Looks like another major hurricane is bearing down on the Gulf Coast. Rita (a tropical storm now but expected to strengthen once it reaches the Gulf) looks to miss the areas affected by Katrina for the most part. Right now it's aimed at Houston. Which is really obnoxious irony for all the New Orleans evacuees now making their temporary home in the Astrodome.
Speaking of hurricanes, Katrina has turned Bush into something very odd - a tax-and-spend liberal. (Actually, just a "spend" liberal. He still doesn't seem to grasp the idea that taxes generate the revenue needed for the requisite spending.) Not that I'm complaining. It's just amusing to listen to the overwhelming silence from the small-government crowd when it comes to relief spending. I guess economic libertarianism has its limits.
But we have to pay for the hurricane somehow, and Bush seems content just to take us further into debt. Sadly, the most obvious solution - the repeal of tax cuts to the super-rich - doesn't look like it's in the cards. Nor does the other obvious solution - trimming down spending on our Iraq expedition and thus the scope of the occupation. To wit, an intelligent idea has come from the Heritage Foundation, which usually just spews the tax-cuts-to-the-rich-and-cut-programs-for-the-poor gospel. They suggest eliminating all the pork from the recent highway bill, which will produce some $12 billion. They have a point - I think that bridge to Nowheresville, Alaska can wait.
Of course, come Saturday when Rita hits, we're likely to have another big cleanup on our hands. Here's hoping the feds don't screw this one up as bad as the last one. Really, we'd best start preparing now - get the Red Cross ready in San Antonio or Austin, stockpile food within a day's drive of the Texas coast, prepare the National Guard, etc.