Half a government

The two biggest challenges facing the United States government today are the banking mess and Swine Flu.

It is telling that the executive departments responsible for those problems - Treasury and HHS - are suffering from a lack of attention by the administration to fully staffing those agencies with competent, honest appointees.

And so, the banking crisis drifts toward the implementation of what experts believe is a hugely risky plan that may make matters worse without several key appointees. And with 15 departments at HHS still waiting to be staffed by the administration (including the HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who is awaiting a confirmation vote in the senate and who replaced tax cheat Tom Daschle), as well as a lack of permanent CDC director and Surgeon General, the health sector of the United States government has so many holes in it that Swine Flu may become more of a problem than it should simply due to Obama's lethargy in filling vital positions.

I wrote this today at PJ Media:

No HHS secretary, no top department heads at the agency, no permanent director at CDC, no surgeon general, and in charge of this flu emergency is a rather dense, but well-meaning secretary of homeland security who looks under her bed every night for fascists, neo-Nazis, Kluxers, and veterans returning from the wars who she believes will go rogue and join the militia movement.

Come to think of it, maybe if we told Napolitano that swine flu was a right-wing extremist plot hatched by abortion foes and anti-illegal immigration activists, she'd have the government whipped into shape to face this crisis in no time.

So Obama and his half-government seem to be doing all they can to both scare people to death and downplay the crisis. Nice trick if you can pull it off. But they aren't, so it's now time for plan B - and that's "B" for "Blame the Republicans."

Indeed, it appears that liberals are already looking for a scapegoat in case the flu gets out of control and people start to ask simple questions like, "Where the hell is the Surgeon General?" Their despicable attempt to paint Republicans as obstructionists with regard to flu preparedness was thoroughly and completely shot down yesterday but they will no doubt be back with some other illegitimate attempt to blame the GOP for their own president's massive failure to staff the government before this critical time.

Michael Shear and Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post have noticed too:

As they confront the growing swine flu crisis, President Obama's administration is attempting to implement a never-before-tested pandemic response plan while dozens of key public health and emergency response jobs in the administration remain vacant.

The president has yet to fill 15 top positions at the health department or name a full-time director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and five more nominations -- including that of former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be HHS Secretary -- are waiting to be confirmed by the Senate, officials at the department said.

The top post at the CDC remains open but is being filled by an acting director. And at the Department of Homeland Security, which is leading the federal government's response to the swine flu outbreak, the functions of nearly 20 senior-level posts are being temporarily performed by career civil service employees.

The government's medical response is being coordinated by a temporary team including acting CDC director Richard E. Besser, acting HHS secretary Charles Johnson, a Bush assistant secretary previously approved by the Senate, and Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Rear Adm, W. Craig Vanderwagen, another Senate-confirmed holdover.

Incredible. You can see why liberals are pre-emptively trying to shift blame for any disaster.

Obama goes on TV tonight to celebrate his first 100 days in office. One might legitimately ask if he spent less time patting himself on the back and more time doing what we're paying him to do - run the government by fully staffing it with experts and professionals - we might have a little more confidence in the response to this crisis.