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A lot of things went wrong in 2022. Inflation, lousy bond and stock markets, Russia’s horrific and unprovoked attack against Ukraine, President Joe Biden’s greenlighting millions – yes, millions – of migrants crossing our southern border illegally, rampant urban crime and even more indoctrination of our kids.
But it was not all gloom and doom. There were obvious victories to celebrate (Ukraine routing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army, Anthony Fauci’s retirement) as well as losses to mourn (the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, another failed GOP effort to win the Senate.) Further afield, here are my candidates for top winners and losers.
No. 5 winner
New York sports fans. The Yankees and Mets both made it to the playoffs this year, the Knicks are enjoying an OK season, and the Nets winning, despite the firing of their coach and issues with star point guard Kyrie Irving. OK, so the Jets have fumbled recently, but both they and the Giants are in the hunt for a playoff spot.
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No. 5 loser
Tom Brady, the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, whose reputation has been sacked for having “retired” from the game he dominated, only to return to the field a mere 40 days later. And, for possibly sticking around too long; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may get to the playoffs but currently they have a losing season, the first of Brady’s career. Reportedly, the return to the field also cost the GOAT his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Gotta know when to hang it up Tom; when you figure it out, please call Biden.
No. 4 winner
NASA, which enjoyed an astronomical victory with the successful 25-day trip of Artemis, a 32-story tall rocket. The unmanned spacecraft circled the moon, presumably (though not officially) checking out what China has been up to on the dark side. Not only did NASA get back in the space exploration game, it also successfully bumped an asteroid off course (fans of Bruce Willis’ “Armageddon” rejoice) and unfolded in space the final configuration of the James Webb Space Telescope that relayed out-of-this world images of the universe’s earliest galaxies.
No. 4 loser
The FBI, our once-respected crack law enforcement agency, has lost the confidence of all right-thinking Americans. The FBI has been caught out for manipulating public opinion, interfering in our elections and working on behalf of the White House for partisan purposes. The release of the Twitter files makes clear that Russiagate was no one-off. The FBI pressured Twitter, and most likely other social media giants, to censor information damaging to Hunter Biden and to his dad Joe Biden, and sat on the infamous laptop of the First Son even as they pushed to discredit the information it contained. A new survey shows 63% of likely U.S. voters want Congress to investigate the FBI; count me in.
No. 3 Winner
Elon Musk, who has sacrificed tens of billions of dollars of his personal wealth to protect free speech in our country. Musk, the one-time darling of tree-hugging liberals who also embraced Tesla, is now vilified for outing bad actors in the FBI and bad conduct in Silicon Valley. Turns out- conservative voices have been muted on social media, purposefully. Shadow-banning is not a right-wing conspiracy; it happened. The nation owes Musk – as quixotic and unreliable as he sometimes is – unswerving admiration. He is down; I for one do not count him out.
No. 3 loser
Eric Adams and the bonehead liberal policies that have destroyed blue cities like New York, over which the party-loving mayor presides. Unlike his predecessor (I’ve forgotten his name), Adams is everywhere and anywhere that calls for fancy dress. Candidate Adams talked a good game about fighting crime and welcoming businesses; some saw him running for president in 2024. That was before New Yorkers witnessed the revolving door held open for criminals and budget-busting spending with no end in sight. The city is losing the high-income taxpayers who pay the bills.
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No. 2 winner
Kate Middleton, who has been the charming and dutiful wife of the UK’s future king for more than a decade. The Princess of Wales is running neck-and-neck with her husband William for “most popular royal in Great Britain”, each earning 69% approval in a recent poll. Meanwhile, her troublesome sister-in-law Meghan Markle’s popularity has nosedived both in the U.S. and in Britain. A recent poll showed Americans giving Kate a net positive approval rating of 43, while the whiny Duchess of Sussex earned a negative approval figure of -32 in the U.S., meaning she was liked by 28 percent and disliked by 60 percent.
No. 2 loser
Kamala Harris, who has flunked being vice president. She has scored not one single accomplishment, turns out to be a toxic boss, is monstrously inarticulate and a whiner to boot. She recently complained of being mistreated by the press, saying: “There are things that I’ve done as vice president that fully demonstrate the strength of my leadership as vice president…” Whoa, word salad alert! Note to Kamala: the liberal media all but ignored the 12 major staff departures that took place over her first year in office; be careful what you wish for.
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No. 1 winner
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who blew away his Democrat competitor in the midterm elections, has gone toe to toe with woke corporate America, tossed offensive material from grade-school curriculums and effectively managed the aftermath of devastating Hurricane Ian. DeSantis has emerged as the Republican best capable of carrying forward former president Donald Trump’s popular policies by winning good marks not only from GOP voters but also from Independents. His star is rising.
No. 1 loser
Samuel Bankman-Fried, who took down not only his firm FTX, but also undermined confidence in the entire cryptocurrency industry. SBF went from being likened by Anthony ‘The Mooch’ Scaramucci to JP Morgan to being locked up in a rat-infected Bahamian prison. His downfall shines a disturbing light on his vast contributions to Joe Biden and other Democrat politicians, and also the role SEC Chair Gary Gensler played in enabling SBF but also failing to uncover the FTX fraud. This story is not over.