TRENTON – So, what’s a few hundred million bucks among friends? That’s the big question for Democrats in Trenton, wondering if Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposal to borrow $500 million for lead remediation efforts will solve the problem, once and for all. Senate President Steve Sweeney, for one, is quite skeptical, telling NJ 101.5 that $500 million in bonds is just “not enough.” He’s thinking this nagging problem will cost more than $2 billion, including all those public and private systems. The funny thing: No one has any clue what all this will cost, as there is yet to be a full analysis of New Jersey’s lead service lines. Some places in the state are unaware that lead is flowing from their taps, and there is no statewide game plan to rectify it all. And what happens to taxpayers in towns that have already fixed their lines? Do they have to pay twice? And what are the feds willing to do, other than hide?
TRENTON – A new report on climate change in New Jersey strips away all the polite euphemisms. Here’s the deal: Global warming is already taking a toll on the state. Over the past four decades, the risk of tidal flooding has doubled. Sea-level rise is steadily eating at our coastal property. Some 60,000 more structures are at risk of flooding than in 1980. And global warming is responsible for more than rising temperatures around the world. It is changing the intensity, speed and tracks of hurricanes and other major storms — and driving up total rainfall. Noncoastal communities now have a greater likelihood of wind damage. This bleak future can be modified, with more electric vehicles, renewable energy, etc. to greatly reduce our carbon footprint. But it’s not just our leaders who lack the political will to make it happen. NJ Spotlight explains.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – There’s little argument that we have the most unconventional President in memory. So, the latest round of “Trump 2020” lawn signs should be of no surprise, yet we can't stop staring. They read: “God, Guns, Country.” Where to start with this? First, Trump is probably the most ungodly man in political office, proud that he has broken at least eight of the 10 Commandments, as per his Twitter feed. “Guns” shows his complete pandering to the NRA and neo-Nazis who adore him, ignoring the countless families marred by gun violence since he moved into the White House. “Country” touts ignorance, as our current isolationism ignores global problems that America could actually help to solve. Meanwhile, MAGA supporters sit on their bar stools and thump their chests about “God, Guns and Country” as they swill midday PBRs and scan the Help Wanted ads, somehow still under the delusion Trump wants to help them.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – If the President rolls into town for a campaign rally, who pays for it? That’s what Rep. Bill Pascrell wants to know, noting the mayor of Minneapolis is asking for $530,000 to pay for all the extra security costs when Trump held a campaign rally earlier this month. The request prompted some nastiness, of course, with the President accusing the “radical left” mayor of trying to “stifle free speech.” Ok, whatever. But it does raise an important question, NJ.com notes, especially in New Jersey, home base of the Trump club in Bedminster. Pascrell says Trump has $83 million on hand, and wants the Federal Election Commission to investigate how host communities should be reimbursed for purely political rallies. Meanwhile, Trump people say it is the Secret Service, not the campaign, that coordinates local law enforcement. Translation: The campaign, as it gears up for 2020, will pay zilch.
NORTH BRUNSWICK – It’s not a zombie apocalypse or even a lavish Halloween display that’s bringing cars to a creep outside a Washington Place home. It’s a mannequin army – sometimes as many as 50 – posed on the front lawn and porch in a whimsical year-round display that owner Dee Luzack tells News12 NJ is there just for fun. Her friend began making them a few years ago from soda bottles, wire, old clothing and wigs. Now, curious motorists take detours off nearby Route 130 to get a peak or snap selfies with the mannequins, dressed as hippies, laborers, musicians and barbecuers. And Luzak says she gets many more trick-or-treaters. No surprise.
NEWARK – If you happen to be in Brick City this morning, swing on by the Rutgers Business School, hosting a symposium for mid-sized businesses about how to optimize profits during times of uncertainty. Jonathan Jaffe (of Jaffe Briefing fame) will be discussing the marketing value of this newsletter and its daily connection with more than 25,000 devoted readers each morning. Today’s event will also have experts in industry, consulting, investment banking, government, manufacturing, law and accounting. It costs $35 to attend. But if you tell them you know Jaffe, expect to pay $35.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
WASHINGTON – Hey! Ya know how much a couple of beers cost at the World Series? Assume a pretty penny, which is why a Nationals fan was caught on camera Sunday night taking a home run ball to the chest, so he wouldn’t drop either of the two Bud Lights he was grasping. Of course the video went viral, with more than a 1,000 retweets, and Bud Light is now trying to capitalize on the whole thing, tweeting that the beer-drinking baseball fan is “a hero.” The fan credited his lucky hat, which he has been wearing for 15 years, with helping him to not spill the beers. "I'm solid," he told WJLA-TV.
ALL OVER – If you still don’t think you are paying enough for wireless headphones, Apple is back with a new product you just have to have. The latest Airpods, now called “Airpods Pro,” for people who are, uh, professional listeners, will set you back $249. The marketing team at Apple promise the latest version of Airpods has even more noise cancellation, even more sweat resistance and an even better fit. Of course, this is all true until Apple ultimately reveals its “Airpods Pro 2” or “Airpods Pro Deluxe” or whatever, promising even more great things for, say $300. You can’t blame the company; we keep buying this stuff.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was seven years ago that Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey. Yet some people are still out of their homes, as insurance companies continue to squabble, negotiate and further delay.
WORD OF THE DAY
Multitudinous – [mul-tə-TOO-də-nəs] – adjective
Example: There were multitudinous drunks yelling about “God, Guns and Country” during the 11 a.m. Happy Hour, featuring $1 PBRs.
WIT OF THE DAY
“I was against gay marriage until I realized I didn't have to get one.”
― James Carville
“It's like in golf... A lot of people - I don't want this to sound trivial - but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive... it's weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can't sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.”
- Donald J. Trump, on same-sex marriage (we think)
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun