OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - The White House says Gov. Chris Christie will be joining an opioid task force. The Washington Post, AP and a gaggle of other media are reporting it. The only one, it seems, not talking about it is Christie, who told NJ 101.5 last night that: "We'll see ... I don't jump any announcements by the President of the United States. If the president has something to announce, he'll announce it when he wants, and then I can respond if I'm involved in any way." Apparently, according to everyone else, the formal announcement will be this week.  

STATEWIDE - Unclear how much lower voter dissatisfaction can go, as the latest poll shows that just 1 percent - that's right, 1 percent - trust state lawmakers to do what is right. The new Fairleigh Dickinson/Public Mind Poll also reports that just 24 percent of those polled think the state is on a good path, while 67 percent have other opinions. Good news, though, for Gov. Chris Christie, as his poll numbers have not dropped since January, maintaining steady at around a 20 percent approval rating, with 72 percent of respondents questioning his version of leadership. Plenty of ticked-off skeptics here, raising the question of whether pollsters did their work on a NJ Transit platform, as commuters waited and waited for a delayed train. 

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STATEWIDE - Sure, phrases like "bond rating" don't make for titillating news copy. But we gotta note that Wall Street has downgraded the state's credit rating for the 11th time under the governor's watch. That costs you money, because the state has to pay even higher interest rates to borrow money. And we all know New Jersey loves to borrow money. The latest downgrade offers a non-partisan glimpse into what ails the state. Moody's says it's "based on the state's weak budgetary condition and liquidity position, structural imbalance due to large pension contribution shortfalls, a moderately growing economy, and high debt position, including its growing unfunded pension liability." Translation: New Jersey spends a lot, owes a lot and needs more money to pay it back....eventually.

STATEWIDE - As taxes continue to rise, and "property tax reform" is about as likely as a Gov. Joe Piscopo, state lawmakers are once again revisiting the issue of municipal consolidation. There's now a bill that would allow mergers of towns that are reasonably close to each other, but not direct neighbors. It is certainly doable, as the town of South Hackensack is currently split into three unconnected parcels, making for one strange town. One non-profit, Courage to Connect New Jersey, has been banging the drum for years about the need for towns to finally get together, consolidate services and eliminate the duplication and duplication and duplication. Learn more at this one-stop site

IN THE MEDIA 

ON THE TUBE - CNN is also getting hammered from the left, questioning the "stupid" Trump pundits who are invited on the air to attempt to intelligently represent conservatives.  

"You turn it on and there's a big giant panel..." former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett tells CNN. "You look at that giant panel, and it's smart person, smart person, smart person, stupid person, smart person, smart person, smart person, bullshit factory," he said. 

"So often on CNN there are world-class journalists interviewing campaign rejects, ideologues and silly craven people who do not care about informing people, who aren't there to help people understand what's going on in the news," Lovett added. 

"I'm calling the people that CNN puts on television terrible representatives of the views of conservatives," he added. "...These are not intellectually honest people. These are people building a brand, people willing to say anything." 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS 

DUPONT, Pa. - Under the category of "Wow! You're old!" A local woman attended the centennial celebration of her hometown on Saturday. She was also there, in fact, 100 years ago, celebrating the town's incorporation. Margaret Milewski, at a spry 101, has always lived in Dupont - even before there was a Dupont. The town celebrated its centennial by presenting the longest-serving resident with a key to the borough. "About damn time," she (may have) grumbled.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

It was this day in 1981 that France attempted a nuclear test - likely with a microwave and a baguette.

WORD OF THE DAY 

Mumpsimus - [muhmp-suh-muh s] - noun 

Definition: The pig-headed persistence of error. 

Example: Check out this whopper of a mumpsimus: "All of the women on `The Apprentice' flirted with me - consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected."  

WEATHER IN A WORD 

Grey