2004: Things to Forget (Part Two)
In my last column, I offered a list of all the things I wanted to forget from 2004. Unfortunately, it turns out there was just too much gunk clogging up my internal hard drive to get rid of it all with a single cleansing. So, as we cross the threshold of the New Year, here is another attempt to delete all of last year's political and cultural spam.
I'd be a happy woman if I could forever put out of my mind:
Bill O'Reilly's loofah. His falafel too.
That President Clinton didn't listen to Richard Clarke.
That President Bush didn't listen to Richard Clarke.
How 2002's "thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, and VX nerve gas" morphed into 2004's "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities."
All the precious media oxygen consumed by coverage of the Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson and Robert Blake scandals.
That Bill Safire wasn't kidding when he called Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction "the social, political event of the past year."
That at a time when America has over 35 million people living in poverty, the issue Christians are most up in arms about is gay people trying to make their lifetime commitment legal. Heaven forbid.
Jack Ryan, sex club aficionado.
Martha Stewart, federal inmate No. 55170-054.
That President Bush refused to appear in front of the 9/11 Commission without Dick Cheney by his side.
The Pentagon report predicting that, in the next 20 years, global warming could push the human race to the brink of annihilation. And that Michael Crichton thinks this is all just an enviro-scam.
That we still don't know who outed Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame. And that the only ones facing jail time in this sleazy affair are reporters.
That Bush has underfunded his cherished No Child Left Behind Act to the tune of some $9 billion for the coming year.
That the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire, making it a whole lot easier for bloodthirsty lunatics everywhere to carry out their murderous missions.
Zell Miller vs. Chris Matthews.
Dick Cheney vs. Pat Leahy.
Mother Nature vs. the people of Florida.
That George Bush, a man who has flip-flopped more frequently than a blind gymnast with an inner ear infection, was able to portray John Kerry as a flip-flopper.
The Bush twins' "comedy" monologue at the GOP convention.
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Brigitte Nielsen and Flava Flav hooking up on "The Surreal Life."
That half of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq might still be alive if our troops had been given properly armored vehicles.
That wounded Iraq war vets at Walter Reed Hospital are being forced to ask for donations because the government refuses to foot the bill for their long-distance phone calls.
That the motion picture ratings board felt it needed to protect audiences from puppets having sex in "Team America."
That A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistani nukes, admitted he had sold nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya. And that he was then swiftly pardoned for his crimes.
That drug giant Merck spent hundred of millions of dollars convincing Americans to take Vioxx, even thought the company's own studies showed that it greatly increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes. And that as many as 55,000 patients may have died as a result.
Ahmed Chalabi, the "George Washington of Iraq." Or is it Iran?
That Chalabi was given $30 million in taxpayer money for his "intelligence."
Michael Powell, deregulator-in-chief.
That opium production in Afghanistan is up 64 percent from last year.
That videos of beheadings are hot sellers in the Middle East.
That Disney, which owns radio stations that provide a daily platform to Rush Limbaugh,
Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, refused to distribute "Fahrenheit 9/11" because, according to CEO Michael Eisner, the company "didn't want to be in the middle of a politically oriented film during an election year."
The image of Sandy Berger "inadvertently" shoving classified notes and documents into his pants.
That thing on President Bush's back during the first debate.
"Need some wood?"
That DoD's Don Rumsfeld still has his job while NPR's Bob Edwards doesn't.