BUDGET OFFICE “GOP BILL” BOOST COST AND UNINSURED

A Republican bill to replace Obamacare would lead to 14 million fewer Americans with health insurance by next year. In 2018 and 2019 the average premiums for single policy holders who did not get insurance from their employers would be 15 percent to 20 percent higher than under Obamacare. Younger citizens would benefit more than older ones. The GOP bill would allow insurers to charge five times more for older patients than younger ones. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said, “If ever there was a war on seniors this bill, “Trumpcare,” is it.” The GOP plan also phases out Medicaid Expansion which hits the poor and some middle class very hard and leaves them without affordable insurance. It is estimated that in the next nine years 52 million Americans would be uninsured under the Republican plan. The Healthcare Act is scheduled to be taken up by the House Budget Committee on Wednesday. The bill then goes to the House Rules Committee and could have a House vote by next week. President Trump has promised a “blood bath” for Congressmen who don’t support the bill, meaning he will turn his supporters loose against them in next year’s congressional races. The vote is a two way sword for congressmen. A vote “For” will get them opposition. Republican leaders scramble to keep their caucus together on the bill. Some Republicans say the bill is dead on arrival in the senate. It will be interesting to see how the “Great Negotiator,” “The Dealmaker,” pulls this one off. Trump said Obamacare would be “dead on day one” and he promised “better care for far less.” We want the results. ***I’ve got to move along. I would appreciate it if you came along; I promise it won’t do you no harm.

St. Pat to Dick Dowling’s Irishman

Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Much of what is known about Saint Patrick comes from the Declaration, which was allegedly written by Patrick himself. It is believed that he was born in  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Britain” \o “Roman Britain” Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romano-British” \o “Romano-British” Romano-British family. His father was a  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deacon” \o “Deacon” deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. According to the Declaration, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaelic_Ireland” \o “Gaelic Ireland” Gaelic Ireland. It says that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he “found God”. The Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest. According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_polytheism” \o “Celtic polytheism” pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted “thousands”. Patrick’s efforts against the  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid” \o “Druid” druids were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove “snakes” out of Ireland (Ireland never had any snakes). Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downpatrick” \o “Downpatrick” Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint. On St Patrick’s Day it is customary to wear  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamrock” \o “Shamrock” shamrocks and/or green clothing or accessories (the “wearing of the green”). St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Trinity” \o “Holy Trinity” Holy Trinity to the  HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_polytheism” \o “Celtic polytheism”  pagan Irish. St Patrick’s Day, while not a legal holiday in the United States, is nonetheless widely recognized and observed throughout the country as a celebration of Irish and Irish-American culture. Celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, religious observances, numerous parades, and copious consumption of alcohol. The holiday has been celebrated in North America since the late 18th century. The Southeast Texas Irish connection is recorded in the history books as the Battle of Fort Griffin, in Sabine Pass, on Sept. 8, 1863. Dick Dowling, a native of Milltown County, in Galway, Ireland, arrived in Texas after his family was driven from New Orleans because of anti-Irish sentiment. Once the Civil War began Dowling went into the Confederate Army. The Union was set to invade Texas by way of the Sabine Pass. Dowling took 47 Irish dock workers from Galveston and half-dozen cannons and completely disabled and captured two Union gun boats and 350 prisoners sending 5000 Yankees scrambling back to New Orleans. A successful invasion by the Union at Sabine Pass would have threatened the take over of the railroad in Beaumont, a link to Houston and the Texas areas of the Confederacy. Thanks to the Irish fighters, Sabine Pass Texas didn’t fall into the hands of the Yankees like other states had. Dick Dowling became our most famous Irishman. A statue stands in his and his men’s honor at Sabine Pass.

10 YEARS AGO-2007

Hazardous site, old Spector Salvage Yard, 10th Street at Evergreen Cemetery is being cleaned through environmental projection agency’ superfund.*****Wilford “Crazy Ray” Jones, 76, that many of you will remember as the Cowboy’s “Super Fan Cheerleader,” died Saturday, March 17. The fans loved him in his western outfit.*****The Bridge City Lady Cardinals are undefeated in district 21-3A. Over the last few seasons they have won 66 straight district softball games. Some on the team are Lauren Angelle, Mallory Guidry, Christina Jaques, Emily Navarro and Samantha Myers. The Lady Cards have had five coaches in the last eight years. The boys baseball team is not doing so bad either under Coach Billy Bryant. They have made two straight trips to the state tournament and are now approaching 44 straight wins under Coach Bryant.*****Our friend and employee, A.J. Broussard, has been diagnosed to have lung cancer and starts the long fight to beat it. (Editor’s note: He lost the battle. What a great guy he was.)*****Four years ago this week the United States invaded Iraq. It should have been a cakewalk, however, our leaders were so incompetent that they let our troops stand around and watched the people loot the entire country. The boys laughed at how much stuff those Iraqi people could stack on their backs, heads, and in hand drawn carts. They emptied every palace, government building, store and gun shop. Our troops cheered as Saddam’s statue was toppled. The U.S. just gave them the run of the country. A short time later President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier and declared victory. In a ‘how tough we are’ statement, the President declared, “Bring them on.” They were stupid enough to believe we had really won. Four years later, 3,220 soldiers have been killed, 298 from Texas, 69 from Southeast Texas. Texas has sent 160,000 active duty and 23,161 National Guard and Reservists since mission accomplished. Over 2,200 of the 23,677 wounded list Texas as their home state. Texas leads the nation in war death rate. There were no terrorist in Iraq when we invaded, today there are many. Don’t buy into what Richard Perle said that within a year, a boulevard in Baghdad would be named in honor of George W. Bush. In fact, it’s a very sad time, brought on by lies, stupidity and greed.***** GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: We were sorry to hear of the death of Myrtle Susan Granger, 94, who passed away March 13. Her services were held March 16. She was a beautiful, petite lady, full of energy and always had a big smile. Among her off springs were grandsons, Cal Stakes, Jr. and Marc Carter. That should tell you what an interesting life this fun lady had. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ovie Eudale Granger; parents and her granddaughter, Terrie Lynn Stakes. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Bobbie Jean and Calvin Stakes and Billie Don and Lacy Leon Carter, grandchildren, Calvin Stakes, Jr., Kellie Marie Muckleroy, Dale Ray Carter, Marcus Leon Carter and Daniel Lynn Carter; seven great grandchildren; six great great grandchildren and her sister, Hilda Castelaw.*****Nettie Marie Addison, 86, of Orange died Sunday, March 18. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 21. Mrs. Addison made her home in the Orange area for 40 years, where she enjoyed gardening and working in her yard, crocheting, cooking and baking. She is survived by her husband, Thomas Addison; stepsons and their wives, Tracy and Elaine Addison, Keith and Gail Addison, nieces, Virginia Riggs, Vesta Jones and Mary Romano, twelve grandchildren and several sisters.***** Jan Kuykendall, 49, of Bridge City, died on March 14.     Funeral services were Monday, March 19. Ms. Kuykendall was a resident of Bridge City for over 20 years, she was a nurse for the Stiles Unit in Beaumont. She is survived by her sons, Chris Landry and his wife, Glennam, Lennon Kuykendall and his wife, Telisha, and Heath Nequent, grandchildren, Nicole and Paige Smith, Kimberly Landry and Carter Kuykendall and sister Johanna Tesch.*****Mildred Mulhollan “BB” Cady, 95, of Orange, died Saturday, March 17. Funeral services were 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 20. She had lived in Orange for the past 89 years and was a homemaker. Survivors include her nephew, Clifford Reese Sr., of Bridge City; nieces, Carolyn Bell of Pineland, Linda Bucklin of Bridge City and numerous other nieces and nephews.***** Arnold Stone, 92, of Bridge City passed away Wednesday, March 14. The funeral service was held Saturday, March 17.  Mr. Stone worked as a Layout Mechanic for Levingston Shipbuilding, retiring in 1979.  On June 29, 1940, Arnold married Elizabeth Odom and they were married for 56 years. He is survived by his sons George A. and James R. Stone both of Bridge City, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

40 Years Ago-2017

Jim Austin announces the association of Houston Baker with the Jim Austin Olds-Cadillac-Toyota on IH-10. *****McDaniel’s Liquor holds a grand opening. Specials: Old Charter, fifth $5.39; Old Taylor, fifth $4.59; Jim Bean, fifth $4.29; Budweiser, 6-12 oz. Cans $1.39; Pabst, 12-12 oz. Cans $2.49; Buckhorn, 6-12oz. Cans $1.15. *****Uncle Jim ‘The Fisherman’ McKay, at his 92nd birthday party held at the Opportunity Valley News, was visited by Raymond Prater, 91. The two old gentlemen shared stories about life before the turn of the century and the early 1900’s. *****Baxter fired again. This time by John Hicks at KLVI. Bax made $50,000 a year and was one of the highest paid disc jockeys in the country but claims to have brought in over $1 million in advertisement the last nine years. *****The good old boys at Courtesy Pontiac are Ken Hughes, Don Jones and Terry Morton. *****Jesse Dupuis, who was burned in a Texaco explosion, has been taken off the critical list. James Rowe also burned is still listed as critical. *****Bobby Hoosier, a burn victim in John Sealy Hospital, is in need of blood donors. (Editor’s note; all three of these guys recovered after much time and have lived productive lives. *****Attorney Cimron Campbell is president of the Orange County Bar Association. *****Terri Pasternak, known for her jewelry creations, will have a trunk showing at Scofield’s of Orange on 10th Street. *****A group of entertainers got together for a gig at the home of Roy and Phyllis Dunn. Bax, using his smoking pipe as a microphone, put on a six-hour show. Jimmy Carlisle performed two sets, Don Jacobs sang most of the songs that he has written including, ‘Stump Broke Henry,’ ‘Leave Wella Nuff Alone,’ and a song about Sheriff Moore, who had a daughter named Less. Another song was about Harold Beeson’s ex wife, and his latest, The ‘Legend of Roy Dunn.’ Vickie Cash and Dennis Hall entertained with their guitars. Everyone else pitched in with songs. *****Pat Doguet has started childcare center, training for per-schoolers. *****Bridge City baseballers win John J. Certa Tournament. Jim Shaw and David Jones named to the All Tourney Team. Kim Bryant named MVP. In Track Rusty Purifoy and Toney Mulholland placed first and second in the 880-yard dash. Charlotte Marks wins girl’s 880 for the Cardinals. *****Renee Romero turns 17 on March 23. ***** Wade Gillis also celebrates a birthday.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

We were sorry to learn that former county commissioner Don Cole had to spend a few days in hospital before being transferred to a rehab place on 9th Ave., in Port Arthur. His wheels went out on him somewhat like Corky and Neighbor Cox’s legs did. Both are now showing improvement. Cox is on a stick while Corky gets around on a walker and unfortunately is now in the hospital fighting flu. Cole is expected to remain in rehab about three weeks. By then he hopes to be motivating again.*****After 40 years Walter Riedel has retired as president and CEO of the Stark Foundation. After Mrs. Nelda Stark’s death in 1999, the board of directors named Riedel president. Ms. Nelda would be proud of the work and dedication Walter has given to the Foundation. We wish him a happy, healthy retirement. Clyde “Ted” McKee III replaces Riedel as president and CEO.*****St. Mary Parish Annual Altar honoring St. Joseph, will be held Sunday, March 19. The annual event always includes a luncheon featuring Pasta Milanese, baked fish, fried and baked veggies, my favorite, stuffed artichokes, casseroles and many sweets, like Italian cookies and desserts in the Sicilian tradition. In fact, Judge Pat, no kin to St. Patrick, told me Monday that Rosalie and the women folks were busy as bees preparing cookies. They will work all week preparing the food for the Altar. The Blessing of the Altar will be at 11 am. Then the Saints and all others will be served. If you have never attended it’s an experience you will never forget.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. March 15: Tara Latil, Albert Moreno, Dusty Jennings, Julie Myers, Amber Doiron celebrate today. Ricky Glenn Roberts Jr. turns 16 today. Celebrities joining them are actors Alia Bhatt, 23 and Eva Longoria, 41. Also rock singer Mark Hoppus, 44.*****March 16: Buffy and Jordan Doiron celebrate today as does Chelsea Coleman, Amy Peveto Dwyer, Karli Anderson, Dorothy Morris and Cody Edwards. Joining them are Youtube star Chris Ballinger, 33, actress Sierra McClain, 22 and basketball player Blake Griffin, 27.*****March 17: Janet Jacobs, Stephanie Hughes, Sally Wingard, Ty Moreland, Tiffany Moreau, Josh Sims and Brenda Swan all celebrate birthday on St. Patrick’s Day. They are joined on this day by reality star Rob Kardashian, who turns 29, actor John Boyega, 24 and model Coco Austin, 37.*****March 18: Our buddy of over 60 years Corky Harmon celebrates today. Well, I’m not sure how much celebrating but he is doing much better and hopefully will be out of the hospital. Also having birthdays are BCISD drum major Kendall Gibson, our neighbor of many years Kellie Miller and also Tommy Stark. Joining them are actress Queen Latifah, 46, pop singer Adam Levin, 37 and actress Vanessa Williams, 53.*****March 19: A longtime friend going back many moons, Carol Emmerson, celebrates today as does Roman Carpenter, Hannah Walles, Courtine Campbell and Deborah Miller. I believe Larry David hits number 72????? today. Also celebrating are actor Bruce Willis, 61, wrestler Aj Lee, 29 and Youtube star Paige Danielleb, 21.*****March 20: Bridge City Police Department detective Brittany Beard Hilton is a year older today but certainly doesn’t show it. Also getting older are Diane Sims, Ben Walles, Jamie Preston and Jan Savage. Celebrities joining them are Barron Trump, 10, musical star Jonas Bridges, 15 and rock singer Chester Bennington, 40.*****March 21: Several folks we know are celebrating birthdays today. Former Bridge City sports star Johnny Dishon, Trudi Belanger and Alayna Jacobs. Also celebrating are Barbara Mosier, Pam Nugent, Harold Scales, Tanya Simon, Lisa Roberts and Ramona Huff. Celebrating also are rapper Diggy Simmons, 21, actress Martina Stoessel, 19 and Youtube star Kashani Grimmond, 19. We also take time to remember our friend who died on this day in 2012, Gene Hidalgo, a prince of a guy.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at PK’s Grill this week and back at Robert’s next week for their famous “Chicken and Dumplings.” The Bunch will dine at Robert’s every other week and other places in between. Judge Rodney Price, Bobby Fillyaw and Joe Kazmar, who is still struggling with health problems, stopped by last week. Everyone is always welcome.*****President Donald Trump didn’t meet the deadline to furnish evidence to Congress that he was wiretapped by President Obama. Instead, he has been sending out some of his clowns to walk back that lie. Meantime he refused to face the press but hasn’t stopped telling whoppers.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

This week’s quote was nominated by former District Judge Pat Clark, the longest serving judge in Orange County history. “There is no footprint too small to leave an imprint on the world.” The quote was written as a lead in to a story written last week by Debby Schamber.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Miss Agnes Comeaux, da organist at St. Mary’s, in her 80’s now had never been married, her. Everybody loved Ms. Agnes and admired her for her sweetness and kindness to all. Father Guillory him, was a new pastor dat had just arrived as the pastor of St. Mary’s. He went around the community, getting acquainted and visiting his church members. One afternoon Father Guillory came calling on Miss Agnes. She showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited da pastor to have a seat while she made dem a cup of Community Coffee.

As he sat facing Miss Agnes’ old Hammond organ, da young priest noticed a cutglass bowl sitting on top of it. Da bowl was filled wit water and in da water floated, of all tings, a condom.

Miss Agnes returned wit da coffee and some of her famous sugar cookies, den dey began to chat. Father Guillory tried to ignore his curiosity about da bowl of water and it’s strange floater.

Soon however, it got da better of him and he jus couldn’t resist no longer him. “Miss Agnes,” he said, pointing to da bowl, “I wonder if you would tell me about dis?”

“Oh Father,” she replied, “Ain’t it wonderful.”  “I was walking through da park me, last spring and I found dis little package on da ground. Da directions said to place it on da organ, keep it wet and dat it would prevent da spread of disease. You know Father, I haven’t had da flu, not even a cold all winter, me.”

C’EST TOUT

FEDERAL JUDGES OVERTURNS GERRYMANDERED MAPS

Friday a three judge panel in San Antonio gave Democrats hope for new, more favorably drawn maps that could turn over more seats in congress next year. The court however didn’t propose an immediate fix, so Texas is sure to appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Republicans were found to have drawn lines with discriminatory intent. Judges wrote in their opinion, “The record indicates not just hostility towards Democratic districts but hostility to minority districts and a willingness to use race for patrician advantage.” The courts decision exposes the Texas Legislators illegal effort to dilute the vote of Latinos. Though GOP gerrymandering and voter ID law, the Republican Party has taken control of all state office and three-fourth of the Texas congressional delegation. If not now, sooner then later, the tide will turn in Texas. Democrats know they haven’t been given a fair shake with computer drawn lines and ID law, but they are confident that there is blue sky in their future. *****Well, that’s it for me. Another column in the hopper. Thanks for spending time with us. Please read us cover to cover. Good info, great writers and great advertisers. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Take care and God bless.