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

* It’s hard to overstate how scary this is: “Wall Street slumped Thursday afternoon and the S&P 500 closed at an 11-1/2 year low as fears of a prolonged recession sparked a massive selloff…. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 445 points or 5.6%. It closed at the lowest level since March 12, 2003, just above the low of the last bear market. The Nasdaq composite lost 5.1% and also closed at its lowest level since March 12, 2003.”

* Democratic leaders in Congress are open to a rescue plan for U.S. automakers, but they’re looking for a coherent plan first: “[Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference that the Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Chrysler — had failed to convince Congress that they had developed a viable plan for the $25 million they are requesting in bailout funds. ‘This is an important industry in our country and we intend to save it,’ Pelosi said. ‘Until they show us a plan we cannot show them the money.’”

* McClatchy reports: “A federal judge ordered the speedy release Thursday of five Algerian men held for nearly seven years in Guantanamo Bay prison in the latest setback for the Bush administration’s controversial detention policies.”

* Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, national campaign finance chairwoman for the Obama campaign, has withdrawn from consideration and will not be the next Secretary of Commerce.

* Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) thinks Eric Holder is a great choice for Attorney General.

* Bill Clinton seems to be doing his part to help Hillary Clinton become Secretary of State.

* Minnesota Public Radio posted a terrific feature showing examples of contested ballots in the Coleman-Franken Senate race.

* Now that the election is over, Michele Bachmann can go back to sounding ridiculous again.

* I don’t think Dana Perino understands what the Endangered Species Act is.

* Obama really is screwing up al Qaeda’s plans.

* And Bill McInturff, the McCain campaign’s chief pollster thinks Frank Luntz is a “moron,” adding, “I would like to take a hammer and start breaking bones in Frank’s arms.” Tell us how you really feel, Bill.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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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.