Just As I Thought

The Wrong Person for the Job: The Bush Mantra

It’s been a hallmark of the Bush administration: appointing the wolves to oversee the hen house.

While you’re not watching the Mukasey hearings, perhaps you’ll enjoy reading about the person President Bush appointed yesterday as acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs — chief of family planning programs, that is — at the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Susan Orr will administer $283 million in annual grants (via Title X of the Public Health Services Act) for increasing access to contraception, comprehensive sex education, and counseling and preventive health screenings, especially for low-income families.

Or… not. Orr, who at the time held the post of “senior director for marriage and families” at the Family Research Council — who are no fans of the humble condom — has stated that contraception is “not a medical necessity.” Other resume highlights: praising the global gag rule, opposing RU-486, appearing to be slightly less of a wackjob than her predecessor Eric Keroak. (Which of course — hat tip to Michael Musto — is like saying Waterworld wasn’t as bad as Cutthroat Island.) So what’s she gonna spend the $283 mill on? Promise rings? Drapes?

This appointment does not require Senate confirmation. On the up side, HHS may still tap someone else for the permanent job, as Orr — let’s remember — is holding it only in an acting capacity. Yuh. Acting as if she’s not among the last people on earth who should have it.

— Lynn Harris [Salon]

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