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

* I really am glad President Obama rescued the American automotive industry: “The Ford Motor Company said on Tuesday that it earned $1.7 billion in the third quarter and that it expected to have zero net debt by the end of December, one year ahead of forecast. It was the sixth consecutive profitable quarter and the best third quarter in more than 20 years for Ford.”

* On a related note, the administration has unveiled new rules to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants by requiring greater fuel efficiency for big trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles starting with 2014 models.” Look for more regulatory moves like this in 2011 and 2012, after Congress completely loses the ability to act.

* I’m starting to think some folks consider Voting While Brown to be illegal: “Tea Party members have started challenging voter registration applications and have announced plans to question individual voters at the polls whom they suspect of being ineligible. In response, liberal groups and voting rights advocates are sounding an alarm, claiming that such strategies are scare tactics intended to suppress minority and poor voters.”

* Given the larger context, this may not generate as much praise as it probably deserves: “Less than halfway through his first term, President Barack Obama has appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in history. Gay activists say the estimate of more than 150 appointments so far — from agency heads and commission members to policy officials and senior staffers — surpasses the previous high of about 140 reached during two full terms under President Bill Clinton.”

* First Lady Michelle Obama is working with OFA to encourage folks to take advantage of early voting.

* Congress still hasn’t taken care of that Pell Grant problem that’s been building up since the summer.

* I really do wish I knew whether it’s all right to keep my cell phone in my pocket.

* Interesting-but-polite confrontation yesterday between a Fox News crew and Wisconsin Democrats.

* Right-wing hate blogger Pamela Geller has a plan to profit handsomely from bigotry.

* Based on the perspective of a woman who knew him pretty well, Clarence Thomas seems like a strange, scary man.

* From time to time, I genuinely struggle to understand how Richard Cohen’s mind works.

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.