WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Deal or no deal? The Senate says yes; the House says maybe.
* Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) doesn’t understand why a very expensive AMT fix had to be in the stimulus package. Neither do I.
* I’m pleased to see that Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D) will probably not be the Obama administration’s Secretary of HHS.
* U.S. banking leaders told the House Financial Services Committee that they’re not humiliating failures, guilty of widespread mismanagement. Zachary Roth had some good coverage of the hearings today.
* When is a “bonus” not a “bonus”? When it’s given out by Morgan Stanley.
* Disasters: tornadoes in Oklahoma, earthquake in Indonesia, and brushfires in Australia.
* The Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously approved Leon Panetta as the next director of the CIA. Confirmation may come as early as this evening.
* President Obama will reportedly nominate Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske to be director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
* Defense Secretary Robert Gates is open to allowing the media to photograph flag-draped coffins of fallen soldiers as they return to the United States. It would be a good move.
* In light of the profanity-laced video his office distributed this morning, it’s hilarious that House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is an anti-obscenity crusader.
* A Senate committee voted 11 to 1 today to give the District of Columbia a voting seat in the House. The lone dissenter was John McCain, who offered a pretty foolish defense.
* Interesting: “Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy and White House Chief Counsel Greg Craig discussed on Tuesday the Senator’s proposal to set up a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate potential crimes of the Bush administration.” The two agreed to “talk further.”
* Godwin watch: the far-right Washington Times ran an editorial today comparing healthcare modernization to Nazism. Seriously.
* Judicial term limits strike me as eminently reasonable.
* Just three weeks after Inauguration Day, a fairly prominent right-wing blogger has described President Obama as “one of the worst Presidents in American history.”
* On a related note, did you hear about the prominent right-wing website promoting a conspiracy theory that Barack Obama is a Soviet spy? Symptoms of Obama Derangement Syndrome apparently include bursts of creativity.
* The “kidnapping capital” of the United States is … Phoenix, Arizona?
* 50 million people tuned in to Obama’s first press conference? That seems like a lot.
* And congratulations to Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) for becoming the longest-serving House member in American history.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.