Jaffe Morning Briefing - January 20, 2017



TRENTON - As America becomes great again, a Democratic assemblyman from Cape May says it's now time that New Jersey get a big dose of patriotism. Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak is calling for a state law that requires any public meeting to open with the Pledge of Allegiance, with an American flag prominently displayed. To recite the pledge is perfectly American. Mandating it, by law, however, seems, well, un-American. 

STATEWIDE - It is now believed there will be more than 14,000 people from New Jersey ready to board buses at 4 a.m. tomorrow to participate in the Women's March, and there are countless others who will be participating in local rallies. While it's doubtful that you'll find many Trump supporters among the throng, it's hopeful the message won't be diluted by complaining about last year's election results. This massive platform should stress the point that women's rights are human rights, and public leaders at all levels must respect that, or face the wrath. 

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WASHINGTON - Perhaps Gov. Chris Christie really wanted to hear the B Street Band last night, and was crushed that it declined to perform at the Garden State Inaugural Gala. That's at least one possible reason why the governor didn't show up, even though he and his wife were the honorary heads of the event at the Washington Court Hotel. The Record notes Christie was in DC last night but, like usual, there was something else that diverted his attention away from New Jersey. Perhaps a shiny penny. 

WASHINGTON - For nerds like us, who find political writing fascinating beyond words, the inaugural speech is really our Super Bowl. Sadly, there will be no beer and wings as we listen, but we will be carefully monitoring how many times the President drops all the key words, like "courage," "liberty," and "loyalty." GoogleNews Labs has a nifty new interactive that shows that speechwriters absolutely love "God," which is the most common theme in the 11 inaugural addresses it studied. Abraham Lincoln had "God" as his top topic, Ronald Reagan had "freedom" and FDR had "money," because no one really had any. As you listen to Trump today with a potful of coffee and aspirin, try this out.

ACROSS THE POND - As the British and Woody Johnson both have no idea about the American game of football, it makes perfect sense that Trump has named Johnson as the Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Hopefully, he will return with some powerful field goal kickers for the Jets offense, which no one ever expects to cross the 50-yard line.  


WASHINGTON - One of the big winners in the Trump inauguration must be the five-star hotel that is less than a mile from the White House, in an 1899 Romanesque Revival building, just a 12-minute walk to the National Mall. We're talking about the Trump International Hotel, which must be doing some huge business this weekend. Trivago reported DC hotel rates are marked up 927 percent, with the cheapest rooms going for $2,000 a night. For some light amusement, we called the Trump International Hotel this morning and asked if we can use points from a crappy Discover credit card to get a suite tonight. After a dead pause, we were put on hold. Still waiting.... 

IN POLITICS - You may not notice by visiting our Statehouse. But Republicans are often more handsome, prettier, better groomed - even sexier - than those wild-eyed liberal Democratic schlubs with their ponytails, off-the-rack suits and orthopedic Birkenstock sandals. That's the indisputable facts presented by the London-based Journal of Public Economics , after surveying 18,000 voters in the U.S., Europe and Australia. Conservative politicians are more "visually appealing" than liberals and voters are likelier to elect political eye-candy. The Journal suggests conservatives (here or anywhere) tend to be better looking because they are richer, have better health care, and can afford stuff like nose-hair trimmers, salon visits and neckties not purchased at garage sales.


It was this day in 1949 that J. Edgar Hoover presented Shirley Temple with a fountain pen full of tear gas. Boy, what a way with kids.


Asseverate [uh-sev-uh-reyt] - verb

Definition: To declare earnestly or solemnly; affirm positively. 

Example: We asseverate to keep an open mind, remain vigilant and pray.



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New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - March 22, 2018


STATEWIDE - It's been excruciating to write about snow; there's only so much you can blindly repeat without sounding like a 24-hour news channel. The final totals: 14 inches in the central and southern part of the state, and at least 5 inches in all northern counties. Yippee.  As of 6 a.m. this morning, the utility companies were ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 21, 2018


STATEWIDE - Utility companies are dragging themselves back into the war room this morning, preparing for another day of downed wires, public scorn and mounting pressure from the governor's office to magically keep all the lights on. One would assume the utilities are still trying to patch up fragile networks from the back-to-back nor'easters that ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 20, 2018


NEW BRUNSWICK - The governor has targeted The Hub City as the new hub for innovation and technology. Gov. Phil Murphy was in town yesterday to meet with city, business and Rutgers officials to chat about how all the ongoing downtown investment will be a magnet for scientific and technological innovation, TAPInto New Brunswick reports. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 19, 2018


TRENTON - New Jersey, one of the only employers who pays its workers for unused sick time, and then appears mystified when it struggles to balance its budget, may finally be capping sick-leave payouts.  The proposal, obviously unpopular with labor unions, has been discussed before, but not with traction. It is back in the mix again, to cap payouts ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 16, 2018


ON THE RAILS - Another commuting mess this morning, as the antiquated Portal Bridge got stuck in the "up" position at 4:22 a.m.  That caused a bunch of rush hour trains to be cancelled between Newark and Manhattan for four hours or so.  Both NJTransit and Amtrak riders were completely screwed. You may recall the proposed Gateway ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 15, 2018


NEW BRUNSWICK - When you rent out apartments to Rutgers students, expect some surprises. But one landlord received a shocker beyond expectation: a $8,117.07 water bill for the last three months of 2017, TAPInto New Brunswick reports. The landlord went to the City Council meeting this week, pleading that the bill on his Comstock Street ...

Rutgers to close for Wednesday storm

March 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - With the likelihood of more than a foot of snow set to dump on New Jersey, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi has declared a weather emergency closure for all three campuses: New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden.

School will be closed for students and all non-essential employees from 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 21 to 5 a.m. Thursday, March 22.

Rutgers Student on Front Lines of Orangutan Conservation, Research

NEW BRUNSWICK - Deep in a tropical forest in Borneo 15 years ago, Rutgers student Didik Prasetyo first encountered a young male orangutan that he named “Jerry.”

The great ape was one of several orangutans that Prasetyo and other researchers followed at the Tuanan Orangutan Research Station in the Mawas Conservation Area in Indonesia. Prasetyo was skeptical when colleagues said ...

RU police investigate assault on Douglass campus

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University police are investigating an aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault  reported to March 14 at 3:55 a.m. in front of Hickman Hall on the Douglass campus.


The victim, not affiliated with Rutgers University, reported that she was walking with a male whom she did not know in the area of Commercial Avenue and George ...

City opens 6th ‘supportive’ housing complex, 12 units provide aid people who lost homes

March 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – In a continuing effort to eliminate homelessness, city and county officials this month opened 12 units of low-cost and subsidized housing in a complex designed to provide counseling and support services for its residents.

Zebra Way, named for the street on which it is located off Van Dyke Avenue, is expected to have residents move in next month.

Tenants, including ...


This National Literacy Month, Let's Rein In Screen Time

March 13, 2018

Dear Editor: As speech-language pathologists across New Jersey prepare to mark “National March into Literacy Month,” let’s address the alarming number of young children who spend countless hours a day on a handheld screen.

According to a study from the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, the more time that children under two years spend on smartphones, tablets and ...

Middlesex County Young Republicans Host "Road to Victory" Event at the Green Turtle

March 21, 2018

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Middlesex County Young Republican Chairman John Steiner would like to announce the Middlesex County Young Republicans "Road to Victory" Reception, which will take place on March 22 at the Green Turtle in North Brunswick from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.

This event will serve as the official launch for the 2018 campaign season for the Middlesex ...