Wednesday Clutter: Mike Pence, George Santos, Pope Francis, DOJ vs. Google, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Aaron Rodgers, Night Court, Harley Quinn, Willie Nelson, Justin Bieber, Pink Floyd, and more
Welcome back. How are you? I had a bit of an adventure yesterday - got stuck in Dad Clutter's snowy driveway, which took a while to resolve. I also damaged my car just a little in the process. Not fun. That means another trip to the mechanic first thing tomorrow morning, so we probably won't be able to hang out with you. Hopefully everything will be back on track by Friday.
In the meantime, our crew will wait for this afternoon's storm to arrive, as soon as I take care of today's to-do list. The snow totals have dropped a bit, which is great. The snow is supposed to be immediately followed by rain, so Thursday could be a mess.
We'll deal with that later. Let's get to work. BDH and Little Buddha made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Wednesday Clutter.
A number of classified documents were reportedly found at Mike Pence's Indiana home last week. Apparently Pence asked his team to look for any files after the recent stories involving Donald Trump and President Biden. The papers were secured after their discovery, and Pence's team cooperated with the National Archives on their return, according to a Pence spokesman. Like President Biden, Pence's approach to this matter is completely the opposite of that of Donald Trump, who has fought the government every step of the way over the documents he knowingly brought with him to his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Could everyone just handle classified information correctly? Thanks. (pic via pbs.org)
Rep. George Santos reported 40 campaign expenses that were between $199 and $199.99. That's both important and concerning, because anything $200 or over requires keeping receipts. There's no chance the great fraud actually hit this narrow range that often, and it further fuels questions about who paid to have him installed in Congress.
In 2021, former-Speaker Nancy Pelosi removed Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from their committees because both of them had advocated violence against their opponents. Then, as you may recall, Pelosi blocked several Republicans from joining the January 6 select committee, because the selections were election deniers who had ties to the coup attempt. Both decisions were common sense, but now Republicans want payback. That's why Speaker Kevin McCarthy just kicked Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell off the House Intelligence Committee. There's no policy basis for this decision - it's just another entry in a never-ending list of grievances. That sums up the GOP in a nutshell.
Pope Francis said in an interview yesterday that "being homosexual isn't a crime." Who will be the first right-wing troll to say Francis isn't the actual head of the Catholic Church today?
The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google yesterday, with the goal being to break up the company's online ad business. The DOJ alleges that,
"Google’s anticompetitive behavior has raised barriers to entry to artificially high levels, forced key competitors to abandon the market for ad tech tools, dissuaded potential competitors from joining the market, and left Google’s few remaining competitors marginalized and unfairly disadvantaged."
The Boston Red Sox made a couple of moves yesterday: First, the Sox traded pitcher Josh Taylor to the Kansas City Royals for infielder Adalberto Mondesí. The 27-year-old Mondesí is a lifetime .244 hitter, so there's not much going on with the bat. However, he's an elite fielder who gives the Sox some much-needed depth. This team is starting to look like their path to winning in 2023 is run prevention via their defense. Now they just need their pitchers to do their jobs.
Speaking of pitchers, the second move the Red Sox made yesterday was to designate reliever Matt Barnes for assignment to make room for Adam Duval. Barnes had a good run from about 2018 through the first half of 2021, but things fell apart almost immediately after he signed a contract extension. At this point, a change of scenery will probably do him some good.
Congratulations to Scott Rolen for being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday. The honor is well-deserved for the seven-time All Star, who also won eight Gold Gloves, during his 17-year career.
The long nightmare is over, New England Patriots fans: Bill O'Brien is returning to the team as the next offensive coordinator. O'Brien's connections to both the Patriots and Alabama make him a terrific choice to lead the Mac Jones reclamation project. Without making any further roster moves, this change is worth at least two more wins by itself. Now, what does it mean for Matt Patricia and quarterbacks coach Joe Judge? Don't know and don't care, as long as both men are out of the loop next season. Also, not to go too far down the speculation road, but if push came to shove, O'Brien and the apparently-returning Jerod Mayo could both be candidates to eventually replace Bill Belichick.
Aaron Rodgers is apparently open to reworking his contract, if that will help determine where he's going to play next year. The quarterback will be owed almost $60 million in guaranteed money for 2023, which could make it hard for the Packers to either keep or move him. That's a lot of cash to spend for a playoff loss. Would you like your team to make a play for the guy?
We watched the third episode of Night Court yesterday. It was interesting: John Larroquette delivers the goods on every line, but the dialogue of the first half of the show generally felt like a rough first draft of the script. However, the second half was much stronger, as we learned more about the modern day Dan Fielding, as well as Judge Abby Stone. Again, Larroquette brought the weight to the storyline. He's still terrific as Fielding. Melissa Rauch feels like a work in progress as Judge Stone, and the rest of the cast is far behind them. There's potential here, and we hope the show continues to find its path.
The only thing wrong with this new Seinfeld figurines set is that it should have come out during the holiday season. We can think of a number of fans who would have enjoyed receiving it as a present (including BDH and Little Buddha.)
There's a trailer out for Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine's Day Special, which premieres on HBO Max on February 9. We haven't watched the show, but this looks like a fun episode. We've got a basic knowledge of the DCU, so we could probably dive in on this one, right?
Speaking of the DCU, a new Lex Luthor is coming to Superman & Lois on the CW. No spoilers here, but our gut says this is a good casting choice.
This upcoming docuseries about Willie Nelson sounds like fun, so just tell us where and when to find it. We saw the country music icon perform about 15-20 years ago, and it was a tremendous show. It's great to see the almost 90-year-old continue to get the adoration of fans from different genres. He's a true American treasure.
Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx described the band's first rehearsal with new touring guitarist John 5 as "f*cking epic." Unfortunately, it appears Vince Neil is still the singer.
We're used to stories in recent years about older musicians selling their publishing rights, but now 28-year-old Justin Bieber is joining the club: Bieber is reportedly selling his music catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Capital for $200 million. The deal seems riskier than usual, because of Bieber's age. Hipgnosis can't be 100% sure that his songs will have the staying power to justify the purchase. On the other hand, how much money did Bieber leave on the table if it turns out he's still popular in say, 10-20 years?
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. Here's Pink Floyd to wrap things up with a live version of, "Wish You Were Here" for today's, "Song of the Day."
(We miss you, Mom Clutter.)
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. It was a treat to see you, as always. Enjoy the rest of your day, be careful driving out there, 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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