Unclear whether Reid’s going to omit a Utah nominee from the group — one of that state’s senators,
, has been in the forefront of the GOP effort to block confirmations, an effort sparked by President Obama’s move in January to recess-appoint
to be consumer watchdog plus three people to the National Labor Relations Board.
Reid’s move, if it succeeds, would be great news for that group of judicial wannabes. But it’s not so good news for dozens of other nominees already on the Senate floor and hoping for confirmation — something that, even in the best of times, gets even dicier as summer approaches.
That list includes a number of senior positions, such as a deputy secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development; five people for the Energy Department, including an undersecretary and four assistant secretaries; a Treasury undersecretary; and an undersecretary and various assistant secretaries and ambassadors at the State Department.
The Senate did, however, recently approve two judges. And it’s likely a nominee for ambassador to, say, Burma would be approved, so no reason to abandon all hope.
We’re hearing that the White House, which called the recess maneuver essential to keep government agencies functioning, is not inclined to make more such appointments. A perusal of the list of nominees now on the Senate floor doesn’t appear to include anyone who would meet that criterion.
The four-year-long skirmishing at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization over whether to give a “life sciences ” award in the name of Equatorial Guinea “President”
Teodoro Obiang Nguema
, Africa’s longest-serving dictator, continues.
Obiang won the latest round, as a UNESCO board meeting in Paris on Thursday voted 33 to 19 to remove his name from the prize and replace it with his country’s name, thereby likely allowing the prize to be given.
The United States voted no, but African countries, an Arab bloc, and traditional democracies such as China, Cuba, Belarus, Pakistan and Russia voted in favor.
Human rights groups, Western democracies and prominent African leaders such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
had strongly objected to the award, noting that the State Department constantly slams Obiang for things like arbitrary arrest and detention and and judicial corruption.
But Obiang, who put up $3 million for the award (to be given over five years), kept trying, most recently taking his name off the award and just having the country’s name on it.