TRENTON – Amazingly, Gov. Phil Murphy still sees higher taxes as a signature issue in New Jersey. Poll after poll shows that we are all sick and tired of politicians who want to spend us out of our problems. Yet, the governor will be center stage today, at his annual “State of the State” address, talking about the need to raise taxes on the rich, as well as the sales tax, as he continues to promote his progressive utopian vision for New Jersey. Murphy, chair of the Democratic Governors Association, is borrowing at least $2 billion for New Jersey Transit, school projects, library construction and lead-free drinking water, Bloomberg reports. With all our other bonded debt, the state now pays more than $4 billion each year. Murphy now wants $447 million more annually from millionaires and at least $500 million from a higher sales tax. Heck, we can sure use the money. But when – if ever – will New Jersey no longer be deemed as “cash strapped”?

NEWARK – Well, first the good news: We get our junior senator back. While it would have been terrific to have a true-blue New Jerseyan in the White House – rather than a guy who builds failed casinos here and flees – Cory Booker is putting his Presidential dreams back on the shelf. Booker talked a lot about love and unity, tough points to argue against. But it ultimately became impossible for Booker to raise mountains of cash, move the polling needle and clinch a spot on the main debate stage. So, welcome back to New Jersey, senator. There’s plenty of good work to do here. Unless, of course, someone decides you should be Vice President.

Sign Up for Belmar/Lake Como Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

TRENTON – While state lawmakers ultimately decided yesterday not to ban those single-use paper and plastic bags at the market, the issue is still blowing in the wind. It will be back on the legislative agenda in two weeks when the new legislative session kicks off. But – please remember – New Jerseyans don’t need legislation to stop using those wasteful carry-out bags. Without the specific blessing of our state Legislature, and the swift signature of the governor, you can take matters into your own hands: Bring your own reusable bags to the store. Learn more at ChoosetoReuseNJ.com.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

BESSEMER, MI – This is one tough town to be a pothead, after local officials agreed to spend $3,400 on some wacky device known as “The Nasal Ranger.” Town officials simply place this big olfactometer up to their noses, inhale deeply and easily detect who is growing some fine bud in their backyards. While recreational pot is legal in Michigan, it is illegal to grow outside an enclosed, secure area, or have plants visible to the naked eye. “The city of Bessemer stinks,” one council member complained to Newsweek. “You can smell marijuana everywhere. We've got people who can't sit in their backyard because the smell from their neighbor is so bad.” That’s where The Nasal Ranger comes in, slapping municipal violations on anyone who grows reefer in the great outdoors. Bessemer: You’ve been warned.

MALIBU, CA – So, Julie Strain is not dead – unlike her acting career. Malibu Bay Films sadly reported on its Facebook page that the B-movie queen had died on Sunday; she will “forever remain in our hearts and on our screens as the mesmerizingly talented, contagiously kind and incredibly powerful actress and heroine.” But then, on Monday, the company provided the mourning masses with an update. The post: “Just spoken with Julie's partner Dave who has confirmed that she is NOT dead.” Oops. You may recall Strain for her often-panned films containing chainsaw-wielding lesbian hookers, virgin-sacrificing sorceresses, 6'7" dominatrixes, Satanic cops, and horny vampires. Standing 6'1" and showing more silicon than a Dupont plant, Strain has starred in more than 80 films, most straight-to-video. Her current health condition is still not known, but let’s assume Malibu Bay Films hasn’t been booking the 57-year-old actress as of late. 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

The United States officially became undefeated in its record of war-making, ratifying a peace treaty with England on this day in 1784, thus ending the Revolutionary War. Uh, now what?

WORD OF THE DAY

Lily-livered – [LILL-ee-LIV-ərd] – adjective

Definition: Lacking courage. (The word was first used in 1605, from the medieval belief that the liver is the seat of courage, and the pale color of the lily flower.)

Example: The politician was livy-livered when it came to his position on torture.

WIT OF THE DAY

“Cowards make the best torturers. Cowards understand fear and they can use it.”

― Mark Lawrence

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Torture works, okay, folks? Believe me, it works. Waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it's not actually torture. Let's assume it is. But they asked me the question. What do you think of waterboarding? Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding. That's the way I feel.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Damp

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun