DOWN THE SHORE - Interesting to see the global priority in Washington these days, as our two Senators seem focused on flyaway beach umbrellas at the Jersey shore. The dynamic duo of Bob Menendez and Cory Booker are teaming with fellow Democratic senators from Virginia, demanding more information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission about the pressing issue. Assume media is calling it "FlyawayBeachUmbrealla-gate," as the commission is reporting more than 31,000 people sought treatment at hospitals through 2017 due to unrestricted beach umbrellas attacking them in the surf. Lawmakers are demanding to know what safety regulations - if any - exist.  Expect Senate hearings on this pressing issue on, say, C-Span 8.

 

CAMDEN - The hand that rocks the cradle of South Jersey (and beyond)famously belongs to George Norcross, known as a Democratic powerbroker nonpareil who has been lauded for redeveloping the city. Norcross is now a focus of New Jersey's humongous corporate tax-incentive programs. In the programs' heyday, he, along with then-Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney, were among the program's biggest boosters, NJ Spotlight reports. At a hearing yesterday, the task force (which was appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy) zeroed in on tax breaks granted to Camden, and specifically to Norcross enterprises. "This is a hearing... It's not a trial," advised the task force chair. As things turned out, there was a whiff of "Law & Order" about the tense proceedings. NJ Spotlight was there.

 

STATEWIDE - The typical college student has approached graduation day with absolute dread, facing a pile of debt, with little or no decent job prospects. But this is 2019, and it's a whole different work world. With unemployment still remarkably low, a new study by Robert Half shows employers plan to hire 10.7% more grads than they did in 2018, an amazing jump.  That's consistent with the National Association of Colleges and Employers, reporting hiring is up by 11%. So, perhaps, Johnny won't be coming home to live in the basement, after all. But he is still taking the XBox.

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STATEWIDE - There's mental illness, and that's OK. And then there's using mental illness as a tactic to sell more fast food. And that isn't OK. But Burger King is apparently convinced its "Real Meal" campaign can somehow move the needle, while also giving a dig to the arch-competitor's "Happy Meals." The campaign, called "Feel Your Way," features the "blue" meal, the "yaaas" meal, the "DGAF" meal, the "salty" meal and the "pissed" meal. It's all the same stuff - Whopper, fries and a drink - just packaged in this campaign to somehow equate bouts of depression with colored boxes of fast food. Burger King is right about one thing: No one is happy all the time. But if we are to enjoy the fleeting high of fast-food eating, do we need to be reminded about it?

 

 

FRANKLIN BOROUGH - There's another famous restaurant quietly disappearing from the state's landscape: Roy Rogers.  The Franklin franchise closed at the end of last month, after another one shuttered in Flemington in April. Only five remain in the state, the corporate website says. So, stop in for a family fried chicken meal soon, just in case Roy Rogers goes the way of Steak & Ale, Chi-Chi's and Beefsteak Charlie's. With news of Roy Roger's potential demise, we suggest eating the "blue" or "pissed" meal at Burger King.

 

 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

 

LEWISTON, Maine - Dads try to be helpful; it's in the DNA. But one dad perhaps should have asked a question or two, as police say he unwittingly helped his son rob a bank. Dad dropped his 39-year-old son at a Lewiston bank Tuesday afternoon, believing his son needed to cash a check. Instead, he ran in to rob the place. Then, dad dropped his son somewhere else in town, bid farewell, and perhaps asked if he had enough money for lunch. Then, dad was off. Until cops saw him driving the "get-away car" in another part of town, the Sun Journal reports. Papa isn't being charged - there's nothing in the statute about being completely clueless - and busted junior for stealing $620.

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

 

It was this day in 2016 that the offices of "Trump for President" officially opened in Edison. Donald Trump wasn't there. Neither was Gov. Chris Christie. But all assumed it was the biggest, greatest, most incredible rented office space. Ever. Of course, it was on the township's "Park Avenue." There was top-of-the-line drywall, the best grade of industrial gray carpeting and collapsible tables that are second to none. It really, truly, made office space great again.

 

 

WORD OF THE DAY

 

Dystopia - [diss-TOH-pee-ə] - noun

 

Definition: A place in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror. 


Example: If you listen to the political pundits, no matter what side of the aisle, our country will be renamed the United States of Dystopia at noon on Jan. 20, 2021.

 

 

WIT OF THE DAY

 

"It's extremely powerful to say no; it's really the most powerful thing to say." 

 

- Bill Murray
 

 

WEATHER IN A WORD

 

Sunless

 

THE NEW 60

A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive

by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun