This hour is going to be jam packed. We are watching for a live briefing from the President at the Pentagon, a potential Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, and the latest developments from the Gulf as residents in Texas and Louisiana brace for Rita--now a category five storm.
I just got off the phone with Jay Lee, a blogger from The Houston Chronicle. He and his family have decided to ride out the storm in Houston. They live about 60 miles inland. Normally that's a sufficient distance to ensure that the force of a storm will weaken before it hits you, but not with one of this size and strength. He says they are anticipated hurricane force winds and have already packed up everything in the yard and around the house that could become a projectile, or as he says "missile."
As we saw in New Orleans, people like Jay will be blogging throughout the storm. Checking the websites of these residents as they prepare for Rita is a great way to get a read on the mood of the community. Houston is very tense right now. They haven't seen anything like this in years.
Some bloggers are posting photos of supermarket aisles stripped bare. Nonperishable foods and bottled water are the hottest items in town, and with good reason. After seeing just how bad it can get--the aftermath of Katrina--Texans aren't taking chances.
Today we'll chat with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst of Texas, as well as experts and correspondents from New Orleans all the way to Galveston.