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

* The Senate shot down a Republican filibuster of health care reform this afternoon, the last hurdle before an up-or-down vote on the bill. The vote was 60 to 39, with Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) skipping the proceedings for an undetermined reason.

* Tomorrow morning’s Senate vote has been moved from 8 a.m. (ET) to 7 a.m. (ET), to help senators avoid winter storms. The vote will be the first held on Christmas Eve since 1895.

* Democrats made one last attempt to have the vote today instead of tomorrow. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) refused.

* Good economic news: “Personal incomes rose in November at the fastest pace in six months while spending posted a second straight increase, raising hopes that that the recovery from the nation’s deep recession might be gaining momentum.”

* Bad economic news: Purchases of new homes in the U.S. unexpectedly fell last month, indicating a recovery from the worst housing slump since the Great Depression will be slow to develop.

* At this rate, Gitmo may never close.

* Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, denounced the Senate health care reform bill today, saying it should be scrapped and lawmakers should start over. Slaughter did not, however, rule out voting for the final reform bill.

* As part of a Republican attack on health care reform today, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) read a post from FireDogLake on the Senate floor.

* On a related note, progressives are only invited onto “Fox & Friends” for two reasons: 1) to be used as a punching bag; or 2) to be used to undermine the Democratic policy agenda. There is no third reason.

* Excise tax vs. wealthy surcharge? Ezra makes the case for the former.

* A counter-intuitive new CNN poll found that Americans, simultaneously, approve of the escalation of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and oppose the war itself.

* ACORN seems to be having a good month: “The controversial community organizing group Acorn has not broken any laws in the last five years, according to a Congrssional Research Service report released Tuesday evening.”

* Nate Silver makes the case for Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee being the 2009 Democrat of the Year.

* And Newt Gingrich believes a Republican takeover of the House could make Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) a committee chair, despite her being stark raving mad. It’s the kind threat that might help motivate the Democratic base a bit.

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.