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

* After struggling for most of the day, the Dow closed up 172 points today.

* Not all of today’s economic numbers were good: “New applications for state unemployment benefits increased by 15,000 in the week ended Oct. 18 to a seasonally adjusted 478,000.”

* Alan Greenspan’s faith in the free market was apparently a big snafu.

* On a related note, no serious person believes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were responsible for the financial crisis.

* McCain defended Palin’s exorbitant campaign wardrobe today, telling reporters, “She needed clothes.”

* The White House fired Scott Bloch before he could resign.

* Bill O’Reilly will get $10 million a year to tell people to shut up.

* I don’t think Palin knows what a “precondition” is.

* The polls on marriage equality in California remain close, but a new LA Times poll shows a majority opposing a ban on gay marriage.

* Usually, Republican race-baiting isn’t as blatant as this direct-mail piece in Texas.

* Usually, Republican gay-baiting isn’t as blatant as this direct-mail piece in North Carolina.

* The RNC is denying robo-texting efforts.

* Newt Gingrich thinks “Saturday Night Live” should be sued for its skits about Palin.

* Next year, Bono will be a contributing writer to the New York Times’ op-ed page.

* James Dobson has quite an active imagination.

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.