On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States of America now eight years later he leaves office. To truly measure his legacy and accomplishments one has to recall where and when he started. Remember what the world and nation were like the day he took office. Obama was the first president since Roosevelt to enter office in a economic crisis. The auto industry was on the brink of bankruptcy, unemployment was nearly 10 percent, and nearly 770,000 jobs a month were being lost. A third of the nation’s lending capacity was frozen; housing stock had dropped from $12 trillion to $4.5 trillion. The housing market had crumpled, 2,373 homes were confiscated daily, 4,658 vehicles were repossessed every day. He and Nixon were the only two presidents to enter office during wartime. Obama with two wars at once. Four thousand, eight hundred Americans had been killed in foreign wars, repeated deployments strained military families. Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of 9-11, was at large. Today bin Laden is dead on orders from Obama, unemployment is only 4.5 percent, not 10.2. Last year was a record year for car and new home sales, gas at the pump has been cut in half and 20 million people now have insurance because of Obamacare. The United States is by far way better off than it was when Obama took his oath. Everything will be done to destroy his legacy but folks can’t destroy what is history. Barack Obama deserves our gratitude.
Trump to become 45th president Friday. On January 20, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as president of the United Sates. For the first time a president and commander-un-chief will assume office with no prior governmental experience. That makes it difficult to gage how he will govern. His cabinet lacks the same experience in the jobs they were selected to do. Trump is strapped with the lowest approval rating of any president coming into office. Polling shows only between 37 to 40 percent of the citizens believe he will do a good job. The biggest worry the American people have about Trump is his ties o Russia and in particular President Vladimir Putin. It doesn’t help that Trump regularly praises Putin and refused to acknowledge Russia hacked the Democratic Party and interfered in our Electoral process. Many, including the intelligence agencies, believe Trump has been compromised by Russia’s government. The allegations include a lurid encounter between Trump and Russian prostitutes but even worse are claims that members of Trump’s team met and exchanged information with Putin’s representatives from Moscow. That’s not fake news as Trump claims with all news that doesn’t favor him. It’s no small thing. Intelligence officials say Russia may be attempting to undermine America’s confidence in their government. There’s a cloud hanging over the incoming administration like there has never been before. Trump could relieve a lot of the doubt the people and U.S. government officials have by just releasing his tax returns. That would shed light on financial dealings he may or may not have had with countries important to U.S. foreign policy. As long as Trump refuses to come clean with his tax returns the American people will feel like he’s hiding something from them. I believe when Donald J. Trump takes the oath of office he will legitimately be our president. What I don’t believe, along with many citizens, is that the presidential election was legitimate because of Russia’s involvement and the FBI debacle. Trump lost the popular vote by nearly three million voters who voted for Clinton. The election was flipped in three swing states by only 77,000 votes in the last 10 days giving Trump the Electoral College. As for me, I will never see Trump as presidential. I’ve followed him closely since his book “Art of the Deal” was written by a ghost writer. Over the years he has had a lot of shady deals and ripped off a lot of innocent people with over 4,000 lawsuits and four bankruptcies. He won’t change his spots. It’s all about the bottom line. I’m nervous about our country.
10 Years Ago-2007
None of the top al Queda suspects believed hiding in Somalia died in a United States air strike last week, but Somalis, with ties to terrorist groups were killed. *****The Bridge City School District is accepting applications for a new Athletic Director/Head Football Coach, (one position). Several applications have been received and many more are expected. The entire process will probably take until sometime in March before the finalist is presented to the school board for approval. The Bridge City AD job is considered one of the best 3-A jobs in the state and will draw some very qualified applicants. *****Porter Wagoner, 79, will have a new album coming out in May. “Wagonmaster,” is produced by Marty Stuart. Included are some of Porter’s recent songs, as well as older tunes. The album includes a song written by Dolly Parton, who he introduced to the world through his television show. Other songs are based on experiences he knew growing up in rural southern Mississippi. Perhaps the album’s most notable song is the John Cash penned, “Committed to Parkview,” about country singers who needed to dry out and rest up. The album will be in on The Punk-Oriented Anti-Label. *****BIRTHDAYS. Believe it or not but there is another Sam Carpenter coming along. Sam III will turn 4-years-old on Jan. 17. He’s the young son of Sambo and Mitzi Carpenter. Sambo married well. He went over to Little Cypress and picked the sweetest, prettiest, smartest girl he could find. She is a valued employee of Dr. Mark Messer. Sambo works at the prison and is attending the Law Enforcement Academy. Young Sam, we understand, possesses that Carpenter speed. The original, late Sammy Carpenter was a star football player for Orange High and Lamar. His boys, Jay, Frank and Sambo starred at Bridge City High School. ***** A special happy birthday to Erin Hanks, who turns 28 on Jan. 16. *****Steve Griffith celebrates on the Jan. 20. Best wishes to these good folks. ***** Congrats to our long, longtime friend Beth Rach, who was selected to receive the Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce award. Also best wishes to Barry Burrow, new chamber president. *****A nice lady, Patricia Kemp, Orange County Republican chairman, is recovering at home after being involved in an auto accident in Houston Friday. She sustained some painful broken ribs, bumps and bruises. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery. *****Last week Karen Fusilier was away from her command center at the Cajun Corner Furniture store due to illness. The place was hopping with trucks coming in and sales going out.*****Former Orange Stark High School coach Wade Phillips, son of Bum, is defensive coach for the Chargers. They should have won but gave it away. The feel good Saints are one game away from the Super Bowl, Feb. 4, so I’m still watching. *****Crawfish are back at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s. All you can eat Thursday, 4:00 p.m. till. By the way, the Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Tuffy’s, 12 noon. Everyone welcome. A fun bunch. *****Last week Con. Kevin Brady voted against bill HR-4 to negotiate lower prices for senior citizens enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug plan. It passed 255 to 170 to send to the senate. He voted against HR-2, to raise the minimum wage, and also voted against embryonic stem cell research.*****Joe Payne, at Harmon’s, served as president of the Orange Noon Optimist Club in 1960. He then joined the Georgetown Optimist from 1988-1995, serving as president. He and wife Dee will celebrate 53 years of wedded bliss on Jan. 25. ***** This week on Jan. 16, 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the NFL defeated Lamar Hunt’s Kansas City Chiefs of the old AFL, 35-10 in the first Super Bowl. If I remember correctly, I believe Orange native Ernie Ladd played on the Kansas team. ***** Rick Perry, who won the Texas governorship with only 39 percent of the vote, will be sworn in Tuesday.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Imogene Darby Swinney, 85, passed away January 9. She was born June 5, 1921. She had lived in Bridge City since 1940. She’s survived by children Geraldine, Zilda, Jo, Jack and David. She is also survived by 29 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, 6 great-great-grandchildren and two sisters Marylea and Leola. Services were held Jan. 11.***** Adrienne “A.J.” Nicole Jones, 23, of Bridge City died Saturday, Jan. 13. Services were held Jan.17. Adrienne was a graduate from Bridge City High School, a member of St. Henry’s Catholic Church and a home health caregiver. She is survived by her fiancée, Wesley Wilson; her parents, William Royce and Barbara Jones and her daughter, Jaycie Michelle Wilson, her sisters, Michelle Troxel and Emily Jones, brothers Matthew Jones and David Jones.*****Malcolm Lee Lowe, 80, of Orange passed away on Saturday, Jan. 13. Services were Monday, Jan. 15. A native of Orange, he was also a veteran of the U.S. Army. He is survived by his sons, Tommy Lowe and Guy Allen Lowe, daughters Linda Duhon and Mary Ann Underwood, and grandchildren; Kerri Duhon, Jeremy Lowe, Rachael Lowe, Darrel Lowe, Brandon  Duhon, Ashley Underwood, and Mackenzie Lowe; and two great grand children; Corbin Lowe and Breanna Duhon.*****Dwane Wells, 51, of Mauriceville, passed away Saturday, Jan. 13. He lived in the Mauriceville area and worked as a warehouseman for the Kenco Warehouse. He was a veteran of the United States Army during the Vietnam era and a member of the Orange Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He is survived by his loving wife, Marlo Wells; mother, Viola Wells; father, Roy Lee Wells; sons, Joshua, Jacob and Jared; daughters, Amanda, Christina, and Jessica, and grandchildren, Jakob and Ciarra.*****Jason Paul Vincent, 24, lifelong resident of Orange died Thursday, Jan. 11. Services were Sunday, Jan. 14. He was a 2001 high school graduate of West Orange Stark High School and was attending Lamar University and Lamar Institute of Technology and also worked at Manshack and Sons Construction. Jason was a loving son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend. Jason is survived by his fiancée, Deanna Herndon; parents, T-Ray and Cammie Vincent; grandfather, Travis Ray Vincent, Sr. and sister, Jessica Vincent.
40 Years Ago-1977
Attorney H.D. Pate is elected president of the Bridge City Rotary. He will replace Roy Dunn when his term expires in June. Other officers elected are Rev. Don Richey, first vice-president; Bill Wiseman, second vice-president; Rev. Ed Robinson and J.R. Wilson, secretary and treasurer; Bill Nacol, sergeant at arms. Directors are Robert Cormier, Lynn Emerson, Jim Moss, and C.W. ‘Bubba’ Hubbard. Pate attended Austin public schools, the University of Texas at Arlington, and in 1967 graduated from South Texas College of Law in Houston. He is a partner in the law firm of Pate and Burgess. He also is City Attorney for Bridge City and attorney for Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission. *****James Earl Carter, Jr., the peanut prince from Plains, Georgia, will become United States president Jan. 20. Walter Mondale will be vice-president.*****Wayne Townsend owns Der Wienerschnitzel. *****Fain and Coy announced that they are moving their Orange Appliance and Automotive business to the former Clester Andrews location near MacArthur Circle.*****Hal Sanders, no kin to Col. Sanders, has purchased Charlie Sprott’s barbecue business and will relocate in a new building on Fourth St. in Orange. *****Lester Barrett marries pretty Arnetta last week.*****Gene Goza, the country’s certified ‘ugliest man,’ has just returned from Canada where he appeared on a show similar to ‘What’s My Line.’ His line was he’s ugly. Meanwhile, his daughter Traci was named Miss Photogenic in the La Joli Belle pageant in Beaumont.*****H.D. and Sue Pate headed to Washington for President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. *****Dr. Joe Majors has returned from Texarkana where he attended his father’s funeral. ***** Texas House speaker Bill Clayton names Rep. Wayne Peveto vice-president of Business and Industry committee. Peveto, a three-term member also will serve on the Ways and Means committee. *****Con.. Charles Wilson introduced a bill to reinstate the military draft. *****Jerry Neie performs at the all-new Ramada Inn on IH-10 in Orange. Located inside the Ramada is Bob Garretson’s restaurant.
The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dines at PK’s Grill this week and will be back at J.B.’s Barbeque next week. Good folks, great fellowship. Everyone aways welcome.*****Jennifer Burns and her soon baby, will be honored Wednesday, Jan. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a baby shower hosted by Steirman, Whitfield and Co., her employers. “Jen” is such a nice lady. We wish her a big, healthy baby.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. Jan. 18: Brenda Oliver, Kim Reeves, from Bridge City Five Point, Dylan Huckebay, Laverne Walles, Tara Thompson and Bonny Sarver all celebrate today. Celebrities joining them are actors Jason Segel, 37 and Kevin Costner, 62 and wrestler Dave Batista, 48.*****Jan. 17: Krystie Weston, from O’Rielly’s in Bridge City, celebrates today as does Brenda Manasco, John Michael Foote, Candace Clark and Lisa Costilla. They are joined by actors Jodie Sweetin, 35, Shawn Wayane, 46, and Katey Segal, 63.*****Jan. 20: Little Cypress Coach Steve Griffth, Kimberly Dolley, at Judice’s, Zach Johnson, Beverly Delahoussaye, Beth Fisher and Melissa Berry all have birthday today. Joining them are celebrities astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actors Stacy Dash, 50, Joe Swash, 35 and pop singer Toni Gonzage, 33.****Jan. 21: Our own Yvette Guillen, who mans our web site, celebrates today as does Adam Crumloey, David Doucet, and Charles Arceneaux. They are joined in celebrating with pop singer Emma Burton, 41, baseball player Hakeen Olajuwon, 54, R&B singer Billy Ocean, 67.*****Jan. 22: Judge Janice Menard, once a teenage beauty from the Cove, has a birthday today. Also Julian Meadows, Cris Anderson, Melony Deland, Myra Sherwood and Gary Baker. Celebrities celebrating today are rock singer Steve Perry, 68 and actress Diane Lane, 52. *****Jan. 23: Happy birthday to Sandra Peveto, Lyndell Hodgkinson, retired from BCISD, Sue Harris, Cindy Cain, Logan Mitchell, and Harold Collins. Joining them are MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, 42, reality star Lisa Wu, 44, actor Richard Dean Anderson, 67.*****Jan. 24: Pam Vincent from Luv’s Lingerie, celebrates today as does Toni Robertson, Randy Franklin and Larry Gray. Joining them are celebrity television actors Kenya Moore, 46, Tatyana Ali, 38, Justin Baldoni, 33.*****The second field goal by Green Bay beat the Cowboys 34-31 in the divisional playoffs, ending the hopes to undo a 21 year Super Bowl drought after five titles. The 2016 Dallas Cowboys will long be remembered for the rookie sensational quarterback Dak Prescott, who replaced Tony Romo and never looked back. Dak has several relatives in the Orange County area. Another rookie teammate, running back Ezekiel Elliott, became the NFL’S rushing champion. The two rookies were fun to watch. It will be up to those youngsters and star receiver Dez Bryant to make it happen in the future. Next year will be a brand new era for the Cowboys. It’s Dak’s team, Romo is in the past.*****Super Bowl prices will go down with the defeat of the Texans and Cowboys. Houston’s NRG Stadium will host Super Bowl LI on February 5. The cheapest seats Monday were going for $3,700, about $1,000 less than last Friday. Pro-football is a white collar- sport, not for poor folks to attend.*****The Final Four success may rest with quarterbacks Tom Brady vs Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rogers vs Matt Ryan. They have seven Super Bowl wins and four MVP awards between them. Ryan and the Falcons have reached the Super Bowl once in their 51 year history, losing to Denver in 1998. The Falcons have the NFL’s highest scoring offense. Bridge City’s Matt Bryant, Falcons place kicker is Atlanta’s all time leading scorer and is headed to the Pro Bowl.*****I predicted after Earl Thomas had broken a leg that the Seahawks would never make it to the Super Bowl. No one can cover the field like Earl but it was his leadership that was missed. They just didn’t have the same pep in their step without him.
Clovis Fontenot him spent all of his life working as a seaman and he’s now retired. Clovis him, had been gone from home so much over da years dat da old home place needed some fixing up, repairs on da chicken yard and a lot of cleaning up. While cleaning da attic him, Clovis found his wife Agnes’ hope chest. He opened da chest and found $10,000 in cash and two eggs. He axe Agnes, “Say Hon,whats dem two eggs dere for?” She answer. “Well Clovis, dats cause in our 40 years of marriage, every time I was unfaithful me, I put an egg in da box. Clovis told her, “Well Babe, wit me gone so much and you unfaithful jus two times in 40 years, I forgive you me, dats ok.” Clovis den axe, “Agnes, den where did you get da $10,000 hanh?” Agnes replied,. “Well, it’s like dis, every time I got a dozen eggs me, I sold dem.
O’Reilly, Fox, settled sexual claims
The executives at 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, settled a sexual harassment charge brought by employee Juliet Huddy against Bill O’Reilly. Huddy agreed to refrain from suing the network and was paid a sum of ‘the high six figures.’ O’Reilly pursued a sexual relationship with Huddy but when she rebuffed his unwanted advances he tried to derail her career. This wasn’t the first sexual scandal O’Reilly and Fox has faced. In 2004 O’Reilly settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by former Fox producer Andrea Mackris for $10 million. Fox also paid $20 million to settle sexual lawsuit brought by Gretchen Carlson against Fox CEO Roger Ailes. Longtime Fox executive Jack Abernethy has also been accused of retaliating against Huddy after she rebuffed O’Reilly. Fox was the only network that didn’t show the Donald Trump/Billy Bush video, probably because Fox was fighting some of the same goings on in their own house. O’Reilly is a big phony, with a big ego, second only to Trump. Bill claims his show is the “No Spin Zone” when in truth it’s all spin. He further claims “Fair and Balanced” reporting which is as far from the truth as his claim to have written all the “Killing Books,” including Jesus. Bill contributed less then 10 percent of the writing. The author of all those O’Reilly books is Coach Martin Dugard, a New York Times best selling author who spends his afternoons as the head cross country and track and field coach at Jserra High School, in San Juan Capistrano, CA., a position he held since 2005. He lives in Orange County, CA. with his wife and children. Over 20 million copies of the ‘Killing” books have been sold. O’Reilly is the promoter and has a 60-40 percent deal with Dugard. Bill keeps the big part and also reserves the movie rights. Without Coach Dugard, O’Reilly would have never sold the first book. Bill has gone underground since the sex news broke but he returned Monday. Several of the ladies at Fox have flown the coop, including Magan Kelly and Greta, who has joined NBC. Bill’s ego is so big that he believes apparently that every woman wants to go to bed with him. I spotted him as a phony a longtime ago. Now you know what you don’t see on TV.*****My time is up. Thanks for yours. Take care and God bless.

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