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Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV) posted on his website today that he is withdrawing the amendments related to mining attached to the Budget Reconciliation.  Unless something really stinky gets pulled behind closed doors, the provision is off the table for the Conference committee on the budget reconciliation.

The Congress may take up reform of the outdated 1872 Mining Act over the next year.  But it won't be attached to the budget, it might be subject to substantive airing of the issues and debate, and it will be subject to filibuster in the Senate.  No way around it, this is GOOD NEWS.

Here it is from the horse's mouth:

After extensive negotiations with the Senate Budget Committee, unfortunately it has become clear that the integrity of the mining law modernization policy I authored in the House could not be maintained while also complying with Senate procedural rules of the reconciliation process. While I am disappointed that procedural rules in the Senate will prevent us from moving forward with these provisions in the budget reconciliation process, I remain committed to modernizing the mining law to meet our 21st Century needs.

I'm not familiar with "Senate procedural rules of the reconciliation process".  But my guess is that what Gibbons is really saying is:  There was flat-out too much opposition.  They couldn't get the votes to pass it.  At least for the moment, we're safe from this bad idea.

Pombo's still in office, and there's more to say about him.  His horrible initiatives as Chairman of the House Resources Committee will continue to gurgle forth like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.  But we've won one.

Congratulations to everyone's efforts, especially in the West, who worked towards this success.  As the Sarasota (FL) Herald Tribune put it in an editorial:

Senators should use an ax on the snake.

Thanks to admirable activism & coalition work, the Senators were convinced to do exactly so.  Nice to know democracy is not entirely dead yet.  Really good to see the bad guys with their tails between their legs.

I could go on with lots more quotes, but why bother?  It's time to celebrate.  Hooray!!!

Originally posted to Land of Enchantment on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 08:40 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is GREAT news... (4.00)
    for now...I just hope it doesn't change...
    •  Las Vegas Gleaner blog comment (4.00)
      In Nevada, they've still got to worry about Rep. Jim Gibbons, who's giving up his House seat to run for Governor.  I like the author, he goes for the jugular:

      Gibbons surrenders unconditionally

      Rep. Jim Gibbons Tuesday completely and totally surrendered in his effort to enrich mining corporations and real estate developers under the guise of mining law "reform."
      Allow us to translate:

      Members of the Senate Budget Committe, after learning my name, asked me to go away, so I'm pulling the only legislative activity that has ever garnered me any media attention outside of my own state. Poop.

      This was Jim Gibbons' one and only chance to be Somebody in Congress. And he blew it, big time. He failed to enlist crucial support from Republican senators, blindsided Western governors, didn't even get the delegation from his own state on board. Apart from his California Republican mentor, Rep. Richard Pombo, Gibbons was basically bowling alone on this one. It doesn't speak well of his ability to build coalitions or consensus. After a decade in Congress, this was his time, this was his issue, and he bungled it spectacularly.

  •  Great News! (4.00)
    thanks for the update
  •  great (4.00)
    now let's make sure pombo goes down in '06.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 08:47:37 PM PST

    •  Who is the Dem running against Pombo? (4.00)
      nm Response For Hurricane Evacuees

      by socal on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 08:59:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  we have two (4.00)
        mcnerney, the wind power engineer who ran last time, and filson, a DLC buddy of ellen tauscher. and i think there may have been a kossack who was talking about running, named chalcon or something, but i don't know if he actually filed for candidacy.

        i really wish state sen. mike machado had tried to take pombo on, but he decided to stay where he is for now, from what i can tell.

        crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

        by wu ming on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 09:08:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  for what it's worth (none)
          McNerney was an original Dean supporter.
        •  The contenders (4.00)
          Wu Ming is basically correct.  There is another candidate, Steve Thomas, who's an electrician but he does not have any campaign that I can discern at this point.  Scott Chacon, who is/was a Kossack (I'm not sure he really posts here that much) was running for Congress.  But he dropped out to get behind Margee Ensign, who just dropped out of the race herself.  It's unclear what he's now going to do, but I can't see him re-joining the race.

          Wu Ming, you might take comfort in the rumors that people are still trying to get Machado to run.  I'm not expecting him to get in, especially since he can run in 2008 and be the automatic front-runner.  But you never know.

      •  He may have a primary challenge (4.00)
        Don't know that it's serious, but retired Congressman Pete McCloskey has been making noises.  He's the kind of Republican that time forgot.  Co-founder of Earth Day, and any number of other good things from the days when Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond were still Democrats.

        I started reading up on him today, possible as the next topic for this series.  Reminds me how much GOP has changed in a few short decades.  Goldwater, who was considered an extreme conservative when he ran for President in 1964, would probably be considered the far left extreme of his Party today.  Wow!

        •  Ha! - McCloskey (none)
          The last Republican to represent the Peninsula (except for that brief post-Leo J. Ryan special term).  I vaguely remember my mom telling me "he was the only Republican I ever voted for, because he was a good one."

          And lo and behold, who should introduce Paul Hackett at last month's S.F. fundraiser...Pete McCloskey!  He and his law partner were the only Republicans in the room.

          Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

          by AnthonySF on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 09:17:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  you made my night (4.00)
    by posting this.  Thanks.
  •  Thanks to all who worked on this. (4.00)
    I called my Senators and my clueless rep's office and then wrote once again for good measure. (Wrote my paper too, not that they printed it.) But I suspect it wasn't Nebraskans that mattered here.

    Better watch this though, since these guys are sneaky.

  •  I believe this was in response (4.00)
    to public pressure from fishermen, hunters, rural people, kossacks, on and on. Let's hope this taste of power whets the appetite for more. Get rid of Pombo, for starters.

    But first, let's restore funding for the Fish Passage Center, almost casually stripped out by Sen. Larry Craig (R-Pits of Hell, via Idaho). Diaried here and elsewhere. This is  a disgrace. Craig is in the pocket of the utilities.

    Without the FPC, there is no impartial accounting of the salmon populations in the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Period. No more counting. No more science. Just trus Craig and his fuck buddies.

    •  and let's not forget (4.00)
      Thanks to Land of Enchantment for persevering and keeping this front and center.
    •  Never mentioned on TV... (none) my knowledge.  Do regular web searches, both on Google and on LexisNexis.  Today was the first time I found it on TV websites (ABC & MSNBC).  So maybe they mentioned it once or twice in passing.

      They say most Americans get their information from TV.  Yet this was never on TV, and a serious enough organizing effort was mustered to stop it in its tracks.

      Netroots definitely deserve some credit here.  (And the good old fashioned newspapers, who were all over it.)

  •  A Brazillion thanks to you! (4.00)
    I hope you don't mind, but I changed my sig for a couple of days.
    Now, troops, make your patriot act calls first thing in the am.
  •  Good news. (4.00)
    It is clear that Pombo's bill was stuck in the past. The Schweitzer plan to convert coal into oil using environmentally friendly practices is the wave of the future -- Good jobs, the elimination of dependence on foreign oil, and no need for mountaintop removal or other such practices.
    •  The New Dark Ages (4.00)
      It is clear that Pombo's bill was stuck in the past

      Yeah, Pombo's idea of land use comes out of the Dark Ages.  

      Doesn't the GOP realize that it was Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, who made sure the national forests and national parks remained wild?

      We hold these truths to be self evident... All men are created equal...

      by Calee4nia on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 10:48:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make Sure Pombo Goes Down in 2006 (4.00)
    We're going to have to keep on fighting these battles until we kick Pombo out of office.  We know Pombo will be very well funded, so it's important that everyone get involved today.  
  •  This land is your land (4.00)
    My son's kindergarten class sings this Guthrie song, and it was sounding like a dirge last week.  Wonderful, wonderful news!

    Thanks for your consistent drumbeat on this.  You and Gallatin, and whomever I'm neglecting.  Just superb.

    Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? -Al Gore

    by soyinkafan on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 10:58:13 PM PST

  •  Pombo has got to go (4.00)
    I don't know why exactly but Pombo is the GOP triggerman on the GOP war on terra and all things dealing with environmental law.

    He has proposed gutting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in a single congressional session!!

    He has got to be trounced when up for re-election.

    Daily Kos should make supporting his challengers (any party will do, Dem and/or Indy) and helping one of them WIN his seat.

    •  Pombo is slimy! (4.00)
      ...although that comment would offend all sorts of lovely slimy creatures out in nature that hate Pombo and all his attempts to pave the earth and turn it into an ATM.

      We'll have to get lots of volunteers out from the Bay Area (its close; we'll carpool) to help with the campaign and get him out! I mean, jeez, what good is it to have an environmental rep. if Dr. Evil here wants to gut every environmental law that exists! It's like sprinting the wrong way down those airport-terminal walkways; we're getting tired and not going forward.

      "There are no shortcuts to accomplishing constructive social change ... struggle is called 'struggle' for a reason." Ward Churchill

      by CAuniongirl on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 11:58:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now if only Iraq took 12 diaries n/t (4.00)

    SoapBlox Colorado - The Daily Kos of Colorado

    by pacified on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 11:41:25 PM PST

  •  Pombo actually believes his garbage (4.00)
    He wrote a book: This Land is Our Land: How to End the War on Private Property, which details why he thinks what he's doing is not only American but biblical.

    He must go in 2006. After DeLay, no target is more important. The Daily Kos has to stay on this guy, and make sure his hometown knows who they're putting into office.

    Thanks for the great news about the mining reform! America deserves so much better than this leadership.

    •  in his hometown (none)
      he has extreme support from those of his ethnic group - simply because he is of that ethnic group.  They would vote for a striped bass if it was "one of them".

      On a planetary scale, habitat and life are interchangeable.

      by libbys mom on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 03:48:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (none)
    Thank you for keeping us informed about all of this -- there was certainly little, if anything about it in the local news outlets.

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