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Sen. Richard Shelby blocking Obama nominees

By Ed O'Keefe

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has placed a blanket hold on more than 70 Obama administration nominees because of home state concerns with the future of the Air Force's tanker fleet and disagreements with the White House over funding for anti-terrorism programs, Senate Democratic aides charge.

Richard Shelby
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

Shelby's concerns are rooted in the future of the KC-135 Air Force tanker fleet, a project that could generate thousands of jobs in Alabama. He has placed holds on "several pending nominees," Shelby spokesman Jonathan Graffeo said. The office of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Shelby's holds applied to more than 70 nominees; Shelby's office did not immediately specify the number.

"Nearly 10 years after the U.S. Air Force announced plans to replace the aging tanker fleet, we still do not have a transparent and fair acquisition process to move forward," said Graffeo. Shelby is also concerned with the administration's proposed budget cuts for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Terrorist Explosives Devices Analytical Center, which go against the wishes of FBI and military leadership, he said.

"If this administration were as worried about hunting down terrorists as it is about the confirmation of low-level political nominations, America would be a safer place," Graffeo said, adding that Shelby has made the White House aware of his concerns "and is willing to discuss them at any time."

The revelations about Shelby's actions come just days after the White House ramped up criticism of Republican efforts to stall the confirmation process. President Obama blasted Republican lawmakers on the issue during a Wednesday question and answer session with Senate Democrats, and White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer continued the criticism in a Thursday WhiteHouse.gov blog post.

"Regardless of his concern, Shelby shouldn’t have a hold on 70-plus nominees because of a parochial issue," said Reid spokeswoman Regan Lachapelle.

Senators can place a hold on nominees at any time for any reason, creating a powerful tool for influencing the executive branch. Such moves are often made anonymously, making it difficult to track them. Obama, as a senator from Illinois, placed holds on at least three Bush administration nominees amid policy disagreements or concerns about their qualifications.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | February 5, 2010; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  Congress, Revolving Door  
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Comments

The party of no rumbles on!

Posted by: flwood2341 | February 5, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Do nothing then complain. How Republican of them. Time to drop the gloves and start ramming policies through with 51 votes in the Senate. Get something done, if the public likes it you win, if they don't you lose. But without action Democrats lose anyway. Continue to call the Republicans out for their constant lies, misinformation, and obstruction.

Posted by: rcasero | February 5, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Screw America. Alabama comes first. Go 'Bama.

Posted by: epespinoza43 | February 5, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

He's not blocking. He's holding them hostage for money. The party of smaller government is not going to allow anything to happen unless the government spends more money in their states. Clowns, every one of them.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 5, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The party of the Louisiana Purchase, the Nebraska Compromise and the Nevada Nefarious Activities Act picks up the first stone.

Posted by: EliPeyton | February 5, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

i don`t care what the reason this president has done nothing right so far as i am concerned. i think obama is still listening to the KENNEDY`S&CLINTONS.

Posted by: SISSD1 | February 5, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Pres Obama needs to starve Repubs like Shelby out of office. No pork.

Posted by: pkbishop1 | February 5, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Obama never had a problem placing holds on Bush nominees and voting against Bush appointments. Now he is getting a taste of his own medicine and does not like it. Well whine some more - as we do not like the Change you seemed to promise and lied about.

Posted by: topgun97365 | February 5, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

If any Senator - from either party - can singlehandedly block or stall a nomination, then our system is seriously broken. Time for a new Constitutional Convention!

Posted by: nan_lynn | February 5, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

If Shelby is successful in his guerilla tactics, the jobs will go to Airbus instead of Boeing. A true American patriot at last!!!!!

Posted by: marknesop | February 5, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Aren't the Republicans interesting? They claim to be deficit hawks, so what does Shelby do? Hold up all Obama's nominees to get billions in earmarks for his state.

I detest GOP hypocrisy. The two presidents in my lifetime who increased the debt as much as all the other presidents who served before them were Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. GOP tax cuts for the rich during two wars are what caused the massive increase in the debt in GW Bush's term. Obama is the one who has cut the taxes on the middle class.

I also detest the dysfunctional Senate rules where one Senator can hold up everything, no matter what the majority who were elected by a majority of the voters want.

The Senate is a travesty. The GOP and a lot of the Democrats have sold their souls to the big corporations, their rich CEOs, and other large givers. The middle class is just left out.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | February 5, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Do I hear "Recess Appointments" !!!!

Posted by: jmfromdc | February 5, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

UP OR DOWN VOTE! UP OR DOWN VOTE! Isn't that what the G-no-Pers yelled about idiot boy W's nominees?

Posted by: witchofwestghent | February 5, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

And with this act by Shelby, the GOP attempt to channel the Tea Party populist anger goes pffffttt....

This will go down with Gingrich's shutdown of the government (which helped get Clinton re-elected) as a game-changing moment of Republican overreach. If people wonder why the Senate can't get anything done, here's your answer!


Posted by: bluejersey | February 5, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The snarky comments of the Shelby spokesman says all one needs to know about why the system is shutting down: "...If this administration were as worried about hunting down terrorists as it is about the confirmation of low-level political nominations, America would be a safer place,"

Republicans: The party of no fear - NO and FEAR.

Posted by: jim11 | February 5, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

There is more than one side to every issue. A tactic that President Obama used against President Bush while Obama was in the Senate is now coming back to haunt him.

Posted by: Jeff_in_DC | February 5, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Today's GOP platform:
- no compromise
- no constructive ideas
- no leadership
- no credibility.

I'll stay firmly unaffiliated, thank you.

Posted by: DeskJockey | February 5, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, this is utterly absurd. (A) We didn't elect Shelby president, and the thought that he can bring 70 nominees' consideration to a crashing halt is beyond idiotic. (B) He's doing this because he's unhappy that HIS state isn't getting a specific bit of pork - where are all the other Rethuglicans screaming about reining in the budget? (C) Does this mean that the Rethuglicans can take turns placing holds and bring the whole process to a halt?

The MINORITY party has already shown that it has no institutional memory to speak of, but I remember what happened after Gingrich and company shut down the government in a fight with Clinton in the '90s - and I remember very well who the public blamed for that fiasco...

Posted by: blondie3 | February 5, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

There needs to be a reform of Senate practices, including holds and filibusters, that prevent the majority from acting.

Posted by: oplater | February 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Who Cares
Most of the SES positions are fluff anyway. There is some GM 15 who is running the agency now and we do not have to worry about finding out he as a made from Mexico that will stop his nomination.
The civil servants generally do a better job anyway.

Posted by: bluetiger | February 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I would agree with the Senator if he were placing holds on nominees based on qualifications. Sadly, though, he fails to understand that as a national representative, he has a responsibilities to both his constituents and the rest of the country. I feel the same about Senator Nelson for his handling of the Senate health care bill. It's a matter of priorities. By all means, put your state first. A close second should be the rest of the country. In this case, it's not. Vote yes or no and move on.

Posted by: damascuspride04 | February 5, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

What a Republican LOWLIFE

Posted by: K2007 | February 5, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Once you show you will sell out the people for votes for your "progressive agenda" (can anyone say we'll purchase your votes for Medicare/Medicaid, highway, or any other type funds your little heart desires), does it really surprise anyone that a Republican would belly up to the bar, too? Idiots, disgusting, un-American, What Goes Around Comes Around!

Posted by: KDSmallJr | February 5, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

After learning of Obama's green jobs czar, Van Jones, who celebrated 9/11 and mourned the injustices done to the terrorists as well as accused the Fed Gov of planning 9/11, we need to vet Obama's nominees very very thoroughly.

Posted by: fury60 | February 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

What goes around comes around. As Obama tries to screw Shelby you can expect retaliation. He is looking out for the interest of his state just like the La purchase and Neb kickback.

Posted by: dorrissan | February 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Most, if not all, Obama appointees should be indicted for political corruption and other crimes instead of holding a Democratic patronage position.


Posted by: Jerzy | February 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

A few commenters think this is ok because Obama used holds too. But what Shelby is doing is orders of magnitude beyond what Obama did.

Obama: 3 holds in 4 years.

Shelby: 70 holds at once -- every nominee that has been cleared by committees but not yet voted on by the full Senate. PLUS there are hundreds more nominations still in committee that he would also block the full Senate from voting on.

Obama's 3 holds were like a BB gun. Shelby is using a neutron bomb.

Posted by: bluejersey | February 5, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

What's going on with the Republicans? These are the same people who may have rightly complained about a couple of Democrats getting "special concessions" to vote for the health care bill in the Senate. We NEED a two-party system, and I always had respect for senators such as Shelby and McCain (even if I don't agree with them most of the time), but as an independent, I'm becoming more and more bitter about these people. I can appreciate his concerns, but why hold us ALL hostage for them? One of the problems during the Bush Administration was not enough good public servants in key positions in the very federal departments that we now like to blame for our (yes - OUR) problems with banking, safe food supplies, infrastructure, emergency response, education,on and on and on...

Posted by: jujones1 | February 5, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Shelby, et al (Republicans)

Stop destroying our country by obstructing
progress

70 nominee holds by Shelby
3 nominee holds by Obama when in Senate

THERE IS A HUGE NUMBERS DIFFERENCE HERE FOLKS

Vote these idiots out of office - Republican voters wake up

The US cannot continue to stand still because of the Party of NO

Posted by: Sirius2 | February 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Don't think of this as obstruction. Think of this as a budget saving measure. If they aren't confirmed they can't be paid and that saves the American taxpayer money, something Obama and his Dem buddies have not one care about.

Posted by: bandmom22 | February 5, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Shelby should be brought up on extortion charges.

Posted by: brianric | February 5, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

All these teabagging fools who drool over Palin will no doubt return scumbags like Shelby to office, so they can make sure that their lives don't change, even if it is for the better.

Posted by: daweeni | February 5, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Alabama's ranking in the top 10 states for taking more US tax dollars than they pay is not enough for Shelby.

Posted by: detroitriverlover | February 5, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

nothing new here. the mississippi gop senators and governor have forced the navy to build ships it does not want at their home state shipyard. the tanker fleet could have been replaced years ago if polilticians from both parties had not intervened to make it into a glorified welfare program for their states (and their big contributors.)

Posted by: george32 | February 5, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Good Ol' Sen. Shelby is beholden to the big military industrial complex! Teabaggers... there's your next mission! Go get 'im!!

Oh..wait...he's a repubican.

Posted by: swatkins1 | February 5, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Dear Senator Shelby,
Why do you think that spending taxpayer money on stuff this country doesn't need is the right thing to do? I think you are unwise and wicked. Please try to be a better person or resign your position. Thank you.

Posted by: KateSaunders | February 5, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Wanna read more about Shelby?

Look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Shelby

You'll find yourself muttering, "Shelby is a scum bucket."

Posted by: angelos_peter | February 5, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama should call this nitwit out publicly to show what hypocrites the republicans are. They complain about spending and then filibuster to force spending! What a creep!

Posted by: sandnsmith | February 5, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

As usual, the issue is not "tax and spend", it's tax and spend on ME!

Posted by: Dpete1 | February 5, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

This will be partly remedied by recess appointments. But Shelby (and the state that elected him to do this)in particular should suffer for seeking to upend the entire Federal government, by seeing a mass movement of all Federal dollars away from projects in that state. Time to close some bases there.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | February 5, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Shelby is a hypocrite in many ways. He votes with the right wing most of the time except when it involves trial lawyers. Then he votes with his wallet.

Posted by: NJIND | February 5, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

What goes around comes around.

Posted by: kalalp | February 5, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

same as the crook from MO.pubs/rats no different

Posted by: pofinpa | February 5, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse


Time for a new Constitutional Convention; time to abolish the Senate....

Posted by: gmcduluth | February 5, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Shelby wants his share of the pork. If you check his past voting record, he probably voted for all the tax cuts that reduced government revenue, but he still wants the government to increase spending on projects in Alabama. He seems to think that the government has some magic credit card and can continue to charge against some account in China. He will probably be one of the first ones to rant and rave about the deficit. One can always hope that some of the Republican dinosaurs will wander into a tar pit and disappear.

Posted by: FredinVicksburg | February 5, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Is this any way to run a government? Preferably somewhere other than straight into the ground? There's critical work to be done and this is the best our political system can do? These people are overpaid.

Posted by: tvanzandt | February 5, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Bush nominated individuals to posts, such as John Bolton to United Nations Ambassador, after Bolton said in public that the U.N. building in New York could lose the top 10 stories and it wouldn't make a bit of difference. He was openly contemptuous of the institution, and made it clear he would be going there to strongarm it in favour of U.S. interests while blocking it where the two conflicted. He did diplomacy like a fruit bat does chess. In the end he was shoehorned into the position by way of a recess appointment because the votes weren't there, and several prominent Republicans of the day said they would not vote to confirm him if it came to a vote.

This is worlds apart from what Shelby is doing now, and anyone who says "Obama did it to Bush, what goes around comes around, so there" is just being infantile. There's a lot of difference between opinion and informed opinion.

Posted by: marknesop | February 5, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

If Shelby can do this, why do the Republicans need 41 votes in the Senate? Would the Democrats be stopped cold even if they had 99 votes to Shelby's one? And how come the Democrats seem to be unable to stop the GOP with just one vote? Is there a reason for this?

Posted by: rbmurals | February 5, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised! GOP party of threaten, complain, block, resist, but don't come up with any fresh, creative, helpful, bipartisan healing legislation ideas.

Posted by: guisantes | February 5, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Shelby is an ass. He should get canned out of Congress for a real job and really work instead of preventing others from doing their job!

Posted by: paulnolan97 | February 5, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The gall of Shelby is amazing. Alabama already receives two dollars from the federal government for ever one is contributes. It is getting old that those of us from blue states must provide the welfare payments for all those red states who can not cut it in a global economy. Their hyprocisy about the evils of big government is laughable.

Posted by: johnmack16 | February 5, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Again the party of no is at it again. why dont the Democrats Yell UP OR DOWN VOTE for these nominees like the republicans wre doing during Bushes years

Posted by: nrsgary | February 5, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

White trash.

Obama should decide to end all cotton subsidies, and get the House to omit them from the farm welfare bill.

Posted by: Garak | February 5, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

If the American people had any guts they would pass a constitutional amendment abolish the Senate. It stopped working the moment that Obama was elected. The right wing will do anything to try to make Obama fail. They are nothing more than extremists like communists intent on subverting the legitimate function of government. That includes "moderate" Republican senators and Democrats who hold their votes for graft!

Posted by: paulnolan97 | February 5, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

So senators in Nebrasks,LA and Nevada do it and get raves from Dems for it but a GOP senator does it and he gets slammed for thrying to do the same thing. The Tanker issue he has every right to be angry about.... a company won the contract fair and square and them Boeing goes nuts, tells DC that they are going to lay off and it is unfair and the contract get thrown out. That tanker contract was going to really put people to work and create jobs in an area that could use them.. I'm not from AL but I have followed the process and understand his anger over how it was handled. As usual, politicians in power follow who support them and AL isn't a Dem state

Posted by: tbastian | February 5, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I guess this is GOP version of working together. Now, let see what happens if Dems lose in 2012. Will the Dems use the same tatics. If they did, would not Fox and Rush and crazy Beck use the same Tatic.

Posted by: patisok | February 5, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

A constitutional amendment to abolish the US Senate is overdue. These guys are no longer needed and really are more of an obstacle to good government. Is it any wonder that America is so backwards when we refuse to change these institutions of the elite and privileged, and states that have so few people? Senate has to go.

Posted by: paulnolan97 | February 5, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are disgusting. PARTY FIRST; COUNTRY LAST.... They'd rather see government shut down and the presidency fail than give an inch on their prohibitionist agendas. That's really all they care about.

All these GOP obstructionists should have they sour pusses plastered all over TV and the internet so people understand WHY nothing happens in DC.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | February 5, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Dems never had any holds when the Republicans were nominating people??? Like when Judges couldn't get an up or down vote....What goes around, comes around!!

Posted by: beebee11 | February 5, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Senators like Baucus, Nelson, Lieberman, Landrieu and Susan Collins do nothing but maintain the status quo. Change is not possible because these Senators just sit on their hands and pontificate about the perfect bills. Everyone knows that bad legislation can be changed, but these turkeys prevent anything from getting done. I hope they all get swept out, how could it get any worse?

Posted by: paulnolan97 | February 5, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

As a Democrat it angers me that we've become such a weak party, afraid of our own shadow. I also believe that if you have the majority, use it to your advantage--the Republicans had no problem when they were in "power", why do we have such a problem.

As the late great Speaker Tip O'Neill used to "All politics is local", somehow the Democrats in the Senate have forgotten that. I believe it's time for someone to take true leadership back from the Republicans and show what a Majority means again and there is still a lot that can get done with 51 plus votes on the Senate floor.

Whether the Democrats succeed or not, it means that they can point to their role as defenders of the middle class and lower, that they have traditionally been.

Posted by: joemosaic | February 5, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Do we really need a Senate? It has ceased to function.

Posted by: John0123 | February 5, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Continue to call the Republicans out for their constant lies, misinformation, and obstruction"

Democrats and Liberals have a nasty habit of calling anyone a liar who has a different way of thinking and arrives at a different conclusion. I guess they think that what they believe is to obvious one has to be a liar to say otherwise.

Something is not a lie just because you disagree with it.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | February 5, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Under the rules of the senate he should be censured and removed from his seat for conduct unbecoming a senator.

Posted by: John1263 | February 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

This is absurd. Shelby should be empeached. But is the rest of the Senate going to sit around and watch saying "oh well, he has the right under Senate rules do do this" ?

There must be something can be done. - Forest Gump's mom

It would seem reasonable to have restrictions and limits on holds, such as, any hold will expire after 30 days. Is it too much to expect to have a Senate that actually functions?

I'm so angry I could move to Alabama just to vote against Shelby.

Posted by: D1013 | February 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Senator Shelby personifies the self-interest and rigid positions held by the GOP. He doesn't care that he's actually hurting the efficiency of the Executive Branch of government. His intent is to sabotage the administration, no matter whether it hurts the nation or not. Parochialism ,Party first and the country be damned. The only thing missing is a brown shirt !

Posted by: searider | February 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Has it ever occured to anyone that the reason the deficit is sky high under a republican administration is that it is a tactic - a way to starve the government so there is no money for social programs. I wish the Democrats would start calling them out and making this link in the minds of voters. Republicans are only interested in protecting thier own interests - forget everyone else - shameless.

Posted by: KMAREPUBS | February 5, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

SEVENTY holds to get some pork for his state? Disgusting. Every day we find out Republicans have stooped to a new low.

Posted by: HFNY | February 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

There is a fine line between politics and extortion, and it looks like Shelby took a flying leap right over that line and then did a little dance in the end zone and spiked the ball right in the referee’s face. Not to put too fine a point on it, but he is a criminal and should be prosecuted.

Posted by: codexjust1 | February 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

We have to change things on Nominations at least, the Republicans have upped the interference every time the Democrats have controlled the White House. The idea of holds is simply out of control, and the idea of using Fillibuster for anything short of Cabinet level position or a Appeals judge or above should just be banned.

It is a lie if you say something like the Stim has not created as single job in Mass like Sen Brown lied repeatedly.
The number is at least 1300 direct jobs. Whether this is a good return for the money is debatable, and how many jobs were created by secondary effects is another debate, but to say the number is zero is an intentional lie.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | February 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

God I hate these scum-bags.

Both parties have got to go.

Just vote against them. Even if you like the candidate in question, refuse to give him or her your vote if he or she is going to associate his or herself with either of those gangs of criminal idiots that masquerade as 'political parties'.

Enough is enough. It is up to us. Switching back and forth between one and the other every few years is NOT going to solve our problems!

Franklin said that insantiy is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. Doing the same two things over and over again isn't really any better.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | February 5, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

If you think placeing 70 holds is normail procedure ever by anyone in the entire life of the nation, find another example. No one does this excpeting the minority party - the party that brought our great nation to it's knees and continues to block the efforst of responsible intelligent adults to clean up the mess that a wholes like shelby created in the first place. Shelby is like a 5 year old grabbing the paper towel roll and running and hidning in the clset after he spilled a gallon of milk on the floor on purpose. He should be censured and expelled from the senate.

Posted by: John1263 | February 5, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh Geez the Republicans are doing what the democrats did for the past eight years how hypocritical can the democrats be!

Posted by: Pilot1 | February 5, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Shelby was elected as a Democrat and switched parties when GOP gained a majority in '94. We must wonder why he does not just switch back to the Dems now. In '02 Shelby revealed classified NSA files to the press. He constantly steps in to fight Title insurance laws while he owns a title insurance company. Shelby has decided there is no conflict of interest there. He is a birther and still denies President Obama is a U.S. citizen. Finally he ardently fights for subsidies for great American corporations including Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Airbus, Hyundai and Honda. He fights any and all efforts to improve the environment. His campaigns are supported by major bankers, insurers, and lawyers. Alabama ranks 6th in poverty (Mississippi is #1) and near the bottom in education. Other than these facts, Senator Shelby is a pretty good guy.

Posted by: thw2001 | February 5, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

And this is a true patriot!?! We have recently suffered an epidemic of Senators holding this nation hostage. It's time all in Washington - including aides - understand that this nation is in no mood for their shenanigans. Give us liberty from this Senate. Forget about lobbyists and big-bucks corporate campaign contributors - can Twitter, Facebook, etc. free us from these high-end welfare recipients?

Posted by: nlersch | February 5, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

A few commenters think this is ok because Obama used holds too. But what Shelby is doing is orders of magnitude beyond what Obama did.

Obama: 3 holds in 4 years.

Shelby: 70 holds at once -- every nominee that has been cleared by committees but not yet voted on by the full Senate. PLUS there are hundreds more nominations still in committee that he would also block the full Senate from voting on.

Obama's 3 holds were like a BB gun. Shelby is using a neutron bomb.

Posted by: bluejersey | February 5, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse
========================
Agreed!!! The argument of - he did it too - is sooooo children like, as I would expect from my 8 and 10 year old.
The hipocracy is astonishing, but somehow reglur Amurcans just dont seem to mind. In fact they are in denial....

Posted by: wise_pharaoh | February 5, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

We need to vote them all out. It is obvious our congress represents the best interests of the corporations and themselves. This is a prime example...Just look at the success "MOBILE" has had reporting record breaking profits while our gas prices soar. This man is their representative. It's he suppose to be representing us?

With new representation we need new ethics reform and term limits. Ethics reform should include;

a) No gifts in kind given or accepted

b) No elected government official be allowed to accept any gratuity (it isn’t allowed by government employee’s it should not be acceptable of our elected government officials).

c) No stock ownership of any corporation they directly or in-directly govern

d) Adopt an independent Ethics Committee with the power to enforce ethics rules on both the House and the Senate.

e) Make the ethics committee accessible to the public (as it stands now, the House and the Senate ethics committee members only answer to their direct constituents).

Posted by: italco1 | February 5, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

it's = isn't

Posted by: italco1 | February 5, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Once again the Party of NO rears it's ugly head.

Posted by: GriffonWHO | February 5, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Senator Richard Shelby's blocking all of Obama's nominees for important offices in our government to get his pork barrel projects through is just one more example why we need to be rid of the most undemocratic rule in our Congress, the Senate Filibuster. We elected one President, elected by the entire country, all fifty states. For one Senator, one of 100, to be able to just block whatever he wants to get whatever of his pet projects he wants is one big reason this nation is in the toilet politically. DO AWAY WITH THAT RULE in the Senate. It only takes 51 votes to get rid of the 60 vote cloture rule. How absurd is it that the Democrats in the Senate just abolish the rule today, vote of what the nation needs and the people are demanding and then reintroduce the rule later on, after some actual work is done (or better still, just get rid of it permanently).

JAY CURTIS (author of THE CODE)

Posted by: JayCurtis | February 5, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

epespinoza43:

No time for backwater politics, the tanker program was busted early on and some went to jail. This was on Bush's watch, now Shelby wants to continue the 'Good Old Boy' mantra and ignore the criminality of it all.
Well 'Joe-Bob' 'W' is gone and so is most of his criminal culture/above the law advocates.

The Dem's will not dirty their laundry with elephant dung.

Posted by: carterassociates | February 5, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

After reading this article and many like it, I'm beginning to firm up my belief that there really is no hope for governing this country anymore. It's just exasperating to hear about this partisan back-and-forth with no progress for anything. I don't think there are answers anymore. Only something catastrophic will open our eyes to a new and productive way of thinking. It will come down to that.....it always does.

100 years from now, if there still is an America, people will look back at this time as the beginning of the end. Frankly, the way the pols are acting.....we truly deserve it.

Posted by: stardustmo | February 5, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

WOW the unfettered anger of a Repugnatican actually holding the Presidents agenda hostage. Congrats President Potatoe Head; you have been put in the "Full Nelson" hold. Until America stands up and says "enough is enough", you will see more and more of your representatives extorting thsi administration. Hey... it's the Chicago Way. Get used to it!

Posted by: nosuchluck | February 5, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, who is President? This will no doubt play well in Alabama, but what about the rest of us. Typically Shelby. I am so sick of this s***.

Posted by: gleslie60 | February 5, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The hypocrisy of some people in this comment section is almost unbelievable.

Obama holds 3 Bush nominees for various reason, and you contend that that is equal to Shelby holding up 70 nominations so he can extort earmark money from the federal government? Are you kidding?

What's even more ridiculous is that most of you also constantly complain about government spending and earmarks, I guess it's okay when it's earmarks for your party right? And I didn't see any of you folks who are so concerned with our security complain at all about the fact that the nominee to head the TSA was held up for a year by the Republicans.

People are saying that this is just another example of how Washington is broken, but I think it also shows that part of the reason it's broken is because of the idiocy of the people who vote these clowns into office, people who are so partisan that they are willing to compromise their own purported values just because they don't like the current occupant of the White House.

We truly do get the government we deserve.

Posted by: cjk002us | February 5, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey tinyjab40... are you serious.... What do you think the Dumbocrats did to the previous administration for 8 years. If you can think back that far... oh wow; that's right.... Bush had several hundred nominations held up by the Dumbocrats.
This is not how Gooberment should be run... so make fun of "tea baggers" but at least we are trying to force this insanity out of DC and get a group of people in Congress that will put their country first for a change. Not like the CHANGE we got last year thanks to your bovine-esque vote for President Potatoe Head.

Posted by: nosuchluck | February 5, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine if Barbara Boxer held up all the nominees for George Bush trying to force the government to buy a huge defense item from a foreign source that would cost thousands of American jobs?

Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh,and all of Faux News would explode.

Posted by: MichaelOwen04 | February 5, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

There is a real point here. Northrop/EADS won the last tanker bid fair and square. Now on a rebid, the rules of the game have been changed (by whom?) 180 degrees so that it will be impossible for Northrop to win. Yes, Shelby is looking out for Alabama and none of us likes his methods, but we are looking at a $50 billion (with a B) gift to Boeing for a 2nd rate product. Anyone who looks at the new bidding rules will see that they are wacko. The flow rate of fuel to jet fighters is given equal value to the flow rates of the toilets. So Shelby is right to get our attention.

Posted by: RHouck | February 5, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Shelby....just another Republican patriot, right? What a complete jerk. Please, Pres. Obama, stop trying to reach out to the so-called loyal opposition. And as to the Dems in Congress, get your act together and get the job done without any help from the GOP. The majority needs to act like one and the President needs to use a hammer, not a handshake filled with further concessions to the Republicans.

Posted by: darlenedeminSoCal | February 5, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

SISSD1:

What Kennedy's? None are left genuis. If some where, we don't have to panic like we did when 'W' made policy moves. All Chaotic.

Can't you still hear that 'sucking sound'- jobs abroad, middle-class, 401K, Mortgage Equity, Credit Card Gouging by Banksters, all going down two (2) 'Black Holes' the other hole feeding at the trough, Wall Street e.g. Banks and insurance companies,- or are you a deaf mute?

I hopes this shuts you up or are you a bigger fool than we thought?

That's why they say there is justification for an education, you don't suffer from 'tunnel-vision.' We'll find you a doctor, if they pass healthcare reform your boys are trying to keep from the American taxpayers.

Your world is too small.

Posted by: carterassociates | February 5, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Shelby is a RACIST ! Pure and simple, an ALABAMA RACIST....

Posted by: ingram1ja1 | February 5, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Because Senators can place a hold on nominees at any time for any reason, creating a powerful tool for influencing the executive branch and because such moves are often made anonymously, making it difficult to track them = we need to shed the light of day on Congressional behavior. Perhaps a website that details Congress' behavior so voters in each state can know what their representatives are doing. On this issue, if there is a problem with government procurement, the individual agency's inspector general or Congress' Congressional Accountability Office should be handling.

Posted by: sally1231 | February 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I think that Obama and the Democratic congress should do all they can to cut off federal funds to Alabama. Every senator should be able to table a few nominations but 70 is obcene.How about starting with the stimulus dollars? Time to fight back.

Posted by: lgilbert1 | February 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

We need to elect some new blood. I am all for a throw the bum's out election, and that would be from both the Dem's and Repub's. If you want to vote for a Democrat or a Republican...fine...just make it a new one. Until we are ready to elect people who are not playing the games, the games will continue to be played. We the people....

Posted by: sghilde | February 5, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Richard Shelby comes from a state where ignorance is admired and nurtured, which explains this recent idiotic move of his. Living in his state, I will have the opportunity to vote against him, and will smile as I do so. Congressional republicans are fools who care nothing about the health of the governmental process, let alone the American people.

Posted by: waterparadise | February 5, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, Alabama is, again, marching to its own drummer - just like during the Civil Rights struggle.

Posted by: Zeflik | February 5, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

paulnolan97:

NO! NO! NO! 2001

YOU'VE BEEN HIBERNATING OR ON ANOTHER PLANET. THE ELEPHANTS RAN WILD WHILE YOU WERE ASLEEP.

It takes time to clean out a holding pen,its smelly too.

Posted by: carterassociates | February 5, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Take the gloves off and take this man to task publicly. Go after him so hard that the next person who thinks they can hold up everything unless they get their own pet projects signed off on, think twice. And this goes for both parties...

Posted by: ChrisMichaels | February 5, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Why not simply change the RULES that allow such foolishness---
ol' men acting like small kids on the playground during recess!!!

POX on their houses!!

Posted by: RogDuncan | February 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

ChrisMichaels had it right when he said:

"Take the gloves off and take this man to task publicly. Go after him so hard that the next person who thinks they can hold up everything unless they get their own pet projects signed off on, think twice. And this goes for both parties..."

I'm sick of crooked politicians and corporate crooks ruining America.


Posted by: gkam | February 5, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

AnotherContrarian:

They call it a lie because they lack a solution and/or a intellectual Arsenal.

You've seen Sara Palin running rampant "TEA PARTY' around here.

Posted by: carterassociates | February 5, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Here again another southern republican showing his hate for a President of color. I cannot believe that the republicans are allowed to continue to show such bias. At this point, with all their actions, could it be clearer they will never vote for anything he wants, even if it is their own idea..Something has to be done about putting order back into the senate.. Democrats take notice, it is time for us to get off our behinds and start making some noise ourselves...No Senator should have power over the president. Now is the time for change and to get rid of this little tool that can be used against the president in such a manner..without reason and that costs our country MONEY.

Posted by: rlarkin2 | February 5, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Has it ever occured to anyone that the reason the deficit is sky high under a republican administration is that it is a tactic - a way to starve the government so there is no money for social programs. I wish the Democrats would start calling them out and making this link in the minds of voters. Republicans are only interested in protecting thier own interests - forget everyone else - shameless.

Posted by: KMAREPUBS | February 5, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse
================================
You sir get the trophy of the day.

It amazes me that the electorate sends people to government positions who think Government is a big problem and detest the institution. Then complain when government is ineffectual. Seems to me like a self fulfilling prophacy.

Think about that for a while. Would you hire someone for your company that detests your industry. For example would exon hire a global worming advocate to run operations. They would work against the company's interest and bring it down!!!!!!!

Posted by: wise_pharaoh | February 5, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully we'll vote these idiots out of office.

It's unfortunate that the dollar, American tax payer, is having to wait on the penny, Shelby.

Posted by: nova3 | February 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way to put a hold on the wages of a senator?

Maybe the assembly of the tanker should be moved to a state where the thinking is more lucid.

Posted by: cwdouglas | February 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Amazing that Tancredo and Shelby are both keeping the Old South racism alive and well. Between Shelby's blanket hold on Obama you know that Black President) appointees and Tancredo's remark about absent "literacy tests" being the problem, you just have to know that these two Southern racists are back into the old South. Poor things just do not understand that God created everyone to be equal. Their theory is that some folks are just more equal than others. Poor, poor Senator Shelby, how it sizzles him to have a black President.

Posted by: mJJ2 | February 5, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The Shelby's in the senate is exactly why the republican party continues to get less votes. Many republicans are now independents. We have a solid 20% made up of all the extremists's..thats who shelby is trying to impress the extremists. The tea parties, this type of behavior. It is true that the extremists are trying to overthrow the govt. They are working behind all the scenes,making their 20% seem louder, more like the majority. All americans need to keep a watchful eye. It is no accident that some of these people have showed up at these events with military guns..proudly displaying their rights to have arms in places like New Hampshire. These are not residents, these are the bus full of people brought to these tea party type events. they are the extremists..They are made up of a number of differant groups and come together to fight and get rid of our black President. Just look at history and see who those groups are composed opf and the damage they have done in our past, loss of lives, and the fear they can bring about.

The President needs to get a investigative team together and to find out what is going on..FBI and others might help.

Posted by: rlarkin2 | February 5, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Shelby has a history of being a real Repuiblican asshat. He's always on the wrong side of history, soclearly he likes his position. It seems to me that Dems are really failing to exercise power and I don't understand how they can be so weak when they hold the majority. If anyone in Congress reads this, they should be talking to Alan Greyson and learn how to ball your fist and punch these jerks in the face. They don't like to be called out and Dems don't do enough of that. We need to man up and stop sucking up to jagoff's like Olymia Snow, Susan Collins, Mike Emsey, and the rest of those scumbags. Snow actually bragging about killing helahcare. I only wish she had a sick daughter who is out of work and can't get insurance for a serious illness. I know and it is disgusting that this casn happ[en here in the US. As for people likie Liberman, I know he doesn't give a rats ass about this, and why the Dems keep him around is sickening. Let's get medevil on these people and stop pulling punches. Dems need to be strong and willing to get in the mud with these guys. They only way to stop a buly is to kick his ass, let's go be strong and be toiugh Dems. Beat these bastards at their own game.

Posted by: VeryBlueBoy | February 5, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

It's just the old story of what goes around, comes around. You assclown dumbocrats didn't have any problem with this sort of thing when the shoe was on the other foot. Why the noise now? Oh yeah, now it's your ox getting gored...that explains everything. Three quarters of the nominees are probably tax cheats or socialist, wealth redistributors anyway--let em eat cake while they're twisting in the wind...

Posted by: suttondb | February 5, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"Pres Obama needs to starve Repubs like Shelby out of office. No pork."
Posted by: pkbishop1

That's really funny... without pork, the Democrats would have to go home and the Republicans could cut the budget deficit! Why do you think Congress wanted to get those deals into the health care bill? The delay (discount) for the unions, the medicare bonus, etc., all those were for Democrats.

Go, Alabama. If they still can't do what they promised, don't give them any new stuff.

Posted by: whisperonthewind | February 5, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

hey Sen. Shelby...OINK! Hypocrite.

Posted by: mackie123 | February 5, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The Senator should remember he's an American first, not an Alabaman. The Civil War is over ... at least for most of us! Many of these nominees are for key positions in the war on terrorism. He has other ways to play his little game!

Posted by: Genl1 | February 5, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

bandmom22:

You need to plug your ears when you play that awful music, its playing havoc with what little thought processes you have left, if any at all.

Don't think of this as obstruction? Are you kidding me! Hey people, she's requesting that we turn our heads (look away) and allow her/shelby to put it were the sun don't shine.

OK, call it blackmail and a communist move.

Posted by: carterassociates | February 5, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans need to learn to stand
together and support one another on the
conservative principles they stand for and
not let one do it alone, nor should they
abandon them when they come under attack
from the left. We don't need any rinos
to screw things up and allow the left to
obtain victory on any piece of legislation and other sticking points.

Posted by: drush1 | February 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Pres Obama needs to starve Repubs like Shelby out of office. No pork.

Posted by: pkbishop1

--------------------------------------------

That would require Obama keeping a promise and by now... we all know that ain't gonna happen

Posted by: Straightline | February 5, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama did the same thing, albeit on a smaller scale...so he has no moral authority to object...but he will whine anyway, so please call a Whammmbulance!

Posted by: JCM-51 | February 5, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Shelby, You are a scum bag, you are the Taliban of America you will do anything for money even sell your soul. Shame on you, conservatives like you are taking this country backward. Why do old bags like you get elected in office, just to keep the seats warm & collect dust and never get any work done. Go fight and continuously create obstacles, let the country go to the dogs. Our standing in the world has slipped due to the in competencies of the leaders of this country. How come you do not open your eyes & get a reality check. Shame, shame, what a sad day for this country to elect selfish members like yourself

Posted by: shamahussain | February 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I believe this is an abuse of power, new rules should be created with a max of 5 holding for each senator and each holding must be justified by political/ideological differences only.

Posted by: TheGurdian | February 5, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

My oh my! Poor things! You say We have 70 political appointees that are having to wait a bit to draw their government checks. They will be on the public gravy train soon enough. Like ticks on a hound dog, sucking the blood and life out of the American taxpayer.

Posted by: JWTinTN | February 5, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

thw2001:

Shelby, a good guy? He's worse that a sabatour, him first, country last. He and Dick Cheney are boys, they believe in Collateral damge, at all cost.

Posted by: carterassociates | February 5, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama did the same thing, albeit on a smaller scale...so he has no moral authority to object...but he will whine anyway, so please call a Whaaaaaambulance!

Posted by: JCM-51 | February 5, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I agree with rcasero. Time for the Democrats to grow a pair and make it clear to the public how the GOPs and conservatives are protecting only their own interests and are not at all concerned about responsible government. Too bad so many Americans respond only to dog-whistle arguments and don't think for themselves or realize where their best interests lie.

Posted by: ghosthouse | February 5, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Shelby is the perfect example of the Do Nothing, Know Nothing ignoramuses that are currently representing the Republican Party -- once the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt -- now the party of the likes of Palin, Shelby, and too many more to mention! People who would rather score political points than do anything positive for our country.

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | February 5, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...An administration led by Democrats who are spending more in one year than in a hundred years of spending? I think the legal American citizens will make their voices heard with their votes. As the majority are appalled at the out of control spending and taxation, and want less government control over their lives, I foresee some interesting turn arounds in Washington. It might surprise some folks when it is certainly not Democrats leading the country nor necessarily Republicans that get the votes. The sleeping giant is awake, wide awake, listening, watching and taking notes. The media might not report everything they see or hear anymore, you know, the news? But with the wondrous internet it is becoming a moot point. Tweet, tweet...

Posted by: eve4 | February 5, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Why should the actions of an ignorant redneck surprise anybody.

Posted by: siggy11 | February 5, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I can not believe the nerve of some of these senators. They blame the President for not doing anything but it is they that hold up the processes. This goes for both parties. They follow the money instead of what is good for the people. Everyone knows that the people want health insurance reform, but the senate follows the moneyed Insurance lobbyists. Then all kinds of objections over a jobs bill. Now holding up nominations submitted by the President. My question is when is the senate going to patriot-up and do what is good for the country. Instead of 60 votes use what ever is at hand to get a majority and let all these senators that blackmail and use extortion to get what they want go to the devil where they belong. Wake up Democrats and get something done. Bipartisanship can go only so far. If you are not careful the do nothing Republicans are going to make you look like a bunch of idiots who do not know how to get anything done.

Posted by: Mary_portalto_142 | February 5, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Tom Brokaw wrote in his book "The Greatest Generation" referring to a couple of hard working scientist that cared for all Americans and peoples world wide."They were interested in the human condition--they weren't out for themselves" I believe this is what we must measure all of our politicians by....."are they Humanist"? President Obama is a Humanist.He will be considered one the Greatest of this Generation. The Party of NO are squandering their opportunity to be brave and caring Americans. History will not be kind to them.

Posted by: Americacares | February 5, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Tom Brokaw wrote in his book "The Greatest Generation" referring to a couple of hard working scientist that cared for all Americans and peoples world wide."They were interested in the human condition--they weren't out for themselves" I believe this is what we must measure all of our politicians by....."are they Humanist"? President Obama is a Humanist.He will be considered one the Greatest of this Generation. The Party of NO are squandering their opportunity to be brave and caring Americans. History will not be kind to them.

Posted by: Americacares | February 5, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

There is more than one side to every issue. A tactic that President Obama used against President Bush while Obama was in the Senate is now coming back to haunt him.

Posted by: Jeff_in_DC | February 5, 2010 11:30 AM
-------------------------------------------
Typical asshat response.

When Obama tied up THREE Bush appointees it was because on two of them reports from committees had not ben received, committees that were chaired by Republicans.

The third was von Spakovsky, the Heritage Foundation guy that felt that no one other than white people should be able to vote.

All three of those look pretty reasonable to me.

I want Obama to do what that idiot Bush did, make a bunch of appointments while everyone was on break. The only difference is that Obama is trying to appoint people that are actually qualified for the positions.

Posted by: dennissuper | February 5, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Good. I am so glad he is blocking them. We are far better without than to put some of these pathetically unqualified people in. I have just about had it with the sorry people this administration has put in Czar positions, agencies, or even the White House. Leon Panetta is a party man but he is the only honorable man I have seen. Holder is enough to make one shake in their boots for fear of our lives.
I do not like this leftist agenda. I do not like the proposed programs. I hated his proposed so called health care bill which was a collage of government agencies we all know would be a cesspool of waste and fraud. I do not like the wasteful Stimulus I. I will not like looking for the phony jobs of Stimulus II. I did not like his budget which I would have been embarrassed to present. I do not like his debt or his wasteful spending. And I do not like the people in his administration or his proposals . So thank you Shelby for putting on the brakes because there just is not much our family likes about this administration. We are looking forward to elections with excitement.

Posted by: greatgran1 | February 5, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Another old southern White racist obstructionist for the "Black". To hell that he is President and is trying to help Americans. This man i an American disgrace. While he and his clansmen (Boehner, McConnell,...) are funded by corporate America, their blind "no" stance is rooted more in racism than anything else.

Posted by: allowme1 | February 5, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This guy is and idiot and truly incompetent. He is a classic example of what is wrong with Congress. What the hell makes him think Alabama (a pimple on the ass of progress itself) is more important than America?

Posted by: dbcrosby | February 5, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I THOUGHT THE CONSERVATIVES WANTED TO CUT SPENDING. I MUST HAVE BEEN MISINFORMED. SILLY ME.

Posted by: mckeejay74 | February 5, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Imagine that, an African\American president's agenda being held up by a Senator from Alabama. I don't want to believe it, in fact, chances are that's not what Shelby is doing, but how do you think that plays in Birmingham? I know, that's cynical, but if you think the Southern strategy died with Nixon, you're out of touch with politics as it's practiced by the Republicans since Karl Rove and George Bush went home from the prom together. There's a reason that Rush Limbaugh draws such a large portion of his audience in the South, and the Republican party does well down there. And it's not because of the weather. I don't know Shelby, but I know a little bit about his constituency. African\American candidates don't do well in that part of the country. Draw your own conclusions. There's more than a few toasts being lifted through out the South tonight, and it's not a post Groundhog day celebration. The Senate should not be allowed to thwart the will of the majority of Americans. They are now, and you have to wonder how much heritage has to do with it.

Posted by: mikekrohde | February 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

How can such senatorial abuse be allowed? Staffing the government properly is an essential part of governing, protecting the citizenry, and working toward economic recovery. I would suggest the President call him into his office and show Senator Shelby how an executive order could impact Alabama!

Posted by: pgraypiano | February 5, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

How interesting that Americans from across the country cast aspersions at those of us in Alabama while holding their own opinions as above reproach. People in Alabama are allowed to vote for candidates based on policy and not race. Check the composition of our governmental agencies before you judge Richard Shelby, and stop stereotyping people that you don't know.

Posted by: livey1 | February 5, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

You mention senatorial abuse and in the same posting suggest that the President use his office to "impact Alabama"? Your stance smacks of hypocrisy.

Posted by: livey1 | February 5, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

How can any conservative GOPer make an argument against deficit spending after the multi-billions squandered by W.Bush and before him Reagan? The kind that do aren't interested in conversation, just beating the drum for their own parochial, pro-corporation, crypto-racist, anti-progressive agenda.

Posted by: ghosthouse | February 5, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama has a bad habit of appointing nominees who don't reflect the political mainstream.

Posted by: tncdel | February 5, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Talk about a waste of tax payer dollars

If the only thing an elected official can do for the next 4 years in government is to say "NO" to everything, then why have any government at all.

What are you getting out it voters?

Posted by: etokcha | February 5, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Shelby has got to go. May he be the first in a long parade. Obstructionists for their own profit need to move to the private sector where they can actually get FIRED!

He tore apart the Volcker plan too didn't he?

Congress is in the business of lining their own pockets. This is flagrant disregard of what the American people voted to put an end to by electing an intelligent statesman.

Posted by: MrsGibb | February 5, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I am offended by Sen. Shelby's action and even more offended when he wraps himself in the flag and pretends that his interest is actually fighting terrorists. What kind of message does this send to our enemies when he and other Republicans keep trying to cast America as weak. Why do Republicans want terrorists to think we are weak when we are not?

Posted by: RockyRetired | February 5, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

This is exactly what is wrong with Washington, in general, and Congress specifically. The republican'ts are just as bad as the democrats, about wasting money, and spreading the pork around. They just lie about it, and stand in the way of anything getting done. It's time to STOP VOTING A PARTY LINE--P E R I O D ! ! ! Don't vote for anyone who is IN OFFICE! Kick 'em ALL out, and tell the next bunch, "We just fired the last bunch, and if you pull any of the SAME NONSENSE, we'll kick YOU out!" As long as we tolerate this stupidity, we will ALWAYS get the WORST POSSIBLE government! AND it's time to repeal that nonsense where they get a PENSION EQUAL TO THEIR SALARY, JUST FOR SERVING ONE TERM! Who else gets that kind of SWEETHEART deal for working somewhere TWO YEARS? It's time to return to a CITIZEN GOVERNMENT--serve ONE term, GO GET A JOB, and make your OWN LIVING, JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. Wall Street thieves excepted.

Posted by: anarchitek | February 5, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

soo-ee, I say SOO-EE, C'mon SOOOOOOO-EEEEEEEEE

Calling all that pork for Alabama.
Oh no, Republicans don't allow no pork on their plates.

Posted by: boscobobb | February 5, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Slowing Obama's march to Marxism and his Marxist nominees is a good thing despite the rantings of the naive mindless "feel good" Obamabots.

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | February 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats must use reconciliation just as the republicans did. This baloney about 41 senators holding the majority hostage or one senator holding up the government for cash makes me sick. Dubya did whatever he wanted and the (smaller) majority GOP danced every time. I want affordable health care and I don't don't don't care what republicans want or think.

Posted by: skupisz | February 5, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

aahhh knohh aaamm stuuppidd , buutt tthhhe peeople baack homme thiinnk aahh aamm smaart. For Shelby to hold the country hostage , he is not with us, he is against us!

Posted by: leobrignac | February 5, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Will impostor egotistic Sen. Richard Shelby step forward; who pretend to represent the Great State of LA. He is the type needed to be voted out of office. He has for got his oath as representive of that office, For All People of the State and Nation. He only represent his ego, and perhapes other racial motives. I wonder if he would support past Gov H. Long on issues??
JCHJr

Posted by: higginblth | February 6, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

No one member of Congress should have the right to exercise so much power over OUR government. Someone has to send a wakeup call to these Conservative southerners. They are out of control and there will come a day of reckoning when their states need the government's help -- which they always do. Then, perhaps, they will really understand the politics of NO help.

Posted by: plippin | February 6, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama put holds on three nominations due to concerns about qualifications. Shelby is holding 70 nominations. He is not addressing qualifications at all. He is concerned about keeping his larder fully stocked with pork and doing his part to obstruct the Obama administration. He is a contemptible buffoon. But that can and should be said of ALL Republican Senators. The time has come for the use of the process known as reconciliation. Let the Party of No howl. Anything that can make them more irrelevant than they already are works for me.

Posted by: jothomp | February 6, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Over a year in power and he still has 70 nominees to sit.......kinda speaks to the size of government.

Posted by: bevjoe | February 6, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

According to "The Clinton Tapes" Shelby was the guy who blocked Clinton's appt. of Tony Lake to head the CIA. He hoped Lake would reform and improve the CIA. We'll never know but if Shelby had allowed Lake to change things we may have stopped 9/11.

Posted by: joanebner | February 6, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

This Congressman Shelby has a greater self image than Obama does. He is all puffed up with stale air. As this bad air escapes, it is contaminating our due process of law, & souring our rights to responsible governing.
70 holdups? Are there 70 people in the government with similar agendas? Or, is it all a figment of Shelby's imagination, or worse, a figment of a distorted mind?

Posted by: afed27 | February 6, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Letter to Senator Shelby: 2-6-10
Not as a constituent of yours, but as a citizen of the United states, I am appalled to know that a Representative of Congress has become a hostage taker no better

than petty dictators.The United States is one Nation and elected officials are sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the Land, to Serve the needs and will of

the people, not to individually place themselves or personal interests above the welfare of the nation. Our current President was elected as the choice of the people of

this nation, and deserves the support of both Democrats and Republicans in service of the Nation. To Deny the President the Aid of chosen and necessary personnel

to Govern and carry out his Duties and Obligations, is an obstruction to the operation, security and welfare of Government. Our Nation is involved in Two wars, an

Economy left in shambles by the previous Administration, a Jobless Rate that is causing great suffering to American Citizens, a Medical Industry fraught with out of

control costs and dishonest service by greedy profiteers, Greedy Profiteers in our Banks, Corporations, and Investment Industry, a long list of other Security problems

from terrorists, cyber-terrorists, Rogue nations and Dictators and a long list of other challenging problems. Yet you decided to place your parochial situation above the

Office of the President and the needs of the Nation. Who are you loyal to, do you place your methods and State above the needs of the Nation? Do you intend to hold

the security and welfare of the Nation ransom for
monetary gain for the State of Alabama? Will you put your State above all other States that are also suffering, is your State greater than the Nation of States?
I believe our enemies in Iran, Afghanistan,Yemen, Somalia and around the world are happy to see our nations leaders divided and quarreling amongst themselves

while failing to solve the problems that confront our Nation. Should anyone in and out of Government be giving comfort and support to the enemy at such times as our

Nation is at War and in Peril ?
I would like to hear from you, I would like to understand your reasoning to deny Service to the Welfare of the Nation and a President who needs all Americans working

to solve the many problems he faces from within and without.
I intend to forward copies of my letter though the Internet, to the News media, Organizations and Associations, my Representatives in Congress and the President. my

friends, associates and all that need to know what our Congressional leaders will do to cut themselves a "little Pork" even to "hostage taking".
The Internet has a long reach, you might consider another and better method to serve the Nation and your constituents.
Needless to say, I constrained my language and anger out of respect for the Office you hold.
Sincerely,
Signed,JNG U.S Citizen


Posted by: dogon1 | February 6, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the " world's greatest democracy" still has some fine tuning to do before it can impose its "democracy" on other nations' political systems !!!!

Posted by: berniecox | February 7, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Remember John McCain ranting about congressional pork? He wanted line item veto power and went on to repeat at every campaign stop that, "he would strike any legislation that smacked of pork AND MAKE THAT INDIVIDUAL FAMOUS"! We heard that song and dance ad infinitum until I thought i'd vomit if I heard it one more time.

Well where the hell is that hypocritical dumb ass now that one of his fellow menagerie dwellers is attempting to extort millions of tax payer dollars for 2 Alabama projects that neither recipient agency wants or needs? McCain, McConnell, Shelby, Kyl, Cornyn, Murkowski, Lieberman, Nelson, Landreiu, Vitter; Republicans and Democrats that all aren't worth spit.

How did this nation turn over so many rocks to find these self-serving piles of crap?

Posted by: althepiper1 | February 7, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

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