Ratings plunge for Obama inaugural. Fewer than half as many Americans watched Barack Obama’s second inauguration on cable news channels as they did on his first Inauguration Day back in 2009. Four years ago, close to 17 million people tuned in to the special coverage on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News. This time around, fewer than 7 million Americans watched any of the coverage.
Stock bulls will like this Super Bowl. Are you familiar with Wall Street’s Super Bowl Predictor? It says that the stock market will go up in a year that an original National Football League team wins the Super Bowl, but will fall whenever a team from the former American Football League is victorious. Hey, don’t scoff; it’s been right more than 80 percent of the time. And since both contestants in this year’s Super Bowl were part of the original National Football League (the Baltimore Ravens trace their lineage back to the old Cleveland Browns), followers say the market will be up for the year. Time will tell if they’re right again.
Delays expected in tax refunds. The Internal Revenue Service announced that the Congressional debate over the fiscal cliff has caused it to delay processing individual tax returns by eight days. The IRS needed the extra time to program its computers to include the changes and extensions the legislation included. The IRS says it will begin processing 2012 tax returns by the end of the month.
We’re getting tired as well, Mr. President. Speaker of the House John Boehner told Wall Street Journal columnist Stephen Moore that during negotiations over the fiscal cliff, he kept trying to tell the President that the Nation doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. Moore quotes Boehner as saying he repeated this message so often that the President finally responded, “I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.” Well, we’re getting tired of having to say it, Mr. President.
The Benghazi, Libya, deceit continues. Remember when the U.S. Department of State said that four top officials resigned after the release of a scathing report on the terrorist attack that killed our ambassador and four other Americans? It turns out that wasn’t quite true. One person simply got a new job, while three others were placed on temporary leave. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, blasted the deception, saying, “The discipline is a lie and all that has happened is the shuffling of the deck chairs.”
Report confirms Benghazi mistakes. Well, it took more than three months, but the State Department finally released the results of an internal investigation into what actually happened during the Sept. 11 attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It concluded that our ambassador and three other Americans died as a result of “systemic failures” and “leadership and management deficiencies” at senior levels within the State Department. The report also rejected the now-discarded explanation, put forward by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and President Barack Obama, that the attack was the result of protests against an anti-Islamic film.
Gold sales hit new highs. The U.S. Mint reports that sales of American Eagles, the popular gold coins it produces, exploded in November, hitting their highest level in more than two years. The Royal Canadian Mint says that sales of the gold Maple Leaf were also up dramatically last month. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this follows on the heels of Barack Obama’s re-election. Do you?
An economic indicator goes positive. When he was chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan said that one of the unusual indicators he followed was sales of men’s underwear. The theory posits that sales decline when men are pessimistic about their incomes and the economy. Let’s hope the opposite is also true, because Hanes and other underwear manufacturers are reporting higher sales than they’ve enjoyed in years. The men’s underwear indicator is flashing positive.
Better not call that a “Christmas” tree. Politically correct Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island doesn’t want to offend the delicate sensibilities of any of his constituents by showing favoritism toward Christmas. So last year, he decreed that the beautifully decorated tree in the rotunda of the State House be known as a “holiday tree.” At the official lighting ceremony, however, a group of carolers showed up and burst into song. The tune? “O Christmas Tree,” of course. So this year, the Governor’s office gave just 30 minutes’ notice before the tree lighting. Can’t have any of those nasty carolers upsetting the non-believers, can we?
Ron Paul’s farewell address. After 23 years in the House of Representatives, Ron Paul chose not to run again. Two weeks ago, he gave a farewell address on the House floor. He wanted to express “a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.” Click here to read his complete speech.