Gonzales Resigns

Jack Balkin over over at Balkinization says it best:

As for Mr. Gonzales, he was a disgrace to the office. There are many roles he could have competently filled– and did fill– in his career. The Nation’s chief law enforcement officer was not one of them. He abused his office for political gain, repeatedly misled Congress under oath –and probably out and out lied on more than one occasion– and turned a once proud institution of government into an object of deep suspicion.

While others are wondering who Bush will appoint as the lame duck Attorney General for the next year, I am wondering how the growing exodus from the White House will unfold. Who will be next to flee the sinking ship that is the Bush administration?

Rhetoric of the Link

Rhetorics of the Web (by Nicholas Burbules at Wesleyan University) is an often-cited overview of various kinds of hyperlinks and the rhetorical strategies that they employ. In the course of teaching a new media class this fall, I’ve begun to wonder whether Burbules’ examples are too general, ahistorical, or even naive about the possibilities of the link.

I see the central question of the link to be this: in what ways can the same surface text develop wildly different meanings depending upon its link? What political potential resides in every link?

To begin to explore this question I’ve created a simple exercise: the same phrase–Who lives in the White House–repeated multiple times with a different link each time. What rhetorical strategies are at work in each example? How does the tenor of the question change each time?


Last week the New York Times did a story on Russ Kick’s site, the Memory Hole, and it’s been quite revealing to go through the documents on his site. Kinda like the Smoking Gun, but it’s about the banal conspiracies of everyday bureaucrats instead of the dirty laundry of celebrities. I’m about to do one of the things he suggests–request a video from the Secret Service–using the Freedom of Information Act. Sure beats Blockbuster.