Stay strong Texas

I’ve been through a few storms myself from hurricanes to tornadoes and even a blizzard or two.  They are never fun, at least in my opinion.  I’ve never understood why people in coastal areas choose to stare down the barrel of a loaded gun, but for those who decided to stay at home in coastal Texas, I wish you the best.

I would have boarded up and hauled ass myself.  Then again, my first responder designation means that I have to stay to help those who refuse to leave.  I’ve seen the effects of wind and water enough to know that a Category 3 hurricane is not something that I’d purposefully choose to try to ride out.  My life is far more important than any material item whatsoever.

For those outside of Texas, I hope you have full tanks of gas.  Our major refining and gasoline production is sitting in the bullseye, so expect some disruption to the availability of gas for next week.  If the damage is extensive, be prepared to feel some pain for a while.

Edit @ 7:22pm EST

Harvey has increased strength and is now a Category 4 hurricane.  It’s the strongest storm that’s made landfall in more than a decade as America hasn’t felt a direct hit from a major hurricane since 2005.

My prayers goes out to all who are in the pathway of this storm.

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114th Congress is in session

Yesterday, the 114th Congress was sworn in, and what seems to be the impending battle of GOP vs Obama is already starting to play out.

First up, it looks like we’ll have to do the whole Keystone XL pipeline thing.  Honestly, I don’t see the impending need for the pipeline at the moment.  Crude oil prices are dropping, rail and truck shipments have handled the movement of the oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast refineries, and the bottom leg of the pipeline has opened, relieving the bottleneck of crude oil in Cushing, OK.

Then, as part of the new rules passed, the Republicans added language to reauthorize the Select Committee on Benghazi.  I think this is committee number 9 or so to investigate this one incident.  I’m not completely naive to investigations, and I like the idea of thoroughly investigating security issues to see what went wrong to ensure we don’t make the same mistake twice.  However, when you get to the 7th, 8th, or 9th investigation of a single incident, it ceases to look like a hunt for the truth and takes on the appearance of a witch hunt.  Furthermore, the GOP erodes their own credibility in my viewpoint because they appear to not believe, agree, or accept their own previous investigative results.  If you don’t believe your own investigation, why continue after several attempts that came to the same results?

We also have the Democrats now playing complete minority party.  It will be interesting to see how things go in the Senate where they just lost their majority status.  Will they become the party of NO?  Or, will they simply sit back and let Obama veto everything that Republicans try to undo?

No matter what, I don’t see this Congress making any improvements over the previous one.  If that one was called the “Do Nothing Congress”, I don’t know what we have in store for us.  My only solace is knowing that America has survived this long, going through so many different disasters.  Two more years can’t destroy us if the previous ones didn’t.