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

* Violence in Gaza continued for a fifth straight day, after talks broke down for a possible cease-fire.

* U.S. markets ended the year on an up note, after a disastrous year in which six years of gains were lost.

* Roland Burris and his staff are now referring to him as “Senator Burris.” He says he plans to attend the chamber’s swearing-in ceremony next week.

* Burris was, apparently, Blagojevich’s second choice — Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) turned the governor down last week.

* Speaking of Blagojevich, Patrick Fitzgerald wants an additional 90 days to bring an indictment against the governor.

* The Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a new state law that bans unmarried couples that live together from becoming foster or adoptive parents.

* One of the main problems with the Republicans on the Federal Election Commission is that they don’t seem interested in enforcing the law.

* Remember Vikki Iseman? She’s suing the New York Times for $27 million.

* I’m sorry to see the Village Voice let go of Nat Hentoff.

* California’s budget problems are pretty extraordinary — and not in a good way.

* I enjoyed Andrew Golis’ year-end piece: “The Ten Young Progressive Intellectuals Who Make Me Hopeful.”

* Ed Kilgore has a good piece of his own, highlighting various political memes that became conventional wisdom, but which turned out to be completely wrong.

* Congratulations to James Joyner on the birth of his daughter.

* And finally, don’t forget that tonight, we gain an extra second. Set your clocks accordingly.

Anything to add? Consider this the very last open thread of 2008.

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.