Zdravstvuyte tovarishch!  Enjoy today’s Buzz as we relive the glory days of the Soviet Union and its once thriving cigarette industry!  Today the state reports nothing but sunshine, rainbows, and puppy dogs for all!  Onward comrades!  Do svidanya!

Right Now w/ Ben DeClue (Twitter / LinkedIn)

What I’m Reading: How to Watch Television

What I’m Watching: Mr. Selfridge on PBS

What I’m Doing: Trying to rest up after working at last week’s Missouri City/County Management Association Spring Conference!


How Marvel built such an impressive movie universe: We talked to the screenwriters of Captain America: Civil War about the challenges and payoffs of making sure all of Marvel’s movies connected.

Ex-Facebook staff say the site buried conservative news, raising new questions about its political clout: The social network says it’s not influencing politics. With one-sixth of the world using the site every day, it’s hard to see how it doesn’t.

U.S. government, North Carolina file dueling lawsuits hours apart over ‘bathroom bill’: The lawsuits marked a sharp escalation in the fight between the two sides over an issue that has become the epicenter of LGBT rights.

You can now search the Panama Papers – the secret accounts of the global rich – yourself: Some of the information from the Panama Papers, a vast trove of more than 11 million leaked documents that have cast a light into the shadowy world of offshore finance, is now available to the public for the first time. The Washington Post is joining a group of global media organizations in publishing a searchable database of more than 300,000 opaque offshore entities.

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Upcoming ELGL Events

May 19 – GOVERNING Magazine: Texas Leadership Forum in Austin, TX

May 19 – Technology Efficiency Series: Canva at anymeeting.com/elglwebinar

May 25 – Bang the Table: Community Engagement With Matt Crozier at anymeeting.com/elglwebinar

June 16 – Technology Efficiency Series: Trello  at anymeeting.com/elglwebinar

50 Nifty

Picking Sides in Captain America: Civil WarCaptain America: Civil War is here—an ambitious, sprawling epic featuring a dozen superheroes doing battle over the question of whether the United Nations should start regulating their activities. The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is ostensibly the third Captain America movie, following that hero’s resistance to the “Sokovia Accords,” which would keep his Avengers beholden to UN interests. On the other side is Tony Stark/Iron Man, who’s racked with guilt over the destruction his superhero battles have wrought across the world and seeking to make amends.

‘El Chapo’ Extradition To U.S. May Proceed, Mexican Judge Says: Two days after Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was transferred to a prison near Juárez, Mexico, a city near the U.S. border, a federal judge in Mexico said the extradition process meets legal requirements.

Philippines Votes For President; ‘The Punisher’ Leads The Pack: Rodrigo Duterte is known for shocking language and has been linked to extrajudicial killings. He has won support from Filipinos who are looking for someone to crack down on crime and corruption.

‘New Orleans Plan: Charter Schools, With a Return to Local Control: Control of the city’s schools is expected to return to a locally elected school board for the first time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Land Value Tax Explained: A Vox article and podcast delve into the wonky but through-provoking reasoning behind the land value tax.

As the Speed Limit Goes Up, So Do the Costs: As a number of Western States raise their speed limits, the costs of road maintenance, environmental damage, and lost lives keeps going up.

The ‘Myth’ of Family Farms: Historian Gabriel Rosenberg challenges romanticism in the history of family farms in the US.

Stacey Dash Will Play The Mayor Of Chicago In New Sharknado Movie: Dash will be playing none other than Chicago’s mayor in the film, for reasons unclear but totally welcome.

Ben Rhodes and the ‘Retailing’ of the Iran Deal: Several days ago, I received an email from Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of a Washington think tank called the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Dubowitz is an expert on sanctions, and has been one of the most ardent and effective opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement (though not quite effective enough to stop it, as he himself would note). The subject line of Dubowitz’s e-mail was, “Rhodes,” and his message to me was simple: What Ben Rhodes just did to you is terrible. “You’re a great reporter,” Dubowitz wrote. “Keep up your important work.”

Nixon puts sales tax extension for parks, soil/water conservation on November ballot: The one-tenth cent tax was first enacted in 1984 and under current law must go before voters every 10 years – with the governor choosing the election.

LocalGov Confidential

New Ferguson chief to be sworn in today: Delrish Moss named to be permanent replacement for Thomas Jackson, who resigned.

Grants seek to boost economic possibilities for young people in North County: Civic Progress is donating $614,000 to four community programs, including additional funding for the Community Empowerment Center in Ferguson.

These Political Corruption Walking Tours Of Chicago Are Selling Out Fast: “There’s this vague, ethereal notion that every politician in Chicago is going to go to prison one day.”

Reptile expert sues city over 2010 raids, seizure of exotic animals: Six years after Milwaukee police broke into Terry Cullen’s properties, killed his dogs and seized hundreds of lizards, snakes and crocodiles, the internationally known reptile expert has asked a federal court to award him more than $4.4 million in damages.