Have Nots(all links at end)
While his motorcade passed little of the devastation in the city, much of New Orleans remains in desperate condition.
Bush did not speak publicly or take questions and he did not, as he had on previous trips, tour any of the worst-hit areas of New Orleans.
He did not go into the city’s hardest-hit areas or to Jackson Square, where several hundred girls from the Academy of the Sacred Heart staged a protest demanding stronger levees.
The president ignored questions about the city’s new rebuilding plan, introduced Wednesday night to enormous community criticism
….but Mayor Ray Nagin said he did not get the commitment he wanted on U.S. Rep. Richard Baker’s proposal to form a federal corporation that would buy up flood-ravaged property in New Orleans
Nagin, who attended the powwow and sat on the president’s left, said Bush remains skeptical about the bill in its current form. Nagin said the president’s doubts center on the legislation’s ultimate pricetag, and on the unprecedented federal involvement in a local matter Baker’s plan may represent
But on what most city leaders consider the paramount issue for rebuilding — the construction of a levee system that could withstand a hit from a Category 5 storm — Bush remained coy. In fact, neither he nor Powell, who flew down on Air Force One with Bush and attended the meeting, have ever voiced support for the Category 5 storm protection idea, which carries an uncertain price tag and could take years to complete. Asked directly about it on several occasions, both men carefully sidestepped the matter and Bush did so again Thursday.
Mr. Bush spent his brief visit in a meeting with political and business leaders on the edge of the Garden District, the grand neighborhood largely untouched by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, and saw little devastation
Bush, meanwhile, has spent relatively little time meeting with the victims of the flooding and touring the devastation in New Orleans. His visits there are often confined to meetings with political and business leaders
The meeting lasted roughly an hour. Bush said it was designed to elicit the opinions of small business people, and Baker said the president got an earful from them about the lousy job the Small Business Administration is doing on funneling money to New Orleans.
He then headed for Palm Beach, Fla., for a closed-door $4 million fund-raiser for the Republican National Committee and Republican candidates at the home of Dwight Schar, a homebuilder and a co-owner of the Washington Redskins.
Before returning to Washington, Bush planned to attend a Republican National Committee fundraiser at the oceanfront estate of Dwight C. Schar in Palm Beach, Fla. Schar is the chief executive of NVR Inc., a major home builder and mortgage banking company, and he is a co-owner of the Washington Redskins. The event was expected to raise $4 million.