At 5 PM on Wednesday, Jan. 2, Harry Reid, some other Senate Democrats and 0 Senate Republicans passed a raft of confirmations by unanimous consent, as part of a deal with Mitch McConnell to keep his caucus away while business got done. It was on C-SPAN, but reporters were all working the fiscal cliff deal, particularly the House shenanigans. Lawrence O'Donnell let the cat out of the bag on his 10 PM show, The Last Word. Don't believe me? Here, you can watch it yourself. The relevant part starts at 3:52:10.
I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOMINATIONS CALENDAR NUMBERS 870, 871, 878,...
Harry Reid's actions yesterday were couched in the driest of dry-as-dust Senate protocol, referring to nominees only by number. They were very nearly revolutionary when measured against events of the last few years, in which Republicans filibustered even the most routine appointments for many months, and showed implacable hostility to several. Even the thought of Elizabeth Warren running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was too much for them. Apparently Reid and McConnell agreed to let all of the confirmations go through that would pass with large majorities if they could be brought to the floor. McConnell's part of the deal appears to have been to let the other Republicans think that the Senate was adjourning while all of this went on. Could this be an attempt to defuse the push for filibuster reform?
As far as I know, this deal does not include an administrator for ATF, but it does include numerous judges, some other administration officials, and some ambassadors. I thank Just Bob, who gave us the link to the lists of who got through. Somebody will update the lists of who remains stuck. We will have an ambassador to Kenya, which is actually funny given Republican attitudes.
Please post the earliest signs of Right wing betrayal, shock, and outrage that you can find in the comments. I still don't see this story anywhere but C-SPAN and MSNBC.