- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 12, 2013

“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)


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.


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.”


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”).


The year is not quite three months old, but already the “Top Trending Words of 2013” have been identified by the Global Language Monitor, a Texas-based research group that uses software-aided analysis to determine words most frequently cited in 250,000 print and online news sources.

The winners are an odd but topical mix: Kate’s royal offspring, near-Earth objects, nukes, Internet meme, China, #hashtag, and catastrophic scenarios with names containing the prefix ‘franken’ or the suffix ‘pocalypse.’

“The year 2013 looks to be another vibrant year for the English language with word creation again driven by events both scheduled and unanticipated,” says chief analyst Paul JJ Payack. “With 1.83 billion speakers and a new word created every 98 minutes or so, clever, interesting, and creative neologisms inevitably appear — and now, from any point on the planet.”


• 58 percent of Americans say stricter gun laws would make it more difficult to protect home and family; 77 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of Democrats agree.

• 57 percent overall say stricter laws give more power to government over average citizens; 76 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

• 54 percent overall say more laws would reduce the number of mass shootings; 29 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of Democrats agree.

• 52 percent say more laws would reduce numbers of accidental gun deaths; 32 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats agree.

• 51 percent say more laws would keep guns out of criminals’ hands; 31 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,504 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 13 to 18 and released Tuesday.

• Cheers, jeers, fears to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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