TRENTON – Paper or plastic? It appears the solution may be neither, as the Senate Budget Committee takes up a bill today that calls for a statewide ban on both plastic and paper bags in New Jersey. Everyone agrees the single-use plastic bags are the scourge of the Earth; they blow into our oceans and streams and last much, much longer than the four minutes or so that you use them to carry your lunch from the store to your car. The bigger question is paper bags. Should the state slap a fee on them, or ban them outright? The answer is to get rid of them. Think about it: If you ban plastic bags, the demand for paper bags skyrockets. Besides obvious environmental concerns, prices spike and consumers are left – er – holding the bag. The solution: Everyone brings their own reusable bags to the store.

TRENTON – Here’s some news received via text: There’s a push in the state Legislature to teach students – once again – how to read and write cursive. It is surprising – and a bit shocking – that schools are no longer required to teach basic writing. Apparently, there now needs to be a law that would require elementary school kids to master cursive by the end of third grade. News 12 New Jersey reports the basic, common skill was scrapped from the curriculum in 2010, as children have since mastered using their two thumbs to rapidly communicate via smartphone. Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, who is sponsoring the bill, has it right, asking “how will our students ever know how to read a scripted font on a word document, or even sign the back of a check, if they never learn to read and write in cursive?” Perhaps there’s an app for that. 

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TRENTON – Many remain giddy about low unemployment and business growth, yet it seems that many New Jersey companies are holding back. NJ Spotlight reports employers are gearing up for a possible recession – that, c’mon, must certainly come eventually – and that clear fact is impacting hiring and wage bumps. These growing fears are reported in the latest member survey of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, which reports a rosy picture of 54% of the businesses reporting increased sales this year and nearly 50% indicating their profits have gone up. Yet the majority are worried about an impending recession, coming either next year or in 2021, and many are already thinking about circling the wagons to prepare.

STATEWIDE – Just in time for the holidays, the federal government wants to take 12,000 New Jerseyans off food stamps. The Trump administration is revising its rules, making it harder for states to waive a restriction on able-bodied adults without dependents. The feds make a good point: This is about forcing able-bodied people to go to work, just like the rest of us slaving slobs. But the state offers a solid counter-argument: Stripping poor people of food stamps puts an additional burden on food banks and state resources, which fill in gaps when the feds fall short. The general rule: Government support should be a hand up, not a hand out. It remains unclear – at this point – what this new policy will achieve.

EAST RUTHERFORD – For more years then we care to remember, we have seen the shell of an indoor ski slope at the mega, mega-mall that has been under construction since, it appears, the Coolidge Administration. But, finally, beginning at 3 p.m. today, the first skiers will descend the indoor mountain, as the ski and snowboard park officially, and finally, opens. Operated by Mountain Creek, this is the first real snow indoor ski park in the nation. For just $50, booked online, you could spend two hours on the marvelous, bucolic slopes of…..East Rutherford?



IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

BALLWIN, MO – Maybe it wasn’t exactly the crime of the century. Local cops are making some slight efforts to find the culprit who walked into the unlocked Honey Baked Ham store on Thanksgiving and took two pies for the holiday. The person also left money for the pies, as well as a lovely note wishing the business owner a Happy Thanksgiving. It read, “No one was here, and we were in desperate need of pies. Left money, took pies. Thanks!” Posting on Facebook, police note this pie-taker would have had to go behind the counter and retrieve the pies from a refrigerator, which could potentially have led to trespassing charges, but then nothing else was missing, $26 was left to cover the cost of two $11 pies, plus tax. So, was this a burglary or just an “after-hours transaction?”

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1933 – at 5:32 p.m. EST – when America changed. Utah voted to become the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, achieving the three-fourths majority of states. Beer flowed, champagne uncorked and grown men wept openly, as, finally, Prohibition was over. Let the party begin.

WORD OF THE DAY

Logomachy – [loh-gom-əh-kee] - noun

Definition: An argument or debate marked by the reckless or incorrect use of words; meaningless battle of words.

Example: The President’s current problem with the House Judiciary Committee is a logomachy of his own making.

WIT OF THE DAY

“What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.”

― Sigmund Freud

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Let me tell you, I'm a really smart guy. I was a really good student at the best school in the country.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Brighter

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun