20) China hosts the Olympics: The ChiComs held the Olympics and although most of the event has already gone down the memory hole, the massive opening ceremony, Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals, the filthy air, and the rampant Chinese cheating in gymnastics won't soon be forgotten.
19) Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar: Had 130,000 people died in a natural disaster in the U.S., it would have been the story of the year times ten. But, since it happened in Myanmar, it barely makes the list. That might seem unfair, but that's the way of the world.
18) Ted Stevens Indicted: In a less scandal-prone year, having the longest serving Republican senator being indicted on seven counts would have been a huge story. As is, the crooked old codger almost got re-elected.
17) Bernard Madoff pulls off the biggest scam in history: Charles Ponzi and the guy who wrote the first Nigerian spam email are going to have to move over because Bernard Madoff's 50 billion dollar flim-flam topped 'em both.
16) The Eliot Spitzer call girl scandal: Ahem,
There once was a mayor named Spitzer
He met a prostitute and he kissed her
Then the press started to flay
His job went away
While the publicity made her money hand over tryster
15) The Mumbai terrorist attacks: Terrorists launched coordinated attacks all across Mumbai, including at the Taj Mahal. During the attacks, which lasted for more than three days, 170 people were killed. It actually sounds like something you'd see at the movies, except there was no Indian Chuck Norris to swoop in and save the day.
14) Rod Blagojevich peddles Obama's Senate seat: The governor of Illinois was engaged in various illegal shenanigans including shaking down a children's hospital and peddling the barely used Senate seat of our current President-elect. Now, everyone wants to know how much Obama and his staff knew, whether Blago's appointee is going to be seated, and how long Blago will be in office before he's removed or thrown in jail. It's political soap opera at its finest.
13) Prop 8 passes in Cali: After losing Prop 8 in California, gay supporters of the bill went on a rampage and proved that they're actually much less tolerant of differing opinions than the Christians they're always lecturing about tolerance.