To me Andrew Sullivan is a pimple on the ass of the blogisphere, as is Drudge (Telling Lies Online
), but Sullivan gets clicks. Like so many on the fringe AS loves to mangle studies and statistics, so who better then Sullivan to take Google Trends and see what he wants to see even if on examination a rational person could fit a cow through the holes in his conclusions, The following example is lifted from Andrew Sullivan's blog.
By "normalization", one assumes they are removing the effect of the total number of searches, or else the US will always end up at the top. Normalization is forever a double-edged sword: if you are the marketer, even if you see Peru as having the highest % of searches using "blog", you can't conclude that Peru is the market you should go after, since you may be worried just how widespread Internet/Google penetration is in Peru. By hiding the scale (again), Google Trends stubbornly remains just a toy.
This was what is known, in the cloistered world of constitutional lawyers and scholars, as a "signing statement." Such statements, in the years before President Bush and his aides moved into the White House, were rare. A signing statement is a legal memorandum in which the president and his lawyers take legislation sent over by Congress and put their stamp on it by saying what they believe the measure does and doesn't allow. Consumed by the 9/11 attacks, Americans for the most part didn't realize that the signing statement accompanying the announcement of the Brown v. Board commission would signal one of the most controversial hallmarks of the Bush presidency: a historic shift in the balance of power away from the legislative branch of government to the executive. The shift began soon after Bush took office and reached its apogee after 9/11, with Bush's authorization of military tribunals for terrorism suspects, secret detentions and aggressive interrogations of "unlawful enemy combatants," and warrantless electronic surveillance of terrorism suspects on U.S. soil, including American citizens.
The "invisible hand." Much of the criticism that has been directed at these measures has focused on Vice President Dick Cheney. In fact, however, it is a largely anonymous government lawyer, who now serves as Cheney's chief of staff, who has served as the ramrod driving the Bush administration's most secretive and controversial counterterrorism measures through the bureaucracy. David Addington was a key advocate of the Brown v. Board and more than 750 other signing statements the administration has issued since taking office–a record that far outstrips that of any other president.
Frequently some conservatives that see the administration stumbling and even some center-left pundits will claim that Bush is something of a pawn, thus not completely responsible for an agenda and concept of governance that has resulted in both lawlessness and ineptitude at a level not seen in any administration since Harding. When we add up all the Darth Jrs. like Addington, Cheney, Rice, Bolton, you get a clear picture of a president who's world view is not befuddled, but hell bent on a kool-aid acid tripping Machiavelli-like remaking of executive powers.
Addington is a strong adherent of the so-called unitary executive theory, which is cited frequently and prominently in many of Bush's legislative signing statements. The theory holds that the president is solely in charge of the executive branch and that Congress, therefore, can't tell him how to carry out his executive functions, whom to pick for what jobs, or through whom he must report to Congress. Executive power, separation of power, a tight chain of command, and protecting the unitary executive–those became the guide stars of Addington's legal universe.
U.S. News tips its conservative bias by portraying the Bush/Cheney/Addington concept of executive power as just a simple delineation of the separation of powers. Congress is empowered to make laws and as long as those laws are found to be constitutional the president is legally bound to adhere to and carry out those laws. The Bush Cult will never come out into the light of good government because to do so would be to openly challenge the constitutionality of any laws that they feel impinge on executive power rather then going through the back alleys of purely speculative legal theory aided and abetted by a irresponsible and complicit congress. By not fully engaging the law in a way that is honest, both Bush and his congressional apologists are breeding contempt for the law.
If you expose any of the administration's wrong doing you may be prosecuted, Prosecution of Journalists Is Possible in NSA Leaks. If the administration uses reporters to spread its "official" leaks then that is OK, A Bad Leak
This fits the pattern of Mr. Bush's original sales pitch on the Iraq war — hyping the intelligence that bolstered his case and suppressing the intelligence that undercut it. In this case, Mr. Libby was authorized to talk about claims that Iraq had tried to buy uranium for nuclear weapons in Africa and not more reliable evidence to the contrary.
In a saner world the Attorney general would be investigating the Bush Whitehouse. These scroundrels are not just bending and breaking laws, they are creating their own reality.
'We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. You will learn by degrees, Winston. There is nothing that we could not do. Invisibility, levitation — anything. I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wish to. I do not wish to, because the Party does not wish it. You must get rid of those nineteenth-century ideas about the laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature.'
'But you do not! You are not even masters of this planet. What about Eurasia and Eastasia? You have not conquered them yet.'
'Unimportant. We shall conquer them when it suits us. And if we did not, what difference would it make? We can shut them out of existence. Oceania is the world.'
from Chapter 3 of the novel 1984 by George Orwell