Obama’s Missile Defense Policy Reversal: Better Late Than Never

From The Foundry:

The Obama Administration’s decision to reinstate 14 ground-based interceptors (GBIs)—which it reduced in its first term—is a necessary but not sufficient response to the North Korean ballistic missile threat.

North Korea’s ballistic missile testing and bellicose rhetoric prompted the Administration to augment the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program. This decision reverses one of several of the Administration’s reductions in U.S. missile defense.

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Supreme Court, enigmatic as ever, weighs gay marriage ban

From McClatchy:

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices showed sharp divisions and passionate feelings Tuesday as they confronted California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriages.

During a roughly 85-minute argument that was both unusually long and, at times, markedly heated, the court’s conservative and liberal justices exposed fundamental differences that foreshadow difficult decisions to come. Tellingly, the frequent swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, revealed some personal ambivalence.

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Photo courtesy Envios, flickr

Leading the Way: Celebrating Conservatism’s Champion

From The foundry:

For 36 years, Ed Feulner has stood at the helm of The Heritage Foundation. Through his leadership, Heritage became the conservative beacon on Capitol Hill, leading the way for conservative research and legislation to shape American policy.

Heritage wouldn’t have happened without Ed Feulner.

In his new book, Leading the Way, Heritage Fellow and historian Lee Edwards weaves the story of the Chicago kid who made his way to D.C. because he believed in conservative principles. Feulner started on Capitol Hill and then made the move to join a small think tank across the street from the Senate buildings.

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Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Report: Calif. parks need new operating model

From The Fresno Bee:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Over the years, California has added more parks to its state system than it can afford and should consider turning over control to local entities of the one-third that lack statewide significance, says a new analysis of problems that led to the threatened closure of 70 of the sites.

The report released Monday by the Little Hoover Commission even suggested that tourist favorite Hearst Castle might be better run by an operator such as the Getty Museum that is more versed in protecting the hilltop mansion’s European art collection.

Obamacare at Three Years: Increasing Cost Estimates

From The Foundry:

Today marks three years since Obamacare was signed into law, and taxpayers probably aren’t celebrating.

Over the last three years, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has revised its cost estimates for Obamacare’s new entitlements—the Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies—many times, and they have more than doubled since 2010.

The first estimate in 2010 pegged the gross cost at $898 billion from 2010 to 2019. But this projection was deceptive, because it included only six years of spending on these provisions, since they don’t begin until 2014.

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This Week: Stockton’s bankruptcy trial begins today

From The Sacramento Bee:

The city of Stockton goes on trial today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento in a case with major implications for cities and public employees.

In a four-day trial, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein will decide if the city should be allowed to seek refuge from its creditors in Chapter 9 bankruptcy. When the city filed in June, it was the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history.

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Overcoming the Digital Divide: What Conservatives Must Do to Win

From The Foundry:

Robert Draper’s New York Times Magazine article last month spurred debates and discussions among conservatives about the role of digital media in politics. It revealed the frustrations of movement conservatives and political operatives about the results of the 2012 election. Technology, data and analytics were once again part of the conversation last week with the Republican Party’s retrospective report.

What are conservatives doing in response? Is innovation the answer? Does the problem extend beyond the apparent digital divide?

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Photo courtesy of eurleif, flickr

Dems say Democratic budget isn’t balanced

From The Hill:

Two Senate Democrats defended their votes against the upper chamber’s budget resolution on Saturday, saying that it was not a balanced approach.

Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) were among only four Democrats to cast votes against the budget measure, which narrowly passed the Senate early Saturday morning, 50-49.

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Senate passes its first budget proposal in four years

From CNN:

(CNN) — The Democrat-controlled Senate passed its first formal budget proposal in four years early Saturday after hours of non-stop voting that started Friday evening.

The non-binding plan for the 2014 budget calls for a trillion dollars in tax increases and passed 50 to 49. No Republicans voted for the bill, and four Democrats voted against it.

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Photo courtesy Franco Folini, flickr

People go where the money Is (and the taxes aren’t)

From The Daily Caller:

What parts of America have been growing during these years of sluggish economic growth?

Answers come from comparing the Census Bureau’s just-released estimates of metropolitan area populations in July 2012 with the results of the Census conducted in 2010.

The focus here is on the 51 metro areas with populations of more than 1 million where 55 percent of Americans live, most of them of course not in central cities but in suburbs and exurbs.

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Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2013, Flickr