Obama in New Orleans -- Is That All There Is?

LONDON--The White House has released details of this Thursday's long-awaited (at least by New Orleanians) Presidential visit to the Crescent City.  What he will be doing: holding a town hall meeting and visiting a charter school.  Period.

What he won't be doing: a survey, by air or other means, of the daily erosion of the invaluable coastal wetlands under the inexorable pressure of pipeline and canal building, which has allowed the intrusion of salt water from the Gulf; a frank and detailed discussion with the local leaders of the Army Corps of Engineers about their decision to adopt a "technically not superior" solution to the permanent pumps in the outfall canals, and about their installation of non-functioning hydraulic pumps in those canals as a "temporary" solution.  In other words, the President will not be addressing either of the crucial issues in assuring that the disaster of 2005 is not repeated. 

But he will be taking questions and meeting schoolchildren.  Events, in short, that look good on TV.