I wrote last week about the lag in selecting someone to run Medicare and Medicaid at CMS. Today's New York Times reports that this is an administration-wide problem. The administration has filled only 43 percent of its top policymaking jobs, and, per the article: "No Obama appointee is running the Transportation Security Administration, the Customs and Border Protection agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Mr. Obama still does not have an intelligence chief at the Department of Homeland Security, nor a top civilian in charge of military readiness at the Pentagon."So basically 57% of the top positions in Obama's administration are empty, including those big, protect-the-citizen positions like Customs and Border protection, DEA, and ATF.
It is true that the Senate confirmation process is long and cumbersome, but when you have a 60-40 edge in the Senate, confirmation is not really the issue. The key is to select people and get them nominated. As Woody Allen used to say, 90 percent of life is just showing up.
To be honest, given the craptacular selections Obama has made for the positions he has actually filled, I'm not sure if these vacancies are a good thing or a bad thing.