Matt Taibbi on Katrina:
For most of the country it was like going to bed one night with a mild toothache and waking up the next morning to find your balls smashed with a sledgehammer.
With Rita, by contrast, the nation's testicles are already wincing in anticipation of the blow. The highways are gridlocked from Galveston to Dallas. They're backed up in Louisiana, too, and the latest forecast I saw showed some of the traffic headed into the likely path of the storm. Gasless drivers are stranded on the side of the road. A bus full of elderly evacuees just exploded. And now they say there's a 50% chance the storm will be a Cat 5 again when it hits the shore.
My Galvestonian parents are holed up in a motel in Jewett, Texas, about 180 miles inland. Unfortunately, this is still in Rita's path, though by the time it gets there it should be a tropical storm, not a hurricane. That's fine for them; they've got a small but solid first-floor room. It's not so great for the refugees camped out in the nearby state park.
From another Texas city, my friend Scooter writes:
If it hits Houston, with 200 mph winds, all of our windows will blow out, and our cool shit will all be trashed.
We will huddle in a closet under the stairway and avoid the flying glass, and we will be fine, because I am an evil and stubborn sunuvabitch, and my wife is even more honorary, and we have spawned children who spit in the eyes of hurricanes, teachers and their own parents.
All this crap laying around has to go anyway.