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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dems Assail Obama's Connection to Wall Street

President Obama’s nomination of Antonio Weiss to serve as the Treasury Department’s top domestic finance official is drawing fire from an unusual sector: his fellow Democrats. 

Liberal lawmakers like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have been quick to oppose Weiss, a major investment banker with Lazard.

Among their grievances is the fact that Lazard’s work is primarily in international finance and he is nominated for a domestic position. They’re also critical of his role in structuring several tax inversion deals, which have drawn criticism from the president himself.

But an underlying thread to the Democratic opposition is a fatigue with filling top-ranking administration spots with officials that have spent significant time working for or on behalf of Wall Street titans. Warren penned an op-ed in The Huffington Post criticizing the administration’s approach under the headline “Enough is Enough.” 

Here’s a rundown of other top administration officials with ties to Wall Street:

Mary Jo White: Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission

One of Wall Street’s top cops reaped plaudits on her way to a unanimous Senate confirmationto lead the SEC back in 2013. The former federal prosecutor was hailed as tough by both parties for taking on mob bosses and terrorists, but she also spent time as a prominent white-collar defense attorney where she represented some of the biggest names in finance like Morgan Stanley and Ken Lewis, the former head of Bank of America.

While unanimously confirmed on the Senate floor, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) cast a protest vote against her nomination at the committee level, criticizing it as a broader sign of Wall Street’s presence in government.

“I don’t question Mary Jo White’s integrity or skill as an attorney. But I do question Washington’s long-held bias towards Wall Street and its inability to find watchdogs outside of the very industry that they are meant to police,” he said in a statement.

Jack Lew: Treasury Secretary

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has been a near-constant presence in Washington dating back to the Clinton administration. He has filled several roles under Obama, including chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget.

But between Democratic presidencies, Lew put in stints as a top official at New York University and Citigroup, where he was chief operating officer for one of the bank’s trading groups. The latter became a bit of an issue when Obama tapped him for the Treasury post, as it emergedthat part of his Citigroup compensation was a $56,000 investment based in the Cayman Islands, infamous as a tax haven.

Lew defended his work and compensation at the bank, and said he was unaware part of his investment portfolio was based in the Caymans. He added he sold that investment at a loss when Obama asked him to join his administration in 2010.

Stanley Fischer: Vice Chair, Federal Reserve

While the Federal Reserve is not officially part of the administration, Obama did nominate Fischer to serve as the central bank’s vice chair. Even before being nominated, Fischer was renowned as a monetary policy expert, having previously taught former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and serving as head of Israel’s central bank.

But he also spent three years as a top executive at Citigroup. Warren pressed Fischer on that part of his resume during his confirmation hearing, noting that several other Obama officials had Citigroup ties, as she wondered whether one institution was enjoying too much influence at the top of the U.S. government.

Fischer said disproportionate influence would be a concern, but that wasn’t the case with him. Rather, he presented his time at the bank as relevant experience for regulating institutions, and said that while other Obama officials also worked at Citigroup, it’s not as if all were working on the same issues. Fischer went on to be confirmed by the full Senate without incident.

Michael Froman: U.S. Trade Representative

The president’s top trade representative was another Citigroup alum tapped to take a key administration post. A longtime Treasury Department official, Froman spent several years at the bank, leading its insurance operations and other investment branches.

Like Lew, Froman also had Cayman investments, but he too was easily confirmed by the Senate. However, one of the four votes in opposition to the pick was Warren. The outspoken freshman opposed the Froman pick because she said he would not commit to sufficient transparency measures when negotiating trade agreements.

Gary Genslerformer chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission

The former head of the derivatives regulator had an extensive Wall Street resume before joining the Obama administration. Gensler made partner at Goldman Sachs when he was 30, and spent nearly two decades at the financial giant before taking a job in President Clinton’s Treasury Department.

Gensler also spent some time as a Senate staffer to former Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.), but his lengthy time in the financial sector was yet again an issue when the president nominated him to lead the CFTC. Sanders placed a hold on his nomination, citing his concerns with Gensler’s time at Goldman. He ultimately lifted the hold after meeting with Gensler, setting the stage for an easy 2009 confirmation.

Despite a lengthy stint on Wall Street, Gensler developed a reputation as one of the toughest regulators on Obama’s early team charged with implementing the sweeping Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Gensler stepped down from the job in 2014, replaced by Timothy Massad, a former Treasury official and corporate lawyer.

NBC's Chuck Todd: I Already Have 'Hillary Fatigue'

by Warner Todd Huston

Nov 30, 2014 7:32 AM PT

Chuck Todd, the new host of NBC's long-running Sunday political show "Meet The Press," gave a long interview to in which he professed to hate the ratings game, is distressed when news people become the news, and confessed that he already has "Hillary fatigue."

The NBC political news director started out his interview dismissing assertions that "Meet The Press" is a "broken" program, saying that instead of fixing the program, he is only trying to "make it better."

But he said he also hates the ratings game. Todd said he understood that he was necessarily in the race for ratings, but felt that his program had more to offer. He was also upset that journalists who write about the media game only focus on ratings nearly to the exclusion of all else.

Todd said he was very pleased that his ratings in the all-important Washington, D.C. market had improved over the previous "Meet The Press" host's.

"That to me is an important metric; if Washington cares about the show, that’s a start," he said adding that if "opinion leaders" liked him, he must be on the right path.

One might understand his disgust at the ratings game, though. Since taking "Meet The Press" from former host David Gregory, his show has continued to stay in third placeamong the big three networks.

The new host was also stung by recent reports that NBC asked "Daily Show" comedian Jon Stweart to head "Meet The Press" before they turned to him.

Todd went on to insist that journalists shouldn't "become part of a story." then asked about the 2016 Democrat field. Todd said he was having a hard time seeing who might give Hillary a primary challenge. He immediately ruled out Maryland's Martin O’Malley and Vermont's self-proclaimed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. But Todd also felt that former Virginia Senator Jim Webb was also a no-go for 2016.

"He doesn’t strike me as having the hunger to do the campaigning you need to do," Todd said.

While Todd understood why Hillary already jumped into the race, he also noted that he already has "Hillary fatigue." And he isn't the only one.

"The biggest problem she has is that a ton of people in the media have Hillary fatigue. I don’t know if the grass-roots Democrats do; eight years ago they did, which is why they looked to Obama. People had Hillary fatigue -- really, Clinton fatigue -- and were looking for a new direction. Now in the grass roots there’s some Clinton nostalgia, especially as Obama’s presidency looks shaky. But the Hillary fatigue in the press corps is going to be a challenge."

The NBC political director is flogging his new book about President Obama entitled "The Stranger." The project has elicited a comment from the subject of the book, too. This week, Obama called Todd's book project "sad."

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at

Ferguson Agitator Warns USA Today: Some 'Going to Have to Die,' 'There Should Be Bloodshed'

by Warner Todd Huston

Nov 30, 2014 6:57 AM PT

USA Today proclaims the aftermath of the shooting of a black teen in Ferguson, Missouri is a "defining moment for race relations in USA." Sadly, the paper also gave space for one protester to call for murder to be committed for the "cause."

Like many in the media, the paper seems to accept at face value that Ferguson is a seminal moment for race in America based on the hyperbolic claim that little has changed in race relations. And in its story the paper quotes a woman who lives in Ferguson just to that point.

"This is 2014, and we are still confronting the problems that our mothers and fathers confronted back in the civil rights era," the paper reports.

This irresponsible narrative does not help solve the problems that do exist in race relations today. It only exacerbates them.

Certainly USA Today is correct when it writes, "The anger in the African-American community" over the non-indictment of officer Wilson "hasn't subsided." This in unquestionable.

Still, even in this paper there are no concrete goals or solutions presented. The ever present shout to "fight for justice" and the need for "diversity" are included in the story, but what does this really mean? The story does not say.

But the paper does note that the message is muddled.

"Even in Ferguson, some protesters said there were disparate groups with differing messages that made it difficult to get everybody on the same page," the paper says, "as has happened with the Occupy Wall Street protest movement that began in 2011 against social and economic inequality worldwide."

Unfortunately, the paper also gives room for a man calling for deaths for the "cause."

"Some people are going to have to die for the cause," Jay Daniels, 27, of Charlotte said. "It's sad to say, but this is the new civil rights movement for our generation, and there will be casualties and there should be bloodshed."

It seems irresponsible for USA Today to throw fuel on the fire by repeating the call for bloodshed for a "cause" that is neither clearly defined nor easily understood even by those who feel aggrieved.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at

Freedom Quote

Congress Has Busy Agenda In Final Days

WASHINGTON (AP) — Like a student who waited until the night before a deadline, lawmakers resuming work Monday will try to cram two years of leftover business into two weeks, while also seeking to avoid a government shutdown.

Their to-do list includes keeping the government running into the new year, renewing expired tax breaks for individuals and businesses and approving a defense policy measure that has passed for more than 50 years in a row.

Also pending are President Barack Obama's requests for money to combat Islamic State militants, battle Ebola and deal with the influx of unaccompanied Central American children who have crossed into the U.S.

Among the lower profile items on the agenda are renewing the government's terrorism risk insurance program and extending the ban on state and federal taxes on access to the Internet.

Obama's move to protect millions of immigrants from deportation proceedings and make them eligible for work permits appears to have made it more difficult to navigate the must-do items through a Capitol where cooperation already was in short supply.

The No. 1 item is preventing a government closure when a temporary funding measure expires Dec. 11. The House and Senate Appropriations committees are negotiating a $1 trillion-plus spending bill for the budget year that began Oct. 1 and are promising to have it ready by the week of Dec. 8.

The tax-writing committees are trying to renew a bundle of expired tax breaks such as the deduction for state and local sales taxes and the research and experimentation credit. Some, like tax credits for renewable energy projects such as wind farms, are a hard sell for GOP conservatives, but eagerly sought by Midwestern Republicans such as Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa.

The House has passed legislation that would make several of the tax breaks permanent; the Senate's approach has been to extend them only for 2014 and 2015. Negotiators appeared to near an agreement last week only to have the White House put it on ice with a veto threat. The administration said an emerging plan by House Republicans and top Senate Democrats was tilted too far in favor of businesses.

The president's authority to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria expires Dec. 11. Lawmakers probably will renew it while postponing action until 2015 on a broader, new authorization to use military force.

Obama also is requesting more than $5 billion to pay for sending additional noncombat troops and munitions to Iraq and cover other military and intelligence costs associated with fighting the militants. He wants $6.2 billion to tackle Ebola at its source in West Africa and to secure the U.S. against any possible outbreak. Also pending is a $3.7 billion request to address the immigrant children.

Legislation to renew the government's terrorism risk insurance program, which expires at year's end, is eagerly sought by the construction, real estate and hospitality businesses. But negotiations between the chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, and Senate Democrats, including Charles Schumer of New York, appear to have stalled. The program serves as a backstop in the event of a terrorist act that causes more than $100 million in losses.

The annual defense authorization bill has passed every year for more than five decades and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees are eager to avoid breaking the streak. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., are both retiring after long tenures in Congress. Negotiators remain at odds over the Pentagon's cost-saving proposals to trim military benefits.

Facing diminished budgets, three defense secretaries — Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel — have insisted that the cost of personnel benefits have become unsustainable and threaten the Pentagon's ability to prepare the military for fighting a war. Military pay and benefits account for the largest share of the budget, $167.2 billion out of $495.6 billion.

The Defense Department has proposed a slight increase in pharmacy co-payments and a gradual reduction in the basic allowance for housing, from 100 percent for off-base housing costs to 94 percent.

The Senate Armed Services Committee endorsed the cuts, but the House committee rejected them.

"There's some modest changes requested of our personnel side that makes sense," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in an interview.

Lawmakers opposed to the changes and powerful outside military organizations argue that the benefits help attract men and women to the all-volunteer force where they and their families make unique sacrifices.

Cotton sees securing U.S.-Mexico border as a top priority

Cotton sees securing U.S.-Mexico border as a top priority


By JENNIFER SHUTT | 11/30/2014 12:13 PM EST | Updated: 11/30/2014 12:16 PM EST

Rep. Tom Cotton, who'll be sworn in as the youngest member of the Senate in January, says securing the U.S.-Mexico border is a top priority for him and other Republicans.

In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," the Arkansas congressman said the House will decide the best way to "proceed on a tactical measure" once it returns this week from the long Thanksgiving holiday, and how that would impact government spending remains to be seen.

One possibility is to move a spending bill through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, isolating items that have to do with immigration. But there are other options.

"What we might also do is pass a short-term spending measure to let a new and accountable Congress, not a lame-duck Congress, make the decision," Cotton said.

The congressman says he plans to consult with fellow Republicans in the House and Senate, but he's "reluctant to cede the spending power that Congress has under the Constitution."

If an immigration bill is pushed by congressional Republicans, Cotton said he hopes the construction of a more border fencing and fixes to internal enforcement will be central to its passage

Americans Should Fear Terrorists Crossing ‘Defenseless’ Border, Warns Tom Cotton

Americans Should Fear Terrorists Crossing ‘Defenseless’ Border, Warns Tom Cotton

By Kelsey Harknesson Sun, 30 Nov 2014

Arkansas Sen.-elect Tom Cotton shot back at NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd when asked whether his campaign rhetoric about the threat of terrorism on the U.S. southern border was “fear mongering.” In defending his stance, Cotton said, “As long as our border is open and it’s defenseless, then it’s not just an immigration issue. It’s a national security issue.”

>>> Commentary: The 10 Steps Americans Should Take on Immigration Reform

The post Americans Should Fear Terrorists Crossing ‘Defenseless’ Border, Warns Tom Cotton appeared first on Daily Signal.

Xinjiang violence leaves 15 dead

Xinjiang violence leaves 15 dead

Last updated Nov 29, 2014, 7:47 AM EST

Chinese paramilitary policemen Xinjiang (May 2014)
China is enforcing a security crackdown in Xinjiang and Uighur activists say that in doing so its is fuelling the violence

At least 15 people have been killed and 14 others injured during an attack in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang, state media has reported.

It said that the violence started when a group of "terrorists" attacked civilians in Shache county, 200km from the regional capital of Kashgar.

Xinjiang is home to the Muslim Uighur minority group.

There has been a wave of violence in the region, with more than 150 people being killed so far this year.

China has blamed the unrest on Uighurs pushing for the region's independence.


China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported that the attackers on Friday threw bombs out of a vehicle before they stabbed people on a street lined with food stalls.

Eleven of the dead are reported to be the attackers.

An attack in the same region in July left nearly 100 people dead, including 59 assailants, state media said.

Confirming reports about incidents in Xinjiang is difficult, because access is tightly controlled and information flow restricted.

China is enforcing a security crackdown in Xinjiang, and Uighur activists say that the government's repression of Uighur culture and religious customs is fuelling the violence.

Earlier this week, the authorities announced plans to hire 3,000 former soldiers to patrol residential areas in the region.

Grey line

Uighurs and Xinjiang

Ethnic Uighurs in Aksu, Xinjiang, China (file image)

• Uighurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims and make up about 45% of the region's population; 40% are Han Chinese

• China re-established control in 1949 after crushing the short-lived state of East Turkestan

• Since then, there has been large-scale immigration of Han Chinese

• Uighurs say they fear their traditional culture is being eroded

Grey line
BBC © 2014

UK MPs barred entry to Hong Kong

UK MPs barred entry to Hong Kong

Last updated 4 minutes ago

Demonstrators gather during a pro-democracy rally in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on November 30, 2014
Demonstrators gather at a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong

The Chinese embassy has told a group of MPs it will be stopped from making a planned trip to Hong Kong.

Sir Richard Ottoway, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, accused the Chinese authorities of acting in an "overtly confrontational manner".

His committee is examining relations between the UK and its former colony, where pro-democracy activists have been protesting since September.

The demonstrators want elections free from interference by Beijing.

Sir Richard said he had been warned that if he and fellow MPs attempted to travel to Hong Kong as part of the inquiry they would be refused entry.

"The Chinese government are acting in an overtly confrontational manner in refusing us access to do our job," he stated.

'Sensible' visit

Sir Richard added that he would request an emergency Commons debate on the issue.

He told the BBC the committee intended to explore business, cultural and educational links between the UK and China, as well as the protests.

"We are not China's enemies. We are friends and partners. We have every intention of going there in a sensible way," he said.

Sir Richard added: "The real worry about this is that it sends a signal about the direction of travel that China is going on Hong Kong. Immigration is a devolved matter to the Hong Kong authorities, and it's not for China to ban them."

The committee will continue with the probe, he said.

'Regrettable decision'

A spokesperson for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the committee was independent of government and described the Chinese decision to refuse members entry as "regrettable".

The spokesperson added: "It is not consistent with the positive trend in UK-China relations over the past year, including the recognition during Premier Li's visit to London in June that the UK and China have considerable shared interests in respect of Hong Kong.

"Nor is it in the spirit of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, concluded 30 years ago. The FCO has signalled this position to the Chinese at the most senior levels.''

Chinese authorities condemned the committee's inquiry when it was announced in September.

The Chinese Foreign Affairs Committee charged its UK counterpart with carrying out a "highly inappropriate act which constitutes interference in China's internal affairs".

But when the Commons committee took evidence from Lord Patten, the former governor of Hong Kong, earlier this month, he criticised British politicians for not doing enough to support democracy there.

Lord Patten said the terms of the 1984 Joint Declaration between the UK and China, agreeing the transfer of sovereignty to China and setting out a "one country, two systems" principle of governance, explicitly gave the UK a "legitimate" interest in Hong Kong's future.

Jameis Winston Point Shaving Allegations Reignited as Seminoles Beat Gators but Not Spread

by Daniel J. Flynn

Nov 29, 2014 7:05 PM PT

Does point-shaving speculation dog Jameis Winston after every subpar performance because critics believe in his perfection as a quarterback or in his flaws as a human being? 

The 2013 Heisman Trophy-winner threw four interceptions and for just 125 yards in another Florida State nailbiter victory. This time, Oklahoma StateClemsonNotre DameLouisvilleMiamiBC, Florida played the role of the spoiler spoiled. 

The Seminoles beat the Gators on the field. They didn't beat the spread. favored the Noles by 7. The 24-19 triumph sent Twitter abuzz--or at least a-tweet. 

A report earlier this month from a gambling website, which used a bookie as an anonymous source, claimed that a Winston acquaintance had made a four-figure, first-half, gimmick bet--taking Louisville and points against Florida State--that paid off. Despite the evidence being decidedly less credible than the surveillance footage showing Winston making off with those crab legs, the report encouraged critics of Famous Jameis to cite it as further proof of the Heisman winner's questionable ethics. 

It could be worse. Instead of depicting the polarizing quarterback as this generation's Art Schlichter, the player haters could be again likening him to Mike Tyson in that Indianapolis hotel room. Better a degenerate gambler than a debauched rapist. 

Florida State faces Georgia Tech in the ACC championship game next weekend. Should Florida State win--and maybe even if they lose, something they haven't done in more than two years--Winston and the Seminoles will find themselves in a position to defend their national championship in the college football playoff. 

Why Keystone Matters

Keystone Protest
Demonstrators protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington, DC. (Creative Commons/Duffernutter Photography)

It doesn't matter.

Ever since the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline exploded three and half years ago, that's been the argument from the project's liberal supporters. Sure, the oil that Keystone would carry from the Alberta tar sands is three to four times more greenhouse-gas-intensive than conventional crude. But that's not on Keystone XL, we're told. Why? Because if TransCanada isn't able to build Keystone to the south, then another pipeline will be built to the west or east. Or that dirty oil will be transported by rail. But make no mistake, we have long been assured: all that carbon buried beneath Alberta's boreal forest will be mined no matter what the president decides.

Up until quite recently, the tar-sands boom did seem pretty unstoppable. The industry regularly projected that production would soon double, then triple, and foreign investors raced to build massive new mines. But these days, panic is in the air in formerly swaggering Calgary. In less than a year, Shell, Statoil and the French company Total have all shelved major new tar-sands projects. And a rather large question mark is suddenly hanging over one of the world's largest—and dirtiest—carbon deposits.

This radically changes the calculation confronting Barack Obama. His decision is no longer about one pipeline. It's about whether the US government will throw a lifeline to a climate-destabilizing industrial project that is under a confluence of pressures that add up to a very real crisis. Here are the four main reasons that the tar sands are in deep trouble.

1. Oil prices are low. In mid-November, oil prices dipped to levels not seen since 2010. Ahead of the recent G-20 summit, Vladimir Putin spoke of preparing for further "catastrophic" drops. This matters nowhere more than in the tar sands, where the semisolid bitumen is hugely expensive to extract; the sector really started booming when it looked like $100-a-barrel was the new normal. Prices may well rebound, but the dip has been a vivid reminder of the inherent risk in betting big on such a high-cost extraction method.

2. Tar-sands pipelines are protest magnets.Supporters of Keystone frequently claim that if the oil doesn't go south through the United States, it will simply be piped west, through British Columbia, and make it onto tankers that way. They might want to pay closer attention to what is going on west of the Rockies. Since November 20, more than sixty people have been arrested outside of Vancouver as they attempted to block the expansion of a tar-sands pipeline owned by Kinder Morgan. Further north, Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, another would-be tar-sands escape route, is even more widely rejected. Indeed, opposition to increased tanker traffic along their beloved coastline has united British Columbians.

So what about east? Well, on November 21, the premiers of Ontario and Quebec signed a joint agreement that erected a series of obstacles to TransCanada's proposed Energy East pipeline, which, if completed, would carry tar-sands oil to the East Coast. The move came in response to strong opposition to the project in both provinces.

Some members of the "it doesn't matter" camp point out that tar-sands oil is getting out anyway through the existing infrastructure. This completely misses the point that Keystone XL has always been linked to plans to greatly expand the amount of heavy oil being extracted. And the capacity to transport that oil isn't there, which is why, when Statoil nixed its mine (reportedly worth $2 billion), it cited "limited pipeline access" among its reasons.

3. Indigenous rights keep winning in court.Adding more uncertainty is the fact that all these projects impact land to which First Nations people have title and treaty rights—rights that have been repeatedly upheld by Canada's Supreme Court. Most recently, in June, the high court ruled unanimously that development couldn't happen on the lands of the Tsilhqot'in First Nation in BC without seeking their consent. The pipeline companies do not have First Nations consent—on the contrary, dozens of indigenous communities have vigorously asserted their opposition. Canadian courts are already jammed with pipeline challenges, including nearly a dozen targeting Northern Gateway alone.

4. Climate action is back. Yes, the targets in the US-China deal are wholly inadequate, and so are the sums pledged to developing countries for climate financing. But there can be no doubt that climate change has landed back on the world stage in a way not seen since the failed Copenhagen summit in 2009.

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That's another strike against unchecked tar-sands expansion, because those mines are the main reason behind Canada's status as the world's foremost climate criminal, with emissions nearly 30 percent higher than they should be under the Kyoto Protocol. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper got away with laughing off his country's international commitments when other governments were doing the same. But now that the United States, China and the European Union are at least making a show of taking the climate crisis seriously, Canada's defiance is looking distinctly rogue.

It is in this rapidly changing context that Barack Obama must make his final determination on Keystone. A jittery market is looking to him for a signal—not just about this one project, but about the much larger and consequential one at the mouth of that pipe. Are the tar sands a long-term business prospect, a safe haven in which to sink hundreds of billions of dollars for decades to come? Or was the whole idea of flaying a huge, beautiful swath of this continent to exploit an energy source that is guaranteed to help cook the planet merely a brief folly—a bad dream from which we all must awake? All eyes are on the president. Yes or no?

Either way, Keystone matters.