Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Friday, January 02, 2004  

Time for the end-of-the-year lists--bests, worsts, and mosts as far as the eye can see. Although I love a good list, most of these are banal and boring (how many articles are going to talk about language of 2003--"shock and awe," "spider hole"). There are a few good ones, though, so I offer you herein the "best of the best-of-the-year lists" list. Ready?

David Corn has a nice article on 10 presidential fibs. You know the biggies ("Mission Accomplished," Niger), but how about this one?

2. ...But Bush had told a more important whopper in that address. He noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency "confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program." This was lying by omission, for he left out the fact that the IAEA had also reported that it had dismantled this nuclear program. And the day before Bush’s speech, IAEA inspectors had said there were no new signs of a vigorous nuclear weapons program in Iraq. Bush neglected to mention that finding.

The Sierra Club offered its "worst environmental exploits of the year." Again, you know the highlights. This one got less coverage than others, though:

7. NEXT STOP, SHINOLA - Allowed untreated sewage to be blended with treated sewage, cut funding for local sewage treatment, and didn't require health officials to warn public about sewage in water.

From Common Dreams, Medea Benjamin reflects on some of the good news. You know this one very well (you're a part of it), but hey, let's mention it anyway:

7. Progressives now have a powerful new tool for organizing: the internet. E-activism through venues such as MoveOn, Working Assets, and Meetup.com have allowed ordinary people to challenge big money and powerful institutions. We raised millions of dollars to run ads, we’ve confronted corporate-dominated institutions like the Federal Communications Commission, and e-activism has allowed an anti-war candidate, Howard Dean, to become a frontrunner in the 2004 elections.

From the Center for American Progress, a naughty/nice list that includes this:

NICE – Lawmakers Who Care About Troops: For forcing the President to fund more body armor for soldiers.
NAUGHTY – Lawmakers Who Care About Food Names: For spending energy renaming foods like Freedom Fries instead of adequately protecting our troops.

Special recognition to TomPaine.com for their exhaustive list of Bush claims and the reality, an example of which is:

White House Claim: "At the Madrid donors' conference, 73 countries and 20 international organizations joined together and pledged over $30 billion for Iraq."

Fact: "Six weeks after organizers of an international donors conference in Madrid said that more than $3 billion in grants had been pledged to help Iraq with immediate needs, a new World Bank tally verifies grants of only $685 million for 2004." —New York Times, 12/7/03

The last quote to Barbara Ehrenreich, whose antipathy for the administration is barely contained:

6. Balls. There are few tidier examples of the Bush administration’s continuing effort to give the phrase “imperial arrogance” new currency than its request, prior to Bush’s visit to London, that the British government grant Secret Service sharpshooters immunity from prosecution should they carelessly take out a bystander or six. Tony Blair briefly sprouted a pair, and refused.


posted by Jeff | 12:23 PM |
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