Tis the season for top 10 mania

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It's that "top 10" time of year, a brief temporal news hole filled with over-the-top-10 copy attempting to capture the top something or other of the departing annum. In between perusing top 10 embarrassing celebity or presidential moments (I'm the shoe dodger!"), don't miss a more sobering list, The top 10 stories you missed in 2008, offered by Foreign Policy . For all the vast apparatus at work covering the news-ish world, it's amazing how much actual news goes unreported, including: a stealth surge in Afgahnistan, solar panel cleaning fluid a potent source of greenhouse gases, the remarkably futile, if frequently touted, war on drugs in Colombia; the unsafe at any speed Shanghai steel industry; and more.

And for a little fun (fun that is assuming you are an international relations geek), take a look at their Top 10 Worst Predictions for 2008. My fav? Gotta be the cassandraish William "WMD" Kristol asserting that the neophyte Barack Obama would not take a single primary from the unstoppable Hillary Clinton. Also don't missing Henry Paulson's reassurance regarding our stabilized banking system.

Briefly noted:
Our favorite fundraising pitch of the season comes courtesy of Foreign Policy in Focus, which begins their appeal with a sadly too-close-to-reality-for-comfort riff off our recent troubles here in Illinois.

"Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is accused of seeking $2.5 million in campaign contributions in exchange for state contracts and most notoriously, for Senator Obama's vacant Senate seat.

"Inspired by his brash willingness to break the law, ignore common decency and fight to stay in office against all odds, FPIF is asking for a kickback of our own-a small donation from each of you.

"While we can't offer you a cabinet post or place you on a corporate board in exchange, your tax-exempt contribution will ensure that we can continue to offer you some of the best cutting-edge analysis on U.S. foreign policy . . . "