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The Roundup for May 4, 2011

It’s May the 4th be with you day, which is a really terrible idea for a holiday, but I guess the legions of fandom need one too.

• Maybe with one mission accomplished on the counter-terrorism front, we can turn to the unaccomplished mission at home – the persistent unemployment crisis.

• Add the legality of the killing of bin Laden to the list of items the White House finds themselves defending. Dahlia Lithwick argues that this would be a great moment to restore the rule of law and put all these kinds of questions in the past.

• Shadi Hamid has a great op-ed about the irrelevance of Al Qaeda in the wake of the Arab uprising. On a related note, a Q&A on the proliferation of conspiracy theories surrounding the bin Laden death.

• Another poll shows a bounce for the President after the bin Laden killing. It’s unclear if it’s built to last, however, as his ratings on the economy are at all-time lows.

• Sen. Kelly Ayotte claims to have seen the photo of bin Laden’s corpse that the rest of the world won’t. Don’t get scammed by fake pictures that give you a computer virus, by the way. UPDATE: Ayotte and two other Senators fell for a fake photo. It happens.

• Jeff Thigpen is one of the few recorders of deeds in the country who gets the foreclosure fraud crisis. He’s laying out the documents in a systematic fashion which prove the fraud. Go Jeff.

• Jack Conway announces that he’ll lead a nationwide investigation into for-profit colleges. Good. I hope this AG investigation turns out better than the other one.

• According to Brad Friedman that recount into the Wisconsin state Supreme Court race is a total mess.

• Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) was formally elected to the position of chair of the Democratic National Committee this afternoon.

Six hundred thousand young adults have joined up with their parents’ health coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act, making that element of the law a success.

• Never believe a word out of Don Rumsfeld’s mouth, torture edition. The spin over the role of torture in the intelligence gathering on bin Laden is thick, but it’s also not at all true, by every account.

• HR 3 passed the House today, with 235 Republicans and 16 Democrats in support of essentially ending all insurance coverage of the legal medical procedure of abortion. And raising taxes on people with medical plans that cover abortion in the meantime.

• Oh by the way: Pakistan says that they’ve been providing information on Abbottabad to US intelligence since 2003. That’s a couple years before the bin Laden compound was even built.

• Randy Hopper is the Republican state Senator with a mistress facing recall in Wisconsin. He has a campaign website now, and the intoductory video features his wife: someone who separated from Hopper and who SUPPORTS THE RECALL.

• Cities along the Mississippi have been saved by the Army Corps of Engineers blowing up the levees and releasing water into Missouri farmland, but trouble could still crop up downstream.

• The International Criminal Court found evidence of war crimes committed by the Gadhafi regime in Libya. The chief prosecutor plans to produce warrants.

• Democrats land a good recruit for the free-for-all special election in NV-02 coming in September: state Treasurer Kate Marshall.

• Jimmy Carter is high on Jon Huntsman. That’s an endorsement for a Republican primary!

• Pretty revolting: a Texas teacher tells his Muslim student “I heard about your uncle’s death” and “I bet that you’re grieving,” in reference to bin Laden.

• The flip flop on medical marijuana raids really stinks.

• Not that it had a material effect on the outcome, but Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper did violate election laws by campaigning on Election Day.

• No gay marriage in Rhode Island this year. Maybe civil unions.

• The ACLU is suing the state of Utah over its recently passed immigration measure. Surely a lawsuit against Georgia, whose bill is even more like Arizona’s SB 1070, will follow.

• Alternative voting, aka instant runoff voting, will likely get crushed in Britain today, which is a shame.

• When Twitter jokes in the hands of conservatives go horribly wrong.

• John Ashcroft, head of the Ethics Committee for the company formerly known as Blackwater. Nothing surprises me anymore.

• Cuba returns to selling coffee mixed with ground peas to save money.

• The Will Ferrell spoof of George Bush announcing the death of a gopher in his yard is great. I guess this is how W whiles away his time and why he can’t join Obama at Ground Zero. But isn’t this real late-night lawyer huckstering ad from one-time Florida Governor and Senate candidate Charlie Crist pretty darn close to that – and just as sad?

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David Dayen

David Dayen