Ben Franklin, Short-Term Rentals and Why are we so Dumb? – Monday’s Roundup

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Representative Bill Pascrell asks a question I know has been on my mind latley: “Why is Congress so dumb?”

Almost unbelievably, he puts forward a plausible answer.

“Our founts of independent information have been cut off, our investigatory muscles atrophied, our committees stripped of their ability to develop policy, our small staffs overwhelmed by the army of lobbyists who roam Washington.”

He says we should increase funding for the Congressional Research Service, the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office.

Officials in Longport (the “City of Tomorrow”) are mulling regulations for short-term rentals.

“Kids can rent a house on their own with a credit card and throw the biggest party anyone’s ever seen, and then what do we do.”

This is the generation that gave us Animal House in the first place, right?

Longport considers beefing up rental ordinance

Matt Skoufalos at NJ Pen has a followup to his story from last year about a copy of the Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser from 1744 that had Ben Franklin’s “Unite or Die” cartoon on the masthead and showed up at a South Jersey Goodwill in Bellmawr in October.

The document was bought by the American Philosophical Society, where it will now live for so long as Americans treasure and value philosophy.

1774 Philadelphia Newspaper Turns up at South Jersey Goodwill

On a semi-related and shamelessly promotional note, did you know that nasty old satyr Ben Franklin killed the Leeds Almanac (founded by Leeds Point’s own Daniel Leeds) back in the 1730s?

You can read about it in my splendid book The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil (2013). ‘Tis the season.

For more feats of journalism…

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