The Starting Line — Drinking the Right Wing Kool-Aid in Mission Valley; UT-SD’s Quest to Demonize President Obama

How low will the UT-San Diego’s editorial board go in its quest to demonize President Obama?  Will they manufacture or twist history to portray him as the worst chief executive in history? You betcha!, as they did in an editorial profile (Presidential busts: The worst of all: Barack Obama...) this weekend. Will they cry “wolf” when one of contender Mitt Romney’s financial backers’ activities gets scrutinized by the federal government after years of investigations by state governments? Oh, yes!, they will. Consider the first paragraph of this editorial entitled “The president’s enemy pays a price”:

Last year, Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot contributed $1 million to a “super PAC” supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and took a formal role with his campaign. The CEO of a successful supplements company, VanderSloot was exercising his rights as a U.S. citizen in the same way that millions of other Americans do: by giving money to a cause he supports.

OMG! This is obviously, based on the facts presented, yet another part of the vast Obama conspiracy. But what if the facts aren’t exactly right? What if the successful supplements company based its accomplishments on a multi-level marketing scheme that prompted Michigan regulators to take action, resulting in a voluntary agreement stipulating that they would “not engage in the marketing and promotion of an illegal pyramid”? What if his successful supplements company was cited by the Food & Drug Administrated for deceiving customers about some of its products?  Read this story by Glen Greenwald about this poor, persecuted Romney supporter and decide for yourself if it’s really necessary for the UT-San Diego to drum up sympathy for his cause.

 UT-San Diego’s “Presidential Busts” editorial has prompted yet another round of subscribers dumping the daily; other folks, like my significant other, told me that they couldn’t be bothered to even finish reading it. Since we know that you may have heard about the editorial, but not the local Democratic Party’s response, as a public service we’re presenting the following statement as posted on Facebook:

“At this point, I’m not sure how many people view the U-T’s editorial page as a credible source of political information. But Sunday’s anti-Obama screed (“Presidential busts,” Opinion, July 22) read more like a rabid tea-party blog than the product of a major news outlet.

President Obama’s policies have created 4.3 million private-sector jobs, granted tax breaks to businesses that hire veterans and enabled thousands of teachers to be retained or rehired.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are on track to reduce the deficit by $127 billion in the next decade, according to independent analysts. The bill has already strengthened Medicare, extended insurance to more than 3.1 million young adults and prevented insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

 The president has pulled the economy back from the brink of crisis, responsibly wound down two wars, and brought much-needed reforms that prioritize middle-class citizens over CEOs. This administration has made a positive difference in the lives of Americans – despite Republican opponents more concerned with their next election than with the good of the nation.

 You wouldn’t know it from reading the U-T, but America is on the rise again, thanks in large part to the strength and leadership of our President.

 – Jess Durfee, chairman, San Diego County Democratic Party

County Medical Marijuana Dispensary to stay open for the time being… Mother Earth Alternative Healing Cooperative, based in El Cajon, pulled a rabbit out the hat yesterday. After failing to obtain a stay from a Federal judge that would have prevented its eviction, the group went into another court on Wednesday and declared bankruptcy, a move that gave legal protection to San Diego County’s only licensed medical marijuana dispensary for the next 45 days.  Officials are now legally obliged to protect the company’s assets that were on the verged on being seized just a few hours beforehand. A KPBS news account stated that Mother Earth serves 70,000 customers in the region.

Strikebreakers in Anaheim From freelance reporter/videographer Tim Pool, whose coverage of Tuesday night’s disturbances in Anaheim gave me the sense of being in the middle of all the action, comes news that mainstream media outlets covering the protests had hired the Securitas company to provide “protection” for reporters. Securitas is a European concern who entered the US market in 1999, by acquiring the Pinkerton Company, long known for its role in protecting strikebreakers and the corporations that hire them from dissidents. I guess that tells us who the mainstream media was afraid of; it certainly looked to me like the cops had the demonstrators out gunned in every sense of the word.

Twinkies vs. apples: subsidizing junk food… Gene Cubbison over at NBC7 news reported yesterday on a new study released inSan Diego showing that taxpayers are subsidizing junk food at levels vastly higher than federal support for healthy foods. The research found that, since 1995 the Federal government has spent $18 billion to subsidize four additives (corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch and soy oils) generally acknowledged as less than healthy in the amounts that are consumed by Americans. The California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG) pointed out that during that period, only $637 million went toward apples, the only significant fruit or vegetable that sees any federal aid. Most of the federal monies are doled out to large, corporate agri-businesses. Twinkies and apples were used as props at theSan Diego press event by CALPIRG to point out that subsidies added up to 21 Twinkies and only half an apple for the amount that each taxpayer contributes in tax dollars.

Local TV show wanted…KPBS has put out the call that it’s looking to invest in locally produced television shows. They are asking for local content creators to send in ideas for a series on based on stories about San Diego, citing Ken Kramer’s About San Diego as an example. Based upon submissions received and meeting outlined requirements, KPBS will select the project idea and assist in funding the production process, up to a $20,000 maximum, to develop the program for broadcast during prime time on or about May 2013. For more information, go here.

Local TV  show maybe not wanted – We report, you decide: the pilot (revised) for UT-San Diego TV’s first attempt at programming for women horndogs. “Style with Kyle” It got passed around the internet a few weeks back, but the link went dead, now this link has surfaced. Fasten your seat belts, and remember to use a bag if you feel sick to your stomach

Hint: Click on this to watch Mitt change his mind.

Romneyisms du jour: While Mitt tours Europe, yet another gaffe from his foreign advisors has surfaced. During a foreign policy debate yesterday at the Brookings Institution, senior Romney adviser Richard Williamson, attacking Obama’s Syria policy, said the Middle East country is “strategically important to the Soviet Union.” (Doh, it’s called Russia now) Back in April a Romney consultant disparaged President Obama’s “Czechoslovakia” policy. (Hint: there is no country by that name anymore)  And the campaign is furiously denying reports in the UK Telegraph of yet another advisor accused President Barack Obama of not understanding the shared “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of Britain and theUnited States.

In an NBC interview with Brian Williams, the Presidential contender claimed that the alleged gunman in the Aurora, Colorado massacare, James Holmes, illegally obtained his weapons, when, in fact, Holmes had legally purchased the firearms through various national gun chains. According to a transcript of the interview Romney claimed “it was illegal for him to have many of those [weapons] already,” and suggested that stronger gun laws would not have prevented the tragedy. He went on to say that the way to deal with such senseless violence is by “changing the heart of the American people”:

Students for Economic Justice Dinner Tonight

Feed yourself: there are still tickets available to CPI’s benefit tonight for their Students for Economic Justice Summer Internship Program. Dinner — spaghetti, salad, iced tea or lemonade and a brownie – will be served from 6 to 8pm at the Big Kitchen located at 3003 Grape Street, San Diego, California 92102. The dinner is $15 to $25 per person (sliding scale). This is a good opportunity to treat your family or friends to dinner and also support a good cause. SEJ prepares tomorrow’s organizers and leaders to help build the local progressive movement and shape the future San Diego we all want to see.  Their goal is to get a hundred people there and raise $1000 for the Students for Economic Justice Summer Internship Program. RSVP (or donate) online here, or you can rsvp to Sandra at and pay at the door.

On This Day:  In 1775 a postal system was established by the 2nd Continental Congress of the United States. The first Postmaster General was Benjamin Franklin. In 1948 President Truman signed executive orders that prohibited discrimination in the U.S. armed forces and federal employment. In 1968 John Lennon and Paul McCartney completed the song “Hey Jude.”

Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmer’s Markets: Carmel Valley (Canyon Crest Academy 5951 Village Center Loop Road) 3:30 – 7:00 pm, Chula Vista (Downtown, Center St. & Third Ave.) 3 –7 pm, Linda Vista  (6900 Linda Vista Road Between Comstock & Ulric) 2 – 7 pm, North Park (CVS Pharmacy parking lot 3151 University & 32nd St.) 3 – 7 pm, Oceanside Market & Faire (Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101) 9 am – 1 pm, Oceanside Sunset (Tremont & Pier View Way) 5 –9 pm, San Carlos (Pershing Middle School 8204 San Carlos Drive) 4 – 7 pm, SDSU Farmers’ Market (Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall & Love Library) 10 – 3 pm, University Town Center  (Genesee Ave. at UTC Westfield Shopping Plaza) 3 – 7 pm.

I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas toDougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.



Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He's won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
Subscribe to "The Starting Line" and get an email every time a new article is posted!


  1. avatarrick trujillo says

    Thanks, again for the opportunity to speak to our friendly gang of progressives and enlightened subscribers.
    A few days ago, at Professor/social activist, Michael Schnoor’s memorial , under our Azteca Kiosk in Chicano Park, a large, mixed nationality gathering paid homage to a trusted friend and ally. Bob Filner was their, his arm around Herman Baca, so was Denise Ducheny, she constructed a small alter as did David Avalos, a prominent maestro in education and many others, with memorabilia from their association with a true, and resilient, cutting edge art master. Most of the Raza activistas knew the elected officials, Democratic Party elected officials……. but no one was campaigning. We all were just trying to come to grips with a another tragic loss.
    This is my point, we were ALL trying, together, to collect ourselves, standing with a surviving wife and two beautiful children and successfully attempting to move forward from a marvelous productive life, abruptly shortened.
    This, brief comment, is not so much about the progress of folks, not Black, honoring their growth in face of continuing, 21at Century, american grown, utter bigotry and rejection of same by voting in a Black man as President of the United States of America; (demonizing a man in the Oval office), I’m 68, I was raised in Oakland, Black is a wonderful fulfilling part of my life, I was in much of the South in 1966 as a 2nd lieutenant,…..yet it is just that.. exactly that…..the growth of millions of folks.
    This is what counts, tabulating that healthy growth, the progress and not settling for less ie our beautiful white kids (and others, of course) of Occupy, trying to lead the charge against the wall around Wall St. and marching, cops be damned, with the community, against a pig Latino landlord in a borough of NYC. Big landlords, old and new, are all the same regardless of heritage, yes?
    It is clear as day, the day after every election or police murder, we have to stick together or let the right define our lives. They are on the march…their power, the power of a 1% minority needs be demonized and ended for what it is ( targeting those who collaborate and allow the mayhem to prevail is, also, a must). Plus, beware, at your peril, their cops are totally armed and most of us are not.
    There was mourning in Chicano Park, not a cop in sight. There is mourning and justifiable rage in what used to be reagan country, anneheim, orange county with cops on the loose, yet again (the real gang bangers).
    It’s not that complicated, we need a mass movement against rightists who seek total power to weather this building, at all levels, crisis and come out winners (it ain’t the GOP) before they recruit their ilk and make it that much harder for any future progress. The lessons are far too obvious and haven’t been learned, hence the attacks on much of our historically accurate and correct (read denied but undeniable…Wounded Knee to the Holocaust) education. The rightists, too, have fellow travelers, witness the mass media… many cop shows? how many of their “violence is the answer vigilante cop episodes ?” as opposed to our righteous violence (pacifists notwithstanding) aimed at quelling and ending our real life casualties ? They know we know who they are and what they are about…these are the stakes; caution, think, their paranoia is not clinically treatable. Our victory means total defeat for them with a zero future. In this, Our Americas, we are the majority, let’s prove it.
    We must prepare for the worse, now, or suffer the consequences. Xican@ Politics 101, we exist for Liberation, ours and our allies, not for the purpose of advising either party in power.