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

* The Dow closed up nearly 190 points after a 0.3% drop in GDP. Apparently, investors expected the numbers to be even worse.

* It seems like every campaign cycle we hear all about voting-machine problems. I wonder why that is.

* I’m not an expert, but if I were the McCain campaign, I’d probably hesitate before putting Michael Goldfarb on national television again.

* Speaking of odd surrogates, I don’t think Rudy Giuliani understands McCain’s healthcare plan.

* The crowd was a little thin for a McCain event in Ohio this morning, so nearby schools bussed in thousands of kids to fill the seats.

* Ashley Todd is free after six days in jail, but will be required to undergo mental health treatment. The AP reported, “Her record eventually will be expunged as long as she goes to treatment, stays out of trouble and keeps authorities apprised of her whereabouts.”

* One of Sarah Palin’s favorite publications, The Economist, endorsed Obama.

* Ruy Teixeira, a friend of the Monthly, has returned to blogging after a lengthy absence.

* In an unusual twist, at least one Fox News exec is defending the LA Times against the McCain campaign’s attacks.

* In a cringe worthy moment on the campaign trail today, McCain tried to introduce “Joe the Plumber” to an audience. As it turns out, Wurzelbacher had stood McCain up.

* And on a related note, Wurzelbacher is “being pursued for a major record deal and could come out with a country album as early as Inauguration Day.” I wish I were kidding. “Joe the Plumber” has signed a deal with a Nashville p.r. firm to exploit his notoriety for all its worth.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.