Today in Appointments

This is getting ridiculous. First the president tasks one his top homeland security advisers with investigating the breakdown in… homeland security:

President Bush has named Frances Fragos Townsend, his domestic security adviser, to lead an internal White House inquiry into the administration’s performance in handling Hurricane Katrina, Scott McClellan, Mr. Bush’s spokesman, said Monday.

The White House investigating itself and all. Townsend’s previous work includes “recently overseeing the reorganization of the nation’s intelligence services,” a process that, from all appearances, mainly consisted of installing Bush loyalists into key posts and tossing out the dissidents. She does throw up a damn good smokescreen, however: check out this old Dan Froomkin piece catching Townsend in a filibuster when asked about the White House’s inflated al-Qaeda statistics. In other news, the administration may have—although there’s a lot of confusion on this front—floated a career veterinarian’s name, Norris Alderson, to head up the Office of Women’s Health at the FDA, before settling on the eventual nominee:

An FDA veteran trained in animal husbandry who spent much of his career in the agency’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, Alderson quickly became the subject of active and largely negative comment on the Internet and elsewhere. The Office of Women’s Health serves as a liaison with women’s health groups and as an advocate on women’s issues; critics said that a man with a primarily veterinary background could not properly fill the role.

What is wrong with these people?