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

* Another painful day on Wall Street, with the Dow falling 427 points. It closed just below the 8,000 mark, a five-year low.

* On a related note, in October, the Consumer Price Index experienced its steepest single-month drop in the 61-year history of the pricing survey.

* Obama’s transition team made a few more announcements official this afternoon. David Axelrod will a senior advisor to the president; Greg Craig will be White House Counsel; Chris Lu will be Cabinet Secretary; and Lisa Brown will be Staff Secretary.

* Henry Waxman took one step closer today to beating out John Dingell for the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The House Steering Committee voted 25-22 to approve Waxman for the post. The House Democratic caucus will vote tomorrow.

* Four years ago, Bush won Salt Lake County, Utah, by 20 points. This year, Obama narrowly won the same county.

* Sam Stein has a terrific report on the closed-door Democratic caucus meeting that decided Lieberman’s fate.

* Joe Conason argues there’s nothing wrong with Obama keeping Robert Gates around as the Defense Secretary.

* The combination of the weak economy and declining violence in Iraq has boosted the number of young people considering military careers.

* Republicans seem to have some grudging respect for Dean’s 50-state strategy.

* Nice to see CNN’s John King have a little fun with “The Daily Show’s” John Oliver.

* Nate Silver has a fascinating chat with right-wing activist John Ziegler.

* Joe Scarborough’s judgment is so bad, he can get politics and arithmetic wrong in the same sentence.

* Bill O’Reilly’s website promotes a “holiday” reading list, instead of a “Christmas” reading list. One wonders, of course, whether O’Reilly will launch a boycott against himself.

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.