Monday Clutter: Bill Barr, Newt Gingrich, Goldman Sachs, NFL Divisional Round, John Stockton, Hugh Hefner, Pearl Jam, Bastille, and more
Welcome back, and a happy Monday to you all. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your weekend. Yesterday was quiet and relaxing around here. We did some reading and then watched some playoff football. As far as today goes, we're supposed to have a service call at some point between 8-12 this morning. The last time I needed these folks, they cancelled without telling me. That would normally be a deal-breaker, but I think they're the only people who can do what we need, so fingers crossed this appointment goes off without a hitch. BDH and Little Buddha say if nothing else, it means we have more reading time while we wait. Those two always see the bright side of things.
Now, let's get to work. The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.
(Programming note: We will be out of the office tomorrow, but we'll be back on Wednesday.)
While many other former Trump officials have refused to cooperate, the January 6 House select committee has already spoken to former Attorney General William Barr, according to chairman Bennie Thompson. Apparently Barr discussed the draft executive order that would have called for the military to seize voting machines after the 2020 presidential election. It's important that as much information as possible come out about this dangerous step in the plot to overthrow our country's democracy. However, we are also wary of any attempt by Barr to re-write his legacy.
Anyone who claimed at the time of his nomination that Barr would be an objective law enforcement officer as attorney general, was shown to be a fool. The man spent his entire time in office protecting Donald Trump instead of the country. Hopefully Barr was honest and forthcoming about the executive order and anything else the committee asked him to discuss. However, that doesn't retroactively excuse his years acting as Trump's personal legal counsel instead of doing his job.
What exactly did Bill Barr tell the committee? (pic via abcnews.go.com)
Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich threatened the members of the select committee, saying they could be looking at jail time if Republicans take back Congress. That's the kind of rhetoric you hear from third-world dictators who have no respect for the law, and it's become common in the GOP.
Tensions continue to grow in Ukraine, as the State Department ordered diplomats' families yesterday to leave the U.S. embassy in Kyiv and said non-essential employees could also depart.
Some of the world's richest men lost billions of dollars as the stock market fell a little more than 5.5% last week. Something tells us guys like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg won't have any problem affording groceries, despite the downturn. They can also all still afford to pay their fair share in taxes while remaining obscenely wealthy.
Goldman Sachs thinks it's possible the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates more than the four times already expected for this year. Do we dare dream of a day when the Clutter savings account could earn enough to pay for more than one cup of coffee each month?
Peloton's problems continue to grow: First there were the stories about layoffs and production slowdowns, and now there are reports that an investor is pushing for the CEO to be fired and the company to be sold. Peloton is currently worth about 17% of what it was a year ago. That kind of drop in performance would keep the Clutter team up at night if they had to think about it, which is one of the main reasons why they say no thank you to individual stocks.
Yesterday was another entertaining day of playoff football: First, the Los Angeles Rams beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-27, despite some late heroics from Tom Brady. Turns out, that guy is pretty good. The Rams were up 27-3 going into the fourth quarter, but Brady and company managed to tie the game at 27 with 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter. It seemed like Los Angeles was determined to give the game away, and their four fumbles did not inspire confidence about their chances of long-term success. However, the Bucs blew the coverage on a long pass from Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp, and kicker Matt Gay nailed the winning field goal as time expired.
The Rams move on to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game at home next week. We tend to lean towards the 49ers after watching Los Angeles panic down the stretch, but we'll give that some more thought. In the meantime, the wait begins for Tom Brady's announcement about his future. The money is still on him returning next year and fulfilling his goal of playing until at least age 45. Yesterday showed he's still got the goods, but what does he want from the Buccaneers? Perhaps a better head coach?
Also, Tom Brady shouldn't have bragged earlier in the week about the refs letting him get away with trash-talking. Guess who got the first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of his career yesterday? That probably wasn't a coincidence, even if he had a point about linebacker Von Miller hitting him in the helmet.
Then you had the Kansas City Chiefs beating the Buffalo Bills 42-36 in overtime last night. The Bills are for real, but they weren't going to win this game on the road. Buffalo took a 36-33 lead with 13 seconds left in regulation, but that was still too much time on the clock to give to Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs quarterback marched the team 45 yards down the field to allow Harrison Butker to make the game-tying field goal as time expired. Kansas City won the overtime coin toss, scored a touchdown on the first drive, and that was that.
The Chiefs will now face the surprising Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City next week. We're pulling for the Bengals to shock the world, but Mahomes and company have to be considered the strong favorites to make it to the Super Bowl.
All of this weekend's games were a lot of fun by themselves, but the ongoing mockery of tin foil hat-wearing Aaron Rodgers brought the entertainment to another level. It seemed like our Twitter feed was 90% Rodgers jokes yesterday morning. It was inspiring to see people of all ages, races, religions, and sexual orientations unite around one common theme: Rodgers sucks.
Good for Gonzaga University for suspending NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton's season tickets because he refused to follow the school's mask policy for basketball games. Stockton takes vaccine misinformation to a new level with unhinged quotes like this:
"I think it's highly recorded now, there's 150 I believe now, it's over 100 professional athletes dead -- professional athletes -- the prime of their life, dropping dead that are vaccinated, right on the pitch, right on the field, right on the court,"
Yes, the media has completely ignored 150 athletes dying mid-game. That level of delusion makes us wonder if Stockton has anyone in his life making sure he's staying safe.
A&E has what sounds like a scathing new docuseries about Hugh Hefner. Secrets of Playboy apparently takes extensive measures to show that Hefner's public persona hid a much darker reality:
The Guardian has an extensive profile of Jason Bateman, if you're a fan.
Pearl Jam will record their next album with producer Andrew Watt, according to singer Eddie Vedder. Watt produced Ozzy Osbourne's last two albums, so this obviously means Pearl Jam is becoming a heavy metal band, yes? He also produced Vedder's new solo album, which comes out on February 11, so maybe that will give us a hint of what's to come.
Have to admit, we did not know that the recently-deceased Meat Loaf was Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian's father-in-law. A friend of ours knows one of Meat Loaf's daughters, so did are we now related to Ian? Didn't see that coming.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Let's have Bastille kick off a new week and close things out for us with, "Shut off the Lights" 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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