Archive for the ‘Joe the Plumber’ Category

J the P @ CPAC

February 11, 2012

J the P @ CPAC

Republican celebrity Joe the Plumber, who isn’t a licensed plumber and whose name is really Sam, seeks the trust of the people of Ohio. He says he wants to run for Congress there, so naturally he’s campaigning in Washington DC. He’s at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. Of course, nobody cares. And by “nobody,” we mean Herman Cain.


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Joe The Plumber, Congressman?

August 27, 2011

Joe the Plumber, Congressman?

Ohio’s Joe the Plumber may challenge Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-9) in the 2012 election. You may remember him. His name isn’t really Joe, and he isn’t really a plumber, but he became famous in 2008 for asking presidential candidate Barack Obama questions about a tax bracket actually much higher than his own. Since then, Samuel Joseph “Joe” Wurzelbacher campaigned for failed presidential candidate John McCain and failed as both author and Internet foreign correspondent.

Joe’s book, like his biography and politics, is fiction. His political aspirations, however, are real — his greatest accomplishment to date is his recent election as one of only 400 Republican Party committee members in Ohio’s Lucas County (37,258 registered Republicans).


Orphan Annie and Joe the Plumber

May 20, 2009

Orphan Annie and Joe the Plumber

Is Little Orphan Annie the mother of Joe the Plumber?

Read InsideHigherEd’s Scott McLemee and Jeet Heer of York University on “Cartoon Conservatism.


Image (Secret Society, after Harold Lincoln Gray) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Did Joe the Plumber Kill Pajamas Media?

February 2, 2009

Did Joe the Plumber Kill Pajamas Media?

Who killed Pajamas Media? Was it Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick, or Joe the Plumber in Gaza, with a microphone?

The more-or-less conservative PJ Media bloggers network, created by mystery writer Roger L. Simon, realizing it over-estimated the literacy of its audience,  is abandoning money-losing conservative writers  to concentrate on streaming video bankruptcy.

Even real news outfits can’t find a good Web business model, so PJM must figure that it if it can’t generate profit, it might as well generate outrage (and publicity) through “Joe the Plumber, Ace Reporter” and similar dog-bites-media stunts. That’s certainly the kind of plot schtick you find in Mr. Simon’s Moses Wine detective novels (and perhaps in his new autobiography).

Back to PJM’s Bloody Blog-Bludgeoning.

 The Story So Far:


Joe the Journo, Man of Mysteries

January 14, 2009

Joe the Journo, Man of Mysteries

“Joe the Plumber” is pumping out Gaza “news” for Americans. Media outrage over this calculated insult to capital-J “Journalism” has eclipsed U.S. reporting about the hundreds of civilian deaths, thousands of casualties, and mass destruction in Gaza.

“Joe” is really named Samuel J. Wurzelbacher and his plumbing and journalism credentials are identical — he has none. Media professionals angered over Joe’s assignment characterize it as buffoonery and a stunt. Deeper thinkers point out that the mainstream media have only themselves to blame; they paved Joe’s way with tacky tabloid stunts like anchoring the evening news from combat zones.

We’ve spent a century swimming in pseudo-events, dramatized press releases cooked up to spoon-feed the media maw. We do not live in an “information economy” but an “attention economy.” The media have cut out the middlemen and gone into the carnival biz themselves. Now TV weathermen report from storm-drenched parking lots, the Today Show is hosted from Antarctica and Greenland, and has-been accidental celebrities go to Gaza instead of  Hollywood Squares.


Joe in Jerusalem

January 12, 2009

Joe in Jerusalem

Joe the Plumber,” the independent truth-seeker who is really Republican, is not named Joe, and is not a licensed plumber, has arrived in Jerusalem to pursue his new career, Combat Blogger.

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher of Ohio, former Exhibition Blue-Collar Specimen of the McCain-Palin Carnival tour, successful author and country music singer, is now blogging for the crack Investigative Combat Unit of Pajamas Media, covering the Gaza conflict from mere miles away.  Mr. Wurzelbacher is such a skilled journalist that he could dispense with all that observing, researching, and interviewing stuff and tell the Israelis what they should be doing the minute  he stepped off the plane, earning the affectionate local nickname “Goyishe Kopf.”*


Joe the Plumber Plunges into Gaza

January 8, 2009

Joe the Plumber Plunges into Gaza

“Joe the Plumber,” Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio, is on his way to the Gaza fray.

The non-plumber, non-economist, worst-selling memoirist, would-be country singer and token exhibition plebian for the failed McCain presidential campaign is now a non-war non-correspondent covering the Israeli incursion into Gaza for some blog. He is uniquely qualified to do this, as he was briefly famous for being well-known.


I Am Joe the Plumber

October 28, 2008

I Am Joe the Plumber

“Joe the Plumber,” Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, has been debunked as a phony partisan plant: a non-Joe, non-plumber, non-taxpayer,  a registered Republican (not an Independent) who would not pay more under the Obama tax plan even if he could afford to buy the substandard company he works for.

That didn’t stop the McCain campaign from producing last-shot TV spots based on the symbolic Joe, with citizens intoning “I am Joe the Plumber.” Senator McCain has been exhibiting the actual Mr. Wurzelbacher on the campaign trail as a kind of working-class mascot.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

McCain Economic Policy, Plumbing, and Beer

October 28, 2008

McCain Economic Policy, Plumbing, and Beer

Yesterday John McCain met with three “economic advisors” — two out-of-work Republican officials and a retired e-biz executive — to refine his economy policy measures. While disgraced McCain advisor Phil Gramm wasn’t there, the same old “trickle-down” economic theories were: tax cuts for the ultra-rich, corporate and capital gains tax cuts, first-year expensing of equipment purchases, and other big-business boondoggles.


Joe’s Plumbing Company Stinks!

October 17, 2008

Joe's Plumbing Company Stinks!

As the world knows by now, John McCain’s “old buddy, Joe, Joe the Plumber” is really Samuel J. Wurzelbacher (the Senator called him “Wurzelburger”). Mr. Wurzelbacher is not a licensed plumber and his boss, Alan W. Newell, has a plumbing license for Toledo but not Lucas County.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the company Mr. Wurzelbacher claims he is going to buy, A.W. Newell Plumbing & Heating, is not accredited by the Toledo Better Business Bureau, which has this to say about it:

 Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record.

The BBB processed a total of 3 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total of 3 complaints closed in 36 months, 0 were closed in the last year.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,