The Ledes

Thursday, February 26, 2015.

New York Times: "An Argentine judge on Thursday dismissed the criminal allegations against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner that had been brought by Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who had accused her of conspiring to shield Iranian officials from responsibility for the deadly bombing of a Buenos Aires community center in 1994.The judge, Daniel Rafecas, decided that the criminal complaint Mr. Nisman put forward before his mysterious death last month was not sufficient to open an investigation into the president."

New York Times: "Continuing its assaults on a string of Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, the Islamic State militant group has seized scores more residents over the past two days, bringing the number of captives to as many as several hundred, Assyrian organizations inside and outside Syria said on Thursday."

Guardian: "A British man has been identified as the knife-wielding militant who appears in Islamic State (Isis) videos claiming responsibility for the beheadings of US, British and other hostages. The Guardian understands that Mohammad Emwazi, a 26-year-old west Londoner and university graduate, is the militant."

Weather Channel: "Winter Storm Remus dumped as much as a foot of snow on the South, and its trek will continue up the East Coast on Thursday. In addition to heavy snow, the storm system left hundreds of thousands without power. Businesses and schools were closed as the entire region slowed to a halt when the snow began to fall. Northern Alabama's roads were extremely treacherous. Overnight Wednesday along Interstate 65, multiple motorists were stranded on the highway and had to spend the night in their vehicles, according to My Fox Alabama."

The Ledes

Wednesday, February 25, 2015.

Washington Post: "The Senate voted Wednesday to move ahead with a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security after Democratic leaders  dropped an earlier pledge to block it unless they get assurances from House Republican leaders that it would pass their chamber. The bill advanced on a procedural vote by a 98-2 margin. The only dissenters were Republican Sens. James Inhofe (Okla.) and Jeff Sessions (Ala.)"

A Message from Homeland Security. New York Times: "Three men living in Brooklyn were arrested and charged on Wednesday with providing material support to the Islamic State, a terrorist organization that controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and has been actively recruiting Westerners to its fight. One of the men was arrested early Wednesday morning at Kennedy International Airport, where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul and then planned to travel to Syria, according to the authorities." ...

     ... Politico Update: "A man arrested on charges of planning to travel to Syria and join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant also mused about assassinating President Barack Obama, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday. Abdurasul Juraboev, a 24-year-old citizen of Uzbekistan, allegedly asked online, 'Is it possible to commit ourselves as dedicated martyrs anyway while here? What I’m saying is, to shoot Obama and then get shot ourselves, will it do?,' according to the Justice Department’s complaint."

The Wires

Public Service Announcement

The Hill: "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden on Sunday [Feb. 1] warned that the U.S. could see a 'large outbreak' of measles.... There are at least 102 reported cases in 14 states, according to the CDC. Frieden said that the U.S. is 'likely to see more cases.'... The said the best way to prevent the spread of measles was vaccination.Frieden said despite the U.S.'s 92 percent vaccination rate, there is growing evidence more parents are not vaccinating their children."

Get Off Your Ass! Los Angeles Times (Jan. 19): "New research that distills the findings of 47 studies concludes that those of us who sit for long hours raise our average risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and early death."

White House Live Video
February 25

10:30 am ET: Vice President Biden speaks about the administration's economic policies & receives a distinguished public service award in Concord, New Hampshire (audio Only)

2:00 pm ET: Vice President Biden participates in a roundtable discussion at Manchester Community College in Manchester, New Hampshire (audio only)

If you don't see the livefeed here, go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

***********************************************

Deadline: ESPN suspends Keith Olbermann for engaging in an "inappropriate" "Twitter War" with some Penn State students. ...

... CW: Hard to believe something like this hasn't happened sooner.

Buzz Aldrin during a spacewalk, November 1966. Last year Aldrin described the photo as the "BEST SELFIE EVER." CW: I'd say he's right.

New York Times: "Hundreds of photographs from the early years of the space age are for sale. That includes the first image taken from space — from an altitude of 65 miles by a camera on a V-2 rocket launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on Oct. 24, 1946. (The boundary to outer space is generally placed at 100 kilometers, or 62.1 miles.) The prints are vintage — dating from that era, not modern reproductions — and come from the collection of a single European collector, said Sarah Wheeler, head of photographs at Bloomsbury Auctions in London."

** Charles Pierce comments on wingers' Twitter reactions to the Oscars.

Actor Patricia Arquette accepts her Academy Award & calls for women's wage equality:

... Which sparked outrage on the right. And dismay on the left.

#OscarsSoWhite. Soraya McDonald of the Washington Post: "Sunday was a study in contradictions; there was overwhelming emphasis on the visibility of black people in Hollywood, yet their peers hadn’t deemed their work fit for nomination in any of the major individual categories."

Common & John Legend accept the award for the song "Glory" from the film "Selma":

The Los Angeles Times' Academy Awards page is here. The main story is here. The list of winners is here.

Los Angeles Times: "A Palm Springs home built using Joseph Eichler’s original blueprints is under contract to sell for $1.29 million. The newly built Modernist design, considered the first true Eichler home developed in 40 years, came to market on Tuesday. According to real estate brokers and developers Troy Kudlac and Ross Stout of KUD Properties Inc., which handled the listing side, it sold that day for the asking price." With slideshow.

If you just can't get enough of the Academy Awards, the L. A. Times has a guide to Oscar-related TV shows. If you want to watch the Oscars online, here's where & how.

D. R. Tucker in the Washington Monthly: "... give [Jon] Stewart his props for the positive things he has done over the years. He has inspired a new generation of commentators who will continue to call out political perversity and media mendacity. However, the man was not without his flaws — and the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was a gigantic one. As Olbermann, Maher and Maddow have long argued, sanity has to defeat fear, not figure out some way to get along with it."

Matt Wilstein of Mediaite: "In addition to canceling Joy Reid‘s daytime show The Reid Report, which MSNBC sources confirmed to Mediaite earlier today, the network is also canceling Ronan Farrow’s show and moving Way Too Early’s Thomas Roberts back to a dayside role, anchoring a straight news show from 1-3 p.m. ET daily. Neither Reid nor Farrow have been fired by the network."

USA Today: "Random House Children's Books said Wednesday it will publish a recently discovered manuscript with Dr. Seuss sketches, called What Pet Should I Get?, on July 28. The publisher plans at least two more books based on materials found in 2013 by his widow, Audrey Geisel, and his secretary...."

Terrence McCoy of the Washington Post on the unlikeable Chevy Chase. ...

... Here's a segment from SNL's 40th anniversary show. You can watch some of the rest of it here:

 

 

New York: "Days after the sudden passing of Bob Simon and David Carr, on Sunday night the institutions they worked for paid tribute to the journalists by releasing their final work." Simon's last piece is embedded in the New York story; Carr's syllabus is here.

New York Times: Long Island University announced the winners of the George Polk awards for journalism.

Dwight Garner of the New York Times on the poems of Philip Levine.

Jennifer Senior of New York writes a lovely remembrance of David Carr.

Margaret Hartmann of New York reports some reactions to the death of New York Times columnist David Carr. ...

... A. O. Scott of the New York Times remembers David Carr. ...

... Terrence McCoy & Justin Moyer of the Washington Post on Carr's death.

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The Sanford Odyssey

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The odyssey that we're all on in life is with regard to heart.
-- Mark Sanford

Blame It on Buenos Aires

Jenny Sanford pens an essay for Harper's Bazaar on "Why Leaving Worked for Me." CW: okay, I didn't read it. Not one word.

The State, June 22: "Nearly one year to the day that Gov. Mark Sanford embarked on a secret trip to Argentina and turned S.C. politics on its ear, Sanford’s whereabouts are unknown to the press and the public."

Maria Belen Chapur. AP file photo.

The State, May 13, elaborates on aspects of yesterday's story.

Gov. Mark Sanford is stepping out again. The Greenville News, May 12, reports that "last weekend [he] visited with the Argentina woman with whom he had a year-long extramarital affair, Sanford told reporters today." Thanks to reader Janet for the tip. AP story here. Sanford is now single.

The State, May 3: "S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster has cleared Gov. Mark Sanford of any criminal conduct for two trips to South America to meet his Argentine lover and, also, his use of state aircraft, upgraded airfare and campaign money."

AP (March 18): South Carolina "Gov. Mark Sanford has agreed to pay $74,000 in fines to resolve dozens of charges that he violated state ethics laws with his campaign spending and travel, including a taxpayer-funded rendezvous with his Argentine mistress, the State Ethics Commission said Thursday.... Sanford, who is term-limited and will leave office in January, still could face criminal charges." The State story, with links to related documents, is here.

The (South Carolina) State: "A Charleston family court judge ruled Friday that Gov. Mark Sanford's admitted affair with an Argentine woman is grounds for his wife, Jenny, to divorce him." Jenny Sanford on the stand:

Sun News, Feb. 25: the Sanfords' divorce proceedings will be televised.

Jenny Sanford tells Gina Smith of The State she won't run for political office.

Andy Barr of Politico outlines Jenny Sanford's list of grievances against her husband so you won't have to read it. CW: I'll admit I didn't even read Barr. 

In the New York Times, Janet Maslin reviews Jenny Sanford's memoir. Maslin offers no compelling reason for buying the book.

AP, Feb. 2: Jenny Sanford writes in her memoir that her husband asked her advice on his extramarital love life.

New York Daily News, Feb. 1, 2010: Jenny Sanford writes a book about how she felt "ugly, unwanted & dirty" when she found out about her husband's affair.

The State, Dec. 11: Jenny Sanford announces she's filing for divorce. CW: I guess she wants this story to be over as much as I do.

     Update: Here's Jenny Sanford's statement.

AP: Gov. Sanford wants to reclaim his marriage. BUT according to The State, Jenny Sanford tells Barbara Walters she see "hurdles" to overcome in any reconciliation effort. CW: I do hope we're about done with this.

The State, Dec. 9: Sanford gets lucky again. The state house impeachment subcommittee votes to censure Gov. Sanford, votes down motion to impeach him.

The State, Dec. 8: state House members are looking at a 2008 trip Gov. Sanford made to Argentina; one lawmaker said he would introduce additional impeachment charges related to the trip.

The State, Dec. 3: a South Carolina "House panel weighing removing Gov. Mark Sanford from office concluded that the bulk of 37 ethics charges against the governor are not impeachable offenses." The committee threw out 18 counts, but on Monday will weigh other charges, including his trip to Argentina. Includes video of the deliberations.

Robbie Brown of the New York Times: Jenny Sanford moves into the limelight.

AP, Nov. 24: the South Carolina State House Judiciary Committee began debating impeachment proceedings today. And here's The State story, with more detail.

The State, Nov. 24: South Carolina taxpayers will foot the bill to defend the Governor's office in impeachment, ethics probe.

CW: in case you can hardly wait to see South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford impeached, tried & convicted, read this article that sheds light on the state's lieutenant governor Andre Bauer, who would step in to fill Sanford's position.

AP, Nov. 24: the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee begins debate on impeachment of Gov. Mark Sanford; they will focus on his failure to put someone in charge of the state during his 5-day absence in June. The impeachment proceedings are unrelated to the 37 ethics charges against Sanford announced yesterday, which relate to improper travel & campaign financial matters.

The State, Nov. 23: the state Ethics Commission has charged Gov. Mark Sanford with 37 counts of breaking state ethics laws. And here's a pdf of the complete charges. New York Times: "A separate impeachment resolution has been filed in the State Legislature...."

Adios, Amigo? New York Times, Nov. 20: "A legislative committee will convene next week to begin preliminary impeachment proceedings against Gov. Mark Sanford...."

The State, Nov. 20: this is a fairly convoluted story, but the bottom line is, "The [state] Ethics Commission voted Wednesday to charge Sanford with 'several' violations of state law, but declined to list the charges or say whether they were criminal or civil violations. Sanford's attorney Butch Bowers called the charges 'minor, technical violations.'"

The State, Nov. 19: State House Speaker Bobby Harrell, a Republican, has called on Gov. Sanford to release a report into the governor's possible ethical or criminal violations of state law....

... AND/BUT the AP reports Sanford wants to reveal even more questionable trips not previously reported. CW: huh?

AP, Nov. 18: South Carolina's State Ethics Commission will meet behind closed doors today to decide whether a three-month investigation provides enough evidence that Gov. Mark Sanford broke any state laws. Their decision could affect efforts  to impeach Sanford. The State story here.

The State, Nov. 5: The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that Sanford waived confidentiality in the yet-to-be completed Ethics Committee investigation, but it's up to the Ethics Commission to decide what is made public.

The State's Editorial Board (Nov. 5) protests Sanford's filings with the state supreme court urging the court to impose "mushroom standards" on state ethics boards: keep 'em in the dark and covered with shit. 

Gina Smith of The State, Oct. 10: yesterday attorneys for the S.C. House of Representatives argued in court that Gov. Sanford is attempting a delay tactics that future elected officials could use to avoid impeachment.

It's Always Something. AP: a South Carolina state trooper pulled over Sanford's driver for speeding, shakes Sanford's hand & lets the driver off; State Public Safety Director Mark Keel says he's reviewed a tape of the incident & will have the driver will be cited. Here's the video of the traffic stop:

     Update: trooper who failed to write up Sanford driver won't be disciplined.

The State, Oct. 3: the S.C. House overwhelmingly wants Gov. Sanford to resign.

The State, Oct. 1: Gov. Sanford has asked the state Supreme Court to block release of a state ethics panel's findings to lawmakers; Sanford argues that releasing the report could compromise his defense against an impeachment proceeding.

CNN: Jenny Sanford makes a deal with Ballantine to write an "inspirational memoir." CW: kinda makes up for her husband's losing his book deal in which he planned to offer sage advice on how to live within our means.

Greenville (South Carolina) News, Sept. 18: Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer...said his offer to forgo a run for governor if Gov. Mark Sanford resigns is only good through next month."

September 10: Gov. Sanford complains about being subjected to a "kangaroo court":

CBS News, Sept. 9: 61 South Carolina House members ask Gov. Sanford to resign.

The State, Sept. 9: Sanford on the radio. Includes audio.

The State: South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell, a Republican, today became the most powerful politician to call on Republican Gov. Sanford to resign. The majority of Republicans favor his resignation; lawmakers are expected to bring a bill of impeachment in December, the first date possible.

So gay activist Mike Rogers outs South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (CW: I have to say these are not new rumors; I've heard 'em before); then this guy, prominent state senator Jake Knotts, says Gov. Sanford's backers had pushed the rumor. Bauer's story: "I'm not gay."

Sept. 2: the Lord moves in mysterious way all right; Mark Sanford reports to Ralph Hallow of the Washington Times that God is on his side, but it's sure hard to tell.

Valerie Bauerlein of the Wall Street Journal, Sept. 2: Gov. Sanford digs in to save his job as pressure mounts for him to resign.

John O'Connor of McClatchy/The State, Aug. 30: most South Carolina House Republicans want Sanford to go.

AP, Aug. 29: South Carolinia's GOP leaders huff & puff, but don't blow the house down; stop short of trying to force resignation or impeachment on Gov. Sanford.

Gov. Sanford says he'd love to quit, but he won't be railroaded out & says some stuff about God & the media & how much money he saved the state:

The State, Aug. 26: South Carolinia Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer plans to call on Gov. Sanford to resign. Bauer says he won't run for governor in 2010 if Sanford resigns within a month or so. Update: WIS10 video of Bauer's press conference.

Gina Smith of The State, Aug. 22: the state ethics commission said Friday it may probe new claims Gov. Sanford failed to report private plane flights provided by friends and political groups, even as it considers whether to investigate Sanford’s alleged misuse of state aircraft. Lawmakers say it is likely there will be a call for impeachment when the legislature reconvenes in January.

Her interview in Vogue is accompanied by a leggy photo of the 47-year-old in a beach cover-up that looks like a fetching ad for a new, less embarrassing husband. -- Maureen Dowd, on the photo below. Dowd's column is here.

Jenny Sanford on the porch of her Sullivan's Island home. Photo by Jonathan Becker for Vogue. CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.Jenny Sanford talks to Rebecca Johnson, writing for Vogue.

The State, Aug. 13: S.C. AG "Henry McMaster today asked the state Ethics Commission to investigate allegations that Gov. Mark Sanford misused state planes and other potential violations of state ethics laws."

The State, Aug. 13: Sanford won't say if he maintains contact with Maria Belen Chapur, but he denies rumors that he is moving her into the governor's mansionnow that is wife has moved out.

"I've Got a Bad Back & I'm Middle-Aged"! WIS News has more taped explanations from Gov. Sanford about his illegal plane trips:

Greenville News: Gov. Sanford defends his high-cost high-flying; says he won't divorce.

AP, Aug. 10: David Thomas, Chair of the South Carolina Senate Budget Committee, is sending findings of his committee's investigation of Gov. Sanford's air travel to state senate leaders, with the advice that the governor violated state law by flying on expensive business- & first-class tickets & by charging the state for travel that was not related to state business.

AP, Aug. 10: Gov. Sanford used state aircraft for personal and political trips, often bringing along his wife and children, in violation of a state law that requires that, "Any and all aircraft owned or operated by agencies of the State Government shall be used only for official business."

AP, Aug. 7: Jenny Sanford, the First Lady of South Carolina, & her four sons are moving out of the governor's mansion, a little more than a month after Gov. Mark Sanford admitted to having an affair with an Argentinian woman. The State story here.

John O'Connor of The State, Aug. 3: former staffers for Gov. Sanford said they "routinely used private e-mail accounts to discuss sensitive political and policy decisions with Sanford," but the governor’s office denies they used private accounts to hide public activity in violation of the state's FOIA.

The State, July 22: the Sanfords are going on a two-week European vacation beginning tomorrow. With video.

July 19: Gov. Sanford pens an apology to South Carolinians invoking God's forgiveness. Writing in Palinesque style, Sanford nonetheless eschews grammatical errors.

Zach Roth of Talking Points Memo goes through some of the dump of e-mails to & from Gov. Mark Sanford's office & finds a promise from David Gregory of NBC's "Meet the Press" that Sanford could come on & "frame the conversation...and then move on."

Evidently unable to communicate with the Governor, The State reports that Sanford's communications director Joel Sawyer is quitting his job.

AP, July 17: Gov. Sanford is a cheapskate except when it comes to his own first-class travel fares; while he balked at "spending taxpayer money" on schools & criticized others for expensive trips & made his staff ride in the back of the plane, Sanford billed the state for first- & business-class seats for himself. Politico story here.

AP, July 15: Gov. Sanford cancels state meetings to go on an out-of-state trip with his wife.

Sleazy "journalists," including ABC News' Jake Tapper, caught kissing up to Mark Sanford, The State learns from e-mails obtained under the FOIA. Related: Buzzfeed: one of the journalistic bootlickers: Stephen Colbert's character.Update: Tapper apologizes for dissing his competitor.

The State, July 14: Gov. Sanford was too busy with his mistress to attend economic development functions; also, records show his aide tried to reach him 14 times by phone while he was canoodling with Maria, but Sanford failed to return any of the calls.

July 10: e-mails The State obtained through FOIA make clear that Gov. Sanford planned tryst with Belun Chapur as part of his 2008 state-funded trip to Argentina.

The State, July 7: state Republican committee members vote to censure Gov. Sanford, call this "a time for healing."

The State: in the wake of the newspaper's report that Gov. Sanford frequently slipped his security detail & kept his schedule & whereabouts secret, his staff says they will start releasing his schedule, a common practice of other state governors.

Looks like a fun holiday weekend for the Luv Guv in Florida with Jenny, the kids & the in-laws! Also, Sanford's book deal crashes. New York Daily News report by David Saltonstall.

AP: Jenny Sanford issues another self-serving, Bible-thumping statement above forgiveness and, um, her husband's "egregious offenses...against God." CW: no wonder the Guv went nuts.

Washington Post, July 2: the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division says it found "absolutely no misuse of state funds" on his visits to New York City to see his mistress.

The State: Gov. Mark Sanford left the South Carolina mansion 38 times in 2008 without security; in 2009, he has already left 39 times; together they represent about one-third of his travels in an 18-month period.

The State: "While mental health experts are reluctant to pin a diagnosis on the governor, their observations of his behavior suggest a chemical imbalance, narcissism and impulsive behavior."

Paul Krugman explains the facts of life from liberal & conservative points-of-view. 

Politico: as more than half of South Carolina's GOP state caucus has called on Gov. Mark Sanford to resign, the state's three most prominent national GOP figures, Senators Lindsey Graham & Jim DeMint & Rep. Gresham Barrett conference-call him and tell him...something.

Update: Barrett calls for Sanford to resign.

The AP profiles Belen Chapur.

New York Times, June 29: Maria Belen Chapur, who declined to comment on her relationship with Gov. Sanford, says she has a "firm suspicion" of who hacked into her e-mail account, and it was not the man whom she "shared days in Brazil."

     Update: here's Belen Chapur's e-mail to an Argentine journalist, in English translation.

It's All About Mark. Sanford tells the AP that he considered stepping down but won't. Raw video of Sanford rambling on to an AP reporter about what the Bible taught him:

The State, June 28: the elements of a news story -- how Mark Sanford's affair blew up. CW: a long, interesting piece that ties together the loose ends & elements of the story, & alludes to other other-women.

New York Times Editorial Board, June 27: Sanford should resign.

Vinod Sreeharsha of the New York Times: it appears The State's source for the Sanford-Chapur e-mails was Chapur's one-time boyfriend who became jealous & hacked into her computer after seeing some of the e-mail exchange.

AP, June 26: Jenny Sanford says her husband repeatedly asked her for permission to visit his lover. CW: I guess he showed her!

Sanford is sticking with the governor gig to "set a good example for my boys." Washington Post report.

AP: South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford found out about her husband's affair in January when she found a letter from his lover; she was shocked to find out he had gone to Argentina, & other details in between.

CW: Ben Smith of Politico: after telling his staff he was going hiking in the Appalachians, Sanford claimed he decided at the last minute to do "something more exotic." But Smith has learned that Sanford booked a ten-day trip to Buenos Aires on June 10 at about the time his wife asked him to move out. In other words, he purposely deceived his staff with the difficult-to-reach-while-hiking crap.

Here are a couple of photos from a website called "The News Bizarre" that they says are images of Maria Belen Chapur obtained from a social network. The site has a few more snapshots.

Ben Pershing of the Washington Post, June 16: Sanford hopes to keep his job by waiting out his critics.

CW: Now I'm really getting pathetic, going to TMZ for a report from a Buenos Aires bar owner who says Sanford & Maria Belen Chapur have been in his bar several times over the past few months & last week they were there & "all over each other."

New York Times: Gov. Mark Sanford acknowledged Thursday, June 25, that he saw his mistress while on a state-funded trip to Argentina; he said he would reimburse the state for his “mistake.”

McClatchey, June 25: Sanford's hastily-arranged "trade mission" to Argentina in 2008, for which he says he will reimburse the State of South Carolina, contradicted U.S. policy.

Fox News reveals some details about "Maria," identifying her as 43-year-old Maria Belen Shapur, a multi-lingual businesswoman who works for the international agribusiness firm Bunge y Born.

The State trots out e-love letters between Sanford and his Argentine paramour. Their story on how The State obtained & verified the e-mails is here.

Politico: Sanford has taken at least three taxpayer-funded trips to Argentina.

"I love your tan lines." The State publishes excerpts of love e-mails from Sanford to "Maria." Eeew!

The State: Mark Sanford's wife Jenny responds. And here's the text of her response.

Politico: the Republican Governors Association announced Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour would take over as chair after Gov. Sanford's resignation.

Here's the Sanford presser:

AP: Sanford admits to having an affair, resigns as chair of Republican Governors' Association. New York Times story here.

Not Appalachia -- SOUTH AMERICA!!! And here's The State's story. Wall Street Journal story here.

The (South Carolina) State: Governor Mark Sanford is somewhere along the Appalachian Trail, according to his staff, but that's all they would say; his disappearance has alarmed other state officials, especially since the State Constitution is unclear as to specifically what powers the lieutenant governor has. (CW: see yesterday's late news (below) & the Soaps [bottom of this column] for more on this story.)

Related: in the Wall Street Journal, Valerie Bauerlein & Alex Roth write a perfect paragraph:

Until late Monday night, Mr. Sanford's whereabouts hadn't been revealed since Thursday, when he took off in a sport-utility vehicle normally driven by a bodyguard, turned off his mobile phone and stopped communicating with his office, family and close political allies. Mr. Sanford has been viewed as a likely contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Update: MSNBC gets an e-mail from Sanford's office saying that Sanford will return to work tomorrow.

Update: the State has more.

Jimmy Orr of the Christian Science Monitor comments on Gov. Mark Sanford's strange disappearance. Orr seems more "concerned" than Sanford's wife & staff. Gawker has an update that somebody in the lieutenant governor's office says somebody knows where Sanford or somebody is.

Chris Cillizza has lots of updates, the latest of which is that Sanford was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Politico has more on this bizarre tale; seems the Republican lieutenant governor is not amused with his Republican governor, & the looie is contradicting the guv's staff. Oh my.

The Hill: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford disappears; his family, staff don't know where he is but are "unconcerned."