“A doozy. A bombshell. It’s a doozy wrapped in a bombshell exploding inside a Drudge siren.” And so reads the headline from the L.A. Weekly, the West Coast insider publication that first broke news that Charles and David Koch — dutifully described as “infamous right-wing billionaires” — were interested in buying The Los Angeles Times, along with other media properties from the bankrupt Tribune Co. Nothing has been confirmed, but the idea already has gotten the press in a dither. A sampling of speculations that quickly emerged:
“Koch brothers Vs. Murdoch: this could get ugly, very fast” (The Atlantic); “Liberal critics are horrified at the idea of Charles Koch being able to buy his ink by the barrel” (Forbes); “The fear, of course, is that the brothers would turn the renowned papers into organs for their conservative agenda.” (Salon)
BLOOMBERG’S NEXT BIG ISSUE
So he doesn’t get to ban big sodas in the Big Apple. Aw. But other challenges remain for New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. There’s potential union trouble brewing with some 5,000 school “safety agents” that has drawn Teamsters President James P. Hoffa himself to Manhattan on Wednesday to support Local 237 President Greg Floyd. The pair plan to publicly pressure the mayor to intervene in a $35 million class action suit that demands equal pay for 5,000 current and former “school safety agents.”
The suit contends the agents must deal with “violence and other horrors” on the job that includes gang warfare, weapons in elementary schools and sex in classrooms. “It’s like Newtown is happening every day in the schools, but in slow motion. It’s incredible what people don’t know,” an attorney for the local union told The New York Daily News. More than 70 percent of the agents are women and predominantly black and Hispanic, the officials say. Their “gender-based wage discrimination suit” claims that other peace officers — 70 percent male — receive $7,000 more in annual pay.
“The city has continued to refuse to negotiate on the issue,” Mr. Hoffa and Mr. Floyd say.
SARAH PALIN, CHRISTMAS DEFENDER
It’s been almost three years since Sarah Palin wrote her memoir “Going Rogue.” The cultural plight of Christmas, however, has put the former vice presidential hopeful back into author mode. Mrs. Palin will pen “A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas,” scheduled for November release from HarperCollins. It goes rogue against the prevailing taste meisters of yuletide.
“Palin defends one of the most sacred holidays of the Christian faith against the politically correct elite who have hijacked the season,” the publisher says, referring to the book as “a call to actionfor bringing back the freedom to express the Christian values of the season.”
Mrs. Palin intends to keep Jesus Christ in public displays or events, but bar “over-commercialization and homogenization of Christmas,” the publisher says.
“Amid the fragility of this politically correct era, it is imperative that we stand up for our beliefs before the element of faith in a glorious and traditional holiday like Christmas is marginalized and ignored,” says Mrs. Palin, urging potential readers to “unite in defense of our faith and ignore the politically correct Scrooges who would rather take Christ out of Christmas.”
CRUZ, DEMINT AND 11 AWARDS
CPAC is not the only conservative party in town this week. Lawmakers are among those gathering Wednesday evening at a splendid old hotel near the White House for the annual Weyrich Awards Dinner, meant to recognize high-profile folk who have made significant contributions in advancing conservative causes, as inspired by longtime conservative leader Paul Weyrich. Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint is the host, and a certain Texas Republican is the keynote speaker.
“Sen. Ted Cruz, a newcomer to Washington, has already proven himself to be a champion of core conservative values, and we’re honored to have him speak about the future of conservatism,” notes Colin Hanna, director of host organization Coalitions for America.
Among the award finalists in 11 categories: Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, Rep. Darrell E. Issa (contending for “National Legislator of the Year”) and Govs. Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Sam Brownback (“Elected Official of the Year”).