EMULATING FAILURE: Mitt Romney Adopts The Campaign Strategy Of John McCain

Poor Mitt Romney. The wealthy vulture capitalist who, along with his Super PAC pals has raised and spent more money than any candidate in history, finds his campaign in shambles after a series of embarrassing missteps: The atrocious Republican convention, jumping the gun on statements about Libya, getting caught telling the awful truth to a luncheon for fatcat donors, etc. Romney and his campaign advisers have taken a beating at the hands of the public and their own supporters.

Consequently, Romney has turned to the GOP’s tactical playbook desperately looking for a way to dig himself out of the sinkhole that threatens to engulf him. And he thinks he’s found the answer in a chapter titled, “What Would John McCain Do?”

Mitt Romney Recycles John McCain

That’s right. When you’re in political trouble the best thing to do is always to emulate the tactics of the just prior candidate who lost miserably to an inexperienced African-American senator whose middle name is Hussein. And that’s precisely what Romney is doing.

In response to the devastating video (from way back in May) of Romney telling a roomful of wealthy donors that his job is not to worry about half the country who may be receiving some sort of federal assistance, Romney has begun hyping a fourteen year old clip (video below) of then-state senator Obama expressing his view that public institutions have room for improvement. He speculated about the need for “resuscitating the notion that government action can be effective.”

Obama: “I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.”

That’s not a particularly controversial comment. He’s talking about the pooled resources of agencies that administer services like housing and schools, which he specifically used as examples. And, technically, all services provided by the government – schools, roads, libraries, public safety, military, etc. – are examples of redistribution of funds obtained from taxpayers to programs that benefit society at large.

However, the take that Romney has put on this has far more sinister implications of socialism and what Romney calls “a foreign concept.” The most obvious corollary would be the circus that surrounded the national joke known as Joe the Plumber. In that citizen encounter Obama uttered the phrase “spread the wealth around,” and created a tornado of right-wing outrage. Never mind that it wasn’t different in principle from Ronald Reagan saying that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” It was an opportunity to miscast the President’s words and throw the mangled result back in his face. Which, by the way, Romney’s crew is also doing with nonsense like “you didn’t build that.”

In addition to this new focus on an old and abridged snippet of audio, Romney has also been recycling Sarah Palin’s classic “palling around with terrorists.” After the tragic and deadly clash in Libya, Romney stepped out in front of the news (and the facts) to accuse Obama of siding with terrorists by saying that he “sympathize[d] with those who waged the attacks.” That repugnant remark borders on charging the President with treason. So much for claims of running a civil campaign.

More than anything else, these recent moves by Romney are an admission that he has already lost the election. Resorting to this type of insane blathering demonstrates the depths of his desperation. He is now firmly committed to losing his race for the White House, while stirring up the mouth-foaming radicals of the Tea-publican Party so that they might prevent massive losses in the House and Senate as well. He’s aiming at pretty long odds with this approach. Ms. Palin and Mr. Plumber didn’t do much for McCain four years ago, and reaching back to salvage tactics that have been proven to fail is not likely to advance Romney’s campaign either.

Joe The Plumber: Living In The Past

It would take something uncommonly funny to resurrect any interest in the sublimely irrelevant Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher. And wouldn’t you know it, Joe obliges:

“I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity because I never want to be accused to stealing their material.”

What does he think he is, a stand-up comic? Is he really worried that he might hear one of his ideological allies pop out an anti-liberal gem and then he’d absentmindedly pass it off as one of his own (as if he’s ever had an original thought)? Someone needs to explain to him how the vast [fill-in-the-blank]-wing conspiracy works. You’re supposed to promote shared ideas and commonly held views.

It’s probably for the best that he isn’t listening to Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity. That would be a healthy prescription for anyone, even a delusional moron who has far exceeded his allotted fifteen minutes. But you have to admire Joey the P’s persistence in grasping for a shred of limelight. Especially his work ethic. He doesn’t just show up at a Tea Party and start shouting at imaginary socialists.

“I come up with my own facts. Usually, they’re from 40-year-old encyclopedias. I don’t look at the new stuff because the new stuff’s been rewritten. But you take an encyclopedia written 40 years ago and you take a new one today, and you’ll find a world of difference.”

Exactly! That’s why old Joe still thinks we have to defend ourselves against the Soviet Union. It’s why he refuses to fall for that nonsense about a moon landing. And he can’t wait to buy the next ABBA 8-track. Although he remains confused about why so many people are talking about the B-movie actor who became governor of California.

I would go Joe one better and refuse to read any encyclopedia printed after Gutenberg. Everyone knows that by turning the press into a mass medium it fundamentally transformed it into a progressive propaganda machine. News and information should only be available to the wealthy and powerful, as God intended.

Conservatives Gone Wild: CPAC Is All Up In Yo Face

The Conservative Political Action Conference will open tomorrow in Washington, D.C. and it promises to be totally off the hook. For those unable to attend, you might like to hear a bit about what you’ll be missing. Fox News provided this account of the festivities that, this year, will be making a special appeal to young conservatives.

“In a bid to make conservative chic, organizers of the annual meet-up of Republican Party faithful and right-wing firebrands are taking pains this year to gear their summit toward students and the under-30 crowd. Added to the menu are a slew of new media workshops and an entertainment lineup befitting a college campus.”

So what constitutes “chic” to these rightist party planners?

The XPAC Lounge – a room one organizer dubbed the ‘hub of fun.’ That’s where the video games and the junk food will be.”

Well, if the video games and junk food will be there, then so will every young Tea Bagger in America. XPAC (Xtreme Politically Active Conservatives) is a CPAC spinoff created to appeal to America’s youth, whom Glenn Beck regards as useful idiots. That view is apparently shared by XPAC as demonstrated by their obvious contempt for young people. There is a presumption from this crowd that all kids care about is Wii, Xbox and Guitar Hero and, of course, Pizza, Cheetohs, and beer. They certainly aren’t interested in mundane pursuits like economics, foreign affairs, health care, education, etc. XPAC actually promotes their sideshow (which costs $20.00 on top of the conference registration) as…

“…a place to hang while the older crowd attends the high-priced nightly dinners.”

So it’s the kiddie table. And what about that “entertainment lineup befitting a college campus?” Did they snag Cage the Elephant or Dane Clark? Nope. Try Ann Coulter, Michael Steele and the Young Cons, a couple of white, Christians in business suits trying to rap. And then there was this enticing news from CPAC spokesman Ian Walters:

“I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody of Joe the Plumber stature came in three times a day to come in and rally the kids.”

Seriously? Stature? All the kids I know would be having fits if they thought they might be within arms reach of Joey the P. He’s so dreamy. And add to this roster of stars
Fox News BoratACORN-busting hooker and Fox News porn star, Hannah Giles. She and her pimp, James O’Keefe, will be receiving the “1st Annual XPAC Award for Impact.” But O’Keefe first has to get his parole officer’s permission in order to attend, as he was arrested in a senator’s office recently on potential felony charges. Now that’s impact. Giles will be introducing the pair’s mentor, Andrew Breitbart for the morning keynote disinformation.

Organizers are anxious to attract more young conservatives who, they say, are are “proving more adept at using new media.” They say that the conference agenda reflects that “fact” because it includes workshops and sessions on blogging and using Twitter. The obvious question is, if they are already more adept, then why do they need these workshops?

In addition to the must-see lineup above, you won’t want to miss Tom Tancredo, fresh from the Tea Baggers convention where he proposed reinstating literacy tests for voting and other racist Jim Crow-era atrocities. Gary Kreep will be on hand for the Birther contingent. Kreep was the lead council for Birther activist, “Rev.” Wiley Drake, who was also notable for his encouragement of prayers for the death of President Obama. Kreep is also the proprietor of the DefendGlenn web site that was a response to the wildly successful advertiser boycott of Beck’s show on Fox. And speaking of Beck, he will be giving the closing keynote speech on Saturday night to tie together all of the racism, birtherism, secessionism, militarism, and assorted propaganda that was dispensed throughout the conference. That’ll be the time to really get your paranoia on.

Prospective Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum, will all be attending. The only one missing is Sarah Palin, who declined to attend in favor of the Tea Bagging in Nashville. Although why she could not do both is a mystery. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Tea Baggers paid her a hundred grand and the CPACers offered her zilch. Appearing under those circumstances is just not the American way.

The Right’s Top 25 Journalists?

Tunku Varadarajan, national affairs correspondent for The Daily Beast, has compiled a list of what he and 50 academics, politicians, and journalists, consider to be the top 25 right-wing journalists in America. The most enlightening thing we learn from this list has nothing to do with the ranking of wingnuts in the media. What is truly fascinating is how it reveals their definition of a journalist. Here are the top 10:

  1. Paul Gigot, Editorial Page Editor, The Wall Street Journal
  2. Glenn Beck, Fox News
  3. Rush Limbaugh, Radio Talk Show Host
  4. Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal
  5. Bill O’Reilly, Fox News
  6. Michelle Malkin, Fox News/Blogger
  7. David Brooks, The New York Times
  8. Sean Hannity, Fox News
  9. James Taranto, The Wall Street Journal
  10. Matt Drudge, The Drudge Report

To be fair, placing Paul Gigot at the top of the list recognizes a veteran newsman who spent decades with ink-stained fingers pursuing his vocation as a reporter and editor. While devotedly right-wing in his current role as an editorialist and commentator, he also has the resume of a bona fide journalist. And that makes him the ONLY journalist on the list.

It is nearly hysterical that the 50 unnamed participants in this project elevated Glenn Beck to second place; and Rush Limbaugh to third; and Bill O’Reilly to fifth; and … well you get the idea. What’s more, Varadarajan obviously has a soft spot in his heart for his former employer, Rupert Murdoch. Seven of the top 10 are also Murdoch minions employed by either Fox News or the Wall Street Journal. I wonder if some of the few real journalists at those shops are upset that they were ignored in favor of Sean Hannity and Peggy Noonan?

It is rather telling that an assembly of conservative academics, politicians, and journalists, couldn’t actually come up with names of other conservatives who are actually journalists. One of their selections, Limbaugh, has already responded to the list by declaring that he shouldn’t be on it. At least he is honest enough in this circumstance to admit that what he does is not journalism.

Some of the notable non-journalists on the remainder of the list include raging propagandist Andrew Breitbart (11), serial interrupter Neil Cavuto (14), Coulter clone Laura Ingraham (21), and Marc Morano, a virulent Climate Crisis denier and science skeptic.

Overall, judging from this coterie of cranks, I’m surprised that James O’Keefe and Jeff Gannon weren’t given honorable mentions. Perhaps the panel should be consulted again and made aware of some of these glaring omissions. Remember, Joe the Plumber served as a war correspondent for Pajamas Media. How dare they insult these fine conservatives by failing to honor their contributions to the rightist media.

Joe The Plumber Joins Arlen Specter

The Republicans favorite symbol for what they imagine ordinary Americans to be, Joe the Plumber, has turned his back on the GOP. And while he has not taken the additional step of registering as a Democrat, the blow will surely come as a shock to Sarah Palin and the rest of the right’s lunatic fringe. From Time:

Big Government is never popular in theory, but the disaster aid, school lunches and prescription drugs that make up Big Government have become wildly popular in practice, especially now that so many people are hurting. Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, tells TIME he’s so outraged by GOP overspending, he’s quitting the party – and he’s the bull’s-eye of its target audience. But he also said he wouldn’t support any cuts in defense, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid – which, along with debt payments, would put more than two-thirds of the budget off limits.

As the defections accelerate, the GOP will soon be left with only Carrie Prejean, Ted Nugent, and an ocean of dittoheads, to lead their trek back to relevancy. Of course, this could all be unfolding exactly as planned by Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele.

Some Tea Party Tidbits You May Have Missed

The Tea Baggers must be proud of their little parties. Even though attendance has fallen far short of their expectations, they were able to get their message out thanks to their media sponsor, Fox News. Media Matters has compiled a nice little montage of videos from various Tea Vee sources:

But there was so much more. For instance, Joe the (fake) Plumber had this to say at a Michigan TP:

“Let me give you another extremist view, ‘In God We Trust.’ Say that too loud in some parts of America and you will be shot. It’s terrible.”

Joey the P didn’t bother to specify what part of the country that would be. I can’t think of any place where militant atheists are knocking off folks who quote from currency. However, I can think of whole regions (I’m looking at you southerners) where fanatical gun enthusiasts revel in making violent threats directed at liberals, minorities, or anyone they view as different. Amongst those southerners is Texas governor Rick Perry, whose tea party address sounded more like a call for a new Confederacy:

“We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.”

If Texas wants out of America, I say let them go – and take the rest of the south with them. I’m sure they’ll be very happy in their theocratic utopia, railing against imagined threats of Socialism – or worse, as Cody Willard from Fox Business News demonstrates by urging us to fight the Fascism that’s permeating the country:

Glenn Beck’s Acute Paranoia Revue took to the road to host the Alamo’s tea fest. The entire hour featured musical accompaniment from the Motor City Jackass, Ted Nugent, who famously taunted Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Barack Obama to “suck on” the end of his assault rifle.

Neil Cavuto attended a lame rally in Sacramento, CA, where he interviewed a girl who appeared to be about nine years old. He tried valiantly to put words in her mouth to the effect that she was there as a committed protester, not because her parents made her be there. But she defiantly refused and, at the end of the segment, she shouted at him that she was really there because she got to cut school. Nice try, Neil.

Cavuto and Beck devoted two full hours of live programming to the Tea Bagging. That’s a huge chunk of broadcast real estate. And it isn’t over. Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren have yet to air. Hannity and Van Susteren previously announced that their programs would be live with the TPers.

I’m sure there are going to be an untold bounty of both comical and disturbing episodes erupting in the hours and days to come. But these were a few that I didn’t want to let get away. Fox News will begin spinning the days events into a fantastical misrepresentation of reality this evening. At least the truth about Fox’s role as the PR agency for the Republican Party (and the Tea Party) is becoming better understood by more people. Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has summoned the courage to honestly portray today’s events:

“[W]e call call it astroturf, it’s not really a grassroots movement. It’s astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class.”

That’s it in a wingnut shell.

The New Face Of The Republican Party

It is now all of two weeks into the administration of Barack Obama, and already the media is heralding the end of the honeymoon. Considering that on the day of the inauguration, Chris Wallace of Fox News suggested that Obama wasn’t actually president at all because of the mis-articulation of Chief Justice Roberts during the oath, I’m not certain that the honeymoon didn’t end before it ever began.

The failure of the Obama presidency should be welcome news to some of his critics. Rush Limbaugh confessed to hoping for such an outcome. That admission created something of a stir, but the result seems to be that Limbaugh has emerged as the new leader of the Republican Party. He has taken his place at the top of the Party’s hierarchy and even allows members of Congress an audience wherein they can profess their allegiance and kiss his ass ring.

Obama recently told a gathering of Congress critters that “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.” Obama was criticized by some Democrats because these remarks just serve to elevate Limbaugh by taking him on. I agree with that analysis, but not that it deserves criticism. It can only help Democrats to elevate Limbaugh and make him the logo of the Republican brand.

The rest of the field isn’t much better than Limbaugh. Sarah Palin still pokes her perky head up every few days to keep her name in the news. And Joe the Plumber … er … journalist … er … political strategist just seems to keep finding new ways to embarrass himself and the Party he has come to represent.

GOP alums aren’t helping either. George Bush has moved into Dick Cheney’s secret, undisclosed location and has not been seen or heard since just after Obama’s inauguration (on second thought, maybe that’s how he’s helping). Cheney, on the other hand, has emerged from his lair wearing a sandwich board that says “REPENT! The end is NEAR!”

And, as always, Fox News remains the Public Relations arm of the Republican Party. Glenn Beck has arrived and is settling in comfortably with daily derision directed at Obama and his still forming team. Bill O’Reilly has declared war on the New York Times, presumably because he can’t keep waging his war on Christmas in February – and he must have a war raging at all times. And Chris Wallace, given a brief ten minutes with the President, uses part of it to ask if he is too thin-skinned because he told a joke about Fox News. Obama responded by stating the obvious:

“I think it’s fair to say that I don’t always get my most favorable coverage on Fox, but that’s part of how a democracy is supposed to work. We’re not all supposed to be in lock step here.”

The rightist echo chamber has already seized on these remarks asserting that Obama has insinuated that all of the media, other than Fox News, are in lock-step with the White House. Of course that is not what he said at all, and just watching the various news networks would reveal how shallow that analysis is. What is inescapable is the fact that Fox alone has a lock-step ideology. Despite false claims of liberal bias, other networks have much more diverse programming and personalities. CNN has Lou Dobbs, MSNBC has Joe Scarborough.

Only Fox has a 100% ideologically pure schedule. And it is Fox that is home to the Limbaughs, Palins, Wurzlebachers, Becks, Hannitys, O’Reillys, etc., who, due to the absence of real political leadership, are the new faces of the Republican Party.

Conservative Common Sense Re: Joe The Plumber

Ever since Pajamas Media hatched the sublimely idiotic publicity stunt of sending Sam “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher to Israel to cover the war, I have read dozens of articles mocking the gesture with richly comic results. That, of course, prompted a flurry of pathetic defenses of J-Plumb by tunnel-visioned right-wingers who mainly argued that Joe couldn’t do any worse than professional war correspondents who only have their education, training and experience to rely on.

But now I have to give credit where it’s due. A couple of publications whose conservative credentials are impeccable are demonstrating that reason can prevail no matter how thick the partisan soup.

The first is the National Review, whose web site featured a link to military blogger JD Johannes. Johannes had an interesting take on Joey the P’s addled assertion that “media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting,” that NRO thought deserved more attention – as do I:

I don’t know what fantasy world Joe lives in, but the media is going to cover a war however they can get access to it. If the U.S. military or IDF doesn’t allow access, you can bet the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida, Jaish al Mahdi, etc. will become the primary distributors of information. Heck, they already are.

While my initial criticisms of Joe were based on the stupidity of his call to muzzle the press, and how that was contrary to the freedoms enumerated in the Constitution, Johannes’ perspective properly points out that, if Joe had his way, the only reporting from a war zone would by the enemy.

The other note of rationality came from a most unlikely source: the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard. In a well reasoned article, they pointed out that, a couple of years ago, much of the military brass in Iraq were telling us that everything was proceeding swimmingly when, in fact, things were falling apart. Then the Standard actually credited the press with helping the war effort, even as they shot down Joe’s ignorant blather:

Just think about how Joe’s “media strategy” would have impacted the Iraq War. By late 2005/early 2006, it was clear the U.S. strategy to pull back and turn over security to the Iraqi security forces was premature and Iraq was sliding into chaos […] Like it or not, the pressure from the media forced President Bush to recognize the problem, accept the change in strategy and overrule his military commanders.

In addition to repudiating the Little Plumber Boy, the Standard asserts that Bush was not as committed to following the advice of his generals as he portrayed himself to be. And worse, it was not an informed reassessment of conditions on the ground that persuaded the President to change course, but “pressure from the media,” about whom he is so dismissive.

I can’t say that I subscribe to much of the opinions expressed by these enterprises, but it is encouraging to see that they are not engaging in the typical knee-jerk adulation of Joe the Political Prop as are so many other conservative mouthpieces.

This Is Joe The Plumber Reporting From Israel

The highly anticipated debut installment of war correspondent Joe the Plumber has been filed and is ripping apart the fabric of the journalistic community. For someone who was ridiculed for not having the experience or skills to perform as a reporter, Joe showed his critics that he should not be underestimated with profound declarations like this:

“I have thousands of questions but I can’t think of the right one.”

That should put to rest any notion of his being unqualified. And to demonstrate that he was precisely the right choice to represent the “Average Joe” in Israel, J the P offers a sympathetic observation of life in a battle zone:

“I’m sure they’re taking quick showers,” he said. “I know I would.”

Now that’s a real plumber’s perspective. How can the elitists of the mainstream media, with their fancy college degrees in journalism and their years of experience, compete with insight like that? In fact the media is at a big disadvantage when it comes to Joe because, as he says himself, he came to this vocation as:

“…an expert on media bias. I was on the short end of the stick [just like Israel].”

And he’s using his “expertise” wisely. The bulk of his time in Israel appears to have been spent posing in picturesque tableaus of billowing smoke miles off in the Gazan distance, and in junk yards examining scrap metal collected from used Hamas rockets. Pajamas Media must be proud to have him as their correspondent relaying these vital stories back to the American public. Money well spent.

This Just In – VIDEO!

Joey The P: I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war [sic]. I mean, you guys report where our troops are at. You report what’s happening day to day. You make a big deal out of it. I think it’s asinine. You know, I liked back in World War I and World War II when you’d go to the theater and you’d see your troops on, you know, the screen and everyone would be real excited and happy for ’em. Now everyone’s got an opinion and wants to downer-and down soldiers. You know, American soldiers or Israeli soldiers.

I think media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting. You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, “Well look at this atrocity,” well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it.

Oh my FREAKING God! PJ believes – and actually said aloud – that the media should be “abolished” from “uh, you know, reporting.” He complains that they don’t know the whole story, as opposed to his encyclopedic knowledge of the Middle East, Jewish and Muslim cultures, and the language and history of the region. And he pines for the newsreels of WWI that were nothing more than propaganda and that he has probably never seen.

He thinks it’s asinine to make a big deal out of a little thing like WAR! What’s asinine is his accusations of the media disclosing troop movements. If that happened they would be prosecuted. That’s how little Joe knows about reporting from a war zone. And despite his disparagement of government, he thinks that it should be able to operate without the interference of an independent press corps.

His lament that “everyone’s got an opinion” is especially ironic considering that that is the only thing that his moronic ranting consists of – absolutely zero substance. He’s even stupider than I thought. Somebody get him out of there before he gets someone, or himself, killed.

More Joe: “You don’t need to see what’s happening every day. […] I think the military should decide what information to give the media and then the media can release it to the public.”

Joe The Plumber – Now A Crack Reporter

Joe the Plumber ReportingAmerica’s own Renaissance Man, Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, has tackled many tasks. He has been an author, a country singer, a digital TV promoter, a tax advisor, a pundit, and a campaign mascot. One of the few things he has not been is a plumber.

Now Joe has found a new peak to scale. He is being sent to Israel as a war correspondent for Pajamas Media (that’s right, Pajamas). We at News Corpse have great confidence that he will be a crack reporter who will wrench the truth from his subjects. Israeli and Hamas officials will be comfortable disclosing sensitive data because – think about it – who knows more about leaks?

It will be a draining assignment, but Joe is surely up to it. After all, he has such a wealth of experience at his disposal to help him flush out any story.

Plumber Joe says that he wants to report from the perspective of the “Average Joe.” And who better to tell that story than a lying tax evader who pals around with failed presidential candidates? Never mind that he knows nothing about the region, or the people, or the conflict in which they are embroiled. He believes that God will protect him in this dangerous mission (except from mortars, so it must be one of those discount Gods), and that it’s a chance to do some good. But he had better do it quickly because he is scheduled to speak at the Pajamas Media Conservative 2.0 Conference at the end of February back in Washington, D.C.

There is little chance that Joe can dredge up anything but embarrassment from this. And while the Pajamas crew was never known for their professionalism or integrity, it’s still a little surprising that they would sink this low. Joe has demonstrated in his previous television appearances that he is no Christiane Amanpour. She would probably laugh in his face and call him a pathetic hack. And what could he do? I guess he could tell her to pipe down, and if that didn’t work he could sewer.

Update: Fox News hosted Mr. Wurzelbacher this morning and extracted the news-making exclusive that Joey the P has quit the plumbing business for good. What will we call him now?