Wednesday Clutter: Omicron, Joe Manchin, Student Loans, Kellogg's Strike, Cole Beasley Out, Fox Scraps NYE Show, Bill Cosby, Sammy Hagar, Twisted Sister, and more
How are you? Week going okay so far? No luck at the bookstore yesterday, but I had a productive day helping Dad Clutter. There was all sorts of running around, but we took care of everything and also had a nice lunch. That was fun. There are more items on today's to-do list, but BDH and Little Buddha tell me the weather is supposed to be a mess this morning. I guess we're looking at freezing rain/snow combination.
The guys say it should be over around noon, so maybe we'll just sit tight until then and give the public works crews a chance to treat the roads. In the meantime, how about we check out the headlines? Let's do that. We've got 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.
President Biden announced his latest plans to address the Omicron surge sweeping the country on Tuesday. As we discussed here yesterday, his administration will send out 500 million rapid testing kits next month, there will be an increase in federal testing sites, and the military is being dispatched to help stressed hospitals. President Biden assured Americans that it's safe to celebrate Christmas on Saturday with family and friends, as long as everyone is fully vaccinated. However, he had a stark message for those folks who still haven't gotten their shots:
"If you're not fully vaccinated, you have good reason to be concerned,” Biden said. “You're at a high risk of getting sick, and if you get sick, you're likely to spread it to others, including friends and family. And the unvaccinated have a significantly higher risk of ending up in the hospital—or even dying.”
We understand some people have objections to that kind of blunt language. Of course Biden wasn't trying to scare or shame young kids who aren't able to be vaccinated yet. For those folks who haven't gotten their shots because of an access issue, every effort should be made to address those problems immediately. For those people who haven't done it yet because of a well-founded mistrust of the medical establishment, like members of the African American community, we understand their concerns but hope they'll reconsider.
However, for the rest of this group who has decided not to do the right thing because they've "done their research," i.e. taken medical advice from the likes of Joe Rogan - it needs to be hammered home that they could pay a terrible price for making such a selfish decision.
President Biden tried to reassure the country on Tuesday. (pic via todayonline.com)
CVS and Walgreens are limiting the number of at-home COVID-19 tests kits people can buy with each purchase, due to insufficient supplies. None of the CVS pharmacies near us have had the kits in stock for weeks. Biden's plan to send 500 million of them in January is a good start, but it's only the beginning. What would be even better is if the White House followed the lead of places like the U.K. and made kits abundantly and consistently available to everyone.
President Biden said he still thinks he can work out a deal with Senator Joe Manchin when it comes to the Build Back Better bill. Meanwhile, Senator Manchin was reportedly still telling colleagues yesterday that his concerns about the legislation include inflation and the national debt. He just voted for a $768 billion defense budget for one year without batting an eye, so debt isn't really a priority. Manchin has also shown zero signs of compromise during this soap opera, so we're not sure what Biden believes he can accomplish. However, he'll look like even more of a fool if Manchin shuts him down again in 2022. If that happens, one might ask if Biden really ever wanted BBB to pass in the first place.
There are some Manchin defenders who claim that he's just doing what his constituents want by opposing the Build Back Better bill. However, the United Mine Workers of America says it supports the legislation and wants Manchin to change his mind.
The Biden administration is indicating it may extend the student loan payment pause that is set to expire on January 31. The original argument was that borrowers couldn't afford to make their payments during a pandemic. Nothing has changed on that front, and it doesn't look like it will anytime soon. If President Biden really wanted to help ordinary Americans, and give the economy a positive jolt, he'd sign an executive order immediately dismissing up to $50,000 in school debt per person.
There's an entire generation buried under these oppressive loans, and it's keeping them from having any hope of achieving things like home ownership. That burden is also disproportionately felt by people of color. Biden has the ability to make a historic move in the name of racial justice. He needs a big win after this Build Back Better failure, and he could do it with one signature.
Congratulations to the Kellogg's workers who just approved a new five-year contract after an 11-week strike. They sound pleased with their new deal, so good for them for fighting for their principles.
Baseball is still in the middle of a labor dispute, but the Boston Red Sox added two pitchers and two outfielders as non-roster invitees to next year's spring training camp.
Unvaccinated Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley tested positive for the coronavirus, so he'll miss this Sunday's critical game against the New England Patriots. That's a shame. Who could have imagined that Beasley's selfishness would come back to bite his team in the ass while they're still trying to claim the AFC East title? Just one more reason we want to see the Patriots embarrass the Bills in Foxboro this weekend.
Fox is scrapping its New Year's Eve show, due to the Omicron surge. It's the right call, and the other networks who are scheduled to broadcast from New York City should follow suit. You couldn't pay us to stand in Time Square on the 31st (partly because we can't stay out that late.) Our crew is looking forward to buying some snacks and settling in at home to watch a Twilight Zone or Doctor Who marathon (or maybe binge-watch Hawkeye?) instead.
Hey, This is Us fans, we have a scene for you to over-analyze until the final season begins on January 4.
The first trailer is here for We Need to Talk About Bill Cosby. The series was directed by W. Kamu Bell, and it starts on January 30 on Showtime. Take a look:
Marty Funkhouser is getting his own documentary. The Super Bob Einstein Movie premieres on HBO Max on December 28, and it looks like it will be a lot of fun:
We also have the first trailer for the final season of Search Party, which begins on January 7 on HBO Max. Can't say we've watched this show, but Jeff Goldblum has joined the cast, and wherever you have Goldblum, weird entertainment is sure to follow:
Sammy Hagar is again claiming he was once offered the gig to be Pantera's lead singer. Hagar has also said he was offered spots in Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe, Velvet Revolver, and Led Zeppelin over the years. We can imagine how any of those other ones might have been possible at one point or another, but there's no way someone thought, "Yeah, Sammy should sing 'Cowboys From Hell.' That would go well."
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Here's Twisted Sister to close things out with, "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" 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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