The Benefits of Being in Bush Country
Hurricane Katrina Victims Suffer In Blue State Louisiana

No surprise here, but it's worth knowing that the Bush Administration has politics first in their mind, even when a natural disaster is involved.
The $4.2 billion request was a turnabout for the administration, which three weeks ago rejected legislation proposed by Representative Richard H. Baker, a Louisiana Republican, to create a nonprofit group to buy out flooded homes, the plan favored by Ms. Blanco.

Louisiana officials had also complained that Congress had shortchanged the state in a $29 billion relief package in December that gave $5.2 billion in housing reconstruction money to Mississippi, which suffered far less damage than Louisiana but which has a Republican governor and two Republican senators.

Last week, Ms. Blanco threatened to try to block a federal sale of oil and gas leases off the Gulf Coast, saying it was "time to play hardball." But in the past week, state officials said, Donald E. Powell, the president's coordinator for Gulf Coast rebuilding, became convinced that the federal government should do more to help homeowners in the flood plain who did not have flood insurance.