The Latest Outrage: Holds on Holdren, Lubchencho

The Washington Post (the news part) reports that the man who is now one of my senators, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, has placed a hold on the nominations of John Holdren and Jane Lubchencho, and won't allow them to be voted on. Reportedly, "Menendez is using the holds as leverage to get Senate leaders' attention for a matter related to Cuba rather than questioning the nominees' credentials."

What a complete outrage. These nominees need to work on climate change, science advising, and much else; they have no role in Cuba policy. Obama named them back in December--they should be in their offices by now. This is the most shallow form of politicking, and prevents the new administration from getting going.

Here's your chance to tell Senator Menendez what you think.

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UPDATE: 4 Mar 09 There are now reports that Senator Menendez is not the only Senator holding up these nominations. I've got a new post up with the updated information and new suggestions for ways you can help. The Washington Post is reporting that Senate votes to confirm Jane Lubchenco as NOAA…
Read this, weep, dry your tears and get on the phone. From the still reliable news pages of the WaPo: The nominations of two of President Obama's top science advisers have stalled in the Senate, according to several sources, posing a challenge to the administration as it seeks to frame new policies…
The confirmation of two of President Obama's top science advisers was delayed yesterday as several senators placed anonymous holds on what was expected to be a quick vote. John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco, Obama's nominees to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the…

In addition to Senator Menendez, it would also be good to contact Majority Leader Reid and your own senators. It's also worth keeping in mind that Menendez's office might not be very attentive to emails that come in with an out-of-state address.

I've got a post up on my own blog with contact information for those folks. I've also included the addresses of Menendez's NJ offices.

http://scienceblogs.com/authority/2009/03/holds_on_noaa_administrator_sc.php

This is typically what an incompetent person does.

They can't achieve their goals through hard work, talent and legitimate means so they play the "if I can't get my way, I'm going to make sure you don't get yours either" game.

People like Menendez are just pathetic.

They are the very reason our country is in the mess it is in.

By Dark Tent (not verified) on 03 Mar 2009 #permalink

Let me see. Menendez is a Democrat. The Democrats have a large majority in the Senate. And still we have these messes?

It seems that the more things claim to have changed, the more we are exposed to the audacity of hopelessness.

But then, experiencing NJ politics has often been like inhaling deeply over an open sewer... and I used to live across the street from an 11 term NJ Congressman.

As I am reading this in the PM of when it was written earlier, I am hoping that there has been some positive movement by Senator Menendez on this front.
If Cuba is his 'high cause' and goal, then shame on him for using these important nominations as his ploy..

Wes:

Here in Massachusetts, the Republican Party is to all intents and purposes a rump party, with very little influence. (Even sixteen years of Republican governors really had to work within a Democratic framework to get anything done, and their combined record was spotty at best; Weld was a dilettante, Celucci a placeholder, Swift a small fish in a big pond, and Romney a sick joke.) The thing is, the Massachusetts Democratic party isn't a monolith in any meaningful sense -- with the MA GOP to all intents and purposes dead in the water, there's quite a few DINOs in the state legislature that I like to refer to as Northern Dixiecrats. One of them, a fellow named Emil Goguen, was a legislator from the northern Worcester County area whose only accomplishment of note was enabling the paranoid fantasies of a wealthy lawyer couple who believed that gay marriage in Massachusetts was part of a plot by the New York Times to bring the wife down.

Now granted, that's loony beyond belief. But there are plenty of conservatives in Massachusetts; it's just that most of them vote blue.