Jaffe Morning Briefing: Aug. 7, 2014


BAYONNE – If you are sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic right now, and reading this to temporarily forget you are late for a meeting – then chances are you are trying to get over the Bayonne Bridge. Because right now, in the 10 o’clock hour, traffic is being stopped both ways on the bridge while workers tinker around with some oversized trailers. The Port Authority suggests you take the Goethals Bridge instead. But a little late for that now, right?

BAYONNE – As you are simmering at the bridge, skimming through the Morning Briefing and then thinking you should check an account balance or two, here is the next whammy of the morning: Your passwords may have been compromised. Huh? Why? Well, a Russian crime ring has been busy stealing some 1.2 billion user names and password combinations, The New York Times reports. It is considered the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials, prompting many companies to urge their customers to change all their passwords ASAP. So you may have to memorize a combination other than “1234.”

BAYONNE – Yep, you are still at the bridge, and, yes, you are still reading this, and yes, wondering if the Russians are now on a shopping spree on your dime. And now you are learning all that time you spent sweating over the SAT was for naught. Colleges are suddenly realizing what we all have known: the SAT is no indicator of college or life success, but rather a huge profit source for the test-taking industry and all those outrageously expensive prep classes designed to “beat the test.” Montclair State University, for one, is making the SAT optional for admission. So have 800 other schools, NJTV reports. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end.

BAYONNE – Still there, still reading, still worried about Russia bandits, still angry at that lousy SAT prep instructor and sick and tired of bridges. And now there is a new poll out about the BridgeGate scandal, in which we learn Gov. Chris Christie has not yet rebounded from the GWB closures. A Quinnipiac University poll released this morning finds New Jersey voters are divided in their opinions of Christie, with 49 percent approving of the job he’s doing and 47 percent disapproving. It is the lowest poll numbers for the Governor since August 2011, but still higher than most politicians in America.

BAYONNE – Cars are finally starting to move… and now the Morning Briefing offers a video? C’mon! Better be good. This one comes from the super-tiny town of Helmetta, a speck in Middlesex County that hasn’t had news since the snuff plant closed last century. The Helmetta Police Department – which makes the Mayberry P.D. look massive – has made national news for trying to kick a rabble-rouser out of town hall. The gadfly had a camera, so words should be used carefully, right? So here is what the cop tells him: “Obama has decimated the friggin’ constitution, so I don’t give a damn. Because if he doesn’t follow the Constitution we don’t have to.” The resident then asks the person with the camera to make sure he is catching this. The cop then says, “Our president has decimated the constitution, then we don’t have to.” The Helmetta P.D. is now conducting an “internal investigation” into this, probably from a diner booth in neighboring East Brunswick. Meanwhile, this story is plastered on USA Today.

What in the HELLMETTA is going on? “Full Version”

NOT BAYONNE – With all the challenges facing Trenton, now is the time to recruit the best and brightest. The City Council may mercifully put an end to a 42-year-old law that requires department directors and cabinet-level staff to live within the boundaries of Trenton. This special exemption would also apply to any city job requiring special skills or talents, the Trenton Times reports. It is understandable to have residency requirements, but only if you have the type of city where highly-trained, in-demand people are willing to live. Lifting the residency requirement is a good step toward Trenton achieving that goal.


It was this day in 1964 that Congress adopted the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to “protect peace in Southeast Asia” – the green light that escalated the Vietnam War into a 10-year mess. Following the enacted resolution, President Lyndon Johnson said: “As I have repeatedly made clear, the United States intends no rashness, and seeks no wider war.”

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