POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Jaffe Morning Briefing: Sept. 21, 2015

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JAFFE COMMUNICATIONS GIVES ITS TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
The content and opinions expressed herein are those of Jaffe Communications and do not necessarily reflect the views of NJTV.

POPE WEEK – Welcome to “Pope Week,” Jersey style. It will be all-Pope, all the time, as Pope Francis will be hitting both New York and Philadelphia. Having the international leader of Roman Catholics in our midst will be a test of faith, as well as patience and forgiveness, as all road signs warn of traffic nightmares. The Record notes that just three hours after the pope lands at JFK on Thursday, the Giants game kicks off in the Meadowlands, and the Yankees game starts in the Bronx. Fans will arrive on time on a wing and a prayer.

POPE WEEK – If you make it through the gridlock on Thursday, get ready for Friday. That’s when the U.N. General Assembly convenes, with 160 heads of state coming to New York to hear the pope speak. That is 160 motorcades, and just an enormous swell of people. Think about the mess on subways, PATH stations, NJ Transit trains, ferries, cars, motorcycles, scooters and skateboards. Meanwhile, as the pope heads south into New Jersey to go to Philly, a free concert is planned in Central Park featuring Beyonce, Pearl Jam and Coldplay. Holy moly.

POPE WEEK – A visit from the pope is a marketing bonanza for any profiteer with a product and the urge to sell it. We already have “Pope Beer,” courtesy of the Cape May Brewing Company. Now we have the celebrity Hoboken baker, Buddy Valestro, getting some headlines for preparing a special “Pope Cake” in Philly, where he just happens to have a new bakery. Expect plenty more pope products to be unveiled this week, as the chase for dollars becomes the Holy Scripture.

JERSEY CITY – It was not too long ago that a bike share program in Jersey City was defined as this: A guy takes your bike; you never see it again. But at 2 p.m. today, city officials will be at the Newark Avenue pedestrian plaza to announce a bike-sharing program with 350 bikes cycling through 35 stations. The deal is $149 for an annual membership, in which subscribers can borrow a bike for up to 45 minutes. Good timing for alternative transportation as we welcome Pope Week.

ORANGE – It was not very Christian for a city woman who helped steal more than $1 million by helping to file bogus IRS returns. The woman finds out her fate during sentencing on December 17, convicted of working with conspirators to steal 139 victims’ identities and then have the refund checks sent directly to her home (insert “Duh” here). She deposited the checks in her own bank account (insert second “Duh” here) and then made a total of 298 cash withdrawals. Unless there is some divine intervention, this woman is looking at five years of penance.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

MCINTIRE, Iowa – Voter turnout is often low for school board elections, but what happens when not one voter shows up? That is the case in rural Iowa, where a farmer running unopposed for his seat didn’t earn a vote. In fact, with harvest time in the fields, he didn’t even bother to show up to vote for himself. The Des Moines Register notes the candidate freely admits he has no time to serve on the school board, as he has two jobs. But it seems like the pool of candidates is shallow, at best, as it can be a 50-mile drive just to attend a school board meeting. But with only 136 registered voters in the district, perhaps this is the place that a guy like Mike Huckabee can actually get elected.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 2007 that every woman in Weehawken, as well as in all surrounding towns, states, and nations, was in a panic – with word that George Clooney got in a motorcycle accident on Boulevard East, breaking a rib. His girlfriend was also on the bike, but no has ever bothered to ask how she was doing.

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WORD OF THE DAY

Fribbler – noun

Definition: A man who says he is really into a lady, but just refuses to commit.

Example: “Mel is a bit of a fribbler, always opting for the company of men – not like there is anything wrong with that.”

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