Thursday Clutter: One Million U.S. Coronavirus Deaths, Republicans Block Abortion Bill, Wall Street, Boston Red Sox, NFL Schedule, Benedict Cumberbatch, The Time Traveler's Wife, 5 Seconds of Summer, and more
(Movie Review) Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Friday Clutter: Elon Musk, Student Loan Forgiveness, January 6 House Select Committee, Senator Rand Paul, New England Patriots, This is Spinal Tap, Norm Macdonald, Stevie Wonder, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back, and a happy Friday the 13th to you all.  What's on tap for the weekend?  I've got the usual errands, and I'm hoping to also get some garden time tomorrow, because the forecast calls for rain on Sunday.  Speaking of the to-do list, May has gotten off to a so-so start, so I'm considering shaking things up a bit, putting today's list to the side, and going to the movies instead.  BDH and Little Buddha think that's a great idea, so we'll see.  In the meantime, let's check out the headlines.  The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.

Elon Musk said his deal to buy Twitter is "temporarily on hold" after a report claimed that spam and bot accounts only comprise about 5% of Twitter users.  Musk had previously said that combating these kinds of fake accounts was a major reason he wanted to buy the social media platform.  One suspects Musk is looking for a way out of the purchase, now that his net worth has reportedly dropped 20%, thanks largely to the current problems on Wall Street.  Whatever he wants to use for an excuse to back out would be fine with us.  However,  you know this story will have more twists and turns before we get to a final outcome.

Elon Musk May 13 2022Is Elon Musk getting cold feet?  (pic via money.yahoo.com)

The Biden administration is reportedly trying to figure out how to do income-targeted student loan forgiveness.  This is like health care reform all over again.  It's a simple concept that Democrats will make too complicated, then no one understands what they did, and Republicans will lie about it anyway.  Erase $50,000 per borrower, period.  Tout what a great thing you did, that the public can grasp, and ignore the Republicans who are going to attack it no matter what.

The January 6 House select committee issued subpoenas for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Representatives Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, and Scott Perry.  Of course the these men will refuse to comply, because speaking honestly about their roles in the coup attempt would be disastrous for them and their party.  Attorney General Merrick Garland is still MIA here, so the committee members will likely use the Republicans' refusal to cooperate as talking points during the public hearings in June.  Every member of Congress who was involved in this assault on the United States should have been thrown out of office the next day. 

The National Archives is prepared to turn over another large batch of Trump administration documents to the January 6 House select committee.  Some of the emails and the like are scheduled to be delivered immediately, while others will be transferred at the end of the month, unless Trump finds a judge willing to block the process.  The select committee certainly seems to be doing everything they can to put together a complete picture of this attack on our government. However, if the Department of Justice doesn't follow up with prosecutions of the leaders, there's nothing to stop this group of thugs from doing this all over again and again until it works.

Shame on Senator Rand Paul for single-handedly delaying a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine yesterday.  Senator Paul, who doesn't do much besides hold up bills at the last minute, reportedly wanted language about an inspector general overseeing the money inserted without a vote.  When given the chance to put his proposal to a vote, Paul said no, because he knew he would lose.  This is a bipartisan bill, and Rand Paul seems to be more concerned about protecting Russia's interests.  The bill is still expected to eventually pass, but it would be nice if Republicans would elect officials who actually care about the United States.

Some in the GOP and Donald Trump's camp are trying to stop Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Kathy Barnette, a radical conservative known for homophobic and anti-Muslim statements.  As far as we can tell, the only real Republican objection to Barnette is that she's not Trump's preferred candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz, because her rhetoric is right in line with conservative ideology.  She just says it in such direct terms, there's no way for Republicans to spin away the hate that fuels their party.

Finland's leaders say they will apply for NATO membership "without delay."  The country shares a border with Russia,  so this is a logical move, considering Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  Russian officials are threatening retaliation if Finland joins the alliance.  This is a problem entirely of Russia's making, as the country continues to further isolate itself from the rest of the world.

Jerome Powell will get more time to fight the rampant inflation currently harming the U.S. economy:  Powell was confirmed by the U.S. Senate yesterday for a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chairman by a vote of 80-19.

The Clutter investment team remains prepared to handle the current selling spree on Wall Street, as far as stocks are concerned.  However, you couldn't pay our crew enough to go anywhere near the cryptocurrency meltdown.  The entire concept is a scam.  At best, it's gambling, not investing. 

Google allows users to request the removal of a limited amount of personal information from the company's search engine results.  Requests aren't automatically approved, and you're not getting the information taken off the Internet, but it's one tool to help reduce your digital footprint.

The New England Patriots 2022 schedule came out yesterday.  The biggest news is that the Patriots play the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving, which is the first time they've played on Turkey Day since 2015.  The Pats also have their bye in Week 10, so that's well-placed right in the middle of the season.  Other than that, we're still not that optimistic about what lies ahead.  Of course plenty can change between now and Week 1, but just taking a quick look at the schedule, we see the Patriots finishing 5-12.  What's your prediction?

The New England Patriots traded backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham and a draft pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for another draft pick.  Stidham was once seen as the possible replacement for Tom Brady in New England, but he fell out of favor and never really challenged Cam Newton or Mac Jones for the starting job.  He was injured at one point, but he also just seemed to get buried on the depth chart.  However, now he gets another chance after reuniting with Raiders head coach/former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the backup to Derek Carr.

Are you ready to turn things up to 11 again?  A sequel to This is Spinal Tap will be released in 2024 to mark the 40th anniversary of the original cult favorite movie.  Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer will all be back, but no word yet about a drummer.

It turns out that the late Norm Macdonald taped a secret standup comedy special that was only to be released in the event of his death.  Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special will come out on Netflix on May 30, and we expect it to be both very funny and moving.

The CW, CBS, and NBC all announced some cancellations yesterday.  There are a few surprises in there, but for the most part, these seem like pretty straightforward decisions.

Ashley Judd revealed in an interview that her mother Naomi died from suicide involving a gun.  We appreciate how difficult it must have been to make that public.  A reminder that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always available at 1-800-273-8255.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Considering that it's Friday the 13th, it seems fitting to have the great Stevie Wonder close things out  with, "Superstition" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It's always great to see you.  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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