03.18.16

In today’s Buzz we read about the Democrats latest game plan for trying to get Judge Merrick Garland considered for the vacant Supreme Court seat, the results from yesterday’s basketball games, and Governor Rick Snyder’s testimony to Congress regarding the Flint water crisis.

Yesterday Americans took to the bars to celebrate the first meaningful day of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament and St. Patrick’s Day.  Unfortunately, for those who partook in the festivities, yesterday was a Thursday and they must return to work today. Today’s Buzz is brought to you by the hangover.

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Right Now with Brian Southey (LinkedIn / Twitter)

What I’m Listening to –  Chris Stapleton: Traveller

What I’m Reading – Our FY2017 Budget

What I’m Watching – Tournament Basketball

What I Want to Know from You – Is your bracket busted yet?

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Buzzin’

Democrats plan push to force hearings on Supreme Court nomination Democrats began laying out an aggressive strategy Thursday to get Judge Merrick Garland considered by the Senate and seated on the Supreme Court, over what appears to be implacable Republican opposition. The approach, which is being implemented in part by a well-organized group led by former aides to President Obama, involves targeting vulnerable GOP Senate incumbents for defeat by portraying them as unwilling to fulfill the basic duties of their office. The idea is to so threaten the Republicans’ Senate majority that party leaders will reconsider blocking hearings on Garland’s nomination.

First lesson of 2016 NCAA tournament: Beware the underseeded Let’s bury the hatchet. It has been five days already. It’s time. There’s no going back now, anyway, right? No correcting the mistakes of Selection Sunday, no righting the committee’s (numerous) wrongs. Monmouth ain’t walkin’ through that door. Tulsa missed the NIT registration deadline. What’s done is done.

Michigan Governor Tells Congress He Was Misled on Flint Water  Time and again, Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan acknowledged in a tense congressional hearing Thursday that he had been aware of complaints about the drinking water in Flint, including from news reports his aides had emailed him. Yet he had accepted assurances, he said, that the problems were not severe.

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Hundreds gather to march in protest of Tacoma police shooting Holding signs and chanting “Justice for Jackie,” close to 300 people marched Wednesday from the Puyallup Tribal Administration building to the U.S. District courthouse in downtown Tacoma.

Why we love dogs and cats but not bats or rats Why do we adore hamsters but abhor rats? Cuddle kittens but curse raccoons? Pay to keep birds inside and bats outside?

US gov’t sets record for failures to find files when asked When it comes to providing government records the public is asking to see, the Obama administration is having a hard time finding them.

Oregon collects $3.48 million in revenue from first month of taxed recreational marijuana sales Oregon collected $3.48 million in taxes from recreational marijuana sales in January, far outpacing estimates and offering the first look at how much pot is moving through the state’s newly regulated retail market.

South Florida has pythons by the ton, literally Researchers tracking Burmese pythons in Collier County as part of an ongoing study into their cryptic habits bagged more than 2,000 pounds of snakes over the last three months. Among the snakes was a monster stretching 16 feet and weighing 140 pounds that researchers say sets a new state record for the largest male caught.

Iraqi-Americans applaud genocide label by U.S. on ISIS Iraqi-Americans applauded the Obama administration’s announcement Thursday that what ISIS has done is genocide, hoping it will be the start of serious action to defeat the militant group and save Iraq’s minorities.

Chicago Has Officially Approved Its First Cat Café The city approved the ordinance Wednesday, and if all goes well, this summer you should be able to visit the Tree House Humane Society’s new West Rogers Park facility for your fix of caffeine and cats.

Will Anyone Accept Responsibility for Flint? Lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee agree that multiple layers of government failed the people of Flint, Michigan, whose children were tragically poisoned by lead and who, to this day, can’t trust the water coursing through their community.

Mass Transit Expansion Goes Off The Rails In Many U.S. Cities Journalists in older cities like New York, Boston or San Francisco may see the role of rail transit as critical to a functioning modern city.

The mysterious infection that might be behind 17 deaths in Wisconsin has spread to a second state The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) confirmed Thursday that an older adult from the western part of the state has died after contracting the obscure blood infection, which has sickened more than 50 in Wisconsin.

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Local Government Confidential

Hazel Crest voters stick with village manager, check mayor’s power Congratulations to the citizens of Hazel Crest who did the right thing on Election Day by overwhelmingly supporting their village manager form of government and rejecting a proposal to hand more power to the mayor.

Westfield City Council launches debate on extending elected terms of office The City Council indicated Thursday night it is ready for serious debate on the issue of extending the elected terms of office for mayor and City Council from two to four years.

Hearne city manager to pay back money city overpaid to employee City Manager Pee Wee Drake will not face prosecution related to misapplication of city funds charges, according to the Robertson County District Attorney’s office.