STATEWIDE – Going to work may drastically change for you, beginning at 6 a.m. next Thursday. That’s when Gov. Phil Murphy is cracking down on unsafe workplaces. Now it will be mandated that workers socially distance, wear masks and have adequate break times to wash their hands. Employers will need to step up, big time, providing the masks and sanitizer, conducting daily health checks and routinely cleaning and disinfecting, as per this Executive Order. It all sounds like a great way to control infection, although not very feasible to enforce. Employees would be urged to fill out an online complaint form with the state to rat out the boss – certainly an interesting talking point during the next salary review.

TRENTON – Imagine, one day, strolling in to any Motor Vehicle Commission office. You are immediately welcomed by a smiling worker, you conduct whatever business you need, you bid farewell and you leave.  Such lofty dreams could potentially come to New Jersey, where some state lawmakers believe a harrowing trip to the MVC office is scarier than your worst Halloween nightmare. The Assembly is mulling a pilot program that would allow drivers to schedule appointments online to avoid the massive lines that snake outside, around the building, down the street and perhaps into a local bar. In the past, the MVC hasn’t supported the reservation system, as it would apparently slow things further, if that is possible, NJ 101.5 reports. Yet, under fire, the MVC is stepping up, to a degree, saying drivers can make appointments for some things, such as renewing registrations. The idea of this fast pass is a great idea. If it can work at the Dumbo ride at Disney, why not here?

ASBURY PARK – Greetings from here, where the state’s most influential liberal has some strong words about Presidential politics. Of course, we’re talking Bruce Springsteen, who appeared on Sirius XM E Street Radio to say “a good portion of our fine country, to my eye, has been thoroughly hypnotized, brainwashed by a con man from Queens.” Always good for a colorful quote, the music man adds: “You mix in some jingoism, some phony patriotism, fear of a Black planet, vanity, narcissism, paranoia, conspiracy theories, and a portion of our nation undergoing mass delusions and teetering on violence, and you’re left with the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.” With the radio show titled “Hail to the Thief,” Springsteen talks of ghouls and fools, witches, vampires, bloodsucking politicians and zombie denizens of Washington, DC,” calling for an exorcism in our nation’s capital. Time for new politicians? No doubt, Springsteen is born to run.

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ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – A great way to deter voting is to make it confusing and intimidating. And while millions of dollars have been spent to properly educate the masses about the best way to vote this year, there are some deliberately trying to muddy the waters. NJ Spotlight takes this story to leafy Mendham, where voters received bogus messages that Gov. Phil Murphy decreed no in-person voting on Nov. 3, and that only voters previously deemed as “visually impaired” will be permitted to enter the polls. This “fake news” came by letter, text and email and appears to be courtesy of the Mendham Borough Republican Committee. To repeat, again: People in New Jersey can still vote in person, but at limited polling locations. With so much deliberate misinformation about mail-in voting, as well as some prominent candidates calling for an “army” of poll watchers, some would-be voters may just stay away – fitting perfectly into “the plan.” Ask yourself: Why do they not want you to vote?

BRIEFING BREATHER 

Toto the Dog was once a cow.

BRICK – The party may soon be over. Township officials are sick and tired of all the house parties in the barrier island communities. And that is why the governing body has introduced a controversial ordinance that would ban rentals of homes for fewer than 30 days and for no less than seven days over the summer on the barrier island, the Asbury Park Press reports. The proposal comes after hearing a slew of complaints from residents that partiers wander onto their properties, leave trash cans overflowing, play loud music into the wee hours and are a constant nuisance. Oh, and there’s this whole COVID thing, too. Expect many Brick landlords to be furious, as their whole business plan is to grab easy profits from these short-term stays, hawked to strangers all over the Internet. Time to lock up this turnstile.

HAMILTON – Blame your predecessor. It’s a time-tested political excuse that’s almost always believable. We’re hearing it yet again from Mayor Jeff Martin, as he grapples with an $850,000 payroll shortfall for his town’s 560 employees. Martin tells the Trentonian that former Mayor Kelly Yaede couldn’t count, budgeting only 26 pay periods for 2020 instead of the 27 needed. Now, the rookie mayor is scrambling to close that wage gap with help from his finance staff and employee unions. Since Martin took office in January, Yaede has gotten blamed for neglecting Hamilton’s infrastructure, wasting money to settle lawsuits, and tax and sewer rate increases. The latest smear was the last straw for Yaede’s former business administrator, telling the tabloid: “They put the budget together. (It) gets a little old to say, 10½ months later … it’s your predecessor’s fault.”

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

RICHMOND, TX – At least in this community, a strip club-inspired Halloween display is not warmly welcomed. Seductively-posed skeletons have raised the ire of the local homeowner's association, with a resident receiving a strongly-worded letter with complaints of her “inappropriate" and "offensively positioned" Halloween decorations. "It's modeled after an adult club," she explains to KTRK-TV, wondering what the big issue is. "We just really had a good time changing the scene up every night. Every night, we change the positions of the skeletons, and it's really been just a great creative outlet for me." Fortunately, the letter will not ruin this woman’s holiday. The Association is giving her 30 days from Sunday to remove her bony strip club – well past Halloween. Bada-Bing!

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1974 that federal law finally puts an end to outrageous discrimination on credit applications, which factored sex and marital status.

WORD OF THE DAY

Cassandra – [kuh-SAN-druh] – noun

Definition: One that predicts misfortune or disaster

Example: Political consultants are very busy these days as Cassandras, implicitly warning of impending doom.

WIT OF THE DAY

“I liked Tucker Carlson better when he wore a bow tie. Toddlers should always wear identifying clothing.”

-Bob Phillips

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“It’s amazing. Twitter refuses to allow the any mention of the Biden corruption story which was carried so well on @TuckerCarlson last night.”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Soaker