ThinkFast: February 10, 2011

It’s been a rough week for GOP leadership in the House: they lost votes to extend the PATRIOT Act and to get a refund from the United Nations, while also having to pull a trade bill from consideration. In addition, conservative members are in revolt over what they see as inadequate spending cuts being proposed by leadership. “We are not going to be perfect every day,” said Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

Today, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference will kick off in Washington, D.C., where “a wide field of Republican potential presidential hopefuls will descend” on the party’s base to tout their credentials. FreedomWorks’ Matt Kibbe said Mitt Romney will face some opposition. “I think Romney’s health-care plan and his unwillingness to distance himself from it is a real albatross on his candidacy,” he said.

In an editorial, the Los Angeles Times condemns Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) targeting of the American Muslim community in the course of his hearings on domestic radicalization. The premise of the hearings has not been substantiated, writes the LAT, and “they appear to attribute danger and disloyalty to one particular religious group.”

GOP Rep. Chris Lee (NY) “abruptly resigned” yesterday after a Gawker report revealed he “sent a shirtless photo to a woman he encountered through Craigslist.” The married, 46-year-old father apologized on the House floor for the “profound mistakes” and “the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents.”

A joint Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs’ report finds “military veterans are much more likely to be homeless than other Americans.” The “first in-depth study” of the issue, the report found that about 16 percent of homeless adults on a given night are veterans even though vets make up only 10 percent of the population.

Foreclosure filings “in the U.S. fell 17 percent in January from a year earlier, the fourth straight month of decline,” according to data compiled by RealtyTrac, Inc. “261,333 U.S. properties received notices of default, auction, or seizure” during the month.

Egypt’s pro-democracy revolt has spread to an unlikely place: state-run media. In recent days, state TV broadcasters have “begun reporting news that casts the embattled government in a negative light.” The change is a sign that “Mubarak is slowly losing control,” said Hisham Qasim, who publishes an independent newspaper in the country.

And finally: Sarah Palin had some choice words for fellow potential presidential aspirant Rick Santorum, who said yesterday that Palin skipped CPAC because she was too busy making money and taking care of her kids. “I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal,” she responded. “I’ll let his wife call him that instead.”

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