In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Obama Science Advisers Slowed by Multiple Holds

"It's infuriating," said Rockefeller, who backs Holdren and Lubchenco's hiring. "They're brilliant scientists."

Science advocates said they are frustrated by the blocking of administration officials they argue are needed now more than ever. The holdup could slow timely science and environmental policy work between Congress and the administration, particularly the spending of roughly $21.5 billion dedicated to science in the economic recovery package.

The anonymous senators holding up Holdren, a former Harvard professor, and Lubchenco are not required to unmask themselves until six days of Senate sessions have passed. But nothing prevents reporters from trying to lift the veil...

Late Update: Asked if the anonymous holders in question are mostly Republican senators -- which would be a safe guess, given the nominees' progressive stance on climate change -- Rockefeller told me: "I think so, but I'm not sure." The mystery continues, for now.