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

* The Dow quickly dipped below 8,000 earlier today before surging in the opposite direction, finishing up over 550 points.

* While the markets had a good day for a change, the unemployment picture looks even worse than expected.

* Obama wants to save Detroit: “President-elect Barack Obama is pushing Congress this year to approve as much as $50 billion to save cash-starved U.S. automakers and appoint a czar or board to oversee the companies, a move that would require President George W. Bush’s support, people familiar with the matter said.”

* Oddly enough, it looks like scandal-plagued Rep. Don Young (R) managed to win re-election in Alaska.

* Ron Klain, Al Gore’s former chief of staff, will join Joe Biden, serving in the exact same job. (If you saw HBO’s “Recount,” and I hope you have, Klain was played by Kevin Spacey.)

* Obama’s first post-election interview goes to “60 Minutes.”

* China’s growth carries a severe cost: “A noxious cocktail of soot, smog and toxic chemicals is blotting out the sun, fouling the lungs of millions of people and altering weather patterns in large parts of Asia, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations.”

* On a related note, could dirty air in California really kill more people than car crashes? (thanks, R.K.)

* Sens. Leahy and Whitehouse reminded the White House on the importance of preserving internal records — especially Dick Cheney’s.

* For the record, I think Hillary Clinton would make an excellent choice for Secretary of State.

* Al Gore isn’t going to join the Obama administration.

* The Republican governors not named Sarah Palin were less than pleased with her press conference today.

* Be on the lookout for a nasty new email virus. (thanks, BG)

* And finally, Barack Obama collects comics? I knew I liked him.

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.