We’re All Rocketeers Now


by Scott Daniel // October 6, 2010

Fox News really is the Jelly of the Month Club.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving…

Today, we received the greatest gift of all.  The hyper-caffeinated Kens and Barbies at Fox and Friends reported this morning that the City of Los Angeles has an outlay for $1 billion in commercial jet packs.  According to our dear Friends, the city will make 10,000 of these incredibly timely and useful travel devices available to the public.  This is great news, of course, for those Los Angelinos who would prefer to zip through the air at 63 miles per hour than sit in a traffic jam on the 215 210.  And, you know, they’ve got to do something about the smog.

People, listen to me for a second.  When we tell you that Fox News is bad for your brain, we’re not exaggerating.  In journalism, there is a thing that you’re supposed to do called “fact-checking” or “verifying your sources”.  For this mind-blower, the crack research team at the News Corporation seem to have turned to the Weekly World News.  It’s frustrating, really.  I hate to see a respected news source like the Weekly World News dragged through the mud.

It’s quite sad.  I’m fond of the mythical land of make-believe.  But reality is a little colder, as The Los Angeles Times notes:

“We certainly haven’t bought any jetpacks,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “We haven’t bought [squad] cars for two years.”

This is a real disappointment.  Now the vigilantes of Southern California will be woefully outgunned in their upcoming zeppelin battle with Neville Sinclair.

Sources: Fox News, The Huffington Post, Weekly World News, The Los Angeles Times.  Photo courtesy of mwctoys.com.


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  1. #1 by Mike Daniel on October 6, 2010 - 12:34 pm

    I really like the rocketeer as it was a great movie:)! As for bashing Fox news I see that as appropriate, but would like to see some bashing on the other side as well as both make mistakes………..

  2. #2 by scottrdaniel on October 6, 2010 - 12:40 pm

    They may all make mistakes, but Fox News is in a league of its own in terms of slam-zingers like this.

  3. #3 by Cory Hunt on October 6, 2010 - 1:26 pm

    As part of the CA State Scenic Highway System, I’d prefer driving the 215 (actually located in the Riverside area… quite far from LA) over flying in a jetpack. Now the 405 South, that can be a doozey.

    But yes, sad that Fox news bit on this and called it news. I’m certain it was driven by a recent trend to identify and call out stimulus-funded pork that brought about some fairly ridiculous “recovery” spending. In that light, maybe I’m a little comforted that someone is on watch to call those kinds of things out.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t watch or listen to Fox for news, but then again, I don’t really look to any one source for my information. Other than Weekly World News, of course.

    • #4 by scottrdaniel on October 6, 2010 - 3:45 pm

      Cory, my car broke down on the 215 between Valencia and Pasadena. So it technically is in Los Angeles; it’s all one big suburb, so that’s not that important.

      And, as for Fox’s supposedly good intentions, well, the road to hell would be paved with them, if it weren’t for the jet packs.

  4. #5 by Cory Hunt on October 6, 2010 - 7:26 pm

    Ah, I see. You mean the 210 well then, yes, the 210 can really suck at times. But the 215 does not run from Valencia to Pasadena, nor is it in Los Angeles. Riverside is nothing to write home about, but I wouldn’t be so cruel as to lumping them in with “Los Angeles.”(This is the geographer in me giving the east coaster in you a lesson in sense of place!)

    And I never said they were good intentions, just intentions. Driven by other “good” intentions which also paved said road to hell/massive debt that our children’s children will never overcome. Currently, 13.6 trillion dollars.

    (Have I sufficiently sidetracked this conversation? I’ve been watching Fox news today and taking notes as I go…)

    • #6 by Cory Hunt on October 6, 2010 - 7:35 pm

      Also, I have added Rocketeer to my Netfilx cue… I can’t wait to relive my childhood dreams just one more time.

      Which makes me think… did Disney plant this article in Fox New’s e-mail inbox to increase sales of this DVD while simultaneously discrediting this media outlet?! Two birds with one jet pack if you ask me. Have YOU YOURSELF BEEN PAID BY DISNEY TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE?! You rocketeering sellout!

      4 cups of coffee today. In the words of the famous rocketeer himself, “Why don’t you stick that welding torch in my ear, and call it the end of a perfect day.”

    • #7 by scottrdaniel on October 6, 2010 - 7:58 pm

      Cory, your knowledge of Rocketeer quotes makes me smile. And we’ll discuss the actual reasons for the $13.6 trillion debt (two wars, one of which was unnecessary, tax cut for the top 1% of wage-earners, decreased tax revenue from an economy gone south due to Republican-led deregulation) at another time. Remember the surplus? Yep. Had one under Clinton.

  5. #8 by Cory Hunt on October 6, 2010 - 8:46 pm

    And my knowledge of the LA highway system makes you cringe!! 🙂

    During the Clinton years, the total national debt increased every year. Only in Washington D.C. would that somehow be considered a surplus.

    If this were the case, every person who re-financed their home for 6 times its worth and then lost their job also could proclaim with glee that they were running a budget with a “surplus.” Hooray! Tell that to the hundreds of thousands who lost their homes.

    Let me be clear, I do not condone the increase of the federal debt under G. W., but saying Clinton ran a surplus is a farce. Clinton did pay down the PUBLIC debt, but he paid it down by borrowing far more money in the form of intragovernmental holdings, primarily, from Social Security. During the .com bubble, far more people were paying into Social Security than were taking out and thus it was running at a surplus – that excess money was used (by legal requirement) to buy government securities which then are sold and become… intragovernmental holdings! So they borrowed money from Social Security instead of borrowing from the public, which in turn lowered the public debt while increasing intragovernmental holdings. National debt continued to increase. No surplus.

    Which brings us (over the course of said wars and expenses, compounded by the ever-increasing babyboomers who require diminishing Social Security payments) to where we are today.

    An interesting final aside: Clinton’s final budget, actually increased from his deficit of $18 billion to $133 billion… so if you want to point fingers to when the “good years” ended, it was with Clinton’s last budget which good old GW inherited.

    And I’m spent. Pun intended.

  6. #9 by scottrdaniel on October 6, 2010 - 8:55 pm

    You’re right, the national DEBT increased every year. That’s the total amount of Treasury-backed securities owned by foreign entities. The federal DEFICIT, the equivalent of our federal checkbook living in the red, decreased every single year that President Clinton was in office to the point of creating a budget surplus (i.e., we had more money in tax revenues than we spent on outlays).

    Don’t believe me? There’s a cool little chart surrounded by words on FactCheck.org.

  7. #11 by Cory Hunt on October 6, 2010 - 10:35 pm

    National debt = public debt (treasury bills, savings bonds) + intergovernmental holdings (money the government borrows from itself).

    Yes, the federal deficit did decrease, but not to the point of an actual surplus. There is a BIG difference!

    How did it decrease? Reduced spending. Awesome! Levied huge taxes almost exclusively on upper-income taxpayers. Totally fair… (question mark????). Paid down public debt each year. Aweso… oh wait, there’s a catch. He paid down public debt (as previously mentioned) by borrowing money from the US government using… intergovernmental holdings! Bingo-bango-bongo! We borrowed money from ourselves, to pay off… ourselves! Brilliant!

    This is all fun and games and we can debate off-budget, outlays, inlays and frito lays. But here’s the real whammy.

    From your own website:

    So, with this logic, if there was a real surplus (not just budgeted), our national debt should have decreased in at least one of the years Clinton was in office. Right? Right guys?

    I now refer you to your doom. Nay, not a third party web site, but rather, directly to your own . Go ahead and type in September 30, 1993 and September 28, 2001 and click “find history.” Here’s what you’ll see (after lots of scrolling):

    National Debt (in trillions)
    FY 93 – $4.41
    FY 94 – $4.69
    FY 95 – $4.97
    FY 96 – $5.22
    FY 97 – $5.41
    FY 98 – $5.52
    FY 99 – $5.66
    FY 00 – $5.67
    FY 01 – $5.81

    National debt slowed – AWESOME. But in no fiscal year did it actually decrease. Not once. If there was an actual surplus, the national debt would have dropped (again, by your own repudiated factcheck.org). But it didn’t. That means the government spent more than it could afford and accumulated more debt. Do not pass go, do not collect $500, do not admit to having relations with that woman…but please do continue playing the saxophone because that is bad A!

    No realized surplus. Close… but no cigarillo. So please stop telling people that.

    From jetpacks to outlays in 6 seconds or less. Fact check – out!

  8. #12 by Cory Hunt on October 11, 2010 - 2:16 pm

    This sucks, the blog formatting removed some of my content; the world missed my best point and hilarious citing of factcheck.org to rebut your position . So… here, for posterity.

    I’m telling you that what you say was revenue was actually debt in the form of intergovernmental holdings (which is part of national debt that you may be neglecting to include). Excess taxes created a surplus in the Social Security budget what was then used to pay down the public debt and “balance” the budget. This is a longstanding and well-documented practice by both parties to “balance the budget.” During the dot com bubble, those taxes were huge, we were swimming in – to a large extent – Social Security revenues which then were borrowed to pay down the public debt (i.e. buying those treasury notes, etc.)

    From your heralded FactCheck.org:

    “A deficit occurs when the government takes in less money than it spends in a given year. The debt is the total amount the government owes at any given time. So the debt goes up in any given year by the amount of the deficit, or it decreases by the amount of any surplus.”

    So, with this logic, if there was a surplus, the debt would have gone down. Again, the national debt never went down. No surplus. Increased debt because we borrowed money from ourselves. We now owe that money back to ourselves and will continue to owe more and more as boomers continue to retire.

    So yes, I’m all for fiscal constraint. Something that this administration has not shown. I’m for smaller government, responsible spending. Yes, I’d love to do more of what we did in the 1990s, but that’s not possible, unless you can create another dotcom boom – because that’s what really drove our economy: private industry, not big government.

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