Frantic phone call from one Joel Achenbach at 10:23 a.m. Monday morning: “Melissa, I need to put something on my blog. I’ve been running around like crazy for days. I haven’t done anything on my blog in days [mumble, mumble, excuse, excuse] Put something on there, put anything!”

View Photo Gallery: This part of Pennsylvania is a political and economic battleground, a transitional place loaded with history, with memories of prosperity but also of vicious poverty.

I present to you, anything:

Normally, I would be irked by a request like this from Joel. It’s a favorite pastime of mine: being irked by Joel.

But this time, I have to give him a pass. He has been running around. Mostly in Pennsylvania coal country, where he went drilling for the mindset of American voters five months ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

What he found in one of the poorest countries of the state does not bode well for either candidate.

Read the piece here.

And tell Joel in the comments to get back to blogging himself.