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While many supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline project were worried that President Barack Obama’s decision to approve it or not would come only after much partisan wrangling and unnecessary delay, it turns out his decision was made prematurely instead.

The White House issued Obama’s announcement more than a month before the Feb. 21 deadline mandated in recent congressional legislation. Aware that the permit process was in danger of dragging on well past the November elections, House Republicans attached the deadline requirement to the payroll tax cut extension in order to force a decision on the issue before it became a political football. Unfortunately, the president’s decision ensured that the project will indeed be delayed – and will indeed remain an election issue.

At 20.1 percent, Montana has the fourth-highest unemployment rate among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the nation, behind Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota.

The state, home to the second-largest population of veterans per capita in the country, is a microcosm of the national picture of unemployment among veterans. For September, the unemployment rate for veterans of all generations was 8.1 percent, up from 7.7 percent in August, according to the Labor Department’s October unemployment report.

Montana Senator Jon Tester has a message for entrepreneurs who are hoping to optimize their business marketing and advertising efforts: Go online.

At a recent Small Business Opportunity workshop in Missoula, Montana, Tester was joined by Microsoft managing director Sean Thompson as well as representatives from Facebook and Google to underscore the importance of engaging with consumers online, the Missoulian writes.