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Eye Opener: More Obama Nominees Named

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Friday! The Senate will likely finally confirm Robert Groves as Census director on Monday, according to Senate sources. Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to ask the Senate for cloture today, then schedule a formal vote on Monday. You'll recall the Groves nomination has stalled since last month when Republicans placed a hold on his final confirmation.

The White House announced three more nominees yesterday, including former DNC national finance chairman Philip D. Murphy, tapped as the president's choice to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Germany.

In fairness, Murphy has practical German experience, having previously served as head of Goldman Sachs' Frankfurt office. He retired from the company in 2006 and then joined the DNC as top money man.

Obama also selected Richard A. Serino to serve as FEMA's deputy administrator. He's currently the chief of emergency medical services and assistant director for the Boston Public Health Commission. He was once the superintendent for Boston Emergency Medical Services.

Finally, Dr. Marcia K. McNutt, will be nominated to serve as director of the U.S. Geological Survey and top science adviser to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. She once worked at MIT and previously spent three years with USGS working on earthquake studies in California. McNutt has also participated in 15 major oceanographic studies and served as chief scientist on more than half of them. She's also on numerous boards for institutions including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Stanford University, Harvard University and Science Magazine. If confirmed, McNutt would be the third scientist named to a top science post with Bay Area connections, joining Energy Secretary Steven Chu and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, an Oregon State University biologist that sat on various Bay Area boards.

These new announcements get the Obama administration three steps closer to a full government. You can track the confirmation process and read biographies of each Obama nominee by using The Post's Head Count confirmation tracking report.

More Cabinet and Staff News: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius launches swine flu vaccination campaign. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asks states to better distribute their economic stimulus dollars.

Follow The Federal Eye on Twitter! Send The Eye news tips, comments and questions.

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Premier U.S. Fighter Jet Has Major Shortcomings: The aircraft's radar-absorbing metallic skin is the principal cause of its maintenance troubles, with unexpected shortcomings -- such as vulnerability to rain and other abrasion -- challenging Air Force and contractor technicians since the mid-1990s, according to Pentagon officials, internal documents and a former engineer.

SAIC Case Sheds Needed Light on World of Government Contracting: Considering the size of its workforce, especially in the D.C. area, it is of more than passing interest that after a lengthy investigation, the Justice Department has now accused company executives of conspiring with corrupt Navy officials to rig a 2004 computer contract potentially worth billions of dollars.

Fed Role Protecting Consumers Debated: Some economists with ties to the Federal Reserve are recommending that the central bank be stripped of its powers to protect consumers, in contrast to the positions of Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and other Fed leaders.

Airport Screeners a Step Closer to Bargaining Rights: Officers do have the right to join unions. But those groups don't have the ability to bargain on their members' behalf.

State Dept. Office Politics: All joking aside, Richard Holbrooke does have plans for Dennis Ross' old office space.

NASA Will Try, Try Again: There's a short window on Saturday to launch Space Shuttle Endeavour.

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 10, 2009; 6:25 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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"If confirmed, McNutt would be the third Bay Area scientist named to a top science post, joining Energy Secretary Steven Chu and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco."

Jane Lubchenco's not from the Bay Area. She was a professor at Oregon State.

Posted by: discofries | July 10, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

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