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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JULY 22, 2018


Who will NOT be endorsed in the GOP primary


Florida’s Gubernatorial and Senatorial primaries are less than two months away. The GOP’s presumptive candidates are Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam for governor and current Governor Rick Scott for the senate nomination. With that in mind, here’s something to look out for – neither of these men will be endorsed in the primary by the liberal media. Rather than endorse the most qualified candidate on the GOP side, Florida’s left-leaning newspapers will, as they have consistently in the past, endorse the candidate they believe the Democratic nominees have a better chance of beating. It’s an old, tired process that only the feeble minded buy into.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. As Clearwater continues to stub its toe on downtown and other economic development issues, we repeat our assertion that the city needs to recruit a heavy hitter in the area of economic development. The last several low to mid-level functionaries have been bitter disappointments.

2. Senator Bill Nelson appears to have joined the Charlie Crist School of Politics. First he says he will oppose any Trump nominee before the nominee is announced. Now, it appears he feels it might be politically expedient to at least listen to Judge Kavanaugh before voting no as he most assuredly will.

3. Democrats think they can take out long time U.S. Rep. Gus Billirakis this fall - good luck with that. The family has held the seat for three decades and the Demo challenger is a former FBI agent – not the best credential right now.

4.He’s done a lot of what he said he would do – most notably in the Supreme Court, but like him or hate him, our President is a bull in a china shop and badly needs a Miss Manners - type at his side constantly.

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you shopped at A Place for Cooks on North Fort Harrison Avenue – thanks to CHS classmate Gary Winter for reminding us about A Place for Cooks. Another similarly neat place was Susan Brown’s original Beans About Cooking in Northwood Plaza.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. The Cardinals’ dismissal of manager Mike Matheny falls into the ready, fire, aim category. The Cards never had a losing season under him and you can bet he won’t be cashing many unemployment checks.

7. Mindful of Kenny Rogers’ admonition, you have to know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em, the Rays let the ship sail without Chris Archer on it. His value, at an all-time high a year ago, is now greatly diminished and he would bring little in return.

8. Idle thought – there are a whole big bunch of really awful shows on TV these days.

9. It didn’t get a lot of media attention but the troubled New England Confectionary Company was purchased at auction by an Ohio-based company and the NECCO wafer and Clark Bar among others (TBRR 4/14/18) will live on.

10. This week’s best player and pitcher series (see back story TBRR 3/25/18) focuses on the team that has called Clearwater their spring home since 1948 – the Philadelphia Phillies. We turned to an old baseball friend who has been following the Phils for close to 70 years and his answers were quick and we cannot disagree with them. His best player is one of only two Phillie position players to have their number retired (Rich Ashburn was the other) – Mike Schmidt – arguably the best all-around third baseman in history. Three former Phil pitchers are in the Hall of Fame – Robin Roberts, Jim Bunning and Steve Carlton. All three were great but “Lefty” was the best left hander of his era. Carlton gets the nod over Bunning and Roberts.


Belated farewell to a true American hero


Sometimes bad news doesn’t travel so fast. We just learned last week of the passing quite some time ago of retired Air Force Lt. General Lloyd R. (Dick) Leavitt. General Leavitt was in the Air Force from its beginnings after graduating from West Point (there was no Air Force Academy back then). In the Air Force he did it all - flying B-52s, the super spy plane the U-2, F-84s in Korea and F-4s in the Vietnam conflict where we knew him as Col. Dick Leavitt, the wing commander of our fighter/recon wing - flying 150 combat missions – hardly a desk jockey. He ended his career in 1981 as the vice-commander of the prestigious Strategic Air Command. His life can be encapsulated in his favorite expression “Press On” – he was a true American hero.

UP NEXT: Baker’s bad timing; best of the Pirates; Hillary and Comey


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