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Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, Americans can go back to the peaceful lives they lived before 9/11, Stephen Colbert said on his show Monday night. That is, unless bin Laden returns as a terrifying mutant shark hybrid.

On his show Monday night, Colbert hearkened back to the summer of 2001, when shark attacks were the deadliest news on TV.

"With bin Laden gone, we've got nothing to worry about so long as no one chums the ocean," Colbert said.

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A successful attack on Osama Bin Laden may mark a satisfying end to one chapter of America's War on Terror, but the circumstances of the operation raise disturbing new questions about the nation's already troubled relationship with Pakistan. On Monday, high-ranking lawmakers and officials openly aired their suspicions that forces within the crucial ally's government deliberately withheld information on the terrorist leader's location.

"They've got a lot of explaining to do," Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Monday.

TPM SLIDESHOW: Osama Bin Laden: 9/11 Mastermind, Longtime U.S. Enemy Killed In Pakistan

Intelligence officials have long suspected that Pakistan's weak and fractured government may be host to rogue elements either disinterested in catching -- or actively sympathetic to -- anti-Western terrorists. But the presence of Bin Laden's heavily fortified compound in a garrison town near Islamabad magnified concerns that Al Qaeda had help from the inside in concealing its leader's location.

"It's very difficult for me to understand how this huge compound could be built in a city just an hour north of the capital of Pakistan in a city that contained military installations, including the Pakistani military academy, and that it did not arouse tremendous suspicion," Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, said at a press conference on Monday.

"It was not like a normal house in New Jersey, I can tell you that," Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who has called for a new review of military and economic aid to Pakistan in light of the Bin Laden raid, told TPM.

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Obama Hopes Unifying Pride Carries Over To Political Debate CNN reports: "The national unity that emerged in reaction to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has frayed in recent years, but some of it reappeared with the news that U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama told a dinner for congressional leaders Monday night. At the mention of the successful mission to eliminate bin Laden, Obama received a prolonged standing ovation from his dozens of White House guests who included Cabinet members and top senators and U.S. representatives from both parties."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:45 a.m. ET, and Obama will meet at 10:15 a.m. ET with senior advisers. At 11:45 a.m. ET, Obama will honor the 2011 National Teacher of the Year and State Teachers of the Year. Obama will hold a cabinet meeting at 12:45 p.m. ET, which Biden will also attend. Obama will meet at 2:35 p.m. ET with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Obama and Biden will meet at 4:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

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With the death of Osama bin Laden, Jon Stewart announced Monday night that a dark period in America's history was hopefully over, and our country was "back."

Further, he said the news could not have been better for native New Yorkers, as the circumstances of bin Laden's death sounded like the sort of fantasy killing a stereotypical New Yorker would concoct.

"Not only did we kill Bin Laden, but we killed him in Abbottabad?" Stewart said. "Abbottabad sounds like the name most New Yorkers would have invented for the ficitional place they would love to kill Bin Laden."

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President Obama would veto H.R. 3 -- the bill that became infamous earlier this year for its original language about "forcible rape" -- if it were ever to make it to his desk.

The finalized version of H.R. 3, which proponents say is aimed at making existing government restrictions on funding abortion permanent, is scheduled for a House vote on Monday. Critics of the bill, including the White House, have said that it would make it tougher for women to seek abortion coverage from private insurers, effectively expanding government restrictions on abortion funding beyond the accepted practice found in the Hyde Amendment (which needs to be renewed by Congress every year.)

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Like so many memes that persist in politics, this one started on the Internet. The morning after President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan, conservatives started crowing that credit should be given to President George W. Bush -- specifically, for having the foresight and courage to torture the people who provided the initial scraps of intel that ultimately led the CIA to a giant compound just north of Islamabad.

The most prominent of these conservatives was Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who took to Twitter to ask sardonically, "Wonder what President Obama thinks of water boarding now?

About two hours later, the Associated Press published a brief story claiming that the CIA obtained the initial intelligence it needed to find bin Laden from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- the so-called mastermind of 9/11 -- and his successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi at CIA black sites in Poland and Romania.

Those secret prisons, which the Obama administration contends to have abandoned, were the facilities where Mohammed and al-Libi were waterboarded. There, the detainees supposedly identified by nom de guerre a courier who would years later be located by American intelligence officials, and lead them to bin Laden's compound.

"The news is sure to reignite debate over whether the now-closed interrogation and detention program was successful," the AP wrote. "Former president George W. Bush authorized the CIA to use the harshest interrogation tactics in U.S. history. President Barack Obama closed the prison system."

There's just one problem. The key bit of intel wasn't acquired via torture, according to a more fleshed out version of the same report.

But the myth provided a brief opening. Thus have Republicans constructed a version of events by which they -- and Bush in particular -- deserve some of credit for bin Laden's death. Not all of it. Indeed they have by and large acknowledged Obama's role, and congratulated him on it. And most have not been as brazen as King or the Tea Party Express in attributing the success of the mission to Bush's interrogation policies. But Bush, they argue, played a big part as well, akin to the husband who loosens the lid to a Mason jar only to watch his wife open it effortlessly.

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1||President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update in the situation room of the White House, as the mission to kill Osama bin Laden unfolded.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

2||Obama and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon during a meeting in the White House's Situation Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

3||Obama in the Situation Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

4||Obama edits his remarks in the Oval Office prior to making a televised statement detailing the mission that resulted in the death of bin Laden.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

5||Obama reached out to presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, among others, informing them of the successful mission. ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

6||Senior administration officials listen as Obama delivers a statement in the East Room of the White House. From left: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, CIA Director Leon Panetta, Chair Of The Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

7||Obama announces the death of bin Laden in the White House's East Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

8||Obama and senior administration officials after the President's remarks.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

9||Obama and his national security team in the White House's situation room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

This story was updated at 9:43 a.m.

The House Ethics Committee selected a staff director and chief counsel Monday evening, ending a four-month impasse that had the panel's investigative functions at a standstill, the House Ethics Committee said in a statement.

The panel unanimously chose Daniel Schwager, who currently serves as a counsel for the Senate Ethics Committee and previously worked in the public-integrity section of the Justice Department, the two House sources indicated. The vote on the evenly divided panel was 9-0 with Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) absent.

Both Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL), who chairs the panel, and its ranking member, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), strongly recommended Schwager, the sources told TPM.

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