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Politics

Obama Loses! (to Kerry among Whites in the South)

Though liberals had a lot to celebrate on Tuesday, not all is suddenly right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) with America. (Nor will it be once Obama takes office, but that's another matter entirely.) Aside from gay-marriage bans passing in three states—including, surprisingly, California—and a gay-adoption ban passing in Arkansas, the most dispiriting aspect of the rather spiriting 2008 election comes from exit polls from the Deep South.

Politics

Bob the Plumber on Joe the Plumber

In case you were wondering—and we know you were—Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher is not the only plumber with an opinion on politics. When Gelf set out last week to find other ordinary American plumbers, we encountered the website of Bob the Plumber, who, while now retired, is actually a licensed plumber, unlike the more-famous McCain-supporter-cum-possible-country-star.

Politics

How American is Your Hometown?

Sarah Palin, John McCain, and even Barack Obama, have all told us about the "real" America. In this mythical place, people work hard (though they may or may not pay their taxes), have "family values" and are "pro-America." But not all of America is the real America—some parts of this great land are, indeed, fake American, or even Un-American.

Politics

Wurzelbacher Sings the Blues

How often can you say you've witnessed greatness? Once in a lifetime? Once in a decade? If America turns out to be as great a nation as we hope, it might happen again before Groundhog Day. America's favorite thinly-veiled Republican shill, Joe the Plumber, reportedly has been approached with a recording contract for a country album.

Politics

[Your Name Here] the Plumber

Joe Wurzelbacher of Toledo, Ohio is not the only Joe the Plumber. Joe Francis of Amarillo, Tex., owner of joetheplumber.com, has received multiple offers, some for thousands of dollars, for his domain name. But according to PC Magazine, Francis wasn't even the No. 1 Joe the Plumber on the 'net prior to the unlicensed Wurzelbacher's hitting the scene—that honor belonged to Joe Lara the Plumber (also known as "The Plumber's Plumber!"), of Ventura, California.

Politics

Joe the Anecdote

Every election season, certain members of the working class are singled out by politicians for being, well, generic. Indeed, Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher is just the latest in a long line of "ordinary Americans" whose salt-of-the-earth troubles managed to catch the attention of an anecdote-trolling candidate. Here's a small sampling of others who saw 15 seconds of fame during presidential campaigns.

Politics

Winners and Losers in the Backwards 'B' Hoax Story

Ashley Todd, a McCain volunteer working in Pennsylvania, has admitted that she made up an elaborate story about being beaten and mutilated by a large black man who was upset by her support for the Republican presidential candidate. Todd confessed that the backwards "B" lightly carved into her cheek was possibly of her own doing, and that she was never mugged at an ATM in downtown Pittsburgh. There were several fishy aspects to her story from the time it first gained nationwide attention, but some observers were more skeptical than others. Here's how they stack up in the aftermath.

Politics

Everything but Also the Kitchen Sink

Down by double digits in several major polls, John McCain needed to really shake things up in the final presidential debate Wednesday night, even if it meant employing some risky strategies. While most instant analysis shows that his tactics backfired, it wasn't for lack of trying. In fact, you might say McCain "threw the kitchen sink" at his rival.

Politics

Folking Up on Ayers

Lately, people have been paying a lot of attention to Sarah Palin's words (or "verbage"), and one of her favorite talking points has been Bill Ayers and his ties to Barack Obama. Back in August, Gelf shed some light on the Obama-Ayers connection, and the documentary The Weather Underground, arguing that the overlooked film offered "a complicated sketch of a complicated problem." While Palin's new accusations are based on no new evidence, it's worthwhile to take look a back at the issue, just in case you're one of those late-breaking, unicorn-riding "uninformed voters."

Politics

"Friends" Don't Let Friends Not Vote

MTV has been telling us that voting is cool for a decade. Diddy took it one step further in the last presidential election, threatening bodily harm if we didn't exercise our democratic right. Now the next wave, a seemingly slapped-together push, caked in desperation, has been released upon the masses: A viral plea from some of Tinsel Town's brightest to get your X-box-lovin' tuchus out and vote (preferably, we assume, for the junior senator from Illinois).

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