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

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.



Making elections work for all Americans


“This one will never sell … this one’s for you” with apologies to Barry Manilow. We ranted about the $14 billion spent on last year’s Presidential and Congressional races (TBR&R 11/15/20). That’s 14 times the American Cancer Society’s annual budget. Then there was another over half billion spent on just the two Senate run-off races in Georgia – simply obscene. Here’s a quick answer to this madness that will never sell. It’s a 15% surcharge on each national political contribution. You give a candidate $10,000 and $1500 of that goes to a non-partisan organization for distribution to qualified charities – a sort of United Way for political contributions to places like the National Cancer Society, Salvation Army or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital just to name three of many worthwhile charities. And the surcharge applies to every contribution – soft money, hard money, PACs – you name it. And you make the penalties for trying to dodge the surcharge extremely steep (like barred from political contributions for 10 years along with a little jail time). And we would be the first in line to volunteer to help make it run – a process that would have generated well over $2 billion for worthwhile charities in the last election cycle – and reformed election contributions.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Speaking of charities, we salute Amazon for their Amazon Smile program which donates a small percentage of each purchase to your favorite charity. It adds up. Our named charity, not a large entity, nonetheless has received close to $7000 from the merchandising giant.

2. Speaking of elections, a tip of our cap to Governor Rick DeSantis for his call to end so-called ballot harvesting where a person can turn in multiple ballots at a ballot drop box – which can only lead to suspicion of fraud if not outright fraud.

3. The ceremony was moving - paying tribute to the 500,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 over the past year; but what we really need is more action by the White House to get vaccines in people’s arms before another 500,000 die.

4. Florida’s Minister of Marijuana, Nikki Fried, has decided she wants to run for Governor (there’s a shock). She is already in attack mode, righteously demanding an update on the incident at the Oldsmar’s water treatment facility. We’ll wager that a month ago, Ms. Fried didn’t know where Oldsmar was.

5. Political news from The 5:05 Newsletter: President Donald Trump was acquitted of impeachment charges when the Senate failed to get the necessary two-thirds vote to convict. It would have been different, but a suitcase from Georgia containing 30 more votes to impeach did not arrive in time.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. We thought we’d let the 5:05 Newsletter write the majority of the blog this week – this, too, is a gem: MLB News: Pitchers, catchers, cardboard cutouts report for Spring Training.

7. In the first MLB power ranking of the year, our local nine are ranked 9th – pretty low for a team that played in the World Series. But even if they play to that lowered bar, they would still be in the postseason.

8. You’ve lived in the bay area (or anywhere else) a long time if your first taste of Coca Cola came from a 6.5 ounce glass bottle. Purists say no Coke since has tasted as good as the 6.5 ounce variety. It was the “real thing.”

9. The Crimson Tide has lost one of its most rabid supporters. Bob Furney was a superb educator at Clearwater High, armed with an incredible wit. In addition, he was a medical miracle fighting off severe lung and kidney problems with an iron will. Our condolences go to his wife Suzanne, their son Rob and his siblings Les and Margaret. Bob will be deeply missed.

10. We continue our series of Lenten fasting suggestions from Pope Francis – “Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.”


Remembering the top female singers of the 50s


Last month (Jan. 31, 2021TBR&R) we highlighted the top ten male singers of the 1950s. This week, we look at the top female performers from that decade starting with that “singing rage” Patti Page who got her name from the Page Dairy that sponsored her early radio shows. Patti (Tennessee Waltz and many others) was followed by Teresa Brewer, Connie Francis, Sarah Vaughn, Georgia Gibbs, Jaye P. Morgan, TV’s Gale Storm, Rosemary Clooney (George’s aunt), Doris Day and Joni James. Just missing the Top 10 were two other hit makers from the early 50s – Kay Starr and Jo Stafford. Next month – the 50s biggest groups - guess who was number one.

NEXT WEEK: TBR&R turns seven; UT’s beginnings; It’s only jobs



Add comment

Security code