The Roundup for May 6, 2011

Time for some news, that I believe you can use.

• I’m going to agree with Michael Moore here. The fact that the US cannot admit that they authorized a kill mission on bin Laden, and subsequently had to invent all these movie-treatment scenarios about human shields and firefights to cover for that, suggests that they do feel a certain vulnerability about the legality of the mission. Either that or the perspective of the Muslim world over shooting an unarmed man. They ought to just admit the rules of engagement were such that bin Laden wasn’t going to walk out of the compound alive.

• The wife of bin Laden, now in Pakistani custody, says she was in the safe house for five years. The house was in a military cantonment. There were no bodyguards present. For the world’s most wanted man. It’s just not credible that Pakistan didn’t know about this, and people know it at the highest levels.

• Now we can have a grand discussion about whether they should release the burial video.

• George Bush whiffed on his commando attempt to get bin Laden. Turns out he never showed up at the meeting where they expected him (because he was in a safe house in Pakistan for five years).

• We’re learning about a special off-the-books radar-evading helicopter used in the mission.

• When you have to deny that Greece will exit the Eurozone, well, let’s just say where there’s smoke there’s fire. Honestly that’s the only hope for Greece. Yves has more.

• Boehner is preparing his colleagues for disappointment on the debt limit issue. Sounds like Wall Street is starting to get to him. At the same time, Republicans are vowing “no retreat” from their plan to end Medicare. Please don’t retreat! Let this issue kill you some more with voters.

• Good interview by Joan Walsh with Richard Trumka, talking about labor’s independence from the Democratic Party. Seeing is believing on this one.

• Systemic risk council can’t decide who to label a systemic risk. Facepalm.

• There’s a disconnect between the surface rhetoric of a strong dollar policy and the action of trying to get China to devalue its currency, which would necessarily make the dollar weaker (but would help the economy).

• I don’t think I’d call this Wall Street Journal Wikileaks knockoff idea “Wikileaks” as much as “Wikiarrest,” as in “an easy way to arrest whistleblowers when we turn over your name to the authorities as per our terms of use.”

• Hillary Clinton highlighted higher food prices today. She needs to stress commodity speculation.

• Gordon Adams explains that military spending can be reduced in a snap, by simply ending unnecessary wars.

• The Liberal Democrats in Britain have suffered mightily for their coalition with the Conservatives. They lost hundreds of seats in local elections in a backlash against austerity, and their main policy idea, alternative voting (aka instant runoff voting) got pummeled in a referendum.

• John Yoo says that the US killed bin Laden because they were afraid to bring him to Guantanamo and admit Bush-era counter-terror and interrogation policies were right. John Yoo is a war criminal who isn’t worth responding to.

• We can laugh about Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery (I think it’s a Harry Potter tie-in), but it looks like there’s a serious power struggle going on here that could lead to Ahmadinejad’s resignation.

• I love that Lloyd Blankfein had to announce that he wasn’t resigning.

• Are the deportations of same-sex couples ending?

• Alassane Ouattara finally took the oath of office in Ivory Coast.

• Michael Bloomberg lays out $400 million in budget cuts for New York City and the firing of 4,000 teachers. Winning the future!

• Almost nothing has been done to prevent another flash crash.

• Turns out the Maine twins Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins don’t like each other that much. Hey, the feeling’s mutual!

• Yay, Carl Lewis is back on the New Jersey ballot! He should draw up legislation to stop him from singing the national anthem.

• Ohioans angrily called a hotel they thought was flying its flag at half-mast in honor of Osama bin Laden. Turns out the flagpole was broken.

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