Relief is delivered from aircraft carriers to the Indonesian coast via helicopters in the wake of the tsunami disaster in December. The international community pledges more than $2 billion in aid. President Bush asks George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to lead a national charity drive to raise funds for the victims.
On January 3rd, House majority leader Tom DeLay asks Republican Legislators to eliminate a rule enacted in November of 2004, which allows Congressmen to retain their positions if they are indicted for crimes or misdemeanors. DeLay was admonished on three separate occasions during the year. On the opening day of the 109th Congress of the United States, Congress votes to dismiss charges if the ethics committee finds itself in a deadlock.
Specialist Charles Graner, and his former fianceé, Pvt. Lynndie England, are sentenced to ten years and three years in prison, respectively, in trials ending on January 14, 2005 and September 26, 2005 for charges related to abusive treatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad, Iraq. The commanding officer at the Iraqi prison, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, is demoted to the rank of colonel on May 5, 2005.
President George W. Bush is inaugurated to serve a second term on Inauguration Day, Jan 20th. He is officially sworn in by Supreme Court chief justice William Rehnquist. Bush makes a speech about the war in Iraq, during which he announces to the world that the United States will continue to liberate nations who live in tyranny under the rule of oppressive regimes. The speech stirs controversy with the half of the nation that feels disenfranchised from the past two elections. Critics liken Bush's patriotic rhetoric and his administration's rush to war, in concert with the wholesale revamping of government police policy, to the behavior of infamous tyrants who manipulated patriotism during national disasters and severe economic depressions, both of which were present in 2001.
January 19th finds cancer replacing heart disease as the number one cause of death for people under the age of 85.
On January 21st, the White House announces the search for weapons of mass destruction, a primary justification for the invasion, has ceased. No weapons were found.
New Year's Day Jan 1st. For many, the coming of a new year can represent a time to make positive lifestyle changes. The custom of making resolutions at the beginning of a new year is still going strong. Giving up habits like smoking or drinking seem to be the classic favorites, while losing weight, finding new jobs and ending dysfunctional relationships are a close second.
For those who plan to follow through with New Year's resolutions, here are some helpful links:
Medline Plus: Weight Loss
- Features statistics about obesity and an index of resources for healthy weight loss from National Institutes of Health. Includes support groups, tutorials and more.
Medline Plus: Substance Abuse
- Find research associated with a variety of substance abuse problems as well as a catalog of support resources for recovering patients and family members.
- Famous web board offers job listings for a variety of vocations across the globe. Also features local personal ads and classified ads.