Blog Buzz: Sarah Palin's Pork, Remembering 9/11, Interior Department Scandal

Palin requests money for seals, bloggers look back on 9/11, and the DOI faces ethical accusations.

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Our daily look at stories and topics that are lighting up the Internets:

Remember September 11

In honor of 9/11, John McCain and Barack Obama have called a political truce and will appear together at ground zero today. Politico has the statements from McCain and Obama. Other bloggers are taking today to say "God bless America," to "remember and pray," and to post previously published reflections. Other bloggers feel fresh outrage and wonder about the legacy of 9/11. The Corner has an excerpt from Debra Burlingame, the sister of the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, who warns that the event is being "misremembered" by Americans. ThinkProgress discusses John McCain's response to 9/11—to start making the case for the Iraq War.

Sarah "Porky (Not Piggy)" Palin

After McCain said earlier this year that he won't "spend $3 million of your tax dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana," Politico reports that as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin requested millions of dollars to study the DNA of harbor seals, among other things (including research on the mating habits of crabs.) Liberal and other bloggers are both amused and appalled that Palin, who claims she is conservative when it comes to earmarks, would request federal money for a project nearly identical to one that McCain has mocked. TPM's Josh Marshall says that while the research is not necessarily wasteful, the earmark is yet another example of how McCain and Palin are "hypocrites and liars." Marc Ambinder has a memo from McCain that defends Palin on earmarks.

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll At the...Department of the Interior?

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal report on a scandal breaking out at the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, which collects oil and gas royalties. According to the New York Times article, the ethics scandal includes "allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use, and sexual misconduct." Christopher Orr at The New Republic describes the accusations against one official. Washington Monthly says the scandal demonstrates the corrupt nature of the Bush administration and finds a connection to the debate over coastal drilling. ThinkProgress and Matthew Yglesias discuss how the employees thought they were exempt from ethical guidelines. A Salon.com blogger wonders why the Democrats haven't used this in the campaign against Republicans.

—Gretchen Hannes