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

* The latest official estimates state that “as much as 60,000 barrels a day could be spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.” That’s about double the figure from last week. Josh Nelson has more.

* Not sure why this didn’t happen sooner: “BP expanded its effort to recover oil at its runaway Deepwater Horizon well overnight, activating a system it hopes will raise the amount of crude being collected to 20,000 to 28,000 barrels a day.”

* At the White House today, when BP executives spoke briefly to the media, they did not take questions. ABC’s Jake Tapper asked, “How’s that ‘relative trickle’ going?” in reference to CEO Tony Hayward describing the oil gusher in the Gulf as a “relative trickle.”

* Don’t worry, though, BP won’t forget about “the small people.”

* If lawmakers cared as much about struggling families as they do about long-term deficits, votes like these wouldn’t happen: “A Democratic effort to break a Senate impasse over a major package of tax breaks, tax increases and unemployment pay failed Wednesday morning on a test vote, forcing the leadership to begin scaling back the measure in order to win over Republicans and Democrats worried about the bill’s $140 billion cost and its impact on the national deficit.”

* Congressional ethics investigations are underway, looking at eight lawmakers — five Republicans and three Democrats — who “held fundraisers within 48 hours of a major House vote on a Wall Street reform bill or received substantial donations from business people with a financial stake in the bill.”

* Deserves additional scrutiny: “It hasn’t gotten much attention nationally, but on Monday a man and a woman in their 20s showed up at an entrance to one of the most important military bases in the country with a car full of guns and fraudulent military ID.”

* Smart post from Yglesias: “The Filibuster and Incentive-Compatible Governance.”

* Lawrence O’Donnell will get his own hour-long 10 p.m. (ET) weekday slot, following “Countdown” at 8 and “The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9.

* Retired Gen. John Sheehan seems to really hate gay people.

* Ted Frier scrutinizes Arthur C. Brooks so I don’t have to.

* The continuing recession is apparently causing some college graduates to flock to jobs as skilled laborers.

* Fox News claimed today that the White House gave part of Arizona to Mexico. The story is 100% wrong, proving again that you’re better off just guessing the news than relying on Fox.

* Rush Limbaugh has now decided he hates the school-lunch program, and believes low-income children should “dumpster dive.” Classy.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Steve Benen

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.