Wednesday Clutter: Elon Musk and Trump, Lindsey Graham, Senate Abortion Vote, U.S. Firearm Homicide Rate, Wall Street, Boston Red Sox, Tom Brady, Mike Tyson, Avatar 2, Doctor Who, Ariana Grande, and more
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

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

Hi everyone,

How are you?  Our crew is doing fine at the moment.  Could have used a little more sleep last night, but other than that, we're good to go.  Today's to-do list is relatively short, so BDH and Little Buddha have already pointed out that an afternoon nap is a possibility if needed.  I like how those two think.  The guys are eager to check out the headlines, so let's get to work.  The coffee is ready, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Thursday Clutter.

President Biden acknowledged yesterday that the United States has now officially had at least one million coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.  That number is likely on the low end, largely thanks to inconsistent state reporting efforts.  One million people gone, with millions more left behind to grieve.   It's a national tragedy that can't be normalized. 

President Biden May 12 2022President Biden marked the solemn occasion on Wednesday.  (pic via wral.com)

How many of these people could have been saved if we'd had a competent administration in the White House when this all began?  How many more could have been saved if everyone had just gotten their shots when the vaccines first became available?  (We know there are access issues involved, but many of these folks simply chose not to do it.)  You have to think at least 90% of the deaths in the past 12 months could have been avoided.  It's such a loss on every level, and this country seems to have learned nothing from it, as experts warn of another wave to come later this year.

As expected, Senate Republicans blocked a bill to codify Roe v. Wade yesterday, and the measure failed 49-51.  The majority of the U.S. supports the legislation, but Mitch McConnell and company don't care.  The GOP depends on its never-ending war on women to fuel its base, so Republicans have no interest in doing anything to change that.  It's a party of misogynists who believe women should be at home and subservient to men.  They show who they are time and time again, and national Democrats are still terrified to fight back back as hard as they should. 

President Biden was right when he warned that the U.S. Supreme Court isn't going to stop with abortion.  If Justice Alito's draft opinion becomes final, the court has basically said there's no right to privacy.  That throws the door wide open to challenges on other issues like contraception access and marriage equality.  The question here is, will Biden do anything besides make speeches if that happens?  If he still won't support getting rid of the filibuster and/or expanding the court, his comments come across as empty rhetoric.  President Biden ran on a platform where he claimed he could reach out to Republicans.  It was nonsense then, and nothing has changed.  Is he prepared to fight, or will he let Mitch McConnell and company run right over him for the remainder of his time in the White House?

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) wants to arrest the peaceful protesters standing outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh's house.  Apparently Senator Cotton, who wanted the military to arrest people protesting the murder of George Floyd, believes the 1st Amendment only applies to conservatives. That this guy is a leading 2024 presidential nominee contender should be embarrassing for the GOP, but it's business as usual.  Republicans are only interested in protecting constitutional rights for their supporters.    As far as the GOP is concerned, everyone else should be subject to the whims of the government as the likes of Cotton see fit.

The Clutter investment team was curious to see if investors would consider 4000 a new floor for the S&P 500 yesterday, or if the index would crash right through that level and continue falling.  Turns out it was the latter, as stocks fell another 1.65% to close at 3935.18, a loss of 17.44% so far in 2022.  It doesn't look like things will be better today, because investors seem to be disappointed by yesterday's inflation report.  The Consumer Price Index for April was up 8.3% over a year ago, which is down from the 8.5% level in March.  The investment team is just happy to see a decrease, but others feel it's not enough of a decline, thus the selling continues.

Here we go again:  Last night's Cleveland Guardians - Chicago White Sox game was postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak on the Cleveland side.  It's the first MLB game of the year to be scratched because of COVID-19, but we'll bet it won't be the last.  Get your shots, folks.  We're all tired of discussing this, but a virus doesn't care. 

Last night was a tough one for Boston sports fans.  First, the Boston Red Sox lost 5-3 to the Atlanta Braves last night.  The good news was that the Sox bats showed a little life, scoring three runs in the first three innings, including Trevor Story's first home run in a Boston uniform.  However, Nathan Eovaldi couldn't hold the Braves in check, giving up three runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning.  The Red Sox had a chance to take the lead again in the sixth inning with bases loaded, two out, and catcher Kevin Plawecki at the plate.  However,  the umpire blew the call on ball four, and Plawecki and manager Alex Cora were ejected for arguing.  The Braves eventually scored two runs in the bottom of the 9th, and the Sox had to settle for a series split.  Next up, Boston has today off before starting a series in Texas against the Rangers.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics lost 110-107 to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of their conference semifinal series.  The Celtics had a 14 point-lead in the 4th quarter.  However, they couldn't finish off the Bucks, even as the Celtics regained the lead with 31.1 seconds left.  It was a rare collapse from this group, and they have to immediately forget all about it before Game 6 in Milwaukee on Friday.  The good thing is that history says this team is capable of doing exactly that.

Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks doesn't sound that excited about the idea of Kyrie Irving staying with the team for the long-term, saying he needs players who "are available,"  Irving of course missed much of the season because he refused to get vaccinated.  Who could have possibly predicted that Kyrie might prove to be a distraction to the organization?  His leaving the Celtics was one of the best departures in Boston sports history.   Good luck dealing with all of that.

We enjoy watching the New England Patriots as much as anyone, but the never-ending hype over the release of the NFL schedule is weird.  Yes, there are far fewer games than in the other professional sports leagues, so these stand out more.  There may be a few particularly interesting match-ups, but we don't need weeks of hype and specials before the schedule comes out tonight.  People who devour all of this might consider getting a little more fresh air each day.

Benedict Cumberbatch said he was offered another role in the MCU before joining the Doctor Strange franchise.  You can click on the link to see what the first option was, but it's safe to say he made the right call.

Returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies said he wrote an eight-page audition speech for the actors who wanted to be the next Time Lord.  Hopefully the Internet will eventually find a way to make that dialogue public.  We'd love to see the material Ncuti Gatwa had to learn in order to win the job.

The reviews for HBO's new limited series, The Time Traveler's Wife, are...not positive.  The critics apparently think it fails on every possible level.  We never read the book, and we saw the movie (featuring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana) years ago on a plane.  We enjoyed it at the time (somewhere around 2009.)  However, it's fair to suggest that the idea of a woman falling in love with a man she met as a young child no longer works in 2022.  We're not going to revisit the movie, and we'll see about the show.

Michael Anthony said he's also been approached about participating in the Van Halen tribute project that Jason Newsted and Joe Satriani have previously mentioned.  It would certainly be great to see the former VH bassist return "home" for a tour.  However, he apparently never reconciled with Eddie Van Halen before the guitar icon's death.  As we understand it, those problems went back at least 30 years, and Alex Van Halen was on the same page as his brother, so would he be able to put that aside?  Hopefully the answer is yes.  Our biggest concern remains the vocals, because David Lee Roth does not have this in him.  It sounds like the whole project is still early in the process anyway, so we'll see what happens.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  How about we close things out with the latest from 5 Seconds of Summer.  Here's, "Me Myself & I" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, folks.  It was great to hang out with 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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