Wednesday Clutter: Kevin McCarthy, Dr. Fauci, Disney, Twitter, Fidelity, Boston Red Sox, Robert Pattinson, Jenna Coleman, Sting, Annie Lennox, and David Bowie, and more
How are you? Week going okay so far? We're doing well at the moment, thank you. No luck at the bookstore yesterday. Nothing in the new releases section felt like a good match for BDH and Little Buddha. The guys are fine with that. They still have about 90 pages left in their current book, and they're happy to watch some Red Sox games and whatever else is on TV this week. Unfortunately, there aren't any new NBC "One Chicago" shows tonight, but we'll find something good. Now, let's get to work and take a peek at the headlines. 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 Wednesday Clutter.
Courage in private and cowardice in public: House Minority "Leader" Kevin McCarthy didn't just criticize Donald Trump shortly after the January 6 coup attempt. Newly release audio features McCarthy calling out some fellow Republicans, including Representatives Mo Brooks (Alabama), Matt Gaetz (Florida), Lauren Boebert, (Colorado) Barry Moore (Alabama) and Louie Gohmert (Texas.) McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (Louisiana) criticized these crackpots for putting Republicans in danger with their actions surrounding that dark day, but did McCarthy do anything about it? Not a chance.
McCarthy has sold his soul for the chance to be House Speaker, and there's nothing he won't do for the position. However, according to the linked article, some voices in the GOP are already turning on McCarthy, calling him "a puppet of the Democratic Party." It would be poetic justice if McCarthy's craven lust for glory came up empty. However, what the country really needs is a Republican Party that actually cares about the future of the country, not just protecting their own political power. Sadly, that's not going to happen. What we're left with is a group of white nationalist fascists who are a threat to the United States.
Will Republicans turn on Kevin McCarthy for his rare moment of honesty? (pic via abcnews.go.com)
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the United States is "out of the pandemic phase." That's certainly nice to hear, as coronavirus case levels are nowhere near where they were at the height of the crisis. However, the numbers are on the upswing, and mask mandates have fallen by the wayside. We understand everyone is tired of talking about this, but the reality is that a virus doesn't care. There will be no complete eradication of the coronavirus, but we just hope this country isn't setting itself up for yet another surge later this year.
Derek Chauvin is appealing his conviction for the murder of George Floyd. Hopefully that will be rejected by the courts. Chauvin got the punishment he deserved when he killed Floyd because of the color of his skin.
Russia is expanding the scope of its war against Ukraine by cutting off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria in retaliation for the West's support of Ukraine. The question here is, who is hurt more by this extortion? The countries who need the energy, or Russia, which needs the money?
Disney is reportedly telling investors it is confident the Florida state government doesn't have the ability to end the company's special district, because doing so would violate a section of the original enabling statute. This attack against Disney for its opposition to the state's, "Don't Say Gay" law may eventually fail in the courts. However, it's still an attempt to intimidate the LGBTQ community and their allies, and it must be stopped.
Democrats/progressives are apparently already leaving Twitter because of Elon Musk's pending purchase of the social media platform, while conservatives are seeing an increase in their follower numbers. We're still using Twitter for the time being, but that could change down the road. In the meantime, isn't it bizarre that a private individual could purchase such an influential site without having to undergo any regulatory approval?
April continues to be an ugly month on Wall Street. The S&P 500 fell 2.81% yesterday, thanks to ongoing fears about inflation, the war in Ukraine, and a possible economic slowdown. The Clutter investment team was talking about this with a couple of people yesterday. For all of the bad news so far this year, the index is still down less than 1% from where it was a year ago. At 4174, it's within striking distance of its 52-week low of 4057, but the team still believes anything over 4100 is still expensive. Watching a year-to-date fall of 12.4% isn't fun, but if that's what it takes to wring out some of the excess in the market and establish a more realistic baseline, so be it. The team will continue to keep its eyes on the long-term picture.
Fidelity plans to make Bitcoin an option in some of its 401(k) plans later this year. The Clutter investment team thinks that's a terrible mistake and urges customers not to waste their money. Cryptocurrency is a scam that will eventually collapse one way or another. People who buy it now as a non-retirement asset will just lose whatever amount they invested. People who use it in their retirement plans, on the other hand, are looking at losing not only the money they contribute, but the future earnings they could have had by buying a low-cost index fund instead. If your employer offers you this choice, turn it down without hesitation.
Doctors are no longer recommending most people take a daily aspirin to reduce their chances of a first heart attack or stroke. According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, the risk of internal bleeding caused by consuming the aspirin now outweighs any potential benefits. The linked article says there may be an exception for people 40 to 59 years old who are at higher risk of having one of these problems. Long story short, talk to your doctor about what you have to do to stay with us for as long as possible. We want to see you all here for many more years to come.
The Boston Red Sox lost 6-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays in 10 innings last night. The Red Sox were up 5-2 going into the 9th inning, but the bullpen coughed up the lead and eventually gave the Blue Jays another walk-off win. Boston starter Nick Pivetta was a touch better than his previous outings, giving up two runs and three hits over 4 2/3 innings, but his control continues to elude him, as he walked four batters. Pivetta is not a #2 pitcher, and if he's still in that position in the second half of the season, you know the Red Sox see this as a bridge year. Next up, Michael Wacha takes the mound against the Blue Jays tonight.
Former New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork's son pleaded guilty to stealing more than $300,000 worth of jewelry and memorabilia from his father. D’Aundre Holmes-Wilfork was given five years of probation as a sentence. Don't know the full story here, but it sounds like a sad family issue. Hopefully they'll eventually be able to recover from this situation.
It's official: Robert Pattinson will return for another Batman movie. Warner Brothers made the announcement last night. There isn't much in the way of other details right now, besides Pattinson's return and that The Batman director Matt Reeves will write and direct the sequel. No real surprises here, considering how well The Batman has done at the box office this year. If we get our errands done early enough today, maybe we'll start watching it on HBO Max.
Meanwhile, it sounds like the practice of releasing new movies in the theater and via streaming on the same day is over. It was nice while it lasted, but we expect the reversion to the previous status quo to only have a mild impact on our viewing habits. Apart from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder, there isn't much on this year's film schedule so far that we need to see on a big screen. For the most part, we'll go back to checking out the new options on HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and the like, whenever they appear.
We want to wish Jenna Coleman a very happy birthday! The former Doctor Who co-star turns 36 years old today. We hope she will one day agree to do a series of new Clara Oswald audio adventures for Big Finish. "The Impossible Girl" still has more stories to tell.
Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if you combined Metallica, Megadeth, Blue Oyster Cult, and the Pointer Sisters into one song? No, no one has ever wondered about that, but we've just spent five minutes listening to the result, and it works much better than it should:
Sting is apparently not a fan of grown men being in bands. He says bands are "teenage gangs," and that it's hard to see growth in the music of groups like the Rolling Stones and AC/DC. That's a little weird, since Sting himself was in the Police when he was 26-32 years old, but we get his point about the stalled creativity. At some point, most bands do seem locked into a formula, because that's what their fans expect. It's up to the artist to figure out which path they want to take between a band and solo work, but we enjoy those who combine the two.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. We were recently reminded that last week marked the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. That was an amazing show from start to finish, and we're going to close things out here with one of our favorite performances. We leave you with Annie Lennox and David Bowie crushing, "Under Pressure" for today's, "Song of the Day."
We'll never get tired of watching that clip.
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. It was a treat to see you, as always. BDH and Little Buddha say you're welcome to come back tonight if you want to watch the Red Sox game with them (or The Batman, if you prefer.) If you want to bring snacks, that's also fine. 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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