to hurt him. Filing meritless lawsuits to clog up the courts is what Trump does best.
Here's your latest reminder that Donald Trump flew multiple times on Jeffrey Epstein's jet. With all of the focus on the corruption of his administration, and his efforts to destroy American democracy, let's not forget that Trump also faces multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault. This is the man Republicans worship. Don't ever let them lecture you about anything, friends.
That didn't take long: According to the CDC, the Omicron variant accounted for 73% of the new coronavirus infections in this country in the last week. There's still a lot of uncertainty about the severity if you get sick. However, it's clear that it's still critical to get your shots, your booster, wear your masks around strangers, and practice social distancing wherever possible.
President Biden is expected to announce today that his administration will mail 500 million free testing kits next month, establish new testing sites, and also send out the military to help overwhelmed hospitals, as the Omicron variant sweeps over the country. This is great news, although we're still not sure why it took so long for the Biden administration to take this step. The kits will reportedly be made available via a website, and we'll pass along further details as they become available.
Good for Boston Mayor Michelle Wu for announcing new vaccine requirements yesterday for indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment locales, as well as city employees. Customers will have to show proof of vaccination in these locations, starting on January 15. The move helps to further isolate those who choose to put people around them at risk, and it takes pressure of these businesses about how to handle this situation. Also, people who have to deal with public employees should have confidence that doing so won't make them sick. This is the leadership Boston needs as we enter yet another wave of the pandemic.
In more positive health news, the FDA has approved the first injectable medication for pre-exposure prevention of HIV. The new drug, Apretude, is taken as a shot every other month, in comparison to pills like Truvada, which must be taken daily. We applaud any progress in this battle and hope Apretude is helpful for the people who aren't taking the oral medications for whatever reason.
The January 6 House select committee has requested an interview with Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania). It's the first time the committee has asked a sitting member to meet with them, but you know it won't be the last. Rep. Perry has been pushing "the big lie" about the 2020 presidential election from the start, and apparently he was involved in the efforts to install coup-supporter Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general last year.
Between Omicron spreading like wildfire, and Joe Manchin sinking the Build Back Better bill, yesterday was a bad day for stocks. The S&P 500 fell 1.14% on Monday, and there's a good chance that there are more tough times to come on Wall Street for the foreseeable future. However, the index is still up over 21% for the year, and if those gains were cut in half, it still would be a good result for a 12-month period. The Clutter investment team is still generally on vacation, but they'll be checking in now and again to see how this all plays out over the next few weeks.
Cheers to the EPA for finalizing new fuel efficiency standards. Cars will be required to average 55 miles per gallon as of 2026, in contrast to the current standard of 37 miles. That will both save consumers money and help reduce greenhouse emissions.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians continues to show he's not in charge of his team. Arians claimed last year that Antonio Brown would be done with the team if he screwed up one more time. Now, Arians welcomed back Brown from his suspension following the wide receiver faking his vaccination card, thus violating NFL protocols and risking the health and safety of those around him. If Arians was being honest, he'd just admit, "All I care about is winning games, and that means keeping Tom Brady happy. Brown apparently can't do anything to lose Brady's support, so I want whatever Tom wants."
The New York Giants are shutting down quarterback Daniel Jones for the rest of the season because of what is being described as "a sprained neck." Jones has battled a number of injuries during his first three seasons in the NFL. The Giants still seem to publicly support him, but you have to wonder if they'll be looking elsewhere this off-season.
The NHL is starting its holiday break two days early and shutting down today through Saturday, as the league continues to battle a coronavirus outbreak.
Actor Chris Noth was fired from The Equalizer after multiple women accused him of sexual assault. No word on how the show will write off Noth's character.
Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels is talking about retiring after the show's 50th season, which would start in the fall of 2024. First off, let's take a minute to ponder the fact that SNL is almost 50 years old. That's amazing. Second, it doesn't seem like there's any reason the show couldn't continue without Michaels. Of course he was the creative force that got SNL on the air in the first place. However, the whole thing seems like one big machine now that just needs a good casting director to keep the talent coming. Of course, that's assuming last week's skeleton show with Paul Rudd doesn't represent the future of the show.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Here's the fantastic trio of Lemmy Kilmister, Dave Grohl, and Billy Gibbons to close things out with, "Run Rudolph Run" for today's, "Song of the Day."
Man, Lemmy's voice just screams, "Christmas spirit."
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.