Caught up.

I can go one night on six hours sleep, followed by another, but by the third the bill has come due. So I went back to bed this morning after driving the morning car pool, and can report it was the best sleep I’ve had in weeks — 90 minutes of dead-to-the-world REM with actual dreaming. It was the unfinished-house dream, which is the one I have whenever I have work to do. I had dreams last night, too — ones I remember, anyway — in which I was the Cybill Shepherd character in “Taxi Driver,” and was on a date with a faceless man who took me to a dirty movie. Make of that what you will. I didn’t watch the movie. I was waiting for the right moment to make an escape.

All this by way of giving you guys short shrift AGAIN, but I know all anyone wants to talk about today is the last debate, so have at it. Listening from an adjacent room, McCain sounded angry. This is becoming a theme with him, I notice. Personally, I think the anger is self-directed; every time his eyes flash while Obama gives a calm answer, I imagine his train of thought: So, this is my last act. I can’t believe I listened to those people. There’s no fool like an old fool, I guess. I wonder if I have a retirement house in Montana yet. It’s cool up there in the summer — screw Arizona.

But I could be projecting.

Anyway, I have reporting to do. Have at it, my friends, and I’ll be in and out.

Posted at 11:07 am in Current events |

30 responses to “Caught up.”

  1. Laura said on October 16, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    When Katie Couric interviewed Joe the Plumber (post debate), he told her that when he met Obama, the senator tap-danced around the issues–better than Sammy Davis Jr. Hmmmmmm

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  2. Dorothy said on October 16, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Maybe his name should be changed to Joe the Bigot?

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  3. LAMary said on October 16, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Joe the spigot bigot.

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  4. Kirk said on October 16, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Breaking news: Joe the Plumber has no plumbing license, AP reports. He said that, because he works for someone else, he doesn’t need one. Does that apply to nurses and lawyers, too?

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  5. nancy said on October 16, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I’m going to give Joe the Plumber a pass on this one, because when I say, “tapdanced like (fill in the blank),” I can’t think of any white tappers. Gene Kelly? Shirley Temple? Fred Astaire? A little Googling brought me a couple more, as well as this wonderful detail: taps are known as “claquettes” in French.

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  6. Kirk said on October 16, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I was thinking the same on tap dancers. Were I to answer such a question that way, I’d have said he tap-danced around it like Gregory Hines. Joe prefers to stick with the classic era, obviously.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on October 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Joe the Plumber is actually related by marriage to the infamous Charles Keating, the banking executive and religious zealot who got a whole scandal named after him.

    In short, Joe is GOP royalty. He wouldn’t vote for Obama if you gave him the plumbing company he says he wants to buy.

    My happiness with the probable election of Obama is heavily weighted by the mess he or any other president will face after eight years of the most corrupt and incompetent administration in American history. (Sorry, James Buchanan but you’ve lost your spot in history’s shameful pantheon.)

    There will be no honeymoon for the next president. And he may well be a single term president. The moves that must be made, the tasks that must be undertaken to mop up after this band of goons will be painful and horrific. The next president will still confront:

    a.) Two wars going badly.
    b.) Budget deficits so vast as to defy description.
    c.) An economy some experts believe will remain in recession for another two or three years.
    d.) A damaged Army and Marine Corps.
    e.) Angry and/or bitter allies.
    f.) Courts and federal bureaucracies stuffed with rightwing zealots and Regency University grads.
    g.) Just enough Republicans in Congress to prevent forward movement on an array of issues.
    h.) Diplomatic challenges on every continent.

    The president is going to be tested from Day One, both domestically and internationally. This nation can’t tolerate another Republican presidency at this moment but I have no illusions that Obama will have a very, very rocky presidency.

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  8. John said on October 16, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Donald O’Connor.

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  9. caliban said on October 16, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    So, Joe was dissembling his unsightly Plumber asscrack off:

    Think he was a plant?

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  10. moe99 said on October 16, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I enforce contractor registration laws in WA state and RCW 18.106.020 provides in part: “No person may engage in or offer to engage in the trade of plumbing without having a journeyman certificate, specialty certificate, temporary permit, or trainee certificate.” However, in Wa state you can work for a contractor to do contractor type work and not need to be registered as a contractor, so perhaps Ohio is more lax on this. But frankly, I would not want anyone near my pipes unless they were certified in some way. I know, that’s harsh, but having seen what I’ve seen, I don’t think it is unrealistic.

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  11. Kirk said on October 16, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Ray Bolger, too.

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  12. Jolene said on October 16, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Joe is apparently opposed to other societal constraints as well, such as paying taxes.

    Also, Politico reported last night that it appeared he wasn’t registered to vote. Today, it seems that he is; his name didn’t appear in the initial search of the voter rolls because the name on file was misspelled. This makes Joe just like the new voters who are in danger of having their names purged from the Ohio voter rolls right now.

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  13. nancy said on October 16, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Looks like Joe got the same careful vetting that Sarah Palin got. I know it’s hard for some of you to believe, but every now and then I try to step back and look at these campaigns with a little objectivity, and ask myself if they might change my mind. And after watching the GOP trainwreck this summer and fall, I just don’t see how. It’s like every new dawn brings a new kitchen-sink strategy. If you can’t run your campaign, how will you run the country?

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  14. MichaelG said on October 16, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    I asked that question of John Kerry last time around, Nance, and voted for him anyway. Holding my nose.

    In CA Joe could work as a plumber for somebody else but couldn’t open his own shop without a contractor’s license. Most “plumbers” are roto-rooter type guys anyway, not real plumbers.

    By the way, in NoCal the plumbers and electricians unions have excellent, rigorous apprenticeship programs. A person with a union journeyman card knows his or her stuff.

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  15. Jolene said on October 16, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    The Plumbers and Pipefitters Union endorsed Obama way last January, but, if he’s not licensed, he may not be a union member either.

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  16. Gasman said on October 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I have been disgusted with the Republican rhetoric since at least 1980. They have gotten progressively meaner, nastier, and more prone to lying during the intervening 28 years. During that time, I have not witnessed a single Republican campaign for national office that was issue driven or was conducted honorably. Having said that, the McCain/Palin campaign has been grubby even by Republican standards. Neither of the two principals on the ticket seems to be able to tell the truth.

    I find it astounding that they lie as a matter of course even when it seems unnecessary for any perceivable gain. The Joe the Plumber plant is just another hokey contrivance designed to con the voters. That kind of behavior indicates a palpable contempt of the McCain/Palin campaign for the American public. If they are so damn right on the issues, why do they need to lie to us?

    At least our European cousins are not as gullible concerning Saint Sarah, Queen of All That Is Pure And Righteous (and guns too!):

    Palin’s pick further displays McCain’s disdain for the American voters. By any standard you would invoke to measure a candidate’s fitness for the presidency, she doesn’t even make the first cut. She is an utter buffoon. She is also a vindictive bully that seems to relish using her elected power to settle old grudges. I am willing to bet that she will be jammed up in this ethics probe to the point that she will not finish her term as Governor. In my mind, it is simply a matter of will she resign, or will she be removed from office?

    Given all that, why in hell would anyone vote for these clowns?

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  17. Jolene said on October 16, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I don’t think there’s any reason to assume Joe is a plant, Gasman. Obama was knocking on doors in his neighborhood, and he got into the mix.

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  18. Dorothy said on October 16, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Ray Bolger? Buddy Ebsen?

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  19. Gasman said on October 16, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    A relative of Charles Keating, Repub royalty that just “happens” to get in the mix? I don’t buy that one bit. As to the racist tinge to the Sammy Davis line, if this campaign hadn’t constantly reeked of bigotry either from the top of the ticket or their surrogates or supporters, I’d be inclined to give them a pass. However, we’ve heard incessantly about Islamophobic charge of Obama being a Muslim, Obama being an Arab (i.e., terrorist), openly calling him a terrorist, and the latest suggestion that minorities are to blame for the sub-prime loan fiasco. Too many instances in my mind to think that Joe’s remarks weren’t indicative of racial prejudice.

    If Joe Plumber was a plant, why did McCain mess up his name? Why also did McCain bring up autism in reference to Palin and her familiarity with same? Surely, in the debate prep his staff had told him about Down’s syndrome and not autism. It does not follow that Sarah Palin experience with Down’s means that she knows anything about autism.

    Those types of gaffes seem out of place for someone in McCain’s position, given all of the preparation that he undoubtedly went through prior to the debate. Is this indicative of something we should be concerned about? In retrospect, it sure looked like Reagan was showing signs of dementia before the end of even his first term. I am not trying to be insulting to McCain, but he would be the oldest president in history. He also has an idiot as a running mate. I am not taking a cheap political shot here, I am genuinely concerned in his ability, or inability to fulfill the terms of the office.

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  20. Scout said on October 16, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Oh Nancy, how I WISH Grampy would say “screw Arizona!” I and several thousand of my fellow residents would be ecstatic.

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  21. The Subtle Rudder said on October 16, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Watched a bit of the debate last night with mom, who’s a nurse. (Well, mostly we watched Project Runway, while I tracked the debate liveblogging on my phone). I knew she was deeply offended by the Palin pick, and that she’d had her first fight ever with her sister-in-law over Polar(izing) Spice earlier that day. But I was astounded when she turned around after 40 seconds of Grandpa Spice and said, “That’s it. He’s senile! Anyone can see it!”

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  22. mark said on October 16, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Well, I see the “attack the message by destroying the messenger” approach to argument around here extends even to poor old Joe. Keep looking, folks. Maybe he has a daughter who is pregnant out of wedlock- that will eliminate any relevance to Obama’s “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody” comment. If his second cousin is on a sex offender list, or his wife got caught years ago on a “Girls Gone Wild” video, then you can claim complete victory.

    The times are changing. People need to pay a high price for daring to ask Obama a question that elicits a revealing response, particularly when the cameras are running.

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  23. Dexter said on October 16, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I couldn’t watch much, because the Phillies were beating the Dodgers on the way to winning the NL pennant.
    Baseball junkies can’t be distracted by a mere presidential election!
    If Tampa Bay beats Boston and advances to the World Series, it will be the worst-case scenario for Fox-TV, according to baseball genius/guru Steve Stone today. With no LA, NY, or Chicago Cubs…shares will plummet, according to Stone, who I believe will be in the 2009 White Sox telecasting booth.

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  24. LAMary said on October 16, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Mark, I haven’t said anything bad about Joe. I will say I was tired of hearing about Joe about two mentions into the debate, since it was clearly one of those “look over there, not at what I’m actually doing” deals. According to the fact checkers on the radio this morning, Joe would not have to pay a fine if he didn’t insure his workers and Joe would not have had a tax increase. Joe and McCain choose to ignore those facts, and if that’s what they need to do, so be it.

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  25. Gasman said on October 16, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Oh, come on! Nobody was critical of of Joe the Plumber, or McCain, because they deigned to ask Obama a question. Some of us were incredulous because of Joe’s more-than-a-little-miraculously-coincidental connections to Charles Keating. How about if a cousin of Genifer Flowers just “happens” to turn up and ask McCain a question that he can’t answer to her satisfaction? To add to the improbability, how about if Obama then brought it up onstage during a debate? When the media found out the connection, are you suggesting that you would accept that at face value?

    Yet again, you dodge, weave, and obfuscate around the issue at hand. McCain tried to stage a theatrical “gotcha!” ploy and it backfired. He couldn’t even get the name right. Just another of McCain’s weekly Hail Mary passes lobbed into an empty end-zone.

    McCain & Palin; beacons of truthiness in these troubled times.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on October 16, 2008 at 6:21 pm


    Say whatever you want about Joe the Plumber, but Obama has been campaigning for almost two years now and has dealt with scores of rough questions. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, plucked from obscurity and thrust onto the national stage, has not and will not answer any queries unless they are made by rightwing toadies like Sean Hannity. Now the Washington Post is reporting that Secret Service agents are preventing reporters from interviewing members of the audience at Palin events. McCain, once the darling of the press corps, also has refused to have any press conferences since the convention. The Rovians have taken control of his campaign.

    The historic nature of Obama’s campaign makes it easy for his detractors to claim he has had an easy time of it because he has attracted so much coverage. Yeah. Right. Much of that coverage has been negative or silly or both.

    My favorite being that this man raised first by a single mother, who sometimes needed food stamps to get by, and then by his grandparents; who worked his ass off to get into Harvard and excelled; who only paid off his student loans a few years ago when his books sold well; who eschewed a guaranteed fortune on Wall Street or K Street to work as a community organizer; who married a South Side Chicago woman who followed a similar path; is somehow an elitist while the son and grandson of admirals; who attended Annapolis; became a jet fighter pilot; returned from Vietnam a hero; and married a beer heiress; and owns something like eight houses and 13 cars is a man of the people.


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  27. Linda said on October 16, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Where Joe (really Samuel) works in Lucas County, Ohio, he and his employer need a license, and it turns out neither of them have it. Of course, now everybody knows this. They also know he has a lien on him (which HE probably didn’t know till now). I bet he ends up cursing the womb that bore him.

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  28. Linda said on October 16, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    And no, Joe’s not a union member. The story from the Toledo Blade:

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  29. Howie said on October 16, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Hear, Hear, Dexter from a baseball junkie who also happens to be a True Red Phillie Phanatic.

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  30. Joe K said on October 16, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Will someone explain to me how you can give a tax cut to 95% of Americans,when 40%, don’t pay any income tax????.
    And who decided,$250,000, was the cut off point??
    And if after say a year 250,000 still doesn’t generate enough revenue, who gets to decide what the next level of being rich is?? 150,000?? 100,000??
    I really don’t care if Joe the plumber or Joe the ceo asked the question the Obama answer was still going to be the same. I am going to decide who is rich and then take YOUR money and give it to someone else. And one more question, If you tax Exxon Mobil’s profit, do you think they will sit back and say Oh well, will make do with what is left. or do you think they will raise their price to cover their tax bill thereby putting the burden back on the working people??

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