With almost none of Obama’s Interior nominees confirmed and in office, Harry Reid decides to take on a Republican filibuster so to seat Salazar’s number two position

Despite our complaints about Salazar’s views, the GOP has taken unprecedented steps to oppose Salazar’s repeal of Bush’s policies for opposite reasons-

I can’t think of any other Administration where the minority party has tried so hard and been so successful preventing a new President from filling the positions in a government department. Rather than build allies among conservation groups to help in these battles, however, Salazar has pursued his own anti-conservation policies. Time to rethink?

If Reid is successful blocking the filibuster, an irony will be to make Obama even more reliant on his often troublesome views. High noon in Salazar showdown. A key Senate vote on his top aide at Interior is set for today amid high partisan tensions. By Michael Riley. The Denver Post

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Update. Reid fails to overcome Republican filibuster by 3 votes. Sixty votes are needed to invoke closure — kill a filibuster. New York Times. The vote was 57-39.

Hayes is said to be an environmental lawyer, but there seems to be a question as to how much he worked to protect it versus get corporate lobbyists access in his position during the Clinton Administration.

Interior staff’s top seats in limbo

Despite nominations by the President, only Ken Salazar has been approved by the U.S. Senate-

One reason we haven’t seen much change in the B.L.M., National Park Service, etc. is that Senate Republicans are holding up action on the nominations.

Interior staff’s top seats in limbo. Politics » Hatch and Bennett oppose nominee, adding to a slowdown in confirmations. By Thomas Burr. The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah’s two U.S. Senators — Hatch and Bennett are pissed that Salazar withdraw the oil and gas lease auction near the national parks in Utah.

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A similar problem exists in most agencies and departments of the government. This seems unique — almost every nomination is held up under threat of filibuster and every close election, e.g., Minnesota and New York, is endlessly contested because of the threat of filibuster if the majority tries to seat the apparent election winner.

Massive Omnibus public lands bill killed by filibuster threat

Senator Coburn (R-OK) threatens filibuster. Reid pulls omnibus public lands bill-

There was a lot of good and bad in this bill, but it is dead; and some of the good areas won’t be around to save in a year or two when this comes up again in some form.

Public lands bill looks dead for year. By Matthew Daly. Associated Press Writer