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The Roundup for May 3, 2011

After that news about bin Laden’s guys buying a lot of Coke and Pepsi for the compound, I really don’t want to see next year’s Super Bowl ads.

• Cliff Stearns becomes the first House Republican post-bin Laden to question our continued presence in Afghanistan. But the White House insists their plans haven’t changed. Not like Congress has anything to do with war powers, amirite?

• I’m not going to tell anyone how to feel or whether to cheer about bin Laden, just as I think nobody should tell Rashard Mendenhall how to feel, either. But I do think that Mona Eltahawy is right in at least one respect: the Arab uprising made bin Laden irrelevant, and to the extent that we celebrate anything, it should be that activist struggle. For a more provocative take, read Courtland Milloy on what the hit on bin Laden teaches kids in at-risk environments.

• Obama’s due at Ground Zero on Thursday, and the day before he’ll tape an interview for 60 Minutes, which will be aired on Sunday. The ratings bounce looks to be high single digits.

• Stephen Harper and the Tories took the majority in the Canadian elections, but the left-wing NDP became the official minority party, as the Liberals under Iraq war supporter and former New Republic writer Michael Ignatieff slipped into irrelevance. Ignatieff, who lost his own riding, quit as leader today. There’s a lesson here: never send a writer for the New Republic in to do anything politically related. As for the NDP, four of their new members of Parliament are college students. If they can solidify the left in Canada, they have a bright future.

• I don’t know if this is confirmed, but the story of the immigrant who joined the Navy SEAL team that shot bin Laden makes for good reading. I thought their identities were kept secret, however.

Terror-related arrests in Britain close to a nuclear site.

• Read Marcy on the ISI raiding the compound in Abbottabad while it was being built back in 2003.

• John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is a lone voice defending foreign aid to Pakistan. The Kerry-Lugar bill which increased aid to Pakistan was his baby, so no surprise here.

• Kent Conrad doesn’t plan to go straight to the Senate floor with his budget plan, will give the Budget Committee the opportunity to mark it up. He also has a budget in reserve in case the Gang of Six fails to reach agreement.

• Forgot to mention the Deutsche Bank mortgage fraud suit today. The case revolves around Deutsche lying about their loans in order to get FHA insurance. $1 billion is a pretty big number for a suit like this. More from Shahien.

• The Obama Administration wants to stop states from winnowing their Medicaid programs down to nothing, by proposing a rule to maintain reimbursement rates to providers.

• Is China going soft on their own currency?

• Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey called for Moammar Gadhafi to step down. I don’t know why this is such big news, isn’t Turkey part of NATO?

• Radley Balko on the civil liberties aftermath of bin Ladenism. And most of the risks we respond to with these policies are ephemeral.

• The Justice Department will join a lawsuit against for-profit colleges. In general, the Administration has been pretty solid on these scam artists. This particular lawsuit concerns a kickback scheme for recruiters.

• Portugal gets their bailout, valued at $116 billion

Disgusting: “There are 2,953 homeless students attending Orange County (FL) Public Schools, up from 1,463 in 2008.”

• Pundits are less accurate than a coin toss on average, and the top prognosticator is… Paul Krugman. And an embrace of liberalism, and a lack of a law degree, will make your predictions significantly more accurate. Those are the findings of a study from Hamilton College.

• The F-35 second engine is back. You just can’t kill this thing.

• Did anyone even notice John Ensign’s farewell speech? Talk about bad timing! It actually was a fascinating speech, given that he admitted arrogance and basically apologized for his conduct.

• Politicians discriminate against their minority constituents based on their names.

• Forecasters expect 10.1 billion people on the planet by the end of the century.

• Another reason why we don’t want torture in America: because it leads to torture around the world, which is incredibly destabilizing and dangerous.

• Dennis Kucinich may move to Washington State to run for Congress after Ohio redistricts him out of his seat.

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David Dayen

David Dayen