OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - Haven't we learned by now? It is none of our damn business what is contained within the President's tax returns. All that bluster about his enormous success? Just believe it, pal, and shut up already. The man is a financial genius; ignore the bankruptcies and all the collapsed businesses. They don't matter. Gov. Chris Christie is the latest to rush to the President's aid, swiftly vetoing a bill that would have required future presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to appear on New Jersey's ballot. Christie called it a "transparent political stunt," adding the "Legislature introduced this unconstitutional bill as a form of therapy to deal with their disbelief at the 2016 election results." Probably.  

BRICK - You often hear about these once-in-a-generation coincidences, which, for some reason, seem to happen all the time. Check out the well-timed story of the twin sisters from Brick who happened to deliver baby boys four hours apart in adjoining rooms. The Asbury Park Press reports the 32-year-old twins had identical due dates of April 22, and then decided to be induced the same day. Now they plan to share birthday parties for the boys and even dress them the same. (Until these two learn to say "No!")  

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STAFFORD - It's the very definition of "phoning it in." Councilman Steven Jeffries has promised to show up at more Town Council meetings, but only by phoning in from his Econo Lodge motel room in some South Dakota speck of a town. After Jeffries took office last year, he landed an ethanol industry consulting job, requiring him to be in South Dakota for weeks at a clip. Constituents have griped about his repeated absences since last October. The Southern Ocean Times says Jeffries is offering to forfeit his $7,600 council salary and, whenever possible, make a virtual appearance at council meetings, so he can virtually serve the public.

EDISON - A good Samaritan has gotten something quite unexpected: A check for $1,000 from his new pals at Edison PBA Local 75. The 34-year-old Piscataway man had his backpack stolen on Friday as he rushed to rescue a woman who fainted at the Edison Train Station and fell about six feet off the platform onto the tracks. He dropped his backpack and rushed to pull the woman to safety, with two other men, as the NJ Transit train approached. The good guy's missing backpack contained his laptop, headphones and about $200. The man told police they were giving him too much money. No worries, they said; get yourself something nice.  

PATERSON - The city's three deputy police chiefs are playing musical chairs, each hoping to win the grand prize: Replacing Chief William Fraher who retired in January. So, Deputy Chiefs Ibrahim "Mike" Baycora, Troy Oswald and Heriberto "Eddie" Rodriguez are each getting a four-month trial to serve as top cop. Oswald's stint ended Sunday and Rodriguez became acting chief yesterday. City officials tell The Paterson Press these tryouts are just a friendly competition: No shenanigans. No backstabbing. "They are showing real team spirit," said Police Director Jerry Speziale. Can't wait for someone to monetize this as a reality show. Fetty Wap Productions? 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS 

EVERYWHERE - What the freck is a frork? You gotta ask McDonald's, convinced the world needs cutlery other than forks, spoons, knives and sporks. A frork uses your French fries to pick up all the toppings from your burger that don't exactly make it into your mouth, you slob. At first glance, this seems like a joke. But the marketing folks are actually promoting a limited supply of these devices. You can buy some "signature crafted recipe sandwich" on May 5 to land one, call 1-844-McD-FRORK or go to McDonald's Frork website to find out where to snag your very own. By the way, great infomercial on this:

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

It was this day in 2012 that Newt Gingrich suspended his campaign for President. Fortunately, that suspension remains in full force.

WORD OF THE DAY 

Floriferous - [flaw-rif-er-uh s] - adjective 

Definition: Producing blossoms  

Example: When I dine with my frork, I like to wear my new floriferous hat.  

WEATHER IN A WORD 

Mixed 

FROM THE MAILBAG 

In response to this blurb: 

TRENTON - What is the one thing New Jerseyans hate more than NJ Transit? Hmm. Guess that would have to be property taxes. And, so, time to direct our fury for the moment to President Trump, who - get this - wants property taxes to no longer be tax deductible on federal tax returns, potentially costing you thousands. Read that again slowly, just to absorb the impact. Ouch. Oh, and the kicker? State income taxes - not deductible either! Under the Trump plan, in his marvelous utopian world of blonde hair and blindingly white teeth, Americans would only see federal deductions for mortgage interest and charity, but would reap tax breaks elsewhere. Perhaps, finally, we can deem New Jersey as an official charity case. 

Dear Jaffe Briefing: 

I enjoy reading your newsletter despite occasional sprinklings of Kool-Aid dust. Your first article in today's edition (April 27) is misleading at best. What you failed to include is the elimination of the AMT and the deduction for couples increased from $12,700 to $24,000 and single filers from $6,300 to $12,600 reduces 7 tax brackets to 3 and reduces the top tier from 39.6% to 35%. A plus for anyone paying a conventional mortgage in NJ. 

Frank Schlesinger 
Frank's Pickled Peppers 
Dayton