Obviously we live in a cruel and absurd universe of well-rewarded idiocy and undeserved second chances, but if we didn't, these are the ten people you'd meet in the nu-depression's breadlines.

1. Mark Penn The world's worst pollster delivered Bill Clinton the White House in 1996, you know, when he ran against a literal wooden board in a suit named Bob Dole, so obviously Penn was well-qualified to organize the series of damaging turf wars that was the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, a squabbling joke of smears and slap-dash message reinvention. He charged her a zillion dollars to lose and everyone in the world hates him. Of course he is releasing a book about these little demographic groups he makes up and he is also a columnist at a famous newspaper, the Wall Street Journal.

2. Bill Kristol Bill is also a columnist for a famous newspaper, the New York Times. He invented Sarah Palin. He is a sad pathetic moron whose shame at his own intellectual dishonesty occasionally threatens to break through the surface of his constant lying, to himself and to the nation, about everything. He will probably not be a columnist at the Times for very much longer but he does still have his very own Rupert Murdoch magazine, and his last name.

3. Mark Halperin Mark Halperin used to write a little blog for ABC called "The Note," and it was a terrible thing that was in some part responsible for how bankrupt and idiotic the beltway press was during the late '90s and early 2000s. Then he left to go write a blog for Time and now no one pays attention to him, thank god. But he still writes bad books, like his one a couple years ago about how The Way To Win was to worship Matt Drudge and Karl Rove and Be a Republican. The week John McCain said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong," and finally lost the damn election for good, Halperin blogged that Senator McCain "http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/18/mark-halperin-somehow-con_n_127512.html?page=3">won the week. He will keep his well-paying job at Time forever, or until somewhere else hires him to do the same thing, which is be wrong 100% of the time. Also he'll release a book with someone smarter than him and he'll go on conservative talk radio to fellate Hugh Hewitt as Hewitt bloodies him with a bullwhip, sexily, again.

4. Jeff Jarvis The entertainment journalist who got internet famous for blogging about batteries or something is now the official overpaid consultant of saving the newsmedia, even though he doesn't really know what reporters do (he is pretty sure they should blog about batteries or something). If you give him $1,000 and fly him to Qatar he'll save your newspaper, with a panel discussion.

5. Wolf Blitzer and everyone else at CNN. Wolf basically represents everything wrong with CNN. He just makes noises. Meaningless syllables. He fills up time, so much time, with these nonsense syllables, saying nothing, at all, ever. And CNN this year sucked. Anderson Cooper's show is ratings-grabbing fluff nonsense. The Magic Wall iPhone election map thing is stupid. The fucking holograms! Campbell Brown accepts no bullshit, stop bullshitting Campbell Brown. Oh, and they still let Lou Dobbs fear-monger every day for what seems like three hours of hate. Ugh. Go away, CNN.

6. Steve Schmidt This is kind of a no-brainer, because he lost a presidential election, which is a sure way to make it on one of these lists, but the extent of his failure is still kinda under-appreciated. He destroyed the brand of the Republican party's formerly most sellable asset, Senator Johnny Maverickseed, and hence crippled the party for at least two years. Hah. He is the man on this list most likely to be at least underemployed in 2009, though he won't go hungry.

7. Jimmy Fallon Jimmy can stand in for Jay Leno and Ben Silverman and everyone else at NBC. They have two good scripted sitcoms, and the rest is nonstop garbage. And now this once-forgotten nobody gets Letterman's old show! And national nightmare Jay Leno will be on every day at 10 pm! And Conan will be shipped out to LA in order to become bland and unappealing! 2009 will be a bad year for not wanting to shoot your television set.

8. Robert Rubin and everyone who has ever worked for him. Rubin broke the economy, and trained a new generation of democratic finance-wizards who helped break the pieces of the economy into smaller pieces, and then he went to work for Citigroup, where he still draws a nice fucking salary, after shepherding through legislation that allowed for the creation of Citigroup, a massive financial services conglomerate that also broke the economy, this year. Everyone who worked for him will now fix the economy with their fancy new jobs in Barack Obama's administration.

9. Michael Bloomberg Go away, old man, we're sick of you.

10. Everyone in New York By "everyone in New York" we mean, obviously, the type of people who actually think they represent "everyone in New York," which means people in media, finance, the "arts," publishing, and whatever the hell people who read blogs do all day, for a living. Not the "everyone in New York" that includes people who live in, like Staten Island or whatever. No, the ones who watch Gossip Girl. Basically all of these people should be unemployed, next year.

Special Bonus "Never Ever Get Fired" Award

Tribune Company Innovation Chief Lee Abrams He is an insane person and every dollar spent on him is a dollar wasted, by a bankrupt company, but he is a treat, and we would miss his memos.