Newspapers in Freefall, Earmarks, Real Unemployment Rate, & Who’s Running the Show?

Steve Baldwin Steve Baldwin 8 Comments

Share

I’m thrilled to be part of San Diego Rostra and am convinced this is the medium by which the vast majority of Americans will receive their news, if not already, then in the very near future.  The old line media are dinosaurs, especially newspapers.  And it’s not just because the news cycles of newspapers are 24 hours as opposed to the instantaneous news offered by blogs and websites like San Diego Rostra, but it’s also because the UT and other mainstream newspapers have never fairly reported the news. And the people knew it.

Even today, the UT, aside from a few editorials, is so one-sided, I can’t bear to read it anymore.  Nearly every national story is based solely on AP wire stories that hardly ever cover the Republican or conservative side of an issue.   It’s almost like reading DNC press releases.  Moreover, what the UT decides not to cover is often a form of censorship that informed citizens simply will no longer tolerate.  It is clear that the UT staff make no effort to balance the news and I’m willing to bet they don’t even know how biased their news coverage is. Nor do they seem to care.  Fine.  The UT will be extinct in a few years.

I hope I can contribute some interesting insights to the readers of San Diego Rostra.  After nearly 30 years in politics, both in Sacramento as a State Assemblyman and in Washington DC as Director of the nation’s most influential conservative leadership networking group, I have a vast array of contacts that can be relied on for the real scoop on what is going on in our country.  I have worked in all aspects of politics from managing political campaigns to issue research to serving as chairman of the Assembly Education Committee.  After nine years in DC, I have returned to San Diego and I currently write extensively on a variety of issues for a number of blogs and websites.

I will be somewhat of a roving reporter for the San Diego Rostra, covering local, state and national issues and hopefully offering insights that are not commonly found elsewhere.  So here goes my first posting:

The Dinosaurs are Dying

Speaking of media bias, a television industry trade journal is reporting these shocking numbers:

The nation’s daily newspapers sold 10.6% fewer copies an average each day from April to September, according to the most recent report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. … Of the top 25 dailies, the San Francisco Chronicle saw the worst circulation decline, falling 25.8% to 251,782.  The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., and The Dallas Morning News both fell 22.2%…..Of the nation’s five biggest daily papers, four reported circulation declines.   The one exception is The Wall Street Journal, which had already announced that it would be taking the #1 spot from USA Today.

I am not surprised that the WSJ, which features dozens of conservative columns, is thriving.

San Diego area Congressmen Abuse the Defense Appropriations Process

According to the conference report for the 2010 Defense Authorization bill, billions of dollars have been siphoned away from actual military expenditures to earmarks requested by congressmen.  Congresswoman Davis has five earmarks, Congressman Hunter has two, and Congressman Bilbray had one.  I did not find any such earmarks for Congressmen Filner or Issa.

What are these earmarks for?  Most of them appear to be defense related projects; however, Davis diverted millions of dollars to the “San Diego State University Research Foundation” and to the “Marine Mammal Surgical Center,”  two very questionable earmarks that don’t appear to have much to do with defense.  Bilbray has an earmark for the National Guard and Hunter’s two earmarks went to private defense contractors,

CHI Systems in Poway and Trex Enterprises in San Diego.

Earmarks are wrong for a number of reasons. First they pervert the entire appropriations process.  It’s bad enough that billions of dollars worth of pork are taken out of the main appropriations bill, but the defense bill?    If the Defense Department really thought that some work being conducted by a private company was worth funding, then they would have funded it, but these earmarks circumvent the entire process by which the Defense Department prioritizes what to fund.

As the Washington Times reports:

Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an analysis.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/15/troop-funds-diverted-to-pet-projects//print

A total of 778 earmarks appear in the bill. I spoke with Winslow Wheeler of the Center for Defense Information and he told me he has never seen such an abuse of the process as this year’s defense appropriations bill.  Senator Tom Coburn called the process “a disgrace.”

Moreover, recipients of such earmarks are oftentimes large contributors to the congressman who made the earmark request.  For example, Congresswoman Davis diverted millions to a Cubic project. Not surprisingly, Cubic’s PAC and its CEO, Walter Zable, gave Davis $15,000 since 2000.  Congressman Hunter inserted an earmark for Trex Enterprises and, surprise! he has received $7,000 since 2008 from Trex Enterprises President Kenneth Tang.  What appears to be happening is that large donors pressure Congressmen to insert these earmarks as a way of advancing projects they deem to be important even if they were ignored by the DOD in the normal appropriation process.

This is one reason why Americans have lost faith in Government.  I’m not surprised the Dems do this as they live for pork.  But Congressmen Hunter and Bilbray should know better.  If the Republicans ever regain control of the house, one of the first things they should do to show Americans they are serious about reforming the system is to move immediately to abolish the entire earmark process.

Unemployment figures are under-reported, thanks to Clinton

According to best-selling author Dr. Jerry Corsi, the true rate of unemployment for October 2009 may be 22.1%, not the 10.2% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Corsi, who received his PhD from Harvard and is the author of  the best selling ObamaNation and Unfit for Command books, has written in his newsletter that the Clinton administration changed the way BLS calculated unemployment statistics by excluding “discouraged workers” who have been looking for a job for more than a year.   Pre-Clinton, the real unemployment rate would be over 22%.  Charts showing these statistics can be found at www.shadowstats.com.  This newsletter is must reading for those who are interested in how the federal government manipulates economic statistics.

Once again, our government is not being truthful.  A 22.1% unemployment rate means the USA is approaching the 30% plus unemployment stats that existed during the Great Depression.

Obama  Surrounds Himself with the Most Extreme Appointees in American History

Munoz, Bansal, Browner, Holder, Jarrett, Kagan, Ogden, Johnson, Duncan, Jennings, Rice, Power, Koh, Lloyd, Holdren, Stern, Sunstein, Brooks, Barnes.

Do you know who these people are?  You should.  They’re running the federal government. And they are completely off the map ideologically. Incredibly, some have Marxist and socialist backgrounds; many belong to a group that wants to undermine our founding Constitutional principles.  Some advocate open borders; all are ideologues who want to completely remake society just as Obama promised.

If John McCain had won the election and then appointed scores of people with KKK and white supremacist backgrounds, would the media had covered it?  Of course they would have, and all such people would have been terminated.  But the media has decided to hide the backgrounds of many of Obama’s most influential policy makers.  Not even our own UT will do a story on the backgrounds of some of the most powerful people in government.

And this is only twenty of them.  There are many more like these. To read all about the nut jobs who will be affecting your life for the next three years, go here:

http://www.westernjournalism.com/?page_id=3930

Share

Comments 8

  1. Steve,

    Welcome back to California. I look forward to your blog columns. I enjoyed your comments on earmarks. It is disgusting what our representatives are doing, and frankly for something as trivial as a few thousand dollars in campaign contributions. Cubic/Zable and Trex/Tang obviously know their campaign contributions have a much higher ROI than the marketing expenditures ever will. I hope that WHEN Republicans take back the House and Senate, they take a stand against earmarks and take a stand now by chastising members who engage in these activities.

    Whenever you decide to run for office again, please put my email address on your donor contact list. I will be a “Taxfighter for Baldwin” for life.

    Sincerely,

    Dwight Robinson
    dwightrobinson@mail.com

  2. Regarding the comments about earmarks and Republicans, I really hope that the Republicans actually wake up and once again become the party of fiscal leadership. Recent past examples show that hasn’t been the case. The only way to pull America out of this downslide is for real fiscal leadership. It’s not happening in Sacramento and it sure isn’t happening in Washington.

  3. Welcome back to SD, Steve — and to the fight for sanity in the region as well as the nation.

    The defense budget earmarks are truly sad to see. Democrats are SUPPOSED to operate that way — we have higher standards for GOP standard bearers.

    It takes away the moral high ground that the Republcans so desperately need to fight their battles from. Bush did much damage in his spendthrift years, and still we see too many GOP congresscritters continuing the grab bag tradition.

    Hunter junior is a fine example of why gerrymandered offices should not be passed to offspring. Frankly Hunter senior was an earmark-for-money guy as well — we had hoped the son would be different.

    The odd thing is, these incumbents in gerrymandered districts have almost no chance of getting unseated – so the campaign contributions are essentially meaningless to their job security.

    This widespread sellout by our DC representatives for really small amounts of money is why P.J. O’Rourke’s terrific book dissecting Congress was apply titled “Parliament of Whores.”

  4. Duncan D. Hunter faced a competitive open-seat GOP primary last year, against both an active Santee city councilman (Brian Jones) and a well-known local businessman (Bob Watkins).

    Duncan took 72% of the primary vote. He is in Congress now solely due to the majority wish of District 52’s constituents.

    Anyone who has worked a day in East County politics (I spent 5 years) knows how feisty, independent and hard-headed the residents are. NOBODY gives them orders! They chose to promote the younger Hunter because they believed he would protect their best interests.

  5. Thanks for the kind comments Dick, Dwight, Greg, Jon, & Thor! During my 9 year absence form San Diego, I moved to the right, since all of you know I used to be kind of squishy! (-:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.