Monday Clutter: January 6 Committee, Medicaid Work Requirements, Jared Schmeck, Sarah Weddington, Pope Francis, New England Patriots, The Batman, Doctor Who, Phil Collins, and more
Wednesday Clutter: January 6 Select Committee, Harry Reid, Coronavirus Cases, Home Prices, John Madden, The Matrix: Resurrections, Betty White, R.E.M. and more

Tuesday Clutter: New CDC Guidance, Senator Rand Paul, Dick Marcinko, Miami Dolphins, The Batman, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and more

Hi folks,

Welcome back!  How are you?  It's a good thing I finally cleared some of the ice off the driveway yesterday, because it looks like there may be a new layer this morning. Fortunately, BDH and Little Buddha just looked at the weather forecast, and the highs are supposed to be above freezing for the rest of the week, so I'll try not to let it linger too long this time. 

It's Tuesday, but I'm not sure there will be time to make it to the bookstore to check out the new releases.  Maybe this afternoon, we'll see.  The guys say not to worry about it.  They're confident both volumes of Lucifer will last them at least another week, and then they have The Flight Attendant after that.  Thanks again for your help, Santa!  Now, let's check out the headlines.  We've got coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.

The CDC shortened the recommended isolation period for people infected with, or exposed to, the coronavirus yesterday.  According to the new guidelines, if you test positive, but don't have symptoms, you should stay away from others for five days (instead of 10) and wear a mask for at least five days after that.  If you are exposed, you also should remove yourself from others for five days.  If you are fully vaccinated and have a booster, you may not need to isolate yourself at all.  The CDC says the new guidelines are because of an increased understanding of when people are their most contagious.  We've said trust the scientists, so we'll stick with that, but some part of us wonders if this is the beginning of the Biden administration giving up on fighting the pandemic.  What is still clear though, is that the best way to protect yourself is to get your shots and booster.

Coronavirus testing December 28 2021Is the Biden administration following the science or getting ready to bail?  (pic via ksltv.com)

Speaking of which, it's good to hear that businesses are increasingly requiring their employees get booster shots. 

Some public health experts are wondering why the CDC's new guidelines don't include any mention of a negative test.  Again, it's hard to shake the feeling that the Biden administration is looking to wash its hands of the pandemic.

First Dr. Anthony Fauci said a vaccination requirement to fly would be a good idea, but now he says he doesn't expect there to be such a requirement anytime soon.  Doesn't look like we'll be heading to an airport for a while.  This also feels like politics trumping public health.

Senator Rand Paul is angry that Democrats use GOTV campaigns to win elections.  Apparently, the idea of legally persuading someone to vote your way is something Senator Paul has never considered.  This is what happens when you have nothing to offer but tax cuts for the top 1%.

Just in case it wasn't obvious from the start when he basically swore at President Biden on Christmas Eve, Jared Schmeck is 100% pure MAGA.

We were saddened to hear that Dick Marcinko died on Christmas.  Marcinko was the first leader of Seal Team Six, as well as the Red Cell counter-terrorism unit.  He was also the author of an autobiography entitled Rogue Warrior, as well as a number of novels.  We loved those books when they came out.  Marcinko was an entertaining writer.  His actual life story was fascinating, and the novels may all have been paint-by-number, but they made for terrific reads whenever we had time to kill on a bus or plane.  Our condolences go out to his family and friends.  Dick Marcinko was 81 years old.

The folks at JP Morgan said they don't see a major correction coming in the stock market in the immediate future.  The Clutter investment team still thinks stocks are overdue for a 10-20% fall, because expectations seem stretched well beyond reality, and the two have to connect again at some point.  The team knows it's a simplistic measure, but the S&P's historical P/E ratio is roughly 16, and right now, it's 40.  That's expensive, and it's unsustainable.  However, as always, our staff is confident that they've positioned the portfolio well for the long-term, so they feel prepared if/when this drop eventually arrives.

There's still no PowerBall winner, which means the jackpot is now $441 million.  As we said yesterday, if you eventually find yourself with the lucky ticket, and feel the need to click on the Donations link at the top-right corner of this page, we'd be most appreciative.  If you don't win the prize but still want to help us with our coffee budget, that would also be fantastic.

The Miami Dolphins beat the New Orleans Saints 20-3 last night for their seventh straight win.  The Dolphins are now 8-7 and right behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East as we head into the final stretch of the season.  We do not want a playoff spot to be on the line when the two teams meet in Miami on January 9.  Bad things happen to the Patriots in Miami at the end of the year.  Tom Brady at his best could have faced the Dolphins backup squad in Miami, and we would still have been nervous about the game.

Jimmy Garoppolo reportedly has a chipped bone and torn ligament in his right thumb after being hurt during last Thursday's game against the Tennessee Titans.  This may give the San Francisco 49ers the excuse they've been waiting for to give rookie quarterback Trey Lance the starting job.

How are you feeling about your team, Seattle Seahawks fans?  Is their losing season a minor bump in the road, or is it time to blow the whole thing up and start all over again?  Head coach Pete Carroll believes it's the former, but the man is habitually optimistic about everything.  What do you think?

106 NFL players were put in the league's coronavirus protocol yesterday alone.  That makes 505 players for the month of December.  At this point, the pandemic is a bigger challenge to a team's post-season hopes than any opponent.

The NBA is cutting quarantine time for vaccinated players who test positive from 10 days to 6 days.  The league is being swamped by positive cases, and they're clearly doing this to try save their season.  Hopefully it doesn't turn out to be a huge mistake.

We've got a new Batman trailer for you to enjoy.  This looks like a great call for streaming next April:

It appears Britney Spears is skipping a return to music anytime soon, as she continues to work though the trauma of her conservatorship.  We wish Spears the best of luck with that recovery, and we hope to see her back in action at some point doing whatever makes her happy.

Taylor Swift's attorneys are pushing for the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing the singer of plagiarizing the lyrics for, "Shake it Off."  The issue is whether or not her use of "players gonna play" and "haters gonna hate" steals from another song, or if both of those phrases are part of the public domain, which would make them fair game for any songwriter to use.  As non-lawyers, we tend to think Swift's team is right, but we'll see how this story plays out in the weeks ahead.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Here's Bruno Mars to close things out with, "Count on Me" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Hmm, BDH and Little Buddha may have just found their theme song.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was terrific to see you, as always.  Enjoy the rest of your day, watch out for the ice, 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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