Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Mark Sanford

Sanfordmania

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South Carolina state house Republicans are meeting this weekend to discuss “what it would take to force the Republican governor out and how the process would work.” Amazed he’s held on this long.

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August 25, 2009 at 6:52 pm

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Another Tuesday Night Linkdump

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Another Tuesday night linkdump.

* Anthony Karen photographs the KKK for Life Magazine.

* A public records request to the offices of Mark Sanford has revealed actually existing media bias: conservatives outlets promising the governor a safe place to spin his story. Even Colbert got into the act, writing Sanford in character. (Via Steve Benen.)

* Neil sends along this video of four artists painting the same (digital) canvas at once, though both he and I agree it’s somehow not quite as cool as it seems like it should be.

* Happy birthday, MetaFilter!

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July 15, 2009 at 1:08 am

‘The Clinton Curse’

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July 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Infinite Politics Thursday

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Infinite linkdump Thursday, just politics.

* The Mark Sanford story grows stranger by the day, with 19 South Carolina politicians now on the record calling for his resignation. (TPM reports that Senators DeMint and Graham have gone to Sanford to prevail on him to resign.) Today he backed off a pledge to release his travel records, which suggests more trouble may be brewing for him.

* Who could have imagined that Exxon-Mobil would lie about its continued support for climate-change “skepticism” advocacy groups?

* Highlights from the first day of the Al Franken Century.

* Democrats can now “hijack elections at their whim”: just another responsible, measured, and most of all empirically provable claim from RNC chairman Michael Steele, truly our country’s finest elder statesman.

* But it’s not all craziness: Michele Bachmann is facing criticism from the GOP for her weird lies about the Census.

* What caused the financial crisis? Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone (via MeFi) points to bubble economies nutured and created by giant investment firms, pointing the finger especially at Goldman Sachs. An Oklahoma lawmaker says it was “abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery.” I report, you decide.

* Malthusianism and world history: a chart from Conor Clarke.

It’s clear these growth trends can continue forever.

* Ezra Klein has a new Washington Post column on the politics of food.

Sunday Night Links 1

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Sunday night links.

* Is Twitter the Drudge Killer? We can only dare to hope.

* The Art of the Movie Poster. (Thanks, Ron!)

* Accusations from the left that Obama was behind Honduras’s coup seem completely unfounded.

* Sanford says he won’t resign. Okay, then, impeachment.

* Steve Benen against bipartisanship. Also at Washington Monthly: early movement towards fixing the Democratic primaries for 2012 and beyond.

* Krugman has had a very good series of posts this weekend trying to bash denialist talking points on climate change. Here’s the chart that dismantles the “we’ve been cooling since 1998” canard:

Written by gerrycanavan

June 29, 2009 at 2:37 am

Late Night Friday

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Late night Friday.

* As expected, Waxman-Markey passed the House earlier tonight, despite the usual deranged opposition. (Voting breakdown from FiveThirtyEight.) Ezra and Matt pour over a chart that demonstrates just how little this will cost, despite what Republicans are claiming, while Grist considers whether cap and trade has ever actually achieved its stated goals. I’m disappointed with the bill and terrified about what the Senate will pass.

* MoveOn will target Kay Hagan for her opposition to the public option. Good.

* Froomkin’s last column at the Washington Post takes the media to task for completely failing us over the last few decade.

And while this wasn’t as readily apparent until President Obama took office, it’s now very clear that the Bush years were all about kicking the can down the road – either ignoring problems or, even worse, creating them and not solving them. This was true of a huge range of issues including the economy, energy, health care, global warming – and of course Iraq and Afghanistan.

How did the media cover it all? Not well. Reading pretty much everything that was written about Bush on a daily basis, as I did, one could certainly see the major themes emerging. But by and large, mainstream-media journalism missed the real Bush story for way too long. The handful of people who did exceptional investigative reporting during this era really deserve our gratitude: People such as Ron Suskind, Seymour Hersh, Jane Mayer, Murray Waas, Michael Massing, Mark Danner, Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau (better late than never), Dana Priest, Walter Pincus, Charlie Savage and Philippe Sands; there was also some fine investigative blogging over at Talking Points Memo and by Marcy Wheeler. Notably not on this list: The likes of Bob Woodward and Tim Russert. Hopefully, the next time the nation faces a grave national security crisis, we will listen to the people who were right, not the people who were wrong, and heed those who reported the truth, not those who served as stenographers to liars.

* But I think Ezra Klein makes the point more strongly:

I think that analytically honest political commentators right now should be struggling with a pretty hard choice: Do you try to maximize the possibility of good, if still insufficient, outcomes? Or do you admit what many people already know and say that our political process has gone into total system failure and the overriding priority is building the long-term case for structural reform of America’s lawmaking process? Put another way, can you really solve any of our policy problems until you solve our fundamental political problem? And don’t think about it in terms of when your team is in power. Think of it in terms of the next 30 years, and the challenges we face.

* Posthumously cleared after twenty-five years. Via MeFi.

* We had to lie about Sotomayor because we’re still mad about Robert Bork. Right. Of course.

* More on how Obama forced Mark Sanford to shirk his responsibilities and flee the country. This is politics at its worst.

* I’m with Joe Strummer: If you don’t like Springsteen you’re a pretentious Martian from Venus. Via Shankar D.

* And of course we’re still coming to terms with Michael Jackson:
Web grinds to a halt after Michael Jackson dies. Secret library of 100 songs could be released. Google mistakes the explosion of searches for an attack. Spike in SMS traffic outpaces 9/11. Will Bruno face a last-minute edit? (Some of these via @negaratduke.)

Thursday Night Link 2

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Thursday Night Links 2.

* Nate Silver crunches some more numbers, this time on the environmental indifference point.

* Neoconservatives against American soccer. More from Matt Yglesias.

* When will the MSM force Obama to take responsibility for what he did to Mark Sanford’s marriage?

* On a more serious note, Larval Subjects has a nice rant on a subject I touched on earlier, namely the ugliness of the media’s silly obsession with the details of Mark Sanford’s love life and in particular Olbermann’s insufferable behavior on his show last night.

* AmericaBlog has an idea for some political hardball: bring the DOMA repeal up for a vote this week.

* Neo-Whorfianism: How does language shape the way we think? Via MeFi.

Follow me to Pormpuraaw, a small Aboriginal community on the western edge of Cape York, in northern Australia. I came here because of the way the locals, the Kuuk Thaayorre, talk about space. Instead of words like “right,” “left,” “forward,” and “back,” which, as commonly used in English, define space relative to an observer, the Kuuk Thaayorre, like many other Aboriginal groups, use cardinal-direction terms — north, south, east, and west — to define space.1 This is done at all scales, which means you have to say things like “There’s an ant on your southeast leg” or “Move the cup to the north northwest a little bit.” One obvious consequence of speaking such a language is that you have to stay oriented at all times, or else you cannot speak properly. The normal greeting in Kuuk Thaayorre is “Where are you going?” and the answer should be something like ” Southsoutheast, in the middle distance.” If you don’t know which way you’re facing, you can’t even get past “Hello.”

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June 25, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Bad Advice from Alec Baldwin

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Bad advice from Alec Baldwin (via Kottke, who gets this wrong too):

Now is a wonderful opportunity to show the country what Democrats/liberals/progressives/unaligned learned from the Clinton era. Whatever personal problems that public officials deal with privately, leave them alone. This could happen to anyone, in any state, regardless of party. Why make the voters of South Carolina suffer while Sanford is skewered? If he wants to resign, so be it. If not, let him deal with it in private.

Kottke goes on to criticize Huffington Post and TPM for diving so wholeheartedly into the mud on this. And he’s right—sex scandals are non-stories and should be treated as such. (Olbermann’s glee, for instance, was actively painful to watch last night.) But that doesn’t mean the Sanford story isn’t important or that the man shouldn’t resign. Though the media seems strangely uninterested in this fact, Sanford skipped town (skipped the whole country!) for a week without telling anyone where he was going, and in fact actively misled his staff about his whereabouts. There are powers that only governors can exercise; it’s wildly irresponsible for him to pull a stunt like this no matter what’s going on in his personal life, and if that’s the level of judgment he exercises when dealing with the state’s business he obviously needs to resign. Governing a state is serious business, and a serious responsibility; Sanford blew it off, and so he needs to resign or else be impeached. That’s the only aspect of this story that’s newsworthy and the only one we should be talking about, no matter how salacious the details or egregious the apparent hypocrisy.

UPDATE: But don’t take my word for it; even “Chainsaw” Charles Krauthammer says Sanford has to go.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Sanford on the Teevee

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Mark Sanford’s political career is ending at the press conference going on now. It’s painful to watch: after an awkward introduction that sung the praises of the Appalachian Trail, he segued into apologies to (so far) his kids, wife, staff, political supporters, parents-in-law, and the people of South Carolina. He hasn’t said yet what he’s apologizing for, but it’s not looking good.

UPDATE: Yeah, he’s been cheating on his wife. But that’s the B-story—he ran off for a week without telling anybody on his staff what he was doing or where he was going. He’s obviously got to resign the governorship. Hopefully the reporters have the sense to ask the right questions here, not just the salacious ones.

UPDATE 2: So far the reporters have stuck entirely to salacious questions about his marriage and his mistress. Well done, fellows. What about the state responsibilities he shirked? Can we get some real questions here?

UPDATE 3: Okay, finally we’re getting some real questions about the fact that he lied to his staff about where he was going. (He admits he did.) And it’s at that moment he runs off the podium, to audible questions about whether he will resign.

UPDATE 4: The coverage on MSNBC has been amazingly bad. We’ve had a parade of Republicans and political analysts with deep solemnity praising Sanford’s “honesty” and explaining that no one should try to “make political hay” out of this. (Quoted language was obviously in the distributed talking points.) The man was caught at the airport by a reporter after changing his flight plans to try to avoid the press, after lying to his staff and ditching his official responsibilities for no good reason. To turn this into some morality play is soap opera coverage at its absolute worst. The adultery is irrelevant and the “honesty” a joke. It’s about the job he was elected to do.

When will we get a real press corps?

UPDATE 5: According to the Kos thread, even Fox is handling this better:

11:55AM: Fox’s Bill Sammon just layed down the law, all but saying Mark Sanford was done. Given Sammon’s influence over Fox political coverage, that’s pretty much a political death sentence even in the land of wingnuttia.

UPDATE 6: Someone at MSNBC must be watching Fox; Tamron Hall just called bullshit on everything MSNBC broadcast over the last hour and did a great job doing it, explicitly downplaying the soap opera in favor of the job issues in the process.

UPDATE 6: And of course Fox hardly deserves full marks.

Another accident! What are the odds? Curse the luck!

Mark Sanford Watch

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You’ll be glad to know South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has been found. He was, of course, in Argentina. Edge of the American West sums it all up:

What he was doing there remains unclear. The governor claimed he was simply driving along the coast line in Argentina. The Appalachian Trail, his original destination, proved unattractive:

The Republican governor told the South Carolina newspaper he decided at the last minute to go to the South American country. The governor says he had considered hiking on the Appalachian Trail but wanted to do something “exotic.”

So he flew to Argentina to drive the coast. The problem, as the Associated Press pointed out, is that driving the coast in Argentina is not all that easy:

Trying to make such a drive could frustrate a weekend visitor to Argentina. In Buenos Aires, the Avenida Costanera is the only coastal road, and it’s less than two miles long. Reaching coastal resorts to the south requires a drive of nearly four hours on an inland highway with views of endless cattle ranches. To the north is a river delta of islands reached only by boat.

TPM wants it made clear that Sanford and his staff didn’t “come clean” about this; Sanford was caught coming off a plane after a reporter received a tip. ThinkProgress wants to know why they lied in the first place. Weirder and weirder.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention this in the original post, but as Neil points out in the comments, of course it’s winter there.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm

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Monday Late Night Politics

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Monday late night politics.

* Strange things are happening in South Carolina, where Governor Mark Sanford has been missing for four days. Reports are that the governor has made contact, but the governor’s office won’t confirm that’s true. (UPDATE: The governor’s office is now saying that Sanford is on the Appalachian Trail, a mere 2000 miles long.)

* Waxman-Markey Watch: In the comments Alex drops an A-bomb to describe one of the key antagonists on this bill, Colin Peterson. Apparently the bill is unlikely to be debated this week. Yale e360 had a roundup of opinions on Waxman-Markey that’s worth reading, with Climate Progress providing a roundup of the roundup. Krugman (also via CP) had a recent column on the bill, too, coming out in favor of it.

* Mexico has decriminalized small amounts of drugs. Good.

* ‘Eco-Friendly Meat Could Begin With Mini-Cows.’ Gross.

* Dystopia is now: Bill Simmon takes a good, hard look at reports that Lancaster, PA, will soon be putting in so many security cameras that it will take a volunteer Stasi comprised of local busybodies to watch them all and determines that this may be the least worst alternative for our privacy-robbed future. Frankly I think Bill’s got this one wrong: open-source surveillance is a police state, just one with slightly better branding. Call me Sisyphus Q. Luddite if you must but I don’t think panoptic surveillance is some historical inevitability; it can and should be resisted, not embraced.

* And Ta-Nehisi Coates calls for a reality check regarding Martin Luther King. (NB: He’s already walked the post back.)

Written by gerrycanavan

June 23, 2009 at 2:49 am

You’re Doing It Wrong

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The Obama administration has rejected South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s bid to waste $700 million in stimulus spending on debt repayment, as derided previously.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 17, 2009 at 12:23 am

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Miscellany

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Miscellany.

* Republicans have successfully transitioned from passively rooting for Obama to fail to actively sabotaging the economy. Well done, fellows.

* Views from the other universe: Ricky Gervais v. Elmo.

* Lots of people are linking to “the fifteen strangest college courses in America.” Maybe this just demonstrates how far out of the mainstream Duke Lit is, but most of these seem perfectly cromulent to me.

* The economics of March Madness: how excessive spending on sports is a money-loser for nearly every Division I school. Marc Bousquet was right!