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October 16, 2008

Comments

Now that is some quality snark.

I'm sure someone has already made observations regarding the Republican Party's indisputable authority on the subject of nuts.

"Heh." Indeed.

I'm sure that when people start to free associate around the image of a realllllllly old guy and squirrels, the results will be epic win for John McCain.

Next up: John McCain goes for the SpongeBob SquarePants fan vote by dressing up in a Mermaid Man costume.

Phil Gramm can be Barnacle Boy.

You saw my link to this in the "Pride Goeth" thread, right?

No, didn't see it Gary. Heh.

As I said there, the idea that that's an effective campaign technique is evidence that the GOP leadership is completely losing their minds.

Now, now my friends. There's still a chance that McCain could win this election!

Need proof?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA

I love me that Giblets.

A Giblets-less Internet would be as lone and lorn a place as a peach without a pit.

Just like Portugal.

Thank you, Eric.

The quotation makes a lot more sense if you have the words "off of" following "eating," as it was in the original.

Loved it.

Ah, Bob L: I was reading the Guardian version, and then linked back to Fafblog figuring the two were identical.

Heh II: Heheh.

Don't you mean "Heh II: The Indeedening"?

Don't you mean "Heh II: The Indeedening"?

Your confusing the European release. Which you do all the time.

Yeah, they didn't think American audiences would understand "Indeedening", so they shortened it to "Heheh" in order to expand the target demographic.

Did you see the Red State Update interview with Joe the Plumber?

The best snark came from Ta-Nehisi Coates:

""Destroying the fabric of democracy!" Who knew ACORN was a herald of Galactus?!??"

Sully points out that Joe the Plumber has now had more press conferences than Sarah Palin.

From ABC News, Joe the Plumber owes $1,200 in taxes.
This is only going to get worse for him. He should do himself a favor and cancel those press conferences.
I cannot imagine a worse place to find your 15 minutes of fame than by inserting yourself into the middle of a highly emotional Presidential race, with the media circling like sharks.

"From ABC News, Joe the Plumber owes $1,200 in taxes."

Per MSNBC, he's not really a plumber. Not even registered as a journeyman or apprentice. Income from divorce records, about $40,000. His bosses business income is reported at about $100,000 (not $250 - $280).

Greater poster child for the GOP - "we continue to lie about everything - it always worked before, so why not."

I have mixed feelings about the continuing exposure of how monumentally unvetted Joe The Plumber was as McCain's mascot, hero, and touchstone. We really need to be careful not to get into Countertops territory, and I worry we're already getting close. Some of it - that he is a reasonably partisan Republican, and that he stood to benefit more from Obama's tax plan than from McCain's - is clearly hugely relevant. Some, like a delinquent $1200 tax bill (hardly a sweeping criminal conspiracy, folks), rather strikes me as really not worth abusing anybody about. Some things I suspect are moot or inappropriate to discuss, but I lack the proper knowledge to interpret, like his previous membership in the fringe Natural Law Party and his licensing status as a plumber. And some things, like his alleged family connection to Charles Keating, are just funny. But the main thing is, this was another half-thought-out gimmick from McCain, it's meant to distract people from the real issues, and even then they didn't do their prep work to do it right. They should have found someone who was more clearly sympathetic, who wasn't an obvious partisan, who arguably would benefit more from their plan. They should have prepped him, so he doesn't mouth off about Sammy Davis Jr. These guys can't be trusted to get a meaningless stunt right, and they want to be trusted to run the country.

They should have found someone who was more clearly sympathetic, who wasn't an obvious partisan, who arguably would benefit more from their plan.

Such a person does not exist.

Well, there is that.

Well, is it another half thought out mcCain thing? This guy is a waaaaay partisan republican supporter and he's jumped with both feet into the fray. Its not that I think he deserves more scrutiny than any other citizen for that, or any unfair attacks. But if a guy walks up to a presidential candidate and takes up his rope time with a *detailed account of his finances* which is a) completely false and b) apparently designed simply to publicize republican talking points (you have to hear this guy attack Obama for "not believing in the american dream") then you have to wonder whether this wasn't some kind of set up from the get go.

And I agree with Eric's brutal summing up:

"They should have found someone who was more clearly sympathetic, who wasn't an obvious partisan, who arguably would benefit more from their plan." (WT)

Such a person does not exist. (Eric Martin)


I blogged this at IIRTZ but Little Joey da plumber apparently thinks that all taxes go to pay black people to drink and do drugs on welfare. Apparently that military industrial complex, those roads, the public schools, etc..etc..etc... they *don't cost anything at all*. Who knew that 100 percent of your tax dollars goes to "people who don't want to work."

aimai

"From ABC News, Joe the Plumber owes $1,200 in taxes."

Per MSNBC, he's not really a plumber.

Why does anybody care in the slightest to know anything all about Joe The Plumber? What possible difference does it make to anything?


Why does anybody care in the slightest to know anything all about Joe The Plumber? What possible difference does it make to anything?

It looks to me like the snark-o-sphere showing its ugly side. Personally I'd prefer that we let Joe-the-Plumber return to the obscurity from which he came, but it taint mine to say. On the other hand nobody is forcing the guy to go on TV and give interviews, so he isn't exactly helping either.

Yeah, Aimai, the military is free. So are roads and bridges, which is why you want to check those before crossing water at a height (cf Minneapolis) --you get what you (don't) pay for!

Thirding, and going a step beyond, Eric: If you are a not-quite-plumber who wants to 'buy the business' of the plumber you've been overworked by for years AND you don't realize that to get into the higher marginal tax rate under Obama's plan you'd have to be using a Magic 8 Ball as your accountant ("Is this maintenance on my work truck deductible?" "Ask again later."), you're too dumb to sign a paycheck for an apprentice plumber and trickle-down has failed again.

Why does anybody care in the slightest to know anything all about Joe The Plumber? What possible difference does it make to anything?

I don't care about about his tax lien or whether he's a union member. I do care about the accuracy of the story McCain tells about him.

McCain used Joe as an example of someone who would be damaged by Obama's tax plan, with the clear implication that there are millions just like him who would be hurt, or see their dreams destroyed, by that plan.

I think it's useful to publicize the fact that none of that is true. He's not going to be hurt. More likely he'll be helped, just like all those other people in the same position.

What's with McCain and "plumbers"?

He's not going to be hurt.

Bernard, I know what you mean, but:
1) "Hurt" has a subjective, as well as a financial meaning; and
2) Joe evidently does think Obama will "hurt" him.

Mr. Wurzelbacher may be too dumb to know what's good for him, or he may be calculating his own "utility" perfectly. It may be worth actual cash money to him to, say, maximize the probability that his neighbor's daughter will be forbidden to have an abortion, or to minimize the probability that a black man will become President. He's entitled to his own tastes. The rest of us are of course entitled to ridicule him for them.

--TP

I agree with a lot of people: it's fair game to ask whether a person like Joe the Alleged Plumber would or would not do well under Obama's plan, but not to drag his entire life out into the spotlight. I don't want him to be our Graeme Frost (or whatever that poor kid's name was.)

Fair game to see if he's actually a plumber, fair game to see if he'd do better or not under Obama's plan, VERY fair to analyze his statements in the press (which indicates to me that he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to business).

Massive voter fraud, aided and abetted by MSM and pollsters

There are now numerous indications that the leftist liberal establishment and their allies in the mass media are in the process of mounting a fraudulent electoral coup d'etat on Nov. 4, using every possible means to undermine the democratic electoral process. The spearhead of this effort has been ACORN, which has blatantly set up a massive vote rigging scheme. An example par excellence of this is Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland metro area), where ACORN has fraudulently registered 105% of the voting age population. The mass media has complicitly rigged their polls, by changing from the "traditional model" of likely voters to the "expanded model", which incorporates all the bogus voters which ACORN and their ilk have registered. The traditional model shows either the race at dead heat or with a slight McCain lead. The "expanded model" dupes the American people into believing that Obama will win in a landslide. But hte American people will not be deceived. If this diabolical coup succeeds, there will indeed be a Bastille day on Nov. 4, but not at all the kind the rad-libs are already crowing about!

"An example par excellence of this is Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland metro area), where ACORN has fraudulently registered 105% of the voting age population."

Let's just pretend that this nonsense were somehow true. If it was, how would these non-people vote, exactly?

Why, by the way, would the corporate media, possibly want to be "complicit" in this conspiracy? Are the owners of the tv networks and newspapers, in fact, radicals, leftists, and liberals?

Yeah Gary, you didn't know about GE's radical leftist agenda?

nabalzbbfr does.

Yeah Gary, you didn't know about GE's radical leftist agenda?

nabalzbbfr does.

Well, we DID have to hear from the aforementioned squirrels.....

Fair game to see if he's actually a plumber, fair game to see if he'd do better or not under Obama's plan, VERY fair to analyze his statements in the press (which indicates to me that he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to business).

Also fair to note that he is not an independent. Oh, also, his name is not Joe.

When it comes to making accurate statements, the guy is definitely a Bush leaguer.


Well, we DID have to hear from the aforementioned squirrels.....

Winter is coming and the squirrels are busy gathering nuts.

Seems more like the nuts are gathering squirrels.

Uh, somebody here actually LIVES in Cuyahoga County, and would probably have noticed that little tidbit in the PD if it were true. Which it almost certainly is not.

However:

The number of registered voters in Ohio has swelled to 8,231,970, up 259,000 from the 2004 election, according to new voter rosters released this week by the Ohio Secretary of State.
The new total marks an increase of 67,147 from just 10 days ago, as county boards of elections throughout the state work to verify new registrations and update voter lists.

The deadline to register was Oct. 6, though valid cards could have arrived later as long as they were postmarked by the deadline.

The number is up 3 percent over the 7,972,826 voters registered in time for the 2004 presidential election. Some 7.5 million voters were registered for the 2000 election and 6.6 million for the 1996 election.

Cuyahoga County has 1,110,061 registered voters, most in Ohio, exceeding Census estimates that 990,000 voting-aged people live in the county.

Some registrations still on the books may be outdated, as people move out of state or die, and there have been allegations of voter-registration fraud that are being investigated.

Voter registration numbers that exceed census estimates (which are, after all, estimates) and which may include dead people or people who are no longer residents are very different from what Trollicus up there proposes. Particularly since he presents no evidence that ACORN registered any of these people, let alone ALL of them.

I fell kinda sorry for the poor guy. When you're doing something illegal, it's normally best to not draw attention to yourself. Now, The Toledo Plumbing Board of Control may consider sanctions against Wurzelbacher or [his boss] Newell... Yes, I'm afraid he is correct about one thing - he needs to learn more about the plumbing business.

"Some registrations still on the books may be outdated, as people move out of state or die,"

So far as I'm aware, very few people indeed bother to notify their old registrar of elections that they've moved, after they moved. I didn't even realize/forgot I was supposed to until a couple of weeks ago, and I'm not exactly uneducated about these things. So I'm currently registered in both Colorado and North Carolina, but I'm not planning on voting in Colorado.

Oh, fratz. If Joe The Plumber (Comma Unlicensed) or his boss's business does get sanctioned because of the revelations arisen from this media firestorm, you just know the vindictive left wing bloggers will get blamed, and he'll be a martyr, he'll go on all the Righty talk shows and being held up as a victim of Government Bureaucrats and Evil Hippie Bloggers. Probably have his own book on the Regnery label.

Are we actually required to notify our former locations that we've moved? I mean, we include our previous address on our change-of-registration forms for a reason, don't we? If this is so, is it only when we move out of state that we have to notify the old board, or is it when we move within the state?

"Are we actually required to notify our former locations that we've moved?"

Depends what you mean by "required." There's no penalty of law.

But if you don't do it, you might wind up registered in two places. I guess that's all. You're "supposed to" in the sense of being a good citizen, and making it easy on your old state's statistics, which is hardly enough to get most people to do it.

If you do it in the same state, though, I think that in most states, if not all states, it'll get tracked by the state, and your old registration cancelled, whereas if you move out of state, and register, you just show up as a new voter in that state, and they don't know where you moved from. So it's up to you to either notify your old state, or not.

Ah, here's another anti-Elizabeth Dole, pro Kay Hagen commercial, in between Life On Mars; good to see. She's losing! Whoops, here's another, different one! She voted for G. Bush 92% of the time! She voted for the Bridge To Nowhere! Fighting for... Alaska? "Out of Touch with North Carolina!"

whereas if you move out of state, and register, you just show up as a new voter in that state, and they don't know where you moved from. So it's up to you to either notify your old state, or not.

At least some states will automatically send notice to your old state that you've moved, thus invalidating your old registration. MA is so diligent about doing this, that they will do so even when the new registration is flawed enough that they can't register you, thus leaving you registered precisely nowhere.

The longer this thread goes on, the more the title grows on me. But it could really use some sort of imperative phrase to go with it, along the same lines as "Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war". Perhaps we should have a contest to pick one. Here's my first effort:

"Cry 'Mugwumps' and let slip the Squirrels of Armageddon!"

"The longer this thread goes on, the more the title grows on me."

I'm reminded that two of my favorite titles of Tom Disch's work are The Puppies of Terra and White Fang Goes Dingo

I have mixed feelings about the continuing exposure of how monumentally unvetted Joe The Plumber was as McCain's mascot, hero, and touchstone. We really need to be careful not to get into Countertops territory, and I worry we're already getting close.

Getting close? I really never want to hear about Countertops again after this, or how the left is above that sort of thing and it’s only right-wingers who would do such a thing. A Kos diarist has his address up. People have found and published information about his divorce (and speculated on the reasons for it), his tax lien, his voter registration, his income, his boss’s income, his license status. Now he may lose his job. How is this different than the Frost business? OK, Frost was a kid, so it was worse from that aspect. Otherwise I don’t see much difference. And Joe didn’t give a national radio address representing Republicans on the topic. Obama picked him to talk to on a rope line. For that he has his life gone over with a fine toothed comb and possibly his livelihood destroyed in this time of economic turmoil. I don’t actually recall the Frosts having their life destroyed.

I’ll save someone the trouble of digging it up – this was my response to the Frost mess. I did not excuse or defend MM and her ilk. (I did question the parents’ judgment.)

And what is this vetting stuff? It happened on a rope line. As tends to happen when Obama works without a script, he said something less than nuanced. (Some would say he accidentally revealed the truth.) It was a straight up gift to McCain. Why in the world would he pass on it?

It’s smearing an average Joe who happened to put a wrinkle into Obama’s day. And it’s sending a message – this can be you… Destroy the life of the guy who dared ask a pertinent question and ended up in the spotlight.

I left here about a week ago p*ssed at the whole “incitement” meme. Now we know that the primary incident that kicked that off never happened, or happened only in the imagination of one reporter. (According to the Secret Service anyway.) Yet it was justification to paint those on the right with a pretty broad brush, while ignoring the actual violence being perpetrated by Obama supporters.

I came back here today hoping to see some condemnation of the lefty blogs attacking this guy. Instead I see some general uneasiness with what’s going on, plenty of comments spreading the attacks, and lots of snark about how dumb the guy is – but not one word of condemnation for what’s being done to the guy.

Yeah, The Corner has gone ‘round the bend – but so has this place. I’d really really hate to see it if you all thought Obama was losing…

I’ll be back around on Nov. 5 when you all are in a better mood (hopefully) and I can just have positive things to say. Until then there’s just really nothing left for me to say. Hell, the tone has gotten so bad I can’t even really lurk and just read it anymore. (And I’m not going to read any more in this thread so I won’t be responding to any replies. Save the keystrokes…)

I really hope this place regains some semblance of normality after the election. Good wishes to you all until then…

"I came back here today hoping to see some condemnation of the lefty blogs attacking this guy."

I said I didn't see any reason anybody should be interested in the guy. I'm not interested in the guy. As a result, I've not read any blogs writing about the guy. As a result, I can't condemn blogs I haven't read. I'll take your word that they're out there, but I'm not interested in reading about the guy: what part of that do you object to, OCSteve?

"(And I’m not going to read any more in this thread so I won’t be responding to any replies. Save the keystrokes…"

Well, so much for my reply. Why should we bother to read you if you won't read us?

OCSteve: I haven't seen the various things you mentioned -- I have seen a bunch of stories in Politico, etc., but I didn't check dKos for the last couple of days, and so I missed its various diaries. Frankly, I got in last night and went: huh? Why are we talking about Joe the Plumber? -- but my sense was that it was mostly press, not left blogs. That is probably because I mostly read press last night, and (now that I think of it) just scrolled past the stuff about him on Memeorandum on the grounds that it didn't interest me.

I was, frankly, amazed that McCain was talking about him -- thus my 'spreading the wealth' post -- let alone that his plumbing license would be an object of any interest at all to anyone.

If someone at dKos published his phone number, and/or divorce stuff, that's awful. As I said, I do not want to go there.

I had noticed you were gone. I hope you come back.

"I had noticed you were gone. I hope you come back."

Ditto. I have a perfectly selfish outlook, which is that I like chatting with you, and I'm annoyed that you'd want to quit talking to me because of some unnamed other people somewhere else, whom I have no control over. Why should you blame me or people like me for that, any more than I should hold you responsible for the people who show up at Palin rallies?

So, according to OCSteve, (1) "Some Kos Diarist" is the equivalent of Michelle Malkin and the rest of the A-list Right blogosphere, despite the fact that I'm not aware of any recognizeable Left blogger linking to such approvingly (despite reading entirely too many blogs, the most intrusive thing I was actually aware of prior to OCSteve's comment of was Wurzelbacher's minor tax delinquency, a matter of public record that the New York Times saw fit to mention). Several Left bloggers, including Hilzoy, explicitly disavowed consideration of Wurzelbacher beyond the simple question of how he might fare under Obama's tax plan. (2) Any fault for Wurzelbacher's prominence and the resulting scrutiny is Obama's for (Oh, noes!) talking to him when Obama went walkabout the other day, not McCain's fault for choosing to obsess over Wurzelbacher at the debate despite the fact that (McCain's and Wurzelbacher's characterizations to the contrary) Wurzelbacher would fare better under Obama's tax plan. And (3) Obama messed up and said something dangerously radical to Wurzelbacher when he met him in Ohio, because if you ignore common sense and you ignore what Obama said and you just take the three word snippet "Spread The Wealth", you can take a concept that is the basic concept of progressive taxation and even the barest hints of Social Democracy, and portray it as The Elimination Of The Kulaks. Oh, and (4) OCSteve's comment was a drive-by, and after misrepresenting everything he'll be back in a few weeks to see if we're properly repentant. I invite him not to strain himself bothering.

OCS: Not meaning to pile on, but I went and read Malkin on this subject, thinking that that would be the quickest way to find a list of people who were piling on, so that I could check them out. A lot of the stories she attributes to "left-wing blogs" are actually from the media, mostly Politico and the Toledo Blade. The 'not a real plumber' story seems to come originally from HuffPo, from someone I've never heard of.

It's worth checking out the post in which Malkin claims that Josh Marshall made Joe look like "some kind of rabid freak" -- it reads, in its entirety: "It turns out Joe the "Plumber" is like the perfect McCain supporter. He says Social Security is a joke and he "hates" it." The only way to get from what Josh says to what Malkin says is to assume that "perfect McCain supporter" means "rabid freak" -- but that would be Malkin's assumption, not Josh's.

I do not for a moment excuse stuff like publishing his address. But neither do I think it's helpful to act as though Politico is a left-wing blog, as opposed to a news outlet. The media, for better or (in this case) for worse, have been driving this story, as far as I can tell.

Otoh, here is the NYT doing it right. (h/t Dean Baker.) As far as I'm concerned, that's what we need to know.

Given the size of the Earth and the number of people stuck to it thanks to gravity, there must be someone somewhere doing something objectionable that has not been condemned by someone at ObWi. It's shameful. I will now, in protest, cease my heretofore copious and frequent commenting.

(Sorry, OCSteve. I just couldn't help myself.)

Given the size of the Earth and the number of people stuck to it thanks to gravity...

I'm not stuck to the Earth, the damn thing's stuck to me. Get it off!

And Joe didn’t give a national radio address representing Republicans on the topic. Obama picked him to talk to on a rope line.

Bullshit.

The guy sought out Obama on the rope line, not the other way around, and more recently he spent the day after the debate going on every TV show he could find to do interviews. Not exactly a shrinking violet.


I came back here today hoping to see some condemnation of the lefty blogs attacking this guy. Instead I see some general uneasiness with what’s going on, plenty of comments spreading the attacks, and lots of snark about how dumb the guy is – but not one word of condemnation for what’s being done to the guy.

Bullshit.

See here (Top level post by a prominent blogger) and here and here (in comments on this blog by your truly).

Those are just two examples. Anecdotally, I've read plenty of other people raising similar objections.


If you haven't seen any condemnation of the J-t-P witchhunt, it is because you didn't want to, not because there isn't any.

OCSteve, I've enjoyed reading your comments over the years, but it sounds to me like the wingnut blogs and/or other info sources from the right have gotten inside your head and are working you up into a frenzy over teh Evil Left. I'm sorry to say this but you need to calm down and get some perspective.

And meanwhile, take that broad brush that you are nastily tarring ALL of us with, and shove it.

Good news from Ohio: U.S. Supreme Court sides with Brunner in voter registration case

WASHINGTON -- In an unsigned opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner this morning, a blow to the Ohio Republican Party's efforts to have her double-check the identities of hundreds of thousands of newly registered voters. Read the full opinion. (pdf)

The court's brief opinion, barely over a page long, did not deal with the substance of the Republicans' claim that voter fraud could run rampant without closer scrutiny. Rather, the court said that the state party is unlikely to prevail on the legal question of whether Congress, in passing the Help America Vote Act of 2002, authorized a federal court to intervene when a private party seeks this kind of legal help.

The Ohio Republican Party had won a ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that would have forced Brunner to cross-check the names of people who have registered to vote or updated registrations since Jan. 1 against a state driver's license database. She would then have to tell Ohio's 88 boards of election how to deal with people who don't match up.

Brunner feared voter suppression, since voters whose registrations contained minor errors or were otherwise mismatched could have to be given provisional ballots on Election Day unless the errors were cleared up. Many provisional ballots are not counted for a variety of technicalities.

The GOP said the need to protect against fraudulent voting outweighed the inconvenience of Brunner or election boards.

But the Supreme Court's decision did not speak to either argument directly. Instead, the court, in a "per curiam" opinion -- one unsigned but agreed to by the justices -- cited legal precedents on the issue of whether Congress intended lower courts to intervene in matters like this brought by a private party.

TLT: civility. Thanks.

TLT: civility. Thanks.

My bad. I'm sorry.

OCSteve, my apologies. Please come back.

@ OCSteve:

Well, if it's condemnation of bloggers/blogcommenters turning Sam Wurzelbacher's personal life into a media circus you're looking for, I'll be happy to step up to the plate. It sucks - regardless of the political orientation of the hyenas doing it - although how one avoids this sort of garbage in the Internet Age is a question I don't have an easy answer to. No way.

But I did notice that you glossed over a couple of salients facts in your 07:43 outrage-a-thon: not that it should excuse unwarranted intrusions into anyone's personal life or business.

First, regardless of who approached who on that rope line, it was John McCain, not Sen. Obama, who kept bringing "Joe the Plumber" into the debate dialogue on 10/15; and, AFAICT, kept citing "Joe" as a sort of stand-in Everyman figure*, as an (inaccurate/misleading) example of the "negatives" of Obama's tax proposals.

Secondly, Mr. Wurzelbacher, in his post-debate interviews, didn't exactly shun the limelight, or prove shy about voicing his opinions. Again, no excuse to pry into the guy's life unduly, but it didn't seem like Sam was avoiding publicity. OR letting himself be exploited by the McCain campaign.

And what TLTinABQ said (albeit a bit more respectfully) - the Tarbrush of Outrage you're wielding is splattering a little too much where it shouldn't. I'd save he buulk of my indignation for those who have, y'know, actually done, or supported the intrusive prying you decry. You might have more company in your dudgeon than you think.


*Actually, I seemed to miss something in my first viewing of the debate: I hadn't realized "Joe the Plumber" was a real person, I thought he was just some strawman Sen. McCain had made up. Duh.

I came back here today hoping to see some condemnation of the lefty blogs attacking this guy.

You should read Feministe. That was the first place I heard about a Kos diarist posting his address - which was roundly condemned by Jill at Feministe and every other commenter except a lone McCain supporter.

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