Monday Clutter: Trump, Mayor Wu, Miami Dolphins, Spotify, Dwayne Johnson, Bill Murray, Guns N' Roses, and more
(Book Review) The Nineties

Tuesday Clutter: U.S. Supreme Court, Trump v. Rogan, Tom Brady, Super Bowl, MLB, The Matrix Resurrections, Van Halen, Coldplay and Selena Gomez, and more

Hi everyone,

How are you?  BDH and Little Buddha were just trying to help me work through today's weather forecast.  We've currently got some light freezing rain, with a little bit of snow to follow until about 11:00.  That sounds like a mess.  However, it's supposed to warm up a bit, so maybe I'll make some progress with the shoveling.  Hmm, I also need to get to the bookstore to check out the new releases, because the guys just finished what they were reading.  Hope I don't slide the whole way there.  I'm also being told that the 10-day forecast looks decent, so at least there's that.  In any case, 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.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 decision that a new Republican-drawn Alabama congressional map can stay in place.   This blocks a lower court's decision that the map likely violates the Voting Rights Act because it reduces the opportunity for Black voters to choose their preferred candidate.   Of course, there's no reason to believe that Alabama might engage in racist behavior or anything.  The Supreme Court justices also said they will hear arguments about the case.  That means the discriminatory districts will likely remain in place for an entire election cycle while the legal process plays out in the months ahead.  Put your money on the conservative justices finding a way to further eviscerate, if not completely overturn, the Voting Rights Act when they get the chance. 

U.S. Supreme Court February 8 2022The Supreme Court's war on voting continues.  (pic via npr.org)

These Republican hacks will continue doing everything within their power to make it as hard as possible for anyone who isn't a member of their base to vote.  That Joe Biden and the rest of Democratic leadership continue to ignore this blatant assault on free and open elections, and tell their supporters that the key is to "out-organize" Republicans in the fall, is an embarrassment.  Republicans are already setting themselves up to be the permanent party in power without ever having to earn the support of the majority of the country.  Expand the court, or be prepared to be exiled.

Meanwhile, critics continue to point out that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas faces repeated conflicts of interest on the bench, as his wife Ginni remains a strident activist for many conservative causes that come before the court.  The institution's credibility is being eroded by a bunch of partisan fanatics who place their political agendas ahead of protecting the U.S. Constitution.

Donald Trump is angry at Joe Rogan, because the podcaster recently apologized for repeatedly saying the n-word on his show.   What's the point of being alive if you can't use slurs, right, Pumpkin?  Trump called Rogan "weak and frightened" for making the statement, which is about as strong an attack as Trump makes again a man.   (His favorite insult for women is of course, "nasty.")  It has to be exhausting to be this perpetually angry and terrified of the world around you.  How will the MAGA cult feel about two of their favorites fighting? 

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley isn't upset that Donald Trump tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election - she's mad Mike Pence said he was wrong to do so.  Haley also said she thinks Joe Biden is the legitimate president, so does Donald Trump thank her for taking his side against Pence or criticize her for acknowledging Biden won? 

President Biden's top science adviser Eric Lander resigned after an internal investigation found him guilty of violating workplace policies and creating a toxic environment.  Considering the president's original pledge to fire people for being abusive, allowing Lander to resign feels a little weak.  Of course, under the previous administration, this kind of conduct probably would have gotten Lander a promotion.

Billionaire Peter Thiel announced he's leaving Facebook's board of directors later this year.  Thiel has long been connected to Facebook's protection of conservatives on the platform, so it will be interesting to see if any policy changes follow in the wake of his departure.

A new study suggests that corporate climate change policies aren't as meaningful as the companies would like you to believe.  NewClimate Institute says that whether it's by accounting tricks or other selective editing, the 25 companies they looked at are collectively closer to reducing their carbon footprint by 40%, not the 100% they brag about in their ads.

Another new study suggests that if you're looking for a low-energy way to lose some weight, try getting more sleep.  It seems like the link between hunger and being tired was already established, no?  Guess it's good to occasionally reconfirm what we already knew. 

Tom Brady is already talking about the possibility of a comeback?  Not that it's a definite, but he also won't rule it out for sure.  That feels a little obnoxious, but at the same time, it's not surprising.  Everything we've read about TB12 paints the picture of a man with a near-pathological drive for perfection in his life that he only comes close to finding on the football field.  It won't be surprising if he has a hard time making the shift to a new chapter in his story, but it will feel a little sad if he returns at some point next season.

Congratulations to Lovie Smith on being named the new Houston Texans head coach.  Smith has formerly been the head coach of the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and at the University of Illinois.  He was also Houston's associate head coach and defensive coordinator this past season.  We wish him the best, but our question is whether or not the organization is setting him up to fail, like they did to previous coach David Culley.   We'll see if Texans general manager Nick Caserio actually has a plan to improve the team this year.

If you can't wait for the Super Bowl to get here, Madden 22 has already predicted the winner.  It should be noted that the video game has an impressive 61% success rate since 2004 when it comes to figuring out the outcome.  No spoilers, but it sounds like we're in for an entertaining contest between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams.

Of course, one of the best parts of the Super Bowl is watching the commercials, but now you can see many of them ahead of time online.  We're generally trying to avoid them until Sunday, but Amazon's new ad with Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost is pretty funny:

Major League Baseball's steroid testing program expired last December, a victim of the current labor dispute.  It should be easy enough to renew it before the games eventually resume, but that doesn't mean it's a given.  Plus, any delay in its restoration gives players an opportunity to load up on whatever they like until then.

WarnerMedia is being sued by one of the co-producers of The Matrix Resurrections for releasing the film in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time.  Village Roadshow Films reportedly claims the studio traded box office receipts for streaming service subscriptions, which harms everyone connected to the movie who had a financial stake in the movie's performance.  That sounds about right.  We never would have gone to the theater to see the movie anyway, but there's no doubt these arrangements hurt big screen numbers.  Anyone who is depending on people going to the theaters right now is getting a bad deal on multiple fronts.

We've got some good news and some bad news on the TV front:  The good news is that Brooklyn Nine-Nine begins airing on Comedy Central, starting with an all-day marathon, on February 20.  The bad news is that it sounds like Season 3 of Ted Lasso may be slightly delayed.  (Don't shoot the messenger.)

This week marked the 10-year anniversary of the release of Van Halen's final studio album, A Different Kind of Truth.  This is an underrated record which gave the classic Van Halen sound a modern feel.  Though they probably didn't intend it this way, ADKOT was a terrific last call from the band.  Wolfgang Van Halen was the motivation behind the entire project, and he did an informative track-by-track overview for UltimateClassicRock.com.

Nine Inch Nails are hitting the road for a limited run this year.  It's the first time the group has toured since 2018.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Here are Coldplay and Selena Gomez to close things out with their new tune, "Let Somebody Go" 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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