BEDMINSTER – The search is on. In words unbelievable to write, the White House medical unit is now on the hunt for all those super-rich and powerful donors who attended the president’s fundraiser in Bedminster on Thursday, when he was positive for COVID. There are 206 donors who originally thought it was money well spent to rub elbows with Donald Trump. Now, the White House wants to know how close those elbows were, demanding the Republican National Committee hand over phone numbers, as well as email addresses of these potential super spreaders. Meanwhile, the Record reports, it’s up to state health officials to reach out to all the workers at the Trump National Golf Club and urge them to get tested. Some high roller fundraisers can be disasters. But nothing like this.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – And so, how exactly is President Trump faring? After reading the major dailies and remaining glued to cable news all weekend, here’s our well-informed answer: No clue. The smiling doctors dismiss his mild symptoms, and, heck, our president is likely doing 1,000 sit-ups and bench pressing something stiff, like Mike Pence, this morning. But then they mutter something about him taking remdesivir, which is only supposed to be used in an emergency. And he is taking an antibody cocktail, from drugmaker Regeneron, whose stock just skyrocketed, and he is also getting dexamethasone, a steroid used for severely-ill COVID patients. Oh, and Trump has gotten supplemental oxygen. So, um, could those cheery Trump doctors be slightly misleading?
The first alarm clock could only ring at 4 a.m.
STATEWIDE – With Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Apple, as well as traditional cable, it seems downright silly to put on real pants, leave your house and drive a couple of miles to a movie theater, where you will then pay $25 for two tickets, $25 for bad, oversized food and sit in organized rows, as you watch a film with a roomful of strangers. And that didn’t make sense before COVID. There’s no surprise that movie theaters are now fighting for their lives, as they now can only be 25% occupied and production companies are going directly to the streaming services. In response, Regal Cinemas plans to temporarily close all its theaters in the nation, including the 11 in the state, following a $1.6 billion loss in the shutdown. It’s sorry to hear, as movie theaters can be downright charming in downtowns. But regardless of the pandemic, aren’t they an outdated business model?
MONTCLAIR – It was Saturday night, and all the trendy restaurants were humming with diners who have no problem enjoying $20 cocktails, followed by their $40 entrees and $60 bottles of wine. So, where’s this economic crisis we keep reading about? The Washington Post reports this is the most unequal recession in modern U.S. history. For those on the high end of the wage scale, sure, there may have been bumps in their robust stock portfolios. (NASDAQ still up 23.43% this year) But they maintain rosy careers and a pipeline of disposable cash, unlike the sectors of this state facing the real brunt: mothers of school-aged children, minorities and lower-income workers, some of whom are tasked with uncorking those $60 bottles of wine, as the booze keeps flowing for those lucky enough to be weathering this lingering storm, virtually unscathed.
STATEWIDE – It is almost the second Monday of October and that can only mean one thing: Time to argue again about Columbus Day. Leading the charge this time is state Sen. Brian Stack, the latest politician trying to get rid of the holiday, on Oct. 12. Stack introduced a bill, calling for the holiday to become “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in New Jersey, Politico reports. Why? Because, according to the proposed bill, “Columbus and his men inflicted violence on the indigenous people of the Caribbean while inadvertently bringing many new diseases that decimated native populations.” OK. Begin arguing NOW.
IN THE MEDIA
NEW YORK – ABC News will not soon forget the last time former Gov. Chris Christie arrived in the studio for his paid punditry. Anyone who came in contact with Christie is now quarantining, after the network learned on Saturday that he is the latest victim in the Trump inner circle to test positive for the virus. ABC’s PR department tweeted that the former governor last appeared in the studio six days ago and we won’t hear any more of his on-air opinions until the doctors clear him. Christie joined a roundtable with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson, GOP strategist Sara Fagan, and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis – all of whom must be thrilled.
WESTFIELD – There’s zero chance the liberal-leaning Star-Ledger is going to endorse Tom Kean for Congress, after pounding him with three negative pieces that the GOP candidate considered to be hatchet jobs. And, so, in a bit of an unorthodox move, Kean says he won’t seek the newspaper’s endorsement, as the editorial board plans to make its grand announcement on Thursday, New Jersey Globe reports. “I write this with sadness,” Kean told the editorial board. “I grew up reading the Star Ledger and have long respected the paper.” Kean considers the pieces to be character attacks and factually wrong. Perhaps or not, but the focus needs to be Rep. Tom Malinowski, not the media.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
HELL, MI – Want to be mayor? Hell, yes! Then you can rent out a specially-outfitted “lair” on Airbnb. The town doesn’t have an official mayor, for some reason, so a local resident has proclaimed himself the unofficial chief executive with no other job than to rent out the “Mayor’s Lair” for three one-night stays, at just $31. “And to our guests and soon-to-be Mayors, I trust you'll find that there is no place more welcoming than Hell on Earth-we can't wait to show you a helluva good time!” the fake mayor posts on Airbnb. The "Mayor's Lair" includes a queen-sized bed, gothic-style sitting area, fire pit, outdoor movie screen and supply of locally grown pumpkins to carve. As part of the deal, you would get the unofficial title of mayor, from the unofficial mayor, for 24 hours. Here’s to a hellish stay!
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Welcome to the New Jersey Devils on this day in 1982, tying the Penguins, 3-3, in the very first game, at the Brendan Byrne Arena.
WORD OF THE DAY
Meliorism – [MEE-lee-uh-riz-um] – noun
Definition: The belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment
Example: I don’t see my glass as half-full or half-empty. I just savor what I have, drink it down and eagerly ask for another round. Must be my meliorism.
WIT OF THE DAY
“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”
“Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!”
-Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD