34 Obama Nominees Not Named Dawn Johnsen Confirmed

imagesBarack Obama first announced his intention to nominate Dawn Johnsen, a distinguished lawyer, professor of Constitutional law and former AAG in the Office of Legal Counsel for the DOJ, to be his head of the supremely critical Office of Legal Counsel nearly one year ago on January 5, 2009. Ms. Johnsen is eminently qualified and one of the best selections Obama has made for any position in his administration. In spite of that fact, Barack Obama and Harry Reid have callously and shamelessly left her twisting in the wind and have refused to put any emphasis or effort in forcing her confirmation. It is one of the greatest unpublicized scandals of an increasingly feckless Obama Presidency.

As recently as the end of November, there were promises that the Senate would take up Dawn Johnsen’s confirmation as soon as they were done with the healthcare bill. Well today, after patting themselves on the back for passage of the Bailout For Health Insurance Corporations Bill, the United States Senate managed to confirm thirty four (34) Obama nominees. None of them, of course, are Dawn Johnsen. Still she waits.

Here is a list of nominees that Hanoi Harry Reid, and without any question Barack Obama himself, since he will not lift a finger to help, think are more important than installing the head of the Office Legal Counsel, to oversee reformation of the rotting festering hole that produced the torture and wiretapping crimes of the previous administration:

• Paul Anastas to be Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development at the Environmental Protection Agency

• Robert Perciasepe to be Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

• Miriam Sapiro to be a Deputy United States Trade Representative, with the rank of Ambassador

• Thomas Alfred Shannon to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federative Republic of Brazil

• Alan Solomont to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Spain, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Andorra.

• John Norris to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the remainder of the term expiring June 30, 2012

• Dolly Gee to be United States District Judge for the Central District of California

• Richard Seeborg to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of California

• Sharon Lubinski to be United States Marshal for the District of Minnesota for the term of four years

• Mary Phillips to be United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri for the term of four years

• Sanford Coats to be United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma for the term of four years

• Stephen Smith to be United States Marshal for the Southern District of Georgia for the term of four years

• Scott Quehl to be Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration, Department of Commerce

• Rajiv Shah to be Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development

• Mary Warlick to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Serbia

• James Warlick, Jr. to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Bulgaria

• Eleni Kounalakis to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Hungary

• Leslie Rowe to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Mozambique

• Alberto Fernandez to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

• Mary Wills to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Mauritius, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Seychelles

• Anne Andrew to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Costa Rica

• David Nelson to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay

• Richard Callahan to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri for the term of four years

• John Gibbons to be United States Marshal for the District of Massachusetts for the term of four years

• John Kammerzell to be United States Marshal for the District of Colorado for the term of four years

• Adele Alexander to be a Member of the National Council on the Humanities for a term expiring January 26, 2014

• Lynnae Ruttledge to be Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Department of Education

• Grayling Williams to be Director of the Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security

• Michael Khouri to be a Federal Maritime Commissioner for a term expiring June 30, 2011

• David Strickland to be Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

• Mark Martinez to be United States Marshal for the District of Nebraska for the term of four years

• Michael Cotter to be United States Attorney for the District of Montana for the term of four years

• Barbara McQuade to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan for the term of four years

• James Santelle to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin for the term of four years

• Christopher Crofts to be United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming for the term of four years

86 replies
  1. SaltinWound says:

    Thanks for sticking with this story, bmaz. I still think it is how Obama wants it. If he could not even handle the mild dissent of Greg Craig, there is no way he wants Dawn Johnsen holding him accountable.

  2. BoxTurtle says:

    I find it odd that they’re still delaying on Dawn. I thought they’d let her be seated as soon as the statue of limitations ran out on the last actual criminal act, which I thought had already happened. Obama doesn’t seem to have a problem with reports detailing BushCo wrongdoing as long as they don’t require him to actually act.

    ObamaCo may want some free time to play in BushCo’s sandbox. Perhaps that’s the reason.

    Personal guess: They realized too late that they nominated someone they couldn’t control. They will kill her with silence and when she withdraws they’ll appoint someone more to their liking.

    Boxturtle (Gonzo’s available. He can forget things before they’ve even happened)

  3. Peterr says:

    Here’s the Senate Judiciary Committee’s nominations page, with separate links to those nominated for Executive branch posts and those nominated for Judicial branch seats. And at the top of the list of unconfirmed posts is Dawn Johnsen.

    And still she waits.

    But bmaz, you left out someone else who deserves some attention on this: Attorney General Eric Holder. If I were the AG, and I didn’t have one of my top posts filled after almost a year, I’d be raising all kinds of hell. “How in the world am I supposed to do my job if you don’t give me a full team to work with?”

    Instead of something like that from Holder, all we get is *crickets.* Either he doesn’t particularly care to have Dawn in place, or he’s been told to sit down, shut up, and be a good soldier while the WH and the Senate deal with more important matters like the confirmation of the Undersecretary for Intellectual Property at the Department of Commerce — and he’s gone along with it. Or, of course, both could be true. In any event, Dawn’s still waiting, and her boss-to-be doesn’t seem to give a damn.

    I say all this with no slurs intended against these folks who *have* been confirmed for other posts, but simply to provide some contrast. The head of OLC is one of the most critical subcabinet-level posts in the entire executive branch, and it sits empty.

    And still she waits.

  4. JTMinIA says:

    Neither Johnsen nor a new IG for Freddie and Fannie are allowed to be confirmed until the statute of limitations runs out on Rahmbo. Period.

    • Rayne says:

      I was just thinking about that myself.

      Is Rahm the real reason why Johnsen isn’t confirmed? Has Rahm not shaken the bushes very hard because he doesn’t want her to encourage Holder to support investigating Rahm?

      Yeah. That’s the first thing which clicks for me. This is why we probably won’t see a recess appointment, either — Rahm won’t push for one.

      • bmaz says:

        Naw, she really does not have anything to do with investigating Rahmbo or Freddie and Fannie; she can make some hurt on the unethical OLC opinions from the Bush years though. They want to dribble that out and close off all possible inquiries before letting her in.

  5. ffein says:

    Merry Christmas, bmaz & everybody here — and thank you for all you do. I’m a regular lurker here and very appreciative of all that I learn from you, Marcy, and all the contributors in the comments section. Thanks!

    • skdadl says:

      LOL. Och, bmaz, you’ve got to fix that.

      And for sure, don’t go anywhere near immanence. Leave that for our ordained deacon. Where is he these days, anyway?

      • bmaz says:

        Heh heh, I am busted. Here are a few things to keep in mind. 1) I am stupid 2) I am old 3) My eyes suck 4) I think better than I type 5) I was pissed when I saw the report of these confirmations and slightly into the ‘nog already (no excuse, but still).

        Jeebus, I am embarrassed by that one.

        • fatster says:

          But, hey, you can still count to five!

          If you’ll go back to the Air Strike in Yemen, we’re playing Robeson singing to Beethoven and drinking Petrocelli’s chocolate martini. He left us a whole pitcher of it.

        • fatster says:

          bmaz, have you checked your screen brightness? A couple or so weeks ago, I thought my eyesight was deteriorating at an alarming rate. Doc said I seemed ok, but did give me additional drops to use. No better, but, fortunately, a light bulb (!) blinked on over my head, I checked screen brightness, moved the arrow to the right a bit and–voila!–all better. (Click on your Apple icon and go to “System Preferences”. It’s in there.) Sure hope it works for you, too.

        • Loo Hoo. says:

          You shine, fatster. Your links are incredible! You must be a speed reader.

          Merry Christmas to you and this incredible network. Marcy, bmaz, Jane, WO, Mary, Sara, EOH, MadDog, masaccio, rayne, peterr, Jeff Kaye, skdadl, petrocelli, ran diego, wigwam, freep, bobschacht, Leen, Box Turtle, PJ Evans, and EVERYONE, Happy Holidays. Love you all. You so help me make it through the night.

          I can see why you didn’t start naming names, bmaz.

          Also, a tribute to our Marie Roget. I’d love to hear her voice today.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Equitorial Guinea, Mozambique, Serbia, the Seychelles, Costa Rica, Uruguay, the Rehabilitation Services Committee at the DOE, and NHTSA all rate leadership appointments and preferred attention above that allocated to the wounded DoJ’s bloodied and battered Office of Legal Counsel? Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama, your tax dollars not working.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Yes, Happy Christmas, Merry Holidays, Froehliche Weihnachten, Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee to one and all, even the trolls.

  8. 4jkb4ia says:

    Basically OT: bmaz may have seen this NYT story on Sandra Day O’Connor advocating for the “merit system” to select judges. As I never got around to saying election of judges is one of the legacies of the movement that became Jacksonian Democracy, so more popular pressure on selection of judges is in that tradition *g*

  9. 4jkb4ia says:

    Checked bmaz’s link and all of those people were approved unanimously. I think it is fair to say that Dawn Johnsen is not going to be.

    • bmaz says:

      Maybe not, but Harry Reid (and Obama) had every member of the Democratic caucus present and ready to vote today. They had also just given the family farm away to the most reticent and heinous members; could they not have also gotten them to also vote on Dawn Johnsen in the process? It is not easy to get them all there what with Robert Byrd’s age and failing health and the obsequiousness of Lieberman and Nelson. After catering to these asshole’s demands, and being humiliated by them, it would have been a perfect time to say “fine, but you are going to throw in Dawn Johnsen, and do not even think about talking back to me after how I have bent over for you”.

      But that. of course, would be to presume that Obama wants Dawn Johnsen confirmed. He does not.

  10. CTMET says:

    Pardon my ignorance, but is there a 60 votes thing holding this stuff up? Theres still a bunch of other folks out there other than Dawn.

    • Mary says:

      Lugar (R.IN) has already said he would vote for her, so I don’t buy that they can’t corral votes for her.

      @27 – I think that, with the comment @1 about Obama not being able to handle even mild exhortations to decency from Craig – pretty much sum it up.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, exactly right; not to mention the bit about Reid you (and I earlier) noted on the other thread, which I want to bring over here:

        after what Reid did to Dodd on holds re: unconstitutional legislation, you can’t sell that for such an important nomination. Especially after all this time – if he can refuse to honor Dodd’s public hold, he can – after months and months of delay – refuse to honor other holds on her nomination. If he can’t then -do we get to just ignore the legislation passed over Dodd’s hold? Of course not. If he deems it important, he can go forward. He’s not getting Republican votes on healthcare as it is, so that’s no trade off reason to respect the holds.

        It is not hold, it is not for a lack of votes if Obama/Reid really wanted to put their foot down – it is completely about a lack of desire by Obama and Rahm to really have her in the mix in the Administration. It is bogus.

  11. temptingfate says:

    If they actually put her in the job Obama would just have to force her out anyway. He did it before, he would do it again.

    Anyone that lifts a finger to fix things is not a friend of the status quo. When the boat is full of leaks rocking just leads to more water coming in.

  12. ubetchaiam says:

    Don’t you suppose that ObamaRahma are simply waiting for her to get tired of the process and withdraw her name?

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I’m not surprised Barack Obama has let Ms. Johnsen’s appointment – more importantly, the senior leadership of the vital OLC – twist in the wind. I am surprised Ms. Johnsen has not publicly disavowed her nomination, given that the administration demonstrably does not mean to act on it. In fact, it uses it for propaganda and as a shield (of straw) against criticism from the legal left (those who still believe in the rule of law).

    No doubt, Rahm would trot out trite distractions like “disgruntled [non-]employee”, one of the many slings and arrows management uses to protect itself from its own mistakes and malfeasance. (Management never says why its former employees are “disgruntled”, does it.)

    Mr. Obama adopted wholesale George Bush’s scheme of preventive detention, constructing some bastardized version of a pre-crime unit. He has now invented another way to shield himself and his predecessor from their own sins: preventive non-employment.

  14. SanderO says:

    note that Obama packed his administration with:

    Wall Street insiders
    Council for For Relations

    has advisers from:

    The Bilderberg Group
    Trilateral Commission

    Who do you suppose is controlling the agenda of this administration?

    Obama has lied repeatedly and walked back every single one of his “promises” on EACH and EVERY key issue. He is a trojan horse for Wall Street and their toys in the corporate world:

    Big Media
    Big Energy
    Medical equipment and service providers

    Obama must be seen for who and what he is. He’s a placeholder and puppet and one who can lie with a sly smile. Bush made no qualms about who his base was. Obama suckered his and they need to wake up to the fact that Bush and Obama are serving the same masters.


    Term Limits for ALL elected offices – sweep the congress clean
    Toss out the lobbyists
    Close the revolving door for good
    public finance of all elections

    RESTORE the constitution

  15. tanbark says:

    Bmaz; damn good thread. Like that word “feckless”. It’s like putting a piston in a cylinder. Press-fit. Bingo. :o)

  16. tanbark says:

    I would add, after all of the Clinton retreads that Obama saw fit to do rehab on, including, herself, I’m not surprised that he wouldn’t use one ounce of capital on behalf of a real progressive.

  17. thefunghoul says:

    We are afraid of the republicans! We prove that over and over… If the republicans had 60 votes… They would of had the Dems voting to attack Brazil! Gutless!

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ms. Johnsen’s nomination has been formally marked, Return to Sender. Under Harry Reidless’ wet leadership, the Senate has failed to approve her and five other nominations.

    One of those others was Patricia Smith. She might have reversed the venal and mortal sins of the oh, so Catholic son of Antonin Scalia as the Department of Labor Solicitor – the chief enforcer of American labor laws. Under George Bush, Eugene Scalia single-handedly destroyed the science of ergonomics in the workplace, and otherwise gutted federal labor laws or failed to enforce them. He then returned to his mega-law firm in DC, to continue his advocacy for big bidness and against labor.

    Thankfully, Mr. Scalia’s reach isn’t global (and doesn’t grasp global warming). In Europe, they still hand out Ph.D.’s for studying ergonomics in the workplace and heavy fines and penalties for ignoring it. “Only in America” is becoming an epithet, not a cheer.

    Mr. Obama wanted the nominations of Ms. Smith and Ms. Johnsen about as much as he wanted a public option. Now, he has to decide whether to renominate them, to keep wearing his tiny fig leaf, or to nominate people he really wants – and take the heat for kowtowing to the Right or belonging to it. No doubt, Rahm will tell us the new, rightwing appointments are pragmatic alternatives to extremists views.

  19. joelmael says:

    I heard him say he is going to roll up his sleeves soon.. …to get to work? ..or

    to wash his hands of a few more promises?

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      Get a mop.

      Does anyone suppose that there’s a tiny sliver of a possible chance that Obama wants her, and that she’ll be in in time to do some real political damage to the republicans in time for the election?

      • wigwam says:

        No way in Hell! Her nomination was a mistake that somehow slipped by Obama’s new post-inauguration minders. One hand didn’t know what the other was doing. So the easiest way out is to give Dawn the same support that they gave the public option.

  20. wmtsherman says:

    Has it occurred to anyone that maybe the sorts of people in charge now are the logical culmination of ‘progressive politics?’

    The basic nature the politicians who comprise the left wing of the Democratic Party has been visible, in plain sight, for quite some time. They are crooks, grifters, panderers, and pay-off artists, and some of them are quite stupid.

    The problems with Obama were easily visible early in the 2008 election, for anyone who chose to look at them – but so many people chose not to look. He’s turned out to be exactly what the naysayers said he would be – an impractical and radical leftist, a narcissist, utterly dishonest, voting ‘present’ instead of leading. The outrage at the blatant media propagandizing has been vindicated as well; I hope you will begin to share that outrage now. The ends do not justify the means.

    You can tell yourself that this is a fluke – that the next time progressives get behind a candidate or a slate of candidates, you’ll get it right. But, maybe the crew in charge now is the logical and predicitable outcome of leftist wishful thinking. They plunder the economy and pay off their powerful friends with the same methods that got them elected.

    Even Bush and a Republican Congress were better. Not for what they did, but for what they did not do. I can’t actually think of anything that Bush & Co. did that Obama & Co. are not also doing. It is the additional things being done now are truly disastrous.

    Large sudden changes to the country that expand government and put large amounts of money in play will always be corrupted by politicians. It’s how they roll.

    • temptingfate says:

      I’ve seen nothing in the Obama administration policies that resemble leftist ideology. What I do see, along with plenty of people of various political ideologies is a continuation of Bush policies which were enhancements on Clinton policies which were derived from Reagan’s policies. The escalation in spending is simply an attempt to coverup the previously unfixed problems. If you want to argue that it started with Nixon’s decisions related to gold there might be some open questions.

      Rather than left or right this is about a government owned and controlled by their corporate masters. Both parties.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I think that’s right. The claim that this administration is even centrist, let alone leftist, is one among many false rightwing claims. While false, they effectively help push the rightist Mr. Obama and hard right Rahm so far to starboard the decks are awash.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I would say it’s the logical despoliation of progressive politics. The latter are always pushing that boulder up the hill, away from the boggy Selfish Bottom. It doesn’t take much concerted effort to waylay improvements when so many factors fight against it. But the reality – as well as the myth – is that someone is always pushing that boulder up, as well as trying to shove it aside.

  21. Adams says:

    Irrespective of the motivation, Obama’s treatment of Dawn Johnsen is disgraceful and another betrayal of his base. I don’t think there’s any political hay to be made by Obama supporting her now; he’s already pissed away all the credibility her nomination earned him. But we still need her at OLC, there is much to do.

    FDL has kept DJ’s nomination before us periodically. I’d like to see an FDL action plan that goes beyond, “Call your congresscritters.” I’ve done that numerous times when the nomination was rumored to be coming up for a vote, only to be disappointed. I hesitate to bring it up again with my Senators, who are both Dems, and both questionable on this, unless something is really going to happen.

  22. joeff says:

    People, you need to get a grip. Yes, it’s outrageous that Johnsen and others have not been confirmed, but this latest batch were all done by unanimous consent–i.e., no recorded vote. They were “noncontroversial.” There are a bunch of pending nominations that will have to be subject to the 60 vote cloture rule if the Goopers want to play hardball. So, round up 60 votes, get cloture, and then be prepared to burn another 30 hours of floor time before the final vote on the nomination.
    The good news–first time the Senate recesses after convening in January, Obama can “recess appoint” them to their nominated positions and they can serve thru the end of the 2011 session of Congress. If he wants to.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Your blithe spirit agrees with Obama’s business as usual approach to the extraordinary mess he inherited. Mr. Obama should care about more than cleaning up his frat house. He should worry about how to get off double secret probation.

      As for recess appointments, the kind that so infuriated the Democrats under Bush – because Bush’s appointees were extreme and dedicated to abolishing the work they were hired to promote – who thinks this conflict averse president would dare obstruct Holy Joe’s right to obstruct the running of this administration, let alone Mitch McConnell’s?

    • temptingfate says:

      If Bush had needed 60 votes to accomplish all of his goals he would have done precious little. Of course that would have been a good thing.

      The 60 votes get out of running the country thing is getting a bit trying. Politics is not about hoping the majority will agree to your every request because they have nothing better to do at the time while avoiding any appearance of disagreement with the party across the isle or the single IndependRepublicanDemoWhatever who shall remain nameless, though all powerful.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yep, as bmaz says, the recess appointment thingy only works for pending nominees, those whom the Senate has neither consented to nor rejected.

      As Ms. Johnsen and Ms. Smith’s nominations have been put to a vote and their nominations have failed, we’re back to square one. Nothing unusual, it happens to a lot of appointees and their presidents. A failure, however, is usually regarded as mismanaging the supremely important Senate confirmation process, one required to get in place the president’s key people and to implement his priorities. Let’s see if this White House opens the champagne or tissue box over these losses.

      Mr. Obama must either renominate these people – or blow his cover and nominate people he really wants the Senate to confirm. I strongly suspect he will now do the latter – as an expression of one-sided conciliation to pragmatism, to get things done, to get the ball rolling and to add leadership in organizations crying out for it. Effing kabuki.

      • bmaz says:

        That is not quite right. It does not have to be someone nominated for the position, however there is a line of argument that the person serving under a recess appointment cannot be paid unless also nominated.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Thanks for the correction. The recess appointment can be someone whose nomination is not currently pending. As for the line of argument they can’t be paid, does that apply to all recess appointees, or only those whose nominations have previously been rejected?

          As usual, Bush’s practice is no guide to the constitutionally sensive. He made multiple recess appointments, including some of his most controversial nominees. More alarming was his use of “acting” appointments to high posts, which avoided the confirmation process altogether. He also ignored the time limits for such appointments, allowing them to remain in place, in effect, until the end of his term.

          While there may be room for interpretation, I don’t see Obama being so rude to the Villagers he seems desperate to court as to make recess appointments this early in his regime, and not to impose candidates already rejected by those on his bipartisan wish-list. It seems especially unlikely given how little he did to make the appointments of, eg, Johnsen and Smith, happen.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Well, you’re right. The president can name anyone to a recess appointment. The appointment expires at the end of the then current Congressional term.

      • bobschacht says:

        As Ms. Johnsen and Ms. Smith’s nominations have been put to a vote and their nominations have failed…

        When did this happen? I thought that her name was never put to a vote on the floor?

        Bob in AZ

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          See the link @46, Bob.

          It’s useful to note that the Senate – and Reid – fudged even this process, hiding Reid and the President’s positions. As is usual at year end, a backlog of appointments is addressed via a voice vote of them en bloc. It’s used with those nominees the majority leader is assured will pass. In this session, 30 did. Six did not.

          Ms. Johnsen and Ms. Smith were included in the six nominations that failed. These were presumably segregated into a voice vote that was deemed not to have passed, though they may have assumed that outcome and not actually had the vote itself.

          The procedure is routine. What’s not routine is the use of it to hide the failure of two of Obama’s most progressive and most touted appointments, which the federal government and the country rather desperately needed – top legal leadership at the OLC and the Department of Labor. So much for reinvigorating the DoJ and the labor laws that George Bush sent to the dumpster. I would say that more than Mr. Obama’s conservative slip is showing.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, that is exactly right. They didn’t even fucking try. If they had, Reid would have had to have started the process a while back, because they knew it would be contested. They were in session constantly working on healthcare, a parallel process for Johnsen would have taken little effort other than a bit of floor time which not all would have had to attend all the time. If Obama had wanted Reid to do it, it would have been done. It is that simple. And, as i will show in a few minutes, I think they had the votes to confirm her if they wanted them.

        • bobschacht says:

          As Ms. Johnsen and Ms. Smith’s nominations have been put to a vote and their nominations have failed…

          When did this happen? I thought that her name was never put to a vote on the floor?

          Bob in AZ

          See the link @46, Bob.

          This is a crock of crap, IMHO. They were NOT put to a vote. Their nominations have failed only because of feckless Senate leadership, and lame administration support.

          The excuse? “Their nominations encountered opposition.” Well, duh. This, too, is BS. What they probably mean is that their nominations encountered opposition among some Senate Democrats. The popassibility also exists that part of the bargain for 60 votes for the Health Insurance Protection Racket was to sacrifice Johnson’s nomination.

          But Johnson’s nomination was NOT voted down. You are plainly wrong on that score.

          I look forward to reading bmaz’s promised post on this.

          Bob in AZ

        • bmaz says:

          Well, yes and no. I think Johnsen’s nomination was included on the unanimous consent roll with the list of all those in the main post that were confirmed by UC; however, Johnsen, Chris Scroeder and Mary Smit, along with a couple of others were objected to by Republicans. At least as to Johnsen though, Obama and Reid knew she could never receive UC and they never attempted to get her a floor up or down vote.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    You’re tired of Christmas dinner and cheer rather early. Look forward to reading your extending take on this dispiriting, gutless action by Obama, Rahm and Reid.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As I said earlier, the gutless act was to vote down Johnsen and five others – at least four of whom would have been top DoJ and Labor Dept. legal officers – via a procedural move. While 30 nominees were approved, six were “objected” to and Reid characterized that as a “No” vote on those six. I think Bob is correct that no roll call or voice vote was taken, but Harry and Barry came to the same end without it. Those six nominations are off the table, as quietly as you please.

    It would have been Reid’s choice – though almost certainly not one he came to by himself – to include those six, rather them to hold them back and treat them as “not voted on and still pending”. Fucker.

    Another president would regroup and force a vote on his team another way. Bush, for example (well, his handlers who knew how to do such things), would have added several more extreme nominees to the pile, procedurally attached them all to some must have cause or legislation, and rammed them through. Some of his most extreme nominees were voted down twice; Bush rammed them through as recess appointments anyway.

    Bush was incompetent, but his team was relentless. Obama is stealthy and Janus-headed, which always allows him two answers to the same question: which way is he headed.

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