Not For Nothin’ Top 25 Stories of the Year: 5-2
#5 – Governor Rod Blagojevich Scandal – To continue in Illinois political corruption tradition, when their current governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested fraud and solicitation of bribery charges. Blagojevich was being accused of seeking out money or other personal gain in return for the vacant Senate seat in Illinois, that he was to fill by appointment. It was called the “pay to play” scandal and the complaint released by federal investigators went into the recorded conversations of the governor making attempts to sell the seat, however much of conversations weren’t fit for publication. But after all the scandal, the distancing of other political figures, the calls for resignation, and the proclamations of innocence by Blagojevich, he still managed to appoint the seat. It didn’t sit well to many, most not upset with the appointee, but the appointer. Blagojevich was the latest of several Illinois governors who have been arrested and/or indicted on corruption charges.
#4 – Sarah Palin Mania– Six months ago, would you have thought that a hockey mom from Alaska would have made so many headlines? Well, a hockey mom did, and she was Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. When John McCain picked the governor as his vice-presidential nominee for vice-president it created an immediate positive reaction for his campaign. The young and energetic Palin came with a host of attributes that attracted many people to her, unfortunately many of them weren’t in the voting capacity. Sarah Palin managed to grab headline after headline during the two month long general election. From her children, to her experience, to her looks, to her catchphrases, to her winking there was always some for anyone to either like, dislike, or report on with Palin. There’s an argument out there with her being the reason for the lost, but if the GOP would have won then it would likely have been because of Palin as well. Put it this way, election is over with and the losing vice-presidential candidate is still making headlines.
# 3 – Beijing Olympics 2008 – One of the world’s most highly anticipated events every four years, the Summer Olympics is always a big story. 2008 in Beijing was no exception. The first time China hosted the Olympics proved to be a huge success. Logistically, everything was well put together. The Opening Ceremony was a spectacular sight to see. And last put definitely not least the athletic performance put on by all was superb. But if any one stood out above others it would certainly have to be swimmer Michael Phelps as he made Olympic history getting the most gold medals in the Olympics and breaking almost every swimming record they could think of. Honorable mention for athletic performance goes to Jamaica’s Usain Bolt who was crowned the world’s fastest man in his lightning fast 200 meter track and field feat. It was a good job all around, every country has something to be proud of.
#2 – Economic Crisis– The United States of America saw the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Stocks, houses, retailers, credit, etc…if it had something to do with money it go hurt at some point during 2008. It was almost like a domino affect. It started when people weren’t able to keep their homes, whether their own fault or indirectly their fault, then the banks paid for it. Because people didn’t have the financial dependency we normally depend on banks took a hurting too. Either they didn’t know, didn’t show, or didn’t about what was to come. Well they should have but now its too late. The whole country is in a bind now because of it. Thousands of homes lost, millions of jobs lost, and at the end of the year retailers felt it the hardest with a slow holiday season. This all prompted the U.S. government to get involved. These institutions tried helping themselves, specifically the banks, but when that wasn’t helping they went to the government for help. That’s when the term “bailout” came into play, because that’s what exactly the country needed to get out of this mess. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 will be known for when our president asked the country for $700 billion to help contain this crisis. Additionally, it would have been one thing if this was an isolated event, but this crisis was felt on a worldwide scale, with many other countries finding themselves in the same situation. It would be fair to say that this crisis will affect (either directly or indirectly) everyone in the world.