Monday’s Mini-Report***

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

* We’ve had some extraordinarily frustrating server problems today. We’re aware of it, working on it, and apologize for the inconvenience.

* Scary beyond words: “Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday. In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads…. Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.”

* The Dow fell another 200 points today, closing at 8175.

* This seems rather important: “U.S. military helicopters launched an extremely rare attack Sunday on Syrian territory close to the border with Iraq, killing eight people in a strike the government in Damascus condemned as ‘serious aggression.’ A U.S. military official said the raid by special forces targeted the network of al-Qaida-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq.”

* On a related note, there’s been an increase in CIA airstrikes against militants in the Pakistani mountains.

* An aide to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) beat and assaulted Democratic trackers over the weekend. Wolf’s office, after a lengthy delay, apologized for the incident this afternoon.

* The Reuters newsroom in New York was evacuated today after an envelope with a “puff of powder” was found. Authorities found the powder to be harmless soon thereafter.

* There’s a real problem with the presidential ballot in North Carolina.

* Sarah Palin started talking about her wardrobe again yesterday. Apparently, the McCain campaign isn’t happy about it.

* And finally, I’m pretty sure this is a video the McCain campaign doesn’t want getting around.

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.