While it is not our lead story tonight...it may be the most interesting story of the past 24-48 hours: what is going on with the weather? As I write this, there is a report of a twister aloft over Miami-Dade, while at the same time, a few hours ago, meteorologists reported (and your nearest national radar display will confirm) that the blob of "green" taking shape in a swirling motion off the North Carolina coast was indeed a large storm -- near tropical strength -- that truly formed while we watched this morning. Somewhere this morning I heard someone in authority blame it on unusually and unseasonably high ocean temperatures in the Atlantic. In the meantime, the I-95-style conga line of rain and rough weather continues its long and relentless slog up the East Coast, where mildew is the new cash crop. How would you like a nickel for every time someone close to you has said, "It didn't used to be like this?"
Speaking of the environment, I imagine that all of you who turned the downed White House Elm tree into a metaphorical/political debate in this space last night are exhausted today. Just as exhausted as those writing in after Mike Viqueira's superb posting today about the Congressional Smoking Hideaway!
To the broadcast... Do you know anyone who "never really bought" the argument that second-hand smoke has its own lethal hazards? Have them read the Surgeon General's report. Better yet, have them also tune in to Robert Bazell's reporting on it tonight. We'll also take a look at past SG's we've known and loved, and the economic impact of smoking (and regulating it) wherever two or more are gathered in a public setting.
Also tonight, the costs of Katrina in those who would fleece the Feds, our promoted segment on insomnia, and a follow-up on yesterday's coming-together of financial titans: the Buffet-Gates fortune and what it can cure, solve, address, fix or alter... that currently ails our world. We'll also have a great anecdote about something that happened to Mr. Buffett after he sealed the deal yesterday, along with our usual collection of facts and ephemera. We sure hope you can join us tonight.