Success! The Federal Land giveaway I wrote about earlier in the week that was being sold as mining law reform has been dropped from the budget reconciliation bill. This was due to a lack of votes in the Senate. There was active resistance from most if not all the Democratic Senators and quite surprisingly some wildly conservative western extractive industry friendly Republican Senators. The rest of the bill’s reverse robin hood orientation is still horrendously intact, but at least one excessence is out.. Pombo (who needs to be removed from office) has unfortunately vowed to rewrite and push through a similar bill next year so this is not over yet. Sadly, we can absolutely count on Pombo – a failed farmer who blames federal regulations for his own inadequacies – to write something between very bad and utterly awful.

One war on science line was inserted into the reconcilliation bill by Larry Craig, one of the Western Republican Senators mentioned earlier for being on the right side of the mining ripoff. This particular sentence eliminated the budget for the scientific agency that counts salmon swimming up the Columbia River. This agency has made the horrible mistake of actually counting the salmon and finding fewer and fewer of them. This finding then eventually through machinations of government and the courts requires spilling water over the dam for fish passage. In the hydroelectric dam world, water is money. The people who like Columbia River electical dams include Senator Larry Craig who takes lots of money from dam interests and wrote this particular sentence. Early explorers spoke of salmon so thick on the Columbia that you could walk across the river on their backs. There were liars back then too, but walking across the Columbia would be an even better way to drown today.