updated 9/21/2005 10:34:42 AM ET 2005-09-21T14:34:42

Last night I was strolling through Barnes & Noble sipping a Bananaberry smoothie when I stumbled on a newly released collection of letters written by Truman Capote.

I'll give you a moment to curb your giggle fit.

I flipped through it, and then read the back cover.  I got the gist that Capote was a notoriously fabulous letter writer whose notes, Christmas cards, and even grocery lists were just one clever and devastating turn of phrase after another.  Bored, I dropped the book and moved on to the self help section.

But then I got to thinking.  So much of what we know about famous people from eras long gone we have learned through their letters.  Whether it's Christopher Isherwood or President Reagan or Capote, letters saved in neatly tied bundles and cataloged by historians were the key to unlocking the secrets of those hearts and minds.

I haven't written a letter since summer camp twenty years ago.  Don't get me wrong, I have no delusions that fifty years from now anyone will care to learn that I don't like potato salad and I'm afraid of heights.  But they will want to know what Bill Gates did on holidays and who the biggest love of Jeff Koon's life was.

Nowadays, all we do is email each other.  No one writes letters anymore.  While I'm sure the Yahoos of the world store information for some time, I doubt it could ever hold up like an old fashioned, pen to paper letter.  Sad.

Anyway, today on the show we are closely monitoring Rita as she approaches the Florida Keys.  The storm has officially been upgraded to hurricane status at the time of this writing, with winds at around 75 mph.

And we will also take a look at the extremely generous reconstruction budget the President is proposing.  How will we pay for it?  Larry Kudlow and Katrina vanden Heuvel will debate that.

Later, I'll chat with a Google expert about a phenomenon known as "google-bombing."  Go search the word "failure" on Google.  The top result will surprise you, and I'll explain how it happens.

Join us.


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