New York - (AssoCIAted Mess): Time Magazine has published its annual list of the top 100 most successful Hellfire Club crooks of 2008.
And in a surprise move the publishers have agreed with the government of People's Republic of China that the world's number one slot in the rankings belongs to the Dalai Llama.
The Tibetan thug has enjoyed a superlative run in the last 12 months out-humbugging even accomplished serial thugs like Russian President Vladimir 'Mad Bad Sad Vlad' Putin, who is this year's runner up.
And it's no surprise that at the Number 3 slot is up-and-coming White House wannabe Barack Obama who has scaled the heights this yearafter skilfully suborning 1998 Supreme Court evidence suggesting he is a gay crack cocaine dealer sponsored by the Non-Aligned Crack Barons Association.
At Number 4 is Obama's much-feared White House rival Hillary Clinton who is downgraded from the top three rankings because the list's compilers may have a soft spot for serial underdogs.
John McCain is listed as official Number 5 purely on the grounds that he's likely to drop dead within the next few months and his demise would spoil the top-dog slot for the rest of the year.
Chinese leader Hu Jintao makes the list's Number 6 rank for overseeing a massive $250 billion HSBC bank heist that is responsible for financing the 2008 Beijing Olympics, AND for installing 100 per month of the world's most polluting coal-fired electricity generators.
George W Bush has been relegated to the Number 7 slot after generally wimpish behavior over the subprime fiasco and ensuing credit crunch.
South Africa's ANC president and the country's top polygamist nutter Jacob Zuma has been inserted into the Number 8 position largely because of the US National Rifle Club's admiration for his penchant for Zulu anthem Bring Me My Machine Gun.
Number 9 contender, Malaysia's Parti Keadilan Rakyat party leader, is upgraded from previous ranking mostly on the basis of 1998 charges alleging extensive involvement in corruption and sodomy.
And at Number 10 is new Australian Prime Monster Kevin Rudd about whom one serial gangster, crack baron and humbug recidivist said on daytime UK TV that "he wouldn't know moral integrity if it landed on his scrotum and proceeded to perform a lewd and unusual act oupon his person."