Never a slow news day with these Republicans.

Couple of quick hits -- it's worth re-reading Ann and Tim's initial reactions to the arrival of Sarah Palin on the national political scene as McCain's VP. (Shorter Tim: it's a gimmick. Shorter Ann: it's sexist pandering.)

Josh Marshall says we shouldn't rule out the obvious explanation for Palin's decision to step down--

Either Palin is resigning ahead of some titanic scandal (which should emerge in short order if it exists) or her resignation was triggered by an even more extreme mental instability than we'd previously suspected.

Worth revisiting this piece by Laura McGann on Alaska's culture of corruption:

Palin is a member of the same Republican Party as those ensnared in a corrupt web, but somehow she seems like a completely different political animal. Palin moved into the governor's mansion in 2006 on a platform of reform and change, having developed a reputation as a whistleblower after calling out the chair of the state GOP and the state's Republican attorney general on ethics grounds. ... [She] staked her political fortunes on her claims of being a maverick. But while she has avoided some of the worst entanglements of petroleum industry bribery, her fierce sense of family loyalty has landed her in her own hot water.

But really, isn't the real takeaway that Palin doesn't want to give the press freedom to enjoy a patriotic 4th merrily grilling without the distraction of our Blackberries?

--Phoebe Connelly