Linked and Loaded Thursday

Links to what I’ve been reading.

Brad Plumer asks what’s next in the Keystone XL saga:

TransCanada is planning to reapply for permits once it comes up with an alternative pipeline route that doesn’t run through Nebraska’s Sandhills. This will delay the project even further, because the company will have to grind through the permitting process all over again, but it’s possible that the company could eventually win approval. TransCanada’s stock price initially plunged when rumors of the rejection first emerged, but has since slowly recovered.

Ezra Klein responds to Andrew Sullivan’s essay on Obama:

For the purposes of judging Obama, there are, I think, two relevant counterfactuals. The first is: What if someone else had won the presidency in 2008? The second is: What if Obama had been less constrained by Congress and thus his record more closely matched his intentions?

Paul Krugman opines on the history of the capital gains tax:

Here’s how Romney’s low taxes will be defended by smarter conservatives (the less smart ones will just shout “class warfare”): they’ll claim that there are compelling reasons to have low taxes on capital gains, and that there is therefore nothing wrong with having very high-income people paying lower tax rates than the middle class. David Frum offers a good example.

David Margolick goes long-form on NPR:

There could have been lots of forced jokes about Elmo and Big Bird. Or embittered references to Juan Williams and Arab stings and hapless leadership that had left everyone in the room feeling defensive and defenseless. But when Gary Knell made his debut at a staff meeting in October as the incoming head of NPR—in the multi-platform era, “National Public Radio” had officially ceased to exist—the prevailing feeling was less of anger or skepticism than relief. Under the watchful eyes of three of NPR’s “founding mothers”—Susan Stamberg couldn’t make it, but Nina Totenberg, Cokie Roberts, and Linda Wertheimer were on hand—Knell, 57 years old, introduced himself to his beleaguered, embattled troops.

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