The Jaffe Briefing - December 4, 2017
OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
STATEWIDE - Gov. Chris Christie and other big-time supporters of legal sports betting will be in Washington today, as the U.S. Supreme Court debates if New Jersey should be granted an industry that could pump serious cash into state coffers. Our fearless leaders have been trying to overturn a 1992 federal ban - oddly authored by former Sen. Bill Bradley - for years, pleading the case in the lower courts. It's unfathomable that some states can be granted a privilege, and others can not. Hopefully, the Supreme Court decides to even the playing field. And hopefully before March Madness.
NEWARK - Thousands of country music fans were left high and dry Sunday night when the power failed at the Prudential Center at the beginning of the Garth Brooks concert. The brief outage took place one song into the final show of Brooks' three-night stint at the Rock, leaving fans to take matters into their own hands, singing his famous "Friends in Low Places." No cause has been identified for the outage, as of press time, but it sounds like Prudential could now use some friends in high places to make sure this never happens again.
HICKVILLE - Backwater watering holes in New Jersey have been filled with chatter from hunters worried the new governor will ban the state's controversial bear hunts. Phil Murphy is thinking about nonlethal population control methods, meaning this week's bear hunt could be the last. State wildlife officials say all the blam-blam has brought down bear complaints from residents. Animal rights groups disagree, of course, saying the info is based on bogus reports inflated by hunting websites that encourage readers to call in bear complaints to justify the hunts. Hunters remain concerned, wondering how they will spend their recreational time without killing anything.
HICKVILLE - Another round of Pabst is being consumed, as hunters also lament the state's effort to ban the possession of bump stocks, like the one used by the gunman in Las Vegas to kill more than 50 people. New Jersey lawmakers just don't see the rationale in these devices of mass murder, which turn a semi-automatic weapon into a rapid-shooting gun. It is already illegal to use bump stocks, thankfully. But now the Assembly is working to make it illegal to possess, sell, ship or dispose of them, as well. Good riddance.
TRENTON - In probably the biggest news to hit the capital city in years, it finally has its own Starbucks. The international purveyor of the $5 cup of coffee is opening this morning at South Warren and East Front streets, proudly noting it has created 21 local jobs. Optimists say the grand opening is all part of an exciting national initiative to open Starbucks in underserved, low-income communities. Pessimists, like us, question if the company is running out of high-end real estate to open thousands of new shops.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
SALT LAKE CITY - When America elects a real estate developer as President, "land preservation" doesn't exactly seem to be a nagging priority. So, there is absolutely no surprise that Trump will be in Utah today to scale back two sprawling national monuments. That damn Obama ticked off Utah Republicans by creating the Bears Ears National Monument on 1.35 million acres of land sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings. Trump is obviously thinking: "1.35 million acres = 1 billion condos." Silver lining: Native Americans can always get jobs at the new Walmarts.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
While the manila paper in your kid's bedroom is absolutely no big deal, it was all the rage on this day in 1843. That's when it was patented in Massachusetts, when some guy concocted it out of sails, canvas and rope.
WORD OF THE DAY
Maudlin - [MAWD-lin] - adjective
Definition: Drunk enough to be emotionally silly
Example: Will there be maudlin hunters if the state bans bear hunting and bump stocks?
WEATHER IN A WORD
Posted in Morning Briefing