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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



A weekly look at the Tampa Bay area and national politics from a conservative viewpoint – plus a helping of sports and lifestyle items. Warning: not everything printed here should be taken at face value.


The problem is obvious


Three items caught our eye this past week. Here in Florida, two companies that sell pot are pushing an initiative called Make It Legal. The proposed ballot item would allow medical pot dispensaries to sell recreational grass. Wow, who didn’t see that coming when Florida passed its ill-considered medical pot referendum back in 2018? Make It Legal is full of holes – the biggest is the fact that even if we go off the deep end and allow recreational pot to be sold, it is still illegal under federal law. As it looks now, the legislature will at least kick that can down the road to 2022. The other news items that caught our eye were the story of a New Jersey woman, fueled by a doobie got tired of waiting in line at a DMV, went on a rampage and destroyed about 25 grand worth of equipment at the office. Worse yet was the death of a prominent Tampa man on Bayshore Boulevard killed by a driver high on pot and booze. As a great, great American is fond of saying – the problem is obvious.



Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:



1. And now there are twelve. Cory Booker’s exit from the Democratic presidential sweepstakes brings the number of candidates to an even dozen – with more dropouts soon to come. The field at one time had swelled to over twenty.

2. Speaking of elections, Clearwater will elect a majority of its city council in March. You owe it to yourself and your city to attend a forum and learn a bit about the candidates.

3. The Florida Supreme Court’s refusal to allow people who have served their time on felony charges to vote without paying off onerous “court fees” is very disappointing. As we advocated (TBRR 5/5/19) some time back, released felons should be responsible for restitution (i.e. losses to their victims) but not court fees. Those fees are more or less just a method for the state to shake down folks who need every penny they can hold on to. We hope the legislature will sort out this mess this spring.

4. Factoid – Kennedy Township, Pa., located just west of Pittsburgh is the last municipality to be named after an American president. That happened in the mid- 1960s.

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you remember “Uncle Al” Cook’s bike shop on Cleveland Street and East Ave. “Uncle Al” was one of the pioneers of the three wheel adult trike.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. The consequences were harsh, but MLB said enough of this cheating and Astros owner Jim Crane agreed when he fired both manager A. J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow just a month before the start of spring training. This, at least in the short term, should put an end to sign stealing through electronic means.

7. If you think Hinch and Luhnow got harsh punishment, wait until the Wily Coyote anvil falls on fired Red Sox skipper Alex Cora who was involved in both the Astros and Red Sox cheating scandals.

8. Full disclosure, we correctly predicted the Super Bowl favorites, the Baltimore Ravens, would not reach the big game (TBRR 1/5/20), but we didn’t see the Tennessee Titans as the spoiler.

9. Bill Cowher’s election to the NFL Hall of Fame says as much about the Pittsburgh Steeler ownership as Cowher himself. The newly minted Hall of Famer is only the second of three coaches in the past 51 years of Steeler history. And you might as well clear wall space in Canton for his successor Mike Tomlin, now in his 14th season with the Steelers. The Rooney family certainly knows how to run a franchise.

10. Give us Clemson in the 2021 college championship game. Dabo Sweeney is building a dynasty in South Carolina.


The Houston Astro tsunami


Just when you think you’ve seen everything there is to see in baseball, along comes a bizarre string of events that leaves three potential pennant contenders without managers a month before pitchers and catchers report. Realistically, only the Mets can reach from within for a manger. Current bench coach Hensley Meulens or third base coach Gary DiSarcina could be possible fits. Both have earned the opportunity, but neither has held the top job. It would be hard to justify an internal hire in either Boston or Houston given the scandals from within. Only three top shelf former managers are out there and two of them, Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost don’t want to come back. Either Houston or Boston could do a lot worse than the third of the elite group – Buck Showalter. The rest of the field is composed of some tired retreads and some guys who’ve never managed. You need to go for an experienced hand given the short period of time to get up to speed with a new team. It will be interesting to watch.

Next Up: Peppermint Twist; Star Spectaculars; Our pick for Mayor



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