Monday Clutter: Trump, Mike Pence, Flu Season, Wall Street, Meta Layoffs, Apple Privacy, NFL Notes, Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever, Daniel Craig, Carmen Electra, Night Ranger, and more
Welcome back, and a happy/chilly Monday to you all. The forecast calls for a high of about 40 degrees, which wouldn't be so bad. However, BDH and Little Buddha say this wind is supposed to continue for most of the day, so it will be closer to a "real feel" of 34 degrees. This afternoon's yard work might be a little challenging. Anyway, we hope you enjoyed the rest of your weekend. We saw a terrific movie with Dad Clutter last night, but let's come back to that later. The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.
(Our new beanies are only available for one more week, so get yours today!)
Donald Trump is still reportedly planning to launch his 2024 presidential campaign tomorrow, despite having been the biggest reason why the Republican "red wave" was nowhere to be found during last week's midterm elections. The man is desperate to return to the White House so he can hide from prosecutors again. He doesn't care if he costs Republicans the Georgia Senate runoff race next month. His stock is plummeting, and he's panicking. There's also the fact that he wants to continue scamming his followers for every last dollar he can get out of them.
Trump is rushing to change the growing Republican narrative that he's a loser. (pic via japantimes.co.jp)
Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida) wants to blame Mitch McConnell and company for Republicans doing so poorly last week. Senator Scott, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee which just failed to regain control of the Senate, thinks passing legislation that helps ordinary people runs counter to the GOP platform, so that's where they went wrong. Typical Republican lack of self-reflection and warped perspective (as well as passing the buck): Republicans lost because they took a fundamental right away from millions of women and continue their assault on American democracy. Turns out those aren't winning arguments. If Scott and his colleagues don't grasp that, they'll fail again in 2024, which would be fine with us.
Look at that - Mike Pence finally found the backbone to publicly say that Donald Trump's words during the January 6 riot, "endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building." It only took him close to two years to state the obvious. Of course, the fact that he has a new book to promote has nothing to do with it. Pence's right-wing extremism is disqualifying by itself, but who on Earth would want someone in the White House who was too terrified to stand up to the guy who almost got him killed?
NH Governor Chris Sununu can stop acting like he doesn't support the GOP's extremism, when he was out there fully supporting Senate candidate Don Bolduc. You may remember Bolduc as the guy who said women should "get over" Roe v. Wade being overturned. He was also out there repeating a lie told by Joe Rogan about elementary school kids dressing like cats and defecating in litter boxes. Yeah, Sununu endorsed all of that, so let's stop this phony moderate viewpoint nonsense now.
The CDC just released a map showing flu levels across the United States, and it's not a pretty picture. Friends, please get your flu shot (and your COVID booster while you're at it), if you haven't already, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner. According to the linked article, this is the worst start to the flu season since 2009, and there have already been 1300-related deaths. Keep yourselves safe and healthy this winter.
Things are apparently going well for recreational marijuana users in Massachusetts, as prices drop and product quality improves.
It will be interesting to see how stocks do this week, after investors held a mini-party over improving inflation numbers this past Thursday and Friday. The S&P 500 was up almost 6% for the week. Will it stay there, or will people take a deep breath and realize they may have over-reacted a wee bit? October's data was promising, but the jury is still out about whether or not it was the start of a trend. Also, how does Wall Street feel about Democrats keeping control of the U.S. Senate?
Mark Zuckerberg wants you to know that Meta's recent layoffs were done more "thoughtfully" than Twitter's firings. Not sure that makes any difference to any of the people who were cut from either company, but it does show one difference between the social media platforms: People still believe Zuckerberg is interested in the long-term health of Meta, while many think Elon Musk is deliberately driving Twitter into the ground.
Apple has gotten a lot of positive publicity for protecting its customers' privacy from Facebook, but now the company is being sued for its own data collection practices. The claim is that Apple is getting real-time data from iPhones when someone uses one of Apple's own apps, even if the phone's settings are set to disable tracking. We all know "Big Brother" is watching all the time, but you can't give people a false sense of privacy.
The Miami Dolphins blew out the Cleveland Browns 39-17 on Sunday. That, paired with the Buffalo Bills losing 33-30 in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings, means Miami is now sitting on top of the AFC East. This should be a fascinating second half of the NFL season. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa seems to be finally coming into his own, and the Dolphins' recent trades have already paid off for them. Not sure if the New York Jets are legit, but they're tied with Buffalo for second place in the division. Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride.
The Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 31-28 in overtime yesterday to snap their five-game losing streak. We were rooting for Aaron Rodgers to lose his sixth-straight game, but supporting the Cowboys felt dirty, so we're happy to move on from this game.
The Indianapolis Colts beat the Las Vegas Raiders 25-20 yesterday, giving rookie head coach Jeff Saturday his first-ever win. Saturday surprised everyone by reinstating Matt Ryan, after the team previously said the veteran quarterback would be done for the year. Recently-fired Colts coach Frank Reich has to be grumbling about that move, since owner Jim Irsay was reportedly the one who made the decision to bench Ryan in the first place.
The Raiders now fall to 2-7, and you have to wonder if coach Josh McDaniels is going to survive the rest of the year. If you can't beat a joke of a team like the Colts, can anyone take you seriously?
Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever brought in a record-setting $180 million domestically at the box office in its opening weekend. That's the biggest November debut of all time in North America. The film took also took in $330 million globally. It's a terrific movie that handles the loss of star Chadwick Boseman well and also lays the groundwork for future adventures. We look forward to being in the theater for each and every one of them.
As we mentioned earlier, we saw The Banshees of Inisherin last night with Dad Clutter. What a terrific movie. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are fantastic as longtime friends who have a falling out. The film is darkly funny in spots, largely sad, and Irish to its core. Highly recommended.
After an actor finishes playing an iconic role, they may feel the need to do something completely different in order to avoid being seen as "only" that one character. The latest example is Daniel Craig breaking out of his James Bond shell via...a Belvedere Vodka commercial, directed by Taika Waititi. We don't drink vodka, but cheers to Craig for throwing himself into this memorable and distinctly non-Bond performance:
We haven't heard Carmen Electra's name in ages, but apparently the former 90's star is crushing it with her OnlyFans site. According to the linked article, Electra is in "the top .01 percent of earners," and she seems to be enjoying the experience. Good for her.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. We went out for dinner after the movie last night, and the restaurant was playing Sirius XM's "Hair Nation." Gotta say, that should be required in every dining establishment. Let's close things out with something off the playlist. We leave you with Night Ranger's "(you can still) Rock in America" for today's, "Song of the Day."
Yeah, that starts the new week on the right note.
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. It was great to see you, as always. Enjoy the rest of your day, keep rocking, 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.