Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Steaming Ahead in Slow-Mo

The news today will be about Barack Obama's whirlwind energy steering the Ship of State for the first 100 days, but below the water line, the crew is still seriously undermanned.

The Cabinet was finally filled yesterday as the President swore in Kathleen Sebelius amid a swine flu scare and an impending Congressional battle over health care reform but, in true Washington tradition, the New York Times reports, "no cabinet department right now has even a third of its top appointees in place."

Secretary Sebelius will start work with no confirmed helpers and, as Treasury struggles with its massive effort to save the financial system, only nine percent of top officials have been approved by the Senate.

This glacial pace matches that of previous administrations, indicating that, for all of Obama's sense of urgency, "politics as usual" goes on in the bowels of the Washington behemoth.

The Wall Street Journal, for one, won't be complaining. "It is once again the liberal hour in American politics," an editorial declares, "and the media and political classes now see energy in the executive as a national asset...

"Mr. Obama is more popular than his policies, and sooner or later the twain shall meet. For now, we are living in another era of unchecked liberal government. The reckoning will come when Americans discover how much it costs."

The rest of us may be worrying more about getting that "unchecked liberal government" up and running before any more free-enterprise icebergs show up on the horizon.

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