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

* The Dow “only” lost 127 points today, following the release of new numbers showing a sharp fall in home construction in September.

* The Bush administration and the Maliki government appear to be “on the verge of an agreement that would spell out the conditions under which American troops would remain in Iraq and a timeline for their eventual departure.”

* McCain/Palin supporters have taken to physically assaulting journalists. Seriously.

* What a coincidence: “Right now, two Republican members of Congress are simultaneously sitting in courtrooms in their own criminal trials, just a few miles from one another.” This is in reference, of course, to Ted Stevens’ corruption trial, and Rep. Vito Fossella’s (R-N.Y.) drunk-driving trial.

* The Obama campaign, to its credit, is arguing that the Justice Department’s new-found interest in ACORN is eerily similar to the politicization of the Justice Department we saw in the last election cycle.

* Joe Biden is hitting back against Sarah Palin’s suggestion that some parts of America aren’t “pro-American.”

* On a related note, Sen. Jim Webb’s mockery of Palin today was pretty amusing.

* If Cindy McCain is going to keep taking cheap shots at Dems, she has to be prepared for some additional scrutiny.

* I never would have expected Michael Smerconish, a conservative talk-show host and former H.W. Bush administration official, to endorse Obama, but he did.

* Joe “the Plumber†Wurzelbacher conceded this morning that he’d benefit from Obama’s tax policies.

* CNN’s coverage of the manufactured ACORN “controversy” has been unusually bad.

* It really is time to throw Tim Mahoney under the bus.

* And finally, I’m curious. Four years ago, a random member made a video comparing Bush to Hitler, and the right is still talking about it. But when an official McCain campaign office compares Obama to Hitler, it’s no big deal. I wonder why that is.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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.