The Starting Line – Publisher Manchester disables left turn signals on all UT-San Diego vehicles

 Okay, I made that up.  But it is true that our Daily Fishwrap is rolling out bold new features designed to make sure that readers better understand their vision for a brand new yesterday. “New online:”, says the color type at the top of today’s front page, “Seeing Red: A Conservative View of Politics”. And sure enough, if you go there, you’ll find an even more conservative amalgamation of “news” and opinion drawn from the right side of the political equation.

Wow, it sure is “high tech” looking. Unlike Fox news, which claims its punditry is separate from its “news”, UT-San Diego makes no bones about it, this latest feature IS part of the news department. It says so right in URL they use. If you want to have some fun, send a ‘friendly’ tweet with the hashtag #utseeingred and they’ll run it on a little scrolling feature at the bottom of the page.

But wait! There’s more! “Coming Sunday:…Bolder Opinion pages…”. And you can get a preview on today’s editorial page. Just in case you didn’t comprehend their arguments for the alternative universe espoused by Manchester’s Mission Valley minions THEY’VE MADE THE TYPE BIGGER.  DON”T YOU PEOPLE GET IT YET?

Democrats nominate some black guy to be President

In case you missed it, Barack Obama accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party last night to be their 2012 candidate for President.  The ‘concern trolls’ of the internet were unusually active yesterday, initially claiming that a planned outdoor acceptance speech by Obama that was moved indoors because of weather related concerns was actually being relocated due to low public interest. They were silenced as torrential rains swept through the Charlotte area yesterday day afternoon, and back up squawking when it wasn’t actually raining during the President’s speech.

Last night’s program was more than simply speeches, with performances from the Foo Fighters , Mary J Blige and James Taylor.  Taylor provided a moment of levity as he walked out onto a stage set with an empty chair, telling the audience “It’s all right. I’m gonna sit on it. I’m not gonna talk to it.”

The acceptance oratory last night seemed restrained in contrast to the full throated assaults on GOP economic policies by former President Bill Clinton and by Senator John Kerry on Republican national security posturing. Here’s a full transcript of the speech.

It was a Barack Obama speech acknowledging the difficulties of the past four years and promising that better things were yet to come.  It was a Barack Obama speech clearly delineating the choice that voters will make his November: “My way or the highway” versus “We can do this together”. And it was a Barack Obama speech with noticeably less soaring oratory and more compelling arguments that his vision for the county’s future was wiser and more in line with traditional American moral values.

‘Your vote is precious’, from a man who fought for that right

One of the highlights of the day was Georgia Congressman and long-time civil rights activist John Lewis’s speech on voter suppression. Money quote:

 “Brothers and sisters, do you want to go back? Or do you want to keep America moving forward? My dear friends, your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful, nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union. Not too long ago, people stood in unmovable lines. They had to pass a so-called literacy test, pay a poll tax. On one occasion, a man was asked to count the number of bubbles in a bar of soap. On another occasion, one was asked to count the jelly beans in a jar—all to keep them from casting their ballots. Today it is unbelievable that there are Republican officials still trying to stop some people from voting. They are changing the rules, cutting polling hours and imposing requirements intended to suppress the vote.”

 GOP Reaction: Bring on the bullshit; pull out of Michigan and Pennsylvania

In the wake of what has, by all metrics in terms of audience measurement on both traditional and digital media, a successful national convention that “fired up the base”, the Republicans yesterday released a TV ad featuring a young, Hispanic-looking woman expressing her disappointment with the President:

 “You’re just not he person I thought you were,” Inclan says in the ad, addressing a cardboard cutout of Obama. Inclan lists out-of-control spending and Obama’s penchant for hanging out with Hollywood celebrities as reasons for the break-up. “It’s not me, it’s you. I think we should just be friends.”

 It took about a hour for the press to report that the young woman who purports to be a disillusioned voter in the commercial was none other than Bettina Inclan, Republican National Committee Director of Hispanic Outreach.

Despite their bravado, things behind the scenes in Romney/Ryan-land aren’t exactly going swimmingly.  Their campaign, along with supposedly independent super PAC Crossroads GPS, has pulled TV advertising in Michigan, Romney’s ‘home state’ and in Pennsylvania.  Despite an intensive ad blitz over the summer polling now shows the GOP ticket trailing in both of the so-called “swing states”.

Getting fired up in the 52nd

The race for California 52nd Congressional District seat began getting fired up this week as both Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Scott Peters announced endorsements that clearly reflect the differences between the two men.  Incumbent Bilbray was apparently being rewarded for his efforts on behalf of the medical devices industry that would undermine the Affordable Health Care Act.  Challenger Peters was being acknowledged for his positive efforts on environmental issues by citizen groups.

The district in question runs from Coronado to Poway; the changes in geography resulting from 2010 census have changed the demographics and the political complexion of the area so that a seat once considered safe for Republicans is now a toss up.

The Peters’ campaign rolled out endorsements yesterday from the national League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund and the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV).  The challenger’s record on environmental issues contrasts starkly with that of the incumbent, so the endorsement were hardly earth shaking. But for the large number of residents now residing within the coastal region environmental stewardship has historically been a motivational force in politics.

The conservation groups cited Rep. Bilbray’s votes to weaken the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts; against carbon pollution standards; and against wilderness and wildlife protections. They also called attention to his ongoing support of taxpayer subsidies to oil companies.  Those companies have rewarded Bilbray with generous contributions to his campaigns. The Congressman’s miserable 17% score on LCV’s 2011 National Environmental Scorecard was undoubtedly a factor in their decision making process.

Brian Bilbray’s campaign, on the other hand, announced an endorsement from Biocom, the association for biotechnology and medical device manufacturers. The company called the Congressman a ‘champion of the life sciences industry’, no doubt to thank him for his introduction of legislation that would cut their tax exposure and repeal a key element of funding for the Affordable Care Act.

Both campaigns are receiving over $1 million in support from their respective Congressional Campaign Committees, as this race could prove key in the Democrats quest to regain control of the House of Representatives. The opening salvo in what is expected to become a barrage of TV commercials started yesterday with the release of an ad in support of Peters’ candidacy.

GOP Congressman bemoans children deprived of junk food

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) lashed out recently at the nutritional standards now in place as a result of the  Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act , claiming that the “science-based standards” and recommendations from the Institute of Medicine are “the nanny state personified.” In a speech at the Webster County GOP headquarters, the Congressman went on to say parents have approached him said things like “My kids are starving in school. My kids are being rationed on calories.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years, and more than one-third of children and adolescents were obese in 2008. The healthy kids program is designed to improve student access to food by promoting breakfast programs and providing nation-wide funding to after-school programs that serve meals and snacks for at-risk kids and teenagers.  King is well known in political circles as a staunch defender of the processed foods industry and receives significant campaign funding from the meat industry.

College vs Prison in dollars and sense

A new study issued by the non-partisan California Common Sense group documents the relationship between how much money our state spends on prisons and how much is spent on higher education. When one goes up, the report says, the other goes down.

Entitled “Winners and Losers: Corrections and Higher Education in California”, the report reviews California’s general fund expenditures on corrections vs higher education between 1981 and 2011.  They found that since 1980, higher education spending has gone down by 13% (adjusted for inflation), while spending on California’s penal systems  by 436%.

More dollars are now doled out from California’s general fund for the prison system than the higher education system. Since 1981, the study found, the number of inmates in State facilities has grown eight times fast than the growth of the overall population. The rapid growth is due, in large part, as the result of the state simply putting more people in jail due to higher sentence requirements.

 Quote of the Day: • Helen Keller: “The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters.” (1911)

On this Day:  In 1813 the nickname “Uncle Sam” was first used as a symbolic reference to the United States. The reference appeared in an editorial in the New York’s Troy Post.  In 1957 Sam Cooke’s first single “You Send Me” was released.  In 1989 legislation was approved by the U.S. Senate that prohibited discrimination against the handicapped in employment, public accommodations, transportation and communications.  

Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Borrego Springs  (Christmas Circle Community Park Christmas Circle & Palm Canyon Dr.) 7 am – noon, Fallbrook (102 S. Main, at Alvarado) 10 am – 2 pm, Imperial Beach  (Seacoast Dr. at Pier Plaza) 2 – 7:30 pm, Kearny Mesa (No. Island Credit Union pkg lot  5898 Copley) 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, La Mesa Village  (Corner of Spring St. and University) 2 – 6 pm, Rancho Bernardo (Bernardo Winery parking lot 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte) 9 am – noon, Southeast San Diego (4981 Market St. West of Euclid Ave. Trolley Station) 2 – 6 pm

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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 to DougPorter@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.
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  1. avatarbob dorn says

    It’s curious that this morning I couldn’t find a Google main story on the DemCon and Obama’s speech (nor Joe Biden’s, which really raised some hell when delivered). In their respective and tiny corners, Reuters, The New York Times, CNN,, repeated the basic head that employment figures “Might Undermine” any Obama bounce; the word “undermine” so common to all of them as to seem borrowed from a Republican spin blast. The storm that drove the speech indoors got no coverage. The fact that the unemployment figures dropped was quickly followed by an explanation that the jobless are no longer looking.
    Next Up: Why Mitt Woke Up With A Smile This Morning.

  2. avatarDavid says

    A mimeograph machine has more value, purpose and integrity than anything produced by the wing-nuts of the UT…

  3. avatarCurley says

    Tuesday evening mssrs. Lynch & Manchester are throwing a little party for their friends in the GOP at the UT Mission Valley offices. They’d like to teach valuable media skills to their friends, like how to write a press release. I can only hope they continue to share valuable tips like that, so they don’t have time to do things that might actually work.

  4. avatarShelley Plumb says

    I had to cancel my subscription to the U-T because I couldn’t enjoy my breakfast while reading it and I don’t need it to line the birdcage or kitty litter box. Keep up the good work, Doug! You absolutely see the bigotry and nastiness of Papa Doug and his minions and present it with a much-needed dose of humor. My breakfast is enjoyable once again.