It looks like the Bush administration may soon allow the FCC to get busy with their tremendous backlog of work on controversial topics... W. is expected to announce his nominations for the 2 open seats on the commission: one of which was created following Chairman Michael Powell's resignation earlier this year (Kevin Martin, then a commission member, moved on up, leaving an empty seat), and the other is from Michael Copps' 5-year-term coming to an end.
FYI: The commission is made up of 2 democrats (Copps and Adelstein), 2 republicans (Abernathy, whose term will end pretty soon and does not seek renomination, and the empty seat), and a hood ornament (Martin, a republican).
Bush is expected to renominate Democrat Michael Copps, a man so uptight that he's issued separate statements detailing his personal dissent from indecency cases that the commission as a whole had dismissed. Deborah Tate, Director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, is rumored to be W's pick for the empty republican seat on the commission. However, conservative lip-zipper Ted Stevens is ever so eager to come up with his own FCC nominee that he can force down the administration's throat.
A fast confirmation of both appointees might give Chairman Martin a short window of time (before Abernathy's departure) to use the commission's republican majority to his advantage: possibly making headway on controversial issues that the politically split FCC could not tackle. Might we see indecency revisited during this period? The Senate Commerce Committee has already scheduled a forum on broadcast decency...