TRENTON – Another $100 million? Yawn. During this pandemic nightmare, the government continues to distribute checks, as Congress is on the precipice of writing a couple trillion dollars more. So, back to that $100 million. That’s the latest amount in federal funds that New Jersey will be handing out to keep businesses and families afloat for the moment. We’re looking at $70 million in business assistance grants – a great lifeline for restaurants – as well as cash to help people pay rent and mortgages, to buy PPE and to help with food insecurity. All great, with the hope this latest wheelbarrow of cash from Washington can be distributed quickly, as well as fairly, with minimum nonsense and ethical lapses.

STATEWIDE – With just 20 days until the election, Republicans have been noting that Gov. Phil Murphy has spent an awful amount of time with Democratic congress members in front of the media, hyping millions of dollars in these federal grants. On Friday, Murphy was hanging with Reps. Andy Kim and Donald Norcross to announce $70 million in federal aid to local and county governments. Then he was back yesterday, with the big $100 million announcement, flanked by Rep. Tom Malinowski, NJ Globe reports. Meanwhile, President Trump famously put his own signature on stimulus checks in April to make it appear as if the money was coming from Trump World, not generations of future taxpayers. Perhaps we can agree that politicians, no matter what party, are eager to politicize government grants and take as much credit as feasible.

STATEWIDE – And that’s the end of the Census count. Many local governments and civil rights groups hoped the Census count could continue until the end of the month, concerned that many people in hard-to-count communities did not participate because of the pandemic. But the Trump Administration decreed the counting should end, and got the backing of the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump folks said the U.S. Census Bureau needs adequate time to crunch numbers before the year-end deadline, regardless of the fact that urban communities with large immigrant populations would not have full, accurate counts, and, thereby, not get the level of federal aid they deserve for the next decade. Rushing the Census, says Justice Sonia Sotomayor, would create “irreparable” harm, with lasting impact. Oh, well. A deadline is a deadline.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

There are more $100 bills in Russia than in the United States.

SPRINGFIELD – At this point, just give up trying to register your car. It just isn’t going to happen at an MVC near you, as there are now six district offices that have been shut down because of COVID, putting even more unbelievable pressure on all the other offices that are still managing to stay open. Eatontown shut yesterday, the Springfield vehicle center is now closed until Friday, while Delanco won’t open until Saturday; the latest casualties. So now the long lines at the remaining centers are even longer, if possible. And when you ultimately need to appear in court to explain why you got caught driving with an expired license, your defense is just one, simple word: “MVC.” Case closed.

STATEWIDE – As retired seniors whittle their days in the local coffee shop, reminiscing about the old days and complaining about the price of their drip coffee, the federal government is putting an end to at least one of their main gripes. The feds will be throwing them an extra $20 a month in Social Security, as part of a 1.3% cost-of-living increase for 2021. That should cover any anticipated price increase for orders of small, black Sanka. And the refills may still be free, as the nonagenarians take up a popular table for hours, arguing if the coffee is served too hot or too cold, as well as if the server appears increasingly surly.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

DANBURY, CT – Residents flushing their toilets will now be contributing to what has quickly become the most popular sewage plant in America. The City Council voted 18-1 to change the name of the municipal facility to the “John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant,” after the TV comedian who is currently engaged in a tongue-in-cheek battle with the otherwise friendly hamlet. On his show, Oliver went off on Danbury in an expletive-filled rant, prompting the mayor to pose in front of the sewage plant and announce Danbury was going to name the facility after Oliver. “Why?” the Republican mayor asked. “Because it’s full of crap just like you, John.” Oliver upped the ante, offering to donate $55,000 to local charity if the City Council went through with the mayor’s threat. “I didn’t know that I wanted my name on your (expletive) factory but now that you floated it as an option, it is all that I want,” Oliver said. The ribbon-cutting is now being planned.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Progressive or just damn weird? That was the question on this day in 2014 when Facebook and Apple offered to pay the costs of freezing the eggs of female workers; the companies saw the plan as a way to help women focus on their careers, rather than their biological clocks.

WORD OF THE DAY

Usurp – [yoo-SERP] – verb

Definition: To seize and hold (office, place, functions, powers, etc.) in possession by force or without right

Example: Expect my teen to one day usurp my iPhone 12.

WIT OF THE DAY

“Don’t buy a single vote more than necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.” 

-Joseph P. Kennedy

TODAY'S TRUMPISM 

 

“Rigged election?”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Gorgeous