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

* No breakthroughs: “Palestinian militants and Israeli forces attacked each other Wednesday, forming a grim backdrop for the latest round of U.S.-driven peace negotiations. The talks ended with no agreement on the most pressing issue: Jewish settlements.”

* The oil leak stopped in July, but it’s time to finish this once and for all: “The U.S. government’s point man on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill said Wednesday that BP’s blown-out well is expected to be permanently sealed and declared dead by Sunday, nearly five months after a rig explosion set off the disaster.”

* Let your friends and family members who served in the military know — veterans affected by the stop-loss policy are eligible for retroactive pay, but the filing deadline is in a couple of weeks.

* More good news out of Detroit: “U.S. auto sales this month are surprisingly strong, and the pace picked up during the nation’s Labor Day holiday weekend, said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Co.s president of the Americas.” (thanks to T.K.)

* He’s serious about this, and I’m glad: “Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Tuesday laid out details of his plans to save $100 billion in five years as he tries to run the Pentagon more efficiently.”

* For the discussion about “uncertainty,” the facts are remarkably clear: “Businesses aren’t hiring because of poor sales, period, end of story.”

* The DNC hopes to show voters around “BoehnerLand.”

* GOP leaders really do seem to believe, for no reason at all, that their tax policies are popular. They’re not.

* Daniel Luzer explores “financial literacy” and student debt.

* I have no idea what the National Federation of Republican Women was thinking by hosting this event, but having the South Carolina Senate President Glenn McConnell (R) dressing up as a Confederate general, and posing with African Americans dressed as slaves, was a spectacularly bad idea.

* Elon Green on Debra Burlingame, who the media treats as “an apolitical voice representing relatives of the 9/11 victims,” but who more closely resembles “a political operative with a right-wing agenda.”

* And two years ago today, the economy “teetered on the brink of collapse as the nation’s largest financial institutions began to fail.” It was genuinely horrifying; here’s my post from that morning.

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.