9/15/2005

Using Federal Aid as a political tool - North Korea ? Nope, US of A

I told you Bush is using Federal Aid as a political carrot and stick. Just like North Korea. And here is the proof -- law

USATODAY.com - Governors handle crisis in own ways

Blanco has had several skirmishes with Bush and sent signals that she did not trust his administration. She brought in James Lee Witt, former president Bill Clinton's emergency management director, to advise her. She rejected Bush's proposal that the federal government take control of National Guard troops under her command. ("If that would have improved our situation, it would have been a no-brainer," she says).

She says that two days after Katrina, desperate for help, she couldn't get through to Bush and didn't get a callback; hours later, she tried again, and they talked.

Some frustrated officials, including the mayor, have burst into tears and obscenities during the ordeal. But Blanco kept her public reaction measured and now depicts herself and Bush as a team. Her husband met Bush's plane Sunday night in New Orleans, and she rode with him Monday as he toured the city.

"He and I both agree that FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) did not respond as quickly as we needed," she says. "He's going to look at it. He has to."

In her first 18 months as governor, Blanco tried to tighten state ethics rules and pass a $2,000-a-year teacher pay increase financed by a tobacco-tax hike. Both proposals died in the Legislature.

It's a safe bet recovery and rebuilding will dominate the rest of her term. "What are we going to do to make life whole, to heal our state?" she has asked. If she runs for re-election in 2007, she'll be judged by her answers.

No wait for Bush's calls

Barbour hasn't had to wait hours to talk to Bush. In fact, Barbour said in an interview with USA TODAY, the president called him three to four times in the wake of Katrina. "I never called him. He always called me," he said.

USATODAY.com - Governors handle crisis in own ways

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