TPM News

Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY) has resigned from Congress, following a report in Gawker that the married politician had been seeking dates on Craigslist -- and sending photos of himself sans shirt, in order to demonstrate that he was a "fun fit classy guy" -- while falsely representing himself as a divorced lobbyist.

Lee said in a statement:

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1||Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) showed up at the Tea Party Express town hall in downtown DC to take questions on the budget sharing the stage with Rep. Allen West and Sen. Mike Lee.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

2||Sen. Orrin Hatch spoke out against big government, Obamacare and more taxes as Rep. Steve King (R - IA) and Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer look on.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

3||Sen. Orrin Hatch grinning ear to ear at an event Chairwoman Amy Kremer said he was not invited to, although Hatch told TPM otherwise.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

4||Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Allen West (R-FL), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Michele Bachmann speak to conservative activists in what organizers called the "first Tea Party town hall".||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

5||Allen West talks to an attendee, J R "States" Manship as George Washington in background.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

6||Rep. Michelle Bachmann pushing the Tea Party agenda while Sen. Mike Lee looks on.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

7||The crowd is attentive the first Tea Party Town Hall continues.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

8||Rep. Allen West passionately speaks out.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

9||Rep. Mike Lee looking disgusted by the Constitution...||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

10||...and backs off.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

11|| Tom Whitmore, leader of the Washington D.C. Tea Party, pictured here with Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

12||Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer poignantly speaking out.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

13||Rep. Steve King gets emotional while relaying the messages of the Tea Party.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

14||Lisa Miller of Alexandria asks for answers from one of the Tea Party members.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

15||Rep. Peter King and Sen. Orrin Hatch being friendly at the first Tea Party Town Hall, so what if he wasn't invited? http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/invitegate-just-how-did-orrin-hatch-make-his-way-to-the-tea-party-tonight.php||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

16||Rep. Allen West seemingly enthusiastic while Rep Peter King and Sen Mike Lee pay close attention.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

17||Sen. Mike Lee smiles as Rep Michelle Bachmann caters to the Tea Party crowd.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

18||The audience clapping and all smiles as the first Tea Party Town Hall comes to an end||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

The controversy surrounding the alleged shooting of two Pakistani men by an American man in Lahore, Pakistan quickly begot a diplomatic war of words. Now, with officials from both countries holding fast to their version of events and to their positions, the fallout is threatening to push an already uneasy alliance towards a full scale crisis.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the Tea Party star who has been eyeing a possible run for President, is now being badmouthed by an unusual source: Ron Carey, a former chairman of the Minnesota GOP -- who also happens to be one of Bachmann's many ex-chiefs of staff!

The Associated Press reported on the potential conflict of two Minnesotans -- Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty -- who are both moving towards a potential White House bid. And Carey, who served as Bachmann's fifth chief of staff for just five months -- she has had quite a few chiefs of staff during her mere four years in the House -- isn't about to support Bachmann:

"While she passes the conservative test, my opinion from my association with her is she's not going to be an electable candidate for us," said Carey. "And even if she were elected I don't believe she would be ready for the position of the president of the United States."

When asked by TPMDC, Bachmann's office declined to comment.

(Via The Hill)

The 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference hasn't begun yet, and it's already producing fireworks.

Those fireworks took the form of a segment earlier today on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports in which GOProud co-founder & chair Christopher Barron hammered Family Council Research (FRC) President Tony Perkins for not only misrepresenting his group's agenda, but for also being anti-gay.

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During his interview last night on Sean Hannity's TV show, former Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld bemoaned the sad fact about the prison camp at Guantanamo -- namely, according to Rumsfeld, that the Bush administration was unable to convince people of just how great it is!

"It is an exceedingly well-run prison. And the folks down there have done, and are doing, an excellent job," said Rumsfeld. "The heartbreaking thing with respect to Guantanamo is not that there's anything wrong with that -- it's one of the finest prison systems in the world. What is awkward is the fact that, for whatever reason, the administration was incapable of persuading people that that was a first class operation, that they were not torturing people, they were not hurting people.

"And it was then, and it is today, a fine operation, and the men and women who operate it for the United States military deserve a lot of credit. And they've taken a lot of heat, unfairly."

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Ahead of the GOP's official Thursday release of federal spending legislation, the House Appropriations Committee has unveiled a list of 70 specific cuts that package will include -- not a comprehensive list, but, according to a committee spokesperson, illustrative of the sorts of cuts that it will contain.

They are copied below the fold. Already interest groups that will be impacted by the cuts are lining up in opposition. According to today's sneak peak, the GOP will propose nixing the entire Title X family planning program (already the subject of some controversy among party leaders), and will slash $1.3 billion from Community Health Centers relative to President Obama's request. Compare that to the entire Internal Revenue Service, which would lose $593 million -- less than half that amount.

"The new anti-choice House leadership now wants to take away birth control and cancer screenings from millions of American women and men," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL/Pro-hoice America. "While these politicians attack abortion coverage from every angle, they now want to deny funding for birth control, even though that's the best way to prevent unintended pregnancy. Americans will not stand for this blatant hypocrisy."

You can read more about these specific cuts here. More when we learn it.

Keep in mind, the cuts listed are relative to President Obama's budget proposal, not to actual current spending.

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