The Latest Body Count From the Senate

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From the Washington Times yesterday:

President Obama on Monday nominated civil rights attorney Thomas E. Perez to be the next labor secretary, immediately drawing Republican opposition and another contentious confirmation fight on Capitol Hill. Shortly after Mr. Obama made the announcement, Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, said he would prevent Mr. Perez’s nomination from moving forward until the Justice Department responds to a 2011 letter accusing it of “spotty” enforcement of national voting rights laws.

From The Hill today:

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Monday that he would place a procedural hold on President Obama’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Blunt threatened to block the confirmation of Gina McCarthy, who currently heads EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, until he gets an update on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to repair a levee on the Mississippi River system.

Let’s take a look at the body count of high-profile Obama nominees so far: Susan Rice, Chuck Hagel, John Brennan, Jack Lew, Caitlin Halligan, Thomas Perez, and now Gina McCarthy. Plus maybe some others that I’ve already forgotten.

And now for the list of high-profile nominees who haven’t been blocked or filibustered: John Kerry.

Are we going to keep playing the game where we pretend that by some immense coincidence, every single high-profile position in the Obama administration is being offered to someone who’s a dangerous radical? That there’s no broad plan to simply block everyone, it’s just that every nominee has some kind of unique problem that really, truly needs deep investigation by the Senate?

We’re not children here, and it’s obvious what’s going on. This isn’t an Obama problem, it’s a Republican Party problem. When will the earnest pundits and talking heads start suggesting that Mitch McConnell needs to show a little more leadership here?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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