Friday Clutter: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Donald Trump Jr., Florida v. Disney, Guns Kill Kids, Netflix, Boston Red Sox, Bill Murray, Ed Sheeran, and more
Welcome back, and a happy Friday to you all. What's on tap for the weekend? We've got the usual list of errands, but the primary goal is to have some extended garden time and get everything ready for the annual compost delivery. I should also probably start stretching now, because spreading the compost wrecks me every year. The broken back is worth it, though.
So, yesterday never really got on track, for whatever reason. Some days you’ve got it all together, and some days… not so much. However, I'm feeling better this morning, so BDH and Little Buddha say we should just forget about Thursday and focus on today. Maybe we'll also schedule a little time to listen to the birds. The guys always keep things in perspective. They also want you to know they just made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.
Despite his claims to the contrary, a newly-released audio clip confirms that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told his colleagues he would urge Donald Trump to resign shortly after the January 6 coup attempt. Of course, that was a fleeting moment of courage, as McCarthy was soon photographed at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence kissing up to his leader, and he's gone back to being the subservient toad ever since. Kevin McCarthy, like every other Republican, knows full well Donald Trump tried to overturn a free and fair election. McCarthy just doesn't care. He'll do whatever he has to in order to get the speaker's job he so blatantly craves. Now the question is, will this fleeting moment of distance from Trump sink McCarthy's dreams?
Kevin McCarthy's backbone came and went in the blink of an eye. (pic via kbps.org)
Donald Trump Jr. is reportedly expected to voluntarily meet with the January 6 House select committee in the coming days. We're suspicious about why Jr., Ivanka, and Jared Kushner have all agreed to speak to committee members without putting up a fight. Have they been told that they and their father face no legal concerns from the investigation? If Democrats think simply putting the details of that dark day into the public record is enough to prevent another attack, they're out of their minds. The Department of Justice has to go after high-level members of this conspiracy against the United States. Otherwise, they're giving a green light to the next assault.
The Florida legislature passed a bill yesterday dissolving Disney's ability to self-govern in the area around its Orlando-area theme parks. The bill is in retaliation for Disney belated opposing the state's new "Don't Say Gay" law, which aims to ban any discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools. We know Governor Ron DeSantis and his GOP cronies are sociopaths who are willing to sacrifice their constituents in the name of political power. However, we weren't clear about why Disney should have this ability in the first place.
It turns out that in exchange for this deal, the company pays the infrastructure costs for the, "25,000 acres in Orange and Osceola counties, including four theme parks, two water parks, one sports complex, 175 lane miles of roadway, 67 miles of waterway, and the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista." That seems like a fair trade-off for taxpayers. While the bill is vague, it's clear that the people of Orange and Osceola counties will take it on the chin if they have to cover those costs. As State Sen. Gary Farmer points out in the linked article, the special district's debt service alone is over $1 billion. Governor DeSantis and his accomplices are once again happy to make life miserable for the people of Florida in the name of attacking the LGBTQ community to advance DeSantis' presidential aspirations. It's repulsive.
Good for Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow for speaking out forcefully against State Senator Lana Theis' claims that Democrats seek to "groom" kids. This rhetoric is pure QAnon conspiracy thinking, the kind which has corrupted any Republican claim to basic human decency. Democrats across the country need to follow McMorrow's lead and fight this nonsense much more forcefully, before the plague spreads any further.
For the first time ever, guns were the leading cause of death of kids and teens in the U.S. in 2020. More than 4,300 young people lost their lives in gun-related incidents that year, according to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine. This is yet another way this country fails children every single day. We are a nation addicted to guns and allergic to any common-sense regulations. So many of these deaths could have been prevented, but our "leaders" simply shrug and continue taking contributions from the gun industry.
Billionaire Bill Ackman lost about $400 million after dumping his entire Netflix stake, after the company reported its first subscriber decline in over 10 years this week. Ackman's company, Pershing Square Capital Management, just bought the shares in January, so that's a quick 180 in their views on the company's future. This is another example of why the Clutter investment team doesn't like individual stocks. Granted, the team members aren't billionaires, but they would never buy something they might only hold on to for a few months. The team assumes it will hold its assets for years, with an eye on long-term success. They'd be popping Tums by the fistful if they had to consider a 90 day turnaround, and life's too short for that much stress.
Twitter will now recommend some third-party apps to help users prevent harassment. The social media giant will provide the options after you block or mute someone. Works for us. There are so many miserable people on Twitter who seem to have no other purpose in life but to be abusive to strangers. It makes BDH and Little Buddha sad, so we're on board with anything that helps remove trolls from our feed.
The Boston Red Sox lost 3-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday afternoon. Boston starter Tanner Houck gave up two runs and three hits over five innings. It will be Houck's last outing for a while, since the unvaccinated pitcher won't be able to make his next start in Toronto. Boston's bullpen continues to generally perform better than expected, but two runs from the offense isn't going to get the job done most days. Next up: The Red Sox hit the road, and their first opponent is the Tampa Bay Rays, with Michael Wacha taking the mound for Boston tonight.
In addition to the unvaccinated players who won't be able to play in Toronto, the Red Sox will be without Alex Cora for a stretch, as the vaccinated/boosted manager tested positive for the coronavirus yesterday. The team says Cora is experiencing "mild symptoms. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.
Mike Tyson was filmed punching a passenger on a JetBlue flight. According to reports, the victim was drunk and harassing Tyson before the altercation. Now, should Tyson have punched him? Of course not. Is the guy a moron for harassing Tyson in the first place? Abso-freaking-lutely. There's no amount of alcohol we could drink to make being obnoxious to "Iron Mike" seem like a good idea.
Filming on Aziz Ansari's directorial debut, Being Mortal, has been shut-down after a complaint was filed against star Bill Murray for inappropriate behavior. No word on what exactly Murray is accused of doing, but it's not the first time allegations have been made against him. Ansari had his own problems on this front in 2018, but it doesn't appear anyone is saying he did anything wrong in this case.
The first trailer for HBO's version of The Time Traveler's Wife has been released. These scenes look pretty similar to the movie, so it will be interesting to see how former Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat's adaptation differs. We'll be able to find out when the miniseries begins on HBO on May 15:
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Let's close things out with the latest tune from Ed Sheeran (plus Lil Baby.) With a video filmed in Kyiv before the war began, we leave you with, "2step" 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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