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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



Tampa Bay Raves and Rants is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports, lifestyles and nostalgia items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - much of what is printed here should not be taken literally.


The Pelosi posse rides again


Nancy Pelosi and her henchmen just won’t give up. Foiled in their doomed attempt to impeach President Trump, now Fancy Nancy and her troops want to launch what they call a 9-11 type investigation into the January 6th violence on Capitol Hill. At the same time, Ms. Pelosi is doing a bit of squirming as members of the House are asking “what did she know and when did she know it” regarding the siege of Capitol Hill. Soon, there will come a time when Ms. Pelosi is going to have to let go of her obsession with President Trump and move on to what we pay her for – getting people vaccinated and back to work for starters.



Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. The price of poker certainly has gone up. Last week, the Clearwater City Council voted to delay a decorative lighting project on the Causeway Bridge estimated at $1.5 million. The Sand Key Bridge lighting project some years back cost $100,000 which had some city commissioners (they were commissioners back then) balking at that price.

2. Religious scholar Dr. William Donahue remains perplexed as to why our new President, a Catholic or at least a CINO, is praised for his religious beliefs such as they are, while then Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a real life practicing Catholic, was all but burnt at the stake during her confirmation hearings. Puzzling, yes?

3. Thought from the youngest member of our TBR&R Focus Group: I'm wondering if the true purpose of the fencing in DC might just be to keep Sleepy Joe from wandering off somewhere.

4. Speaking of which, Joltin’ Joe spent last weekend at Camp David. It was pointed out that President Trump spent much of his off time at one of his clubs. It’s what you’re used to – with Trump it was his clubs, for Joe it was either Camp David or back to his basement.

5. Idle question: Did you miss Daniel Ruth in the Times? Neither did we.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Continuing our Lenten fasting suggestions from Pope Francis during this holy season – “Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.”

7. We lost three leaders in their respective fields last week. First, jazz icon Chick Corea passed away at age 79. And one of the area’s first orthodontists and the owner of the Sea Captain motel on Clearwater Beach, Dr. Don Eifert, passed away at age 91 – a truly interesting man. And the conservative’s conservative, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, died at age 70.

8. When our daughter married a very nice young man over a decade ago, our extended family became that much better. One of the truly nice members of that family, David Mullis, passed away last week. Our heart goes out to the Mullis and Kelly families.

9. When the most recent Presidential Medal of Freedom awards were handed out, one name a lot of Americans may not have recognized was Mildred (Babe) Zaharias. That is sad, because Zaharias who died at a young age in 1956, was simply the greatest female athlete of all time, excelling in track and field in the Olympics, pro golf plus basketball and baseball.

10. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you remember veteran newsman Howard Hartley who served as news director for both WTAN and WAZE radio stations over the years. He had a distinctive clipped delivery and was a master of his craft despite being blind. He was ably assisted by his wife, Jo Hartley.


The Wrecking Crew – soundtrack of the ‘60s


They’re called hooks - those little pieces of songs that stay with you forever, the neat guitar lick at the beginning of Wichita Lineman, the cool drum intro to Don’t Worry Baby or the Ronettes’ Be My Baby. All of those sounds and hundreds more came from a unique backing group called the Wrecking Crew. This loosely constituted group of 15-20 very skilled musicians haunted the various recording studios in LA during the sixties and seventies. They provided backgrounds for Glen Campbell (originally a member of the group), Simon and Garfunkel, Sonny and Cher, the Beach Boys and Johnny Rivers just to name five of more than 50 name acts they backed. Much in demand, they might start with a session in the Capitol Records studios with the Beach Boys, then an afternoon session with the Mamas and Papas followed by an evening gig at a third studio with the 5th Dimension and repeat the next day and every day Monday through Friday. Many of their number are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame including drummers Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer, as well as the group as a whole being inducted in 2007. There is a book by Ken Hartman that details the work of this amazing crew as well as a 2008 film documentary produced by Denney Tedesco, the son of one of the group’s mainstays, guitarist Tommy Tedesco. Both are worth a look if you enjoyed the music of the sixties and seventies.

NEXT WEEK: Girl Vocal Stars; Election Funding; The Real Thing



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