Thursday Clutter: Trump's Criminal Cases, Vladimir Putin, Amazon Prime Video, AI Companions, COVID-19, Boston Red Sox, NFL Notes, Russell Crowe, Doctor Who, Loudermilk, Pearl Jam, and more
Saturday Clutter: Trump Loses Again, Biden Impeachment Collapse, Alexi Navalny, Boston Red Sox, Jimmy Garoppolo, Dwayne Johnson, Tom Ellis, NCIS, Stone Temple Pilots, and more

Friday Clutter: Trump, Fani Willis, FBI Biden Informant Arrested, Interest Rates, Meta, Apple, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Ben Affleck, Nickelback, Dua Lipa, and more

Hi everyone,

Welcome back, and a happy Friday to you all.  What's on the schedule for this weekend?  Not sure yet, but it might be pretty quiet on this end, which would be fine.  This week was a little busier than expected, so I wouldn't mind some time to reset. 

I know some shoveling needs to happen this morning.  Apparently we got an inch or two overnight.  It doesn't look bad, but BDH and Little Buddha warn me the wind is back, so I better put on a few layers.  A wind chill of 18 degrees?  It's like it's mid-February or something.

First, let's take a peek at the headlines.  The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Clutter.

We have teamed up with Clearly Balanced Days, a NH-based/women-owned CBD company.  Enter promo code "cmoore" to get $5 off your next purchase!

The verdict in Donald Trump's NY civil fraud trial is expected today.  The state is looking for Trump to be hit with a $370 million penalty and also to be banned from continuing to do business in New York.  Judge Arthur Engoron should give Attorney Letitia James what she's looking for here.  It's already been shown that Trump is guilty of the fraud.  If the financial hit isn't strong enough, he'll continue on with business as usual.  He repeatedly demonstrated his contempt for the court during this process and failed to make any strong argument for why he shouldn't pay this price for lying.

Donald Trump February 16 2024Hold Trump accountable.  (pic via

Meanwhile, Donald Trump's hush money case will begin on March 25, and the judge said it is expected to last six weeks.  Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to hide his payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.  His lawyers once again tried to argue that the trial should be delayed because of Trump's presidential campaign.  That ludicrous reasoning was quickly shot down.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis defended herself yesterday in a hearing regarding her relationship with Nathan Wade, the lawyer who is prosecuting Donald Trump for interfering in Georgia's 2020 presidential election results.  Willis continued to insist that there's no conflict of interest, and that Trump and the other defendants are simply trying to distract from their own criminal actions.  The hearing is expected to continue today.  Whatever the outcome, it doesn't change the fact that Donald Trump tried to disenfranchise Georgia voters by attempting to pressure Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11780" votes to give him the election.  That criminal action needs to be punished.

It also has to be pointed out while there's this big uproar about DA Willis' personal life, walking conflict of interest Justice Clarence Thomas remains on the U.S. Supreme Court, despite his wife having a major role in Donald Trump's attempt coup on January 6.

Look at that, a FBI informant was charged with lying about President Biden and son Hunter's dealing with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.  The Republican push to impeach President Biden has been largely dependent on Alexander Smirnov's claims, and now it turns out they're worthless.  Who could have seen that coming?  The GOP has nothing to offer the American people except attacking President Biden to distract from the party's never-ending cover-up for Donald Trump's serial criminality.  It's projection at its finest.  Throw every last one of them out of office in November.

With their Ukraine line of attack falling apart, Republicans are shifting to President Biden's age by having special counsel Robert Hur testify before the House Judiciary Committee on March 12 regarding his investigation into Biden's handling of classified documents.  Spoiler:  The entire hearing will be an exercise in how many times Republicans can call Biden old, even though he's only four years older than their master, Donald Trump.  This election isn't about age.  It's about competency and loyalty to the United States, and it's not even close on those grounds.  Give us the guy who isn't an eager Russian puppet.

We're sorry to hear that Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny reportedly died in prison yesterday.  (It appears this hasn't been independently confirmed yet.)  Alexi Navalny was a major critic of Vladimir Putin for years, which is a role that tends to cost people their lives.  If the news is true, our condolences go out to his family and friends.  Navalny was just 47 years old.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said yesterday that he doesn't see interest rate cuts happening until the third quarter of 2024.   Bostic agreed that inflation is coming down faster than expected, but he believes there still needs to be more data to confirm that things will be stable for the long-term.  We know many investors won't like hearing that, but Fed officials have been consistent with their messaging:  They'd rather hold rates too high for too long, instead of risk cutting them too soon. 

Soros Fund Management is now Audacy's biggest shareholder after assuming about 40% of the radio company's debt.  It's good to see that Audacy found a lifeline after filing for Chapter 11 last month.  They own a number of radio stations in Boston, including WEEI, one of the two sports stations in the city.  We're just a little sorry 'EEI has moved on from including politics in their discussions, because their old hosts would have had a meltdown about being connected to George Soros.

Meta announced it will start charging a 30% fee on boosted posts that are paid for via Facebook and Instagram's iOS apps.  The move comes in response to a charge imposed by Apple in 2022 on these ads.  It's not often we feel anything resembling sympathy for Mark Zuckerberg and company, but that cost does seem excessive.  (Full disclosure:  Our crew uses Facebook ads, but we pay for them via a web browser.  That apparently allows us to bypass this new tax, so we'll be sticking with the status quo, thank you very much.)

That was fast:  People are already starting to return their Apple Vision Pro headsets.  According to the linked article, complaints include everything from the weight of the device to the lack of enough games, especially when it costs $3500.  It will be interesting to watch how the Vision Pro product evolves over the next few years.  Get back to us once it is on its fifth edition or somewhere around there.  We might give it a shot down the road, unless the price stays the same. 

Promising Boston Red Sox righty Brayan Bello is one of the few reasons for optimism in this year's starting rotation, but he needs to be able to perform at a high level for the entire season.  He got off to a great start in the first half of 2023 and then tailed off after the All-Star break.  Bello said he's put in the work this offseason to elevate his game to the next level.  We are looking forward to seeing if he can hold up this year.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed yesterday that he'll retire when his current contract expires after the 2028 season.  That can't come soon enough for us.  Can anyone name one positive thing Manfred has done while in office?  He seems to dislike the sport and its fans (see yesterday's comments suggesting Oakland A's fans simply start rooting for the San Francisco Giants.) 

Of course we're excited to see how Jerod Mayo does as the new head coach of the New England Patriots.  However, it's also important that Eliot Wolf and company do well when it comes to personnel decisions, now that Bill Belichick is no longer with the organization.  This team is about to start a major rebuild, and it can't all be done via trades and free agents.  It seems like Wolf has already been involved with a number of the team's coaching hires, and we choose to be optimistic that he'll do well with this year's NFL Draft.  However, we reserve the right to change our minds if he ends up drafting a guard or something.

Congratulations to Iowa's Caitlin Clark on becoming the NCAA's women's all-time points scorer last night.  She's now at 3,569 points and counting.  Just amazing.

Michael Cera revealed that Ben Affleck was supposed to have a cameo in Barbie, but it ended up getting cut because he was directing the movie Air at the same time.  Having seen both movies, we'd argue that Barbie would have been a much better use of Affleck's time.  Actually, even his new DunKings commercial is a better choice.

Last night's Young Sheldon season premiere was solid.  Executive Producer Steve Holland shared some thoughts about it, and the rest of the final season, with  Young Sheldon is a well-written, and probably underrated show, but it's also clear that it's ending at the right time.

A documentary about the band Nickelback is coming to theaters on March 27 and March 30.  We won't buy a ticket, but we will keep an eye out for a streaming option after Love to Hate:  Nickelback is done with the big screens.  Our gut tells us this will be fun, and that we'll be humming along to more of the songs than we should probably admit.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Let's have Dua Lipa close things out with her new tune, "Training Season" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, folks.  It was great to see you, as always.  Enjoy your weekend, stay warm, 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.


If you enjoy Clearing out the Clutter, please consider a $5 monthly donation!  You can click here or on the "Donations" category on the right-hand side of the page.

Check out our new Patreon page!