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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.


Already, there are ominous signs


Joltin’ Joe assures us that his administration will not be Obama II, but all the signs are it will be exactly that. First comes the appointment of John Kerry, who couldn’t seem to find a job, as climate change czar or some such. Kerry is a guy who has barely worked in his life, having inherited a bunch of money and married into more – the Heinz fortune. Next, Joe says he will “empower” the EPA. The EPA had noble beginnings until Obama and crew got ahold of it, turning it into a shakedown mechanism aimed at businesses big and small. Donald Trump reined that in, but here we go again. And no mention of voting reform. Joltin’ Joe won the election, but anyone who believes there were no ballot irregularities is completely naïve. The American public needs to hold his feet (including the broken one) to the fire on a clean election process going forward.



Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. In introducing his economic team, Joltin’ Joe declares “help is on the way”. Don’t know about you, but as a normal taxpaying U.S. citizen, we find that downright scary. Thanks to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem for reminding us of the wise words of President Ronald Reagan, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'"

2. Entitlement is wonderful. Next time you suffer a minor injury, try to find a doctor on Sunday afternoon – and be taken there by a motorcade, no less.

3. Headline news: Biden finally gets access, once again, to top secret President’s Daily Brief. Related comment, yes but will he comprehend it?

4. Number of the week: 4 per cent – the difference in the growth of the stock market when an incumbent was re-elected versus when they are defeated. So, the market shouldn’t go all bear on us, it just won’t be as strong had Trump been re-elected. Thanks to Craig Phillips of Client First Advisory Group for the research.

5. Idle thought: Now that hurricane season is behind us, why not start each season with leftover names from the previous year? That way, Teresa, Ursula, Victoria and Wendy would get their day in the sun (or showers) and we can forgo Epsilon, Zeta and others.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. The first MLB pre-season rankings are out with the usual suspects. The top three are all NL teams, Dodgers, Braves and Padres in that order, followed by three AL teams – the Rays, White Sox and Yankees. Biggest upward bounce – the Mets with their new ownership and predicted biggest drop belongs to the Brewers, a 2020 playoff team, ranked 18th in the pre-season picks.

7. Remember the name Zack Greinke. Besides winning over 200 games in his major league career, plus a couple Gold Gloves and a Cy Young Award, he may well go down in history as the last pitcher to win a Silver Slugger Award (2019). This assumes, of course, that major league baseball stops dragging their feet and make permanent the designated hitter.

8. The Florida Gators are having a great year, but the road to a possible National Championship goes right through Alabama – actually Atlanta where they face the Crimson Tide in the SEC championship.

9. A term we enjoy hearing at least once per football season – coffin corner – when a well-executed punt goes out of bounds inside the opponent’s five-yard line – pretty much a dying art nowadays.

10. With a lot of college football schedules crumbling at the end, here comes college basketball. Let’s hope things go better for the hoopsters.


We continue to revise our history


This week’s 79th anniversary of Pearl Harbor makes us want to share a book we recently concluded by retired Air Force Colonel Robert Harder. The title is The Three Musketeers of the Army Air Forces. The book revolves around the lives of Paul Tibbets, Thomas Ferebee and Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk. Tibbets’ name is familiar to many as the pilot of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945, in effect, bringing an end to World War II. The other two gentlemen may not be as well known. Ferebee was the bombardier on that mission and Van Kirk the navigator. What is not so well known is that three men also flew as a crew on more than two dozen B-17 missions over Germany before being assigned to the Manhattan Project. And they remained very close friends after they left their careers in the service. Over the years, they along with the rest of their crew were alternately heroes or villains depending on the mood of the times. As more and more of the Allied soldiers die off who were fighting in the Pacific and had their lives saved by the end of the War (the estimate is around 500,000 – Japanese lives saved by not having to invade the country – two to three times that amount), the accomplishments of the Enola Gay crew becomes more and more discounted. The men, at great peril, carried out the orders of their commander-in-chief and did our nation a great service. No amount of revisionist history can change that fact. To our regret, we never met any of the musketeers, but they were friends and fellow bridge players with members of our extended family who had only the deepest respect for these patriots. Just a side note - virtually every book we have reviewed over our six year existence is available in the excellent Pinellas County Library System.

NEXT UP: Rays’ Christmas list; Press coverage; Salvation Army



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