And so, after seventeen months plus, the administration finally has someone in place at the top of TSA, as third-times-a-charm nominee John Pistole was confirmed by voice vote today. That ends a pretty good week for confirming nominees. By my (quick) count, there are some forty-four executive branch nominees remaining that have made it through committee and should be ready for floor action. Not great, but better than it was. I have no idea how many openings there are at other stages of the process, including those with no nominee yet, but at least the silliest category -- uncontroversial nominees cleared by committee but stuck waiting for floor action -- has been mostly cleared out. I should note, as I always do, that Barack Obama appears to be completely undamaged by the two failed nominees who preceded Pistole, and the White House would do well to learn from that to find a way to dramatically reduce vetting of nominees, preferably with the cooperation of Congress.
Movement remains very slow on judges, with most of that being the president's fault: there remain 50 district court and six court of appeals vacancies without a nominee, along with another 21 announced future vacancies without a nominee. Hey, Barack Obama: how about some judicial nominations!