Sunday Clutter: Trump, Lindsey Graham, Flu Season, Gas Station Pot, Boston Red Sox, Magic Johnson, Doctor Who, AC/DC, Bono, Meghan Trainor, and more
Welcome back. How has your weekend been so far? Things are going well on this end - we had a surprise second birthday party for Dad Clutter yesterday which he never saw coming. Last week was dinner with friends, but yesterday was relatives, and it was so much fun to see the look on his face when he walked into the room. A good time was had by all, and it showed once again how many people think he's a rock star. (Spoiler: They're all correct.)
It was late by the time I finally got to bed last night, so our crew slept in this morning. There are a number of items on today's to-do list before Jodie Whittaker's final Doctor Who adventure airs tonight. However, none of them are time-sensitive, so BDH and Little Buddha said to just take a deep breath and focus on the tasks one by one. They really are a wise duo.
The guys also just said the coffee is ready, so let's get to work. Grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Sunday Clutter.
Donald Trump's legal problems continue to grow, as the Trump Organization tax fraud trial begins tomorrow. The company is accused of giving executives "off the books" compensation, including, "lease payments for cars, apartment rent and tuition fees for relatives in lieu of some salary, enabling the company to evade paying payroll taxes." To be clear, this is different than the case brought against Donald Trump by New York Attorney General Letitia James. (It can be hard to keep track of these things when one individual seemingly breaks multiple laws on a daily basis.) The key testimony will be from former CFO Allen Weisselberg, who has already pleaded guilty to a variety of related charges.
How many laws can one man break in a single day? (pic via abcnews.go.com)
To the surprise of no one, Senator Lindsey Graham is begging the U.S. Supreme Court to help him avoid having to speak to the Georgia grand jury investigating Donald Trump's attempt to overturn the state's legitimate 2020 presidential election results. Senator Graham has been identified as one of the Republicans who tried to pressure Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to go along with Trump's sabotage efforts, so of course the last thing Graham wants to do is testify about it under oath.
His request to the Supreme Court falls under Justice Clarence Thomas's review, which is a blatant conflict of interest, considering Ginny Thomas was an active participant in Trump's coup attempt. (That Democrats continue to treat that as no big deal remains astounding.) One would think Justice Thomas would refer the matter to the whole court. The justices should deny Graham's request, but you can never count on these extremists to do the right thing.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the Biden administration remains committed to carrying out its new federal student loan debt cancellation program, even though a court just put a temporary pause on it. According to Secretary Cardona, 22 million Americans have already applied for this help, and he encouraged others to still do so, even in light of the current freeze. It really is amazing how much conservatives hate helping ordinary citizens who aren't in the economic top 1%. Republicans incessantly push damaging tax cuts for the wealthy, at the expense of everyone else, but try to help someone who isn't a millionaire, and they'll run to court to stop you.
Experts continue to warn that this could be a severe flu season, so please get your shot, friends. Kids with respiratory problems are already filling up hospitals, and we haven't even gotten to the real cold weather that drives everyone inside yet. We want you all happy and healthy this winter, so please take care of yourselves.
Tomorrow night's Powerball jackpot is expected to reach $610 million. We may have to add "buy a lottery ticket" to the to-do list. Remember, if you win, you should feel free to send us a donation to help with our coffee budget. Any amount is greatly appreciated.
Circle K gas stations in Florida are about to start selling marijuana products. That should make Bill & Ted happy. We support the national legalization of pot and think it should be regulated/sold like alcohol and tobacco. However, gas station marijuana sounds like gas station sushi: Just because it exists doesn't mean you have to consume it. However, if any of our friends in Florida want to send us a review at email@example.com, we'd be happy to hear your thoughts.
This turned out to be a good week on Wall Street: The S&P 500 rose 2.37% on Friday and finished up 4.74% for the week. Some of the gains seem like they were for technical reasons. The rest feel like they came from investors trying once again to convince themselves that the Fed will ease up on the interest rate increases soon. The Clutter investment team believes the latter is asking for trouble again. Our staff still thinks there won't be any significant change in the market to the upside until the Fed gets several consecutive months' worth of data showing inflation has finally cooled down. Anything short of that is wishful thinking.
Apple is releasing iOS 16.1 on Monday, and it sounds like there are several new features iPhone users will enjoy.
It appears the Boston Red Sox and pitcher Rich Hill are still talking about the lefty returning in some fashion in 2023. Hill has said in the past he wouldn't mind coming in mid-season so he can stay home more, but maybe playing for the Sox again would convince him to play all year. In any case, we're fine with the 43-year-old pitching at Fenway again, as long as it's on a small contract. Hill provides depth, but the Sox need to completely rebuild their starting rotation.
The Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Diego Padres 10-6 last night to take a 3-1 lead in the NLCS. Can Philadelphia send San Diego packing and head to their first World Series since 2009 this afternoon? We like a little more drama in the playoffs, so we're rooting for the Padres to win today. Either way, we'll be cheering for the National League champions to beat either the Houston Astros or New York Yankees.
NBA legend Magic Johnson is reportedly interested in buying a minority share in the Las Vegas Raiders. Johnson has had an enormously successful business career since his playing days ended, so now we'll see if his empire will expand to the NFL.
That didn't take long: Running back Christian McCaffrey is expected to play for the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs today just a few days after being traded to the 49ers. San Francisco gave up a number of draft picks to get McCaffrey, and they clearly want an immediate return on their investment.
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson won't be playing against the New York Jets today, due to a hamstring injury he suffered last week against the Los Angeles Chargers. (Brett Rypien will get the nod for Denver.) The way this season has gone so far for Wilson, it's probably good for him to get a break on the sidelines for a little bit. He needs to get physically healthy and perhaps reset his mental approach for trying to succeed with his new team. A new head coach wouldn't hurt either.
The Boston Celtics beat the Orlando Magic 126-120 yesterday for their first 3-0 start to a season since 2009-2010. Apparently this group will not be distracted by the Ime Udoka scandal, which is great news for C's fans, and bad news for the rest of the NBA.
Like we said, tonight is Jodie Whittaker's final Doctor Who adventure after playing the Time Lord for the last five years. We just remembered that the show is not being simulcast around the world. That means we have to get off Twitter by 2:30 this afternoon to avoid any spoilers.
We gave you a taste of Taylor Swift's new Midnights album with Friday's, "Song of the Day," and now here come the reviews.
AC/DC singer Brian Johnson's new memoir comes out on Tuesday, October 25. We'll give that one a peek if the local bookstore is carrying it, but it's interesting to hear that apparently Johnson doesn't talk about the band all that much. Not to be snarky (seriously), but isn't that what most fans want to read about in this book?
U2 singer Bono also has a memoir coming out (on November 1), and it apparently includes him taking full responsibility for the time Apple forced the band's new album onto everyone's iPhones without asking.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Here's Meghan Trainor to close things out with her new single, "Made You Look" 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 weekend, 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.