Checks On Joe The Plumber ‘Not Routine’

More actually real life investigative reporting from the Columbus Dispatch:

State employee says she was ordered to check out Joe the Plumber

Friday,  October 31, 2008

By Randy Ludlow

Vanessa Niekamp said that when she was asked to run a child-support check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher on Oct. 16, she thought it routine. A supervisor told her the man had contacted the state agency about his case.

Niekamp didn’t know she just had checked on “Joe the Plumber,” who was elevated the night before to presidential politics prominence as Republican John McCain’s example in a debate of an average American.

The senior manager would not learn about “Joe” for another week, when she said her boss informed her and directed her to write an e-mail stating her computer check was a legitimate inquiry.



Obama On Getting Beyond Partisanship

From Mr. Obama’s second 2006 autobiography, The Audacity Of Hope – Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream, pp 24-5:

In the back-and-forth between Clinton and Gingrich, and in the elections of 2000 and 2004, I sometimes felt as if I were watching the psychodrama of the Baby Boom generation—a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago—played out on the national stage. The victories that the sixties generation brought about—the admission of minorities and women into full citizenship, the strengthening of individual liberties and the healthy willingness to question authority—have made America a far better place for all its citizens. But what has been lost in the process, and has yet to be replaced, are those shared assumptions—that quality of trust and fellow feeling—that bring us together as Americans.


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Obama American Dream = New New Deal

Any cursory reading of Mr. Obama’s writings will show that Obama’s big idea has always been to bring back Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s socialism of the 1930s.

Even before our recent economic crisis Mr. Obama was hoping that the competition of the global economy would bring about enough of a “crisis” to make us long for those good old days of the Great Depression.

From Obama’s second 2006 autobiography, The Audacity Of Hope – Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream, pp 86-95:


YOU’LL GET LITTLE argument these days, from either the left or the right, with the notion that we’re going through a fundamental economic transformation… But there’s also no denying that globalization has greatly increased economic instability for millions of ordinary Americans. To stay competitive and keep investors happy in the global marketplace, U.S.-based companies have automated, downsized, outsourced, and off-shored.



The Most Honest Pro-Obama Ad Thus Far

From via YouTube:

The deep thinking of Mr. Obama’s supporters in a nutshell.



Shocker: Obama Big With Arab Americans

From Iran’s Press TV:

Obama popular among Arab Americans

Fri, 31 Oct 2008

The support of Arab American voters for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama has increasingly been on the rise.

A Zogby poll conducted on behalf of the Arab American Institute found that some 54 percent of Arab Americans support Senator Barack Obama for president.

This is while only 27 percent are rooting for Republican Senator John McCain. In 2000, the Democratic/Republican break was 40 percent to 38.

More than three million Americans are of Arab descent, the majority of whom are Christians and only about 700,000 are Muslim.

“They (Arabs) know that McCain will probably continue the policies of the Bush administration … which has been lopsidedly pro-Israel. And the only chance for that to change is to have somebody who is more open-minded,” political science professor Jim McClellan told Press TV.



Reporters Kicked Off Obama Press Plane

From Fox News:

Report: Journalists From Three Newspapers Booted From Obama’s Plane

Reporters from three newspapers that endorsed John McCain have reportedly been told that they can’t travel aboard Barack Obama’s plane in the final days leading before Election Day.

Friday, 2008-31-305

Journalists from three major newspapers that endorsed John McCain have reportedly been booted from Barack Obama’s campaign plane for the final leg of the presidential race.

The Washington Times reported Friday that it was notified of the Obama campaign’s decision Thursday evening — even though the paper has covered Obama from the start.

Executive Editor John Solomon told that the Obama campaign said it didn’t have enough seats on the plane, but “I don’t think the explanation makes sense to us.”

“We’ve been traveling since 2007 with him.



McCain Sign Stealing Boy Gets Zapped

From the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer:

Sign battle starts with a zzzzzzzt!

Jay Price, Staff Writer

October 31, 2008

CHAPEL HILL – After Shawn Turschak saw two sets of McCain-Palin signs disappear from his yard within hours of being planted, he took steps to protect the latest pair.

On Monday, he ran wires from his house and hooked the signs into a power source for an electric pet fence. Then he mounted a surveillance camera in a nearby tree and wired it to a digital recorder.

Tuesday afternoon, the camera saw this: A neighbor trotting up with an Obama-Biden sign, grabbing a handful of volts as he touched a McCain-Palin sign, then fleeing at top 9-year-old boy speed.

A few minutes later, the boy’s father, Andrew Noble, was at Turschak’s door, demanding an explanation from Turschak’s 13-year-old daughter, who called her parents on the phone to say a man was yelling at her.



Al Qaeda Wants GOP, Bush ‘Humiliated’

From Al Qaeda’s mouthpiece, Reuters:

Qaeda wants Republicans, Bush “humiliated”: Web video

DUBAI (Reuters) – An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be “humiliated,” without endorsing any party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to a video posted on the Internet.

“O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him,” Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.

Libi, one of the top al Qaeda commanders believed to be living in Afghanistan or Pakistan, called for God’s wrath to be brought against Bush equating him with past tyrants in history.

The remarks were the first comments from a leading al Qaeda figure referring, albeit indirectly, to the U.S.



About Obama’s Mother And Medical Bills

Apparently Mr. Obama touched upon his mother’s death and lack of health insurance in his infomercial last night.

A little more than a year ago Mr. Obama ran an ad featuring his mother’s death from cancer.

From the Obama campaign and the Chicago Tribune:

Obama’s mother in new ad

by John McCormick

Posted September 20, 2007

Sen. Barack Obama is using an image of his deceased mother in a new campaign ad that seeks to make the case that he is the best qualified to bring change in the way the nation delivers health care.

Called “Mother,” the 30-second ad briefly shows a picture of Stanley Ann Dunham, who died of cancer in 1995. The image includes a very young Obama in her arms….

It’s an anecdote Obama has been recently field testing on the campaign trail.



More Wishful Thinking From AP Photogs

From those art lovers and economic mavens at the Associated Press:

A man passes by an ice sculpture entitled ‘Main Street Meltdown,’ in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008. The sculpture, which is the work of artists Nora Ligano and Marshall Reese, made it’s debut on the 79th anniversary of Black Tuesday, the stock market crash that caused the Great Depression.

A passerby peers through an ice sculpture called ‘Main Street Meltdown,’ in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008, on the 79th anniversary of ‘Black Tuesday,’ the stock market crash that caused the 1929 Great Depression. The sculpture is the collaboration of artist Nora Ligano and Marshall Reese. The artists say it will take 10-24 hours to completely melt down.

Nelson Lee stops to photograph an ice sculpture entitled ‘Main Street Meltdown,’ in Lower Manhattan in New York, Wednesday, Oct.



AP: We Are/Aren’t Finally In A Recession

From the Obama campaign’s Associated Press:

Economy shrinks as consumers cut back on spending

WASHINGTON – A day after the Federal Reserve slashed a key interest rate to battle an economic downturn, the government reported Thursday the economy did shrink in the summer, sending the strongest signal yet that a recession may have already begun.

The Commerce Department reported that the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, fell at an annual rate of 0.3 percent in the July-September period, a significant slowdown after growth of 2.8 percent in the prior quarter

The classic definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. Many analysts believe the GDP will decline in the current October-December period by an even larger amount and they are forecasting a negative GDP figure in the first three months of next year.



Obama Leads By 7, Are Polls Accurate?

First we have from Reuters, the fearless front page above the fold promise that Mr. Obama is going to win in a landslide:

Obama takes 7-point lead on McCain

By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Barack Obama has opened a 7-point lead over Republican rival John McCain with five days left in the race for the White House, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Thursday.

Obama leads McCain by 50 percent to 43 percent among likely voters in the three-day national tracking poll, building on his 5-point advantage on Wednesday. The telephone poll has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

It was the second consecutive day Obama’s lead has grown as the two-year presidential battle draws to a close.



Angels, Curfew Curb Detroit’s Devil Night

From a disappointed Associated Press:

Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel addresses the media during an Angels’ Night news conference with members of local law enforcement agencies in Detroit, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008.

Thousands to douse annual Detroit arson tradition

By BEN LEUBSDORF, Associated Press

DETROIT – The city that used to burn on the night before Halloween as mischief-makers torched abandoned buildings has largely doused its Devil’s Night by mobilizing tens of thousands of citizens and law-enforcement personnel each year to patrol city neighborhoods…

At its peak in 1984, 810 fires were reported in Detroit from Oct. 29 to 31, fueled by, among other things, Devil’s Night’s growing notoriety and the city’s large number of abandoned buildings.

But the number of blazes has dropped — 147 fires were reported last year for the three days ending Oct.



Joe The Plumber Checks More Extensive

From Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch:

Checks on ‘Joe’ more extensive than first acknowledged

Tax, welfare info also sought on McCain ally

Wednesday,  October 29, 2008 8:05 PM
By Randy Ludlow

A state agency has revealed that its checks of computer systems for potential information on “Joe the Plumber” were more extensive than it first acknowledged.

Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, disclosed today that computer inquiries on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher were not restricted to a child-support system.

The agency also checked Wurzelbacher in its computer systems to determine whether he was receiving welfare assistance or owed unemployment compensation taxes, she wrote.

Jones-Kelley made the revelations in a letter to Ohio Senate President Bill M. Harris, R-Ashland, who demanded answers on why state officials checked out Wurzelbacher.



Obama Muses On The Meaning Of Family

From the UK’s Times:

Found in a rundown Boston estate: Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyang

James Bone in Boston, Rob Crilly in Kogelo and Ben Macintyre

October 30, 2008

The aunt of Barack Obama, Zeituni Onyango

Barack Obama has lived one version of the American Dream that has taken him to the steps of the White House. But a few miles from where the Democratic presidential candidate studied at Harvard, his Kenyan aunt and uncle, immigrants living in modest circumstances in Boston, have a contrasting American story.

Zeituni Onyango, the aunt so affectionately described in Mr Obama’s best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father, lives in a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston.

A second relative believed to be the long-lost “Uncle Omar” described in the book was beaten by armed robbers with a “sawed-off rifle” while working in a corner shop in the Dorchester area of the city.



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