Friday’s Mini-Report

FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Afghanistan: “Insurgents struck Friday at hotels in the heart of Kabul with suicide attackers and a car bomb, killing at least 16 people — half of them foreigners — in an assault that showed the militants remain a potent force despite setbacks on the battlefield and the arrest of more than a dozen key leaders.”

* GDP: “The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster pace than originally thought during the last three months of 2009, according to a government report Friday.” The original report pointed to 5.7% growth; the revised report says the economy grew at an annual rate of 5.9% in Q4.

* New York Gov. David Paterson (D) won’t seek re-election, but he intends to serve the rest of the year.

* Yoo seems to owe us some emails: “Senior Democrats and watchdog groups demanded Friday that the Justice Department investigate the disappearance of e-mail messages by Bush lawyers who drafted memos blessing harsh interrogation tactics, saying their absence cast doubt on an ethics report that cleared the lawyers of professional misconduct.”

* The House ethics committee believes Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) violated House rules “that forbid hidden financing by corporations.”

* In related news, the PMA Group probe appears to be complete: “The House ethics committee will clear seven members of Congress in a year-long probe that explored whether they may have violated ethics rules in steering hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to contractors represented by one powerful defense lobby firm.”

* It’s as if Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) were a walking, talking case study on the desperate need for Senate reform.

* The Obama administration is “planning to use the government’s enormous buying power to prod private companies to improve wages and benefits for millions of workers.”

* Good advice to House Dems from former Rep. Marjorie Margolies (D-Pa.), who knows a little something about casting tough votes.

* Good to see SEIU’s Andy Stern on the White House’s debt commission.

* The White House will need a new social secretary.

* Did the Falwell-created Liberty University violate tax law? It sure looks like it.

* Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) hearts lobbyists.

* It’s awfully big of the president to be this gracious towards Dick Cheney. Obama obviously has a lot of character, but I’m not sure I would be so classy if I were in his shoes.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.