Economy Riding High on Unmanned Aircraft Manufacturing
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Southern California's manufacturing economy was born when millions arrived to build airplanes during World War II. When the Cold War ended, those days were over. But Pentagon demand for a new weapons system is becoming a boon to the Southland and it has multiple private applications as well. What will unmanned drones mean to the local economy? What about increased employment? Will Hollywood celebrities be safe from robotic paparazzi? Also, that mysterious "missile launch" off Southern California? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, when three Supreme Court justices were rejected last week, the decision of Iowa voters was celebrated as a rebuke of judicial overreach and decried as a threat to judicial independence. We hear about same-sex marriage and judicial selection.
Banner image: Screen grab from Drones Rising
Projected Deficit Is Much Higher than Anticipated ()
Next year's state budget deficit will be $19 billion, as previously predicted, but this year's budget is $6 billion out of balance, making a grand total of $25 billion. That's according to non-partisan California Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor in a report out today.
- Mac Taylor: Legislative Analyst, State of California
A Defense Contractor’s Dream in Southern California ()
The Pentagon is spending big money these days on unmanned aircraft, the pilotless drones used for tracking al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Yemen. But unmanned aircraft can do more than that, and growing demand could be a boon for Southern California.
Hennigan discusses Airbus, Boeing presence in California
- Bill Hennigan: Aerospace Writer, Los Angeles Times, @wjhenn
- Saul Gonzalez: Producer, 'Drones Rising', @SaulKCRW
- Lindsay Voss: Research Analyst, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
Judicial Independence, Elections and Provocative Rulings ()
In April of last year, the seven-member Supreme Court of Iowa effectively legalized same-sex marriage in a unanimous opinion. Last week, three of the justices faced a retention election, and all three were thrown out by the voters. What's the message to other judges whose decisions might be unpopular? Has fundraising for judicial campaigns, which has doubled in ten years to $206 million nationwide, eroded voter confidence in judicial independence? Are judges the guardians of minority rights against public opinion or "legislators in robes" who should be accountable to the people?
- Dennis Goldford: Professor of Politics, Drake University
- Carrie Severino: Chief Counsel and Policy Director, Judicial Crisis Network, @jcnseverino
- Bert Brandenburg: Executive Director of the Justice at Stake Campaign
- Joseph Grodin: former Justice, California State Supreme Court
Errant Missile Launch or Plane Illusion? ()
Millions of people have seen the video shot from a Channel 2 helicopter Monday night that looked a lot like missile launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Pentagon says it probably was only a plane but is not releasing any details. Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who produces Jonathan's Space Report, agrees with the conclusion.
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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