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Morning Briefing - 12/1/2014

ON YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN – We apologize. It is Cyber Monday and you are “busy at work” looking for the perfect online deal. And then the Morning Briefing pops into your email and you feel somewhat obliged to take a break from the all-important shopping to scan these blurbs. Again, we apologize for the disruption. A silver lining: For Cyber Monday, we are offering a 75 percent discount off your free subscription.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Call Gov. Chris Christie whatever you want. Just don’t call him classy. NJ.com is reporting a new national survey that shows just 2 percent of Americans consider our governor “classy.” Meanwhile, 22 percent think Christie is “rude,” 9 percent think he is “funny” and 24 percent consider him “intelligent.” More than half of America still has no clue who he is, even though Christie is a master at earned media and his favorite hobby involves traversing North America, chasing the spotlight. Perhaps there should have been this poll question: “Do you live in a backwater cave?”

BAY HEAD – One of the top national Republican fundraisers also happens to be the owner of a posh home on the beach. And that puts Lawrence Bathgate at odds with Gov. Chris Christie’s plans to build protective sand dunes that block all those million dollar views. Bathgate, who could play a key role for Christie’s ascension to the White House, is calling the dune plan “stupid” and wasteful, and says it flies in the face of some tried-and-true Republican principles, such as fiscal restraint and private property rights. Bathgate says science and economics don’t mesh with the statewide shore protection plan, but isn’t saying if this will affect his work if Christie should be the party’s nominee. “We will cross that bridge if we get to it,” he said.

CHERRY HILL – The worst place for a comedian to practice his new bit has to be the swamps of Jersey. That’s because scientists have discovered the Atlantic Coast leopard frog, which is able to groan and make coughing noises, the Courier Post reports. So, let’s try this joke out: What did the frog order at McDonald’s? (French flies and a Diet Croak.)  Groan. Cough. Groan.

VINELAND – Time for a new car – and, likely – a new girlfriend. A Vineland man said he fled the scene of an accident because he could no longer deal with his girlfriend yelling at him. The Press of AC reports the lovebirds were in an argument last Sunday when he backed his car into a utility pole in Cumberland County. The guy took off, but then turned himself in to local police the next day, saying he just couldn’t bear to deal with his girlfriend.


READING, PA – It was a Christmas tree that was so ugly, the people of Reading claimed it was destroying their holiday spirit. And that is why town officials are removing the 50-foot Norwood spruce that locals had described to WGMZ as “pathetic,” “horrible” and downright “pitiful.” The tree was so bad that the squirrels wouldn’t even climb it. Reading officials say they were in desperate need of a spruce, and took it from a city park. City officials are now raising money for a proper tree and decorations and even plan to redo the tree-lighting ceremony, ending this nightmare. The ugly, discarded tree will be donated, perhaps to Charlie Brown.

WASHINGTON – The offspring of the sitting President has typically been off-limits for criticism. And that is why the Facebook postings of a GOP congressman’s staffer has gone viral. Elizabeth Hauten, who works for Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher, is quickly apologizing for complaining about Sasha and Malia Obama’s attire and attitude during a Thanksgiving Day event, saying they dressed like they wanted a “spot at the bar” and told them to “try showing a little class.” She adds: “Act like being in the White House matters to you…and certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events.” Now red-faced, here is the staffer’s apology: “After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents and re-reading my words online, I can see more clearly just how hurtful my words were.” What a turkey.


It was this day in 1982 that Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” first hit the airwaves and was played non-stop through the 1980s, butchered by marching bands, fourth-grade choral groups and any kid who had a vision of becoming a rock god. Happy 32nd birthday “Thriller.”


Posted in Morning Briefing


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