The Note: Ayers it Out

It might not be strictly legal, either. The key provision from the new TARP law, per The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: to head off "unjust enrichment," the law "prevent[s] the sale of a troubled asset to the Secretary at a higher price than what the seller paid to purchase the asset."

And will voters listen? "The candidates maneuvered as a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll showed that viewers of the second presidential debate have more confidence that Obama can handle the economy. By a more than a 2-to-1 margin, however, debate viewers have less confidence that McCain can deal with the nation's economic problems," USA Today's David Jackson writes.

A big day Friday for Sarah Palin: The long-awaited "Troopergate" report out of the Alaska Legislature is due for release.

But we can just take the campaign's word for it, right? "Trying to head off a potentially embarrassing state ethics report on GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report Thursday that clears her of any wrongdoing," the AP's Matt Apuzzo writes. "The campaign's report instead blames former campaign opponent, Andrew Halcro, who has a blog, of conspiring with Wooten to pin Monegan's dismissal on the family's dispute with Wooten."

Maybe, just maybe, that's not the whole story. . . . "An examination of the case, based on interviews with Mr. Monegan and several top aides, indicates that, to a far greater degree than was previously known, the governor, her husband and her administration pressed the commissioner and his staff to get Trooper Wooten off the force, though without directly ordering it," Serge F. Kovaleski reports in The New York Times.

"In all, the commissioner and his aides were contacted about Trooper Wooten three dozen times over 19 months by the governor, her husband and seven administration officials, interviews and documents show. 'To all of us, it was a campaign to get rid of him as a trooper and, at the very least, to smear the guy and give him a desk job somewhere,' said Kim Peterson, Mr. Monegan's special assistant, who like several other aides spoke publicly about the matter for the first time."

More on "Troopergate," per the AP: "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin remained in the dark while her husband repeatedly asked top state officials to help get his former brother-in-law kicked off the state police force, Palin's husband and top aides said in affidavits provided to The Associated Press. The affidavits filed with investigators late Wednesday will probably help Palin's defense that the firing was not a tit-for-tat, but they also portray her as uninvolved while her husband met repeatedly with her aides about family affairs. That could provide fodder for her political opponents."

The Washington Post's Kimberly Kindy charts Palin's rise: "This spring, Palin's official calendar chronicles an extraordinary rise to national prominence. A fresh face in Republican politics, she was discovered by the national news media at least in part because of a determined effort by a state agency to position her as an oil and gas expert who could tout Alaska's determined effort to construct a natural gas pipeline."

Kindy continues: "An outside public relations expert hired under a $31,000 contract with the state Department of Natural Resources pitched the 'upstart governor' as a crusader against Big Oil, a story line that Palin has adopted in her campaign as Sen. John McCain's running mate."

(If that's what $31,000 can buy . . . )

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