Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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.

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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.