Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to take a couple of minutes to complete the BlogAds reader survey.

* Another rough day on Wall Street, with the Dow falling another 215 points (2.5%). The other major indexes fared even worse, with the S&P falling 2.9% and the Nasdaq dropping 3.1%.

* There was a slight and unexpected drop in the number of newly laid-off people signing up for unemployment benefits, but even with the dip, the total number of Americans continuing to draw unemployment benefits climbed to a 26-year high.

* Political events in Canada have been unusually fascinating this week, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper going so far as to send Parliament home for seven weeks. My friend Michael J.W. Stickings as two informative items on this, one in the Guardian and the other on his own site.

* Executives of the Big Three U.S. automakers faced a skeptical Senate panel today, while asking for immediate financial assistance. Collectively, the CEOs are looking for $34 billion.

* The secret Senate hold against Neil Barofsky to be inspector general for the bailout has been lifted. Everyone seems convinced it was the work of Jim Bunning of Kentucky.

* Good news from the Middle East: “U.S. combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan last month dropped to the lowest combined level since the United States began fighting the two wars more than five years ago.” As encouraging as the trend is, there were still 11 American servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice in these conflicts in November.

* If current trends continue, by 2010, “several” cities will not have a daily newspaper.

* Paul Krugman makes the case that the stimulus may be slow to take effect, and it may not be possible to “pull the economy out of its nosedive before unemployment goes into double digits.”

* Some myths are very hard to knock down. If major media outlets would stop misleading the public, it’d be really helpful.

* Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki (R), a likely Senate candidate in 2010, was indicted yesterday on four counts of fraud related to his handling of public money as state treasurer.

* David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, is writing a book about the campaign.

* A day after we learned that Bush’s “ranch” in Crawford really was just a campaign prop, it appears the First Couple have bought a Dallas home where they’ll live after Obama’s inauguration.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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