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

* Biggest bank failure ever: “As the debate over a $700 billion bank bailout rages on in Washington, one of the nation’s largest banks — Washington Mutual Inc. — has collapsed under the weight of its enormous bad bets on the mortgage market.”

* Despite what you may have heard, WaMu’s collapse cannot be blamed on black people.

* This seems like a pretty important development: “Pakistani and American ground troops exchanged fire along the border with Afghanistan on Thursday after the Pakistanis shot at two American helicopters, ratcheting up tensions as the United States increases its attacks against Qaeda and Taliban militants sheltering in Pakistan’s restive tribal areas.”

* The McCain campaign has already declared McCain the winner of tonight’s debate. (If Obama had pulled the same stunt, how many times do you think we would have heard the word “presumptuous”?)

* Any progress on the bailout package? Maybe a little.

* On the air yesterday, Paul Begala told CNN’s audience that lawmakers from both parties consider the president “a high-functioning moron.”

* Did Bush dispatch Alberto Gonzales to John Ashcroft’s hospital bed? It certainly looks like it.

* On a related note, the latest DOJ IG report on the U.S. Attorney purge scandal is due on Monday. It should be fascinating.

* “House Republicans are a different breed.”

* If I were to rank the most ridiculous members of the U.S. House, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) would have to be in the top five. Easy.

* I’m beginning to think McCain doesn’t know what an “earmark” is.

* The chairman of the Republican Party in New Mexico’s most populous county resigned this week, after telling a reporter, “Hispanics consider themselves above blacks.”

* On a scheduling note, we’ll be offering some debate-night coverage here at Political Animal, though I’m not entirely sure what that’s going to include. See you in a few hours.

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.