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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JULY 18, 2021


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. 


Casting a ballot is not rocket science 


Just a couple of weeks ago, we celebrated our country’s independence giving us, among other things, the right to vote. And over the years, we as a country have chosen to overly complicate that function. For decades there were two ways to vote – in person or absentee. Now we must have early voting, ballot drop off boxes and other junk. Why? In what way, does the ability to vote in person or with a pre-paid mail ballot usurp any right? Frankly, your humble blogger hasn’t been to a polling place in nearly 25 years. And we got a big laugh at an accompanying photo in “Florida’s Best Newspaper’s” story about adding additional early balloting places. The photo showed two people in line last October – both sporting canes. What a coincidence! We don’t walk so well ourselves, which is why we simply fill in the ballot, sign it and mail it back. If we have to include a social security or license number, so what? What could be less complicated?


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


More on voting from Ramesh Ponnuru writing in Bloomberg, “Biden said that 17 states had passed 28 laws making it harder to vote. The same source behind those numbers also reports that 14 states have passed 28 laws making it easier to vote. Four states appear on both lists, which suggests that the legislation is more complicated than Biden’s talk of a ‘21st-century Jim Crow assault’ on voters would allow.”

The Biden gravy train rolls on with $250-300 a month per kid to families with combined incomes of $150,000 or less, hardly the poverty line. Two questions, wouldn’t you have liked that when you were struggling to raise kids? And more importantly, who is going to pay for this largesse?

From “Florida’s Best Newspaper” for the umpteenth time, “The highway patrol did not release the man’s name due to the department’s interpretation of Marsy’s Law, a voter-approved amendment to Florida’s constitution that’s meant to protect crime victims, but deprives the public of information that had long been available under the state’s public records laws.” Okay folks, we get it, you don’t like the law. Now find another drum to beat.

Idle question: does anybody really know what’s going on in Cuba – or Texas?

We’ve been wondering what we (and probably Jack Harris) were going to do for top flight material, but happily the 5:05 Newsletter has thrown us a few choice bones like this one: “California News: A 36-year-old man in California who identifies as a six-year-old, "crushed" a game-winning home run at a local tee-ball game winning the championship for his team. His six-year-old teammates attempted to hoist him up on their shoulders in celebration, but were unable to pick up the 230-pound man.”


Sports, media and lighter stuff:


Idle thought: the next time MLB commissioner Rob Manfred makes an appearance at the Atlanta Brave’s Truist Park, we would bet some very serious money, it will be a sell-out.

Speaking of the Ayatollah of baseball, Manfred finally admits the runner on second in extra innings is a T-Ball-like rule and says it probably will be discarded next year - couldn’t be soon enough.

For once, we agree with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. Athletes from other lands who come here to make millions of dollars should shell out a tiny portion of that to take some English as a second language courses.

Word is the Blue Jays will finally be playing in Toronto by month’s end. Hope it helps. They’ve actually played their best regular season ball on the road.

You’ve lived in Pinellas County a long time if you ever dined at the Brown Derby on U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor.

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of U.S. Senator John Glenn – the first American to orbit the earth back in 1962.

Five Years Ago in TBR&R (July 17, 2016) - Within a week, the FBI announces it has concluded its investigations of Hillary Clinton - and D.B. Cooper - so many punchlines, so little space.


Great lines from the big and small screens



Our July assignment for the renowned TBR&R Focus Group was coming up with two or three great lines from the movies and TV over the years. Seinfeld provided the most material.

Our leadoff hitter of the group went with Seinfeld’s, Frank Costanza’s (Jerry Stiller) “Let the airing of grievances begin,” from the Festivus episode, The Graduate’s “ I want to say one word to you, Benjamin - plastics,” and from WKRP in Cincinnati, a holiday promotion gone wrong,  “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

Classic movies dominate another member’s list with "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," from 1939’s Wizard of Oz. Three years later came “Here’s looking at you kid,” from Casablanca and the ominous “What we've got here is a failure to communicate,” from 1967’s Cool Hand Luke.

For another focus group member, it was “That’s what she said,” from the comedy classic The Office plus Get Smart’s “Missed it by that much,” and from 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – “Who ARE those guys?”

Another Focus Group member weighs in with the golf line “What is that, a Titleist? from the Seinfeld episode “The Marine Biologist” plus these gems – “Snap Out of it” – Cher in Moonstruck and one of the most often repeated quiz show lines “Come on Down” from The Price is Right. 

Another focus group contributor recalls the great Walter Cronkite closer “And that’s the way it is’” along with the Terry Hatcher classic from Seinfeld “They’re real and they’re spectacular,” plus another never to be forgotten Seinfeld line “No soup for you!”

And, last but not least, come these contributions from our western - most focus group member - “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” - Thumper in the movie Bambi. Plus “Shaken, not stirred” from Goldfinger and two great lines from Rowen and Martin’s Laugh-In – Dick Martin’s “You bet your sweet bippy” and Lily Tomlin’s (as Geraldine) “Is this the party to whom I am speaking?”

NEXT UP: Condo-nundrum; King of the 70s; Raisins



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