• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image

Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



TBR&R is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports, lifestyle and nostalgia items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - much of what is printed here should not be taken literally.


Perhaps our favorite story of the year


We thought it would be a good idea to take a deep breath and pull away from nasty politics in our lead article and focus on a truly good news story. It concerns Dr. Paul Milgrom, a professor of economics at Stanford University who won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Economics. Unfortunately, the Nobel Committee did not have Dr. Milgrom’s phone number and could not reach him. Luckily, the committee did have the number of his co-winner and neighbor, Dr. Robert Wilson. So in the middle of the night, Dr. Wilson knocks on the door of Dr. Milgrom to tell him he won and that Wilson had given the Nobel Committee his cellphone number. Seldom does a knock on the door in the middle of the night bring such good news. Congratulations to Drs. Milgrom and Wilson.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Joe, if you have such a terrific plan for quelling the Covid-19 virus, why haven’t you shared it with our nation’s health leaders, thereby eliminating a lot of misery? Or is it a bunch of smoke and mirrors as most of America suspects?

2. Most troubling quotes of the 2020 campaign – (a) “You’ll know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over,” (b) “This is a person (Kamala Harris) who is ready on day one to be president of the United States of America.” Both came from Joe Biden, who wants to be our next President? Harris was roundly rejected by her own party in the primaries mainly because of her lack of qualifications – other than trying to trash Justice Kavanaugh.

3. Next Tuesday is Election Day. Is it true that Big Bill Thompson is still on the Chicago mayoral ballot? The corrupt 1920s mayor would be a better choice than the current office holder who has a few years to go before a majority of rational voters dump her.

4. Idle question prompted by our TBR&R special U.S. History edition on July 5: Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump, how did the two of you escape military service during the Vietnam era when damn near every one of our college classmates (all your age) did not? (BTW Zero is the amount of minutes the four people on our national ballot have served in the military).

5. With a week before the national election, it appears Joe Biden has his own version of Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy – his son Hunter Biden who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble with his influence peddling.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Answer: Chicago Cubs. Question: What is the only major league team not to have a single Covid-19 case during the MLB season? This is despite the fact that Illinois and Chicago, in particular, have one of the highest rates in the country.

7. Joe Buck certainly hasn’t won many friends over the past several weeks. He was roundly criticized for his LA bias in both the NLCS and World Series broadcasts. And then he and his NFL tag team partner, Troy Aikman, seemed to find fault with the Ray-Jay flyover during the Bucs-Packers game calling it a waste of taxpayer money that “wouldn’t happen in a Kamala-Biden administration.” Had Buck and Troy Boy done their homework, they would know flyovers are regular training exercises – no different than flying over an empty Gulf of Mexico and add not a penny to military budgets. We are bewildered as to why Buck and Aikman still have jobs.

8. Speaking of dolts up and down the dial, this breaking and shocking news: “A staggering 97 percent of the jokes Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon told about the candidates in September targeted President Donald Trump, a study released Monday found.” Wow, who would have thought that coming from two of the most liberal clowns on TV?

9. If you voted absentee in Pinellas County, the Supervisor of Elections website will tell you if your ballot has been received – and if it’s already been counted - neat site.

10. Breaking political news from the 5:05 Newsletter: As we head for the November elections, Democrats are riding high after defeating two cartoon characters, a pancake mix, a box of rice, an ice cream bar and an old lady on a syrup bottle.


Remembering: The 100th anniversary of radio

(Editor’s note: In each month’s final edition, we take a look back at the people, places and things that make the area what it is. Previous subjects have included Star Spectaculars, Spring Training, the Clearwater Bombers, High School Graduations; Clearwater’s WTAN, Howard the Trader, water front dining delights and very cool things from our past.)


On November 2, 1920, in a small, crowded facility in Turtle Creek, Pa., America’s first commercial radio station, KDKA, hit the airwaves. Its first broadcast? It was the results of the 1920 Presidential election between Warren G. Harding and James M. Cox. The station was developed by Westinghouse Electric and was responsible for a lot of Westinghouse radios sold in the years to come. One of the first two announcers for KDKA was a Westinghouse engineer by the name of Ted Harnack. Mr. Harnack was a career employee of Westinghouse and retired to Clearwater after over thirty years with company. Mr. Harnack wisely stuck to his day job of engineering rather than the less stable broadcasting field. He was an acquaintance of our father, also a career Westinghouse man, and he kept us spellbound with his stories of the early days of radio – a career we enjoyed for two decades. Ironically, the loser in that 1920 election, James Cox, went on to build one of the largest chains of media outlets in the country comprised of dozens of radio and TV stations and daily newspapers. Six of those radio stations are in the bay area including the market’s most listened to station – WDUV-FM. As for KDKA, it remains a Pittsburgh institution rated number two among over six dozen radio outlets in the Steel City. Oh, the first station in Tampa Bay was WDAE 1250kc just two years after KDKA signed on. It was a strong CBS network affiliate for decades.

NEXT UP: 11,000 wins; Joe & the Supremes; Built, but nobody comes




Add comment

Security code