Tuesday Clutter: President Biden, Alexei Navalny, Trump, Ted Cruz, Coffee, Red Lobster, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, NCIS, Linkin Park, The Clash, and more
Thursday Clutter: Nikki Haley, Trump, President Biden, Nex Benedict, COVID-19 Deaths, Interest Rates, New England Patriots, Dwayne Johnson, Chicago Fire, Jimmy Kimmel, GH, Ed Sheeran, and more

Wednesday Clutter: Biden Impeachment, Trump, Book Banning, Malcolm X, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, The Beatles, NCIS, Days of Our Lives, The Black Keys, and more

Hi everyone,

How are you?  Is your week going okay so far?  It's been pretty productive on this end.  BDH, Little Buddha, and I have to chat about our TV viewing schedule at some point.  It's great to have NCIS, the FBI shows, and the "One Chicago" programs back, but that's three straight nights of staying up past our bedtime.  We're going to need to take a nap just to make it tonight's episodes.  I think we will have to decide which ones we're okay with recording, because our crew needs its beauty sleep.

In the meantime, the guys made today's to-do list, so let's get started.  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 Wednesday Clutter.

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Former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov reportedly told officials he got his dirt about Hunter Biden from Russian officials.  (Smirnov has since been arrested for lying to the FBI.)  The GOP's ridiculous push to impeach President Biden is largely based on information they received from Smirnov, and now it turns out the whole thing was a Russian intelligence operation.  That sounds about right.  Donald Trump's allegiance is with Vladimir Putin, and the rest of the Republicans do what Trump commands.  Is it too much to ask that both of the two major political parties in this country actually support this country?

Rep.  James Comer February 21 2024House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer should resign for leading this sham. (pic via abcnews.go.com)

New York Attorney General Letitia James said she's prepared to seize Donald Trump's assets if he can't find the cash to pay the $455 million fine (including interest) from his civil fraud trial.  Trump has said he'll appeal, but AG James says she feels good about the verdict surviving that process.  Meanwhile, the interest on the fine is estimated to be growing by over $87,000 each day.  One way or another, Donald Trump will be held accountable for his lies.

Donald Trump continues to compare himself to murdered Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, because being indicted for criminal behavior is the same thing as being killed in a prison, in Trump's feeble mind.  That's repulsive, even for the great Con Man.  Trump is also still implying that Navalny is to blame for his own death.  The depths to which this delusional man will sink know no limits.

The Biden administration announced plans to cancel another $1.2 billion in student loan debt yesterday, thus increasing the total amount wiped out so far to $138 billion.  While we may wish larger plans hadn't been blocked, this means almost four million ordinary Americans have been helped by these efforts so far.  What have Republicans done in the meantime?  Followed a Russian sympathizer who promotes himself at the expense of everyone else.  Anyone who tells you there's no difference between the two parties isn't paying attention.

It's outrageous that the West Virginia legislature is considering legislation to allow librarians to be criminally charged for allowing minors access to "obscene" books.  Libraries should be considered hallowed grounds for every American, and these kinds of bills blatantly violate the 1st Amendment.  Right-wing extremists are terrified of everyone who doesn't look like them, and they want to erase any discussion of people who aren't their mirror image.  This bill, and every other one like it, should be shot down.

Today marks the 59th anniversary of the assassination of famed civil rights leader Malcolm X.  We encourage everyone to read both The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as well as The Dead Are Arising:  The Life of Malcolm X to learn more about the man's life both in his own words, as well as from an outsider's perspective.  He was a fascinating leader whose words still resonate with many today, and his vision of equality for all made him too dangerous to live, in the eyes of his enemies.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey is taking a hard line with Steward Health Care, ordering the struggling health care provider to turn over key financial documents by the end of the week and suggesting it's time for them to get out of the commonwealth.  Steward has not been following state law regarding the disclosure of this information for years, and it appears Governor Healey has had enough, especially as the entity's current struggles endanger the long-term viability of its hospitals.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling for officials to block the proposed Capital One - Discover merger, tweeting that combining the two credit card companies, "threatens our financial stability, reduces competition, and would increase fees and credit costs for American families."  Some may argue (as mentioned in the linked article) that stopping this merger would help the larger Visa and MasterCard.  However, it's much more likely that Senator Warren is right.  Consumers would benefit from greater competition in the industry, not consolidation.

Boston Red Sox fans aren't the only ones upset with the front office's complete lack of effort during the offseason:  Star third baseman Rafael Devers publicly said yesterday that everyone knows the team needs help.  Devers isn't known for speaking out so far in his young career, so this is notable.  We hope he isn't already regretting the 10-year contract extension he signed in 2023. He's one of the only recognizable faces on this roster at the moment.  We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but this season has the potential to be a disaster, and there's little evidence that ownership cares at all.

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said his toe injury from last year is something he'll have to monitor for the rest of his career.  Judge tore a ligament while crashing through the fence in Dodger Stadium as he was in the process of making a catch.  It cost him 42 games on the IL in 2023, so it sounds like this might be something to pay attention to this season.

While not surprising, we were still sorry to see that New England Patriots special teamer Matthew Slater retired yesterday after 16 seasons in the NFL.  We thought the 38-year-old was going to call it quits a year ago, so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to watch him for once more year.  Slater was an elite special teams player for his entire career, and we never heard a single person say anything bad about the man.  If a special teams player ever deserved consideration for the NFL Hall of Fame, it would be him.  The Patriots would be lucky if he decides he'd like to stay with the organization as a coach. For now, all we can say is cheers, thank you for everything, and best of luck with whatever comes next.

This is wild:  Director Sam Mendes plans to make full-length feature films about each member of the Beatles, and then all four movies will be released in 2027.  Everyone in the group, or their estates, has signed off on the project.  What do you think folks, will this project be a success?  Mendes is a talented director, and the Beatles have millions of fans.  However, will they come out to the theaters four times in one year to watch different versions of the same story?  However it goes, we admire everyone involved for launching such an ambitious project.

British director James Hawes predicts that an entirely AI-generated TV series is only 3-5 years away.  What a dark day that will be for the entertainment industry.  Software may be able to create realistic images and sounds, but it will never capture the human spirit.

We have one final comment about this week's NCIS tribute to the late David McCallum:  It was a terrific episode and a lovely departure for the character of Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard.  The only major complaint we have is that from a storyline perspective, Gibbs would have been at the funeral.  It's easy to imagine a variety of real-life reasons why getting Mark Harmon to appear might have been challenging.  However, Gibbs would have come back from Alaska to say goodbye to his longtime friend.  That was the false note of the show.  Other than that, we still say it's one of the all-time best episodes in the series' history.

NBC seems happy with how Days of Our Lives is doing since moving from the network to the Peacock streaming service in 2022.  The soap opera celebrates its 60 anniversary in November, and apparently they're ready shooting scenes for that season.  While we remain a firmly General Hospital staff, we have an appreciation for the soap opera industry as a whole, so it's nice to see that DOOL is still going strong.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Here are The Black Keys to close things out with a live version of, "Beautiful People (Stay High)" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, folks.  It was great to see you, as always.  BDH and Little Buddha say you're invited to come back tonight if you want to watch the "One Chicago" shows with them.  The guys promise they'll grab that quick nap so they can stay up that late.  Otherwise, 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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