The Ledes

Thursday, July 30, 2015.

New York Times: "The commander of a group of Syrian fighters trained by the United States has been kidnapped by Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, his group said in a statement Thursday. The commander, Nadeem Hassan, and seven of his fighters were taken by the Nusra Front, a rival of the Islamic State in Syria, as they were returning from a meeting in Turkey."

AP: "Afghanistan's Taliban on Thursday confirmed the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar, who led the group's self-styled Islamic emirate in the 1990s, sheltered al-Qaida through the 9/11 attacks and led a 14-year insurgency against U.S. and NATO troops. The Taliban Shura, or Supreme Council, chose Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who had served as Mullah Omar's deputy for the past three years, as its new leader, two Taliban figures told the Associated Press...."

Washington Post: "The U.S. economy rebounded between April and June, new government data showed Thursday, expanding at an annualized rate of 2.3 percent. Growth in the second quarter remained modest, particularly compared with the breakneck pace seen in much of 2014, but it also signaled a bounce-back from a surprisingly sluggish winter when the economy was at a crawl."

New York Times: "Government officials and families of passengers lost on a Malaysian jet that vanished last year with 239 people aboard responded warily on Thursday to the discovery of possible wreckage from the aircraft, reluctant to fan hopes after more than a year of fruitless searching and false rumors. Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss of Australia, whose country has led the search for the jet, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, said that the discovery of an airplane part thousands of miles from the search area was 'a very significant development' but cautioned against concluding that it was from the missing aircraft."

The Wires

The Ledes

... Thanks to Akhilleus for the link. (This video tends to start near the end. If it does that for you, cursor back to the beginning.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

Guardian: "The Federal Reserve on Wednesday continued to pave the way for an increase in interest rates as early as September. The US central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at near zero – where it has been since the 2008 financial crisis – but once again signalled that rates will rise later this year. While the Fed chair, Janet Yellen, has left little doubt that rates will rise this year, the Fed left itself wiggle room as it has set no timetable and said rates would only be raised if the economy continues to improve and unemployment continues to fall." ...

... The Fed's statement is here.

New York Times: "A large object that appeared to be an airplane part washed up Wednesday on the shore of Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, prompting speculation that it might be debris from Flight 370, the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared in March 2014." ...

     ... AP UPDATE: "Air safety investigators have a 'high degree of confidence' that aircraft debris found in the Indian Ocean is of a wing component unique to the Boeing 777, the same model as the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared last year, a U.S. official said Wednesday."

New York Times: "After months of speculation, Afghan officials announced Wednesday that they were now certain that the Taliban’s reclusive leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, died in Pakistan in 2013."

Guardian: "Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has approved the immediate construction of hundreds of settlement units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in an effort to stave off a growing threat posed by pro-settler parties in his rightwing coalition government. The issue was brought to a head on Wednesday by a supreme court ruling that two buildings in the West Bank settlement of Beit El – built on private Palestinian land without permits – should be destroyed, despite Netanyahu’s opposition."

Washington Post: "An Albuquerque 911 dispatcher has resigned after audio was released of him hanging up on a 17-year-old as she tended to a friend who was shot at the party. The victim, 17-year-old Jaydon Chavez-Silver, later died.... Emergency responders had already been dispatched to the house before [the dispatcher] hung up." Includes 911 audio.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: "A big-game hunter from the Twin Cities found himself at the center of an international firestorm Tuesday over the death of a beloved lion in Zimbabwe, but said he regrets killing the animal and believed his guides were leading him on a legal hunt.... Earlier Tuesday, the Telegraph newspaper of London identified [dentist Walter] Palmer as the hunter who shot Cecil and reported that he paid $54,000 for the hunt. The Telegraph said the lion was illegally lured out of Hwange National Park, where it had protected status, and onto a neighboring game farm, where Palmer was on safari." ...

... Salon: Yelp contributors are whacking Palmer.

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: "A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday."

AP: "Federal health advisers on Tuesday[, June 9,] recommended approval for a highly anticipated cholesterol drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, but with the caveat that more data is needed about its long-term ability to reduce heart attacks. The expert panel recommended by a 13-3 vote that the Food and Drug Administration approve the injectable drug, called Praluent."

Washington Post (June 4): "The first-ever 'female Viagra' came one step closer to coming to market, as a key advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted Thursday afternoon to recommend that the FDA approve the drug with conditions. The committee voted 18-6 to recommend that the FDA approve flibanserin, a drug designed to boost the low sexual desire of otherwise healthy women."

White House Live Video
July 30

2:00 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

2:00 pm ET: Open government public meeting

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

Jane Hamshire of Firedoglake: "... I have decided to pass the torch on to Kevin Gosztola and Brian Sonenstein, who will launch their own media organization called Shadowproof that will build on the success of FDL."

Dylan Byers: "MSNBC has formally decided to cancel three programs -- 'The Cycle,' 'Now with Alex Wagner' and 'The Ed Show' -- as part of a larger effort to shift its daytime lineup away from opinion programming.... Alex Wagner and Ari Melber, a 'Cycle' co-host and MSNBC's chief legal correspondent, will remain with the network. Ed Schultz, the host of 'The Ed Show,' will leave the network, as will 'Cycle' co-hosts Abby Huntsman, Krystal Ball and Toure.... In September, MSNBC will add a 5 p.m. program hosted by 'Meet The Press' moderator Chuck Todd, while Brian Williams, the former 'Nightly News' anchor, will serve as the network's breaking news and special reports anchor."

If you can memorize & learn to use the University of New Hampshire's long list of "bias-free language," you can be the most politically-correct person in your neighborhood. Via Jonathan Chait. ...

... CW Etiquette Tip: calling out your friends for using outmoded terms like "overweight" & "rich" is not politically-correct. Simply try to steer the conversation in a more "inclusive" direction. So if your friend says to you, "My rich neighbor got so overweight he has to use a wheelchair now," you say, "Oh, that person of material wealth has become a person of size who is wheelchair mobile? Wow! He's your neighbor? I remember him when he was a person experiencing homelessness who lacked advantages that others have." It sounds so natural, your friend will never realize you've corrected his biased, dated stereotypes.

Will Oremus of Slate likes Windows 10. CW: I haven't had the courage to try switching over yet. I'll lose EVERYTHING!

Fuck off! I’m done with you. -- Jon Stewart, to Wyatt Cenac

... Alex Jung of New York: Jon Stewart repeatedly yelled at Wyatt Cenac when Cenac questioned a "Daily Show" segment meant to be a defense against Fox "News" allegations that Stewart's Herman Cain imitation was racist. ...

... Maron's WTF podcast of his interview with Cenac is here. ...

... CW: Here's the thing, black people. When you confront white liberals with accusations of racial bias, WE WILL NEVER ADMIT IT. We will remind you that we have been fighting for black civil rights for 50 years (Bernie Sanders). We will tell you all lives matter (Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley). We will tell you that white people are responsible for expanding your rights (Hillary Clinton). We will deny your accusations (Every one of us). And all the while, we will be highly insulted, even if we don't tell you to fuck off. Because white people's feelings matter. And, after all we've done for you, we can't believe you would accuse us of racism.

Even when they're only lip-syncing, some entertainers are pretty damned talented. I'm not much of a fan of Tom Cruise's, but ...

Tech Crunch: "It’s no secret that Google+ didn’t quite work out the way Google envisioned and now, after already moving Google Photos out of the service, it’s starting to decouple Google+ profiles from its regular Google accounts."

Stupid Pet Tricks, Reptile Edition:

Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast: NBC News Chairman Andy Lack is replacing MSNBC's Ed Schultz with -- Chuck Todd. [CW: Excellent decision! Let's change "MSNBC" to "VPN" -- "Village People's Network."] "The only programs that appeared safe from disruption were Morning Joe..., hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski; Hardball ... with Chris Matthews; and The Rachel Maddow Show at 9 p.m. Those programs have performed respectably...." ...

We live in a time when much of the corporate media regards politics as a baseball game or a soap opera. Ed Schultz has treated the American people with respect by focusing on the most important issues impacting their lives.... I am very disappointed that Comcast [the parent company of NBC & MSNBC] chose to remove Ed Schultz from its lineup. We need more people who talk about the real issues facing our country, not fewer.... At a time when a handful of large, multi-national corporations own our major media outlets, I hope they will allow voices to be heard from those who dissent from the corporate agenda. -- Sen. Bernie Sanders

Washington Post: "The latest update from NASA's Kepler space telescope — designed to spot distant exoplanets — adds more than 500 new possible planets to the fray. That's in addition to the 4,175 planets already found by Kepler. And of those 500 new potential planets, scientists say, a dozen could be remarkably Earth-like. That means they're less than twice as large as Earth, are potentially rocky and are at the right distance from their host stars to harbor liquid water." ...

... Guardian: "Scientists on the hunt for extraterrestrial life have discovered 'the closest twin to Earth' outside the solar system, Nasa announced on Thursday."

Worst Person Ratings in the World. Andrew Kirell of Mediaite: Rumors are a'flyin' that MSNBC is headed for another line-up shake-up, which could include the Return of Dr. Olbermann, who is departing ESPN -- again. Because their third place in cable ratings wasn't as bad as their third place is now (sometimes 4th, behind Al Jazeera). And because the New Olbermann is now a suits-licking pussycat, unlike the Old Olbermann from way last week.

Some Would Be Heroes. Washington Post: Coast Guardsman Darren Harrity swims a mile in choppy, fuel-slicked sea to save four men in a leaky lifeboat.

New York Times: "What Pet Should I Get?" -- an aide to Dr. Suess's widow found the manuscript in a box. Dr. Suess -- Theodore Geisel -- died in 1991.

     ... Via BuzzFeed, for the fun of it.

Washington Post: "On Monday, famed physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian tycoon Yuri Milner held a news conference in London to announce their new project: injecting $100 million and a whole lot of brain power into the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, an endeavor they're calling Breakthrough Listen." ...

... CW: What a waste. You know all they'll find is angels hovering around a pantheon of some sort & maybe, if they're lucky, their long-dead pooches floating around Pet Heaven, which is real & wonderful.

New York Times: "In a pair of legal filings on Friday, two nuns who object to [singer Katy] Perry’s proposed purchase of their order’s convent on eight acres [in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles] disclosed an email describing any sale to the saucy pop singer as a breach of their sacred vows.... The court papers include claims by several of five surviving nuns in the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary that the archdiocese is betraying them and bullying them into supporting a sale other than their preferred transaction with [another buyer]."

NASA: "In the latest data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, a new close-up image of Pluto reveals a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes. This frozen region is north of Pluto’s icy mountains, in the center-left of the heart feature, informally named 'Tombaugh Regio' (Tombaugh Region) after Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930."

Hill: "President Obama is making a final 'Daily Show' appearance before host Jon Stewart leaves the political comedy program after 17 years. Obama will sit down for his final chat with Stewart on Tuesday, the White House confirmed Friday."

For an actual feel-good moment, Lindsey Bever of the Washington Post tells the story of 16-year-old small-plane crash survivor Autumn Veatch. Veatch, who was injured in the crash that killed her grandparents, walked untold mild through rough terrain until she came to a public road & parking area.

Washington Post: "Nearly two months after a molestation scandal prompted TLC to pull reruns of the popular reality program '19 Kids and Counting' from the air and online, the network announced that it has officially canceled the program."

Washington Post: "Filmmaker George Lucas, singer-songwriter Carole King and dancer-actress Rita Moreno are among an unprecedented six honorees to be saluted at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. Seventies rockers the Eagles, actress Cicely Tyson and conductor Seiji Ozawa will also be honored at the Dec. 6 event, Kennedy Center officials said Wednesday. A major fundraiser for the arts center, the gala celebration will be televised on CBS on Dec. 29."

Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker reviews Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman. ...

... Laura Marsh of the New Republic: "Scolars have been pointing out Atticus Finch's racism for years."

New York Times (July 15): "It was the last day of business at F. A. O. Schwarz on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan."

New York Times: "A day after its successful flyby, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sent back the first close-up photographs of Pluto, revealing a young surface dotted with ice mountains. The piano-size spacecraft traveled nine years and three billion miles to study the dwarf planet and its five moons." Includes one close-up photo from 25 miles out. More on NASA's site.

New York (July 14): "We're halfway through July, but until this morning, there was still snow on the ground in Boston. The last of the city's historic snowfall, a disgusting frozen mass of dirt, snow, and trash, was officially pronounced melted this morning"."

Here are time-lapse photos of the long melt:

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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."