2023 Best of Clearing out the Clutter
Tuesday Clutter: Trump, Rudy Giuliani, President Biden, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Jonathan Majors, Slash, Alanis Morissette, and more

Monday Clutter: Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Israel, Berkshire Hathaway, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Charlotte Flair, Jon Cryer, GH, Foo Fighters, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back, and a happy, albeit rainy, Monday to you all.  How was your weekend?  It was fair on this end.  I'm just not feeling the Christmas spirit at all this year.  BDH and Little Buddha always have it in abundance, and they're trying their best to direct some my way, but...eh.  The guys think we need to start by increasing the amount of Christmas music we play around here.  I don't object to that, so we'll see if it helps.

There are a number of items on the to-do list.  However, we're under a flood watch, and the weather seems to be getting worse, so we might wait a little bit to see how things shake out later today.  In the meantime, let's check out the headlines.  There's a fresh pot of coffee on the counter, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.

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Donald Trump said at a campaign rally on Saturday that undocumented immigrants are "poisoning the blood of our country."  This isn't dog-whistling.  This is an explicit embrace of Nazi ideology.  Trump isn't being at all subtle about what a second term in office would bring.  If elected, he will pick up right where he left off on January 6.   His embrace of the idea of being a dictator should be taken at face value.  Donald Trump is a threat to our national safety and democracy, and he must be defeated if this country is to survive.

Donald Trump December 18 2023Shut down the serial criminal.  (pic via kbps.org)

A Georgia jury awarded Rudy Giuliani's defamation victims $148 million on Friday.  It was a clear message to the MAGA cult:  Enough is enough.  Of course Giuliani says he'll appeal.  However, if that fails, he won't escape this penalty, even if he declares bankruptcy.  It may break him financially, but it's clear that the plaintiffs' lawyers will go after Giuliani for every last asset they can liquidate, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow.  You serve as a lapdog to a fascist, you pay the price.

Israel is facing increasing international pressure to restart peace talks with Hamas, due to a growing sense that the IDF is indiscriminately killing Palestinian civilians.  The Israeli government's actions of the past 10 weeks have had no connection to justice.  They're about vengeance.  It's gotten to the point where they're now killing Israeli hostages because they're apparently eager to shoot anything that moves.  Enough.

We know we sound like a broken record, but COVID-19 hospitalizations are up across the United States for the fifth consecutive week, as of December 9.  Are the numbers at the same levels as a year ago?  No, but over 23,000 cases isn't nothing.  Protect yourselves and your loved ones, friends, especially since most of these cases consist of some of the most vulnerable among us.

It's interesting to hear that two stocks make up almost 58% of Berkshire Hathaway's stock portfolio.  Warren Buffett has bet big on Apple and Bank of America, and he's had remarkable results, thanks in part to the healthy dividends paid by the two companies over the years.  The Clutter investment team won't argue with the "Oracle of Omaha," but our staff still sleeps better owning a basket of diversified low-cost index funds. 

If you haven't heard of "smishing," click on this link to learn more about how to protect yourself from this scam.  Our crew probably gets one smishing attempt every other month or so.

The New England Patriots lost 27-17 to the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday to fall to 3-11 on the season.  What can we say at this point?  The game played out pretty much how we expected, although it was fun when the Patriots were leading 10-7 for a few minutes late in the second quarter.  However, Patrick Mahomes and company then scored 20 unanswered points before Bailey Zappe and friends put up one last touchdown in the fourth quarter.  There was just no way the Patriots were going to keep up with the more talented Chiefs for four quarters.  This year's priority is now draft position.

Bailey Zappe went 23/31 for 180 yards and one TD/one interception on Sunday.  He's clearly not the starting QB of the future, but he might be a viable backup if the Patriots want to keep him next year.  His assertiveness helps the New England offense at least put some points on the board, but the overall talent level for this group is still far too low to be competitive.  Thus, the conversations about Bill Belichick's future, and who will pick the next group of players this offseason, continues, as the Patriots prepare to face the Denver Broncos on the road on Christmas Eve.

New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson was a late scratch yesterday because of a mental health issue, according to his agent.  We hope Jackson is doing better and getting whatever help he needs.

After the Patriots game was over, we watched the San Francisco 49ers dismantle the Arizona Cardinals 45-29, and all we could do was tip our caps to the 49ers offense.  Every play was smooth, fast, and methodical.  It's hard to see how anyone stops them from winning it all this season.

The New York Jets lost 30-0 to the Miami Dolphins and were officially eliminated from the playoffs yesterday.  On top of that, starting quarterback Zach Wilson was taken out of the game because of a concussion.  Sounds about right.  It feels like all of that discussion about Aaron Rodgers making this team a Super Bowl contender this year was ages ago.  At least the New England Patriots have the chance for a fourth win this year when the two teams meet in the regular season finale on January 7.

Old friend Matt Patricia has reportedly become the new defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles.  That will probably go fine, given his extensive experience on that side of the football.  It's not like they're asking him to run the offense.  Only a fool would do that.

We're a little late on this one, but we just found the teaser trailer for ESPN's 30 for 30: The Minister of Defense documentary about NFL Hall of Famer Reggie White.  It came out on December 13 and looks like something we need to track down this week:

We're sorry to hear that WWE star Charlotte Flair will reportedly need surgery to repair a torn ACL, MCL, and meniscus, after being injured during the December 8 episode of SmackDown!.  Much like with football players, we're good with pro wrestlers grabbing every last dollar they can, because they put their bodies on the line every time they perform, and things can change in an instant for them.  Flair is reportedly expected to be out for nine months. 

With his latest Doctor Who run finished, David Tennant is now earning rave reviews in a new staging of Macbeth.  What a talented human being.  Hopefully one of these shows will eventually be available via a streaming platform. 

John Oliver went after Elon Musk at length last night, and we are here for all of it.

Jon Cryer sounds open to the idea of a future Two & a Half Men reboot with Charlie Sheen.  Not sure anyone really needs, that, but a quick reunion of the two men on Cryer's new sitcom Extended Family, or a quick joint appearance on Chuck Lorre's show Bookie, would be fine.  (By the way, if you're also watching Bookie, please shoot us a note at [email protected]to explain why.  We've seen every episode so far, and we're still not sure what keeps us coming back.)

General Hospital is getting a primetime special on January 4 to celebrate the soap opera's 60th anniversary.  That should bring back some fond memories of Grandma and Grandpa Clutter, as well as a few babysitters.

A woman is suing Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee for allegedly sexually assaulting her in 2003.

Oh dear, Bad Bunny and Kendall Jenner are apparently no longer dating.  We thought those kids had a chance.  Oh well, who do you think will be linked with someone new first, and will that report appear before the end of the year?

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.   Let's see if the Foo Fighters can jump-start some Christmas spirit here by closing things out with their cover of, "Run Rudolph Run" for today's, "Song of the Day."

That's a start.

Thanks for stopping by, folks.  It was great to see you, as always.  Enjoy the rest of your day, stay dry and safe 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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