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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

Making News Projected Deficit Is Much Higher than Anticipated 6 MIN, 10 SEC

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

Main Topic A Defense Contractor’s Dream in Southern California 14 MIN, 23 SEC

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

William Hennigan, Los Angeles Times / Chicago Tribune (@wjhenn)
Saul Gonzalez, Host, 'There Goes the Neighborhood: Los Angeles' (@SaulKCRW)
Lindsay Voss, Research Analyst, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International

Main Topic Judicial Independence, Elections and Provocative Rulings 5 MIN, 11 SEC

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, Drake University
Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network (@jcnseverino)
Bert Brandenburg, Justice at Stake Campaign (@JusticeStake)
Joseph Grodin, former Justice, California State Supreme Court

Reporter's Notebook Errant Missile Launch or Plane Illusion? 25 MIN, 30 SEC

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.

Jonathan McDowell, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (@planet4589)


Warren Olney

Katie Cooper
Sonya Geis

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