Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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

* New discouraging economic numbers pushed the markets even lower today, with the Dow falling 733 points.

* McClatchy reports, “A U.S. official who participated in drafting the top secret National Intelligence Estimate said it portrays the situation in Pakistan as ‘very bad.’ Another official called the draft ‘very bleak,’ and said it describes Pakistan as being ‘on the edge.'”

* The Bush administration “issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency’s use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects.”

* Christians are fleeing Mosul in the wake 10 recent killings. (thanks to reader M.R. for the tip)

* The Bush administration went to great lengths to use our money to help Republican candidates.

* Time to eliminate the White House Political Affairs Office altogether?

* Marc Ambinder reports that it’s “hard to find an honest GOPer who actually believes that Barack Obama will benefit in any statistically significant way from ACORN-related voter registration shenanigans.” I guess that means it’s easy to find a dishonest Republican.

* Can Dems please throw Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.) under the bus now?

* The foolishness of far-right blogs never ceases to amaze me.

* Once in a great while, Republican efforts to challenge legitimate voter registrations backfires in a big way.

* The official website of a California county’s Republican Party called for Obama to be tortured. Once again, “occasional nuts” run the Republican Party.

* Comedian D.L. Hughley is getting his own weekly CNN program, “diving into the increasingly crowded arena of news-driven comedy.”

* McCain’s recent attacks come straight out of the Penguin’s playbook.

* Sarah Palin reminds John Cleese of a well-trained parrot. He makes a surprisingly compelling case for the comparison.

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.