Tuesday Clutter: Coronavirus Deaths, Buffalo Shooter, Supreme Courts Backs the Rich, Boston Red Sox, Sean Payton, WWE Notes, Doctor Who, Taylor Hawkins, Kendrick Lamar, and more
Thursday Clutter: Americans Support Roe, Mask Mandates, George W. Bush, Wall Street, Elon Musk, Netflix, Warren Buffett, Pearl Jam, J-Lo, Henry Winkler, Metallica, and more

Wednesday Clutter: The Justice Department and January 6, Michigan Abortion Ban Blocked, Madison Cawthorn, John Fetterman, Mitch McConnell Jerome Powell, Netflix, Boston Red Sox, Doctor Who, She-Hulk, Linkin Park, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back!  How are you?  Sorry we're running a little behind today.  I stayed at Fenway Park until the final out of the Red Sox game last night, which meant getting to bed well past my bedtime.  BDH and Little Buddha said I should just sleep in a bit, rather than be a zombie all day today.  I know better than to argue with the two of them.  However, we're all here and ready to get to work.  The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Wednesday Clutter.

The Justice Department reportedly asked the January 6 House select committee to hand over transcripts of their witness depositions in order to help the DOJ's own investigation.  The committee has yet to do so, as there's reportedly some lingering irritation that the DOJ has yet to act on the committee's contempt referral five months ago of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.  It may be a good policy as a general rule for the Justice Department to not comment on ongoing investigations.  However, it looks from here like the Biden administration is slow-walking the prosecutions of people who organized a plot to overthrow the government, and that's corrosive to this country's long-term future.

Attorney General Merrick Garland May 18 2022Is Attorney General Merrick Garland being prudently quiet, or is he running out the clock?  (pic via sandiegouniontribune.com)

The Justice Department is suing former casino mogul Steve Wynn to force him to register as an agent for China.  Wynn is accused of lobbying Donald Trump in the White House on China's behalf without satisfying the requirements of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.  Wynn, the former finance chair of the Republican National Committee, denies the allegation.

Good to hear that a Michigan judge issued a temporary injunction against the state's 1931 abortion ban yesterday.  Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher summed it up perfectly when she said, "After 50 years of legal abortion in Michigan, there can be no doubt but that the right of personal autonomy and bodily integrity enjoyed by our citizens includes the right of a woman, in consultation with her physician, to terminate a pregnancy."  The case will still have to work its way through the courts for a final decision, but for now, abortion will remain legal in Michigan, even if the Supreme Court's draft ruling overturning Roe v.Wade becomes final.

Representative Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina) lost his primary to opponent Chuck Edwards yesterday.  Rep. Cawthorn never had any interest in governing, but it's telling that Republicans didn't cut him loose until he claimed he'd been invited by his colleagues to do cocaine and participate in orgies.  Supporting a coup against the United States government is fine, and Donald Trump even said Cawthorn deserved a second chance, but this was where the GOP drew the line.  It's doubtful Cawthorn is even disappointed that he lost.  He's probably already lined up his real dream job of being an Fox commentator.

Congratulations to Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman on winning the state's Democratic U.S. Senate primary yesterday.  The progressive Fetterman may have to wait a little while to find out who his opponent will be, because the Republican primary is a close one between Trump-endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormack.  It looks likely that this will involve a recount, which gives Fetterman more time to get  his message out unfettered, while Republicans try to get their house in order.  This is a terrific opportunity to flip a Republican seat, expand the Democratic Senate majority, and make Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema less relevant. 

Of course Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to outright reject the racist "replacement theory" nonsense that motivated the Buffalo shooter.  This racial divisiveness is a fundamental component of the GOP's ideology.  Asking McConnell to speak out against it, or any other expression of white nationalism, would be like asking him to oppose tax cuts for the wealthy.  There's no universe where that happens.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has made it clear:  The Fed will raise interest rates as high as they need to go in order to get inflation under control.  Powell seems comfortable with the way the stock market has reacted to this year's hikes so far, and he shows no signs of wavering from this path.  It feels like the Clutter investment team's dream of having their savings account earn enough monthly interest to pay for one cup of coffee again is almost within reach.

Netflix is laying off 150 employees, as the streaming giant continues to deal with subscriber losses.  The company's stock is currently down a staggering 68.37% for the year, and it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon.  The Clutter investment team doesn't know the company's future, but if Netflix does eventually recover, there's going to be a story about someone making a fortune by getting in at these prices.  However, just the thought of making that bet gives our crew ulcers, so they'll leave it to others to consider.

So we're sitting at Fenway Park last night.  The Boston Red Sox are facing the Houston Astros, and things get off to a good start.  Boston starter Nate Eovaldi has a quick first inning, and then third baseman Rafael Devers hits a solo home run in the bottom of the first to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.  The fun of the evening lasted all of about five minutes after that, because Eovaldi was shelled for five, yes five home runs in the top of the second.  Houston added a grand slam in the 4th inning (which seemed sort of rude) and the Red Sox were crushed 13-4 by the Astros.  Eovaldi tied the record for most home runs given up by a pitcher in a single inning, and that's not the kind of history we like to witness. 

All you can do is hope Boston puts the game behind them and starts fresh today, but the alarm bells are going off on this season.  We're in mid-May, and the 14-22 Sox are not showing many signs of life.  Next up, Nick Pivetta takes the mound for Boston against Houston tonight.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics lost 118-107 to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.  The Celtics were without Marcus Smart and Al Horford, but they still led 62-54 at the half.  However, Miami turned up the heat (sorry) in the second half, and Boston couldn't recover.  It's hard to bounce back when the third period starts with a 22-2 Miami run.  Well, we have faith that the Celtics won't play two clunkers in a row, and they'll make the necessary adjustments before Game 2 tomorrow night.

There's a lot of speculation in this linked article, but is Matt Smith also making an appearance in next year's Doctor Who 60th anniversary special?  If you wanted to tell us that the 11th Doctor is returning, we would have no complaints.  Hell, if you want to throw in all of the available modern era Doctors and companions, that would also be just fine with us.  It's too bad that all of this recent news is overshadowing Jodie Whittaker's final episode this fall.  However, there are so many anniversary storyline options available for returning showrunner Russell T. Davies, it's hard not to already start shifting the focus to 2023.

Talk to us, This is Us fans:  How are you feeling after this week's episode?  Can't tell a lie, we're pretty destroyed just from reading the recap.  Anyone need a tissue?

The first trailer is out for the upcoming Disney+ series, She-Hulk:  Attorney At Law.  We don't know this character all that well, but we like star Tatiana Maslany, and it's nice to see Mark Ruffalo return to action.  This trailer seems a little on the silly side, but we suspect it's misleading.  What do you think, MCU fans?  Will you give it a shot when it starts streaming on August 17?

Drummers Matt Cameron and Chad Smith are trying to back away from their comments in the new Rolling Stone piece about the late Taylor Hawkins.  The men are quoted in the article as saying Hawkins was exhausted by the Foo Fighters' non-stop touring schedule and wasn't sure he would be able to do it much longer.  The Foo Fighters camp claims none of this happened, and Cameron and Smith are now saying their comments were taken of context, which of course is not a denial.

Legendary guitarist Eric Clapton has complained about coronavirus protocols since the start of the pandemic.  You'd never guess why Clapton just cancelled two shows:  That's right, he tested positive for COVID-19.   Apparently all of this wasn't real until it happened to him.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Linkin Park just re-released Minutes to Midnight to celebrate the album's 15th anniversary.  This new version comes with four bonus tracks, so let's close things out with one of them.  We leave you with, "Across the Line" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was great to see you, as always.  BDH and Little Buddha want to make sure you know you're invited to come back to watch tonight's "One Chicago" shows with them if you like.  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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