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Mark Sanford has been holding a televised cabinet meeting this afternoon.

And the South Carolina governor started out by using an interesting comparison to respond to calls for his resignation. King David didn't back down after his own sex scandal, he told his colleagues, and neither will I.

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On his radio show yesterday, Fred Thompson had some tough words for Mark Sanford -- even seeming to imply that if Sanford is going to have his mid-life crisis, he should do it in private life.

"I've known Mark, and I've gotta preface it with that. And I like him in many respects. And I'm not the one to cast the first stone. And not many -- not many of us are blameless as we go through life, regardless what the category of offense might be," said Thompson. "But I don't have any sympathy in a situation where you got -- where you got a wife and four fairly young kids. And his love life and his falling in love and all that kind of stuff, I mean that can be a personal tragedy. But you know, do it on your own time and do it on your own dime."

"You can't have your cake and eat it, too, and these guys who take money and so forth, they get a sense of entitlement. Same principle involved," said Thompson, seemingly comparing recent political scandal with recent corporate scandals. "They're presiding over all these billions of dollars and they're working on these salaries and so forth, they feel like they're entitled to cut corners and all of that. That's why we need term limits and that's why we need people, if they're gonna do this, they need to be in public -- I mean in private life, and not visit it on millions and millions of other people and their own family."

(Via Sayfie News.)

Just in from MoveOn: ""Given recent comments showing that Senator Hagan is not supporting the public health insurance option, will be making clear that our 115,000 members in North Carolina--many of whom volunteered for or donated to her campaign last year--believe the public option is the heart of true health care reform. We'll run ads in North Carolina and D.C. asking that she advocate for the public option and support the President in truly solving the nation's health care crisis."

The group did much the same earlier this week to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who has expressed doubts about the feasibility of both the public option and reform in general. The difference--or one of the differences--is that Hagan owes much of her electoral success to grassroots Democrats.

Leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties are nearing their decisions on the roster of people who will sit on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. According to Reuters there are some familiar names floating around. "A short list of names has emerged that includes former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson; former Democratic head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Brooksley Born; and Alex Pollock, a fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, according to a source familiar with the matter."

[O]ther possible appointees include Bill Thomas, former Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; Jake Garn, former Republican senator; and Bob Graham, the former Democratic senator and Florida governor.

There are some serious names on the list, but also some baggage. Fred Thompson, for instance, is now viewed as an extremely political figure. Additionally, there aren't any famous, trusted brands (Elizabeth Warren, for instance) or people associated with consumer protection, an issue House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hopes the commission will bring to light.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on the Glenn Beck show yesterday evening, to keep on her new campaign to not completely fill out her census reform. She is drawing a line against government intrusion, despite the $5,000 fine that could potentially be imposed.

Bachmann again invoked a historic connection between the Census and the Japanese-American internment -- and she objected to the government looking into people's mental health:

"Well, I think everyone in the country has been happy about what I've said -- other than the U.S. Census Bureau," said Bachmann. "So I think other than that, we're doing pretty well."

Bachmann also differentiated between the 28-page American Community Survey, which only a tiny fraction of Americans will receive, and the short form that everyone gets -- and she objected to both of them. "Does the federal government really need to know our phone numbers?" she asked. "Do they really need to know, like you said, the date and time that we leave mental stability?"

Monica Conyers, the president pro tem of the Detroit city council -- and the wife of Rep. John Conyers, the powerful chair of the US House Judiciary committee -- has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

The federal plea document released today cites two instances in late 2007, in the days surrounding the approval of the now-infamous Synagro Technologies sludge-hauling contract, when Conyers accepted cash bribes from a Synagro consultant.

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If you want to know why the Senate HELP Committee--the more liberal of the two Senate committees with jurisdiction over health reform--hasn't been able to unveil a public option, you need look no further than freshman Kay Hagan (D-NC).

Her opposition was revealed last week, but now, she's speaking publicly about it.

This might not be a huge problem for supporters of the provision, but it becomes one because, with a narrow Democratic majority on the committee and its chairman, Ted Kennedy, in poor health, her vote is crucial to moving the bill forward--something the panel's been working toward for days now without success.

A new Rasmussen poll finds a plurality of South Carolina's likely voters saying that Gov. Mark Sanford should resign in the wake of his recent disappearance to Argentina and subsequent admission of an extramarital affair.

The numbers: 46% say he should resign, to 39% who say he should not. Only 40% think the legislature should impeach him if he does not resign, compared to 48% who disagree. These numbers are not much different from an InsiderAdvantage poll yesterday, which was of registered voters.

At the same time, 55% of respondents in the new poll said that Sanford is about as ethical as most politicians, with 18% saying he is more ethical than others, and 18% saying his ethics are lower than average.

Climate-Change Bill In The Balance Democratic leaders in the House are working hard to pass the climate-change bill today, containing a cap-and-trade system for limiting carbon emissions, with Dems from industrial states holding the balance of power on the issue. Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought yesterday to rebut Republican charges that the bill would cost jobs, insisting instead, "It will create millions of new jobs."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will meet one-on-one with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at 10:30 a.m., with an expanded meeting at 11 a.m. ET, a joint press availability at 11:30 a.m. ET, and a working lunch at 12 p.m. ET. Obama will meet with Vice President Biden at 1:30 p.m. ET. At 6:15 p.m. ET, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host a picnic for White House staff.

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June 2009: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who called for the ousters of Bill Clinton and Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) over their extramarital affairs, admits to a year-long affair with a woman in Buenos Aires after disappearing for a week. No word yet on whether he'll resign.


June 2009: Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), who called on Clinton to resign and has spoken about the "sanctity of marriage," admits to an affair with Cynthia Hampton, a staffer and the wife of another Ensign staffer, whom Ensign helped to secure new employment after the affair was discovered.

Newscom/Lauren Victoria Burke/WDCPIX.COM

THE (SECOND) FAMILY GUYMay 2008: Family values champ Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) ends his re-election bid after a drunk driving arrest leads to the revelation that he has had both an affair and a child with another woman.

Newscom/Ron Sachs/CNP

July 2007: Double feature! Florida State Rep. Bob Allen, the co-chair of McCain's 2008 Florida campaign, is arrested for offering an undercover cop $20 for the privilege of performing oral sex on him. He later says he was afraid of becoming a "statistic," as he thought the black cop was a mugger. Allen previously advocated keeping gay couples from adopting children and applying stiffer penalties for lewd acts. The same month, Glenn Murphy Jr., president of the Young Republican National Federation who advised GOP-ers to use gay marriage as a wedge issue, is accused of trying to perform oral sex on a sleeping 22-year-old man. In 1998, a young man had filed an uncannily similar report against Murphy.


THE HONORABLE FOOT-TAPPER FROM IDAHOAugust 2007: Sen. Larry "Wide Stance" Craig (R-ID) pleads guilty in August 2007 to disorderly conduct for soliciting sex from an undercover cop in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. He refuses to resign, but does not run for re-election.


July 2007: Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), an abstinence-only sex ed advocate, is linked to the D.C. Madam's high-end escort service. He has not resigned, and plans to seek re-election next year.


April 2007: Randall Tobias, Bush's Global AIDS Coordinator who spoke out against prostitution (and condom use, for that matter), resigns from the State Department after he is linked to an escort service. He maintained that there was no sex, just massages.

Newscom/Evan F. Sisley/Sipa Press

November 2006: Let's take a break from the politicians. Ted Haggard, the evangelical pastor who condemned homosexuality regularly, resigns as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after allegations that he took meth and patronized a male prostitute. While he admits to buying meth, he claims he threw it out, and only received a massage from the prostitute. He maintains he is "completely heterosexual".


October 2006: Current Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons is accused of assaulting a woman in a parking garage by throwing her against a wall and threatening to rape her. She drops criminal charges, citing intimidation by his campaign. She does, however, file a civil suit. In June 2009, Gibbons asks a judge to seal his phone records against her lawyers, something that may also have to do with his ongoing divorce proceedings, in which he's accused of more affairs.


SEXTING BEFORE SEXTING WAS COOLSeptember 2006: Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), a fierce opponent of child pornography, resigns after it surfaces that he has sent illicit emails to teenage pages.