The Ledes

Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

Washington Post: "A former wife of the Islamic State’s leader was released Tuesday after more than year in custody in Lebanon as part of a prisoner swap involving Lebanese security forces held captive by militants in Syria. Lebanese authorities handed over Saja al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi who was briefly married to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the presumed head of the Islamic State. Along with Dulaimi was a group of mostly Islamist detainees, according to officials in Lebanon’s military."

The Wires

White House Live Video
December 1

1:00 pm ET: World AIDS Day

8:30 pm ET: Vice President Biden speaks at the ONE Campaign's "A Night of Music at Carnegie Hall" (audio only)

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Public Service Announcement

Washington Post (October 26): "A research division of the World Health Organization announced on Monday that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer, and that red meat probably does, too. The report by the influential group stakes out one of the most aggressive stances against meat yet taken by a major health organization, and it is expected to face stiff criticism in the United States."

New York Times (October 20: "The American Cancer Society, which has for years taken the most aggressive approach to [breast-cancer] screening, issued new guidelines on Tuesday, recommending that women with an average risk of breast cancer start having mammograms at 45 and continue once a year until 54, then every other year for as long as they are healthy and likely to live another 10 years. The organization also said it no longer recommended clinical breast exams, in which doctors or nurses feel for lumps, for women of any age who have had no symptoms of abnormality in the breasts."

New York Times: "Kathleen McCormack Durst disappeared from her home in Westchester County nearly 34 years ago.... On Monday, Ms. Durst’s mother, Ann McCormack, who is 101, and three sisters — Carol Bamonte, Mary Hughes and Virginia McKeon filed a $100 million lawsuit against the man who they have long suspected of killing her: Robert A. Durst, her husband. The lawsuit contends that Mr. Durst violated the McCormack family’s right to sepulcher, a rarely used New York law granting family members the immediate right to possession of a body for burial."

Washington Post: "Christmas in Washington" annual TNT special, in which presidents & their families regularly appeared, ends 33-year-run. Ah, must be because of Obama's War on Christmas. Wait, it isn"t!

Michelle Obama accepts delivery of the White House Christmas tree, November 27:

Boston Globe: Michael Dukakis loves leftover turkey. A turkey carcass makes great soup, he said, inviting people to drop off turkey carcasses at his home. So they did.

Domenico Montanaro of NPR with everything you never wanted to know about the strange tradition of presidential "pardons" of turkeys.

Frank Rich reviews "Carol," the film based on Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel The Price of Salt, published under a pseudonym. As usual, Rich goes deep.

New York Times: "Ta-Nehisi Coates won the National Book Award for nonfiction Wednesday[, Nov. 18,] night for “Between the World and Me,” a visceral, blunt exploration of his experience of being a black man in America, which was published this summer in the middle of a national dialogue about race relations and inequality.... The fiction award went to Adam Johnson for 'Fortune Smiles.'..."

Slate: Carly Simon told People magazine that "You're So Vain" is about Warren Beatty. CW: Somehow I think I knew that a long time ago.

Guardian: "Gawker, the gossip website..., is giving up on reporting gossip in order to refocus on politics and 'to hump the [2016 presidential] campaign'. The site, founded by British journalist Nick Denton in 2003, announced on Tuesday that Gawker was steering in a new direction that would “orient its editorial scope on political news, commentary and satire'.”

Washington Post: Actor "Charlie Sheen confirmed on Tuesday that he is HIV-positive, as rumored in recent days by an onslaught of tabloid stories. Sheen told Matt Lauer on the 'Today' show that he is going public with his illness for multiple reasons, including that he’s been blackmailed for upwards of $10 million since he was diagnosed four years ago."

... For about $880,000, you can purchase Julia Child's excellent little house in Provence; her kitchen is intact, except for the stove.

New York Times: "Archaeologists have over the years cataloged the rocks [forming Stonehenge], divined meaning from their placement — lined up for midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset — and studied animal and human bones buried there. They have also long known about the other monuments — burial chambers, a 130-foot-tall mound of chalk known as Silbury Hill and many other circular structures. An aerial survey in 1925 revealed circles of timbers, now called Woodhenge, two miles from Stonehenge." With slide show.


New York Times: "In an overheated art market where anything seems possible, a painting of an outstretched nude woman by the early-20th-century artist Amedeo Modigliani sold on Monday night for $170.4 million with fees, in a packed sales room at Christie’s. It was the second-highest price paid for an artwork at auction."

Artist's rendering of the main exhibition hall of the planned wing of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.New York Times: "In designing its $325 million addition on Columbus Avenue, the American Museum of Natural History has opted for an architectural concept that is both cautious and audacious, according to plans approved by its board on Wednesday. The design ... evokes Frank Gehry’s museum in Bilbao, Spain, in its undulating exterior and Turkey’s underground city of Cappadocia in its cavelike interior. The design, by the architect Jeanne Gang for the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation, aims to unite the museum’s various activities, solve its notorious circulation problems and provide a multistory showcase for the institution’s expanding role as a hub for scientific research and scholarship.”

New York Times: "... Jon Stewart has signed a production deal with the premium cable channel HBO, the channel announced on Tuesday. As part of the arrangement, Mr. Stewart will work on some digital short projects that are expected to appear on HBO’s apps like HBO Now and HBO Go. Mr. Stewart could also pursue movie or television projects with the network. The contract covers four years."

Guardian: "Facebook has announced plans to water down its controversial 'real names' policy, after lobbying from civil liberties groups worldwide."

If you'd like to know whatever happened to former NYT food columnist Mark Bittman, the Washington Post has the answer.

Jennifer Senior of the New York Times reviews Notorious R.G.B., by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik: "It’s an artisanal hagiography, a frank and admiring piece of fan nonfiction."

Digital Globe photo, via NASA, republished in the New York Times. CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.... New York Times: "Satellite pictures of a remote and treeless northern steppe reveal colossal earthworks — geometric figures of squares, crosses, lines and rings the size of several football fields, recognizable only from the air and the oldest estimated at 8,000 years old. The largest, near a Neolithic settlement, is a giant square of 101 raised mounds, its opposite corners connected by a diagonal cross, covering more terrain than the Great Pyramid of Cheops.... Described last year at an archaeology conference in Istanbul as unique and previously unstudied, the earthworks, in the Turgai region of northern Kazakhstan, number at least 260 — mounds, trenches and ramparts — arrayed in five basic shapes."

New York Times: "In a landmark study, scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands reported that they had conducted an experiment that they say proved one of the most fundamental claims of quantum theory — that objects separated by great distance can instantaneously affect each other’s behavior. The finding is another blow to one of the bedrock principles of standard physics known as 'locality,' which states that an object is directly influenced only by its immediate surroundings. The Delft study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, lends further credence to an idea that Einstein famously rejected. He said quantum theory necessitated 'spooky action at a distance,' and he refused to accept the notion that the universe could behave in such a strange and apparently random fashion." CW: Everything is relative, Al.

Gizmodo: On Halloween, "a rather large asteroid — discovered less than three weeks ago — is set to to fly past the Earth at a distance not seen in nearly a decade.... NASA says that 2015 TB145 will safely pass by the Earth and continue to following along its exceptionally eccentric and high-inclination orbit — which may explain why it wasn’t discovered until only a few weeks ago. During the flyby, the asteroid will reach a magnitude luminosity of 10, so it should be observable to astronomers with telescopes."

For $299,000 you could buy the house where Bruce Springsteen wrote "Born to Run." It looks like a dump prone to flooding every time it rains, but it's a block-and-a-half from the Jersey shore beach.

New York Post: "During his time in the White House, President Richard Nixon — pug-nosed, jowly, irascible, charmless-yet-devoted husband to Pat — was known to awkwardly hit on middle-aged female staffers. In 'The Last of the President’s Men' (Simon & Schuster), veteran journalist Bob Woodward quotes Alexander Butterfield, Nixon’s deputy assistant, about the commander-in-chief’s sad seduction techniques."

CW: I've completely ignored the buzz about the film "Steve Jobs," so this was welcome:

... Sharon Shetty in Slate: "As the latest attempt to mine every last bit of meaning from the life of Apple’s late founder, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs will probably make lots of money and spark lots of debate. For those preemptively exhausted by that debate, there’s Conan O’Brien’s less controversial take on a tech biopic: Michael Dell":

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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."