Today’s Morning Buzz tries to answer a question as old as time itself. 

White Christmas Tree Lights vs. Multi-Colored Christmas Tree Lights

When decorating for the holiday season (or trying to contact your son in the Upside Down World) which lights do your prefer?


Right Now with Brian Southey (LinkedIn / Twitter)

What I’m Listening to – Leon Bridges: Coming Home

What I’m ReadingThe 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

What I’m Watching – Vikings vs Cowboys

What I Want to Know from You – Have you hung any lights yet this season?



James Mattis, Outspoken Ex-Marine, Is Trump’s Choice as Defense Secretary  President-elect Donald J. Trump said on Thursday he had chosen James N. Mattis, a hard-charging retired general who led a Marine division to Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, to serve as his secretary of defense.

Shouting match erupts between Clinton and Trump aides  The raw, lingering emotion of the 2016 presidential campaign erupted into a shouting match here Thursday as top strategists of Hillary Clinton’s campaign accused their Republican counterparts of fueling and legitimizing racism to elect Donald Trump.

The reality behind Russia’s fake news  The 2016 presidential race was rife with disinformation, none more blatant than fake news — hoaxes, half-truths, outright lies — that flashed through the internet at warp speed. Take, for example, “Pizzagate,” a made-up story of a pedophilia ring supposedly being run out of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor by none other than Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta.



Luncheon: Welcome to Oregon Luncheon for Ann Ober  December 7, 2016 12:00 am – 1:00 pm PST

Meetup: Seahawks, Packers, and ELGL December 10, 2016 5:00 pm

Meetup: Women in Local Gov Meet Up December 15, 2016 5:30 pm

Webinar: Public-Private Partnerships Part II CPBB to co-present with leading public-private local government provider SafeBuilt Tuesday, December 13, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST


50 Nifty

Georgia-Florida water dispute in hands of special master  A water dispute between Georgia and Florida is now in the hands of a special master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court, reports the Associated Press.

Mitt Romney’s Humiliating Trump Reversal  It’s “like old times,” Mitt Romney said to a group of reporters on Tuesday night as he emerged from Trump International Hotel, which is in the old Gulf & Western building, at 1 Central Park West. Rubbing his hands together and flashing a smile that stretched all the way from his bottom teeth to his upper lip, he added, “I had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump.

Portland protesters rally against Wells Fargo and Dakota oil pipeline  People will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square on Thursday to protest Wells Fargo in support of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota.

Gov. Brown proposes cuts, new taxes to close $1.7 billion budget shortfall  Brown presented her $20.8 billion budget — her first since taking office in 2015 — at a muted news conference in the Capitol.

St. Louis hopes final round of Obama-era grant further boosts north side  The Choice Neighborhoods grant would help city redevelop a housing complex and provide services near the NGA.

Michigan had highest number of bias crimes in Midwest post-election  Anti-black, anti-Latino, anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim bias incidents across Michigan after the election

Obama says marijuana should be treated like ‘cigarettes or alcohol’  In an “exit  interview” with Rolling Stone magazine, President Obama said that marijuana use should be treated as a public-health issue similar to tobacco or alcohol and called the current patchwork of state and federal laws regarding the drug “untenable.”

I Dialed a Wrong Number and Stumbled Into International Phone Fraud  A few weeks, I was trying to call to Cuba. I got an error message—which, okay, international telephone codes are long and my fingers are clumsy—but the phone oddly started dialing again before I could hang up. A voice answered.

How Algorithms Can Bring Down Minorities’ Credit Scores  In one episode of Black Mirror, the world runs on a rating system. Just like you and your Uber driver rate each other after a ride, every person in the episode’s fictional world scores each other on a five-star scale after every interaction.

Why Obamacare Might Not Die So Quickly Don’t be so quick to kiss Obamacare goodbye.

Which U.S. Cities Are Lowering Parking Minimums?  Based on crowdsourced data from across the country, this updated map shows which municipalities have eliminated, lowered, or discussed their parking minimum laws.

All Hail Carmel, Indiana, America’s King of Roundabouts Folks who love that elegant traffic doughnut with a proven safety record—the roundabout—should consider relocating to Carmel, Indiana. The city recently debuted its 100th circular intersection, further solidifying its status as Exalted Roundabout Lord of the United States.

Time For Homeopathic Remedies To Prove That They Work?  The Federal Trade Commission told purveyors of homeopathic remedies that they have to say there’s no scientific evidence that these nostrums actually work. The question is, will fans care?

Is Trump’s Deal With Carrier A Form Of Crony Capitalism?  Steve Inskeep talks with former Commerce Secretary Donald Evans and libertarian economist Tyler Cowen about the problems that arise when a president pressures individual companies to do his bidding.


Local Government Confidential

Critics present petition seeking repeal of City Council meeting procedures  At a Thursday news conference, a few of the Charlottesville City Council’s most outspoken critics presented a petition that included more than 1,000 signatures, asking that the city to revoke several new meeting procedures that were adopted in February on a 4-1 vote.

Marcus Jones sworn in as newest Charlotte city manager  Marcus Jones was sworn in Thursday as the newest city manager of the city of Charlotte. But his first official act was to make his own swearing in ceremony private.

Students can make big impact in local government  The hype and intensity of national elections has settled down and students may be putting their political engagement on the shelf for the next four years.