• With: Dan Henninger, Mary Anastasia O'Grady, James Freeman, Dorothy Rabinowitz

    GIGOT: New York City mayor.

    RABINOWITZ: New York City mayor --

    GIGOT: 12 years.

    RABINOWITZ: -- as we know. In the end, we see -- we feel we are going to miss this mayor very much, particularly with the advent of his successor, Mr. Bill De Blasio, and the assault of progressivism that we now see coming at us in droves. But let us look about the mayor. Look at things he has done. He has, incredibly enough, gotten rid of smoking. He has stood up against Occupy Wall Street. Of course, he has assaulted us with other health-endangering things like bicyclists on the prowl.

    (LAUGHTER)

    But all in all, we owe him great thanks.

    GIGOT: All right.

    Mary, how about you? What do you have?

    O'GRADY: My hit goes to breakthroughs in medical research, particularly in the area of brain science. The first is that we made some major progress and advances in working towards the treatment of Parkinson's disease. In December, a professor of neurology at Emory University won a prize from Silicon Valley, a breakthrough prize, for his work on understanding the circuits that go bonkers with Parkinson's disease. This goes straight to the treatment of the disease.

    GIGOT: Very exciting developments on the science front.

    James?

    FREEMAN: My hit is to the earth and the sun --

    (LAUGHTER)

    -- who have conspired once again to blow up the predictions of those promoting the global warming thesis. These two -- the earth and the sun have just refused to show a warming trend over the last 15 years on earth's surface temperatures. And so I think the amount of suffering that's been avoided by avoiding all the regulations that they wanted to impose is quite significant.

    GIGOT: All right, you guys shut me out here so I'm going to have to be silent on this one.

    (LAUGHTER)

    We'll take one more break when we come back, our "Hits and Misses" -- our misses of the year. I won't miss that one.

    (LAUGHTER)

    (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

    GIGOT: Time now for our misses of the year.

    Dan, first to you.

    HENNINGER: I'm giving mine to Lance Armstrong, who admitted that he has been blood doping and using other techniques to win all those Tours de France. It really re-raises the issue of cheating in sports. In August, Major League Baseball suspended not only Alex Rodriguez but 12 other players for essentially the same reason. The sad thing about this, Paul, is I think it calls into question the credibility of professional athletic performance. It's a great thing to watch but you have to be worried when you're saying I don't know if it's real.

    GIGOT: Do you have any sports heroes? Big Papi of the Red Sox, or my favorite, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers?

    HENNINGER: I love Big Papi.

    (LAUGHTER)

    As far as Aaron Rodgers goes, I don't know. He's not going to win another Super Bowl this year, so

    (CROSSTALK)

    GIGOT: Cowboys fan.

    OK, Dorothy?

    RABINOWITZ: My big miss is to all of the supporters and protectors of Snowden, all of which are multiplying ferociously all over the place. They include, of course, Barbara Walters, who made him one of the most fascinating people of the year, not the most. And this is her last broadcast, and not a moment too soon. And also it was Tom Friedman --

    (LAUGHTER)

    -- who announced that he was a whistleblower. Well, thanks, that explains everything, Tom.

    GIGOT: Dorothy just got herself a lot of invitations to media parties going into 2014.

    (LAUGHTER)

    Mary?

    O'GRADY: My miss for 2013 is the rise of left-wing populism in this country. I think most clearly exhibited by the election of the new mayor in New York City, Mayor de Blasio. Not only because of what it means for New York but for what it means more broadly about how the electorate seems to fall for these kinds of populist promises and what that means to our freedom. I think the only good news is that now we have a lot to write about with the mayor.

    GIGOT: You think this is the direction the Democrats are going to do as faith in government and confident in government falls and they're going to need a new theme for the 2014 election? Is this going to be the big theme for 2014?

    O'GRADY: Well, as you know, eventually, these promises run out of gas. But until that happens, we have -- we suffer a lot. We're seeing that now with ObamaCare.

    GIGOT: OK.

    James?