The 20 Biggest Stories of 2010

By John Hawkins,

15) The Rise of the Mama Grizzlies: Sarah Palin did more to promote women candidates than anyone has ever done before, Smart Girl Politics started to make a name for themselves, women candidates like Renee Ellmers and Nikki Haley drew national attention, and the GOP carried the female vote for the first time since 1982.

14) Stuxnet: It was a revolutionary development — an unbelievably sophisticated worm that was used as a cyber weapon to slow down the Iranian nuclear programs. The good is that it appears to have worked. The bad news is that Stuxnet is being torn apart and examined as we speak and it will probably end up being the prototype of a new generation of incredibly damaging cyber weapons.

13) The End of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: The Clinton era compromise that allowed gays to be in the military as long as they didn’t reveal their sexual orientation, fell during the lame duck session of Congress. This was despite that the troops fighting in the field didn’t like the idea. Unfortunately for the soldiers who’ll have to live with the decision day-to-day, the American people did like the idea, and the politicians caved to their will.

12) Haitian Earthquake: It seems like there’s always something or another horrible going on in Haiti, but the powerful earthquake that hit Haiti in January of this year killed a staggering 230,000 people. That sort of horror stands out even in a snake-bitten nation like Haiti.

11) The Tea Party Soldiers On: The Tea Party has become so influential and ever present in politics that it’s easy to forget it really only got started last year. Yet, the Tea Party played a huge role in getting Republicans elected, powerfully steered their agenda, and is scaring the GOP straight on the issues. Now the question is: Where does the movement go from here?

10) The End Of Combat Operations In Iraq: Not only did Barack Obama not want to go to Iraq, had George Bush taken his advice about the surge, the war would have been lost. Perhaps that’s why Obama hasn’t done more to trumpet the end of combat operations in Iraq. Of course, we still have 48,000 soldiers in Iraq and the ultimate success or failure of the endeavor is unknown. That being said, the end of combat operations is a major achievement.

9) Social Security Goes Into The Red: For the first time, Social Security is paying out more money than it’s taking in. Given that there is no “Social Security Trust Fund” in any meaningful sense, only IOUs for the money our politicians have already spent, 2010 may be looked at in the future as the year when the program started to shake itself apart.

8) The Ground Zero Mosque controversy: What better place could there be to build a celebratory mosque than in the shadow of a building that was knocked down by Islamic fanatics in the worst terrorist attack in history? Oh yeah, ANYWHERE.

To read more, visit: