Weekly Address

The Ledes

Saturday, April 19, 2014.

Washington Post: "Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine." ...

... Washington Post: "Pro-Russian­ militants, boasting that they do not take orders from diplomats in Washington or Moscow, refused to end their armed occupation of a dozen government buildings across eastern Ukraine on Friday, upending hopes for a quick end to the standoff."

Los Angeles Times: "The captain and two crew members of a ferry that capsized off the southern coast of South Korea were detained Saturday on suspicion of negligence in the accident that left at least 28 people confirmed dead and 274 missing, officials said.

The Wires

The Ledes

Friday, April 18, 2014.

Washington Post: "An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest early Friday morning, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three others missing, officials said, in what is now said to be the single deadliest disaster to hit the world’s highest peak.”

The New York Times outlines some of the shocking errors made after the Korean ferry began to list. ...

     ... UPDATE: "Prosecutors in South Korea on Friday sought to arrest the captain, third mate and another crew member of a ferry on charges of deserting their vessel and passengers after it capsized and leaving more than 270 people missing, many of them high school students on a trip to a resort island. Prosecutors asked the court to issue arrest warrants for Captain Lee Jun-seok, 69, and the 26-year-old third mate, who they said was steering the ship at the time of accident.... The vice principal, Kang Min-kyu, 52, of Danwon High School, who survived the ferry accident on Wednesday, was found hanging from a tree on a hill near a gymnasium where families of the missing had gathered. The police suspected Mr. Kang had hanged himself."


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/10/3772409/fbi-rescues-kidnapped-wake-forest.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: "The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday took the rare step of urging doctors to stop performing a surgical procedure used on tens of thousands of women each year to remove uterine growths, saying the practice risks spreading hidden cancers within a woman’s body. The procedure, known as power morcellation, has long been used in laparoscopic operations to remove fibroid tumors from the uterus, or to remove the uterus itself. It involves inserting an electric device into the abdomen and slicing tissue in order to remove it through a small incision. The surgery is far less invasive than traditional abdominal operations."

White House Live Video
April 18

1:00 pm ET: Jay Carney 's press briefing

2:00 pm ET: President Obama presents the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the US Naval Academy football team

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

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

USA Today: "Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she's pregnant with her first child."

New York Times: "It is a bit bigger and somewhat colder, but a planet circling a star 500 light-years away is otherwise the closest match of our home world discovered so far, astronomers announced on Thursday. The planet, known as Kepler 186f, named after NASA’s Kepler planet-finding mission, which detected it, has a diameter of 8,700 miles, 10 percent wider than Earth, and its orbit lies within the 'Goldilocks zone' of its star, Kepler 186 — not too hot, not too cold, where temperatures could allow for liquid water to flow at the surface, making it potentially hospitable for life."

Jason Zinoman of the New York Times argues that the real king of late-night comedy is Jon Stewart.

 

Whose Pulitzer Is It Anyway? Chris Hamby of the Center for Public Integrity was awarded the Pulitzer Prize this week for his multipart series on denials of benefits to black lung victims. ABC News, which used Hamby's work for a "Nightline" segment, now wants a piece of the Pulitzer, even though the Pulitzer Prize is given for print journalism. ...

... J. K. Trotter of Gawker has more: "Journalist-on-journalist carnage is rarely so open, or so bilious, especially when obituary-worthy awards are on the line. Then again, television news has never attracted, or rewarded, humble folk. According to Poynter, an ABC spokesperson repeatedly 'threatened [{Bill} Buzenberg {executive director of CPI}] and the Center saying they would make this very "messy" ... unless they got what they wanted.'” ...

... Dylan Byers of Politico has more on the feud. ...

... Capital New York: "Fresh off a Pulitzer win for his investigative work at The Center for Public Integrity, Chris Hamby is jumping ship to join Mark Schoofs' investigations desk at Buzzfeed...."

Washington Post: Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff is leaving NBC News, by mutual consent. Isikoff told Erik Wemple that "this was a situation that was no longer working out."

Soraya McDonald of the Washington Post: "Thursday night was a deft marriage of the best of the two Colberts: He didn’t break character, but the deference and affable nature that marks his out-of-character interviews was stamped all over the writing." With video. ...

... Dylan Scott of TPM: "Rush Limbaugh framed CBS's decision to replace retiring 'Late Show' host David Letterman with professional conservative skewer Stephen Colbert in some decidedly apocalyptic terms. 'CBS has just declared war on the Heartland of America," Limbaugh said Thursday on his radio show. 'No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values. Now it's just wide out in the open.'" ...

... Bill Carter of the New York Times: "CBS made its choice, quickly and definitively: Stephen Colbert is the successor to David Letterman as the star of 'Late Show,' the late-night franchise created by Mr. Letterman. CBS made the announcement Thursday, exactly one week after Mr. Letterman announced on his program that he would be leaving his post after one more year on the air."

Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times: "A faded fragment of papyrus known as the 'Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,' which caused an uproar when unveiled by a Harvard Divinity School historian in 2012, has been tested by scientists who conclude in a journal published on Thursday that the ink and papyrus are very likely ancient, and not a modern forgery. Skepticism about the tiny scrap of papyrus has been fierce because it contained a phrase never before seen in any piece of Scripture: 'Jesus said to them, "My wife..."' Too convenient for some, it also contained the words 'she will be able to be my disciple,' a clause that inflamed the debate in some churches over whether women should be allowed to be priests." ...

... CW: Sorry, purists. Followers (& non-followers) had all kinds of ideas about what Jesus was like. Married Jesus & sexy Jesus (Gospel of Thomas, "Lost" Gospel of Mark) were among them. The Roman Catholic Church decided, beginning late in the 2nd century what was canon & what was not. And every story, IMHO, is fictional. BTW, the Egyptologist in Goodstein's story who insists the fragment is a fake uses some extremely shaky -- i.e., bogus -- rationales for his opinion.

CW: I think it's my job to run this:

... The full "Today" show segment is here, & it's mildly interesting (CW: NBC's embed code is screwed up, so I can't run it here).

Josh Dickey of Mashable: "Stephen Colbert is CBS' top choice to replace the retiring David Letterman, and has indicated that he's willing to take over the Late Show when the time comes, people familiar with both sides of the discussions tell Mashable." Via New York.

Lauren Moraski of CBS "News": "David Letterman announced Thursday that he's retiring from CBS' 'Late Show' sometime next year. He made that announcement during the taping of his program Thursday afternoon at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater."

No News, All the Time:

Igor Bobic of TPM: "In its wall-to-wall coverage of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, CNN has raised the possibility of the supernatural, blackholes, and North Korea; it has interviewed a psychic, tried but failed to rent its own 777 jet, and finally settled on a flight simulator it is using to 'search' for the plane.On Tuesday the network finally turned its attention to garbage."

Washington Post: "Stephen Colbert and his writing staff were in fighting form Monday night, after a controversy stemming from an out-of-context tweet had hashtag activists calling for his head." ...

... This is kinda must-see TV:

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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."