While you're not watching the Mukasey hearings, perhaps you'll enjoy reading about the person President Bush appointed Tuesday as acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs -- chief of family planning programs, that is -- at the Department of Health and Human Services. 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 -- which is no fan of the humble condom -- has stated that contraception is "not a medical necessity." Other résumé highlights: praising the global gag rule, opposing RU-486, appearing to be slightly less of a wack job than her predecessor, Eric Keroack. (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 mil on? Promise rings? Drapes?
This appointment does not require Senate confirmation. On the upside, 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.