The Jaffe Briefing will not publish next week - we return Monday, Aug. 5
STATEWIDE - Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman had been your friendly,local congresswoman, virtually guaranteed re-election every two years to the gerrymandered seat. But now, many in the 12thth Congressional District are wondering what the heck she was thinking, voting against a resolution condemning a movement to boycott Israel. The congresswoman says she is certainly not anti-Semitic, and we, of course, agree. But she claims her "No" vote is rooted in the First Amendment, arguing the right to boycott. That is fine, if there wasn't a legion of anti-Semites vowing to wipe away the only democracy in the Middle East. Luckily, 398 members of the House - including the rest of the New Jersey delegation - voted for the resolution, showing their support for Israel and its right to survive. What a tone-deaf way for the congresswoman to lose support amongst a faithful base. And if she doesn't like our opinion; hey, it's protected under the First Amendment.
STATEWIDE - The message used to be super-simple: Smoking is bad for you. Quit Now. The latest stats show that less than 14 percent of adults in New Jersey still have the nasty habit. And only about 12 percent of high school students are still lighting up conventional cigarettes. But the use of e-cigarettes - vaping - is skyrocketing, urged along by candy-flavored nicotine devices that come in all those fun colors and shapes, and the unstoppable teenage drive to be cool. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School thinks it can cut through the cloud of misinformation with a short video posted on its website and distributed via social media, NJ Spotlightreports. It's not preachy and it delivers an important message: E-cigarettes are less harmful than their conventional counterparts. But that doesn't mean they won't kill you.
TRENTON - "Now Hiring: Felons Welcome!" That just about sums upMayor Reed Gusciora's decision to abandon a decades-old policy that prohibits ex-convicts from all city jobs for seven years after they have paid their debt to society. The mayor says it's been a stumbling block for many residents hoping to turn their lives around. Gusciora said an inability to find work can lead to recidivism for ex-cons, telling the Trentonian: "They say, 'Just give me a job.' The best I can answer is, 'See you in seven years.'" The city will still bar anyone convicted of violent first-or second-degree offenses, sex crimes, domestic violence and crimes against children.
BAYONNE - Disgraceful, idiotic and racist are just a few adjectives to describe the blackface, female rag dolls that Assemblywoman Angela McKnight forced a dollar store to yank off its shelves. The "Feel Better Dolls," made of black cloth and multi-colored yarn for hair, include sewn-on instructions that urge kiddies to "find a wall to slam the doll against" or "whack her" to feel better. McKnight was outraged, telling NJ Advance Media the toy promotes racism, domestic violence and bullying. The dollar store chain got the dolls, probably super-cheap, from a Westchester, NY toy-maker that went out of business. No surprise there.
TRENTON - Expect a real struggle for news copy in the coming days - a superb time for news junkies to unglue themselves and take a vacation. Gov. Phil Murphy is heading off for return trip to Israel and then to his well-reported villa in Italy. Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver takes the reigns, as the Legislature remains on recess. It'll be a couple of slow weeks in Trenton.
PERTH AMBOY - Here's something cool for a steamy summer night: Tune in this evening to see this city's locally-owned Fajji's Homemade Ice Cream featured on FiOS1's "Restaurant Hunter." Host Rob Petrone taped tonight's 8 pm episode in June, highlighting this award-winning ice cream parlor's tropical flavors like mango, tamarind and coconut. Even cooler: Just visit the Amboy Avenue ice cream parlor for what Perth Amboy Now describes as "many must-try" flavors." (Always happy to write about ice cream.)
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
NAPLES, NY - Stressed-out New Jerseyans have a new place to flee. The Mountain Horse Farm, which has been offering "horse therapy sessions" at its upstate bed and breakfast for years, has added a new feature for guests: cow cuddling. "Cows have this wonderful quality that when they are processing their food they like to lay down," the proprietor explained to CNN. "They become really quiet, and it's a beautiful opportunity to connect with them." The sessions, which are scheduled around the cows' natural feeding habits, serve as a great alternative for those who can't just sit still. "[Cows] have a slightly slower heart rate," she explained. "And just feeling that from them makes you react to that and makes you slow down too. And because you're doing that in nature, it's really quiet."
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2016 that the Democratic National Convention kicked off in Philadelphia with immediate controversy. All the Democrats needed was a no-drama, professional opening. But then came Debbie Wasserman Schultz announcing she'll resign as DNC chair right after the convention. It was prompted by the release of 19,000 hacked emails, some showing the party tried killing Bernie Sanders' campaign. And, as if Sanders' supporters weren't already so peeved, Bernie fanned flames by slamming Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as a disappointing vice presidential choice. Sanders and his sycophants would have preferred the more liberal, mouthier Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. With 50,000 Democrats swooping into the City of Brotherly Love, more drama was expected. But, sadly, no Scott Baio.
WORD OF THE DAY
Vatic [VAT-ik] - adjective
Definition: Prophetic; clairvoyant
Example: When Bernie Sanders took center state four years ago today, he outlined a vatic vision of America, where apparently none of us should have to pay for anything.
WIT OF THE DAY
"One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."
- George W. Bush
WEATHER IN A WORD
Duh. Maybe it was sunburn on the brain, but we erroneously noted yesterday that Vince Carter threw a cherry bomb into a crowded Dodgers parking lot in 1993, earning him a suspension and a felony charge. It was Vince Coleman. Carter is a basketball player who once was on the Nets. Thank you to the countless Mets fans who filled our inbox yesterday to highlight the boo-boo. To the many Coleman fans out there: the writer responsible for the error is currently doing punishment runs and penalty push-ups.
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun