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What are we celebrating, exactly?

Osama bin Laden’s death doesn’t really solve anything, as far as I can see. I do understand the political and strategic implications. I just find it impossible to celebrate anyone’s death. (“Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.”) And I don’t think it solves a thing.

It’s also hard to forget that bin Laden was a creature of the CIA, funded by us in Afghanistan, and that he represented many, many people who had at least some legitimate beefs against the U.S.

So how long until another bin Laden comes along?

Now I’m watching people on my teevee asking if we can “trust” Pakistan. Why, about as much as Pakistan can trust us, I’d say. We do have this habit of going into other countries, bombing them and taking them over, after all.

It’s not a football game, we’re not rooting for “our” team. The only team we’re on is humanity, and many, many of our corporate American global interests are on the opposing team.

Reaction at Phillies game

Cheney

I’m surprised Dick didn’t call a press conference and take the credit himself. He must really be sick:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney — a vocal critic of President Obama’s anti-terror policy since the end of the Bush administration — extended his congratulations to the White House after the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. forces. Cheney called the killing of bin Laden “a tremendous achievement for the military and intelligence professionals who carried out this important mission.”

“I also want to congratulate President Obama and the members of his national security team,” Cheney said.

Cheney said that though the death of bin Laden is an important step, it doesn’t end the fight against the terrorism that led to the catastrophic events of 9/11.

Spacetime

May not have any time dimension!

Shortages

If we had more professional civil servants instead of outsourcing so many government functions, there might have been someone working for the FDA who saw this coming and did something about it:

Doctors, hospitals and federal regulators are struggling to cope with an unprecedented surge in drug shortages in the United States that is endangering cancer patients, heart attack victims, accident survivors and a host of other ill people.

A record 211 medications became scarce in 2010 — triple the number in 2006 — and at least 89 new shortages have been recorded through the end of March, putting the nation on track for far more scarcities.

The paucities are forcing some medical centers to ration drugs — including one urgently needed by leukemia patients — postpone surgeries and other care, and scramble for substitutes, often resorting to alternatives that may be less effective, have more side effects and boost the risk for overdoses and other sometimes-fatal errors.

“It’s a crisis,” said Erin R. Fox, manager of the drug information service at the University of Utah, who monitors drug shortages for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. “Patients are at risk.”

The causes vary from drug to drug but experts cite a confluence of factors: Consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry has left only a few manufacturers for many older, less profitable products, meaning that when raw material runs short, equipment breaks down or government regulators crack down, the snags can quickly spiral into shortages.

Hey Google

Don’t be evil! (via Lambert)

Allen West

His spokesman is still lying. We already saw people admitting on video that West’s staffers were screening his town hall questions.

Huntsman

Jon Huntsman is the only potential Republican candidate who isn’t too extreme to win in the general election. But how can he get past the fringe-dominated primaries? My guess is that the big-money GOP party bosses like Karl Rove will push out the less desirable Republican nominees and throw their weight behind a Huntsman candidacy:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is returning to the United States this weekend amid speculation that he could be mounting a Republican campaign for the White House.

Huntsman, a former Utah governor who joined President Barack Obama’s administration in 2009, officially completes his work as the nation’s top diplomat in China this week.

[...] Huntsman will be meeting with advisers on Monday to discuss his future, according to a person familiar with his schedule. The person was not authorized to speak publicly about Huntsman’s presidential plans.

Federal laws have barred Huntsman from taking any steps toward a campaign until his diplomatic duties are complete. But supporters have created a campaign in waiting should he decide to pursue the presidency. Next month, Huntsman plans to deliver commencement addresses at universities in South Carolina and New Hampshire, two key primary states.
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Times Square

Firefighters celebrate:

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