Watching Government: And now, the 2011 Watchies

Before the past year recedes further, it's time for this column's annual awards for dubious achievements and amusing moments in government: the 2011 Watchies. The climate was right for impressive contenders as a Republican-controlled US House squared off against congressional Democrats and the Obama administration. But a mere handful actually won. The White House gets one for the year's biggest political miscalculation with the president's Nov. 11 announcement postponing his decision on the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project's cross-border permit until after the 2012 elections. The move may have appeased the project's environmental critics. It also handed congressional Republ...

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