Friday Clutter: Justice Breyer's Successor, Capital Punishment, Boosters, Book Banning, Minnie Mouse, Ben Roethlisberger, The Bangles, and more
Welcome back, and a happy Friday to you all! Well, I'm not sure "happy" is the right word. BDH and Little Buddha were just reviewing the latest weather forecast, and it looks like we're on track for 18-24 inches of snow tomorrow. I guess I should appreciate that it took this long into the winter to get a major storm like this, but...ugh. On a related note, we'll be here tomorrow, assuming we have power. If it goes out, 1) ugh again, and 2) we hope to be able to see you on Monday. We do have some food here, but I should probably take a quick trip to the grocery store this morning to grab a few more things. First, let's sort through the headlines. The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.
President Biden hasn't even announced a nominee to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer yet, and Republicans are already trying to gaslight the country. Of course they're going to claim that any Democratic choice will be some progressive anti-Christ, sight unseen. You also know their attacks will also be racist and sexist if the nominee is in fact a Black woman. White mail resentment is the lifeblood of the GOP, afer all.
None of that should be accepted, but also, don't listen to a single one of them, like Senator Susan Collins, who claims they support an extended confirmation process "for the good of the country." If Mitch McConnell could find a way to drag this out until 2023 so Republicans could possibly block the appointment for two years, he'd do so without hesitation. It took Republicans a month to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the bench, and Democrats are reportedly looking for the same time frame.
President Biden's nominee should be confirmed in a timely fashion. (pic via abcnews.go.com)
The United States took another step back yesterday, when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the execution of an intellectually disabled man to proceed in Alabama. A country can lay claim to any type of collective morality, or it can kill its citizens, but it can't do both. Interestingly, it was a 5-4 ruling, with Justice Barrett joining the liberal side of the court in opposing the decision. That seems like something to keep an eye on, as the court considers other death penalty cases in the future.
New CDC studies highlight the importance of getting a booster shot, and they're leading some experts to say that people who've only had two shots shouldn't be considered "fully vaccinated." The results show that people who have had all three rounds are significantly less likely to be hospitalized, or need a trip to the emergency room, in comparison to those folks who've only had two. If you haven't had your booster yet, please do so, folks. We want all of you to be with us for a long time to come.
The plague of book banning continues to spread across the United States: This time, it's a Tennessee school board banning Maus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust. Board members claim their decision was driven by the novel including profanity and a naked character. Given all the challenges that today's students face, from remote learning, to active shooter drills, we're pretty sure they can handle some rough language. What's really happening is the ongoing conservative effort to erase any discussion of any topic that casts white people in a negative light.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is recommending anyone who was near Sarah Palin recently get tested, after the former Alaska governor was seen eating out in the city, despite testing positive for the coronavirus. Of course Palin is unvaccinated.
Cheers to U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras for blocking a huge oil sale lease off the coast of Mexico, saying the Biden administration didn't properly account for the climate impact of the deal.
Minnie Mouse is getting a make-over: The iconic Disney character will be in a new pantsuit outfit to celebrate Women's History Month this March, so cue the meltdown from conservatives about how this means the downfall of the country. The outrage industry will do anything to distract people from the reality that the GOP is trying to kill democracy in this country, as they continue to pursue a white supremacist ideology, for the benefit of the economic top 1%. That's what should be angering people - not a cartoon character's clothes. Don't fall for the shiny distraction, friends.
Apple's stock rose 11% after a strong earnings report yesterday. The Clutter investment team is more interested in CEO Tim Cook's suggestion that the company expects supply chain issues to be better in the next quarter. Hopefully that's the beginning of a trend.
NBC's Peacock streaming service lost $1.7 billion last year, which is more than twice what it lost in 2020. NBC expects 2022 losses to reach $2.5 billion, but they're still pouring a lot of money into the project.
All Messenger users now have the ability to use end-to-end encrypted chats and calls for an additional layer of privacy. All you have to do is toggle a switch when you start a new conversation. We weren't clamoring for this feature, but we'll probably end up using it anyway. What's the downside?
The Las Vegas Raiders put in a request to talk to New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels about their head coach opening. A change in coordinators feels like a negative for Patriots quarterback Mac Jones' development, so we're pulling for McDaniels to not get this, or any other job for next season. The one thing that could change our mind might be if Bill O'Brien returns to the Patriots to replace McDaniels, given O'Brien's experience with the New England system.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made his retirement official yesterday. He was many things to many people over the course of his career, but above all else, he remains an accused rapist. Good riddance.
The Chicago Bears hired Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus to be their new head coach yesterday. Much like new Denver Broncos head coach Nathanael Hackett, Eberflus has never been a head coach before. That seems to be a new trend in the NFL, and it seems to mostly be benefiting white guys so far.
A new trailer is out for Season 2 of Steve Carrell's Space Force. The show returns to Netflix on February 18:
Sorry that the legendary Boston ska-punk band The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is calling it quits. Listening to their song "The Impression That I Get" means an instant trip back to 1997. Can't argue with an almost-40-year career. No reason was given for the decision, so who knows, maybe we'll hear them again at some point down the road.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Seems fitting to have the Bangles close things out with a roaring live cover of the Simon & Garfunkel hit, "Hazy Shade of Winter" 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, stay warm and safe, 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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