Yael T. Abouhalkah

Claire McCaskill defies Obama, helps Senate pass Keystone XL pipeline bill

Helped along by Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, the U.S. Senate on Thursday approved construction of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. She was one of just nine Democrats who approved the bill, 62-36. But here’s the good news for environmentalists and other Americans: That falls short of the 67 votes that would be needed to override President Barack Obama’s promised veto.

Yael T. Abouhalkah

Johnson County’s rocky marriage with Gov. Sam Brownback

Last November, Johnson Countians put their future in the hands of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Three months later, that’s looking like a terrible idea. Plummeting state revenues — largely caused by the excessive Brownback-endorsed income tax cuts of 2012 — have produced a gusher of recent bad news for many Johnson County parents and businesses.

Yael T. Abouhalkah

How do you spell a more vibrant Kansas City region? J-O-B-S

Even with all the good things happening in the Kansas City region, they are not occurring as robustly as they are in most of our biggest competitors for jobs and residents. Other metro areas are eating our lunch. The region’s stagnant job situation is perhaps the biggest obstacle to making this a truly thriving community for years to come.

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