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Among leaders at summit, Hu's first

Judge not

The White House is upset about an item last week pointing out that Obama has a decent shot at nominating, and putting the robes on, the fewest federal judges in recent administrations. "The President has nominated more appellate judicial candidates than Clinton had at this point in his presidency (18 to 12)," an e-mail said, and "has had as many circuit judges confirmed as Bush did at this point," and substantially more than Clinton had gotten confirmed. Omitting this was a "glaring oversight."

Well, we'll update the numbers later this year and try to avoid the glare.

The art of diplomacy

Also last week, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were in Madrid, heading the U.S. delegation to an important meeting with the Euros about tracking terrorists' financing systems. Holder went on to Algiers, to sign an agreement whereby Algeria would cooperate with the United States on prosecuting money laundering, cybercrime and terrorist financing.

While in Madrid, word is, Holder arranged to have a museum, apparently the Reina Sofia, opened so he could see it, even though it was closed at the desired time -- and then he didn't show. He managed to slip away from a meeting early to hit the museum, home to Picasso's extraordinary Guernica and some great stuff by Miró, Dalí, Gris and others.

Some BBG progress

And getting back to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved three Democrats and three Republicans to run U.S. overseas broadcasting units such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

By unanimous voice vote, the committee sent the nominations of Walter Isaacson as chairman, and Dennis Mulhaupt, Victor H. Ashe, Michael Lynton, S. Enders Wimbush and Susan McCue as members, to the Senate floor.

But it held on to two of the eight hostages nominated five months ago. Democrat Michael Meehan and Republican Dana Perino still await committee action.

Research editor Alice Crites contributed to this column.

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