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The Jaffe Briefing - February 12, 2018

ON THE RAILS - Anyone who commutes by train should be laser focused on Donald Trump today. Not to capture the latest buffoonery, but because the President is unveiling his long-awaited infrastructure plan. Will this "master of the deal" step up and deliver the $15 billion of so that was promised for the Gateway Tunnel project? Or will he play games, declaring that New Jersey and New York cough up even more money to get priority for federal funds? There's no question, whatsoever, that this tunnel is critically needed. Let's put the issue in a language our President understands: If there is another tunnel under the Hudson, your treasured properties here will be worth even more money. So, keep your side of the bargain, OK?

AT THE POLLS - You can lead people to the polls, but can you make them vote? Last November's election featured a dismal showing, with only 35 percent of the state's 5.7 million registered voters casting a ballot. In response, Democrats have unveiled "The Democracy Act," a bill that would automatically register voters getting a driver's license, enable online registration, and feature a two-week rolling window to cast votes, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The bill also hopes to bolster the youth vote by pre-registering 17-year-olds who would be 18 by Election Day. It all sounds good, if these measures can include a free iTunes download for every vote cast.
STATEWIDE - New Jerseyans don't ask for much. Trains that run on time. Prompt garbage removal. Smooth roads. Some environmentalists are even suggesting cleaner drinking water, reporting that water systems for 5 million people or so have elevated levels of radium. Environment New Jersey, a citizen-based environmental advocacy group, tells NJ 101.5 that federal water regulations haven't been updated since the Ford Administration. State environmental officials say the goal is to have zero radium in the water, of course. But any middle school biology teacher will tell you radium is naturally-occurring in rocks, sand and gravel. So, you have been guzzling radium your entire life. The good news: Your body probably expects it.
STATEWIDE - Just in time for Valentine's Day, NJ 101.5 answers the question: If you get divorced, who gets the engagement ring?  Different states have different laws on the matter. In New Jersey, where there are 30,000 or so divorce complaints filed each year, the ring goes to the blushing bride. But if the groom gets ditched at the alter - and wedding vows are not exchanged - he gets the ring back, to be gifted to the next love of his life.
Here is some "fake news" we can all enjoy, courtesy of Seth Meyers. It's a trailer for "Newspaper Movie," featuring an intrepid group of reporters, many of whom look oddly like the late-night talk show host. Enjoy. The. Pregnant... Pause.
MANCHESTER, N.H. - There are some raised eyebrows about the educational quality at Southern New Hampshire University. A 27-year-old student was assigned to compare American social norms to that of another country. She chose Australia, thus earning a big, red "F" from her professor, who actually claimed that Australia is a continent, not a country. After some painstaking research from university officials, it was determined that Australia is a country and a continent. Red-faced university officials tell WMUR-TV the instructor has been fired and - to smooth some ruffled feathers - wished athletes from Australia good luck in the Olympic games. Athletes from both the country and the continent.
Generations of baseball players still have teeth, following the patent of the catcher's mask (No. 200,358) on this day in 1878.
Madeleine - [MAHD-uh-lin] - adjective
Definition: Something that triggers a memory; OR, a small shell shaped cake made of flour, eggs, sugar, and butter and baked in a mold
Example: Madeline's delicious madeline was my madeline.

Posted in Morning Briefing


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