(Review) Doctor Who: The Church on Ruby Road
Friday Clutter: Trump Disqualified Again, Nikki Haley Backtracks, Elon Musk, Dry January, New England Patriots, Doctor Who, Night Court, Europe, and more

Thursday Clutter: Nikki Haley, Lauren Boebert, U.S. Homicide Rate, Amazon Prime Video, Boston Red Sox, Russell Wilson, Night Court, Aerosmith, Daft Punk, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back!  Did you miss us?  We hope you all had a good Christmas.  It was pretty fun on this end.  Dad Clutter stayed over at the Northern Estate to watch the New England Patriots game on Christmas Eve.  I was just hoping the Patriots would score some points.  The fact that they won was a Christmas miracle.  BDH and Little Buddha also enjoyed themselves, and they particularly loved Ncuti Gatwa's first full-length Doctor Who episode, so really, a good time was had by all.

The guys are currently working on our schedule for next week.  They haven't decided if we'll be here on New Year's Day (next Monday), but we'll definitely be back to the usual schedule by January 2.  For now, let's continue to enjoy the final days of 2023 and 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 Thursday Clutter.

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Nikki Haley can't bring herself to admit that slavery was the primary cause of the Civil War.  She'd prefer to blame it on a dispute over the role of government, judging by her response in a NH voter town hall yesterday.  This is the supposed alternative to Donald Trump.  Of course, the reason she won't acknowledge slavery drove the conflict is because doing so would set her up for attacks from other Republicans.  Their front-runner is out there openly using Nazi rhetoric to their delight.  If Haley admits reality, she'll be referred to as a "RINO," or having gone "woke," so anti-government propaganda it is.  This is not a serious political party, folks.  It's the modern KKK.

Nikki Haley December 28 2023A pathetic response from Nikki Haley.  (pic via apnews.com)

Vivek Ramaswamy's presidential campaign is stopping their television advertising just weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses.  With any luck, that's the beginning of the end for this vanity project.  All Ramswamy did was provide some political pundits an excuse to talk about the possibility of the changing of the face of the GOP, something which was never actually going to happen.  Call it a day and send him on his way.

In a move of pure cowardice, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) plans to switch congressional districts to have a better chance of re-election.  She'll now be running for the open 4th Congressional District, instead of the 3rd, which she only won by 600 votes in 2022.  Apparently Boebert thinks her only chance to win another term is if she runs in the reddest of districts.  Here's hoping her previous Democratic opponent, Adam Frisch, flips her soon-to-be-former seat, and that the voters of the 3rd District reject Boebert's obvious self-preservation attempt. 

Remember this when Republicans try to convince you otherwise next year:  The homicide rate in the United States for 2023 is expected to be 13% lower than 2022.  That won't fit the GOP narrative, usually directed at cities with Democratic leadership.  However, conservatives won't let reality get in the way of their lie.

Amazon Prime Video users will soon have to either accept ads during their TV shows and movies, or else pay an additional $2.99/month to avoid them.  That's on top of the annual $139 membership fee.  The change starts on January 29, and this could be the end of our membership.  It's hard to argue that we get a real value from it in the first place.  The fact that they're going to charge even more to skip commercials feels like even more greed than usual from the company.  We could always switch a monthly subscription while the next season of The Boys airs, but this is gross.

The stock market continues to end the year on a roll:  The S&P 500 is up over 24% for the year, largely thanks to growing excitement about the prospect of interest rate cuts in 2024.  That's a more than healthy return for one year, which is great, but it doesn't feel completely reality-based.  The Clutter investment team doesn't see much point in looking for bargains right now while everyone is on a buying spree.  Therefore, they might re-watch the Doctor Who Christmas special again and wait for things to eventually calm down.

Almost 10 million workers will be getting a pay increase on January 1, as minimum wage increases go into effect in 22 states.  This will particularly help women and workers of color.  What would also help would be having a minimum wage that keeps up with inflation.  We've all seen costs soar over the last few years, but the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour hasn't been increased since 2009.  The floor wasn't high enough then, and it's gotten even lower in states that still depend on that rate.  Full-time workers should be able to earn enough to live above the poverty line.

We're still waiting for the Boston Red Sox ownership to show any signs that they care about winning in 2024, but it hasn't been encouraging to this point.  New baseball boss Craig Breslow brought in a new right fielder a few weeks ago, and that's about it, and starting pitching remains a glaring concern.  There's still time before spring training starts, but so far, it feels like more of the same lackadaisical approach that's led to repeated last-place finishes.  It's not a great feeling, as the bill for our 2024 tickets has to be paid soon.

Losing to the New England Patriots on Christmas Eve probably killed any chance of the Denver Broncos making the playoffs, and now it seems to have ended Russell Wilson's season as well:  The Broncos announced that Wilson will be the backup quarterback for the final two games of the year, while Jarrett Stidham gets the nod as starter.    The linked article explains the looming contract issues, but this could be the beginning of the end of Wilson's time in Denver.  It's wild how this could have been a completely different conversation if the Patriots hadn't pulled off the upset win.

We watched the first episode of Jon Cryer's new sitcom, Extended Family last Saturday, and holy unfunny, Batman.  Cryer was basically playing a bald version of Alan Harper with a script that made Two & a Half Men sound like Shakespeare.  We were hoping that this show might be a new addition to the weekly TV viewing schedule, but our crew would rather watch a test of the emergency broadcast system.

After that, we watched the Night Court Christmas special, which was just bizarre.  The first season of the reboot ended with Dan Fielding becoming a judge.  However, he was still a lawyer here, and there was also a new clerk, with no mention of what happened to the other guy.  We thought maybe the show was doing a soft reset, but the first promo for the upcoming second season shows Fielding as a judge, so it's unclear what happened here.  It was like NBC aired the wrong edit of the episode.  Unlike Extended Family, we are still interested in Night Court, so we'll wait and see how things are explained when it returns on January 2.

Authorities released Danny Masterson's mug shot yesterday.  The former actor has been moved to California's North Kern State Prison, where he is set to begin serving a 30 years to life sentence after being convicted of raping two women.  Masterson is expected to appeal, but if his sentence stands, he won't be eligible for parole for at least 25 years.

We were startled to see that there was yet another recast on General Hospital yesterday.  However, this was apparently a minor issue, because the regular actress is expected back today.  Phew.

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry said the band hopes to resume its farewell tour in "late summer and fall" of 2024.  Their plans had to be paused at the end of September, due to singer Steven Tyler suffering a vocal cord and larynx injury.  It sounds like the group has been working on some other projects in the meantime, so keep an eye out for a few new releases next year.

Ariana Grande announced that she has a new record coming in 2024.  It will be her first since 2020.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  This is our second to last post of 2023, so let's have Daft Punk get the party started by closing things out with, "One More Time" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Yeah, that will do the trick.

Thanks for stopping by, folks.  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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