Saturday Clutter: Student Debt, Supreme Court Candidate, Ted Cruz, NFL Playoffs, Ronda Rousey, Kristen Bell, Sean Penn, Duran Duran, and more
Tuesday Clutter: January 6 House Select Committee, U.S. Supreme Court Nominee, Whoopi Goldberg, Wordle, Meta, Tom Brady, Doctor Who, Rihanna, Neil Young, and more

Monday Clutter: Trump, Cheslie Kryst, Josh McDaniels, NFL Playoffs, Doctor Who, Spotify, Katy Perry, and more

Hi folks,

Welcome back!  How was the rest of your weekend?  That blizzard was no joke.  It seemed like it got off to a slow start, but we ended up with something in the 12-18 inches range.  I'm just thankful it was light snow, because otherwise, I'd still be outside shoveling.  Are you as excited as we are for the end of January?  BDH's birthday is in two weeks, and then two weeks after that is March.  Once we are in March, we can start talking about the start of gardening season! 

BDH and Little Buddha just told me that it's currently -7 degrees outside.  There aren't that many items on today's to-do list, so I'll hold off on tackling those until the temperature at least reaches positive territory.  What do you say we check out the headlines while we wait?  The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Monday Clutter.

Donald Trump suggested at a rally on Saturday that he would pardon the January 6 rioters if elected president in 2024:

"If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly," Trump said. "And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly."

It's a continuing pattern of Trump dangling legal protection in front of anyone who who can implicate him in criminal activity (see: Roger Stone and company.)  If he's doing this now, Trump knows he's in trouble for his role in the coup attempt.  The GOP is the party of violent crime and actions against the United States.  They're a growing national security threat and should be treated as such.

Donald Trump was also clear that he wanted Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election results on that dark day in January.  You know what you call that?  Say it with us, "a coup attempt."  Trump is leading an all-out assault on democracy, and Republicans march in lockstep with him.  This drive towards fascism can not be left unchecked. 

Donald Trump January 31 2022Trump isn't subtle about his agenda to destroy democracy in America.  (pic via nashuatelegraph.com)

Federal prosecutors have reached a plea deal with Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael in the federal hate crimes trial for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.  Both men were convicted of murdering Arbery last year, and they were sentenced to life in prison without parole.  No details have been released yet about the details of the deal.  However,  Arbery's family opposes it, with Arbery's mother's lawyer saying, "This back room deal represents a betrayal to the Arbery family who is devastated."  The status of Roddie Bryan, third man convicted of killing Arbery, is unclear at the moment.

A quick note about how the press covers Wall Street:  The media loves inflammatory headlines, even when they paint a misleading picture.  Take for instance this article which warns, "Stocks rebound but head for worst January since 2016."  Yikes, the worst January in six years?  That can't be good.  We feel anxious just reading that.  However, the reality is that even with a rough month, the S&P 500 is still just 8% off its all-time high.  That doesn't sound scary, which is why it doesn't make a good headline.  The Clutter team reminds you to ignore the short-term news (good or bad) and focus on long-term success.  Don't get pulled into making rash moves because someone wants you to click on their post.

Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Cheslie Kryst, the 2019 Miss USA and former Extra correspondent, who died yesterday, apparently after jumping out of a hotel window.  Kryst was only 30 years old.  A reminder that you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if you are struggling.  Also, if you think you know someone who might be in trouble, check in with them.  Isolation can be one of the most crippling aspects of depression.

A North Carolina man is refusing a life-saving kidney transplant because he refuses to get vaccinated first.  What can we say, that's just sad.  However Chad Carswell got to this point, we feel bad for his friends and family.

It looks like Josh McDaniels will be the next head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.  He must have gotten tired of waiting for Bill Belichick to retire.  We're sorry to see McDaniels leave the New England Patriots again, but we wish him the best of luck and hope this goes better than when he was with the Denver Broncos.  Dealing with Raiders owner Mark Davis will not be easy.  This seems like an obvious opportunity for Bill O'Brien to return to the Patriots, and given his familiarity with the offense of both New England and Alabama, he seems like a good fit for Mac Jones. 

We were wrong again about both NFL playoff games yesterday, but we're thrilled about the first result:  The Cincinnati Bengals shocked the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime in yesterday's AFC Championship Game.  We were rooting for the surprising Bengals, but facing Patrick Mahomes and friends on the road in such a big game seemed like too much to ask of young Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.  Kansas City was up 21-3 at one point in the first half, and it felt like they were on their way to their third straight Super Bowl. 

However, the Bengals defense shut Mahomes down in the second half.  They also generated the first two interceptions Mahomes has ever thrown in an AFC Championship Game, including the back-breaker in overtime.  That one led to rookie kicker Evan McPherson hitting the 31-yard game-winning field goal, and now the Bengals are heading to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1989.  They've earned their ticket, with playoff wins over the Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, and we're pulling for them to finish the deal in two weeks.

Their opponents will be the Los Angeles Rams, who beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in the NFC Championship Game last night.  We were unimpressed by how poorly the Rams played in the fourth quarter the week before against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so we thought they might blow this one.  However, looking for 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to take care of business was apparently too much to ask.  The 49ers were up 17-7 going into the fourth quarter, but Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford got on track just long enough to lead a comeback.  The Rams went up 20-17 with about two minutes left, and then Jimmy G. and the 49ers sputtered on the final drive, with Garoppolo throwing a game-ending interception. 

That pick seems like a fitting ending to Jimmy G's time in San Francisco.  He did head coach Kyle Shanahan a favor by going out this way.  Shanahan clearly wants to move onto rookie Trey Lance, and that will be easier, now that Garoppolo isn't taking the team to another Super Bowl. 

The Rams now get to play the Super Bowl on their home field, just like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did last year.  That was certainly an advantage for Tom Brady and company against the Kansas City Chiefs, but our money is on Joe Burrow and the Bengals to surprise everyone one last time.

Betting on games is not our thing, but we have to salute the guy who turned $20 into $549,000 by correctly picking the winners and exact scores of yesterday's games.  That's impressive. 

Sorry, this is a little clickbait-ish, but we don't want to give away the surprise here:  It sounds like Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker's upcoming regeneration will be a little different than usual.  Maybe it's nothing, or maybe it's symbolic of the start of a new era?  Guess we'll have to wait and see.  In the meantime, we are still waiting for Whittaker's second-to-last episode to air sometime this spring.

Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have both removed their music from Spotify in protest of the streaming service giving a platform to anti-vaxxer Joe Rogan to spread misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine.  Spotify's response is apparently to now post a disclaimer ahead of any podcast discussing the pandemic.  That does nothing to stop the damage Rogan is doing with his tin-foil hat theories.

We're still waiting to see if  other musicians follow suit.  Good for Young and Mitchell for this protest, but maybe artists who have control over their own catalogs should also be leaving because Spotify is a terrible idea in general?  The economics of paying $10 a month for basically all of recorded popular music means the creators have been/are/always will be ripped off on the finances. 

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Hey, it's zero degrees.  We're moving in the right direction.  Let's see, do we start the new week with a bang, or should we ease into it instead?  Let's take a vote...  Ease into it wins, so here's Katy Perry on last week's SNL performing, "Never Really Over" 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 later if you want to read with them for a little while.  We're going grocery shopping in a bit, so just drop us a line if you want any particular snacks.  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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