The early word from Hurricane Rita is far less disaster than feared. Lake Charles, LA, took a direct hit, as did the refineries in Port Arthur, TX, but the damage appears less than feared and no deaths from the storm itself (although the 25 senior citizens killed in a bus fire as they fled the storm is an indirect, and tragic, result). On the down side, flooding can still come and parts of New Orleans are under water again.

Of course, the gas prices that went up 30 cents a gallon in anticipation of massive damage won’t come down.