KEARNY – There’s no question that Members of Congress are among the most powerful people on the planet – unless, of course, they try to visit a mail processing facility in New Jersey. InsiderNJ is telling the tale of Reps. Bill Pascrell and Tom Malinowski, who attempted to visit a major U.S. Postal Service facility yesterday morning – only to be sent away by a security guard who suggested they schedule an appointment next time. Pascrell asked to speak with a supervisor; no one was around. The congressman then was granted use of the restroom, while Malinowski was able to speak to some unknown employee who happened to be in the lobby. Malinowski reported that he was told all mail was being processed without delay, apparently from that unknown person. Pascrell and Malinowski also spoke on a patch of grass across the street, dealing with the loud din of truck traffic, passing trains and even a barking German shepherd. Media was left to assume this was not exactly the type of press event originally envisioned. But the message was clear: Voting is safe. Go do it.

TRENTON – Just let it go. That’s the common thinking about a controversial plan for New Jersey to start taxing the electronic stock trades processed within our boundaries. The stock exchanges have repeatedly said they can easily relocate their operations to other tax-friendly states if New Jersey wants to slap on this tax, which obviously would be passed on to customers. (Translation: You and Me.) Assemblyman John McKeon, who has sponsored this good effort, refuses to let go, now suggesting that these tax hikes would just be short term (just two years), and the amount of tax would be drastically reduced. “If they don’t concede, this is a significant, extraordinary compromise on our part as to where the bill has traveled to, they’d be disingenuous,” McKeon said. Kudos for the effort to raise money for state coffers, but there’s zero leverage to negotiate. Feel free to slap another tax on cigarettes and guns, though.

BRIEFING BREATHER 

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The U.S. Navy uses Xbox controllers used with periscopes.

AT HOME – There may be an interesting quandary when the weekly quarantine travel advisory comes out today. New Jersey has seen a spike in coronavirus cases, prompting this question: Will New York have no choice but to add New Jersey to its list of states with a recommended 14-day quarantine? That would certainly be interesting for commuters across the Hudson, who would then apparently be able to show up for work once every two weeks or so if they adhered to the recommended quarantine. Currently, to make the black list, a state needs to have 10 cases per 100,000 residents. Yep, Jersey is there, barely. Feel free to blame Chris Christie.

STATEWIDE – As no one is going to the movies these days, kudos to AMC for finding a way to build at least some excitement among its dribble of remaining customers. Now there are “private screenings” for groups of 20 people or less, starting at just $99 a flick. Rates vary though. Movies that people actually want to see will cost more, while there will be mark-ups for theaters in more populated areas. Extra fees, of course, will be assessed for popcorn, a microphone for addressing the “crowd” and if you want to spend extra time in the theater, for some reason. Expect Netflix to provide a special, can’t-be-beat counter-offer: Just $8.99 a month to watch endless movies on your own couch on your own time. Oh, whoops, that’s the current offer.

IN THE MEDIA 

NEW YORK – We tried so hard to let this one go, but we just can’t. CNN commentator Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended after apparently masturbating on a Zoom call with some bigwigs at his other employer, the New Yorker. “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera,’’ the 60-year-old married Harvard Law School grad admitted to Vice, which giddily broke the news yesterday. Sources told Vice that it looked as if Toobin was taking another call and lowered his camera, and that’s when everyone saw what was really going on. Toobin added: “I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.” Get a grip.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

HELSINKI – In this pandemic, assume there are piles of uneaten, dried-out sandwiches, awaiting an airline flight near you. Rather than just throw out all this food, along with the bags of peanuts and pretzels, Finnish airline Finnair will start selling off its extra airplane food in supermarkets. It’s all about keeping the airline’s catering staff employed and giving shoppers a taste of airline food, without being stuck on an airplane, crammed next to a chatty guy named Mick (or Mack or Mike; hard to remember). Actually, the airline is vowing its food will be edible, with some fancy titles as “reindeer meatballs,” “Arctic char” and “Japanese-style teriyaki beef.” Unclear why anyone would buy airline food on the ground, other than to be nostalgic of a time when we used to travel from one place to another.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

It was this day in 1988 that Mark Gastineau sacks the Jets in the middle of the season, retiring from the game “for personal reasons.” He was replaced with a sixth-round rookie from Syracuse.

WORD OF THE DAY

Quotidian – [kwoh-TID-ee-un] – adjective

Definition: Occurring every day

Example: So many crazy things are being said two weeks before the election; one bomb after the next. It’s so quotidian that most people stopped listening.

WIT OF THE DAY

“I consider myself more a realist than an alarmist.”

-Dr. Anthony Fauci

 

TODAY'S TRUMPISM 

“[Fauci] should stop wearing the Washington Nationals’ Mask for two reasons. Number one, it is not up to the high standards that he should be exposing. Number two, it keeps reminding me that Tony threw out perhaps the worst first pitch in the history of Baseball!”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Scattered