Friday Clutter: Trump, Kevin McCarthy, U.S. Supreme Court, Ron DeSantis, Alphabet, Regal Cinemas, New England Patriots, Vince McMahon, Doctor Who, John Oliver, David Crosby, and more
Welcome back, and a happy Friday to you all. What's on tap for the weekend? I see shoveling in my future, as well as some NFL playoff games. BDH and Little Buddha say the forecast calls for at least a chance of snow until about 9:00 tonight. We'll see how much we actually get, but it couldn't hurt to start stretching soon.
First, let's check out today's headlines. The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.
A federal judge sanctioned Donald Trump and one of his attorneys almost $1 million for filing a frivolous lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and others last year. U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks blasted Trump for wasting the court's time on a lawsuit "that should never have been filed." Judge Middlebrooks also called out Trump for his repeated abuse of the court system, writing:
“Mr. Trump is a prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries. He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process, and he cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of a lawyer. He knew full well the impact of his actions."
This fine is long overdue. Donald Trump files worthless lawsuits as often as he breathes. It shouldn't be tolerated by the court. Other judges who are put in the same situation by Trump and his legal team should make also make him pay for his fraud.
Donald Trump lost yet another legal fight. (pic via dailystar.uk.com)
Donald Trump has repeatedly said he didn't rape columnist E. Jean Carroll in the 1990's because, "She's not my type." However, Trump mistook a photograph of Carroll for his ex-wife Marla Maples while he was being deposed last month, so that defense vanishes into the wind.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is already begging Democrats to get him out of the debt limit mess, saying they should come to the table to discuss the drastic spending cuts his owners want. Democrats shouldn't negotiate with domestic terrorists. This looming economic crisis is entirely of the GOP's making. The federal government is obligated to pay its bills. Defaulting would be a disaster on multiple fronts. House Republicans continue to show that they can't even handle the most basic of governing responsibilities. This is not a serious political party - it's a bunch of servants in Washington who are only there to service the economic top 1%.
The U.S. Supreme Court said it has been unable to figure out who leaked the draft version of the Hobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling which over turned Roe v. Wade last year. Here's all you need to know about the merit of this "investigation" - none of the justices were interviewed. This whole thing is a sham and a cover-up.
The Florida Department of Education is blocking an AP African American studies class from being taught in the state's high schools, claiming the course, "significantly lacks educational value." Thus continues Governor Ron DeSantis' idiotic culture war. He is determined to erase discussion of anyone but heterosexual white people, as he seeks the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
There's a bizarre story playing out in New York, where Governor Kathy Hochul seems determined to burn down the government if that's what it takes to get Judge Hector LaSalle confirmed to the state's Court of Appeals. Judge LaSalle is opposed by reproductive rights groups and unions, and Democrats in the state senate have repeatedly made it clear that he doesn't have the support to be confirmed. However, Hochul appears prepared trash her relationships with her allies for this fight, and she is reportedly talking about suing to force a floor vote on the nomination. The governor would likely lose said vote if it happens, and you have to wonder why she's gone to war against her own party.
Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard recently acknowledged that progress is being made in the flight against inflation, but she expects interest rates to remain higher "for some time" to really get prices under control. Give Fed officials credit for consistency - they have indicated time and time again that they don't want to err on the side of prematurely lowering rates. There will need to be an extended period of much lower inflation before the Fed starts moving in the other direction, and we're simply not there yet. It will be a good sign if next month's hike is only 0.25%, but investors need to stop trying to convince themselves that these higher rates are going to start coming down soon.
The job cuts in the tech sector keep coming: Google's parent company Alphabet just announced that they are going to lay off 12,000 employees. This comes after companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Twitter made similar moves. Considering the disproportionate impact that Alphabet has on the S&P 500, the Clutter investment team might just take the rest of the day off and read a book.
This is disappointing: Regal Cinemas announced the closure of 39 theaters, and we've gone to two of them for years. We have a lot of fond memories of both of those locations. Granted, the number of times we've been to the theaters has been slashed since the start of the pandemic, which is probably what's driving this bankruptcy proceeding. Still, it was nice to know that we had the option to go if we so chose. There are still some other large chain options in Boston, but this move leaves just one independent theater in Concord, NH. (One that Mom Clutter helped get off the ground, by the way.) It will be interesting to see if another large chain comes to town anytime soon.
Bill O'Brien interviewed for the New England Patriots offensive coordinator position yesterday. He's apparently one of five candidates that the Patriots are looking at right now. O'Brien makes the most sense, given his knowledge of both New England and Alabama, but we mostly just want to hear that Matt Patricia no longer has the job. That move alone could likely have given the 8-9 Patriots a 10-7 record this year.
There are two NFL divisional round games tomorrow, and we're picking the home teams again:
First, the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Kansas City Chiefs. The fact that the Jaguars are relevant again is a great story, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence has a bright future ahead of him, now that he has a real head coach in Doug Pederson. However, this group simply isn't on Kansas City's level yet. The Chiefs beat the Jags 27-17 the first time they played this season, and while this game should be entertaining, Patrick Mahomes and company will move on to their fifth straight AFC title game when it's done.
After that, it's the New York Giants taking on the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants are going from playing one of the worst defenses in the NFL last week (Minnesota Vikings), to one of the best in the league on Saturday. New York's offense just won't be able to make the adjustment, and the Eagles will advance.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and eight other coaches yesterday, after the team finished 8-9 on the season. Does cutting Leftwich increase Tampa Bay's chances of bringing back Tom Brady if they can find a replacement who would get his approval? Injuries were the Bucs' biggest problem this year, but maybe a new play-caller could keep Brady from jumping to somewhere like Miami or San Francisco. In any case, we're betting it won't take Leftwich long to find a new job.
WWE boss Vince McMahon settled a lawsuit with former referee Rita Chatterton, who had accused McMahon of raping her in 1986. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but you can add that to the $19.6 million McMahon has already paid to settle other accusations of sexual misconduct.
We've got a trailer for Scream 6, which hits theaters on March 10. Has Scream become the modern Halloween franchise? We won't be seeing this one, even if there was a movie theater nearby, because our crew doesn't do horror films. Comedy and drama? Absolutely. Action? Sure. Waiting to see who dies next? No, thank you. That sort of thing gives BDH and Little Buddha bad dreams:
We want to wish the happiest of birthdays to the fantastic Tom Baker! The former Doctor Who star turns 89 years old today. Baker's Doctor was our introduction to the show many moons ago. He defined the Time Lord for us, and we frequently see the modern incarnations as variations of him. Baker was able to make a brief appearance in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, and we will absolutely lose it if he has a cameo at some point during this year's 60th anniversary celebrations.
Here's the trailer for the new season of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which premieres on HBO on February 19:
We're sorry to hear that folk/rock music legend David Crosby died yesterday. He had reportedly been sick for a while. Crosby was one of the founding members of The Byrds, as well as the supergroup Crosby, Stills, and Nash (which was later joined by Neil Young.) His guitar and voice are some of the defining sounds of 1960's music. You recognize them as soon as you hear them. David Crosby was 81 years old. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. We're going to close things out some Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Here's, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" 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 day, be careful if you're driving on any slippery roads, 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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