msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
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recent posts
Katie Couric interviews Sarah Palin

Family portrait with headless dog, near forbidden Mt. Umunhum

The Idiot and the Inflection Point

3 kids, 1 mom, one bike

Finally, the Dentist Love

Lying Liars and their Tsunami of Bullshit

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September 26, 2008

Katie Couric interviews Sarah Palin

The only thing more unbearable than Sarah Palin's non-responses to Katie's questions is her speaking voice. Ye gods, she really speaks like that? All screechy and droppin' Gs left and right. Every time she said "tawkin'", I cringed. Check out Katie's face during the interview...she's so badass here. I love it.

Here's Part II. If you want to really cringe, skip ahead to 3:39 where Palin starts tawkin' about Russia.

Oh man, I can't wait to see the VP Debate. Biden just released an 8-page document partially listing all of the foreign leaders he's met with, and Palin? Well, bless her heart, she just got her first passport last year. Poor thing, she can barely manage to put together a coherent sentence in English half the time, and the rest of the time, not at all. She's WORSE than Bush as far as just blurting out nonsense, if that's even possible. Yep, this debate is going to be good. If she shows up, that is.

Here are the transcripts of both parts of the interview. They read even worse than they sound.

(CBS) When CBS News anchor Katie Couric sat down for an exclusive interview with vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin Wednesday, she focused on the economy - but also addressed reports that the lobbying firm of Sen. John McCain's campaign manager received payments from the controversial mortgage giant Freddie Mac until last month. Couric asked for her reaction to that.

Sarah Palin: My understanding is that Rick Davis recused himself from the dealings of the firm. I don't know how long ago, a year or two ago that he's not benefiting from that. And you know, I was - I would hope that's not the case.

Katie Couric: But he still has a stake in the company so isn't that a conflict of interest?

Palin: Again, my understanding is that he recused himself from the dealings with Freddie and Fannie, any lobbying efforts on his part there. And I would hope that's the case because, as John McCain has been saying, and as I've on a much more local level been also rallying against is the undue influence of lobbyists in public policy decisions being made.

Next, Couric asked about the $700 billion government bailout of bad debt - and whether she supports it.

Palin: I'm all about the position that America is in and that we have to look at a $700 billion bailout. And as Sen. McCain has said unless this nearly trillion dollar bailout is what it may end up to be, unless there are amendments in Paulson's proposal, really I don't believe that Americans are going to support this and we will not support this. The interesting thing in the last couple of days that I have seen is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain will do on this proposal. They're not waiting to see what Barack Obama is going to do. Is he going to do this and see what way the political wind's blowing? They're waiting to see if John McCain will be able to see these amendments implemented in Paulson's proposal.

Couric: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama?

Palin: He's got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that's needed at a crisis time like this.

Couric: But polls have shown that Sen. Obama has actually gotten a boost as a result of this latest crisis, with more people feeling that he can handle the situation better than John McCain.

Palin: I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it? (Laura says: WTF? What does that even mean?)

Couric: If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?

Palin: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this, as it's been proposed, has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. But, there has got to be action - bipartisan effort - Congress not pointing fingers at one another but finding the solution to this, taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.

Couric: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help average Americans keep their homes?

Palin: That's something that John McCain and I have both been discussing - whether that ... is part of the solution or not. You know, it's going to be a multi-faceted solution that has to be found here.

Couric: So you haven't decided whether you'll support it or not?

Palin: I have not.

Couric: What are the pros and cons of it do you think?

Palin: Oh, well, some decisions that have been made poorly should not be rewarded, of course.

Couric: By consumers, you're saying?

Palin: Consumers - and those who were predator lenders also. That's, you know, that has to be considered also. But again, it's got to be a comprehensive, long-term solution found ... for this problem that America is facing today. As I say, we are getting into crisis mode here.

Couric: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

Palin: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie - that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

Couric: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

Palin: He's also known as the maverick though, taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about - the need to reform government.

Couric: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you've said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?

Palin: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.

Couric (AKA KATIE BADASS!): I'm just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

Palin: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you. (Laura says: WTF? WEAK!)

Katie Couric: As we stand before this august building and institution, what do you see as the role of the United States in the world?

Sarah Palin: I see the United States as being a force for good in the world. And as Ronald Reagan used to talk about, America being the beacon of light and hope for those who are seeking democratic values and tolerance and freedom. I see our country being able to represent those things that can be looked to … as that leadership, that light needed across the world.

Couric: In preparing for this conversation, a lot of our viewers … and Internet users wanted to know why you did not get a passport until last year. And they wondered if that indicated a lack of interest and curiosity in the world.

Palin: I'm not one of those who maybe came from a background of, you know, kids who perhaps graduate college and their parents give them a passport and give them a backpack and say go off and travel the world. (Laura says: WTF? Whose parents *ask* them to go travel the world, or provide funding for it? Because all of the backpackers I've met worked 1-2 jobs in order to make their trips.)

No, I've worked all my life. In fact, I usually had two jobs all my life until I had kids. I was not a part of, I guess, that culture. The way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums (um, that would be media, Sarah)that have provided me a lot of perspective on the world.

Couric: Gov. Palin, you've had a very busy week. And you're meeting with many world leaders. You met with President Karzai of Afghanistan. I know the McCain campaign has called for a surge in Afghanistan. But that country is, as you know, dramatically different than Iraq. Why do you believe additional troops, U.S. troops, will solve the problem there?

Palin: Because we can't afford to lose in Afghanistan, as we cannot afford to lose in Iraq, either, these central fronts on the war on terror. And I asked President Karzai, "Is that what you are seeking, also? That strategy that has worked in Iraq that John McCain had pushed for, more troops? A counterinsurgency strategy?" And he said, "yes." And he also showed great appreciation for what America and American troops are providing in his country.

Couric: The United States is deeply unpopular in Pakistan. Do you think the Pakistani government is protecting al Qaeda within its borders?

Palin: I don't believe that new President Zardari has that mission at all. But no, the Pakistani people also, they want freedom. They want democratic values to be allowed in their country, also. They understand the dangers of terrorists having a stronghold in regions of their country, also. And I believe that they, too, want to rid not only their country, but the world, of violent Islamic terrorists.

Couric: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

Sarah Palin: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It's funny that a comment like that was kinda made to … I don't know, you know … reporters.

Couric: Mocked?

Palin: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

Couric: Well, explain to me why that enhances your foreign-policy credentials.

Palin: Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of. And there…

Couric: Have you ever been involved in any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

Palin: We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state. (Laura says: Wait, where is Russia again? Is it *right there*?)

Couric: When President Bush ran for office, he opposed nation-building. But he has spent, as you know, much of his presidency promoting democracy around the world. What lessons have you learned from Iraq? And how specifically will you try to spread democracy throughout the world?

Palin: Specifically, we will make every effort possible to help spread democracy for those who desire freedom, independence, tolerance, respect for equality. That is the whole goal here in fighting terrorism also. It's not just to keep the people safe, but to be able to usher in democratic values and ideals around this, around the world. (Laura says: WTF? That is the least specific answer ever.)

Couric: You met yesterday with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is for direct diplomacy with both Iran and Syria. Do you believe the U.S. should negotiate with leaders like President Assad and Ahmadinejad?

Palin: I think, with Ahmadinejad, personally, he is not one to negotiate with. You can't just sit down with him with no preconditions being met. Barack Obama is so off-base in his proclamation that he would meet with some of these leaders around our world who would seek to destroy America and that, and without preconditions being met. That's beyond naïve. And it's beyond bad judgment.

Couric: Are you saying Henry Kissinger …

Palin: It's dangerous.

Couric: … is naïve for supporting that?

Palin: I've never heard Henry Kissinger say, "Yeah, I'll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met." Diplomacy is about doing a lot of background work first and shoring up allies (Laura says: Like McCain did with Spain? Go back two posts...) and positions and figuring out what sanctions perhaps could be implemented if things weren't gonna go right. That's part of diplomacy.

Couric: You recently said three times that you would never, quote, "second guess" Israel if that country decided to attack Iran. Why not?

Palin: We shouldn't second guess Israel's security efforts because we cannot ever afford to send a message that we would allow a second Holocaust, for one. Israel has got to have the opportunity and the ability to protect itself. They are our closest ally in the Mideast. We need them. They need us. And we shouldn't second guess their efforts.

Couric: You don't think the United States is within its rights to express its position to Israel? And if that means second-guessing or discussing an option?

Palin: No, abso … we need to express our rights and our concerns and …

Couric: But you said never second guess them.

(Laura says: Oopsie!)

Palin: We don't have to second-guess what their efforts would be if they believe … that it is in their country and their allies, including us, all of our best interests to fight against a regime, especially Iran, who would seek to wipe them off the face of the earth. It is obvious to me who the good guys are in this one and who the bad guys are. The bad guys are the ones who say Israel is a stinking corpse and should be wiped off the face of the earth. That's not a good guy who is saying that. Now, one who would seek to protect the good guys in this, the leaders of Israel and her friends, her allies, including the United States, in my world (Laura says: of the RAPTURE), those are the good guys.

September 25, 2008

Family portrait with headless dog, near forbidden Mt. Umunhum

We went hiking near Mt. Umunhum two weeks ago. It was gorgeous, but slightly spooky.

Mt. Umunhum is the tallest peak in that area of the Santa Cruz Mountains (4th tallest overall), and the most visible from our little slice of the world. It appears to almost hang over Los Gatos, and has a big "box" clearly visible at the top.
You are not allowed to hike to the actual peak. There is an abandoned and crumbling military base there with lots of lead and asbestos contamination. The "box" visible at the top of the mountian is actually a seven story concrete building. Click the photo below to see some outstanding night photos of the base.

The property surrounding the peak is privately owned, and by notoriously hostile individuals who don't take kindly to trespassers. There are even rumors of a secret group of albinos living in the forest nearby.

You can read reports from people who have been to the top and encountered the property owners along the way, and even hear from a few of the property owners themselves in this thread.
I wish they would clean it up, but it will take millions of dollars and the Open Space District doesn't have that kind of cash. Not sure why the military wasn't required to clean it up. Backwards, don't you think?

Anyway, we didn't try to go to the top, we just hiked out to a nearby peak and kept it legal.

Our dog had a head when we started out, but lost it shortly before this photo. Yet another of the mysteries surrounding Mt. Umunhum...

September 19, 2008

The Idiot and the Inflection Point

Some interesting videos for you to watch, try to watch them in the order presented....

First off, we have John McCain. A Spanish reporter asks him if he, as President, will consider meeting with the Spanish leader, Zapatero, and if he will invite him to the White House. It's a pretty basic, easy question, considering that Spain is our NATO ally, supported us in Iraq, etc. There's absolutely no reason *not* to meet with Zapatero, right?

Or maybe you would prefer the animated version of his interview. It's every bit as shocking, but there's a whole lot more comic relief.

If you want to read more about McCain's disastrous environmental record, or how scary and extreme his voting record on women's healthcare and reproductive rights is, or maybe how Palin's poisonous sprawl-and-polluter-friendly policies killed the lake in Wasilla. Did you know that Sarah Palin offers a $150 bounty for each severed wolf foreleg turned in? Hey Sarah...this is 2008, not 1908. I thought we were done with all that brutal wildlife destruction frontier yahoo stuff.

Next off, we have Joe Biden. Please be sure to note how spot-on his comments are. There is no time left for America to keep fucking up. The clock is at five minutes to midnight already. Tell 'em, Joe....

When he mentioned the "inflection" point, I almost swooned. I heart this man.
"Just imagine a country that believes in science again"....oh, sweet music to my ears!

Are you still with me? OK, one more video, if you have the stamina. This one is Barack Obama, covering the main points of his Plan, and yes people, he has a Plan. Unlike, ahem...John McCain.

And if you would like to know the fine details, you are welcome to read the full text of the plan on his website. Details aplenty there. I think a few points could be better, specifically healthcare reform. I want universal health care for all Americans. I want a complete overhaul of the current system, which isn't too likely to happen.

Obama's solution is still drastically better than McCain's, which would actually tax you on the healthcare benefits provided by your employer (if you are lucky enough to receive them) without changing anything else about the system. Same old crappy system, now costing you *more* money! Sweet!

September 12, 2008

3 kids, 1 mom, one bike

You go, mama!

September 10, 2008

Finally, the Dentist Love

I finally found the Dentist Love, after years of Dentist Heartbreak. My dentist is the MAN.

I have had some truly horrible experiences with dentists over the past few years. In fact, I can't really remember the last time I had an excellent dentist, but I suspect that it was when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Well actually I did have a pretty enjoyable dentist in Mill Valley when I worked in Sausalito. Salt spray cleanings (no metal scraping) and standard nitrous mask for all work done. I don't know how good the dentist was really, but the routine visits sure were fun. It's so Marin County to get nitrous oxide for a cleaning. The only thing more Marin County would be to get a cleaning while wearing a bubble-gum scented nitrous oxide mask in a hot tub, right? Anyway, once I moved, going to a Sausalito dentist was no longer practical.

I have asked people for dentist recommendations, and eh....people aren't too choosy. They put up with all kinds of things. My dear husband, for example, recommended his dentist to me when I moved down here. Nice guy and all, but a simple filling replacement turned into a root canal and crown because frankly...he fucked up.

My next dentist was killed in a freak airplane crash, and so I went to her replacement. He was a nice young guy with a good sense of humor, but never took my increasing sensitivity issues seriously, nor the increasing fear I was experiencing around routine cleanings as a result. Finally his sadistic hygenist tortured me enough to make me burst into tears and have a complete meltdown in the chair...see the link above about truly horrible experiences with dentists. So goodbye dude, and the hell with you.

I had a crown come off when I was about six months overdue for a cleaning, and was rather despondent about finding a new dentist, when my yoga teacher announced at the end of class one day that she had a list of recommended "healers" up at the front, if anyone was interested. Well sure...why not?

On that list was a dentist, Dr. Trent. I actually knew and liked a few of the other people on the list, so I figured Dr. Trent must be worth a go. I called up and scheduled a visit, hoping for the best.

OK, so first of all, his office is state-of-the-art. Plenty of excellent magazines, a flat screen TV playing decent movies at a non-annoying volume on the wall in the waiting room, efficient and organized staff with good uniforms, zero waiting time, flat screens on the ceilings over each dental chair playing beach scenes or Cirque du Soleil, or whatever you are in the mood for.

Everything is slick and modern and beautiful. You get a hot towel at the end of your time, to wipe yourself off and freshen up. I hear there are massaging dental chairs, though I haven't had one yet.

Dental X-rays are digital, so there's only 15% of the radiation compared to standard X-rays, no hard cardboard to bite down on, and the X-rays are available instantaneously for review.

Second of all, I told the hygenist flat out that I had some REALLY sensitive spots *here* and *here*, and I had had a lot of pain during past cleanings and was very nervous about them as a result, so if she could please please PLEASE be very careful, I would appreciate it.

Not only did she not scoff at me, she actually numbed me up topically before my cleaning, and took every care not to hurt me or be too aggressive. She took my pain seriously. It was the best cleaning ever. Zero discomfort.

Enter Dr. Trent. Brisk, efficient, at the top of his game, yet smooth, calming and reassuring. Up on the very latest techniques, a dental smarty pants if I ever saw one. Implants, cosmetics, general dentistry, the guy does it all.

Plus he's suave, move-star handsome, and wears black scrubs like the Dr. 90210 guy, except he's not at all cheesy like that guy. Just straightforward, friendly and pays attention.

I explain my sensitivity, show him my missing crown, and he checks me out. Within a minute, he tells me that my bite is a little off, and one of my lower teeth is pushing one of my upper teeth outwards every time I bite down. The rocking motion is inflaming the nerve in that upper tooth and probably causing some of my hypersensitivity. He suggests a slight "shaping" of the lower tooth so that the upper tooth is no longer being pushed around with every bite. A few buzzes of his instrument and we're done. I can tell the difference right away. Wow. Why didn't any other dentist catch that? Simple enough fix. It didn't cure my gumline sensitivity, but my bite sensitivity went away completely.

Onto the crown. He tells me that it was done sloppily (which is why it came off) and it looks like there was decay underneath to boot, so he will have to re-work it a bit. Plus I have a cavity in another tooth. I am quaking in my boots at the prospect of all this potentially long and painful dental work. Yikes.

And yet it went off without a hitch. Dr. Trent was fast, careful, and numbed the bejeezus out of me beforehand. I watch Cirque du Soleil overhead with headphones on the whole time. The end result looked great and felt perfect. No weird clunkiness of a poorly fitted crown, and my new filling...awesome too.

Last week I had a standard checkup/cleaning and it was fab. Hygenist very careful around my sensitive areas, even while measuring my gum pockets with a sharp metal instrument, which made me break out in a soaking sweat of pure anticipatory fear. But no pain. She advised that I use a new toothpaste called Pronamel that hardens your enamel and decreases sensitivity, and gave me a big sample tube to try. I asked her about the new Sonicare toothbrushes and she said that they weren't that different and if I had an old one I should just keep using it.

Dr. Trent came in, looking quite dashing in his scrubs, examined me and found a very small cavity. He pointed right at my most sensitive gumline spot, touched it lightly, and asked me if it was still bothering me. II said yes, so he told me about a sensitivity treatment that he could apply at the same time that he fixed my small cavity. Oh HELL yeah, bring it, baby!

Today he filled my cavity in 30 minutes and applied the de-sensitizing solution to my gumline. It's a type of sealant that fills the pores in your enamel that allow your nerve to be irritated by cold, heat, sweets, air, etc. I watched an interesting documentary about New Zealand, sort of like an IMAX film. I totally forgot that I was having dental work done.

Zip-zap, it was all over in a flash with perfect execution.

Dr. Trent, you rock. Thanks for taking me seriously, and addressing my complaints. Thanks for being so smart, for knowing all about the latest advances and techniques, but using a simple fix when that's all it takes. Thanks for being a nice person. Thanks for being careful with my mouth, and not hurting me. Thanks for looking hot (the idea of your fingers in my mouth is that much more appealing), but thanks also for being 100% professional.

And finally, thanks for charging me the same price for my filling-plus-sensitivity-treatment as Dan paid his (IMO) crappy caveman dentist for *his* last filling.

I fear the dentist no longer. I heart the dentist now.

September 04, 2008

Lying Liars and their Tsunami of Bullshit

Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer
Wed Sep 3, 11:48 PM ET

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."

PALIN: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate."

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

MCCAIN: "She's been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply ... She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America," he said in an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson.

THE FACTS: McCain's phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she's no more "responsible" for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.

MCCAIN: "She's the commander of the Alaska National Guard. ... She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.

THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under "federal status," which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska's national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: "We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.


Associated Press Writer Jim Drinkard in Washington contributed to this report.

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