The Shelby Shakedown


Alabama’s second-worst senator explains that the Shelby shakedown is all about national security:

Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) office has confirmed to TPMDC the reports that Shelby has placed a hold on President Obama’s nominees over a pair of government programs set to be based in Alabama. He did not confirm that Shelby has taken the rare step of blocking all of Obama’s nominees, as was reported yesterday.

“Sen. Shelby has placed holds on several pending nominees due to unaddressed national security concerns,” Shelby spokesperson Jonathan Graffeo said in a statement.

It seems mighty curious that the only national security concerns Shelby can think of are pork-barrel programs for the state of Alabama. It’s also strange that he can’t think of any better way to address these concerns than to hold the entire operation of the federal government hostage to his petty interests. Just a few years ago he wanted to change the rules to make this sort of thing impossible. Now he’s engaging in an unprecedented abuse of the process.