The Note: Twin Paths

About that plane: "Palin's statement implied the plane was sold through the online auction site revered for empowering millions of small entrepreneurs, and Palin's spokeswoman insisted Thursday that the transaction occurred. But the plane failed to sell on eBay," Jason George and Andrew Zajac write in the Chicago Tribune. "Instead, the 23-year-old 10-seat Westwind II was sold in August 2007 for $2.1 million to a Valdez, Alaska, entrepreneur; that's about $300,000 less than a broker's asking price, according to news accounts. Also, while Palin characterized the plane as an extravagance of former Gov. Frank Murkowski, who arranged for its purchase in November 2005, the plane saw heavy use transporting Alaskan convicts."

Remember that the country's still learning about the Palins: "On two separate occasions last fall, the husband of the Republican vice presidential candidate boarded planes chartered by mining companies that want to dig for gold, zinc and lead in remote Alaska valleys," per the AP's Dina Cappiello. "The trips cost $1,005, according to Gov. Sarah Palin's financial disclosure forms, which described them as gifts. The travel showcased the niche Palin has filled in his wife's administration -- helping find jobs for Alaskans who, like him, didn't graduate from college."

Also remember that Gov. Palin is still learning about the countries: "Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is among several national security experts helping brief Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on foreign policy issues as she prepares to hit the campaign trail while cramming for a debate with her Democratic opponent," Michael Abramowitz and Juliet Eilperin write in The Washington Post. "Privately, some in the GOP foreign policy establishment voiced concern that McCain has turned to a relative neophyte on national security matters at a time when the United States is facing challenges ranging from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the nuclear activities of Iran and North Korea."

That green-screen background shot behind McCain was wrong on several levels. The only plausible explanation for why Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, Calif., made it onto the most visible of backdrops: "Several readers have suggested that perhaps one of the tech geeks charged with setting up the audio/visual bells and whistles for the evening was tasked with getting pictures of Walter Reed Army Medical Center but goofed and got this instead," Josh Marshall writes at Talking Points Memo.

The Sked:

It's a noontime rally in Wisconsin for the McCain-Palin ticket, followed by an early evening rally in Sterling Heights, Mich.

Obama and the Bidens campaign in Pennsylvania on Friday.

Obama is George Stephanopoulos' exclusive headliner on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.

Biden does "Meet the Press."

McCain does "Face the Nation."

"And Palin is doing . . . something that doesn't involve journalists and live television cameras," writes Newsweek's Andrew Romano.

Also in the news:

Bill O'Reilly got Obama to go farther than he has, in assessing the surge: "It's succeeded beyond our wildest dreams," Obama said.

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