Still acting, after all these months

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Meredith Atwell-Baker hadn’t even gotten the “acting” out of her title over at NTIA, where she was shepherding the digital-to-analog converter box coupon program from concept to reality, when she announced her imminent departure. The announcement was made in early March, and in short order, an aide to Dick Cheney, Neil Patel, was named as her successor. It is now the middle of June, and it has occurred to some of us that there has been no word of any change. A spokesperson for NTIA confirmed that Atwell-Baker is carrying on to assure a smooth DTV transition, while the status of Patel is somewhere in between nomination and an appearance on the Senate calendar. The job title, a typical Washingtonese business card bender, is Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Communications and Information. It is not known when the Senate will get around to considering Patel, or how much longer Atwell-Baker will remain at the helm.