** The Jaffe Briefing is over the river and through the woods for Thanksgiving, returning Monday, November 27 ** 


WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Tom MacArthur has the distinction of being the only member of New Jersey's congressional delegation to support $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for businesses and individuals.  MacArthur was also the only of the 13 Republicans from New York, New Jersey or California to vote for the Trump bill, according to The New York Times. With the bill ending so many of the income and sales tax deductions that New Jerseyans enjoy and with the 3rd District's median household income hovering around $55,000, you gotta really wonder what constituency MacArthur is serving.

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NEWARK - Sen. Bob Menendez is rising from the ashes, with a mistrial declared yesterday and a likely cake walk to re-election. Even with a 2 ½ month corruption trial, and many wondering if he would be shamed into resigning his coveted Senate seat, it seems our senior senator is stronger than ever. "To those who were digging my political grave so they could jump into my seat, I know who you are and I won't forget you," he vowed. The message here: Never, ever, mess with a Hudson County Democrat.

HOBOKEN - When Hoboken Councilman Ravi Bhalla won his bid for mayor last week, it was a good outcome for social change and a great boon for the Sikh community. One snag? Some well-wishers at the League of Municipalities' parties this week seemed to mistake anyone wearing a turban as the Hoboken's next chief executive. All should feel good about Bhalla being the first Sikh elected mayor in New Jersey, but it's clear that there are plenty of folks, perhaps imbibed with a drink or two, who need a crash course in cultural awareness.

HOBOKEN - Improving cultural awareness may be a secondary objective for incoming Mayor Ravi Bhalla as the Mile Square City deals with a runaway housing market. According to clickbait website RentCafe.com, at $3,401/month, the average monthly rent in Hoboken is 2.5 times higher than the national average. Affordable housing advocates are demanding moderate-income housing to address the skewed market. But if yuppies are going to pay those prices, signing overpriced leases while sipping lattes, it's going to be impossible to convince landlords to drive down their rents.

NEWTON - In today's lesson of "Facebook Is Not the Public Square,"Mayor Wayne Levante is dealing with ethics charges for using his Facebook page to endorse a few school board candidates last week. NJ.com reports that a resident has filed a complaint, claiming the mayor violated a local policy against on-the-job politicking and the NJ Local Government Ethics Law. While Levante likely did nothing wrong, here's a great reminder that there is no easy replacement for knocking on doors.


BY THE FIRE - NJ 101.5 has a special holiday gift for us all: a special Yule log with a cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking host, Dennis Malloy. So, sit back and enjoy as he celebrates the holidays on what looks like his enclosed back porch, very Jersey-style, relaxing in his lounge chair for 10 minutes or so and attempting a British accent, reading limericks and such.


It was on this day in 1992 that Dateline NBC collided with ethics, rigging a fiery test crash that showed a Chevy pick-up truck blowing up on impact with a car.


Claque - [KLAK] - noun

Definition: A group of persons hired to applaud a performer.

Example: In announcing his tax plan, did Trump hire another claque?