STATEWIDE – Stimulus checks are coming to New Jersey, although they will be a few days late because the IRS has been ordered to now add President Trump’s name to the checks, the Washington Post reports. So, now, those $1,200 paper checks will be emblazoned with “President Donald J. Trump” – the first time a politician’s name has ever appeared on an IRS disbursement of taxpayer money. Of course, these payments are warmly welcomed in New Jersey. Yet, any vendor who worked on the Trump casinos will likely suspect any check under that name will bounce.

TRENTON - No, 5G cell phone towers do not spread coronavirus, no matter what Trenton City Council President Kathy McBride may or may not believe. The Trentonian has obtained screenshots of Facebook posts (now mysteriously deleted) showing McBride and other council members hitting the "share" and "like" buttons on memes originally from Russian trolls, advocating that 5G cell towers are spreading COVID. To be clear: elected officials are entitled to their constitutionally-protected opinions - even the questionable ones coming from the Trenton City Council. (Councilwoman Robin "Jew her down" Vaughn: we're looking at you.) Trenton actually drafted an ordinance to ban the construction of 5G towers within city limits, over the objections of city legal counsel (and sane people everywhere). Thankfully, backlash seems to be spreading virally, causing symptoms of amnesia. None of the council members concocting the ordinance would confirm for the Trentonian that they read or even knew of it. The lesson here is obvious: elected officials are held to a higher standard than your high school buddy selling magic protein shakes on Facebook, and should think twice before allowing conspiracy theories to influence public policy.

TOMS RIVER – Secrets leaked from a closed-door meeting that the Township Council held in February must be pretty big. Big enough to pay $300-an-hour for a Roseland lawyer to find the blabbermouth. Councilman Terrance Turnbach tells the Asbury Park Press the council initially didn’t want to waste money on an outside attorney. “We tried to handle it internally,” but nobody who attended the council's Feb. 11th executive session “came forward to say, ‘Yes, it was me.’” So, who was at this private meeting? Turnbach won’t say. What topics were discussed? Turnbach won’t say. Who received the leaked info? Again, no dice. And if the loose-lipped culprit gets outed? Turnbach says they will get a stern reprimand and a little embarrassment. Hardly seems worth an expensive outside investigation.

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STATEWIDE – Of necessity, the whole world has gone virtual. Might as well throw in the time-honored traipse across college campuses for parents, as high school seniors finalize their schools of choice. Well, mark that down as another ritual that’s gone the way of the Easter Bunny in the spring of 2020 — down a rabbit hole, not to re-appear until Gov. Phil Murphy says so. But all is not lost. NJ Spotlight brings news that New Jersey colleges are offering some fancy virtual tours, so Junior can explore the bright possibilities once he is finally unglued from the PlayStation 4 in the basement.

BRIEFING BREATHER: The house fly hums in the middle octave key of F.

AT HOME – You can bet we will be home (where else?) on April 22 at 7 p.m., when some New Jersey royalty hits the airwaves to try and raise gobs of money for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. Check out this lineup at “Jersey 4 Jersey”: Bruce Springsteen, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny DeVito, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Ripa, Jon Stewart, Halsey and, lets assume, more. To be allowed to perform, stars have to be card-carrying Jersey natives or smart enough to move here. So, we will also welcome Chelsea Handler, Tony Bennett and Saquon Barkley. No need for the cast of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” to appear, but let’s assume they’ll be there, no matter how many “technical glitches” are concocted.

KNUCKLEHEAD OF THE DAY

TOMS RIVER – Setting the bar high, a 70-year-old township man was busted twice on Saturday, within three hours, at two Wawa stores. Shortly before 11 a.m., he went nuts when told to wear a mask, screaming, flailing his arms, cursing at employees, threatening to hit a customer with a pipe and then cussing out the cops. Shortly after 1:30 p.m., he visiting a second Wawa, again refusing to wear a mask. He punched a male customer in the face, and when the victim left the store, the knucklehead went to his car and retrieved that pipe, which he wielded menacingly. Cops came and threw him in jail. Unclear if he is required to wear a mask.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

SEMINOLE, PA. – A 93-year-old beer-guzzling granny could potentially be plastered for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic after Molson Coors delivered 150 cans of Coors Light to the door of her Pennsylvania home. It all started with a photo of Olive Veronese holding up a sign with the message “I need more beer!” The photo – much like COVID-19, itself – went viral and eventually came to the attention of the beer manufacturer. “We knew we had to jump at the chance to not only connect with someone who brought a smile to our faces during this pandemic, but also gave us a special opportunity to say thanks for being a Coors Light fan,” a Molson Coors spokesman told newspapers everywhere. The company adds: “Olive asked, and beer is on its way!”

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was on this day in 1865 that President Lincoln died, nine hours after he was shot attending the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater.

WORD OF THE DAY

Deflagrate – [DEF-luh-grayt] – verb

Definition: To burn rapidly with intense heat and sparks being given off

Example: When I listened to the press conference, I thought my head would explode. Rather, it just deflagrated.

WIT OF THE DAY

“They respect but one law - the law of fear...I expect you to carry out whatever orders I give, whenever I give them."

- Capt. William Bligh

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Tell the Democrat Governors that “Mutiny On The Bounty” was one of my all time favorite movies. A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain.”

- Donald J. Trump


WEATHER IN A WORD
Clearing

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun