NORTH JERSEY - Not everyone is man enough to be a Girl Scout. That's quite evident in the latest episode of the Jaffe Podcast, in which we chat with the CEO of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, serving seven counties. Natasha Hemmings says there's this myth that Girl Scouts exist just to sell you a box or three of cookies. The fact is Girl Scouts are running programs for homeless families, for women behind bars and for girls of every socio-economic group. Today's Girl Scouts are jetting off to Paris, saving lives, participating in international events, and are doing the type of community work right here in Jersey that catches the eyes of the top universities in the nation. Click here to learn about the girl behind the sash.

STATEWIDE - Richard F. Keevey writes in NJ Spotlight that New Jersey didn't need a shutdown to get shortchanged by the feds; the state gets screwed as a matter of course. The former Budget Director and Comptroller for New Jersey explains the Garden State pays far more in taxes to Uncle Sam than we receive in money flow. This year's imbalance is $21 billion. What gives? One reason, he explains, is that "New Jersey has a larger share of high earners and therefore a greater share of personal income flows to the federal government." On top of that, all sorts of arcane formulas are used to determine where federal cash goes. That's why, for example, Wyoming receives a lot more transportation aid per capita than New Jersey. Yes, that Wyoming, the least populous state in the nation, where there's more horses than cars. So, can we end this madness? Keevey doubts it. Read why in today's NJ Spotlight.

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TRENTON - Is New Jersey becoming a kinder and gentler state? Probably not; it just isn't in the DNA. But one lawmaker claims the MVC charges $100 to those drivers who suffered from some mental or physical setback to get their licenses restored. Assemblyman Ryan Peters thinks the state should celebrate in your good fortune and forgo this alleged $100 "restoration fee." He is expecting some nice, bi-partisan support when he introduces the bill next week. Meanwhile, the MVC has no clue what the assemblyman is talking about, telling NJ 101.5 that as long as you file your paperwork on time, you won't be charged to get your license restored following a suspension for medical reasons. Someone here doesn't have the facts straight, another great reason why the Assembly thankfully refers proposed legislation to the Office of Legislative Services for review.

NEW BRUNSWICK - Here's a real perk: Free coffee and pastries for federal employees as the government shutdown drags into Day 21. Hidden Grounds is offering these freebies at its two Hub City coffee chops and two others in Jersey City and Hoboken. Owner Spoorthi Kumar tells TAPinto New Brunswick it's upsetting that 5,000 federal employees in New Jersey must work without paychecks or be forced to stay home. Kumar says she "cannot imagine" what idled workers "are going through, unable to pay their rent or feed their kids." She hopes to inspire other restaurants and store owners to offer similar relief, showing, at least, that someone truly cares.

 

ON THE TOWN - An actress hasn't been our First Lady since Ronald Reagan brought his lovely wife, Nancy, to the White House in 1981. And, Americans haven't elected a bachelor as President since Grover Cleveland, (who later married in the White House.) So, now the entertainment media feverishly speculates that activist-actress Rosario Dawson could somehow be on the Melania-track for First Lady after romantically being linked to presumed presidential hopeful, Sen. Cory Booker. Dawson, 39, was overheard flirtatiously singing "I love you; té amo," to New Jersey's most eligible bachelor on Saturday at Manhattan's Music Box Theater. The New York Post also spotted the fetching couple enjoying a movie last week. Courting a stunning actress is definitely more fun for Booker than stumping the alternative: attending Iowa fish fries in January. Brrr.

ATLANTIC CITY - Unclear where exactly you will be tailgating before games, but professional football is coming to the state's gaming resort. No, not the NFL. Or the XFL. Or even the USFL. We're talking the AFL - the Arena Football League, which will likely have a franchise playing at Boardwalk Hall kicking off in April. The big announcement is Jan. 22, the Press of Atlantic City reports. It's the perfect opportunity for those who love to bet (legally) on football, with some nice, local action. But will the team bring in the fans? No clue. But it's certainly important to note the Las Vegas Golden Knights, a NHL expansion team that went to the Stanley Cup finals last year, routinely sells out.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

WASHINGTON DC - Cauldron-stirring, nose-twitching witches want Donald Trump to stop saying "witch hunt" when he mocks the Mueller investigation. In their minds, it's a slur POTUS has tweeted or uttered more than 70 times since 2018. Self-proclaimed witch Kitty Randall says if Trump really were the target of a witch hunt "he'd be hanging naked from chains in a cold barn, tortured to admit his pact with Satan, before being burned at the stake. Instead he's golfing at Mar-a-Lago." Today's witches, Randall says, "practice magic of compassion and justice," and are currently casting "binding spells" in an effort to talk less and listen more. So much for the power of magic.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 2017 that Monmouth University celebrated a great coup: it would become home to the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music, the official archival repository of all things Bruce.

WORD OF THE DAY

Beguile - [bə-GYL] - verb

Definition: To deceive or delude with cunning trickery

Example: The salesman beguiled me into buying the rustproofing package for my Apple Watch.

WIT OF THE DAY

 

"You ever hear girls say that 'I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual.' I like to reply with 'I'm not honest, but you're interesting!'"

 

Daniel Tosh

 

WEATHER IN A WORD

Frigid

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