Monday Clutter: Trump, Twitter Bans MTG, Dr. Fauci, New England Patriots, Antonio Brown, Betty White, Ricky Gervais, Van Halen, and more
Wednesday Clutter: Coronavirus, January 6 House Select Committee, U.S. Supreme Court, Tinsley the Hero, Australian Open Hypocrisy, Janet Jackson, Demi Lovato, and more

Tuesday Clutter: Filibuster Reform, Trump Kids Subpoenaed, Starbucks Vaccine Policy, Apple, Ben Roethlisberger, Morbius, Betty White, David Bowie, and more

Hi folks,

Welcome back!  How are you?  BDH, Little Buddha, and I were just talking about today's schedule.  I'm not sure there will be time to make it to the bookstore this morning.  The guys said that's fine.  They've slowed down their pacing with the first Lucifer book, so that will last them a while longer, then comes the second volume, and then they have a book to read after that.  They're also still supposed to get one in the mail at some point this month, so they are set for the foreseeable future.  However, I still like to check out the new releases, so we'll see. 

I'll definitely have to bundle up if I do make the trip, because it will be 18 degrees, with a wind chill factor of 12.  Yikes.  It's a good thing we addressed an issue with the heat yesterday.   Anyway, let's get to work.  There's a fresh pot of coffee on the counter, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Tuesday Clutter.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer finally announced that the Senate will tackle filibuster reform by January 17 if Republicans once again block the passage of voting rights protection legislation.  The GOP has been waging war on democracy in state legislatures for years now, and if Democrats don't do something about it soon, the legitimacy of future elections is in peril.  Make Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema put their money where their mouths are and cast their votes against the democratic process if that's what they really believe. 

Senator Chuck Schumer January 4 2022Democrats must take action to protect voting rights in the United States.   (pic via news.yahoo.com)

Attorney General Merrick Garland will reportedly give a speech on Wednesday about the Department of Justice's efforts to prosecute those who were connected to the January 6 assault on the government.  There have been a lot of headlines about the protestors themselves, but we want to hear what's being done about the people at the top who organized this coup attempt.

Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. are refusing to comply with subpoenas from New York Attorney General Letitia James' office in regards to her civil investigation of the Trump Organization (which still sounds like a mob family.)  Team Trump doesn't think subpoenas ever apply to them, you see.  AG James is now seeking to have the courts force the two to cooperate.  The Trumps have spent their entire lives thinking they're above the law.  It's long-past time to correct that belief.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wants Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to know he supports her refusal to follow Twitter's rules, because McCarthy knows MTG is more powerful than he is in the GOP.

Prince Andrew continues to argue that Virginia Giuffre can't sue him because she made an agreement with Jeffrey Epstein.  Giuffre's lawyer says the agreement doesn't cover the prince.  The court will have to figure out who is legally correct, but that's one weak defense.

It's good to hear that the FDA signed off on Pfizer boosters for kids 12-15 years old, especially as students return to school after a winter break.  The CDC still has to approve the decision as well, but assuming they do, that should make many children and parents alike feel better.

A federal judge blocked the Biden administration yesterday from punishing Navy SEALS who don't get vaccinated, claiming it would be a violation of the plaintiffs' religious freedoms.  First, what is the religious argument against the coronavirus vaccine?  As far as we know, no major religions have come out against it.  Feels an awful lot like some people hiding behind an excuse because they just don't want to be told what to do.  According to paperwork filed in the case, over 99% of the active-duty sailors have done the right thing.  The remainder could easily have followed suit.   Second, of course US District Judge Reed O'Connor is based in Texas. 

No word on next steps yet, but we assume the ruling will be appealed and eventually placed before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is already looking at a vaccine case involving large companies.

Starbucks announced it will mandate its employees either be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing, where they'll be required to obtain the tests and submit the results. 

In an about-face, Verizon and AT&T agreed to delay the rollout of their new 5G networks to give airlines more time to address their concerns about how this will impact their communications systems.  The two carriers had rejected a request from the Biden administration 24 hours earlier, but now they say they'll wait two weeks.  You still couldn't get us on a plane right now, but at least travelers should be able to cross this off the list of potential hazards while flying.

Congratulations to ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton and Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner on their engagement.  Dr. Ashton made the announcement during GMA3 yesterday.  We wish the happy couple the best.

Apple reached a $3 trillion capitalization in the first trading day of the year on Wall Street yesterday.  The company hit that mark just two years after crossing the $2 trillion threshold.  The Clutter investment team looks at all of this with a wary eye.  First, no company should be worth that much money, and it's no accident Apple is looking at antitrust challenges.  Second, as successful as Apple is, the team thinks they're an outlier in a market that's already overly-hyped in the first place.  That stock price will have to come back closer to reality again at some point, and it could be an ugly fall from that dizzying height.

Online retailer Fanatics purchased the Topps trading card company for an estimated $500 million.  We probably spent 75% of our childhood allowance on baseball cards back in the day.  There was nothing like the excitement of opening a fresh pack.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out as Topps gets pulled more into the Internet era.

Ben Rothelisberger won his final regular season home game yesterday, as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns 26-14.  That's a shame.  We now begin our annual process of rooting for the quarterback with multiple sexual assault allegations against him to be eliminated from playoff contention as quickly as possible, hopefully for the final time.  Steelers fans, and the NFL in general, just stuck their heads in the sand for almost 15 years and pretended that the organization had anything resembling high morals, because "Big Ben" could throw a football well, and that's all that mattered.   His departure from football can't come soon enough.

Sorry, Morbius fans -the movie has been delayed again, because of coronavirus concerns.  Originally scheduled to come out in October of last year, it was then supposed to be released on January 28, but the new target is now April 1.  We won't see this one on a big screen anyway, but we are keeping an eye out for the streaming option, because former Doctor Who star Matt Smith is in the cast.

In case you've heard otherwise, Betty White died from natural causes, according to her agent.  Don't let the comedy icon's death become fodder for conspiracy theorists.  That would be disrespectful to her legacy.

David Bowie's estate sold the publishing rights to his entire catalog to Warner Chappell Music for an estimated $250 million.

David Lee Roth's entire "retirement tour" residency in Las Vegas has been cancelled, due to coronavirus concerns.  We weren't convinced this was going to be the end for the former Van Halen singer anyway, so let's see how long it takes him to announce another set of shows.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  We might make it to the bookstore after all.   Let's have David Bowie close things out with a live version of, "The Man Who Sold the World" 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 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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