Wednesday Clutter: Debt Limit, Defense Spending, Mark Meadows, Kevin McCarthy, Vaccines, Elon Musk, Guy Fieri, New England Patriots, Rise Against, and more
Welcome back! How are you? I struck out again at the bookstore yesterday. There just wasn't anything that seemed like a good fit for BDH and Little Buddha. Of course the guys were totally unfazed by this news. They just smiled and said, "Maybe next week!" The good news is that NBC's "One Chicago" programs are back tonight, although I think it's just for this week, and then it's more holiday programming.
It sounds like today's snow has been delayed a little bit, so driving should be okay this morning. I know it's just supposed to be a dusting, but I distrust everyone on the roads when it snows. Anyway, enough about that - let's get to work. 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 Wednesday Clutter.
The House passed a bill to create a new one-time process to address the debt limit last night, after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to the deal. The vote was 222-212, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger as the only Republican to support the bill. All of the rest of them would rather be on record supporting default. Of course, seemingly everything needs 60 votes to survive in the Senate, so while some Republicans are already complaining, one assumes McConnell has nine members who will go along with this plan. This is all so stupid. It can not be stated often enough - the debt limit deals with expenses that have already occurred. Those bills have to be paid. This has nothing to do with being fiscally responsible, it's about holding the economy hostage for political purposes.
The House also passed a $778 billion defense spending bill that casually tossed in $25 billion more than what President Biden requested. This country can pay for anything it wants. Remember that the next time any politician claims to worry about something like the cost of the Build Back Better Bill. It's not a question of finances, it's a question of priorities.
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows just released a new book about his time in the Trump administration. However, now he's refusing to cooperate with the January 6 House select committee, claiming they're violating Donald Trump's imaginary executive privilege claims. Apparently Meadows will only talk about his time in the White House if you pay him. Assuming Meadows doesn't change his mind about testifying today, he'll likely have a criminal contempt charge filed against him, but do any of these guys care about that? They're counting on Republicans to take back the House next November and kill the committee. Plus, Attorney General Merrick Garland doesn't seem to consider any of this a priority. The clock is ticking on American democracy.
Show him the money. (pic via abc11.com)
Of course Trump crony Roger Stone is pleading the 5th, instead of cooperating with the January 6 select committee. Stone would probably be the first one sent to prison (again) for helping to organize a coup attempt if he spoke openly about his involvement in that horrific day.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has gone full MAGA in order to please his tin foil hat-wearing members, and yet Rep. Matt Gaetz is still talking about nominating Donald Trump to be the next speaker of the House of Representatives. Any supposed leader with an ounce of self-respect would stop this nonsense, but McCarthy will humiliate himself over and over again in order to get that gavel. Meanwhile, the world continues to act like Gaetz isn't suspected of sex trafficking, once again showing this is a terrible timeline.
More than 400 Congressional staffers are calling on leaders to “categorically reject the incendiary rhetoric” in the House, after Rep. Lauren Boebert repeatedly made anti-Muslim comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. We applaud these folks for speaking out about the dangerous workplace environment that the GOP is creating for them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can't just issue another "tsk tsk" statement about Rep. Boebert. There needs to be actual repercussions for this inappropriate behavior that would get anyone in any other job fired. Rep. Boebert should be stripped of her committee assignments and her voting privileges. If it's also confirmed that she was involved in the January 6 attack, she should be expelled from Congress. Democratic leaders are still acting like all of this is "business as usual," while democracy dies around them.
Pfizer says its lab results show that getting a booster shot appears to provide sufficient protection against the new Omicron variant. Can you imagine where we'd be without these vaccines? Protect yourselves and those around you, friends.
Good to hear that 60% of the U.S. population is now vaccinated, and 71% has had at least one shot. However, we still need a higher percentage in order to finally stop this pandemic.
Tesla's success is largely due to government subsidies, but now that he's the richest man in the world, Elon Musk thinks the support for the electric vehicle industry should be eliminated. The guy wants to make sure he doesn't have competition. Can he just fly off in his rocket ship already? If we're stuck listening to his nonsense, at least make him pay his fair share in taxes.
The wealth of billionaires around the world increased by $3.6 trillion last year alone, while the pandemic pushed over 100 million people into extreme poverty, according to reports.
Guy Fieri is apparently opening a new restaurant in Boston tomorrow. The menu sounds gloriously awful, but this feels like something we need to try once, even if it takes a month at the gym to undo the damage:
"Jalapeño “pig poppers” offer peppers stuffed with andouille cream cheese, wrapped in maple bacon, and topped with ranch and barbecue sauce. “Trash can” nachos have all the classic fixings, plus barbecue sauce; and “dirty” chili cheese fries also have crispy onions, sour cream, and bacon. Hot honey fried chicken, a bacon mac-and-cheese burger with six cheeses, ribs, and Cajun chicken Alfredo round out the menu."
Our cholesterol level just jumped 20% after reading that, but we're still game for one trip. Who is coming with us?
This is an interesting look at 10 Google Maps features we had no idea existed. It turns out you can use the app for much more than just directions and estimated travel time.
The Buffalo Bills couldn't stop whining after their Monday night loss to the New England Patriots. That just makes us feel better about the Patriots also winning the rematch at home on December 26. Whining teams turn into overly-emotional teams, which leads to weaknesses that Bill Belichick and company can pick apart.
There are apparently two returns in tonight's Chicago Fire episode, and we're looking forward to both of them.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. We need something that will give the midpoint of the week a little kick in the backside, so here's Rise Against to close things out with, "Nowhere Generation" 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 you're welcome to come back tonight if you want to watch the "One Chicago" fall finales with them. (Maybe you could bring some snacks? Cookies, maybe?) Otherwise, 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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