Friday’s Mini-Report

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

* The Dow was done as much as 700 points this morning, but closed down “only” 128 points. Over the last seven trading sessions, the Dow has lost 2271 points, or 20% of its value.

* The president tried to give Wall Street a pep talk this morning. No one was impressed.

* Lawmakers in Alaska are still discussing the Troopergate report.

* Obama unveiled a new plan to help small businesses this afternoon.

* The Secret Service is investigating threats shouted by McCain supporters at a rally this week.

* Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) reportedly plans to investigate abuses of eavesdropping on Americans overseas.

* A county in upstate New York printed absentee ballots with the name “Barack Osama” on them. I assume someone will be fired for this shortly.

* I really meant to do a post on David Brooks’ column today, but server trouble threw off the schedule. I was largely going to reiterate Publius’ thoughts on the subject.

* Jonathan Stein raises a very good point: Fox News deserves at least as much credit for whipping the enraged Republican base into a frenzy as any other source.

* On a related note, Obama predicted these smears with eerie accuracy.

* Sarah Palin got her start in politics with the support of some very unsavory characters. Max Blumenthal and David Neiwert have the story.

* Did McCain report his gambling winnings on his financial disclosure forms? Hmm.

* It’s not entirely his fault, but Norm Coleman’s campaign spokesperson should probably just stop conducting press briefings. He looks ridiculous avoiding simple questions.

* Shark Jesus.

* Quite a few folks would like to see the final Obama-McCain debate be better than the first two.

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.