Tuesday Clutter: New CDC Guidance, Senator Rand Paul, Dick Marcinko, Miami Dolphins, The Batman, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and more
Thursday Clutter: Coronavirus, Ghislaine Maxwell, January 6 Committee, MTG, Cam Newton, Dwayne Johnson, Keanu Reeves, Hawkeye, Louis Armstrong, 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

Hi folks,

Welcome back!  How are you?  I'm still grumbling a little about yesterday.  The bookstore didn't have any new releases that would be a good match for BDH and Little Buddha, but that's fine.  The Lucifer collections will last them a little while, and then we have some other options when those are finished.  However, I am still irritated at the CVS employee who was so rude to Dad Clutter after he misread a sign.  It was an honest mistake, and there was no excuse for her nastiness.   Hoping to connect with someone above her to discuss it further today, but we're not going back to that store. 

BDH and Little Buddha think the phone call will help, but that I should also focus on making today a good day.  Of course they're right.  As they point out, we're already off to a good start since you're here.  The guys also want you to know that we have coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Wednesday Clutter.

The January 6 House select committee reportedly agreed to back off on some documents it requested from the White House, after the Biden administration claimed they had nothing to do with the attempted coup.  It is imperative that this group have access to everything that will allow it to produce a comprehensive and public account of that terrible day, in order for the counntry to try to prevent Republicans from trying to overthrow the government a second time.  If their request for paperwork snagged some legitimately irrelevant files, then those should be shielded, but the push must be for maximum transparency.

We're sorry to hear that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid died yesterday after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.  Reid had a remarkable life story, growing up in poverty, going to law school, becoming lieutenant governor of Nevada, and then the chair of the powerful state gaming commission, which made him a target of the mob.  He first ran for Congress in 1982, followed by his first Senate campaign in 1984.  A boxer as a kid, Reid stood strong against Republicans and was never afraid of a fight.  His biggest legislative accomplishment was securing passage of the Affordable Health Care Act,  He will be missed.  Harry Reid was 82 years old.  Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

The United States hit a new daily record for coronavirus cases this week, but the CDC says people only need to quarantine for five days instead of 10, so no big deal, right?  We're not scientists, and maybe the data does justify changing the recommendation, but it sure feels like the CDC is sacrificing its reputation because of politics.  That's troubling, both now and for the long-term.

Florida is setting new daily coronavirus case records, and Governor Ron DeSantis is nowhere to be found. 

Experts are warning that antigen tests may have a hard time detecting the Omicron variant.  Terrific.  If you test negative, but still have symptoms, or were at particular risk of being exposed, maybe just stay home anyway.

Home prices in the United States were up 18.4% in October over the previous year.  That's unsustainable, and it's all the more reason why the Biden administration should be prioritizing the reduction of student debt in this country.  There is at least one generation for whom home ownership is completely out of reach.  Erasing at least $50,000 worth of debt per student would unleash a huge boon to the economy, and it would also be an important advancement from a racial justice perspective.  Lenders have gone so long without these payments because of the pandemic, and they're just fine.  That just proves they could get by without missing a beat if President Biden took this next step.

New research indicates there may be a genetic reason for why some people prefer black coffee and dark chocolate.  We used to enjoy our DD with milk and sugar, but it became clear that it wasn't great for our health to consume so much of that, so we switched to black coffee years ago and never looked back.  As far as chocolate goes, we try not to eat too much of any of it anyway, but we don't really have much of a preference between dark and milk chocolate, so it doesn't seem like our genes are involved in our choices here.  How about you?

We're saddened by the news that John Madden died unexpectedly yesterday at age 85.  No cause of death was given.  Madden was a triple threat - he was a NFL Hall of Fame coach, an iconic football announcer for three decades, and a video game pioneer.  His energy and exuberance poured through in everything he did.  No one loved football more than John Madden, and it was evident in every game he called.  He was an entertaining and effective broadcaster, who made the game easier to understand.    

There were also so many kids who grew up listening to his voice in the Madden football games over the last 32 years.  (Disclosure:  We probably would have done better in school if these games hadn't existed.)   It's no exaggeration to suggest that John Madden helped turn millions of people into football fans over the course of his career.   He won 16 Emmy Awards for outstanding sports analyst/personality, and his successors in the broadcast booth haven't come close to reaching his level.   We weren't able to catch the documentary Fox Sports just did about him on Christmas Day, but we will be looking for it now.  Our thoughts go out to John Madden's family, friends, and many fans.

John Madden December 29 2021A true legend.  (pic via nbcsports.com)

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz entered the NFL's coronavirus protocols yesterday.  Wentz is unvaccinated, but now because of the change in the league guidelines, he could possibly be back in five days instead of 10.  We can't shake the sense that this change is going to further spread the virus across the NF.  However, football games have to be played, and really, that's all that matters here, right friends?

The Jacksonville Jaguars are casting a wide net as they look for their next head coach.  Check out the names mentioned in the linked article.  We don't know a couple of those guys, but the rest all seem like solid choices.  At the very least, none of them give off the same dumpster fire vibe that former coach Urban Meyer had from the start, so that's a good start.

There's a lot to unpack in The Matrix: Resurrections, and Den of Geek has a helpful guide to address many of the questions about the movie.  We found it especially useful since we only saw the first film in the original trilogy.

It sounds like the new South Park movie had a surprising impact on some fans.

Actress Betty White will soon be turning 100 years old, and she said the key to making it this long has been to "avoid eating anything green."  That's a woman after our own heart. 

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  As we push through the final days of 2021, it seems fitting to have R.E.M. close things out with, "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Not entirely sure we feel "fine," but you get the idea.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was great to see you, as always.  We may end up watching some Hawkeye tonight, so BDH and Little Buddha say you're welcome to come back later and join us for that if you like.  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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