Sunday Clutter: Trump, Hunter Biden, Brittney Griner, Elon Musk, Masks, Grant Wahl, Boston Red Sox, Barry Windham, SNL, The Winery Dogs, and more
Tuesday Clutter: Marriage Protection, Joe Manchin, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Inflation, New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Peacock, Janet Jackson, Iggy Pop, and more

Monday Clutter: Bernie Sanders, Prisoner Swap, Twitter Blue, Federal Reserve, New England Patriots, Young Sheldon, Guardians of the Galaxy, Brandi Carlile, and more

Hi folks,

Welcome back, and a happy Monday to you all.  Friends, we need your help.  I have to take the car to the mechanic as soon as we're done here this morning.  The primary issue is an oil leak.  However, a couple of other items have popped up since I made this appointment. Good times.

Therefore, I need you all to send your best wishes that the mechanic is not about to take all of my money today.  Let these issues all combine for a modest bill that doesn't require a bank loan to pay.  Oh, and it would also be great if we could get the car back by the end of the day.  That would all make a terrific early Christmas present.  Thank you in advance for your positive thoughts.

Now, let's check out the headlines.  BDH and Little Buddha just made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.

Senator Bernie Sanders called out Kyrsten Sinema on Sunday for leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent.  Apparently he doesn't like her joining his club.  Sanders said Sinema's move was likely driven by her political prospects in Arizona, and that, “She is a corporate Democrat who has, in fact along with Senator Manchin, sabotaged enormously important legislation.”  He's not wrong on any of that.  Senator Sinema would never have survived her likely Democratic primary in 2024, so her best hope for survival is to split the vote three ways in the general election.  Her number one concern is herself above all others.

Senator Bernie Sanders December 12 2022Bernie Sanders doesn't think much of Kyrsten Sinema's recent decision.  (pic via cnn.com)

FYI to all of the Republicans criticizing the prisoner swap that brought home Brittney Griner and not Paul Whelan:  1) Stop hating America.  2) Former Trump National Security Council staffer Fiona Hill said Trump was never particularly interest in bringing home Whelan.  After all, Trump never wanted to cross his boss Vladimir Putin, so why would he want to make that deal?  Whatever our disagreements on any given issue might be with President Biden, it is a welcome change to no longer have a Russian agent in the White House.

It's not that we have any sympathy for notorious mobster Whitey Bulger.  However, it's clear that officials set him up to be killed in 2018, and that should make everyone uncomfortable.

Twitter is relaunching its blue checkmark service today.  It will cost $11/month for iPhone users and $8/month for everyone else.  Subscribers will get their lame blue checks, the ability to edit tweets, and forced prominence in your feeds.  That's a total value of about 50 cents from this perspective, and we wouldn't even pay that much. 

Our feed is being invaded by right-wingers that we don't follow or interact with, because that's somehow Elon Musk's idea of "free speech."  We still find value in the accounts we have chosen to follow, so we're staying with the service for now.  However, the platform continues to deteriorate, as Fox News and Newsmax-type trolls continue their infestation.  The last thing we're going to do is give Musk money for the experience.

This is a big week for investors:  November's Consumer Price Index (CPI) number comes out on Tuesday, and the Federal Reserve has its last meeting of the year on Wednesday.  People seem to be expecting a slight drop in the CPI, although it feels like predictions haven't matched up with reality recently.  We noticed that the local gas station finally got the news about falling gas prices.  They had been stuck at $3.65/gallon for weeks but have now dropped to $3.39/gallon, which is closer to the national average of $3.26.  Also, yesterday's grocery bill seemed to be a touch cheaper than usual for the second straight week.  We'll see what Tuesday's number is, but any budget relief is appreciated these days.

As far as the Fed goes, the belief is that we're now looking at a 0.50% interest rate increase this week, instead of another 0.75% hike.  However, a lot of attention will be paid to what Chairman Jerome Powell says after the meeting about how much longer he expects the fight against inflation to continue.  Things do seem to be cooling down, which is great.  However, at this pace, the battle might stretch longer into 2023 than originally believed, and that probably won't be received well.  Regardless, the Clutter investment team still believes their portfolio is well-structured for the long haul, so they'll continue on with business as usual.

This CNN.com column asks:  "Do you really need a new phone every 2 years?"  Spoiler:  No, you do not.  There's no reason to switch just because the phone companies are all pushing the latest shiny toy.  We've never had a phone for less than 3-4 years.  Stick with your device until you can honestly say it no longer provides a function that you actually need.  Holding out is better for both the environment and your wallet.

There are some changes coming to Boston sports talk radio station WEEI:  Chad Finn reports that Lou Merloni is out, Christian Fauria is moving to middays, Rich Keefe might be moving to nights, and Meghan Ottolini is currently on her own in the afternoon.  In order, we've never liked Merloni, so that's fine.  We were just starting to get into Keefe and Andy Gresh, but swapping Fauria for Keefe means we're probably out on that show.  It's good to hear Meghan Ottolini is staying put, and we'll wait to hear about her new co-host(s). (Maybe the recently-returned Christian Arcand could fill the role.) 

The New England Patriots face the Arizona Cardinals on the road tonight.  Before we dive into the game, a quick note that next week's contest against the Las Vegas Raiders has been bumped from prime time to Sunday afternoon, because neither team is relevant at the moment.  That's sad.  What might be even sadder is that we're fine with the move.  The Cardinals are New England's third-straight night game, and we're tired of staying up late to watch this group.   Never thought we'd say that.  Now, back to the Cardinals...

Last we saw the Patriots, they were demolished by the Buffalo Bills, and Mac Jones was yelling at someone/Matt Patricia to be more aggressive with the offensive play-calling.  The 4-8 Cardinals should be a good chance to right the ship, at least for a week.  Quarterback Kyler Murray and head coach Kliff Kingsbury seem to hate each other, and the Arizona defense is dead last in the NFL, allowing 26.8 points per game.  Sounds promising. 

On the other hand, Murray is a mobile quarterback, and the Patriots struggle against those guys.  Matt Patricia is still calling New England's offensive plays, wide receiver Jakobi Meyers is in concussion protocol, and tackle Isaiah Wynn is also out, although he hasn't been great when he's played anyway.  There isn't much here to be actively excited about right now.  At the end of the day, we'll put our money on Bill Belichick to out-coach Kingsbury and get the win.

Tom Brady's San Francisco homecoming wasn't what he hoped for last night:  Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were blown out 35-7 by Brock Purdy and the 49ers.  Who had that on their scorecard?  The Bucs fall to 6-7 on the season, but the NFC South is such a mess, that's still good enough to lead the division. 

On a related note: Tom Brady won't rule out playing another season in 2023, when he'll be 46 years old.  That's not surprising.  We're convinced the quarterback is terrified about life after football, because it seems like the field is the only place he's ever found any real sense of peace.  If Brady thinks he can stay healthy and perform at a high enough level, it wouldn't be shocking if he started talking about playing until he's 50.  The other thing is, there's no way he wants to end his career with the terrible run the Tampa Buccaneers have been on this year.  Brady has been visibly miserable, and there are sure to be better options waiting for him in the off-season.

The Baltimore Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-14 without Lamar Jackson last night.  However, backup Tyler Huntley left the game because of a concussion.  That means the Ravens now turn to third-stringer Anthony Brown to keep them in the playoff hunt until Jackson can return from his sprained PCL.

Russell Wilson also suffered a concussion, as the Denver Broncos lost 34-28 to the Kansas City Chiefs last night.  Considering how much of a disaster this season has been, the Broncos would be better off just shutting Wilson down now and begin preparing for next year.

Hey James Bond fans - Den of Geek has a list of 15 actors who should be the franchise's next villain.  They all seem like solid choices to us.  What do you think?

It seems to be a full-time job at ScreenRant.com to track all of the ways that Young Sheldon contradicts The Big Bang Theory.  We're fine with the differences, because Young Sheldon probably wouldn't have lasted more than a season if it was 100% faithful to the canon.  Go re-watch some early TBBT shows.  Adult Sheldon is uncomfortable to look at for more than 30 seconds at a time.  He barely seems human.  Jim Parsons and the writers made him much more accessible as the show went on, and that was for the best.  Consider Young Sheldon to be TBBT-adjacent, and enjoy it as a separate show.

The music from The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is doing well on the Billboard charts.  That's terrific.  Friends, you really need to check out this show.  We raved about it a few days ago, but it made us feel like we already got our money's worth for this month's Disney+  subscription.  It's a lovely 45 minute story that will bring smiles and obviously some great songs!

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Before we drop off the car, let's have Brandi Carlile and Lucius kick off the new week with this live version of, "You and Me on the Rock" for today's, "Song of the Day."

That's how you ease into a Monday.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was great to see 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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