Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, the President described the progress our economy has made, laying a foundation for a future that prioritizes middle-class economics":

The Ledes

Saturday, January 31, 2015.

New York Times: "The Islamic State claimed to have beheaded a Japanese journalist in a video released Saturday night, the culmination of a two-week-long drama that appears to have cost the lives of two Japanese men. The video of the killing of the journalist, Kenji Goto, came two days after a deadline set by the extremist group expired, and the Jordanian government did not give in to its demand that a convicted would-be suicide bomber be exchanged for Mr. Goto’s life."

New York Times: "... as officials in 14 states grapple to contain a spreading measles outbreak that began near here at Disneyland, the parents at the heart of America’s anti-vaccine movement are being blamed for incubating an otherwise preventable public-health crisis."

Guardian: "Angela Merkel has ruled out the prospect of Greece securing further debt cuts from its creditor nations, potentially putting the country’s new leftist government on a collision course with Brussels."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 21-year-old daughter of the late Whitney Houston, was found face-down and unresponsive in a bathtub Saturday morning and was rushed to the hospital, Roswell authorities said. TMZ is reporting that sources close to the family say she’s been place in a medically induced coma to address swelling. An AJC reporter was told to leave hospital property Saturday and no hospital representatives were available for official comment."

The Wires

Public Service Announcement

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

Surprise! December 19: Dr. Oz is a quack.

White House Live Video
January 29

12:30 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

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

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

This is a real bill. Consumer advocate Christopher Elliott verified it. Check out the customer name on the account:

Is "Asshole" the customer's real given name? Well, no. Comcast got mad at the family for wishing to cancel the cable part of their Comcast service. Comcast not only refused to cut the cable, as it were, they changed the primary customer's name from "Ricardo" (his parents' idea) to "Asshole." When Ricardo's wife tried to get Comcast to change the account back to her husband's real name, both Comcast's local & regional "customer service" (Comcast's idea) offices refused. After Elliott took up the Browns' case, Comcast relented on both. ...

... Video via Karoli of Crooks & Liars. CW: I assure you, former Arkansas Gov. Fuckabee will be very upset by the vid.

Oh, lawdy, what will they think up next?

... www.cicret.com

In the New York Times, Barry Bearak remembers Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks.

Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, New Hampshire): "After going through the drive-through at Burger King [in Rochester, N.H.] Friday, a local woman discovered that instead of the sweet tea and junior spicy chicken sandwich that she ordered, she got a bag full of money. Rather than keeping the cash — totaling $2,631 — she came back to the restaurant with her husband and returned it."

Gawker: "Bill Clinton took repeated trips on the 'Lolita Express'—the private passenger jet owned by billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein — with an actress in softcore porn movies whose name appears in Epstein's address book under an entry for 'massages,' according to flight logbooks obtained by Gawker and published today for the first time. The logs also show that Clinton shared more than a dozen flights with a woman who federal prosecutors believe procured underage girls to sexually service Epstein and his friends and acted as a 'potential co-conspirator' in his crimes."

New York Times: Director Martin "Scorsese’s partly finished documentary about [former president Bill] Clinton — which once seemed likely to be released as Hillary Rodham Clinton was navigating a presidential run — has stalled over disagreements about control, people briefed on the project said. Though parts of the film were shot over the last two years as Mr. Clinton made a philanthropic visit to Africa and elsewhere, the project is now indefinitely shelved, partly because Mr. Clinton insisted on more control over the interview questions and final version than Mr. Scorsese was willing to give, those people said."

Jessica Roy of New York: "Now that he's been released from jail after his kidnapping-conspiracy conviction was overturned, Gilberto Valle — the former NYPD officer dubbed 'Cannibal Cop' for allegedly planning to kidnap, kill, and eat women — is hungry for love on Match.com. Unfortunately for him, the online dating service told us that they've deleted Valle's alleged profile, even though frankly he can't be any worse than the other dudes you might find on there.... Also, he listed cooking as a favorite hobby!"

CW: Not sure why this is news. As a disconsolate Windows 8 user, I heard this -- in re: Windows 8 -- two months ago. New York Times: "Microsoft said people using the two earlier versions of its operating system, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, would be able to update their computers to Windows 10 free for the first year after the new software is introduced."

Ellen's Gay Agenda. Thanks to P. D. Pepe for the link:

The French discover Ken & Barbie News Fox "News." For some reason the journalistes at "Le Petit Journal" don't find it credible. With English subtitles. Thanks to Creegr for the link:

New York Times: "A person close to the Barack Obama Foundation, which is overseeing plans for the [presidential] library, anonymously told local reporters last month that foundation officials had 'major concerns' with proposals from the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Foundation officials were said to be alarmed that the University of Chicago does not yet control the land where the university wants to build the library. To the shock and horror of residents here, that left Columbia University in New York, where Mr. Obama received his undergraduate degree, as the apparent front-runner. And suddenly a fait accompli has become an open question."

Washington Post: Two treasure hunters may have found the Griffin, a ship that disappeared in the Great Lakes in mid-1679.

And the Winner Is ... A White Person! Tatiana Siegel of the Hollywood Reporter: "For only the second time in nearly two decades, the 20 Academy Awards acting nominations went to a group made up entirely of white actors and actresses. Among the notable snubs was David Oyelowo, who received praise for his turn as the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma." ...

... Scott Mendelson of Forbes: "... the most egregious omission is the sadly not-entirely-surprising absence of Selma’s Ava DuVernay from the five contenders nominated for Best Director.... She deserved a nomination." ...

... Steve M.: Given the sorry state of most of Hollywood's output -- the CGI roman-numeral blockbusters and comedies about farting boy-men, greenlighted mostly by white males -- and given the near-total freeze-out of women in directorial roles (or in most acting roles beyond male stars' arm candy), I guess I know the answer. And it's pathetic."

... Todd VanDerWerff of Vox: "Selma was snubbed because the average Oscar voter is a 63-year-old white man. VanDerWerff also lists other factors he thinks worked against Selma.

... CW: I don't think I linked to this essay by Chris Rock, published in the Hollywood Reporter last month. Subject: The movie biz is "a white industry." I guess so.

Dick Poop. USA Today: "Dick Pope..., the cinematographer for Mr. Turner, made international news after Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science President Cheryl Boone Isaacs mispronounced his name during the nominations, calling him 'Dick Poop.'"

Here's the L.A. Times story covering the Oscar nominations.

New York Times: "Amazon announced on Tuesday that it had signed [Woody] Allen to write and direct his first television series. The company said it had ordered a full season of half-hour shows, as yet untitled, which will make their debut on the service next year. It provided few other details."

Jareen Imam of CNN: "Jeweler Tiffany & Co., for the first time, is featuring a gay couple in an ad campaign. The new 'Will You?' campaign, shot by fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh, features seven scenes of couples. One in particular is drawing widespread praise for showing a same-sex couple. The pair, shown sitting on a stoop in New York City, are a couple in real life, Tiffany spokeswoman Linda Buckley said."

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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."