TRENTON – The calendar and the clock are no longer friends of Gov. Phil Murphy, as media are reminding him of his pledge to have 4.7 million New Jerseyans vaccinated by June. Right now, only 161,000 New Jerseyans are fully vaccinated and only 6.4 million in the entire country. The governor will likely soon be getting a boost from Johnson & Johnson of New Brunswick, ready to roll out its single-dose vaccine. But with this early lack of vaccine and a bumbling rollout that we will blame on the feds, is the governor’s timetable far-fetched fiction? Republicans aiming to unseat him in November will be sure to let us all know.

TRENTON – And speaking of pledges, how is the governor doing with his vow to fix NJ Transit? The Record says it depends upon who you ask. There’s no doubt that NJ Transit has addressed some stuff, like adding more engineers, controlling fare hikes and adding new rail cars and buses to the fleet.  Murphy promises “a dramatically different experience for the commuter.” Commuters say they expect quite little, actually. Just clean cars, an available seat, trains during peak times and a fighting chance to arrive at work on time. The governor’s challenge: In this pandemic, how do you make riders feel safe and how to you ensure daily reliability? And, perhaps a modern-day speaker system so commuters can actually decipher what the conductor is mumbling?

STATEWIDE – The federal deficit has ballooned to $3.1 trillion or so, while President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan is moving through Congress. There has yet to be any real talk about how to ever pay this back– as interest accumulates. Yet, Sen. Cory Booker is still pushing his “baby bond” program, giving a $1,000 to every child born and additional deposits of $2,000 a year, depending on income. It is a very well-intentioned plan to close the wealth gap, with the expectation that an 18 year-old could then access $50,000 for education, housing or whatever. Forced savings is great, as Americans are so quick to drive ourselves into debt. But a baby bond program isn’t feasible until we overhaul the tax system, with our billionaires finally paying their fair share to fund these altruistic programs. Meanwhile, when do we address our currently unsurmountable, and growing, deficit – to be passed on to all those Booker babies?

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BRIEFING BREATHER

In England, in the 1880s, "Pants" was considered a dirty word. 

LAVELLETTE – If 92.7 WOBM keeps it up, it’s gonna get whacked. The Ocean County radio station has been making plenty of fun of Joe Pesci, after it discovered the Zillow listing for his $6.5 million oceanfront home. No disrespect to Mr. Pesci, but the 31-year-old mansion is a little, well, outdated. That fact was not lost on the radio station, which went room by room to provide unsought commentary of the posted photos. Here is one: “I think that giant gold monstrosity hanging from the ceiling is a chandelier. I think.” Or this one: “White plastic chairs? C'mon Joe! With the view of the water, doesn't this room look like a dining room at an average waterfront restaurant?” And this gem: “I want a pool and hot tub overlooking another body of water. #goals.” There was no printed response from Pesci about this funny story. Assume this response: “Funny how? I mean, funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh?....”

ELMWOOD PARK – The police chief’s heroic efforts saved the lives of a mother and child who fell through the ice-covered Passaic River yesterday. Chief Mike Foligno laid on a plastic kayak from a nearby business to slide himself out onto the ice to reach the woman, 37, and her 2-year-old daughter. The pair were stuck in frigid water about 50 yards from shore. Foligno told The Record he laid in the kayak, clawing the ice with his hands to reach them: “With her screaming, 30 seconds felt like hours … it felt like an eternity.” Once Foligno rescued the frantic pair, firefighters pulled the trio back to shore in the kayak. The mother and toddler were treated for hypothermia at a nearby hospital, thanking the chief for their lives.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

AUSTIN, TX. – An employee at the Texas Department of Public Safety should have a thrilling explanation as to why an Amber Alert was sent last week to Lone Star State residents, warning them that a child had been abducted by Chucky, the freckle-faced star of the “Child’s Play” franchise of movies. Unlike the doll-turned-knife-wielding psycho, the color-coded alert system isn’t a toy. These alerts are important tools in helping to locate missing or abducted children. Texas authorities have issued an apology, stating that the alert was sent as a “result of a test malfunction,” the New York Times reports. Next up? A Silver Alert issued for Jason Voorhees after he wanders away from Crystal Lake. Last seen wearing a goalie mask and carrying a machete. 

BAR GRAMMAR

Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Get out—we don’t serve your type.”

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1991 that Howard Stern literally kisses New York Giant Leonard Marshall’s butt, on the bad end of a bet that the team would lose the Super Bowl.

WORD OF THE DAY

Quisling – [KWIZ-ling] – noun

Definition: One who commits treason, a traitor

Example: Would I be a quisling to say I am rooting just this once for Tom Brady?

WIT OF THE DAY

“There are those who say to you – we are rushing the issue of civil rights. I say we are 172 years late.”

-Hubert Humphrey

BIDEN BLURB

“During the '60s, I was in fact very concerned about the civil rights movement. I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington.”

-Joe Biden

WEATHER IN A WORD

Wet