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

* Does the “super skimmer” work in the Gulf? We really don’t know yet: “Tests on a supertanker adapted to skim large quantities of oily water from the surface of the Gulf of Mexico are inconclusive because of high seas, ship owner TMT Shipping Offshore said on Monday.”

* Vice President Biden visits Iraq, tries to kick-start diplomatic talks between Iraqi parties: “Vice President Biden left Iraq on Monday evening after a three-day trip in which he urged Iraqi officials to speed up the formation of the nation’s new government, Iraqi officials said.”

* Gen. David Petraeus formally took command in Afghanistan over the weekend. Delivering remarks at a ceremony in front of NATO headquarters in Kabul, Petraeus insisted “we are in this to win.”

* Until he changes his mind again, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) seems inclined to let the Senate vote on Wall Street reform.

* Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, about 1 million Americans will get health insurance next year who would otherwise have to go without.

* When a “ban” on earmarks isn’t really a “ban.”

* The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination a week from tomorrow.

* The overlap between the Tea Party “movement” and the Republicans’ far-right base is overwhelming. What a suprise.

* Dave Carr has a very compelling piece on the recent Dave Weigel affair.

* And here’s a good Chart of the Day: “Reminder, The Deficit You’re Freaking Out About Is Bush’s Fault.” Just because the right doesn’t want to hear it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.