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The Guilfoile-Warner Papers

October 17

Joe the Plumber turned out to be the James Frey of this election, in that he's not named Joe, he's not a licensed plumber, he probably couldn't afford to buy the business he said he wants to buy, even if he did buy it, the business doesn't generate anything like the income he claimed and wouldn't remotely qualify for a tax increase under Obama's plan, and even if, thanks to his new-found notoriety, the newly branded "Joe the Plumber, Inc." did actually generate $280,000 of taxable income, Joe would pay a whopping $773 in extra taxes under Obama's plan as compared to McCain's, hardly enough to discourage a rational man from buying his own business. Joe, if you're reading, I'm sorry. Also, if you have a few moments over the weekend, read Josh Marshall's thorough dissection of the ACORN story, which is never going to be widely explained in any rational way. Simply put, the fraud is being perpetrated ON ACORN, not BY ACORN. ACORN is paying people to register legitimate voters and some of those independent contractors are lazily filling in bogus names. But that's not voter fraud. If I register Scooby-Doo to vote, a talking dog still has to show up with an ID on election day. Phony registrations aren't phony votes. The public impression of this tale is going to be that ACORN is engaging in alleged voter fraud and Barack Obama has some tangential relationship to ACORN. That might not be enough to make a difference in the election, but if the votes are actually close, the Republicans are clearly planning to use the sham investigation into voter fraud as part of the basis of a challenge. As Marshall says (and I think he's right):
The essence of McCain's campaign now appears to amount to prepping McCain's base to believe they didn't really lose the election. The election was stolen from them by Barack and his army of gangsters and black street hustlers.
Memo to Republican operatives with property or business interests or loved ones in Chicago: If Obama goes into this thing with a six-point lead and you steal it from him, Chicagoans will have moved in position to burn the city down. Again. And memo to the Department of Justice: If you're looking for the side attempting to fix an election it's usually not the side that is winning it. Finally, some breaking news. By the way, do you know the last time the Chicago Tribune endorsed a Democrat for president? That would be never.
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