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10:20 PM ET, October 16, 2008


 Top Items: 
The Caucus:
Joe in the Spotlight  —  One week ago, Joe Wurzelbacher was just another working man living in a modest ranch house in Toledo, Ohio, thinking about how to expand his plumbing business.  But when he stopped Senator Barack Obama during a visit to his block this weekend to ask about his taxes …
Robert J. Elisberg / The Huffington Post:
The “Joe the Plumber” Story Hits an Amazing New Low  —  Just when you didn't think things could get worse for John McCain - they go in the toilet.  —  Literally.  —  So, you remember Joe the Plumber, who John McCain kept relentlessly bringing up.  And up.
Discussion: The Sundries Shack
Marty / Martin Eisenstadt's Blog:
Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher related to Charles “the Crook” Keating.  Oops.  —  John McCain did great tonight in the debate.  But every time John mentioned “Joe the Plumber,” some of us in the campaign banged our heads against the wall.  If Steve Schmidt had any hair left, I hear he would have been pulling it out tonight.
James Pethokoukis / US News:
Money & Business  —  Did Barack “Spread the Wealth” Obama Just Blow the Election?  —  No. Really.  You're kidding me.  Barack Obama actually told that Joe the Plumber guy that he wants to “spread the wealth around.”  What, did Obama just get done reading the Wikipedia entry on Huey “Share the Wealth” Long or something?
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Good news: Toledo moves to shut down Joe the Plumber  —  Look on the bright side.  The media's finally starting to vet acquaintances of Barack Obama. … Also revealed: His boss's business probably doesn't bring in anywhere near $250,000 a year so he should stop dreaming about turning …
Discussion: Stop The ACLU and
Ryan J. Donmoyer / Bloomberg:
‘Joe the Plumber,’ Who Dislikes Obama Tax Plan, Owes Back Taxes  —  Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) — “Joe the plumber,” the Toledo, Ohio, man whose complaints about Barack Obama's tax plan were featured in the final presidential debate, owes the state of Ohio almost $1,200 in back income taxes.
Hotline On Call:
I'm Not A Plumber, But I Play One On TV  —  When Barack Obama and Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (aka Joe The Plumber) met recently in Ohio, the two got to talking about small businesses.  Wurzelbacher told the senator he's a “plumber” and he's looking to buy a company.  Obama asked how long he'd been a plumber.
Michelle Malkin:
Is Joe Wurzelbacher related to Charles Keating — and does it matter?  —  That's been the left-wing blogger obsession all day.  It started with a post from GOP blogger Martin Eisenstadt, who says that Joe Wurzelbacher the Plumber is a “close relative” of Robert Wurzelbacher, who is the son-in-law of Charles Keating.
Jonathan Martin / Jonathan Martin's Blogs:
Joe not a licensed plumber, McCain's enthusiasm not diminished
Discussion: Emptywheel and The New Republic
Michelle Malkin:
New McCain ad: “Joe the Plumber”
Frank James / The Swamp:
Joe the Plumber owes Ohio back taxes
Michelle DeArmond / PE Angels Baseball:
Inland GOP mailing depicts Obama's face on food stamp  —  Download story podcast  —  The Press-Enterprise  —  The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women's group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.
Lara Jakes Jordan / Associated Press:
Officials: FBI investigates ACORN for voter fraud  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election.  A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press on Thursday.
Joe Strupp / Editor and Publisher:
Shocker: Tribune Co. Gives Notice To Drop AP  —  NEW YORK Tribune Company has given a two-year notice to the Associated Press that its daily newspapers plan to drop the news service, becoming the first major newspaper chain to do so since the recent controversy over new rates began.
Discussion: JammieWearingFool and PrestoPundit
Edward T. Pound / National Journal Online:
Lobbyist Speaks: Rumor Of McCain Affair False, Damaging  —  VICKI ISEMAN TALKS FOR THE FIRST TIME ABOUT THE GOP NOMINEE, THE NEW YORK TIMES, AND THE STORY THAT CHANGED HER LIFE.  —  In one of the most sensational stories of the presidential campaign, The New York Times published a 3,000-word …
Jim Kuhnhenn / Associated Press:
Lobbyist speaks out, denies affair with McCain
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Washington Post:
Barack Obama for President  —  THE NOMINATING process this year produced two unusually talented and qualified presidential candidates.  There are few public figures we have respected more over the years than Sen. John McCain.  Yet it is without ambivalence that we endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president.
Discussion: TalkLeft and Raising Kaine
Brian Stelter / The Caucus:
McCain to Letterman: ‘I Screwed Up’  —  He made it.  —  After a high-flying adventure, Senator John McCain finally sat down next to David Letterman on the set of “The Late Show” on Thursday and offered his mea culpa: “I screwed up.”  —  Anyone following Mr. McCain or watching Mr. Letterman knew exactly what Mr. McCain meant.
Discussion: and AMERICAblog News
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Harsh GOP robo-call hits Ayers  —  A harsh new robocall (above) — at least the third in a series — attacks Obama for having “worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers” whose group “killed Americans.”  —  Robocalls are a relatively inexpensive way to deliver a negative message …
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Latest McCain Robocall Alleges That Obama Denied Babies Medical Care
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Sol Stern / Wall Street Journal:
Ayers Is No Education ‘Reformer’  —  The new media spin is worse than Obama's original evasion.  —  One of the most misleading statements during the presidential debates was when Barack Obama claimed that William Ayers was just “a guy in the neighborhood.”
Joseph Nye / Financial Times:
Beware an October surprise from bin Laden  —  Americans are transfixed by the aftermath of the September surprise in financial markets.  Could there be a very different surprise coming in October?  —  The public thinks Democrats do better on economic issues, and the financial crisis erased …
Discussion: Commentary and Pat Dollard
Matt / Think Progress:
Confirmed: McCain To Appear With Virginia GOP Chairman Who Compared …
Africanpress / African Press International:
Recordings and information leading to recent API story on Michelle Obama's telephone call is now being cleared for release  —  API is disturbed by the way many have reacted to the story on Mrs Obama's call.  Many have shown us by the way they have behaved towards API that they only think of …
Bob Cusack / The Hill:
Renzi: FBI taped discussions on leadership races  —  Lawyers representing Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) claim that the government “recorded dozens of sensitive conversations concerning House leadership races” after the 2006 elections, according to new legal filings.
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 More Items: 
Jennifer Lawinski / Fox News:
Late-Night Comics Skewer Republicans 7-to-1, Study Finds
Discussion: YID With LID and Don Surber
Stacy Cowley /
Fact check: Plumber Joe's taxes
Discussion: Donklephant
Lisa Schiffren / The Corner:
Recruiting Children  —  Of course you are right that indoctrinating …
Jay Nordlinger / The Corner:
Reagan as Einstein
Discussion: Eunomia
Michael Calderone / The Politico:
Glenn Beck joins Fox News
Frank James / The Swamp:
ACORN: McCain's a zero on foreclosures
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
John McCain's Anger Problem
 Earlier Items: 
Oakley: European media mocks Palin
Discussion: Babalu Blog
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
There she goes again; Sarah Palin speaks to a special base
Discussion: The Dish Rag
Kirk Johnson / New York Times:
Rise in Voting by Mail Transforms Race in Colorado
Agence France Presse:
Former UN chief mulls ‘phenomenal’ Obama presidency
Americans Flunk Simple 3-Question Political Survey