Sunday, June 28, 2009

Worth Keeping in Mind

Here's how an editorial in today's NYT starts:

Call It Obstructionism

In a burst of activity before adjourning on Friday for a two-week recess, the Senate confirmed 12 nominees for important positions in the Obama administration. That is the good news. Unfortunately, there are still 21 nominees for important posts awaiting confirmation.

Most of the stranded nominees have long since had hearings and majority approval by Senate committees and meetings with lawmakers. None of the nominees have been tainted by scandal or had their core competence questioned. And yet, they remain unconfirmed — one for more than three months and several others for more than a month — mainly because of holds, often anonymous and unexplained, by Republican senators.

I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was still that bad.

Also, from later on in the same piece:

Robert Groves, the nominee for director of the Census Bureau, has been on hold since mid-May. He has been deemed suspect for his expertise in sampling, a statistical method for adjusting miscounts. Republicans charge that sampling could unfairly tilt the census results. That is highly debatable, but, more to the point, it is a nonissue. Mr. Groves testified at his confirmation hearing that sampling will not be used in the 2010 count.

The eagerness of the Republicans to embrace anti-intellectualism and reject well-established science, and the willingness of the Democrats to kowtow to this attitude, never fail to discourage me.

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