Saturday Clutter: Student Debt, Supreme Court Candidate, Ted Cruz, NFL Playoffs, Ronda Rousey, Kristen Bell, Sean Penn, Duran Duran, and more
How are you? BDH and Little Buddha have been staring out the window watching the snow fall. I have to say, it doesn't look "that" bad out there at the moment. However, the forecast still calls for blizzard conditions for about the next 10 hours, so I should probably keep my mouth shut. It's going to be a quiet day around here. The to-do list calls for watering the plants, doing some reading, and then maybe seeing what's on TV, because we're not going anywhere. (Speaking of which, we will probably next be back with all of you again on Monday.) Oh, and we'll be hoping not to lose power.
Of course, the first thing to do is check out the headlines. The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Saturday Clutter.
The Biden administration has extended the freeze on federal student loan repayment several times, with the current pause scheduled to last until May. However, members of Congress and others continue to call for President Biden to take more dramatic steps and erase up to $50,000 in debt per borrower. Millions were unable to pay their loans before the pandemic, and going back to the status quo would impose a new drag on the economy, which is the last thing this country needs. President Biden should take this halt further and grant some permanent relief.
This pause has been in place since 2020, and the government has done just fine without the payments. That proves it could handle this reduction, via an executive order, without a problem. There is a generation who currently has no chance at the American Dream, because they are buried under an oppressive mountain of debt. Tthere's also a racial component to the crisis. President Biden has the chance to unleash a new wave of economic activity, revive the hopes of millions of Americans, and take a great step forward to reduce the racial wealth gap in the United States, all with the stroke of his pen. He has a chance to make history, and he should step up to the moment.
There's a simple way for President Biden to make a historically positive impact on the country. (pic via abcnews.go.com)
The White House confirmed that President Biden is considering Judge J. Michelle Child as one of the candidates to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger have also been mentioned as likely candidates, but Judge Child is the first one to be publicly acknowledged as a possibility.
Senator Ted Cruz wants the MAGA mob to forget that he accurately described the January 6 coup attempt "a violent terrorist attack," so now Cruz is raising money off a conspiracy theory that claims the whole thing was an inside job. This man is pathetic.
Conservative commentator Stephen Hayes is moving to NBC News after resigning from Fox last year. Hayes spent 12 years at Fox, but he apparently decided Tucker Carlson was too crazy for him. That's not exactly a great demonstration of courage, and it still leaves more than a decade of working for an anti-democracy propaganda network, so this doesn't feel like a great hire for NBC News. The fact that Meet the Press host Chuck Todd endorses Hayes doesn't make it any better. Todd is a hack who is about three years away from heading to Fox himself.
Bank of America apparently expects the Fed to raise interest rates a quarter of a percent seven times this year. That's on the aggressive end of current predictions. However, considering we're starting at a point of near-zero, ending 2022 somewhere around 2% doesn't seem unreasonable to the Clutter investment team. The Clutter savings account finally earning enough monthly interest to pay for a cup of coffee again is starting to feel like a real possibility. Never abandon your dreams, kids.
The conflict between the FAA and telecommunications providers over new 5G networks seems to be receding. That's great to hear, although we're still not getting on a plane again anytime soon. However, we are still confused about why this was an issue in the first place. Surely the FAA knew for years that this might be an issue, so why take until the last second to address it? Simple government bureaucracy?
Since we won't be in the office tomorrow, we should probably discuss this weekend's NFL games:
First the Cincinnati Bengals are on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. We've gotten a kick out of the Bengals making it this far, after not being in the playoffs for the past 31 years. Cincy quarterback Joe Burrow looks like he's the real deal, and we'd love to see him take the Bengals all the way to the Super Bowl. However, we don't see Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs losing this game at home. They've been here before, and there's little chance of them feeling overwhelmed by the pressure, while that's a new thing for Burrow and company. The over/under on total points for the game is 54.5. We'll take the Chiefs and the over.
After that, it's the San Francisco 49ers facing the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game. This match-up will take place in Los Angeles, but it sounds like there will be more San Francisco fans in the stands, so that should negate any home field advantage for the Rams. San Francisco has also already beaten Los Angeles twice this year. On top of all of that, the Rams seemed so determined to give Tom Brady the win in the fourth quarter last week, we have no confidence in their ability to perform here. The over/under on total points is 45.5. Give us the 49ers and the under.
We were under the impression that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was interviewing for the Las Vegas Raiders head coach position today, but now there are stories claiming McDaniels already has the job. We'll have to wait and see if this is a case of rumors getting out ahead of reality or not. Our preference would still be for McDaniels to stay with the Patriots, but if New England already has Bill O'Brien waiting in the wings, that should be a pretty smooth transition. O'Brien has experience both with the Patriots and Alabama, so he and Mac Jones should be able to get on the same page pretty quickly if necessary.
The New York Giants are hiring Brian Daboll to be their next head coach. The team must be counting on the now-former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator to work wonders with quarterback Daniel Jones, like he's done with Josh Allen. The big question is, can Dabol do something that his immediate two predecessors could not, namely, last more than two seasons? We'll set the initial over/under on his run as coach at 2.5 years.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones won't publicly commit to head coach Mike McCarthy's future, but Jones sure does love himself some Dan Quinn, and of course Sean Payton is now an option. Unless the Cowboys start next season 8-0, we don't like the odds of McCarthy lasting the whole year.
Former MMA star Ronda Rousey is expected to make her return to the WWE at tonight's Royal Rumble event. The last time she wrestled for the company was at Wrestlemania 35 in 2019. Hmm, the Royal Rumble is available for free on NBC's Peacock streaming service so maybe we'll see for ourselves if Rousey does appear.
We could also watch Kristen Bell return to her Monica Mars detective roots in the new Netflix series, The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, so there are options:
Actor Sean Penn apparently believes guys are becoming too feminine, due to "cowardly genes." Penn's relevancy has declined over the years, and we can only assume he'll be appearing on Joe Rogan's podcast at some point this year to complain about being "cancelled."
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Let's have Duran Duran close things out with a live performance of, "Save a Prayer" for today's, "Song of the Day."
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. It was a treat to see you, as always. Enjoy the rest of your day, but make sure you stay safe. Also, take your time with any shoveling tomorrow. We don't want any of you overdoing it, deal? Be good, and we'll catch up with you again soon. For now, that's today's Clearing out the Clutter, and we are outta here.
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