6/26 Roundup: Speaking Out in Iran, Compromise, Thriller

Leader: Speaking Out in Iran

- After four days of silence, Iranian opposition leader Mir Hussein Mousavi emerged and spoke out against the government on Thursday, vowing to continue his protests against the government's repression. He issued a rare direct attack on Ayatollah Khamenei himself, accusing the leader of "not acting in the interests of the country." The suppression of all kinds of media in Iran has made it extremely difficult for Mousavi to communicate with his followers in recent days, and for the opposition to organize themselves in any way. Likewise, the restrictions have made it difficult for us in America to glean any information about what's going on inside Iran currently. 

- Ayatollah Khamenei's harsh repression in the two weeks since the election have led to a loss of legitimacy not just within Iran, but across the the Shi'a world, reports the WSJ. The WaPo writes, meanwhile, that all over the Arab world, pro-democracy opposition movements are forced to take account and wonder why they have been so much less successful.

- Foreign ministers of the G8 countries are meeting presently, and Iran is at the top of the agenda.

Politics

- President Obama hosted a meeting of congressional leaders at the White House yesterday to discuss immigration reform. The president made clear he wants comphrehensive immigration reform by "early next year," though one major sticking point will be the question of what to do about the future influx of foreign workers.  Simon responded to the meeting with this post.

- The Senate draws closer to a compromise healthcare reform bill, though the question of a public option still lingers. Politico reports that Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus has pulled together a "coalition of the willing" -- seven Finance Senators with the task of finding a compromise.  We're glad to see our friend Jeff Bingaman on the list.

- In one of the most curious SCOTUS cases of the term, the court found unconstitutional a public school's strip-search of a 13 year-old girl suspected of hiding ibuprofen in her underwear.  In the 8-1 ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas was the one hold-out.

Economy

- Japan has put sanctions on Citibank, accusing the bank of conducting "suspicious transactions, including money laundering."

- Paul Krugman tells us the tale of two Baracks.  There's Barack the Wonk, who has glorious command of the issues.  And then there's Barack the Post-Partisan, whose primary sin is to seek compromise with an unreasonable opposition, where no such common ground exists.

International

- The American withdrawal from Iraq is, to everyone's surprise, going ahead on schedule, though a recent uptick in bomb attacks-- presumably meant to foster instability as US troops pull out-- is causing concern. 

- The Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has offered amnesty to the militants who have caused so much havoc for the oil industry in the Niger Delta.

New From NDN

- Michael Moynihan writes about Waxman-Markey, the little bill that could.  It's not perfect, but it's a good compromise.

- Morley Winograd and Mike Hais draw comparisons between Millennials here in America and those in Iran.  We're out to save the world!

One More Thing

- Last, it is my sad duty to report to you something you already know: Michael Jackson, the king of pop, has died.  A man who spent his early life in the limelight, and the prime of his life as a global pop icon, this marks the sad end of a life that had become a sad spectacle in recent years, as the oddity of Jackson's personal life overtook his success as a singer.  His passing, however, gives us the chance to remember him as we loved him best, and as he would surely hope to be remembered.  He was, at his best, nothing less than a thriller: