Barack Obama has postponed his Australia trip to lobby for health care, and if Christina Bellantoni has it right, the President is really putting the pedal to the metal:
Democratic leaders and President Obama have mounted a major persuasion campaign, trying to get the party on board with the all-speed-ahead push on health care reform legislation. They are offering wavering members – who voted “No” the first time around or are thinking to switch and oppose health care this time – in-person talks with the president and are walking members through how health care reform would help constituents in each lawmaker’s district.
Better late than never, and the President has a superb sense of political timing: he’s pushing when he needs to.
At least sometimes. As the Los Angeles Times notes today, the administration has been pathetically lax and inattentive on filling judicial appointments. A good chunk of that derives, of course, from the GOP’s scorched-earth policy, but it is also true that
Key slots stand without nominees, including two on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the body that reviews decisions by federal agencies and a court that is considered second in importance only to the Supreme Court. Federal judicial vacancies nationwide have mushroomed to well over 100, with two dozen more expected before the end of the year. To date, the Obama administration has nominees for just 52 of those slots, and only 17 have been confirmed.
“It’s just a missed opportunity,” laments Geoffrey Stone, a professor at the University of Chicago who has known Obama since he lectured at the school. “I don’t know how committed he is to it.” Stone was one of a dozen law professors from schools including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Stanford who sent Obama a letter late last month urging him to act with “far more energy and dispatch” on the issue.
But of course this latter dereliction of duty isn’t happening, because Obama is a political genius who never makes mistakes and must never be criticized.
By the way, Mark, you can get a good deal on the necessary accessories here.