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

* President Obama signed the “imperfect” omnibus spending bill into law today, but not before chiding some of the hypocrites who railed against earmarks while adding earmarks to the package.

* At the same time, Obama also issued a call for earmark reform. McCain and Feingold weren’t impressed, but Norm Ornstein was.

* Deadly shootings in Alabama and Germany this morning. Tragic.

* Uh oh: “The federal agency that insures bank deposits, which is asking for emergency powers to borrow up to $500 billion to take over failed banks, is facing a potential major shortfall in part because it collected no insurance premiums from most banks from 1996 to 2006.”

* As a rule, it’s best not to get into a contentious naval dispute with China.

* In the United States, 2009 is off to its driest start since the government began keeping track in 1895.

* Can we not wait another four years on this? “Four million to five million voters did not cast a ballot in the 2008 presidential election because they encountered registration problems or failed to receive absentee ballots, which is roughly the same number of voters who encountered such problems in the 2000 election.”

* Someone should let Michele Bachmann know: “The director of the 2010 Census will report to the Commerce secretary, a White House official said Tuesday, offering the clearest statement yet about the chain of command on the census and possibly allaying fears among Republicans that it will fall under the political control of the White House.”

* Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske was named the nation’s new drug czar today. I’m glad to see the office has been dropped from cabinet-level status.

* And speaking of the White House, Obama established a new White House Council on Women and Girls today. It will be run, in part, by Valarie Jarrett.

* unveiled a solid new ad today on health care.

* The chairmen of the House Committees on Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means, and Education & Labor wrote the White House a letter today, vowing to get health care reform done this year.

* CNBC’s Jim Cramer gave an interesting interview in 2006 bragging about manipulating the market and occasionally pushing the legal envelope, which he said was fine because the SEC didn’t know what was going on.

* Speaking of Cramer, he really should stop taunting Jon Stewart, who continues to make Cramer look ridiculous.

* Jack Cafferty is unimpressed with the GOP of late: “The Republican Party is becoming a cartoon…. The Republican Party is marching double-time down the road to irrelevance and they don’t even know it.”

* Good question: “Anyone seen any recent calls for Social Security private accounts?”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.