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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MAY 24, 2020


TBRR is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - certain accounts printed here should not be taken literally.


Memorial Day – Remember what others have done for you


Polio, Pearl Harbor and the SF earthquake


We begin with a thought from the oft-quoted 5:05 Newsletter – “Biden Slams President Trump For His Response To The Polio Epidemic”. Very tongue in cheek, but the very same week comes some harebrained commentary from a guy named Eugene Robinson blaming President Trump for all the ills spawned by the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Robinson writes for the Washington Post – now there’s a surprise. The missive from the lunatic fringe conveniently overlooks about 100 or so facts like America’s recovery compared to any other major nation in the world; the fact that our country is getting back to work daily and, of course it offers absolutely no worthwhile (or not worthwhile) alternatives to what is being done. It’s simply Trump’s fault for the 80,000 plus U.S. deaths from the pandemic. What twisted logic. The poison pen piece stops short of blaming our President for the nearly 300,000 deaths worldwide as well as the attack on Pearl Harbor and the San Francisco earthquake, while assuring us all will be better if we place Joe Biden in the White House this fall. This assumes, of course, Lonesome Joe finds his way out of his basement bunker by then.  


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. The Hillsborough County Commission is tone deaf. Their proposal for increased impact fees could not come at a worse time when Florida has close to a half-million people unemployed. Granted, new development does impact infrastructure, but now is not the time to bump up rates as our fragile economy tries to rebound.

2. The St. Pete Police Department is looking really bad in their skirmish with two demoted lieutenants who allege others did what they were accused of – padding time sheets. The city dragging its feet and their lame excuses for same doesn’t reflect well on the county’s largest department.

3. Pot calling the kettle: “America’s sweetheart” takes a jab at President Trump regarding his fitness in regards to his weight and age. Trump, like most of us, not as trim as he once was, is 73. The leading harpy of the Democratic Party is 80.

4. Our nomination for the last bay area place to reopen would have been the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa with its shoulder to shoulder gambling and a demographic best described as long in the tooth.

5. You’ve lived in the bay area (or anywhere else) for a long time if you grew up reading Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy books as a kid. They were both written by a syndicate headed by Edward Stratemeyer with nom de plumes Carolyn Keene and Franklin Dixon being used for the many folks who actually wrote the books. Bonus points if you read two other popular books of that era – Clair Bee’s Chip Hilton sports series or the Rick Brant sci-fi series by John Blaine (aka Harold Goodwin).


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Recent CNN panel show on the coronavirus featured several former high ranking medical experts and Greta Thunberg, Thunberg is a high school student from Sweden who is famous for not attending high school. Was Ralph Nader not available?

7. NBC’s Chuck Todd deliberately edited a response from the nation’s Attorney General changing the context of the answer. Frankly, we are shocked (see disclaimer above). This is certainly not the first time Todd has played fast and loose with the facts.

8. One of the more interesting things about a potential baseball season is the concept of a taxi squad for MLB teams. The additional 25 on each roster would play 5-6 inning games before the big clubs each day, keeping the taxi squad sharp for potential call-ups.

9. Number of the week – 18. That’s the number of Gold Gloves won by Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, the most in history – one more than Oriole third baseman Brooks Robinson and Jim Kaat who modeled six different uniforms and won 283 games and, incredibly, is not in the Hall of Fame.

10. Five years ago in TBRR (5/24/15): Don’t know about you, but there wasn’t a dry eye in your HB (Humble Blogger’s) home during last week’s send off for Channel 8’s Gayle Sierens. What a class act.


The downfall of Neiman Marcus


There were stores and then there was Neiman Marcus. In its halcyon years, it was headed by Stanley Marcus, a shrewd businessman with a flair for the flamboyant – especially at Christmas. Each year, Neiman Marcus would feature one or more outrageous gifts for the “one per cent”. One year, it was a $120,000 sleepover at their Dallas flagship store for six ladies; a first class trip to the Ryder Cup worth over $200,000; then there were cars – a his and hers Jaguar – a car for him, a jaguar coat for her. In 2002, the store offered the retooled Ford Thunderbird two-seater before the public could buy one – detailed in the company’s corporate colors – now a collector’s item. There have been other “experience” type gifts too – like a $425,000 VIP trip to the Academy Awards. A certain portion of each of these extravagant purchases went to charity making them slightly less ostentatious. Now, Neiman Marcus is in bankruptcy – not the same company that Stanley Marcus led, but the product of several buy-outs; going private, then public and other machinations. We hope they will survive, but it will never be the store of the Stanley Marcus days.

NEXT UP: Bertha, Cristobal & Nana; Rites of late spring; Topper’s



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