I have a passion for not-very-consequential government reorganization schemes, so I was glad to see the president announce one today. Specifically, he's fed up with the fact that "currently, there are six major departments and agencies that focus primarily on business and trade in the federal government." In response, he wants to consolidate the Small Business Administration, the US Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the US Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation with what they're calling the Commerce Department's "core business and trade functions" (which I think means not the Census Bureau) into a single "into one department, with one website, one phone number, one mission: helping American businesses succeed."
This is not, in truth, that big a deal but it's probably a good idea that should, at a minimum, make it easier for people to know where to go for what.
My personal pet reorganization project has to do with consolidating the DEA, the FBI, the Secret Service, and possibly a few other federal policing agencies into one big law enforcement unit. That way you wouldn't have this weird constituency for over-investment in the drug war, artificial separation between counterfeiting and other aspects of organized crime, etc. It's not as on message regarding the economic recovery, but possibly more consequential.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.